A Methodist minister, Rev. Frank Schaefer, is facing a church trial in Pennsylvania for officiating at the marriage of his son to another man.
The General Conference, the top legislative body of the United Methodist Church, has affirmed that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. The Subcommittee On Deciding What Parts Of Leviticus To Ignore, presided over by the Rev. Baconlips, ruled on this and other issues in 2012.
The Subcommittee was originally convened in order to address concerns about Leviticus in light of modern practices. Leviticus has been a flash point for many who point out that the book famously responsible for setting out rules of behavior is about 2500 years old and no longer speaks to a society not composed primarily of goatherds. Decisions were arrived at delicately, though, just in case the third book of the Bible was dictated by God, and was not just something Moses dashed off.
Questions were first brought up by an avowedly feminist contingent that took particular issue with the requirement that a woman needed to atone for having her period, every damn time, as though it were a freaking day at the fair, at the cost of two sacrificial turtledoves. Especially with the ongoing turtledove shortage. Many found the entire area under discussion to be a sticking point. Conservatives warned that ignoring the problem of feminine discharges could lead to a very slippery slope. Moderates prevailed, however, after agreeing that all references to “unclean” might be replaced with “icky.”
No one was inclined to quibble with the long list of people one is not allowed to have sex with–although a statement was drafted recommending leniency for those born into particularly large families.
Though there was general agreement on that issue, too many found the easing of restrictions against a man lying with a man to be too much to swallow. There aren’t enough turtledoves in the world to clean up that crap, Rev. Baconlips was heard to mutter, before reminding committee members that the penalty for such an act is Death. “Thou shalt not kill,” chanted the progressive corner, while traditionalists loudly countered with “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s ass.” Discourse was heated but civil, with what all described as a fluid exchange, as members of the body rose one after the other to introduce their positions; but conservatives mounted stiff opposition to change, insisting that the church must take a hard line, in the end, against homosexuality.
Rev. Schaefer, having been forced to choose between his son and God, chose his son, noting that although the other choice worked out all right for Abraham, it wasn’t something he felt he could count on.
Church officials say his recalcitrance is likely to result in a reprimand or suspension at the least, with the possibility that he may be defrocked. In the worst case, Rev. Schaefer could also be subjected to a holy wedgie.
PLEASE put in a disclaimer " put your coffee down before reading further: BEFORE such statements as "thou shalt not covet your neighbor's ass".
And I've never been able to fit in the hate of homosexuals with family values. I've loved all my children equally and wanted the same rights for them – both homosexual and heterosexual. Thanks for writing about this issue.
Frankly, I never have more fun than when I can re-read Leviticus. That book is a hoot.
Yes, but there are some strictures regarding hooters, aren't there? Must have another perusal…
You know? I don't think so. I don't think they even mention hooters. Another perusal…
Pootie makes a good looking minister. He didn't have anything to do with that ruling, did he? I always feel a bit self conscious trying to write a comment about your posts, but I have to let you know how much I love them!
You know, DJan, Pootie is just a good-looking guy. It really doesn't matter what he wears.
I've never met Rev. Schaefer, but I'm quite sure I would like him, love him, most likely. He has chosen far better than Abraham did. That Subcommittee on Deciding Which Parts of Leviticus to Ignore didn't do a very Christian job of it.
Maybe it's not possible to Christianize the Old Testament. We just keep it around like the clothes you never wear but keep thinking they're too good to toss.
At this point I should mention that the New Testament gets pretty hairy toward the end, so.
Snort. You're going to need a whole flock of turtledoves to atone for this post. Love it!
Nice to know I don't have to spend all my time trying to make Christianity look stupid — the churches are doing it for me.
and no longer speaks to a society not composed primarily of goatherds.
Good point — the tribesmen of Biblical times didn't need homosexuality (or neighbors) when they had all those goats around.
Oh, there's a whole chapter and verse about the goats too, don't you worry.
Even verse than the part about the neighbor's ass? I can hardly wait.
Just one more validation of my refusal to join the Methodist church at the age of 12 or 13, when good little Sunday School children were expected to do so. I couldn't have articulated why at that time, except that I just didn't feel right about it. No one gave me a hard time about it, though, for which I have always been grateful.
Dave also did not choose to join the church when that was the thing to do. It certainly never occurred to me not to, not at that age. Some of youse are more thoughtful than others of us.
I love reading Leviticus – all those laws I don't have to obey! I have been told that in Hawaii, the laws regarding incest were known to just a few priests because they were afraid that if people knew them all they might say, "Hey, we haven't tried that one yet. What a good idea! Let's go visit Uncle Kukuikui."
