World Vision Canada position on hiring gays and lesbians

I had a terrific day today, time spent with treasured friends. Lots of laughter and fun.

And I came home to read that World Vision USA had reversed a brave and important decision made two days ago on why they had decided to hire gay Christians in same sex marriages. I’m still shaking.

Go read. I’ll wait.

I want to say while I am sick with sorrow for what happened south of the border in evangelicalism,  I am humbled at our Canadian values, and relieved this religious and tribal battle that would make pawns of the poor and vulnerable helped by World Vision will not spill over here.

World Vision Canada statement:

Friends, we’ve been getting lots of questions about World Vision US’s hiring policy and I wanted to let you know that this does not affect World Vision Canada’s policies or actions.

Canada’s legal environment is quite different from that of the United States. We comply with provincial laws on this matter which prohibit discrimination in employment. For example, as part of our hiring process, we do not ask questions about sexual orientation, marriage or related issues.  However, when we hire, we are very clear about our values and our Christian identity. We explain how our Christian identity motivates and informs our work and how we work together here in Canada.

While we have a code of conduct on ethical and legal issues, we don’t ask staff to sign a lifestyle code of conduct.

We want our staff to be united around our mission of following Christ in serving the poor. When we hire staff, our Christian faith is clear. And when they join World Vision they are aligning with us as a Christian organization.

This is what is most key for us: When it comes to working with the poor, World Vision serves children, families and communities, regardless of whether they are aligned with our values or not. Race, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation do not prevent us from serving the poorest of the poor.

If you have further questions, please get in touch. This is an important issue and we’d value the opportunity to discuss this with you.

From World Vision Canada’s Hiring Practises:

  • We don’t ask about sexual orientation or people’s personal life during our interview process, and we need to follow provincial and federal laws on this issue.
  • However, we’re firmly committed to our Christian identity: following Jesus is why we do what we do. Jesus’ example and care for children and for those in poverty is what we follow in our program work here and around the world; and we seek staff whose lives and beliefs align with this key core value.
  • We believe that when we hire staff, our Christian faith is clear. And when they join WV they are aligning with us as a Christian organization.
  • Employees in Canada are asked to sign a code of conduct when they are hired, and then every year after that, around ethical and legal issues. We ask them to commit to conducting themselves in a manner that reflects honesty and integrity, and that maintains the effectiveness, values and mission of World Vision Canada, and that protects and respects the children we serve.
  • Our code of conduct includes expectations around behavior as it relates to Child Protection, Health & Safety, Conflict of Interest, Equality and Diversity, Recruitment & Selection of staff, Workplace Violence and Harrassment, and respectful and dignified treatment of all staff.

and this:

In Canada, employment and hiring practices are included in laws at the provincial level. It includes prohibitions on discrimination on human rights grounds, including sexual orientation. As a Christian faith-based organization, we want to make sure we balance our Christian identity with our legal obligations.

Canadians sponsor 500 thousand children through World Vision Canada.

I can’t speak to the World Vision Canada workplace climate, only gay and lesbian WV Canada employees can address that.

The most important post I have read around the reversal of World Vision USA’s hiring of married gays and lesbians comes from Wendy Gritter of New Direction.  Please take time to hear an important front line voice: World Vision – A Drama in 5 Acts

Is all lost?  No!  A step was made.

It was taken back.  But you can never take back the reality that the board of such a prominent organization took this risk.  Prayed and reflected a long time.  Believed it was the right decision to make.  And made it.

In these early hours of response to rescinding, I am mostly hearing sadness, disappointment, frustration – but priorities in the right place – not wanting to damage WV’s work with the poor.

…So, what can we do?

Send a letter to World Vision (USA)  thanking them for taking this risk.  Express sadness but also understanding.

Watch your social media comments – be consistently gentle and gracious (God will help you – I know it is hard to do when emotions are strong).

Tell your story.  Tell folks why this matters to you.  Tell people how the reactions and reversals have made you feel.

Persevere in hopefulness.  Prayer and dialogue brought WVUS to the point of this decision.  I believe the Spirit was at work.  The Spirit will not be thrown off course by the unfolding of this situation.

Update: One person does not an organization make. However, this World Vision executives belief and behavior casts a scar on the organization he works for.  How silly we Canadians are for believing World Vision Canada follows the law of the land and the law of love.
I Was Blocked From Hiring A Gay Person at World Vision Canada.

