Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday 19 June 2006

Differing policies amongst US churches on how to deal with gays

As a break from the usual concentration on the possibility of schism within the worldwide Anglican Church, because of the relatively liberal attitude toward gays within the US Episcopalian Church, here are a couple of other stories on the differing attitudes of other church denominations towards gays:

- In this Out in America story it is reported that 'Churches in the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church are formally opposing a proposed amendment to the Arizona constitution that would ban gay marriage'. This is accompanied by what I find is a remarkably sensible (and open-minded) observation: 'In a resolution passed during the conference's annual meeting in Scottsdale last week, denomination leaders said marriages are threatened by forces such as infidelity, violence, addictions, lack of communication and commitment, and "not how marriage is defined." '

- whereas in this PlanetOut story it is reported that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) wants to maintain its ban on gay clergy, even if it plans to allow some presbyteries 'leeway' (whatever that means!) in how the rule is applied - probably what is meant is that it will quietly be permitted, so long as there is no public fuss about it, but if there is a fuss about any particular case then it is more than likely the errant presbytery will be asked to fall into line. What a joke!

Paradoxically I see this kind of dissension as mildly hopeful (along with the situation in the US Episcopalian Church), simply because it at least shows that the position is not uniformly negative for gays amongst the quite large corps of committed religious believers in the US.

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