Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Arc of History is Bending Toward Justice

"The trend among Christian churches in the United States has also been toward acceptance," writes Candace Chellew-Hodge on Religion Dispatches. After long struggles for equality, the arc of history is bending toward justice.
Overall, in a different Gallup survey, those saying gays and lesbians are “morally acceptable” stands at 52 percent. Barely 34 percent thought so back in 1982.

The trend among Christian churches in the United States has also been toward acceptance. The United Church of Christ, on July 4, 2005, became the only mainline denomination to affirm its support for marriage equality. Other denominations, like the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), have moved to remove bans on the ordination of gay and lesbian ministers.

The Presbyterian Church (USA), remains on the verge of giving that right to its gay and lesbian clergy. The General Assembly removed restrictions during its 2008 meeting, but the measure did not receive enough support among the presbyteries to pass. Supporters remain hopeful as the denomination begins its General Assembly in Minneapolis next week.
Lisa Larges, head of That All May Freely Serve, said, “Faith traditions are moving toward a new understanding of God’s diverse creation. The time for policies based on our love of God and call to serve has come. Churches are learning to affirm gifts for ministry rather than reject ministers because of whom they chose as a life partner.”
Several pro-gay measures are on the agenda for the PCUSA including benefits for same-gender spouses and domestic partners of church employees, the right of clergy to perform legal weddings in the states that recognize them, the final removal of a ban on gay clergy, and a review of a creedal statement viewed as anti-gay.

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