If you read this blobber very often, you probably know that I don't hold churches or organized religions in very high regard (to mildly understate the obvious). In fact, I've made a point to contend that our world would be a much more peaceful and cooperative place if not for the religious strife our various faiths have wrought upon the planet for the past couple thousand years.
But I just saw an article on Huffington Post that might make me reconsider a blanket condemnation of religion.
The Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has announced that its ministers will refrain from performing marriages at the church until same-sex marriage is allowed by the state and by their denomination. Here's a portion of the transcript from the church website:
On the matter of same-sex marriage, Green Street UMC sees injustice in the legal position of state government and the theological position of our denomination. North Carolina prohibits same-sex marriage and all the rights and privileges marriage brings. The Leadership Council has asked that their ministers join others who refuse to sign any State marriage licenses until this right is granted to same-sex couples.
Another article on the church's decision included this:
Currently, the United Methodist Church prohibits its pastors from conducting same sex weddings. The church also bans gay and lesbian people from serving as clergy. Kelly Carpenter, pastor at the church says his congregation continues to diversify, and now has more than 15 gay and lesbian couples.
“The United Methodist Church like many other churches is struggling with language within the denomination. In 2012, there were many attempts to change all the language within the discipline around the issues around gay and lesbian people and all of those attempts seemed to fail. But the percentage of the way in which those votes are taken is narrowing, and I think eventually it will tip over and be more inclusive of the gay and lesbian folks in our denomination,” says Carpenter.
Good to know there are still people more concerned about social justice than with keeping their church out of the headlines.