Since beginning my gig as a Huffington Post blogger, I’ve not been very good about updating this blog. I’m going to try to be better about that! This piece first appeared on the Huffington Post on January 27, 2009.
My denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA) currently is engaged in a church-wide discussion about whether or not we will allow local congregations and regional governing bodies — called presbyteries — the freedom to ordain gay men and lesbians as lay leaders and as ministers. Our highest governing body, the General Assembly, has approved this proposed change but now it must be ratified by a majority of the denomination’s 173 presbyteries in order to become church law. The last I checked, 15 presbyteries had voted in favor of allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in church leadership positions and 19 had voted to maintain the status quo.
On Jan. 22, my presbytery, the Presbytery of San José, voted for ratification. As we debated the issue, several people stood up and expressed what I think was genuine sadness at the fact that, while they know and love many gays and lesbians, they could not vote to include gays and lesbians in positions of church leadership. To do so, they contended, would be a rejection of scripture and would be unfaithful to the Calvinist tradition.