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Archive for December, 2012

Bishop Robinson Retires: A Faithful, Courageous Ministry

The Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopalian Church, will hand the pastoral staff to his successor in a ceremony at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Concord on January 5. More Light Presbyterians congratulates Bishop Robinson for his faithful, courageous ministry on behalf of LGBT people. Read more

An Evangelical Case for LGBT Rights

C.S. Pearce, an evangelical turned progressive, has authored a book that “discusses and deconstructs the Bible-based arguments that conservative Christians use against LGBT people, arguments that Pearce calls ‘myths.’” Pearce’s family left the Presbyterian Church because they felt it was too liberal and she grew up in a nondenominational evangelical church. This We Believe: The Christian Case for Gay Civil Rights “demonstrates how traditional Christian beliefs about homosexuality are hurting all of the church, especially its most vulnerable members: young gay people who are convinced that their very essence is sinful.  It summarizes the latest scientific research, current Biblical scholarship, and the teachings of Jesus to show why an ever-growing number of Christian leaders and laypeople now support marriage equality and other civil rights for gay, lesbian, and transgender people.” Read more

Strong Faith Support for Marriage Equality in Illinois

The Illinois legislature is very likely to take up the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act in January, a bill that would establish marriage equality in the state (Illinois currently offers Civil Unions). Over 250 religious leaders in Illinois have signed an open letter in support of the bill.  “Signatories of the letter said one of their motivations was to challenge the assumption that religion went hand in hand with opposition to same-sex marriage.” Read more

Merry Christmas from More Light Presbyterians

From the board and staff at More Light Presbyterians, we wish you a beautiful Advent and Christmas. Thank you for your partnership in ministry with us throughout 2012 and for living out your faith by making the Church and society a more just place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons and those who love them. Read more

To My Gay Son: I Prefer You

Amelia, the mother and breadwinner for her 8-year-old gay son, responded this week to the conservative UK politician who said, “I think most parents would prefer their children not to be gay.” We’ve featured Amelia’s commentary about raising her son before (see below).

“A parent can prefer that their child grow up to be 6-foot-3, but they have as much control over that as they do their child’s orientation: none,” writes Amelia. “So, sure, people can ‘prefer’ something for their kid, and who knows if it will pan out. Kids, on the other hand, can always be counted on to be exactly who they are [emphasis added]” Read more

Reaching Out to LGBT Older Adults

“Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength is spent.” Psalm 71:9

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress.” James 1:27

Communities of faith have a tremendous opportunity to live out their faith among older adults with the greatest social needs, particularly LGBT people. “The vast majority of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults have lived through discrimination, social stigma, and the effects of prejudice both past and present, including a history of being labeled as criminals, sinners, and mentally ill,” writes the National Resource Center for LGBT Aging. “For some, this fear and social stigma has disrupted their lives, their connections with their families of origin, their lifetime earnings and their opportunities to save for retirement. It has also made many of them apprehensive of health care professionals and aging service providers.” Read more

The Decline of Evangelical America

John S. Dickerson, an evangelical researcher, described the steep decline of evangelical Christianity in a recent New York Times article. “Evangelicals have not adapted well to rapid shifts in the culture – including, notably, the move toward support for same-sex marriage,” Dickerson writes. “The result is that evangelicals are increasingly typecast as angry and repressed bigots. In 2007, the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, in a survey of 1,300 college professors, found that 3 percent held ‘unfavorable feelings’ towards Jews, 22 percent toward Muslims and 53 percent towards evangelical Christians.” Read more

The Malpractice of “Love”

Every LGBT person knows Josh Pacheco, the high school student who committed suicide last week in Fenton, Michigan. “Not every queer person grew up being pushed into lockers and teased at school like Josh. Not every queer person contemplates suicide,” writes Rev. Cody J. Sanders. “But the effects of insult and hatred that write themselves onto our bodies mark the life of every queer person. Every one of us is familiar with the kind of violence that psychiatrist Marie-France Hirigoyen so aptly calls ‘stalking the soul.’” Read more

MLP Needs Your End of Year Support

Dear Friends,

If you have read anything on the MLP Facebook page or blog this year that has challenged you, inspired you – anything you shared with others because you thought it might educate or change hearts and minds, we ask you to consider what value our work has in the PC(USA), civil society, and in your life. As you plan your end of the year charitable giving, please know that we have important work yet to be done. Many feel that since the passage of 10A, maybe we have less to do, but it’s quite the opposite. There are openly LGBT inquirers and candidates to support. Clergy who have been in ministry for decades who are now coming out, who need us to stand in solidarity with them. 247 clergy and 359 elders who have offered prophetic witness by signing the Stand For Love statement, and are experiencing the consequences of that witness. Read more

Tutu: “I Cannot Be Free If You Are Not Also Free”

As Ugandans woke up this morning and picked up a copy of the Daily Monitor, Uganda’s leading newspaper, they were greeted with an op-ed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill pending in Uganda’s parliament. Tutu acknowledged that the bill has widespread popular support in this largely Christian nation, but called Ugandans to the African belief in ubuntu. “We did this because we understood that the freedom of one depends upon the freedom of all. We call it the spirit of ubuntu: the idea that I cannot be free if you are not also free.” Read more