churches respond to covid-19
April 23, 2019

Church Clarity, But For Individuals

Clarity is addicting. Our favorite niche Twitter meme is the one that goes “Church Clarity, but for __________.” The demand for Clarity continues to grow beyond church congregations, and while we’re anxious to increase the scope of our work into several different verticals in the near future, Clarity for Individuals has long been the most frequently requested expansion. That’s why our team has been hard at work developing Individual Clarity (BETA).

We recently soft-launched Individual Clarity through Twitter, and already hundreds of submissions have poured in. Thank you! We’re excited by the response and can’t wait to continue building momentum with those of you who have already submitted your personal policy convictions.

How does Individual Clarity work?

The most significant difference between our approach to Clarity for Individuals and Church Clarity: Participating in Clarity for Individuals will be 100% voluntary.

Currently, all churches who are submitted to our database through our crowdsource form are evaluated according to our scoring methodology. All churches are also given the option to voluntarily disclose their policies through our Verified Clear survey. Regardless of whether or not they complete the survey, they will be scored no matter what. There is no ‘opting out.

In contrast, Clarity for Individuals is ‘opt-in.’ Our current theory is that in order for this BETA to be fully effective, it must be voluntary. It is up to you to fill out the “Verified Clear Individual” survey and proactively disclose your policy convictions: Must the church hire, marry, and ordain LGBTQ people? Should women preach, get ordained, and serve as pastors?

In essence, we are asking: What policies are you advocating for in the Church? Here’s a sneak preview of what it will look like when profiles go live on the site:

By proactively submitting your personal policy convictions — your beliefs — we will collectively create positive social peer pressure. This is especially critical for those who consider themselves “leaders” within the Church Economy. We want people to be able to tweet at someone and ask, “Hey have you become Verified Clear yet? I have, and so have hundreds of others. Here’s the link: ____.” We are creating a tool that aggregates simple data which most people have already disclosed in some public forum.

But why not just score individuals on what they have already disclosed publicly? It is, of course, tempting to unleash our team of investigators on some of the most misleading Christian celebrities by examining their social media statements, press clips, books, articles, and so on.

But we’re not after an explosive “gotcha.” Because as difficult as it is to accurately discern a church’s policy based on its website (if we cannot conclusively discern it, we score it as “Undisclosed” by the way), it is even harder to do so for individuals. The data is too scattered and contextually inconsistent. Let’s say Person A “likes” a Facebook meme that says “LGBTQ people are made in the image of God” in 2019; declines to sign a petition arguing for LGBTQ in 2018; retweets a Twitter essay advocating for celibacy as a path for gay people in 2017; and attends a wedding of a gay couple in 2016 according to Instagram. You see how this can get complicated? Trying to “score” individuals in this manner is like trying to staple jello to a wall or trying to get a megachurch pastor out of his Yeezy’s. Can’t. Be. Done. (For most people).

Collectively, we need a standard measurement that empowers people to deliver simple clarity on the intentions of their activism. In this case, the voluntary willingness to disclose those convictions serves as its own powerful statement of clarity. For individuals who are participating in the Church Economy and especially those who often serve as its spokespeople, Individual Clarity will provide a method for holding each other accountable. This is our current theory of change.

The potential for this new standard of Clarity spans far beyond the confines of Sunday morning. Remember that the Christian Industrial Complex is the largest industry on planet earth; much of its economic activity has little to do with liturgy. Christianity is also arguably the most secretive institution in the world that’s long overdue for a healthy dose of Clarity.

By joining the BETA and submitting your personal policy convictions, you are adding your voice to the growing chorus of those who are demonstrating with their actions that Clarity is Reasonable. We’re excited to continue expanding and hope you’ll join us with your own contribution to Individual Clarity: