Catching up with a friend
Over the last decade, many thoughtful Triangleites (Trianglers? Triangleians?) have gotten used to the insightful commentaries of Dr. Jack McKinney. Until last year, Jack was a pastor at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church (one of North Carolina’s most visible and active progressive congregations). In that role, he was a frequent contributor to local opinion pages and a visible spokesperson for a number of important causes. He was, for instance, one of the founding members (and long-time chairperson) of a Raleigh coalition known as Congregations for Social Justice and prominent leader in the cause of marriage equality. Of course, McKinney’s former pastoral partner at Pullen and current leader, Nancy Petty, has picked right up where Jack left off.
Now, happily, comes word that Jack ‘s insightful takes are still readily available. Despite having left Pullen to start a new career as a private pastoral counselor (check out his website here), Jack is speaking out on issues that matter on the blogosphere at the site Vista Lateral
(which derives its name from the idea of looking at things from a different angle). This week Jack has an interesting and rather optimistic take on the prospect for LGBT marriage equality in the aftermath of last week’s federal court decision striking down federal efforts to stop Massachusetts from validating same sex marriages. This is from the post:
When U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro ruled last week in Massachusetts that the federal law banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional it reminded me of something. There comes a moment in every struggle for equality when the arguments for maintaining discriminatory laws and practices suddenly seem absurd to reasonable people.
How do we know when such a moment is upon us? First, the extreme elements in support of inequality resort to violence over rational conversation. Second, fair-minded people who once tolerated the discrimination are aroused from their slumber and start to advocate for a just solution. Finally, the last gasp is when people will abandon their principles in order to hang on to the privileges they have enjoyed and are loathe to allow others to share in them.
We have seen this pattern before in our history. When the forces of intolerance turned fire hoses on civil rights’ marchers, including children, the images shocked many Americans. Suddenly the lengths that the extremists were willing to go to defend segregation were no longer tolerable for many people. Those who had sat idly by while the bigotry went unchecked generation after generation finally found their voice and their conscience. And the only philosophical argument left to the segregationists was the old bromide–states’ rights.
Now the pattern returns in the push for equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans….”
Keep ‘em coming Jack!