Welcome to this second in a series of conversations between Christians with differing ideas about the place of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the eyes of God and the church! Dave Carver is a pastor in a local Presbyterian Church; we have been colleagues in ministry in Pittsburgh Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for more than twenty years. Dave and I don’t always agree, but I’m delighted that he decided to participate in this conversation and share his journey and understanding of faith and LGBT inclusion.
It was 36 years ago that I shared my statement of faith during my ordination process. I’ve been reflecting on what I believed then and what I believe now. How has your faith changed over the years?
According to my daily calendar that features an uplifting quotation in the spirit of “Keep Calm and Carry On,” American lieutenant general Lewis “Chesty” Puller was the one who first said, “We’re all in the same pickle.” It came to my mind as I pondered a provocative comment by a conservative pastor friend of mine.
It’s an exciting day—Alex McNeill’s first as Executive Director of More Light Presbyterians! Alex brings immense gifts and preparation to this call to inspire the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the world to embrace and proclaim in word and deed the Gospel of God’s love for all, especially for God’s LGBTQ children.
Jesus spoke of His followers as a family. He saw us as brothers and sisters and we certainly have our squabbles as all families do. What we seem to have lost is an ability in the church to call upon the healing powers of a family in order to remain the Body of Christ when we disagree. This is the church family I yearn for and feel called by God to work toward. I hope your mind and heart are touched by this podcast recording of a talk between my brother in Christ, Dave, and me. We’ve known one another for decades and had many conversations about our different perspectives on the place of LGBT in the church and in God’s eyes. As we speak together here, Dave and I are hoping that you will join us with your reflections.
What a moment! Let us rejoice that the Supreme Court has astounded many and affirmed equal protection under the law. With this week’s decision, federal benefits will be granted to legally married same-sex couples. Not only that, but same-sex marriage was also upheld in our most populous state, California. For this, we rejoice with a resounding “hazzah!”
I was talking with my friend, John, recently about the wonderfully vigorous national conversation about marriage sparked last month by the Supreme Court hearings on Prop 8 and DOMA. John agreed with a politician who publicly expressed a fear that straight people might pretend to be gay so that they could get the special benefits of having a “gay marriage.” I shared with him how this made no sense to me.
What a momentous thing that Jason Collins has become the first American NBA player to come out as gay! At the same time, I agree with Frank Bruni at the New York Times: This will undoubtedly bring a better day for our society, but the best day will come when matters like this are no longer a concern for anybody.
The intensity felt during the two days of Supreme Court hearings concerning the freedom to marry may be fading from our minds, but we cannot let it fade from our hearts. The week of March 25th, for all the conversations it prompted both inside and outside the courtroom, will be remembered as a historic moment when the arc of history bent closer to justice for LGBT people. Here are 5 of my favorite tweets from the days following the Supreme Court hearings. What were your favorite posts?
We call it “coming out” when lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people share their full selves with others. The actual moment is often years in the making as we waken to, and then accept, ourselves enough to let the world know who we are. This is true for our loved ones and allies, too, as we have seen so dramatically this week in the public coming out of Senator Rob Portman and former Senator Hillary Clinton.