The recent misbehavior of Pa. Rep Daryl Metcalfe (Butler-Republican) has prompted me to devote today’s blog to the following to the letter I recently sent to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. I think you will notice how theological reflection should influence political opinion. When the church stays out of politics, both are harmed:
A decade ago, I was a middle of the road minister performing my duties in full support of my denomination’s and Pennsylvania’s stance against gay marriage. Three things changed my thinking:
I did a thorough study of the scriptures and came to realize that gay bashing and the humiliation of those who are transgendered has no support in the Gospel. I read the relevant passages in their context. I now believe that today’s church should stand in solidarity with the LGBT community. I find myself uncomfortable with bigoted people, such as Rep. Metcalfe, who espouse a very narrow reading of both the secular law and the holy writ.
Second, I began to see the issue as one of civil rights. It is hard to defend a policy that affords a people equal protection under the law, but denies them something as basic to human dignity as the freedom to marry whom they choose. In a similar way, I cannot say to a gay person, you are free to come to my church, but I won’t accept you into a full fellowship or perform all my pastoral duties for you. When I require other people to be like me, I misuse my authority.
Third, the demographics on who supports gay marriage and who opposes it, falls clearly along age lines. This is a case where the old need to learn from the young. Rep Metcalfe may hold the gavel today, but this will soon pass.
Rev. Bill Kemp