30 June 2015

Right in my own backyard

Here is an article from the local paper. I truly do not understand how a Christian Church can condone same sex marriage. Do they not read the same Bible as everyone else? I know that interpretation of the Bible has lead to many thousand factions of Christianity, but it seems to me that this topic is CLEARLY explained.

Gay couples seeking to marry in Midland churches may face minimal barriers to finding a wedding altar. Many local churches are enthusiastic to offer their ministerial services. Others are exercising their religious freedom to preclude same-sex ceremonies.
The recently passed “pastor protection act,” which was signed into law earlier this month, redoubles First Amendment rights by creating extra protection of religious freedom for churches in Texas. The law, along with nearly 20 other bills filed during the last legislative session seeking to regulate LGBT and gay affairs, was filed in anticipation that the U.S. Supreme Court would lift gay marriage bans.In effect, the bill allows any church or clergy in Texas to deny marrying same-sex couples.
But even in conservative Midland, congregations are choosing the more inclusive option. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Midland will be marrying same-sex couples, and temporarily will offer free use of its facilities and services. That service will begin Monday and continue until Aug. 22.
“This is not a controversial thing for us. We’ve been supporting LGBTQ rights since the ’70s,” said the Rev. Thomas Schmidt.
The church’s board unanimously passed the initiative, he said.
“Both in our theology and our stand on social issues, I’d say we’re among the most progressive,” Schmidt said.
And while Episcopal churches across the region await the Northwest Texas clergy to issue a decision on whether Episcopal churches in the region will bestow their graces to same-sex couples, at least one local parish is hopeful.
“We hope to be (marrying same-sex couples),” said the Rev. Dave Huxley of St. Nicholas’ Episcopal Church. “When we hear from (the bishop) we’ll know one way or another, but we’re working in that direction.”
The Episcopalian clergy of the region currently are attending the 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City where they are discussing the issue of same-sex marriage. But according to a recent statement, a decision in line with the Supreme Court’s seems favorable.
“We are satisfied at today’s Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage,” the Rt. Rev. Scott Mayer, the bishop of Northwest Texas diocese, said in a statement last Friday. “As we write this, the Episcopal Church is in discernment about what this means for our church life.
“We are aware of the rich diversity of opinions held on this topic. We are also aware that for many this is not an ‘issue,’ but something that touches directly on their lives and their faithfulness in love,” the statement read.
But as the opinion was handed down from the high court on Friday, other churches assumed postures against marrying same-sex couples. Hours after history was made, Bishop Michael Sis of the Diocese of San Angelo, issued the Catholic Church’s response:
“The redefinition of marriage according to civil law does not change the understanding of marriage in our faith tradition,” Sis wrote. “The position of our Church is that marriage is a natural institution that predates any government.”
And on Monday morning, Msgr. James Bridges, pastor of St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, penned his own measured response.
“We may wish everybody held our view of marriage but our beloved country is pluralistic with an emphasis on separation of Church and State for the sake of religious freedom,” he wrote.
“Every Sunday parents of gay children and gay adults occupy our pews. I beg gentleness as we voice our opposition to the legalization of same-sex marriage. Sexual orientation is not a choice, it is who we are. Our choice is how we manage it. … When it happens to us personally it becomes our challenge to manage our desired according to what we know is right or wrong.”


Read more: Churches provide options for same-sex marriage ceremonies - MRT.com: Local http://www.mrt.com/news/local/article_1f2ac0dc-1ebe-11e5-aad9-4ba861982308.html#ixzz3eYHaQhik
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

3 comments:

I Am Atheist said...

Religious institutions do not have to marry same-sex couples. It is a MYTH that government will force churches to perform religious ceremonies that do not align with their beliefs. Texas is known to harbor a combination of wide-eyed religious fanatics and overstuffed conspiracy theorists on Bud Light. We are the birthplace of the Branch Davidians and David Koresh which is why the fear-mongering is insufferable in this armpit of the Rapture Ready Bible Belt.

I am a Libertarian and an atheist. I absolutely uphold the separation of church and state and I respect the right of a religious organizations to teach, indoctrinate, proselytize within their tax-exempt space and promote the most hate-filled, mind-numbing stupid and thin-lipped bigotry in the name of their god/gods/goddesses. Having said that, public institutions are a different matter. Civil marriage has NOTHING to do with whatever superstitious shamanic ritual you may harbor in your sacred space. The Roman Catholic Church even FOUGHT AGAINST civil marriage in my country, Mexico, in the 19th century. In Mexico, the civil ceremony is distinct and separate from the religious one. You don't have to have a religious ceremony but if you want legal rights, you must have a civil ceremony. If you get married by the Catholic Church in Mexico, this marriage is NOT recognized by the state. Likewise, Catholic priests regularly condemn civil marriage as "living together/fornication" and tell Mexican Catholics that they must be married by the Church as well.

Ray said...

No one ever said that the Church will be forced to marry same sex couples. I am asking how a Christian church can perform such an atrocity and still call themselves Christian.

The separation of Church and State simply means that the State will not mandate any religion. It doesn't mean that Christian values cannot steer our elected officials in the course of their duty's. If you notice, all laws are based on biblical teachings and the Declaration of Independence states that we are endowed by our Creator certain inalienable rights.

The founding of our laws and our country are Christian based. This must really trouble you since you are a libertarian and an atheist.

Michele Taylor said...

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