The Mitchell Daily Republic publishes the findings of its survey of local churches on gay marriage. Out of 35 churches contacted, only 22 responded. Nineteen said nope, they won’t perform same-sex weddings. Two, both United Church of Christ congregations, said yes, they’ll marry you regardless of your privates. One Presbyterian pastor says she’s cool with same-sex marriage, but her congregation has not taken an official position on the issue.
Reporter Candy DenOuden says that several of the pastors she interviewed said that their opposition to same-sex marriage is not grounded in “malice or judgment toward anyone.” UCC pastor Kristi McLaughlin offers testimony to the contrary:
Seemingly in a minority of pastors in Mitchell who endorse same-sex marriage, McLaughlin said her stance has drawn ire from her fellow clergy members. In February 2011, The Daily Republic published an opinion piece authored by McLaughlin in favor of gay rights and same-sex relationships. She said the backlash was strong and swift.
“After my editorial came out, I have been called by my clergy peers in Mitchell the antichrist, I have been told that I’m not a Christian. I have been told that I’m a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” she said. “There’s many people who believe that I’m not a Christian … not only due to my belief on equality, but on many issues” [Candy DenOuden, “Deciding Who Says ‘I Do’,” Mitchell Daily Republic, 2015.11.21].
Pastor McLaughlin gives such malice and judgment (come on: you don’t use the word antichrist without some judgmental malice) a theological whatever:
But McLaughlin said it’s her faith that has helped her weather those accusations, and she no longer takes them to heart.
“I’m not living my life for my clergy peers or other Christians. I’m living my life to learn how to love and be accepting and as generous as I can for all people,” she said. “My understanding of Jesus is that Jesus gave us this idea of being fully human. To be fully human means we have to fully love” [DenOuden, 2015.11.21].
- Are you ready…to be arrested?
- Are you ready…to lose your children to the state?
- Is your pastor ready to go to jail for refusing to officiate a same sex marriage?
- Will your church be shut down?
- Will Christians be forced to break the law? [Family Heritage Alliance homepage, downloaded 2015.11.21]
DenOuden does not report any concerns from the anti-equality pastors she spoke with that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges last summer will lead to President Obama or President Sanders coming to take their Bibles. However, they weren’t able to get together to discuss such concerns yesterday; FHA had to cancel its Mitchell town hall due to Friday’s snowstorm. I’m sure that act of God was not grounded in malice or judgment toward anyone.