A lesbian Episcopal priest who believes queerness is central to the Christian tradition and has published a book that claims "queer and trans experience has vast potential to help the church be the church," is being condemned by a theologian for turning "the sin of Satan into a virtue."
"We queers exist, and many of us have lives and sensibilities that don't fit neatly into heteronormative constructs. And honestly, that's a good thing. Our perceptions of our relationships and ethical obligations are at times of a different hue from the perceptions informed by heteronormative Christian ethics. Far from an ethical deficit, that difference is often shot through with valuable insight," argues Rev. Elizabeth M. Edman's in an excerpt fom her book, Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity that was published in part as an essay by the website Salonon Saturday.
Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D. a Christian theologian and speaker who serves as a permanent research fellow at the Center for Ethics and Culture at Notre Dame University, wrote in a response piece for Breitbart News that Edman misrepresents and omits important pieces of Scripture when making her arguments.
"It does seem oddly consistent, however, that an attempt to turn homosexual relations into a good and Godly act would be paired with an effort to rehabilitate pride and turn the sin of Satan into a virtue," Williams wrote.
The theologian describes Edman's proposals as "onerous," adding that it "involves stripping the Bible of its 'heteronormativity' and remaking Christianity in the image of a society that glorifies gender fluidity and pansexualism."
The Episcopal Church has faced heavy push back for its acceptance of gay marriage and ordaining clergy who are in same-sex relationships, decisison which have led to the Anglican Communion deciding to suspend the Church.
"The traditional doctrine of the Church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching," a major meeting of Anglican primates decided in January.
"Recent developments in The Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their Canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage. Possible developments in other Provinces could further exacerbate this situation."
A number of Mainline Protestant churches have been debating LGBT issues in recent years, with a regional body within the United Methodist Church deciding last week to reject the commissioning of a married lesbian as a deacon.
The Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference's Board of Ordained Ministry explained, however, that it "did not consider sexual practice for any candidate" and did not in the case of Tara "T.C." Morrow.
"Bishop Marcus Matthews called for United Methodists to be in a time of prayer following the clergy meeting. He called for prayers for Morrow, her family, for leaders of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, and for the unity of the Church as it continues to seek God's will," a statement read.