In the early 2000s, I was working hard to keep lesbian and gay persons out of the ministry of my denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA). I did this in part because I thought the biblical case against gay relationships was straightforward. I was wrong.
People who are gay come to churches as indivisible beings. Like the seamless garment of Jesus, they cannot be split into parts that can be included and other parts that can be excluded.
The I'm Sorry Campaign is the most Christ-like thing I've ever done. In all of the mission trips, service projects, and volunteer organizations that I've been a part of I've never felt closer to God than this campaign.
Defensively, the five Catholic male Supreme Court justices in the majority took some time to insist that their ruling is narrow. Don't believe it. The decision is a radical departure from prior law with monumental implications.
After the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, conservative religionists tried seizing the opportunity to exclude people from their midst whose non-heterosexuality troubles them. The president of my own alma mater was one of them.
As a Taoist monk, I find the notion of the Earth as a superorganism to make perfect sense; I also find the notion of evolution as a propulsive, all-encompassing, and all-pervasive force to be completely congruent with the ancient Chinese concept of Tao.
Many Presbyterians jubilantly proclaimed that the Holy Spirit had unquestionably descended upon the 221st General Assembly when commissioners voted to amend the definition of "marriage" in the Book of Order from a union of "a man and a woman" to a union of "two people."
Discussions about bisexuality can give faith communities opportunities to celebrate promote unity and shared community values by helping to underscore that everyone has a sexual orientation and that all human beings are moral agents who can discern for themselves how their faith and sexuality intersect.
Because of all this conditioning that society and our social groups put upon us to be labeled, we begin to come up with our own labels for who we are and what we believe. Do you feel it's right for people to label one another, and are we really the sum of our labels?
In my reading of scripture, God simply does not have a lot to say on the specific topic of marriage. Marriage in the Bible is just a part of the stories, not the moral of them, and it was a completely different institution from our modern images of just, loving, equal romantic relationships.
Instead of leading a coalition of Christian leaders to boycott an NFL team owing to the presence of a single gay man, how much better would it be to see instead devoted followers of Jesus building a coalition who would commit themselves to loving others as Jesus loved?
Be my guest in proving to me that this is not about homophobia but just about standing up for truth because someone who is perceived as a sinner is depicted on a stamp. I'll wait.
The call of today's anti-gay Christians is "Stop calling us bigots, everyone! Just because we believe what the Bible says about homosexuality does not make us bigots!" So let's think about that.
After learning that his religion was anti-LGBTQ, John Russell Stanger, now the first openly gay Presbyterian minister ordained in Texas, stayed in the closet even while earning his B.A. in religion. It was in seminary that John figured out that Jesus would in fact be very accepting and loving toward LGBTQ people.
Wait. There's the rub. As a gay man, I can be gay, I can act gay, I can even be friends with other gays, the church loves me just as I am. But I must not act on my orientation, my biology. Is there an app for that?
No matter what our perspective on the morality of same-sex relationships may be, it is time to discern where all the energy fueling this controversy is coming from and whom it serves.