Articles throughout the US today have noted how some self-identified Christian church leaders have been celebrating the deaths in Orlando citing specifically hateful and harmful sentiments against LGBT identified folks. I am puzzling over two facts.
One, the IRS has granted these institutions tax exempt status despite their deep-seated and very apparent harm-focused values. I for one would not be adverse to having our Congress which seems to be willing to establish actions that control the IRS (see yesterday's post) establishing criteria that ensures that tax-exemption is reserved for institutions that "do no harm". Make this the law and direct this action toward the pocketbooks. Yes, folks will continue to find hate and do hateful acts but at least the federal government won't be in the position to provide support, through recognition and tax exemption status.
The second: while we might vilify the speakers/leaders of hate, let's us remember that these folk are given a platform and may even be endorsed by their members/supporters. They are not preaching to empty seats. And, they are governed by folks who share their sentiments. The so what? The folks who serve on the boards of every nonprofit are informed by values and collectively create a common set of values to guide how the organization functions in the world. Boards do well to regularly revisit their individual and collective values to ensure that those who represent them (staff in particular) really do represent their beliefs.