Religion News Service's Lauren Markoe authored a story yesterday on the Presbyterian Church (USA) decision to permit same-sex marriages and how, according to a poll from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), a majority of Mainline Protestants now support the practice.
At the same time, the article notes that the majority of church-affiliated Americans belong to denominations that forbid gay marriage, including Roman Catholics, most Baptists, Pentecostals, evangelicals and Mormons. Markoe also reports that Mainline Protestants have lost ground in recent decades to other denominations and to independent churches.
Accompanying the article is a denominational chart of same-sex marriage support, with some interesting inclusions – and omissions. Taken together, the missing churches constitute tens of millions of members – a significant slice of the U.S. religious pie – all on record opposing redefinition of marriage. Meanwhile, all denominations nationally and globally that support same-sex marriage are in a state of decline. more >>
For any church to function, it needs to have a certain level of basic doctrinal and moral standards (especially for ordained clergy and others in leadership), some clear policies followed with some degree of consistency, and a culture in which members can trust that those set aside for ordained pastoral leadership will have enough integrity to be men and women who keep their own word.
Yet now a wealthy unofficial caucus group is actually offering to pay United Methodist clergy who break their ordination vows.
My denomination's rulebook, the Book of Discipline, rather explicitly requires ordained United Methodist clergy to commit to a Christian lifestyle of abstaining from sexual relations outside of monogamous, man-woman marriage, and requires that no one gets fully ordained until they have vowed before God and the church that they personally believe, "[a]fter full examination" that the UMC's official doctrines "are in harmony with the Holy Scriptures," that they personally "approve" of our denomination's rules, and that they will "support and maintain" these rules. As readers are well aware by now, these UMC rules they vow to "support and maintain" include clear bans on "ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions." more >>
A woman raised by two mothers has spoken out about her experience and how she wants all children to be raised by a mother and a father, that gay marriage is hurting children.
Heather Barwick wrote a letter to the gay community entitled "Your Kids Are Hurting," in which she described that she missed out on being raised by her father after her mother left him for a woman she loved. And even though Barwick wrote that she felt like "gay people are my people," she had words to say: "I don't support gay marriage."
"Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn't matter. That it's all the same. But it's not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father's absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad," Barwick explained in her letter published by The Federalist. "I loved my mom's partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost." more >>
The Oklahoma state House of Representatives passed legislation that will require couples looking to get married to seek approval from a clergy member in order for them to be married in the state.
The bill which was introduced in January by Republican Rep. Todd Russ and was passed by the House last Tuesday would change the language of the state's law that governs the duties of court clerks, in which all references to marriage licenses would be thrown out.
The bill essentially separates the government from marriage by requiring that marriage certificates be signed by clergy members or other religious officials instead of county clerks or judges. After couples acquire a marriage certificate from the religious official, a record of it would be made by the clerk's office so that the marriage would be recognized by the state. more >>
A wedding videographer in Ohio could face legal action after she declined to shoot a lesbian couples' wedding ceremony because it would have conflicted with her biblical understanding that marriage should only be between one man and one woman.
When Jenn Moffitt and her partner Jerra Kincely were searching in February for a videographer to film their wedding, they sent an email inquiry to a local video production company called Next Door Stories in Bexley, Ohio, a town in the Columbus suburbs.
Jessa Duggar revealed that she and husband Ben Seewald are ready to start their family, even if it means not necessarily adopting right away.
The couple recently spoke about wanting to adopt, but that will take at least two years due to rules that explicitly state potential adoptive parents must be married for two years before beginning the process. Yet that is not stopping Jessa and Ben from fulfilling the dream they've had since before getting married in Nov.
"We hope to adopt a lot of kids," Jessa told People in Feb. "If God blesses us with biological kids of our own, it's not going to quench our desire to adopt. Even before we married, we wanted to adopt." more >>