Like the rest of the country, this transplanted Texan (I have lived in New York since 1997) watched in dismay as the State Board of Education made a joke of the words “curriculum standards.” I’m grateful as always that the Texas Freedom Network has been a voice for reason and sanity. I was particularly interested in Dan’s post about the hate mail you’ve received, and how much of it assumes that if you’re progressive, you surely aren’t Christian, or a person of faith of any kind. That’s when it struck me how much TFN and the organization I work for — the Religious Institute — have in common.
The Religious Institute was started in 2001 to advocate for reproductive justice, comprehensive sexuality education, and the full inclusion of LGBT persons in faith communities and society. Since then we’ve had to battle the misperception — from both left and right — that people of faith categorically oppose sex education, abortion rights and any steps toward LGBT equality. We have created a network of more than 5,000 progressive clergy across the country who will testify otherwise. (And a lot of those clergy are Texans.)
Unfortunately, the voices of progressive clergy were not enough to counter the influence of the Catholic bishops on health care reform, or prevent Congress from reinstating funds for abstinence-only sex education, or to overcome the financing from conservative religious organizations that helped overturned marriage equality in California and Maine. So it’s time to expand the movement.
We are inviting not just clergy, but all people of faith across the country to become part of the Faithful Voices Network — a new, multifaith movement of individuals who share a progressive vision of sexuality and faith, and a religious commitment to truth and justice. We want to change the way America understands sexuality and religion. The Faithful Voices Network will challenge the conservative voice that claims to speak for all of us on matters of sexuality. And it will encourage religious leaders everywhere to engage the issues of sexual health and healing that affect every individual and every family.
If your religious leaders don’t speak for you on issues of sexual health and justice, line up behind others who do.