A Christian pastor tells his co-religionists pretty much the same shit I've been telling them for years—that their faith's hateful reputation is largely their own fault, that they have to learn to ignore the shit about gay people in the bible just like they ignore the shit about women and slavery and lobster—in this op-ed in Fort-Worth Star Telegram today:
I've had it with the bullying that comes from the church's bully pulpit. Our history of denigrating gays and lesbians has provided the "godly" rationale for centuries of hatred and abuse. It's a flagrant violation of the Gospel. Moderate Christians—the silent majority—need to stop being silent and speak out.
My own denomination, the Presbyterian Church USA, is considered one of the most liberal mainline denominations. But we have a rule that specifically excludes gays and lesbians from service as clergy or officers of the church. Most liberal churches will ordain divorced and remarried people without a second thought, yet Jesus speaks specifically against divorce and remarriage, e.g., Mark 9—whereas he says not one word about homosexuality. This is hypocrisy....
It is true that throughout the Bible homosexual practice is denounced. But Christians down through the centuries have ignored, moderated or outright disavowed many biblical mandates when we felt they weren't in keeping with the Gospel. In the Old Testament, holiness rules condemn homosexual practice. They also direct us to stone disrespectful sons, forgo sex during menstruation and not to look at another person naked. We don't take those rules seriously. Why give rules about gays more credence?
In the New Testament, there are also condemnations of homosexuality. But the resounding New Testament message is that the commandment to love always trumps legalistic barriers that separate people from each other and from God.... It doesn't help that Christian extremists dominate the airwaves, sidelining more moderate Christian voices. But too often, moderate voices sideline themselves, not wanting to rock the boat. The recent epidemic of bullying-related teen suicides is a wake-up call to us moderate Christians: We can't wait on the sidelines any longer. We have to speak out.
So... who among you Sloggers will throw the first stone and accuse this Christian pastor of being anti-Christian?