from my state – literally and figuratively – and other places. i'm not in florida any more, but i haven't given up the sunshine.


reconciling god & gay

last night i attended an hrc panel on faith & fairness with leaders of first congregationalist, universalist unitarian and reform judaism congregations. it was basically a discussion about reconciling god & gay - both personally and politically. i wasn't conscious of my attire until i stepped out of the car and found myself scanning others' dress. the blazer made me nervous, but the guy in shorts and running shoes made me feel overdressed (whew!). it was mildly strange stepping back into a church and doing so of my own accord. the sanctuary was made of beautiful wooden arches and a pipe organ filled the silence. i must admit i was a little choked up.

rather than a full on report, i thought i'd share a few pieces of particular interest ...
::this is great -
::be on the lookout for a full-length film called for the bible tells me so that confronts the use of scripture by "agents of hate". it includes gems like "there's nothing wrong with a fifth grade understanding of the bible ... as long as you're in the fifth grade."
::when asked to define god, the rabbi said (and i paraphrase) god is "shalom" which he said comes from a word meaning 'wholeness' and faith in god must bring wholeness to all people. i love this.
::the methodist church has a policy founded upon the combined authority of scripture, tradition, experience and reason, rather than absolute strict interpretation of the bible.
:: successful civil rights movements were only successful after engaging communities of faith.

while there has been some progress for gay inclusion in individual congregations, the political climate seems to be backsliding. the hrc field organizer pointed out that we didn't necessarily choose the discussion about gay marriage, but now we're in a position where we must defend it. so i wonder - is the right to marry really the critical next step?


Blogger Kiker said...

When I walked into the UMC church where I will be attending, I not only choked up... I cried. The choir sang songs I remember from my former church life. There was a band backing up the choir. And the cross that hangs over the choir/pulpit area is made of beautiful wood... I haven't felt like that in so long. And now I wonder how I survived without that intense feeling of closeness to God for so long.

And God DOES hate shrimp. DUH! He also encourages prostituting your daughters. And incest. Leviticus is SUCH a fun book.

It is amazing the cruelty and hatred that are propogated in God's name. And how much the similarities between Judaism, Christianity and Isalm are downplayed. (All are worshiping the same God... the disagreement comes in the Messiah/prophet issue).

The Methodist Church that I have found welcomes dialogue and prayerful consideration of all social issues. Far from being fundamentalist, they see the scriptures as much more of a dynamic, living expression of God. (But you know, Southern Baptists think Methodists are heretics)

I don't think the right to marry should be the next big issue. Civil union rights, yes. There is a very interesting chapter in God's Politics on gay marriage. One take is that the church should step out of the legallity of marriage completely (separation of church and state) and that they should only be in the businees of religous blessing on unions. I found that extremely interesting.

Cuteness: my grandparents wanted to hold hands and pray before eating lunch at IHOP. Aw! :)

6/09/2005 01:58:00 PM

Anonymous Amy said...

Wow! Not that is a comment!

Right on little kiker.

6/09/2005 02:57:00 PM

Blogger betsy said...

separation of church and state would be nice … and that’s really what the marriage issue boils down to. unfortunately i think george would like to make ours a theocracy.

6/09/2005 03:37:00 PM

Blogger Kiker said...

Well, he WAS chosen by God to rule this country....
And he is doing such a bang up job of running it on Christian principles: compassion, mercy, peace, justice....

His rhetoric just kills me... evildoers, people that hate AMERica, people that hate freedom... He never once stops to consider that maybe they don't like HIM and his brand of democracy/theocracy.

6/09/2005 03:52:00 PM

Blogger betsy said...

a great addition to this conversation, courtesy of dooce ( --

6/10/2005 09:04:00 AM


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