A Methodist minister from Pennsylvania, Frank Schaefer (no apparent relation to Frank Schaeffer, son of infamous evangelical scholar Francis Schaeffer), was found guilty by a jury at a church trial of being a decent human being and conducting a same-sex marriage ceremony for his son.
On Monday, the United Methodist Church convicted Rev. Frank Schaefer on two counts against the Church for officiating his son’s same-sex wedding. On Tuesday, the impaneled jury determined his sentence: Schaefer is suspended for 30 days, and if it at the end of that time he has not renounced his support for marriage equality, he will be defrocked.
Schaefer is not about to back down:
SCHAEFER: [The Church] needs to stop judging people based on their sexual orientation. We have to stop the hate speech. We have to stop treating them as second-class Christians. […]I will never be silent again. This is what I have to do. […]
I have to minister to those who hurt and that’s what I’m doing.
I have several different thoughts on this.
1. Kudos to him for refusing to give in to bigotry. He’s doing the right thing.
2. I think the church should go right on doing what it’s doing. Not only do they have that right, they will succeed only in chasing younger, more tolerant people away from the church. Keep up the good work, folks.
3. But theologically, I think the church is right. I have never bought into all the fanciful readings of the Bible that purport to make it sound less anti-gay than it is. No one can seriously doubt that the Bible is a very, very anti-gay book. Those who wrote it despised homosexuals and wanted them put to death and all the strained reinterpretations of it can’t change that. This is one of a great many reasons to reject the Bible, not to play pretend and make it say something it doesn’t say.