Sunday, May 8, 2011

Support because of beliefs

Today in the Detroit area the weather is definitely spring. It was sunny and the high was in the mid 60s. I was on my bike for nearly two hours this afternoon. Lots of trees, shrubs, and gardens are in bloom. I probably overdid it, but it was a great afternoon.

I went to see Prairie Home Companion last evening in Detroit's Fox Theater. Yes, I've enjoyed this radio show for a couple decades and it was a treat to see it live, especially in such an enthusiastic crowd. The place has more than 5000 seats and all of them were filled. When something pro-Detroit was mentioned (which Garrison Keillor does in each city he visits) the audience could get loud. I usually wouldn't mention this but for one important part of the show -- this is the first time (that I know of) in which the News from Lake Wobegon featured a lesbian couple. One of them was a daughter of the town café owner and was described as "the only lesbian Republican in Montana." The audio is up on the show's website. If the 5/7 show is no longer in the Audio Highlights in the middle of the first page, check the archives.

In My Shoes is a half hour video in which kids with gay, lesbian, and transgender parents tell their stories. These are pretty articulate kids. They are raised by pretty cool parents.

Timothy Kincaid of Box Turtle Bulletin has an easily understood essay about Catholic Charities in Illinois threatening to be defiant. Now that the state allows civil unions these Catholic adoption providers are claiming they will have to stop offering their services. The Massachusetts branch has already done so. Kincaid responds by saying if Catholic Charities want to place Catholic babies in the hands of Catholic families and do so using Catholic funding that's perfectly fine with him. But use state money? Kincaid refuses to allow his tax dollars to contribute to his own discrimination.

Kincaid has a second thoughtful essay about the Presbyterian Church USA. That denomination revised their rules on who may be ordained and serve in a church, essentially allowing a gay pastor who has a partner. The rule change is now before regional affiliations. There must be 87 regions that approve the change, 80 have done so already and 30 more are yet to vote (he doesn't say how many voted to not approve).

Kincaid says churches are in a tough spot. Those who push for gay acceptance in the denomination don't want to push the bigots out. How to include all people? Those denominations that succeed in this puzzle and change their rules have made a change that is real and permanent. They support us not despite their beliefs, but because of their beliefs.

How old is straight, one man-one woman, marriage? Claims range from 2000 to 6000 years. If the Bible is to be taken literally, why can't these various claimants agree?

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