Comments about ‘Pennsylvania pastor facing church trial over gay marriage’

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Published: Monday, Nov. 18 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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mid-state, TN

The rift in the Methodist church is interesting to watch. This isn't just "fringe" pastors agitating for change.

The former Bishop for Northern California -- a past president of the National Council of Churches -- Melvin Talbert, has urged pastors to defy this church law, and has performed at least one same-sex marriage himself.

Talbert has said: "Weddings are going on all the time, all across the church, but it's privately done, and bishops are just looking the other way, and it's time for someone to say, 'Let's deal with the elephant in the room.' "

He also said: "I declare to you that the derogatory language and restrictive laws in the Book of Discipline are immoral and unjust and no longer deserve our loyalty and obedience."

More than 1000 ministers have signed on to Talbert's call to action.

Rev. Frank Schaefer, the pastor who is about to go on trial, has said of his son: "After years of affirming him and standing by him through his struggles over sexual identity, to refuse to perform the wedding would have negated everything I told him, which was that you were created by God the way you turned out."

West Jordan, UT

Interesting....3 out of the 4 kids of the pastor mentioned in this story are homosexual. Are genetics responsible for that or an accepting home environment? I tend to lean towards a home environment being the cause.

Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

Good for this Methodist minister. It's time people woke up and realized that it is not Christian to judge someone for they way they were born.

@Commodore: Let me get this straight: People actually believe that an "accepting home environment" is responsible for a child being gay?

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

The church has the right to do that, good for them.

Back Talk
Federal Way, WA

3 out of 4 would definitely show some element of "choice" is involved in being gay. I think at least some percentage of people in this group do so purely out of personal choice. The percentate is even higher if you include the people who openly identify themselves as bi sexual. For them, anything is acceptible.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Good for the church. It will take a lot of courage to stand up against the invasion of homosexual "acceptance."

Phoenix, AZ

Back Talk:

Your inference that either this is the choice of "some" or due to the home environment is not sustainable.

In the first place that vast majority of homosexuals do not come from an "accepting" home environment. In the second place for those that are great parents and do create an accepting home environment the majority of their children are not homosexual.

The last stand of those against equal rights for homosexuals is that it is a lifestyle choice and/or a sin. It has now long since been disproved that it is a lifestyle choice. Subsequently it is not an act of choice and can not be a sin.

J. S.
Houston, TX


What makes you so sure it is because "an accepting home environment", not because the three brothers have similar genes?

Phoenix, AZ

ChrisB: Yes the church has the right to do that. But that right does not make it the right thing to do. All churches have made poor decisions throughout their histories. Denying equal rights to certain groups of people is only one of many. Rectifying those poor decisions is always extremely difficult for a church. What is more difficult is a church showing repentance after correcting its mistakes. Study your history.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

@Back Talk, I agree. I think homosexuality has almost become a sort of fad lately. Given the amount of attention that homosexuals get whenever they do something these days, I think many people choose to live that lifestyle out of desired attention.

Also, I found it interesting going around the news this past week was the story of a lesbian waitress who was given no tip but instead a note was left saying the patrons couldn't support her lifestyle. What was interesting was the waitress never told the family she was a lesbian, and yet she claims a tip wasn't left because she is gay. The comment was only that the family couldn't support her lifestyle, it didn't say anything about her being gay. And we're constantly told by those who support BLTG people that its impossible to tell someones sexuality by how they dress, act, or cut their hair. So how could this family has possibly known she was a lesbian?

Point is, I think people do things to get attention and I think gays often do dress/act in a way to ensure everyone knows they are gay. Its an attention thing often.

American Fork, UT

There's talk here about gay being a personal choice somehow, the goal being that defining it as a choice means that it can be modified by coercion or force, both of which religion is comfortable with. I just don't see it as a choice. Even today, and almost everywhere, being gay is to be abused and discriminated against. Sometimes in the most horrible ways. I can't imagine anyone choosing that.

Filthy Kuffar
Spanish Fork, UT

And we're surprised by this? We are living in the last days, folks. Expect even more debauchery and evil from here on out. This day has been prophesied for millenia, and we are seeing prohesy unfold right before our very eyes. See 2 Timothy 3:1-7 for an insight of what we are dealing with from a religious perspective.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT


Your cries of equal rights don't hold much water unless you people all start fighting for polygamists to be able to marry, as well as 2 brothers who wish to be married. Come back when you truly support equal rights for all and I'll listen. Until then, you're still picking and choosing like everyone else.