About Bene Diction

Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
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71 Responses to World Vision Canada position on hiring gays and lesbians

  1. Peter McKenzie says:

    fjc: I am sickened when “ministries” resort to such antics to solicit funds. Nevertheless, I believe that countless gays have been healed of homosexuality. I am fully cognizant that what I just said will cause a reaction with many (not to mention CobbledStone). I am going to see if the pastor who told the story will come on here (and even perhaps the gay guy who married a woman) and tell the story first hand. Despite CB’s protestation, I have no doubt at all as to the truth of the “story”. For what its worth, here are links to other “stories”:

    http://www.loamagazine.org/nr/a_testimony/jesus_healed_my_homosexuality.html

    http://www.bible-knowledge.com/testimony-homosexual-deliverance/

    Of course, it is simple for someone to cry foul and say that these are fabrications. I am not saying that nothing is unquestionable in the accounts, but remember, these are Christians who are recounting the events. As you know, if a true Christian knowingly lies, he won’t be able to live with any kind of peace. CB doesn’t know me, but I have an unswerving commitment to telling the truth. He can call me a liar but it is as far from the truth as possible. As a result, when he makes that accusation, it is easy for me to brush it aside.

  2. Peter McKenzie says:

    For what its worth, it is interesting to read the comments in the 2nd link and read the testimonies of others who have been helped to leave the lifestyle.

  3. Cobbled Stones says:

    Peter,

    You have consistently tried, and miserably failed to dissuade the conversation away from the original talking point. You have lacked the honesty, conviction, and courage to compliment your stories with any facts whatsoever – and have been called out for your dishonesty, you have retreated to the corner of the room where Christians generally run and hide – denial and stubbornness and ad hominem attacks.

    You ask me questions about my character and my background, and while refusing to answer any of mine, & demonstrate a sense of entitlement to this information in the process.

    You prefer to think of me as a bitter individual with some sort of church vendetta, while you yourself conform to the dictates of a book whose earlier segments were written by ignorant nomadic peoples who believed the sky above to be composed of a metal, and the earth flat. Your love of literature is confined to a book of superstition and legends borrowed from ancient religions and extinct societies who were as empty of knowledge, who long before the story of Noah wrote of floods and gods dealing death to unborn children. You believe in a book whose writers honestly believed that mankind could build a tower that would reach to the metal roof of heaven, and yet you seem to believe you are as enlightened to respect as people who take no stock in stories about talking snakes and the sun standing still.

    You blindly give your obedience and love to an abhorrent god who murdered millions in the old testament, and who then sent his son to earth to be butchered so that he could save mankind from his wrath without giving a thought to the possibility he might have found a kinder way to redeem mankind. You Christians are so limited in your choices, as we have seen in the piffle you call writing.

    You fret and worry about your salvation, yet are so divisive in your interpretation of the bible that Christianity knows over three thousand divisions. Yet you come into this blog innocently thinking I ought to accept your bible, and your horrible god without a second thought. You cannot concieve of reading books on critical thought – plug your ears and lamely protest “I will not be looking at your books as I have no interest in learning anything about something that holds out nothing in the way of hope for people” …. Closer to the truth we see the fear in coming anywhere close to this truth you so inelegantly espouse. You talk about truth as if it were your crown, yet walk in second hand stories and hearsay as if that were a robe of truth, then have the audacity to accuse me of lying by saying “If you were an honest seeker who could be swayed by truth that would be an entirely different matter”.

    You wonder why I write as I do.

  4. Cobbled Stones says:

    flc ..

    I note that Britain’s Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC) said in January of this year the practice of “Gay Conversion” should be stopped “in the interests of public safety”, however, predictably, this has prompted furious protest.

    CNN reported in July of last year that after 37 years, Exodus International, an organization whose mission was to “help” gay Christians become straight, is shutting down. But not before issuing an apology. That was exceptionally honest and noble of them.

  5. fjc says:

    Yes, that was the organization.

    I feel that we should simply accept people as they are. It eludes me why their is such focus on Gay Conversion and why folks in Evangelical circles are so uptight about the subject. Surely they can go on with their lives and their faith without attemping to judge or change others.

  6. Cobbled Stones says:

    flc …

    There are so many dissenting positions – A recent change in the culture of free speech pried open room to criticize and even demolish the arguments against gay marriage and LGBT equality, but it was not that long ago when the conservative Christian viewpoint was the majority, successfully (and unsuccessfully) calling for political change whenever any group espoused a position that was contrary to their own. Many in the tribe have embraced for decades, condemnation of the very same manner of dissent into which they themselves have floundered. (Hope that makes sense)

  7. Peter McKenzie says:

    You are right about the ad hominems – but I would say that you are winning the race there. In any case, I am going to bow out of this conversation – as I am really not interested in bashing each other in full-combat attack mode. It is evident to me that it doesn’t matter what I say – it will all be futile regardless. All the best with your message!

