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, November 26, 2004

Presbyterian Church USA minister, Jane Spahr, is facing charges by her presbytery because she was involved in the blessing of a gay marriage of two men who have spent the last twenty years together. The two men have been active with a group Spahr is the director of That All May Freely Serve, which works for the inclusion of gay and lesbians in the full life and ministry of the Presbyterian church. She has chosen to not plead guilty to the charges so that a church trial will ensue. As she notes:

“If this helps people see LGBT people as persons, that we do make commitments, that we do have dreams, then I’m grateful,” Spahr said of the charge. “If this gives our denomination an opportunity to be in conversation about healthy marriage or healthy relationships and what they might look like, then I’m grateful.”

I'd like to think this would be the result. I commend her courage in doing the right thing, to honor love and committment. But my fear is that a church trial sends the opposite message: that the Presbyterian church is not a safe place to be if one is gay or lesbian. But a defense fund has been established to defray the legal costs necessary to defend the Rev. Spahr through trial. Anyone wishing to contribute to the defense is invited to send checks to: That All May Freely Serve, P.O. Box 3707, San Rafael California 94912.

And a United Methodist minister Rev.Irene Elizabeth "Beth" Stroud, is facing a church trial because she announced to her congregation that she is a lesbian who is in a committed relationship with her partner. Given the actions of the recent methodist general conference, it's hard to imagine how she will be allowed to keep her ordination in the denomination. I'm thinking there ought to be some sort of site, or group which works to support folks like these two pastors who are targeted within the mainline.


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