Monday, December 23, 2013

If you're offended by talk of politics and religion, don't read this

This is unlike my usual blog posts. You've been warned.

If I learned one thing in my travels through the history of Nazi Germany, it was that the world needs more words and actions which support justice. Only through voices speaking in love and truth will change come about, injustice eradicated. 

We've all heard of the United Methodist pastor in Pennsylvania who performed the marriage service for his gay son and his fiance. The pastor underwent a church trial and has been defrocked for performing the service which violated the rules of the UM Book of Discipline. There has been quite a bit of discussion about this event on the UM Church's website and some eloquent, passionate pleas for a more loving approach to controversy.

I am not a pastor, nor am I schooled in the content of the Book of Discipline. But I am a member of the United Methodist church by choice. I try to live as a Christian, making mostly vain attempts at following Jesus' example of a loving, generous spirit.

The Jesus we know from Scripture spent his days ministering to the outcasts of society, those whose rights were limited by law and status. And he often blasted the Pharisees, the church rule-makers, for their hypocrisy and for attempting to speak for God. I have no doubt that, were he here in the flesh today, he would support gay marriage and bless it within a church. And he'd blast the use of a book of rules to make decisions over the use of God's love to accept and nurture his children.

Our days can be lonely, and commitment is hard to come by. Yet God created us to be in community, beginning with committed pairings and expanding out from there - couples, families, neighborhoods, church communities - people who will watch out for each other. Having others beside us as we dance with joy or slog through the muck of grief is what it's all about. It's what God planned for each and every one of his children.

As a member of God's family, I intend to honor that plan. I support Pastor Schaefer in his performance of the church marriage of two gay men, just as I support the church marriage of two committed people of any gender.  


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