Christian News, July 29, 2013
The Twenty-First Formula of Concord the CN editor attempted to get the LCMS’s 2013 convention to support says in a section on Adultery: “The Bible condemns both homosexual orientation and practice as sin. There is no room in heaven for unrepentant adulterers, homosexuals, etc. churches which allow homosexuals and lesbians to serve as pastors are false churches with which faithful Christians should not fellowship. (Romans 1:26, 27); 1 Cor. 6:9; Romans 16:17; Christian News Encyclopedia, 2366-2403, 1002-1636).
“Gay-friendly trend washes over court,” an RNS report in the July 25, 2013 Christian Century includes a photo (above) with this caption: “A Normal Part of Ministry: Mike Wilker, pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington, D.C., said half the weddings he performs at his congregation are for couples of the same gender.”
The report in the Christian Century says in part:
“Sometimes a court opinion is more than just a court opinion. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 26-page decision on June 26 striking down a federal ban on same-sex marriages offers a window into Americans’ rapidly shifting views of same-sex relationships-a shift that increasingly relies on secular views of law and fairness, not traditional moral or religious views.
“At the same time, Justice Antonin Scalia’s biting dissent in United States v. Windsor reflects a set of cultural, religious and social arguments that are losing ground in the court of public opinion and now in the highest court of the land. In the 17 years since Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act, many Americans have gained ‘a new perspective, a new insight’ on the meaning of marriage, Kennedy said. As a result, gay marriage is now legal in 12 states and the District of Columbia.
“Kennedy said large swaths of American society had concluded that not allowing gay couples to wed is an ‘unjust exclusion.’ He used a striking string of words to describe DOMA’s impact on gay families: Disparage. Degrade. Demean.
“Allowing gay marriage, he said, is a ‘far-reaching legal acknowledgment of the intimate relationship between two people, a relationship deemed by the State worthy of dignity in the community equal with all other marriages. It reflects both the community’s considered perspective on the historical roots of the institution of marriage and its evolving understanding of the meaning of equality.’
“A decade ago, it would have been near inconceivable to imagine the nation’s highest court referring to the ‘dignity’ of gay marriage. But things have changed-remarkably so. In 2003, at the time of Lawrence v. Texas, the court’s last major gay rights case, support for gay marriage hovered around 32 percent; today, that figure is 51 percent.
“Why the shift? For one, older generations that are the most opposed are giving way to younger Americans who are far more supportive. Gays and lesbians are coming out younger and more often, and openly gay characters anchor popular shows like Glee and Modern Family.
“In 2003, gay marriage didn’t exist and the Episcopal Church was shell-shocked by the election of an openly gay bishop. On June 26, the bells of Washington National Cathedral pealed in celebration of the court decision, and the election May 31 of the first openly gay Lutheran bishop was met with mostly shrugs. A recent Gallup poll found a 19-point swing on the ‘moral acceptability’ of gay and lesbian relations since 2001 -the largest shift on any social issue. As Gallup put it, ‘U.S. acceptance of gay/lesbian relations is the new normal.’”