I have carried the burden of knowing that our church contributed to a man's death when we refused him the open acceptance, love, and support that he needed.
Did you hear about the for-profit wedding chapel owners in Idaho who are claiming a constitutional right (pdf) to refuse services to same-sex couples? From Marci Glass's entertaining post:
I hate to be the one to point this out to the Reverends Knapp, but they are not, in fact, pastors of a church. They own a wedding mill.
It's often said that in a tolerance-obsessed culture, everything is tolerated—except intolerance. Actually, this gets said a lot more often than perhaps it should, because being intolerant is not the same sort of thing as being black or female or gay or Muslim. Tolerating people is more fundamental than tolerating their ideas. Yet tolerating ideas matters, too.
A growing number of UMC clergy are performing same-sex weddings in open defiance of the Book of Discipline. What happens next?
A few years ago, my family started sponsoring a child through World Vision. I knew that the organization was generally evangelical, and that we are generally not. But this massive parachurch organization does good work, and I trusted them enough for a minuscule portion of that good work to be on our behalf. For 35 dollars a month, we’ve been contributing to the health, education, and general welfare of a little girl in Haiti, who was born the same day as our older daughter. Whatever theological differences I have with World Vision seem immaterial to this. Theological differences may be slightly more material for some of the organization’s conservative supporters.
I used to read Ephesians 4 and get that vague, warm glow we Mennonites feel when we see the word peace. Now the passage stops me cold.
I sometimes envy my colleagues whose denominations have already fought this issue out, voted and moved on. We Disciples don't work that way.
On Tuesday, the general assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) approved a resolution calling on the church in all its expressions to affirm the faith, baptism, and spiritual gifts of everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This was timely, given the Defense of Marriage Act decision, though the resolution doesn’t specifically mention same-sex marriage. Nor does it mention ordination—the other hot-button issue around sexuality in the church—though it does affirm that neither sexual orientation nor gender identity is “grounds for exclusion from fellowship or service within the church.”
I spent last week on a rural island in Wisconsin, where the Century was cosponsoring the Wisconsin Council of Churches' annual summer forum. It was a great event. It was also a pretty momentous news week, and there I was away from the office and mostly offline. Since returning I've been taken aback by just how much more ink the Supreme Court's Defense of Marriage Act decision has gotten than its Voting Rights Act decision.