Been wanting to cover this for the whole week, so it is a bit old and dusty, but definitely worth checking out. From the AP via The Montgomery Advertiser:
An Episcopal bishop in Alabama has refused to allow priests in his diocese to bless same-sex unions for the time being despite voting in favor of such blessings at the national level.Bishop Kee Sloan leads the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, part of the larger Episcopal Church, and voted in favor of a new liturgy blessing same-sex unions during a national convention held by the denomination this month. But he will not allow that blessing locally because he said the issue is too divisive for Alabama.
“Too divisive for Alabama”? But Alabama is such a left-leaning, tolerant, progressive state. (Apologies to any progressive readers in Alabama. I live deep in the heart of Pennsyltucky. I feel your pain.)
“Theology is an ongoing revelation,” Sloan told The Birmingham News. “It’s influenced by context. There are parts of the country that are more conservative and traditional, and there are parts of the country that are more liberal. In Alabama, it would be divisive within the Episcopal Church. We are deeply conflicted about this. I’d like for us to work through and pray about it.”
Is he calling his flock bigots? Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, after all, he just voted for the blessings, it’s not like he actually worked on the liturgical blessing or anything.
“He worked on the committee that developed the rite,” said Brad LaMonte, the Southeast regional vice president of Integrity, which promotes gay rights in the church. “It’s bizarre that he’s not allowing it in Alabama.”
Of course, when other leaders in your diocese have no problem expressing their opposition to same-sex blessings, maybe he’s just erring on the side of caution:
Others in Sloan’s diocese are opposed to the recognition of same-sex couples. For example, The Rev. Frank F. Limehouse III, dean of the 3,400-member Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, said on his church’s website that same-sex relationship run counter to his understanding of biblical teachings.
“We cannot bless any sexual activity outside of a marriage between one man and one woman,” Limehouse said. “The Bible is clear about this. If anyone who declares the Bible teaches otherwise, then I wouldn’t doubt his or her sincerity, but I would have to question their training in biblical interpretation.”
Now I would never doubt Rev. Limehouse’s sincerity, but his training in biblical interpretation?
We cannot bless any sexual activity outside of a marriage between one man and one woman,” Limehouse said. “The Bible is clear about this.”
Ahem. Polygamy anyone? Abraham? Solomon? David? Jacob?