About That Vote By the Lutherans On Gay Clergy

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Below are excerpts from "On Faith," an Internet feature sponsored by The Washington Post and Newsweek. Each week, more than 50 figures from the world of faith engage in a conversation about an aspect of religion. This week, panel members were asked: "What do you think of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's vote to urge its bishops to refrain from disciplining clergy who are in "mutual, chaste and faithful committed same-gender relationships"?

God Embraces Faithful Relationships

Fifty years from now, most religious communities will look back with astonishment on the controversy over same-sex relations the way we do today on yesterday's bans on miscegenation.

A substantial majority of Americans favor marriage or civil unions. Growing numbers of church members favor recognition of gay marriage, support civil rights for gays and object to discrimination against gays in the workplace. It is no wonder that these tens of millions of church members feel increasingly comfortable with clergy who are in committed faithful relations, whether heterosexual or same-sex. It is no wonder they support their religious leaders. Prejudice and discrimination are irreconcilable with the religious values of most Americans.

-- Rabbi David Saperstein, director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Clear Instructions, Clear Choices

The Evangelical Lutheran Church bishops have embraced trendiness and abandoned the very scriptures that are their basis for evangelizing. If these bishops choose to violate God's instruction book, church members have two choices, should they wish to continue to honor the authority of scripture and its Author: They can remove the bishops from office or they can leave the denomination. To remain in the denomination and do nothing makes members co-conspirators in the bishops' apostasy.

-- Cal Thomas, syndicated political columnist

To read the complete essay and see more "On Faith" online commentary, hosted by Jon Meacham and Sally Quinn, go tohttp://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith.

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