Also, don't they only have chickens there? You need duct tape with those.
Why covet thy neighbor's ass when there are all those cute goats available? You don't even have to buy them dinner! At least that's what I herd.
I have to admit goats are awfully cute. And a real handy height, I reckon.
I really wish that everyone charged with making rulings of any kind would remember the admonition about only the sin-free casting stones at other people. We need a committee to decide if the other committees are full of sin-free people. But, wait, that committee would have to be sin-free, too. Man, this is too complicated, unless everyone agrees none of us is perfect. And that's unlikely to happen.
But…you are! Aren't you?
***SNORTWORTHY*** And epic unto the day.
The Church of the Holy Wedgie. One of the sacraments shall be the Holy Hand Grenade.
"Epic unto the day." 🙂
As someone who lives quite near where all these events are unfolding, I am so troubled by this story…which we hear on the local news! SO, your post was just the tonic I needed. Of course, I plan to take it with some gin. And a splash of lime.
As you were…
That is certainly how I take my tonic. Let us know what they decide, if it doesn't make the Big News.
Out of the freakin' ballpark and into the next county on this one, my fine funny friend. 🙂
I can only hit long balls metaphorically.
Each time I visit you remind me why it is that you are one of my heroes. Megathanks.
Well sure! I'll take that!
Your punishment is to be stoned.
You may come to Washington state for that. We allow that here. Wait, was that what you meant?
I'm pretty sure that's what she meant.
From what I understand, Leslie, Murr took care of that a long, long time ago.
I'm pretty sure I don't need to take care of it again.
So now you have made this atheist/agnostic/spirit seeker return to the Bible to read it. Now, if I can just find mine.
Leviticus is short and sweet and HYSTERICALLY funny. I recommend it.
But what if your neighbor has a nice ass?
Well, see, that's the very crux of the issue.
Loved this (and Pootie). So gay! You gave this reader such satisfaction. I hope no churchy people give you the bum’s rush for telling it like it is. It’s funny the way the churchy people get so hot and bothered about where other people poke their body parts because I’m sure I read somewhere that god will hand-ball the punishments at the old pearly gates. Poor churchy people, all that fun sexy stuff being sublimated into god complexes. With a bit of luck someone will send this to Rev. Baconlips and your words will germinate in his nether regions so he can become to feel a better man. But he sounds a bit perverse and probably prefers turtledoves, which explains the shortage.
Keep up the good work, Murr. The world needs you more than ever.
You know, I hardly ever hear a discouraging word here. I don't really know why–I'm plenty opinionated, but I do not (for the most part) get spanked for it. Meanwhile, maybe you've figured something out: there isn't a turtledove SHORTAGE–they're just REAL shy now.
Will nobody think of the turtledoves!!!
Basically, they're pigeons. It's okay.
When I first read the story of Abraham, all I could think was "That kid's gonna have a lifetime of shit to work through on a therapist's couch"
Obviously, you are not acquainted with the power of faith. I can tell, because I'm not either.
But I know without a doubt, that my dog loves me.
I know nothing of any of this, maybe I should buy one of them there bible things? As for the son, presumably he's a grown man and able to choose for himself who he lies with or marries.
I'll bet you can get someone to give you a bible. I'm sure you can.
Pssst. Don't tell anybody, but Abraham had to choose between god and his son too. He chose god. Where do you want this killing done? Out on highway 61.
Jeez, I knew that, but I got it backwards in the typing. In to edit!
Weird how that happens. I meant that Abraham had the same choice to make, but the way I wrote it, it looks all wrong. Thanks for pointing it out.
"Rev. Schaefer, having been forced to choose between his son and God, chose his son, noting that although the other choice worked out all right for Abraham, it wasn't something he felt he could count on"
Well, Good for Rev. Schaefer! YAY.
I think his trial is, like, this week or something. I think also he'll be okay no matter what happens, even if he rocks the frock.
Heated discourse, fluid exchanges, stiff opposition, and hardline opposition to gays? Murr, you bawdy creature!
I respect Schaefer for choosing his son over rigid dogma. He valued love, which is at the heart of real spirituality.
He even looks like a nice guy, at that.
Once again, your inimitable sense of humor (with just the right tinge of innuendo) scored a direct hit. If that minister gets defrocked, I'm sure there are other churches that would welcome him with open arms. (If there aren't, there SHOULD be.)
It's in the news today. He got defrocked. I think he'll be all right.