There is currently a petition circulating urging United Methodist Bishop Peggy Johnson not to bring formal charges against clergy in her conference who perform same-sex marriages. While many of my friends, who I respect and honor, are signing the petition, I will not.
I believe the petition is misguided for several reasons. First, simply ignoring those parts of the Book of Discipline which regard homosexuality as incompatible with Christian scripture and living, does nothing to eliminate this homophobic language from the Book of Discipline. Even if one bishop is convinced to not charge clergy in same-sex relationships or clergy who perform same-sex marriages, clergy in other conferences will continue to be held accountable to the standards of the Book of Discipline. Clergy will still be at the behest of a bishop who may or may not share their views on sexuality.
As long as the current language is in the…
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