I’ve heard the argument multiple times that the Mennonite church is being torn apart by PinkMenno (and the LGBTQ movement in the Mennonite church in general, but I’m most familiar with PinkMenno). It’s causing conflict, creating divisions and hurt. These movements are not welcoming to ethnic Mennonite groups, who are generally even less accepting of homosexuals than the Mennonite Church in general.
I would argue, however, that these movements are not creating a new conflict. Rather, they are bringing an existing conflict to the surface, and asking the Mennonite church to deal with it. Racism was a conflict long before the Civil Rights Movement. Sexism was a conflict long before the Women’s Rights Movement. Oppression is a conflict. This oppression, a conflict, has deep roots in the Mennonite Church. So these movements are not creating a new conflict.
And they’re not creating divisions and hurt. The division of gay vs straight and the hurt imposed by those with privilege has existed. It seems to me that these divisions that once were quiet and assumed are now more in the open.
And it particularly irks me to hear the idea that Pink Menno should stop what it is doing because it is hurting church unity and may cause people to leave the church. In other words, a decision to include LGBTQs in the Mennonite church would also be a decision to exclude people who disagree from the Mennonite Church.
The church is actively excluding gay and lesbians from full church life. Gays and lesbians did not make this choice. They want to be fully involved, to be able to use their God-given gifts for the good of the church. But the church says no.
This is completely different than if, by some miracle from above, the church decided to be welcoming to LGBTQs, and people left. Sure, they were affected by a decision the church made. But it is their choice to leave. The church did not stand at the church door and send them away.
Do I want people to leave the Mennonite Church? Absolutely not. That is not the point of these movements. The point is to make the church open to all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. How people respond is up to them.