  8. Peter McKenzie says:

    fjc:

    “I feel that we should simply accept people as they are. It eludes me why their is such focus on Gay Conversion and why folks in Evangelical circles are so uptight about the subject. Surely they can go on with their lives and their faith without attemping to judge or change others.”

    The answer to your question is not as cut and dry as you would think. As an evangelical, I can feel as much disdain as you do for the homophobic behaviour that is often exhibited by the church. But I also feel frustrated at the same level when others express their consternation about the uptightness that you refer to.

    At the end of the day, if Christians who hold to the Bible as having authority for our lives, are asked to ignore scriptures that state that homosexuality is a sin, they are unable to do so. If they bend on that one, they would be forced to acquiesce on others. The outcome would be a weakened view of the aforementioned authority.

    Now some will argue that its only a few scriptures. OK but they are fairly straight forward verses – and ones which are difficult to explain away. With the toxicity of the issue amping up every day, I would be the easiest path to re-think the issue if there was a plausible alternative interpretation. But what are we to do with verses that say that “men, giving up natural intercourse with men, were consumed with passion for one another….and they committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error”? These words are cloaked in the context of other verses talking about degradation, impurity, exchanging truth for lies, debased mindset, and those who do things that should not be done.

    I don’t think that anyone who understands how Christians hold to the Bible as the Word of God, will have any trouble recognizing that Christians just are unable to look past that (as well as the Old Testament passages and the 1 Corinthians 6 verse).

    Christians will tolerate accusations of bigotry and intolerance before they will accede to compromising on their view of the Bible and what it espouses. I don’t judge the sins of non- Christians but I also don’t ignore the advice of Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 5 – when he tells the church to judge those within its membership.

    I can’t really argue this way with people like CobbledStone who doesn’t believe in God. But for those who are not atheists, I would honestly hope that people who are divided on the issue can stop talking past each other. This issue is fraught with obfuscation and I sincerely hope it is one where healthy dialogue can begin.

    If I can say one thing that I hope you will hear it is this: I don’t hate gays. I have rented homes to them on several occasions (all the while knowing that they were gay) and therefore don’t discriminate against them. Do I look at them as people who are deserving of respect? Absolutely. Do I agree with their lifestyle? N0 – but no more so than a married man who is cheating on his wife or is addicted to pornography. Having said that, I would answer them honestly if they asked me what I thought of their life choices. I would try to do so as succinctly and delicately and honestly as I could. And then I would try to keep on loving them and respecting them to the best of my ability.

    This is the best I can do in trying to portray my position. If it comes across as bigotry, then there is not much more I can do.

  9. Cobbled Stones says:

    “At the end of the day, if Christians who hold to the Bible as having authority for our lives, are asked to ignore scriptures that state that homosexuality is a sin, they are unable to do so. If they bend on that one, they would be forced to acquiesce on others. The outcome would be a weakened view of the aforementioned authority.”

    Authority you say? What authority? On whose order? By what right? A religious group (soon to be a small minority) telling the rest of the country what it must believe and defining their right as “authority” to do so. Within, or without the church, you and your kind do not represent any authority. Not since the Middle Ages.

    Your “authority” at one time derived itself from a book which was copied, then re-copied and then re-copied again and again, hundreds of times – and is filled with errors of every sort. It is based on a book which has no original manuscripts and if you managed to take enough time and have the fortitude to educate yourself, you would discover that the further back historians and scholars look, the more errors the bible contains.

    Peter. You have NO authority. The church has NO authority other than what they have given themselves. The laws of the land are authority – the police are authority – magistrates appointed by the courts represent authority. Your church view has nothing to offer.

    Bigotry you say …. I’d add to that abject ignorance and a complete unwillingness to learn anything.

    You need to get out of the church on occasion to get a real view of your so-called ideas about authority.

  10. Cobbled Stones says:

    “I can’t really argue this way with people like CobbledStone who doesn’t believe in God.”

    Peter, you continue to amaze me with how little you understand. Atheists are not those “who do not believe in a god” .

    Why is there such ignorance about atheists?

    Atheists are among those who do not believe there exists sufficient evidence to warrant any belief in any god. They largely number among those who are waiting for the church to provide that evidence, and thus far the church has miserably failed. Prove to me your god exists, and I will happily bow my knee to him/her/it.

