Thursday, September 9, 2010

Order in the Court...Church

Church Censures Minister After Same-Sex Marriages

This article discusses the Presbyterian trial of a lesbian pastor, Jane Spahr. She is on trial for marrying 16 gay and lesbian couples during her time as a minister. Spahr discusses how she is frustrated about being asked or feeling that she has been asked, to hide both her “sexual orientation and [her] faith.”

The accusation is the “failing to ‘further the peace [and] unity” of the church. She is not on trial for her sexual orientation or her beliefs but rather the idea that she may be causing problems amongst members of the church. If these marriages are not edifying the church as a whole then maybe they should not be taking place in that church.

The issue lies in the idea that a pastors’ role is to represent the church and the churches’ beliefs. A pastor should analyze and question their own beliefs. They should study and have their own convictions but teaching doctrine that the church is not in agreement over is not the pastors role. It is like any organized group. As an AmeriCorps member, it is not ok for me to wear my AmeriCorps t-shirt when I volunteer for my church, or take part in a political campaign. As an individual, I am allowed to do whatever I want but I am not allowed to represent the organization.

The article is about change in the church. The “church is simply not ready at this time to make change…” is one of the prosecutors’ defenses. It is spun in a way that makes the church seem like it is forcing people to lie about who they are and that what needs to change is the church. This article addresses a change that many Americans would like to see in churches today. The words that ‘the church is not ready’ suggests that the church will be, at some point, ready to change and therefore that the church is currently wrong, or behind, because they disagree with pop culture. (Rom 12:2)

It is difficult for the majority of the secular world to fully comprehend a case based on religious beliefs. The possibility of homosexuality being wrong is only justifiable through these religious beliefs. This being said, it is obvious why the majority of the secular world has no reason, whatsoever, to think that a pastor marrying gays and lesbians in the church is questionable behavior.

This article is not belligerently biased but like all media, there is clearly some bias written between the lines. It seems clear that the author is writing from a secular vantage point to a secular audience. It is the news.

Other notworthy articles on the subject from the NY times.
Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships

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