Not sure what to talk about today. If only there were some big news with religious implications like, oh, the president taking a stand on gay marriage.
Yeah, wow, I did not see that coming.
It may even cost him votes from some fence-sitters who believe the Bible is definitively against same-sex marriage.
Speaking of the Bible, it came up yesterday in a House debate on the issue when Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) said the Bible is hardly the the go-to book for public policies. She quoted Leviticus 20:13, which says a man must be put to death if he has sex with another man.
“That’s the Old Testament,” protested Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA).
Here’s a roundup of interesting notes on the gay issue (courtesy of Religion News Service):
* There has been a lot of news in recent years of congregations leaving their mainline denominations over the gay issue. But it is usually because leadership is too liberal. Now comes a California church splitting from the U.S. Presbyterian Church because it isn’t liberal enough.
PCUSA approved the ordination of gay and lesbian lay persons in 2010. Locally, the Presbytery of Donegal, comprised of 58 congregations in York, Lancaster and Chester counties, adopted gay ordination last year. As a result of the move, several congregations in the area have split off as a result.
But the West Hollywood Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles claims PCUSA hasn’t done enough to embrace gays. The church plans to formally join the ranks of the more liberal United Church of Christ on Saturday.
“I can’t wait” said the Rev. Dan Smith, a gay pastor who has led the progressive congregation with about 57 members since the 1980s. “It’s like being released from an abusive relationship,” he told Reuters. “We’re ready to be set free.”
* Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following statement on the president’s announcement:
“President Obama’s comments today in support of the redefinition of marriage are deeply saddening. As I stated in my public letter to the President on September 20, 2011, the Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by the President and the Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. However, we cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society. The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better. Unfortunately, President Obama’s words today are not surprising since they follow upon various actions already taken by his Administration that erode or ignore the unique meaning of marriage. I pray for the President every day, and will continue to pray that he and his Administration act justly to uphold and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. May we all work to promote and protect marriage and by so doing serve the true good of all persons.”