How many class ceilings? by Virginia Harris C.S.B., Mitchell Gold, Ali Forney and Roberta Kaplan

 

I believe the time has come to end the harmful teachings by some religious denominations that being gay (LGBT) is a sin, or whatever words they use to demean, call evil, and cause enormous pain to LGBT people, especially our youth. More and more people are changing their minds….from evangelicals to Presbyterians to Catholics to Conservative Jews.

History has proven that using religious teachings to cause enormous harm to innocent people is wrong. I have faith in America to be better to all its citizens – but especially innocent, vulnerable youth.

Mitchell Gold
Founder, Faith In America

 

How Many Glass Ceilings?

by Virginia Harris, C.S.B.

A significant, historical event glowed last week in the United States as Hillary Clinton became the first woman to receive the presidential nomination from a major political party. Regardless of one’s political leanings, it is a notable achievement, coming almost 100 years after women were allowed to vote in the US.

The formal nomination was underscored by a video that followed. It showed a montage of all the male presidents, from the first in 1789 leading up to present day, then shattering like a pane of glass – a vivid metaphor for a broken glass ceiling.

As I thought more about this moment in history, I asked myself, “What are the ‘glass ceilings’ that any of us still need to break through?”

Immediately what came to mind were all manner of barriers and boundaries, personal and collective, that are wrongful limitations based on gender, race, age, disability, education, financial worth, to name only a few. Ceilings and barricades like these, wherever they appear, attempt to prevent legitimate action and progress…they hold us in, back, or even down. Impediments are bogus because they are arbitrary, imposed by the human opinion of one person on another.

Mary Baker Eddy’s life and achievements stand singularly grand and timeless to me at this important moment in history. She is a universal example of breaking through many glass ceilings in the 19th and 20th centuries as a religious, medical, and social reformer. Most important of all, she was a scientific spiritual healer and teacher, for this is how she broke through impositions and injustice of every kind.

In Eddy’s best-selling definitive book on the power of divine Love to overcome any limitation, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she repeatedly reminds the reader that impediments – physical and moral – have never been imposed by the universally good Creator of all mankind. The key to overcoming division and injustice is to believe in only one and infinite God which:

“…unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself;’ annihilates…whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes…”

Isn’t this a demand for breaking glass ceilings of every sort?

As I pray and stand for just progress in my country and the world, I draw hope, courage, strength, humility, and, yes, forgiveness from Eddy’s life example. (I invite you to explore her life and its light with its practical precedent for each of us! Click here for the Mary Baker Eddy Library.)

There are many lights in the galaxy of human progress, some well-known from history and many right now working on in small corners of the world – all effective in steadily lifting impositions on all genders, races, faiths, and nationalities. Their life examples tell us there is much work to be done for the good of all humanity.

All the more reason to celebrate each achievement, great and small, when a glass ceiling is shattered. Because when one is done for one it is hope for all.

Roberta Kaplan Joins Faith In America Board

Press Contact
eliel@faithinamerica.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Roberta Kaplan Joins Faith In America Board

New York, NY, April 12, 2016 – On the heels of winning the historic case in Mississippi ending the ban on same-sex couples right to adopt, Faith In America is proud to announce Roberta Kaplan will be joining our board.

“Roberta Kaplan is the real deal. She cuts through all the noise and understands what’s at stake for the LGBT community,” Eliel Cruz, Executive Director of Faith In America. “Now, more than ever before, we need to respond to anti-LGBT religious based bigotry without skirting around religion. Our movement needs to meet anti-LGBT religious narratives head on. Kaplan has already done so much for our community with her landmark marriage equality case and the recent Mississippi adoption case. Her drive to do even more is inspiring. It is an honor that she accepted the invitation to serve on our board.”

Kaplan joins Faith In America board just a month after Executive Director, Eliel Cruz was brought on to guide Faith In America into its next chapter.

“As we enter our second decade, I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Roberta Kaplan to our board. When I co-founded Faith In America ten years ago, I spoke about the need to combat religious based bigotry because that’s what’s hurting our LGBT youth the most,” Mitchell Gold, Board Chair and co-founder of Faith In America said. “It’s the message that says you’re sinful for loving who you love or for being comfortable in your own body that sends kids to suicide. The face of our movement can’t just be well moisturized white gay couple, they should be about the LGBT youth who have internalized these anti-LGBT religious messages.”

A few of the next battles for the LGBT movement are combating anti-LGBT RFRAs, securing a ban on conversion therapy, and working on LGBT homelessness. All of these hurdles are based on using anti-LGBT religious dogma.

“I have long believed that our community needs to engage with anti-LGBT religious messages directly,” Roberta Kaplan, noted civil rights Lawyer and LGBT activist said. “Religious people are not only on one side of this issue. Many religions, including my own, believe that every human being was created in the divine image and that means that everyone has equal dignity under the law. Too many Americans employ their religious beliefs as weapons to justify discrimination against and hatred of others.  That is not only wrong, but inconsistent with the values on which our great nation was founded.  I’m honored to join the Board of Faith In America to support their important work.”

 

About Faith In America: 
Established in 2006, Faith In America is a non-profit organization whose ultimate goal is to end decades and centuries of using religious teachings to justify marginalizing and discriminating against others. We are dedicated to influencing media and faith community narratives on religion and sexuality. Our goal is to move the needle forward on LGBTQ equality in the pews and in our legislation. Our Mission is to educate the public about the ongoing harm caused to LGBTQ persons, especially youth, by religious-based prejudice. Our dream is to change the hearts and minds of religious communities on the “sinful” nature of homosexuality. To remove it permanently from “the sin list.”

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