World Vision Canada makes me glad to be Canadian.

In response to the US hiring drama, World Vision Canada has posted the following on their website:

Our Christian identity:
Responding to World Vision US hiring policy discussion

Updated: On March 26, 2014, World Vision United States reversed a change to their hiring policy that would have allowed the organization to hire Christians in same-sex marriages. World Vision United States has now returned to their original definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. This blog has been updated March 27 to reflect this news.

Friends, we’ve been getting lots of questions about World Vision US’s hiring policy and I wanted to let you know that this does not affect World Vision Canada’s policies or actions.

Canada’s legal environment is quite different from that of the United States. We comply with provincial laws on this matter which prohibit discrimination in employment. For example, as part of our hiring process, we do not ask questions about sexual orientation, marriage or related issues.

However, when we hire, we are very clear about our values and our Christian identity. We explain how our Christian identity motivates and informs our work and how we work together here in Canada.

While we have a code of conduct on ethical and legal issues, we don’t ask staff to sign a lifestyle code of conduct.

We want our staff to be united around our mission of following Christ in serving the poor. When we hire staff, our Christian faith is clear. And when they join World Vision they are aligning with us as a Christian organization.

This is what is most key for us: When it comes to working with the poor, World Vision serves children, families and communities, regardless of whether they are aligned with our values or not. Race, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation do not prevent us from serving the poorest of the poor.

If you have further questions, please get in touch. This is an important issue and we’d value the opportunity to discuss this with you.

To some observers this may seem a dodge. But, given the example of what has just taken place in the US, it seems a responsible and considered response.

It models a gentle, considerate tone that demonstrates an openness to reality. World Vision Canada seems to be willing to live in the world as it is, rather than simply seeking to impose their view on the rest of the world and demanding that those who disagree either step into line or get off the bus.

Human sexuality is a deeply and wondrously mysterious dimension of human existence. Anyone who believes they have all the final answers about how gender and sexuality work has not listened very deeply to the real life experience of many people, or is simply being dishonest.

Like all aspects of human existence, sexuality is profoundly complex. There are not many clear cut answers to the most difficult questions around human sexual relations.

It is entirely possible for people to disagree over difficult issues of human sexuality. But, where no one is obviously being harmed by another person’s actions, it is difficult to know what grounds there might be to demand that they should view their  deepest and most heartfelt experience of life as sin.