A New Age of Inclusion

Currently listening to: Where the Wild Things Are by Karen O and the Kids

John Shelby Spong has released a new manifesto.  In it, he makes the statement that:

The battle in both our culture and our church to rid our souls of this dying prejudice [that is, the prejudice against homosexuality] is finished. A new consciousness has arisen. A decision has quite clearly been made. Inequality for gay and lesbian people is no longer a debatable issue in either church or state. Therefore, I will from this moment on refuse to dignify the continued public expression of ignorant prejudice by engaging it. I do not tolerate racism or sexism any longer. From this moment on, I will no longer tolerate our culture’s various forms of homophobia. I do not care who it is who articulates these attitudes or who tries to make them sound holy with religious jargon.

I could not agree more.  The ridiculous and uninformed claims by religious authorities (and laity) that homosexuality is “an abomination” and that gay people should “pray and be cured” is unworthy of public attention.  It has become increasingly obvious that such voices refuse to inform themselves on this issue, but instead rely only on outdated biblical scholarship and traditional ecclesiastical prejudice.  A generation ago, this same spirit of prejudice was using the Bible to condone segregation, and oppression of women; before that, it condoned slavery, colonialism, persecution of other religions, and any number of other now-scorned prejudices.

It is time to recognize, and to live out the conviction that the homosexual is my brother and my sister, and is deserving of marriage, and love, and equality just as I am. It is time for those of us who celebrate love and equality, wherever it arises, to stop pretending that the homophobic minority has control over how we live out our faith.  It is time to start welcoming and affirming the homosexual person without hesitation or stipulation and to build faith communities that are open to all.  I am done seeking permission to live out of unrestricted love; I take a stand for the complete equality and participation of the homosexual community in all aspects of faith and society.  Homosexuality is neither a sin, nor a choice, nor an abomination.  (Hate is, however).

Anything less than the full recognition of the humanity and dignity of homosexual persons is unfit for the church of Christ, where freedom (not oppression) is the hallmark of the kingdom.  We are one humanity, and no caveat need be placed at the end of that statement.

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~ by eternaldode on 15 October 2009.

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