Shuck and Jive

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

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Is This America?

FORT LAUDERDALE - A gay man was beaten outside a popular 24-hour restaurant Saturday morning by a man who shouted anti-gay obscenities at him, authorities said.

Melbourne Brunner, 37, was eating with his partner at the Floridian restaurant, at 1410 E. Las Olas Blvd., around 3 a.m. when a man walked by their table and started shouting at the two men, said Sgt. Frank Sousa, spokesman for the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Sousa said the man continued to verbally abuse the two men and made a violent motion with his hands, claiming, "this is how I break (gay people's) necks."

He said Brunner and his partner left the restaurant, but as Brunner tried to get into his car, the man blocked him and punched him in the face several times. Brunner fell and struck his head on the ground, Sousa said. He said the man then threatened to kill Brunner's partner, who attempted to get the man's license plate. (Read More)

Some have argued (including me) that the attitudes of the church create an atmosphere for this violence. Those who claim that it is "biblical" to deny freedoms and protections to our citizens and to deny full membership of the church and the blessing of relationships need to answer for this violence.

I think it is time NOT to be "biblical."

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them. Lev. 20:13

The 'liberal' interpretation is this:

"If a man sits at a lunch counter with a male, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be beaten by a thug of the church; their blood is upon them."

Their blood is upon us.

This is a "litany" I created from the statements of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Authoritative Interpretation. This is a policy the General Assembly could overturn this summer.

We believe…

“…that homosexuality is not God’s wish for humanity. This we affirm, despite the fact that some of its forms may be deeply rooted in an individual’s personality structure.”

We believe…

“In many cases homosexuality is more a sign of the brokenness of God’s world than of willful rebellion. In other cases homosexual behavior is freely chosen or learned in environments where normal development is thwarted.”

We believe…

“Even where the homosexual orientation has not been consciously sought or chosen, it is neither a gift from God nor a state nor a condition like race; it is a result of our living in a fallen world.”

We believe…

“As we examine the whole framework of teaching bearing upon our sexuality from Genesis onward, we find that homosexuality is a contradiction of God’s wise and beautiful pattern for human sexual relationships revealed in Scripture and affirmed in God’s ongoing will for our life in the Spirit of Christ.”

We believe…

“Homosexual persons who will strive toward God’s revealed will in this area of their lives, and make use of all the resources of grace, can receive God’s power to transform their desires or arrest their active expression.”

We believe…

“…the New Testament declares that all homosexual practice is incompatible with Christian faith and life.”

We believe…

“On the basis of our understanding that the practice of homosexuality is sin, we are concerned that homosexual believers and the observing world should not be left in doubt about the church’s mind on this issue during any further period of study.”

It is time for the PCUSA to take a stand and make a change. Our policies are not only mistaken, but harmful.

Thanks Scott. Be safe.