Saturday, October 31, 2015

Christian Citizenship Means Creating Cities of Non-Discrimination - We Have An Opportunity in Houston

On November 3, 2015 the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) will be on the ballot. I believe Hero reflects the care I would like for our city to demonstrate for every citizen and visitor. HERO will provide an environment free of discrimination based upon sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status/veterans, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender and pregnancy.

As an Episcopalian, I am in a covenant with God that compels me to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being.

Not to do so dehumanizes our neighbors and our own self. When we discriminate, we show contempt for the basic tenants of Christianity--that all of us are created by God and so, are special to God. We are reconciled to God through the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and discrimination dishonors God’s work.

I pray that the Church might become a community of salt and light where people who are the most vulnerable, hurt and hated by the world might find refuge and experience something of the unconditional love of God that I know.

My vote will reflect my baptismal promises even as I pray that our community be strengthened by the way in which we regard one another and by the decency of our conversation about this important ordinance.

1 comment:

christie said...

Dear Bishop Doyle,
Thank you for this post and your voice and endurance in our call as Christians to respect the dignity of every human being. It gives me courage to keep seeking ways to invite and encourage others in this conversation and consequently inspire them to find ways to be active. I recently asked if it would be ok to lead a forum or discussion around matters of race etc. in the parish I am currently serving. I was strongly discouraged from doing so. It was upsetting to say the least. Perhaps I can use this, your post, as a jumping off point.



  • "Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process." Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • "Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer." Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • "Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others." Kathleen Norris
  • "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
  • "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G. K. Chesterton
  • "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans." C. S. Lewis
  • "When we say, 'I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,' we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the church seldom asks us for forgiveness." Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
  • "Christians are hard to tolerate; I don't know how Jesus does it." Bono
  • "It's too easy to get caught in our little church subcultures, and the result is that the only younger people we might know are Christians who are already inside the church." Dan Kimball