...saying that while all people were welcome to attend public worship services there, the church did not condone interracial marriage....Southern Beale in her post makes the obvious and correct comparison with the church in Pike County, Kentucky and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that still refuses to recognize marriage equality for same-gender couples.
The proposal also said "parties of such marriages will not be received as members, nor will they be used in worship services" or other church functions, with the exception of funerals.
The recommendation "is not intended to judge the salvation of anyone, but is intended to promote greater unity among the church body and the community we serve," the copy supplied to the Herald-Leader read.
The difference between the church in Kentucky and the PC(USA) is about 60 years. That church today is where we were 60 years ago. The same arguments used against interracial marriage then are used today against same-gender marriage. You've heard them: peace, unity, purity and standing firm for the Bible and Jesus Christ against cultural accommodation. The only difference is the target of discrimination.
At the congregational meeting, the vote was 9-6 in favor of the godly separation of the races. The following sentence is chilling:
There were more people in attendance, but some didn't want to take a stand....That is precisely where we are in the PC(USA). Sure it is easy to mock this church in Kentucky. It is easy to take a stand against yesterday's prejudice or against a church that is still lost in the past. Integrity requires us to take a stand in the present against present-day prejudices.
It is educational to see the hateful yet slick language of the past used in exactly the same way today by those who "welcome and love" gay people but "Oh no, we can't condone their marriages." Meanwhile, the rest, like magazine editors and stated clerks, wring their hands because the haters might not be happy if we dare make any changes.
...but some didn't want to take a stand...Southern Beale points out that this is a bigger issue than clergy. It is a bigger issue than churches, too. It is about what kind of people we think we are or think we want to be. It is about simple fairness, decency, compassion, and justice.
This is not hard.
This is not difficult.
This is not complicated.
It is a simple matter of doing what is right.
And if you think it is right to hide your prejudices behind the Bible, then take another look at the church in Pike County, Kentucky, because that is exactly who you are.