Phoenix, AZ

Chris B: I would agree some BLTG's do things to get attention. And?? So do a heckofa lot of other people. Everyone has different personal styles. Some BLTG's like to dress flamboyantly, some do not. I know a lot of straight people that dress in ways I would consider flamboyant. That's fine for them. Some BLTG's are doing it to get attention for their cause. That's fine also. Finding ways of bringing attention to a cause is one of the most common things there is.

The main reason many BLTG's are bringing this to the forefront now is because there is change happening and that is how change happens. Same as all other civil rights changes in this country.

The point is... they deserve equal rights the same as the rest of us do. They are well on the way of receiving them. And a lot of the reason is... they bring attention to the mistreatment they have endured.

Phoenix, AZ

Chris B: Why yes I am "picking and choosing", never said I wasn't. There is a definite difference between to gays marrying and two brothers marrying. The same as there is a difference between an adult and a minor being married. The same as there is a Difference between an adult and an animal marrying.

Jumping from equal rights for gays to "anything goes" is another attempt to confuse the issue. Because you are for one does not mean you are for all. That is the same argument used in the past to restrict non same races being able to marry or non same religions to be able to marry.

Here, UT

@Chris B:

1) Polygamists are already allowed to marry the (first) person of their choice. We're fighting to be able to do even that much, we can worry about those who want extra marriages once we cross this first bridge.

2) When did you choose to be straight? Have you any idea how much time and energy most of us spent simply trying to change to straight? Enormous amounts of energy, all to no avail - it is NOT a choice.

3) I don't really care what your religions do, as long as they stop interfering in the lives of people who do not belong to their organizations. Until that ends, there is going to be a fight.

@Filthy Kuffar;

Your "prophetic" fantasies are fiction. Nothing more. As for "decadent", why don't you look at how the religious leaders are living lives of luxury; now there's some real decadence.

mid-state, TN

@Chris B --

"people do things to get attention..."

Oh, sure.

All those gay kids living out on the streets because their parents threw them out -- just did it for the attention.

All those gay men and women getting bashed and even killed every day just for being gay -- just did it for the attention.

All those gay men and women getting fired, and not getting hired, every day just for being gay -- just did it for the attention.

All those gay couples being denied equal marriage rights just for being gay -- just did it for the attention.


"What was interesting was the waitress never told the family she was a lesbian, and yet she claims a tip wasn't left because she is gay."

This waitress -- a former Marine, btw -- initially shocked her customers because she has short hair, which the wife specifically commented on.

Another waiter at a different restaurant was left a non-tipping note reading (edited for DN): ""We hope you will see the tip your (gay) choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly," "It is never too late for GOD’S love, but none shall be spared for (gays).”

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT


You're using the same argument used in the past to restrict non same races or non same religions from marrying for polygamists or brothers not being able to marry. Why is the love between polygamists or two brothers any less real than between two gay men?

mid-state, TN

@Chris B --

"Your cries of equal rights don't hold much water unless you people all start fighting for polygamists to be able to marry"

Here we go again.

TWO facts are necessary in order to justify the legalization of gay marriage:

1. Marriage is a civil right;


2. Gay marriage in particular does not cause a significantly increased risk of harm compared to other forms of marriage.

Now, marriage in general clearly IS a civil right, as established by the US Constitution and reaffirmed by multiple SCOTUS decisions.

AND nobody has ever been able to show that gay marriage causes a significantly increased risk of harm to anyone.

In stark contrast, polygamy is very well known to convey a significantly increased risk of harm to women and children in particular.

Therefore, polygamy fails to qualify under the harm principle.

The harm principle is a universal legal principle that is very often used to limit our rights and freedoms. For instance, we have no "right" to drive drunk, because drunken driving significantly increases the risk of harm to others.

Similarly, polygamy conveys a significantly increased risk of harm. Therefore our government has an interest in continuing to ban it.

Christopher B
Ogden, UT


But I thought it was impossible for people to know others sexuality based on how they act, dress, talk, and cut their hair? Gays don't shove their sexuality in others faces and don't dress/cut their hair in a certain way in order to flaunt their life choices.

That's what we hear all the time.

So how did the family know she was a lesbian?

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