The Would Jesus Discriminate? Campaign (WJD) is an important tool for Christians and non-Christians to open up dialogue amongst members of their own faith based and other community organizations about discrimination of all types (racism, sexism, ageism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, Trans phobia). It is also an important tool to encourage this dialogue with broader audiences outside the immediate influence of the participating local churches, synagogues, mosques and organizations.
Overview & Benefits of the Campaign
The campaign is an effective intervention in those places where religious based bigotry is directly linked to endemic discrimination and what can be its outgrowth, violence.
The primary benefit of the campaign is in the opportunity created for interaction and conversation stimulated by the essential question posed on billboards, t-shirts, bumper stickers, radio and television ads, newspaper ads, door hangers, posters, mini-stickers, tattoos, etc.
Other benefits are:
• the invitation for people to come to the local church, synagogue, mosque or community organization for a Town Hall meeting, and;
• the active engagement of members of the faith based or other organizations in the activities of the campaign.
Statistics from Previous Campaigns
1. One participating church campaign reported a 100 percent increase in participation by members of
the church in an annual event over the prior year once the campaign was attached to the event.
2. One church campaign was able to connect the fund raising for this campaign to an over-arching capital campaign and raised $500,000 in a very short period of time.
The campaign was originally designed for implementation in countries where English is the primary language. It can be modified for use in any country where the local church and/or community organization feels it is appropriate to do so. The truth is that hate crimes are on the increase throughout the world and, therefore, any place where Jesus is a recognized source of inclusion and peace, the campaign should be
applicable. We have also granted permission for one city to use the statement, “Would God discriminate?” although our market research indicates that this question is less provocative.
In the Christian tradition, the Bible has been used to support segregation, slavery and oppression of women. WJD reminds people of this history and suggests that some churches are teaching some things that Jesus never taught, particularly regarding homosexuals. WJD asks people to search out answers for themselves rather than blindly follow their religious or political leaders.
In regards to homosexuals, for instance, WJD asks people to consider, “What if we are wrong about the issue of gay people’s place in society and in our churches? What if we offered them full citizenship and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? How would our country improve if we simply stopped oppressing at least ten percent of our best and brightest people? WJD can also be an effective counter-point to intense rhetoric and media focus by the Christian Right on the “homosexual agenda.” Some churches have used the campaign as a way to open dialogue about marriage equality for LGBTQ people.
The quality of life of millions of people depends on our individual willingness to confront discrimination each and every time we see it or experience it. This Campaign offers each one of us a way to do our part.