Monday, July 26, 2010

Slowly, but surely, the Christian Church is Becoming Truly Equal

Yesterday, the "Bay Area Seven", a group of seven LGBT Lutheran pastors, were welcomed back into the official fold of the Evangelican Lutheran Church in America.

After 20 years of being expelled from its national affiliate, The St. Francis Lutheran Church near Duboce Park accepted an invitation back to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's (ELCA) national roster. In the 90's, St. Francis served as an important community beacon for gay rights during the AIDS crisis and has since bravely stood for sexual minority equality. So what was the church's original alleged transgression to warrant expulsion?
Lesbian couple Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart served as assistant pastors at the gay-friendly church back in the 90's and refused to take vows of celibacy.
Though the ELCA is the more "liberal" branch of the Lutheran Church, the more conservative being the Missouri Synod, this is a very big step within Christianity. As I have repeatedly stated, the only way that the gay community can truly have acceptance within the community is by having the "Church" on our side. Because of the very large influence of Christianity on politics today, the more allies we have within religion, the greater our chances that we have at influencing the political landscape; and as the ELCA is the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.A. their influence is great.

Though the vote on gay clergy by the ELCA took place last year at their national convention, I am happy to say that we are seeing the result of that vote. We have been shown by ELCA leadership that they don't just offer lip service to our community, but that they are taking action. And by doing so, they are falling on the right side of history and exhibiting a greater understanding of the teachings of Christ.

The New York Times also had an excellent article on the subject, which can be found here.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for this upbeat look at the future of Christianity in this country. And, I state a big thanks to ELCA leadership.

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  2. Thankfully the Church is slowly starting to recognize the dignity of LGBT people...I also just wrote on how we must push the Church for full inclusion in religious life. http://anenduringvision.blogspot.com/2010/08/why-lgbt-political-equality-sells-us.html

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