Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sex and the Presbyterian Obsession

Michael Adee of More Light Presbyterians recently wrote an essay entitled Marriage As Commitment. It received a couple of Facebook comments including the following from Ed Koster of Detroit who also posted it on Presbyweb:
Dear Editor:

I have posted the following Facebook response to Mr Adee's article:

"The article you cite proposes that the characteristics of marriage are commitment, permanence, exclusivity, and public declaration.

If the proposal to "legalize" the ordination of non-celibate gays and lesbians had been to require that the individual be in a publicly declared relationship characterized by commitment, permanence, and exclusivity, then a lot less damage would have been done to the church than has been done by the strategy that was used. I suggested this to you and other leaders in the movement over the years and was ignored.

I am saddened. While I believe our prohibition was wrong from the beginning. I cannot believe the prohibition could have been removed in any way more destructive to the Presbyterian Church than by the way this was accomplished."
Edward Koster
Stated Clerk, Presbytery of Detroit
As I understand Mr. Koster, he thinks that More Light Presbyterians should have advocated for marriage equality before ordination equality.

My first response to that is to ask what gives him the right to tell a group that has experienced hostility, prejudice, and exclusion at the hands of the church the appropriate way to fight for equality? LGBT people owe an oppressive church nothing. They have graciously given the church the opportunity to follow Christ. Removing prejudicial barriers is a start in the right direction.

The second response is, "Really?" You think the folks upset about gay ordination would have celebrated gay marriage? The idea that there is a nice, step by step process to end oppression can only come from privilege.

My third response is the obvious: not everyone is married or should be. Believe it or not there are people who are not married who have sex--and ethical sex at that. I am happy to have them as elders, deacons, and ministers.

The church would do well to end prejudice and its obsession over people's sex lives.
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