    I have no problems worshipping your god .. but I can’t see how you see the bible as any evidence whatsoever. It’s a horrid little book of errors. How does that prove your god? In fact, the best way to create atheists is to encourage them to read the bible.

    Bear in mind Peter – atheists/nones (Those who profess no religion) now represent
    16-20% of the population and we are growing. You are shrinking and will soon be a minority. I hope we are as gentle and understanding to you as you have been to us.

  11. Peter McKenzie says:

    CB your entire MO is just cherry picking a few points and then forming an argument. You are mainly concerned about being “right” and not really interested in truth. I don’t think you really read what I say as a whole, so what’s the point of continuing?

    …”atheists represent 16-20% of the population and we are growing”. If it were to happen, by chance, that you were to die tomorrow (or the next day), you would then not be part of the “we” group. You would not exist (according to the tenants of your faith) and your baseless belief will have been left to others. When I die, I will still be part of a people who will exist – and that forever (according to my faith). Based on that aspect alone, I am going to go with my group. “The fool has said in his heart that there is no God” – the Bible. Its your word against the best selling book ever and you want to call me ignorant. Hmm…

  12. Peter McKenzie says:

    BTW you chastised me earlier for veering off topic (“You have consistently tried, and miserably failed to dissuade the conversation away from the original talking point”). Your last few comments did not mention anything to do with the OP. Just wondering if breaking your own rules is part of the landscape within your “faith”?

  13. Peter McKenzie says:

    a·the·ist [ey-thee-ist] Show IPA
    noun
    a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.
    (Dictionary.com)
    A = no
    Theist = god
    The term atheism originated from the Greek ????? (atheos), meaning “without god(s)”.
    You can demand that this is not what atheism means – I’m just going with how most people assume the meaning of the word. But I guess that’s just my ignorance…

  14. Cobbled Stones says:

    Peter,

    Lets be a little clearer here .. Faith is for religious people. Faith is pretending to know things that you cannot know. Who is pretending?

    You still fail to understand atheism – you keep calling it a belief. I thought you said we don’t believe. Which is it? Why are you so confused? Do you truly understand?

    Tell me Peter (setting aside your book of promises) – just how can you be so certain that nothing happens after you die? Aren’t you banking on the questionable words of 1 book? Are you claiming that by reading 1 book out of millions, that you have a certainty of the afterlife. Have you spoken to the dead Peter – do you hear their voices? Professional help IS available.

    Thousands of ancient gods had their hour in the sun then faded into obsolescence. We ceased worshipping Zeus, Jupiter, Ceres, Hera and Dionysus centuries ago. What makes your god so special, and why are you so convinced in the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as opposed to the Hindu or Muslim god?

    Really Peter – based on 1 book. Based on a creator who mysteriously has avoided all public appearances for over 2000 years?

    Yes, I’d call that ignorance if you wish to refer to yourself as ignorant.

  15. fjc says:

    I just wish Evangelicals would go after child sex abusers with as much enthusiasm as they gays. And ensure that the criminal justice system is involved.

  16. Cobbled Stones says:

    “The fool has said in his heart that there is no God” – the Bible. Its your word against the best selling book ever and you want to call me ignorant.

    Yes ..

    Try this on for size Peter – This is YOUR holy book,

    Genesis crap …

    God creates light and separates light from darkness, and day from night, on the first day. Yet he didn’t make the light producing objects (the sun and the stars) until the fourth day (1:14-19). And how could there be “the evening and the morning” on the first day if there was no sun to mark them? 1:3-5

    God spends one-sixth of his entire creative effort (the second day) working on a solid firmament. This strange structure, which God calls heaven, is intended to separate the higher waters from the lower waters. 1:6-8

    Plants are made on the third day before there was a sun to drive their photosynthetic processes (1:14-19). 1:11 How is this possible, Peter?

    God places the sun, moon, and stars in the firmament so that they can be used “for signs”. This, of course, is exactly what astrologers do: read “the signs” in the Zodiac in an effort to predict what will happen on Earth. 1:14 Isn’t this punishable by death, Peter?

    God makes two lights: “the greater light [the sun] to rule the day, and the lesser light [the moon] to rule the night.” But the moon is not a light, but only reflects light from the sun. And why, if God made the moon to “rule the night”, does it spend half of its time moving through the daytime sky? 1:16

    All animals were originally herbivores. Tapeworms, vampire bats, mosquitoes, and barracudas — all were strict vegetarians, as they were created by God. 1:30 A celery eating mosquito, Peter???

