Methodist Trial

Posted by – June 23, 2011

I don’t really understand why LGBTQs have anything to do with religions that condemn them. This week, in a nearby town, a Methodist minster went on trial for two things: being a practicing self-avowed homosexual and marrying a same sex couple.

She was found guilty of the marriage – mostly because there’s a record of it happening, & her having officiated – but she was found not guilty of homosexuality because despite admitting publicly that she lives with her wife, she hasn’t actually admitted she has sex with her. Honestly, they asked her about genital contact – which did at least inspire groans from the witnesses, and she refused to answer.

What kind of bullshit is that? Oh, wait: then again, we live in a culture where a politician has to resign because of a sex scandal in which he didn’t actually have sex with anyone but his wife.

I understand the need for a connection/relationship with the divine, but I don’t get trying to find it through organized religion. Then again, I decided the Church couldn’t possibly be messengers of divine anything if they thought my having a vagina kept me from being holy enough to be a priest — and that, especially in the light of all the female saints: it just didn’t make any sense. I was raised by Jesuits, after all.

I just don’t get it. I am glad others want to fight this fight, but it definitely isn’t mine. That said, I have long thought that if Jesus were alive today, he’d be hanging out with trans street hustlers of color who are homeless in our nation’s cities.

4 Comments on Methodist Trial

  1. TheNerd says:

    Of course he would. Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher of the tradition which explicitly taught that the only way to be wealthy was by making a pact with the devil, and the only way to break that pact was to give all the wealth to the poor. Anyone today who is living a posh lifestyle and thinks Jesus is on their side has completely appropriated the tradition to the point of rendering it completely unrecognizable when placed next to its origins.

  2. TrishMifflin says:

    I think lots of people stay in a particular denomination because of a sense of inertia, or because they were born and raised in that faith, or because they have friends and family in a particular church.

    And some people feel they have a better chance of reforming their church by remaining an active (but dissenting) member. (Others just stop believing, or stop attending services.)

    Personally, I was raised Roman Catholic, but after years of wrestling with being trans, I finally decided I couldn’t stay in a church which didn’t want me (unless I denied my own identity), and doesn’t seem to want women (except in subservient roles). I think it will eventually change, but not in my lifetime. (It took 400 years for the Church to apologize to Gallileo.)

    I’m Episcopalian now, and much happier, though our diocese recently split 60-40 over the question of allowing openly gay men and women to be ordained. (The splitters, sadly, were in the majority, and formed their own conservative diocese.)

    Outside of the Roman Catholic Church, most denominations aren’t monolithic … conditions vary between individual districts or dioceses or synods, and even within those districts and dioceses. (In Pittsburgh, for instance, there are several GLBTQ-inclusive Presbyterian and United Methodist churches — http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.....id%3A96312 — but on the other hand, a Presbyterian pastor here has twice been brought up on internal disciplinary charges for presiding at the wedding of two women: http://www.365gay.com/news/pre.....f-charges/)

  3. JoanieC says:

    Some ELCA Lutheran Christians (including me) have fought this issue from the inside, and have successfully made changes. In August 2009 at our general assembly in Minneapolis, the ELCA voted to remove prohibitions on clergy (Ordained Ministers) regarding same-gendered relationships and performing same-gendered marriage or commitment ceremonies.

    The ELCA also approved a new social statement on human sexuality.
    Details on the social statement and ministry policies are here:

    http://www.elca.org/What-We-Be.....ality.aspx

    http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are.....pline.aspx

    ELCA has a fairly active group on full LGBT inclusion in church life (similar to Methodists and Presbyterians):
    http://lcna.org/

    So, under ELCA policies, Rev. DeLong would not have been prosecuted for either charge. At least some mainline Christian denominations (such as Episcopals) get it.

    The IRONY is, at this same 2009 ELCA assembly, we voted for full communion with the United Methodist Church.

    The ELCA is still in a bit of turmoil/split after these votes. Adding to the confusion, there are many Wisconsin Lutheran Synods and Lutheran Church Missouri Synod congregations where women can not be ordained as Pastors, and whose biblical views and social practices are different than ELCA.

  4. JennL says:

    The Nerd is right on, I applaud those brave enough to tackle the wrongheadedness of controllers in some mainstream religions from within. This really attacks a noxious weed at it’s conscious roots, though I’m not sure the message ever finds it’s way through the hate.

    If you need religion without the BS try the Unitarian church. I’m sure there are others but this one springs to mind. Alternately you can just embrace spirituality and have faith with no dogma at all, that would make you part of a pretty large group.

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