Some good news in New York where a judge threw out the case against the two Unitarian ministers who were charged with signing marriage licenses for 13 gay and lesbian couples. This is one issue which has not received much attention: what is the affect of the flurry of legislation targeting same sex unions on religious communities who have a different view on the matter?
The blog Ecumenical Insanity goes after mainline denominations who are resorting to television ads to attract members. In particular the United Church of Christ's campaign bothers him since the theme of the ads are: we're open and accepting. There's two complaints. Openess is a cover for saying that we require nothing, we have no standards, no requirements. Of course this assumes that openess is itself not a principle of sorts and that it is not a good in it's own right. I don't think the UCC shares this assumption.
But since ecumenial insanity does, he goes on to suggest that no one could be attracted by such a campaign and therefore it is simply a political statement. It is increasingly the case in UCC congregations that many of their members are refugees from conservative churches. Many gay and lesbians become attracted to such a denomination because it's their first religious home were they are not condemned. An example of this movement can be found in this piece about a UCC congregation in Virginia.
Given how Christianity has largely been cast in the public arena as right-wing, anti-gay, and the like when the UCC has a campaign presenting a different vision of the church, it might be seen as "political" but it is also evangelism. It is good news for many people who have been pushed away from Christianity and figured that they had no possible home within this faith tradition.
And in the good works department: over 1000 clergy from over 30 denominations have signed a letter in opposition to the federal marriage amendment. The letter was organized by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. If you are a member of the clergy and are interested in signing on to this letter visit this site to do so.