My Christian Century Post: Freedom of conscience, freedom from fear
This May, something I thought impossible happened: through the action of a federal court in Pennsylvania and the 221st General Assembly of the PCUSA, I was, for the first time, allowed to pursue my freedom of conscience to preside at weddings of loving same-gender couples in my home state.
Freedom of conscience is often cited by those fearful of the growing acceptance of marriage equality, but in this case, it proved the perfect frame from which to understand this new grace granted by the PCUSA and the state of Pennsylvania. I recently shared my reflections on this topic for The Christian Century. Below is an excerpt of the post:
‘I just don’t get what the problem is,’ exclaimed one commissioner in my group. ‘Every minister in our church has the freedom of conscience to decide about presiding at weddings. Enough said!’ In rejecting same-sex marriage, he suggested, he was simply following his conscience.
I broke in: ‘Actually, there are a lot of pastors who aren’t free to preside where the love and commitment between the partners is clear to them. We don’t have the freedom of conscience you assume.’
You can head over to The Christian Century to read the piece in full. How do you understand and experience freedom of conscience in your own life?