Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lutheran Restorative Justice for LGBTQ Christians Terminates Millennia of Discrimination and Hate

     The Huffington Post reports:

     After twenty-five years of deliberation, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Church Council has abolished its anti-gay policies, effective immediately. Following from discussions at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly last summer, the ELCA will now allow people in same-sex relationships to serve as rostered leaders. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) human beings are no longer considered abominations but blessed church members with full standing. Same-sex partners and families can now fully participate in the ELCA Pension Plan.
     Best of all, the ELCA is reinstating people who were removed from ministry positions because they were truthful and came out of the closet, as well as those who conducted holy unions for non-heterosexual couples. The ELCA has practiced restorative justice.
     The Lutherans -- breaking from Garrison Keillor stereotypes as shy, retiring, or stoic -- said, "Just do it!" All votes passed overwhelmingly, with no votes against and no drawn-out hassles about how to implement the policies.
     I'm proud of my Lutheran friends, some of whom are voting members of the ELCA.  By throwing out all discriminatory practices against LGBTQ persons and by restoring those who were thrown out in the past because they were honest about being gay or a supporter of equality and love for all people, the ELCA has embodied the reconciling love that the Jesus of Nazareth of the scriptures offered to marginalized and oppressed persons.

     Can you imagine if, instead of continuously blaming gays for the sexual abuse crisis or condemning the so-called "gay culture" in Vatican documents or electing a pope that referred to his own gay priests as "filth," the Roman Catholic Church did the same?

     Who would Jesus discriminate?  The ELCA has joined the United Church of Christ and Episcopal Church to firmly answer that question: "Not homosexuals!"

     Makes me wonder how any closeted gay Catholic priest, who still believes in the whole god thing can remain in a church hierarchy that smacks them with such theological violence.

Photo by NCinDC



FDeF said...

There are still occasional joyful surprises!

truthspew said...

Good on the Lutherans for this. Now if you really want to knock my socks off, get back to me when the Southern Baptists knock off the anti-gay schtick.

Russ Manley said...

Well, this news is good to hear. I wonder, will they now be performing "holy unions" in church, or marriages in the states that allow that?