The suicide of a 14-year-old girl in England has moved her church to adopt a policy of full inclusion of LGBTQ people, this Patheos.com piece reports.
I have no idea why it takes such catastrophes for change to happen. Especially when it's clear that religious doctrine should be abandoned when it dehumanizes people and condemns them simply for being who they are. Doctrine that excludes may not always be wrong but it always should be suspect.
For a long, long time, however, many Christians have misread scripture to say that homosexuality is a sin. Some branches of the faith finally are abandoning that exclusionary nonsense, but, as in this British case, often too late to save some people.
As the Patheos opinion piece notes, "Lizzie Lowe died of suicide four years ago when she didn’t feel welcomed by Church of St. James, Didsbury in Manchester. Now, after processing their own role in her death, the church and a related institution have focused on living out their idea of 'inclusion.'”
The article says that the church Lizzie was part of now "has formally become an inclusive church — embracing everyone, regardless of gender, race, disability or sexuality."
What the author of the piece calls "archaic and barbaric faith-based views about homosexuality" must change. But it's no surprise that he would use such terms and use such doctrines to criticize faith generally. His column, after all, is called the "Friendly Atheist."
But why give such critics ammunition? Why not surprise them by demonstrating what an old hymn declares, which is that "they'll know we are Christians by our love"?
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WHEN IS THE TIME FOR FORGIVENESS?
In the Brett Kavanaugh case, what role, if any, might forgiveness play -- and how, in general, are we to understand when forgiveness is possible? This piece by Katelyn Beaty, former managing editor of Christianity Today, raises those very questions and is worth a careful read.