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I am writing today as the spiritual leader of Canada’s largest Protestant denomination, The United Church of Canada. I am also writing as an openly gay man, married to another United Church minister. This introduction may come as a surprise, seeing that so often it is religious leaders who condemn homosexuality, quoting scripture to justify their prejudice.
Read the rest [url=http://www.united-church.ca/communications/news/moderator/140512]here......
Some mainstream Christian religious organizations appear more conciliatory than in the past with respect to LGBTQ inclusiveness, but the new openness is likely put forward out of necessity from a business planning perspective. It might be a truer indication of their evolution toward solidarity with the affected communities, if their entreaties were prefaced with an emphatic disavowal of Leviticus 18 and 20.
If you're a minister who week after week has to rely upon the received wisdom of the 'infallible' texts as a means of convincing the flock and keeping them engaged, obviously it wouldn't bode well in the long run to get into the habit of specifying which parts are to be skipped over because they're no longer in effect, lest it precipitate a stampede of persons bringing their own selections to the altar for re-examination, until 'morally speaking,' there'd be nothing left.
UCC ministers don't necessarily think that they are working from "infallible texts", nor do the majority of their congregants.
... and personally, I prefer to appreciate people's words and deeds and their stands on fundamental questions of social and economic justice, without regard to whatever is going on in their heads, or whatever other oddball notions they (or I!) may entertain.
I've had the pleasure of working with UCC people on refugee and social justice issues, and they were always very serious and never "preachy" to others.
I'm not a religious believer but some people do have spiritual feelings and outlooks, and it is good that they can find a place for fellowship that is inclusive and not reactionary. Some times I wish such an institution existed for the non-religious!
In times past, such institutions did exist where there were powerful left or labour organisations, whether communist, social-democratic/labour, anarchist, Bundist etc.