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A troubling post in the Church for Men blog opines that even though the influential United Methodist Church (UMC) organization this week voted to bar gay weddings and clergy, the church is still somehow being Christ-like.

If anyone seriously believes Jesus Christ — the loving, merciful God/man prophet portrayed in the New Testament — would ever have rejected homosexuals for their sexuality, I’d like to meet that person.

It’s absurd to even contemplate such an alien Christ.

In his post titled “Conservative Methodists gracious in victory,” blogger David Murrow congratulated the UMC right wing for its graciousness allowing more liberal wings of the church who disagree with the new mandate to retain ownership of their church buildings if they now choose to leave the fold.

“By allowing liberal UMC congregations to take their property with them, conservatives are demonstrating the grace of Jesus to those with whom they disagree,” Murrow wrote. “They’re showing what true diversity looks like.”

Considering UMC’s pointed exclusion of gays, it’s difficult to see he “diversity” part of the new rules, unless allowing an inhumane policy to shatter the church into hundreds of (diverse) pieces counts as a kind of inclusiveness through exclusivity.

How the largest mainline protestant denomination, with some 12 million members, can rationally justify such a callous, un-Christly, discriminatory policy, is unfathomable. The only possible available justification would be theological, in that the Bible purportedly denigrates homosexuality, but in the real world of actuality and evidence, its contemptable and prejudicial.

Homosexuality is not a human aberration, its one among many naturally and universally occurring expressions of sexuality along Homo sapiens’ broad spectrum. Gays, with U.S. Supreme Court backing, are afforded the same exact rights and privileges as every other citizen in America, gay, straight or otherwise, including the right to marry.

To shun and reject a class of citizens because of what may be written in an ancient book by ancient, biology-ignorant writers, is appallingly un-Christian in the particular ways that Christianity has long been respected: generosity of spirit, love, kindness and acceptance.

There is no place in the modern world for disrespecting and denouncing people simply because “it is written.”

The bigotry of this new UMC policy is not surprising in that it echoes the anti-LGBT bias ascendant in current American Republicanism. But it’s still despicable and intellectually hollow. Murrow’s header for his blog displays a firearm crosshairs, indicating a certain kind of right-wing, gun-rights sensibility, and his bio says he’s a trainer for Promise Keepers, an uber-conservative evangelical organization whose members are “committed to specific promises about how we will commit to applying the Bible in our lives.” Practicing “sexual purity” — resisting temptation — is among the seven key promises.

Murrow’s blog is published in an evangelical hub, so its tenor is consistent with this online space, but it’s important to call out things even from afar that are morally reprehensible, like institutionally discriminating against a certain legally protected class of people simply because a very old book seems to allow it.

If this is Christ-like, who could worship such a cruel deity?


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Rick Snedeker

Rick Snedeker is a retired American journalist/editor who now writes in various media and pens nonfiction books. He has received nine past top South Dakota state awards for newspaper column, editorial,...