Shuck and Jive

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Can We Agree to Disagree About Homosexuality?

That is the title of a recent post by candidate for PC(USA) moderator Bruce Reyes-Chow. Predictably, his post has received a great deal of response. The quick answer is that some of us can and some of us cannot.

I am all for agreeing to disagree in thought and in practice.

I wrote about this very thing in 2001 when the presbyteries were considering removing G-6.0106b and the Authoritative Interpretation. That would have allowed a level playing field for people to agree to disagree and would have allowed all to act from their own consciences. It failed.

The Theological Task Force report tried the agree to disagree approach by keeping the (in my view) discriminatory language but allowing for scruples of conscience. The General Assembly passed it, yet how that will be interpreted in church courts is still up for grabs.

In reading between the lines, I think the GAPJC decision regarding Jane Spahr was an agree to disagree decision. I think their decision was this: Stop taking people to church court for acting according to conscience. I applaud that.

The only way to have an agree to disagree answer to this question is to remove discriminatory language and create a level playing field. That is why I support removing the AI at this General Assembly and sending to presbyteries the removal or modification of G-6.0106b.

Then we will be free to agree to disagree in thought and in practice.

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