Diest TKO wrote:
Sitting in congregational meetings discussing the topic, I can also say that women are just as vocal (maybe more so) in their bigoted beliefs than men, they just don't get violent about it.
I've met only a handful of female anti-gay types, and they weren't very vocal. I'm interested as to what you've seen that would make you say that you think they (the women in the congregation) can be equal or more vocal. Can you provide insight here for me? What types of things do they say? Mostly the same things or does it have a different theme? In your opinion, do they focus more on the homosexuality of either gender?
Some background: The Evangelical Luthern Church of America
(largest US sect of Lutherns) recently adopted changes
that said if pastors were in committed homosexual relationships, the church would not seek to defrock the pastor. Note that this did not condone homosexuality, nor equate homosexual relationships with marriage, only said that it recognized such relationships and would not defrock the pastor.
This church recognizes that, with conviction and integrity:
* On the basis of conscience-bound belief, some are convinced that same-gender sexual behavior is sinful, contrary to biblical teaching and their understanding of natural law. They believe same-gender sexual behavior carries the grave danger of unrepentant sin. They therefore conclude that the neighbor and the community are best served by calling people in same-gender sexual relationships to repentance for that behavior and to a celibate lifestyle. Such decisions are intended to be accompanied by pastoral response and community support.
* On the basis of conscience-bound belief, some are convinced that homosexuality and even lifelong, monogamous, homosexual relationships reflect a broken world in which some relationships do not pattern themselves after the creation God intended. While they acknowledge that such relationships may be lived out with mutuality and care, they do not believe that the neighbor or community are best served by publicly recognizing such relationships as traditional marriage.
* On the basis of conscience-bound belief, some are convinced that the scriptural witness does not address the context of sexual orientation and lifelong loving and committed relationships that we experience today. They believe that the neighbor and community are best served when same-gender relationships are honored and held to high standards and public accountability, but they do not equate these relationships with marriage. They do, however, affirm the need for community support and the role of pastoral care and may wish to surround lifelong, monogamous relationships or covenant unions with prayer.
* On the basis of conscience-bound belief, some are convinced that the scriptural witness does not address the context of sexual orientation and committed relationships that we experience today. They believe that the neighbor and community are best served when same-gender relationships are lived out with lifelong and monogamous commitments that are held to the same rigorous standards, sexual ethics, and status as heterosexual marriage. They surround such couples and their lifelong commitments with prayer to live in ways that glorify God, find strength for the challenges that will be faced, and serve others. They believe same-gender couples should avail themselves of social and legal support for themselves, their children, and other dependents and seek the highest legal accountability available for their relationships.
Although at this time this church lacks consensus on this matter, it encourages all people to live out their faith in the local and global community of the baptized with profound respect for the conscience-bound belief of the neighbor. This church calls for mutual respect in relationships and for guidance that seeks the good of each individual and of the community. Regarding our life together as we live with disagreement, the people in this church will continue to accompany one another in study, prayer, discernment, pastoral care, and mutual respect.
The statement was approved along a vote of 55-45% (may be off a percent or so, I do this from memory), so there was a significant minority in disagreement. Prior to the vote (but when the writing was on the wall), a group formed to schism the church. This group (Luthern Core
) is encouraging congregations to withold funds from the ELCA and to form a separate body within the ELCA "to be a voice for the Word of God within the church." The pastor at my church is dramatically opposed to the ELCA's position and wants to bring the church into the Luthern Core circle. He has preached against the "liberal agenda" from the pulpit and in his email communications for the last few years and has stepped up his rhetoric since the ELCA decision. The sad part is that he is divorced and remarried, but doesn't see any conflict with Biblical admonishments against divorce, nor does he see any corollary to the Luthern position on women pastors, another thing that is prohibited in the Bible.
Enough background. We held a congregational meeting to discuss the ELCA decision. While 55% of the ELCA at large supported the decision, I live in a conservative "red state" area. At that meeting, people were encouraged to come up and share their thoughts. I'd say supporters of the ELCA decision were outnumbered four or five to one although I believe the silent majorty is more balanced. In this atmosphere of support, many of the those expressing disagreement were very frank in their thoughts and they weren't pleasant. I'd estimate that women speakers against allowing hom0sexual pastors outnumbered men two to one and were very direct in their statements that homosexuals were ignoring God's law and were leading people into sin. I'd also say that when couples were present, the woman was almost always the more outspoken and vehement in her outrage. One of the most depressing speeches was of a woman describing how she really loved her gay son and his partner, but he was breaking God's law and going to hell.
One a slightly related topic, I've found that I'm much more likely to get an anti-liberal or anti-homosexual email forwarded to me from a woman than a man. My personal take is that women feel just as strongly as men about their bigotries, but they are not as willing to be confrontational about it, so you don't see it unless you are in situation where they feel everyone shares their views.