Who Speaks for God?
One does not often think of the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States—and certainly its Richmond iteration—as a center for social justice activism.
But the decision of the Richmond bank leadership to fly the Gay Pride rainbow flag above the building has sent anti-gay politicians and preachers into paroxysms of panic and anger. They of course think it is all about them and their opposition to gay equality, but actually, as the bank leadership seems to fully understand, it is at least as much about good employment practices as it is taking a stand on a public issue.
The usual suspects—Del. Bob Marshall and Victoria Cobb of the Virginia Family Foundation, among others—see the bank’s action as an affront to their desire to control the debate about equality. They do not see people when they talk about “homosexuality” and the “homosexual agenda or menace;” they see an abstract issue about which they have chosen to have strong feelings.
They claim that same-gender love is a choice, despite much evidence that sexual orientation and desire carries, for many although perhaps not for all, a strong biological or genetic predisposition.
The real choice belongs to the anti-LGBT folks—they can choose to change their minds.
Sadly, they believe to do so is to deny God. That is the reason they claim same-gender love is a choice—if they did not believe this, then they would have to say God made a mistake.
If they said that, their entire theological and ecclesiastical edifice would collapse. That is why some of them become so shrill. It also is why they are unable, and unwilling, to see people instead of an ideology.
What is happening in U.S. society—and in other places around the globe—is that more and more people are recognizing the humanity of LGBT folks, and deciding that laws, and religious rules, that restrict our freedom and deny our full humanity because of our sexuality or gender identity or expression are wrong.
The people of faith among them recognize that there is an alternative to the old negative way to understand God and same-gender love and transgender lives—namely that God makes no mistake, but rather creates and celebrates the full range of human expressions of love. It is not God who makes a mistake, but people who insist that human teaching trumps divine creation.
Of course, the Fed is not interested in debating theology—unless one considers monetary policy a form of theology. What the Fed wants are happy employees . . . . some of whom are LGBT. Honoring one’s employees and colleagues seems to me to be a very God-like thing to do (something about love your neighbor as yourself).
So when human beings who are simultaneously employees of the bank and also LGBT (among other identities) ask bank leadership to honor them, the bankers do the only sensible, and indeed caring and loving, thing.
Perhaps we can thank Bob Marshall for continuing his campaign in these small, petty ways. It causes some folks to wonder just who is really speaking for God.
It just might be the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
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