Brownback, Homosexuality, and the UMC

Praying handsWhile I have committed myself to compliance with The Book of Discipline, I have expressed my disagreement with the United Methodist Church’s stance against gay marriage and ordination of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals.” So it probably doesn’t surprise you to hear that I disagree with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s issuance of an executive order that removed discrimination protections for gay, lesbian and transgender state employees. What may surprise you is that, on this issue, I would appear to have the full backing of our denomination’s official stance:

“Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.” — (The Book of Discipline, ¶ 162.J)

I know that statement doesn’t exactly square with the church’s ban on ordaining “self-avowed practicing homosexuals.” In my understanding, this is very much a case of the church telling society at large to do what we say and not what we do, but I’m almost always one to see the glass as half-full.