Most of us remember the Pepsi commercial showing a scene from the 1960 movie, “Spartacus.” One by one the slaves revolt, standing up and declaring “I’m Spartacus!” Kirk Douglas looks on with a tear in his eye, drinking his Pepsi in inspiration.
It worked for the rebels who stood up for Pepsi. I think it could work, as well, for the churches that say they want to welcome us wholeheartedly but don’t dare.
Whether the designation is called “Open and Affirming,” “Welcoming and Affirming,” “Reconciling in Christ” or whatever, only a brave few congregations in mainline denominations are coming out in full support of us. Many say they want to, yet timidly demur because they would face punishment from their denomination. How can this nonsense be ended?
I think we can, indeed, take a lesson from the friends of Spartacus. What if all the churches that really want to support full LGBT inclusion got together and stood as one? There’s no way a denomination would dare to persecute them if they took it on this way. They couldn’t discipline that many congregations at once without revealing themselves to be the bullies and tyrants they are.
We should, by all means, suggest this. We could call it the “I’m Spartacus” movement. There is strength and courage in numbers, and if all our allies stood together, they would be invincible.
“We welcome them!” one congregation would say. “So do we,” another would proudly second. “Us, too!” a third would chime right in. Before any steps could be taken to squash the declaration, all the true hearts of our allies would be revealed.
Why did it take a “mad man” (or woman) in New York City to think up such a bold idea? It’s been right under the churches’ noses all along.
“I’m Spartacus!” Think about it. In our community around this world, we have already discovered what unity and solidarity can do.