It is said that no good deed goes unpunished. Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission (UGM) is learning that may be true.
The Union Gospel Mission is the most effective and visible homeless ministry in the City of Seattle. They operate every hour of the day, every day of the year, meeting the needs of Seattle’s growing homeless population.
One of the many free services they provide is a legal aid clinic that helps homeless people, who obviously can’t afford a lawyer, deal with legal challenges that may be keeping them from getting a job, getting their drivers license, or othewise get back on their feet.
Matt Woods was a volunteer their legal aid clinic and later applied for a full-time position. However, upon disclosing that he was in a same-sex relationship, he was told that was inconsistent with their Code of Conduct so they would not be able to hire him.
So he sued them.
This case is different than cases involving florists, bakers, and photographers because UGM is a private, religious organization. Legally speaking, they are a church.
The good news is that the rights of private, religious organizations are strong, so UGM should prevail.
The problem is that this lawsuit is even happening.
Not that long ago, Americans universally agreed that government should not tell a private religious organization how they must operate.
We called it the separation of church and state.
Today, however, telling religious organizations and individuals how they should live is standard operating procedure for many.
What can we do in response? Make a contribution to the Seattle Union Gospel Mission.
Then, after you make a contribution, send a quick note to Mr. Wood’s attorney, Denise Diskin and let her know about your contribution. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. You might include a note that says something like this.
“Ms. Diskin. I heard about the lawsuit you filed against the Union Gospel Mission and wanted to let you know that I have just made a contribution to their work in response. I will be encouraging everyone I know to do the same.
I am disappointed by the lawsuit but also committed to make sure that it is the best thing that ever happened to them. Please let Mr. Woods know as well.”
(IF YOU CAN’T BE RESPECTFUL WHEN YOU SEND HER AN EMAIL, PLEASE DON’T!!!!!)
The best way to stop harassment like this is to convince the mob that their attempts to harm people actually help them.
Once you’ve made your contribution and sent your email, please share this story so your friends can push back too.
I promise you’ll feel good about it.
One other thing.
Can we finally stop pretending that if Christians just start being nicer that the sexual revolution will be happy?
This is a homeless shelter. They look after heroine addicts and the mentally ill for free because it’s right and their faith compels them to. They’ve been doing it for 85 years. If this movement is shameless enough to sue a homeless shelter that offends their secular sensibilities, tell me again why they’re going to leave you alone because you’re so nice?
Of course we should be kind, but this has never been about who is mean or who is kind. It is a clash of worldviews and they have no intention of tolerating you or coexisting with you.
We will either successfully defend ourselves or become their subjects.
I know what I prefer.