In 2001, Presbyterians asked the forgiveness of African Americans for slavery and segregation. The 213th General Assembly said, "We acknowledge, however, our church's common complicity in the institution of slavery and its oppressive inequities that linger to this day." Two hundred thirteen years is a long time to wait for an apology. Think of how much good it would have done for our church and our nation to apologize immediately after emancipation--to immediately begin the hard emotional task of healing our churches and communities.
How long will we wait before we apologize for the sin of homophobia, "the irrational fear of and contempt for homosexual persons"? If we believe the church has committed an injustice, we can drag our feet and engage in begrudging half measures for decades. Or we can turn and face our mistakes, deal constructively with them now, and move forward together again as one church family.
What often makes official apologies, like the recent Southern Baptist and the Presbyterian apologies, seem hollow is that they are offered by people who themselves did not commit the original offense to people who did not suffer from the original discrimination. How much more appropriate and effective would be an apology offered now to people who are homosexual, by people who, even passively and unintentionally, have been participants in their oppression. p. 107
--Jack Rogers, Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church