I apologize for the lapse in postings. The start of a new semester has kept me away from the blog. But this news item is particularily encouraging to me. It's a piece on the United Church of Canada. They are the largest protestant denomination in the country and they have come out in support of legislation which would open marriage up to gay and lesbians.
If there's a question why some of the political dynamics are different between the US and Canada, the role that religious bodies play in this debate is certainly a factor. The moderator of the United Church recently released a statement on this issue and it's of the better ones I've come across because of it's dynamic view of the relationship with tradition and the situation we find ourselves today:
"I understand tradition to be a living treasure. Tradition is not to be confused with habit, custom, or convention. These are simply vessels that seek to hold the living tradition of God's presence in the world. Habit, custom, and convention are not themselves the light; they come to bear witness to the light. In Christian tradition the measure by which we choose a course of action is the measure of the love of Christ, a measure that judges even scripture. It is never legitimate to use the words of scripture to promote a loveless agenda."
This strikes me as the application of the division between the creator and the created and understanding what is worthy of ultimacy and what serves as an instrument. There is the God of life, of love and there are particular traditions, institutions, which ideally seek to put itself into the service of such a reality. Otherwise we're apt to think the instruments themselves are ultimate, a perpetual danger for the church today I think.
And in Illinois, my governor, joined with the moderator of the state conference of the UCC, signed legislation making my state the 14th in the country to ban discrimination against gay and lesbians in the workplace and housing. Two other items. If anyone happens to live in southern Illinois, we're having a progressive Bible study which meets Tuesday nights. Contact me if you're interested. And does anyone know how RSS feeds work? I've noticed some sites which cover liberal religious blogs, but I'm fairly clueless on how that works and how I might get connected up with this.