A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Well in the good news department, the Uniting Church in Australia voted to allow gay and lesbian clergy to serve in the church. The Uniting Church is a 1977 union of Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists.

The decision allows individual parishes to decide on their own this question. This strikes me as a model the Presbyterians and Methodists might want to look at in this country. I've become really suspicious of federalist models of church polity when you have theologically diverse religious groups. The Methodists and Presbyterians have groups that span the spectrum from way on left end to fundamentalist and if they are not interested in splitting apart over these issues, there has to be some way of letting individual congregations or at least regional associations to decide what is fitting given their make up, etc.

  • article on the Uniting Church's decision

  • gay friendly presbyterian minister ousted in Ohio

  • The last link is instructive of the sort of abuses when individual congregations are not given leeway on this issue. In the article we find a historically open, liberal congregation having it's minister removed for his blessing of same sex unions. And we find this stunning statement. There's a group which "will file disciplinary actions by the end of July against 350 ministers who they believe have broken ordination vows and violated church law." McCarthy meets Presbyterianism and we're all the worse for it.


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