    After making the animals, God has Adam name them all. The naming of 10 million species must have kept Adam busy for a while. 2:18-22 How long, Peter?

    God curses the serpent. From now on the serpent will crawl on his belly and eat dust. One wonders Peter how he got around before — by hopping on his tail, perhaps? But snakes don’t eat dust, do they? 3:14 Please.

    When the animals left the ark, what would they have eaten? There would have been no plants after the ground had been submerged for nearly a year. What would the carnivores have eaten? Whatever prey they ate would have gone extinct. And how did the New World primates or the Australian marsupials find their way back after the flood subsided? 8:19

    According to this verse, all animals fear humans. Although it is true that many do, it is also true that some do not. Try explaining that to sharks and grizzly bears. 9:2

    “The whole earth was of one language.” But this could not be true, since by this time (around 2400 BCE) there were already many languages, each unintelligible to the others. 11:1, 6

    The camel story just doesn’t add up, peter. Camels were first domesticated in the tenth century BCE hundreds of years after the biblical patriarchs supposedly lived. 12:16, 24:10-64, 30:43, 31:17, 32:7, 32:15, 37:25

    “And they returned to the land of the Philistines.” But the Philistines didn’t arrive in the region of Canaan until around 1200 BCE — 800 years after Abraham’s supposed migration from Ur. 21:32, 26:1

    Lets move on to Exodus.

    Just why is the birth story of Moses suspiciously similar to that of the birth of Sargon, Peter, an Akkadian monarch from the 3rd millennium BCE. (BBC: The tale of the basket) 2:3

    God led the Israelites through the land of the Philistines, hundreds of years before the Philistines were established in Canaan. 13:17

    Explain, Peter, why it took the Israelites 40 years to travel from Egypt to Canaan, yet such a journey, even at that time, would have taken no more than a few weeks. 16:35

    Leviticus

    The Bible says that hares and coneys are unclean because they “chew the cud” but do not part the hoof. But hares and coneys are not ruminants and they do not “chew the cud.” 11:5-6

    Bats are birds to the biblical God. 11:13, 19

    God’s law for lepers: Get two birds. Kill one. Dip the live bird in the blood of the dead one. Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let the blood-soaked bird fly off. Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its blood on the patient’s right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat. Finally kill a couple doves and offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. 14:2-52 (I wonder what his remedy is for AIDS)

    Numbers

    God sends quails to feed his people until they were “two cubits [about a meter] high upon the face of the earth.” Taking the “face of the earth” to be a circle with a radius of say 30 kilometers (an approximate day’s journey), this would amount to 3 trillion (3×1012) liters of quails. At 2 quails per liter, this would provide a couple million quails for each of several million people.

    God strikes Miriam with leprosy. (In the Bible, leprosy is caused by the wrath of God or the malice of Satan. 12:10 We know better today, don’t we Peter?

    “He made them wander in the wilderness forty years.”
    It took the Israelites 40 years to travel from Egypt to Canaan, yet such a journey, even at that time, would have taken no more than a few weeks. 32:13

    Peter I could continue, but most smart people get it. What many do no know (Because they refuse to educate themselves) is that the inerrant bible is filled with tens of thousands of errors. You read that correctly. Tens of thousands.

    Now any reasonable person might think there could be a little doubt that god is against homosexuality – right Peter?

    Would you like me to carry on the carnage into the new testament, or do you get the point?

    “Just wondering if breaking your own rules is part of the landscape within your “faith”? – I have rules?

  17. Cobbled Stones says:

    Cheers for now Peter – I am heading out of the country to revel in sin and debauchery for a few weeks, and to catch up on my bible reading.

    Bene will be relieved to see my contributions to this thread are done.

    CS/

  18. Peter McKenzie says:

    Wow! I have no response for all that goodness I just heard. I am now ready to dump everything and believe your religion. It just makes so much sense.

  19. Peter McKenzie says:

    Still very curious what drove you to abandon your once-held Christian faith. I think most people who do that (especially after 25 years), do so out of a desire to break free of moralistic restraints. You may be the exception though.

    On your adventure of debauchery, be careful if you are journeying to places like Thailand or the Philippines. It can be a bummer if you get arrested in places like that.

  20. fjc says:

    Not certain what you mean to imply with your comment about Thailand?

    My wife and I spent four wonderful weeks in Thailand this past Jan/Feb. We intend to go back again next January for another four weeks. And we may include a stop in the Philippines in this extended vacation from the winter months.

  21. Peter McKenzie says:

    I have been to both places also. They’re great.

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