November 13, 2011
For the Indiana Yearly Meeting Facebook Page
Reading the New York Times this morning, I’m struck by two things. There are several wedding announcements of gay couples, and the men and the women entering into these marriages are people of accomplishment, and people who demonstrate service and caring to others. They are admirable people, so far as one can tell from the wedding announcements. And there is also a news story reporting public opinion data showing that now over 50% of Americans approve of marriage equality – approve of the right of gay couples to wed. The several-decade change in public opinion on that topic shows a shift in generations. Younger people are strongly in favor of marriage equality; older Americans are not.
Yes, homosexuality is on my mind this morning. I gather it was not discussed at Representative Meeting yesterday, and yet it is the issue that is the principal root of the schism that is dividing us.
We are a Yearly Meeting divided – increasingly divided — over whether the 1982 IYM Minute on homosexuality is right, and yet we are very reluctant to face that disagreement, to worship together seeking God’s will on that matter. Some of us want to leave the question of homosexuality behind a door locked in 1982, hopefully never to be opened again. Some of us are appear to be uncomfortable with entering into conflict even when God is calling us insistently to be in a different place.
I am one who does believe God is calling us to be in a different place. I do not bring up the marriage announcements or the public opinion data as evidence that homosexuality is not a sin. I mention them to note that the world is going to relentlessly call us to talk about this issue we are stubbornly not discussing.
We are going to have to talk about what God’s will is with regard to homosexuality and gay marriage. And I don’t believe that pointing to five Bible passages and calling the discussion done is going to be at all adequate. God is calling us to open the door and open our hearts to a fresh conversation. Are we ready to open that door?