|Posted on November 20, 2013 at 1:20 AM|
Last week I posted a Shortcuts piece about an Atlantic magazine article that talked about how the attitudes of religious people toward gay marriage have been dramatically changing. A news item from yesterday, however, shows that the religion/gay dynamic is an ongoing process, and there is a long way to go.
Rev. Frank Schaefer has been a Methodist minister in Pennsylvania for nearly 20 years. His son Tim came out to the family 12 years ago when he was 17, confessing to suicidal thoughts partially related to the church’s stance on homosexuality. In 2007 Rev. Frank officiated at his son’s wedding ceremony, although doing so violated church teaching and regulations. This year, a month before the statute of limitations would have run out, one of his parishioners filed a complaint with the church. Schaefer was put on trial, and yesterday was found guilty by a jury of 13 of his fellow ministers.
The verdict was in line with church rules, but it could lead to the defrocking of a compassionate pastor who says he was following God’s entreaty that “all are welcome.” The punishment decision is scheduled to be made today. Schaefer could have avoided a trial by stating that he would not perform any more same-sex ceremonies. However, three of his four children are gay, and he could not comply. The best comment on the entire affair came from Schaefer’s supporters at the trial, who linked arms and sang “We Shall Overcome” as the jury left to deliberate.
You can find more details in the AP story.