Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Methodists Boot Lesbian Minister

From the New York Times:

In a pair of decisions that bolstered conservatives, the highest court of the United Methodist Church defrocked an openly lesbian minister yesterday and reinstated a pastor who had been suspended for refusing to allow a gay man to become a member of his congregation.
...But church experts said the most significant decision could prove to be the little-known case of the Rev. Edward Johnson, pastor of South Hill United Methodist Church in South Hill, Va. Mr. Johnson's decision to keep an openly gay man from joining his congregation was upheld by the Judicial Council as the rightful exercise of his pastoral discretion. He had been suspended for a year without pay by fellow ministers in Virginia, but the Judicial Council ordered his regional leaders to find a new appointment for him.
I was raised Methodist, and I was always a little smug about Methodists being more enlightened than Baptists, but I guess I was wrong. The world is going to hell in a handbasket, and the church decides that gay ministers and gay parishioners are the sins to worry about. In both of these cases, the "sin" was being openly and unrepentently gay. Supposedly, the church welcomes gay people who pretend to repent.


Blogger Kyle McCullough said...

I was disappointed in the Methodists too. Keep in mind that part of the problem is an aging congregation that is very set in its ways.

I must confess that I have not been an active churchgoer in recent years. The fact is that it is not hard to get elected to the board and represent your church at the conference.

I found the "American Girl" matter even more depressing, in a way. But since I'm not Catholic, I don't feel quite the same disappointment that I do with the Methodists.

11:27 PM  

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