Queer Acceptance in Church: A Review of Progress

In releasing their goals for the next decade, the Religious Institute included a short review of progress over the last ten years for sexual and gender inclusion in church. While much remains to be done, the ten year view is encouraging. Now, I have been given an even longer term perspective. I have started reading Gary Comstock’s book, “Unrepentant, Self-Affirming, Practicing”,  on research into LGBT people of faith, which begins with a useful historical review. It is worth recognising that the present (limited) visibility of queers in church is no flash in the pan, but is part of an established and growing historical movement that now goes back over sixty years.

Breakthrough Publications

The publication of  John Boswell’s Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality and John McNeill’s The Church and the Homosexual at the end of the 1970’s are widely recognised as landmark publications at the start of the gay and  lesbian theology movement – but they were not the first. Read the rest of this entry »

Sexuality and Religion 2020: Goals for the Next Decade

The “Religious Institute” have marked the tenth anniversary of their Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality with a vision for the next decade: Sexuality and Religion 2020 Goals for the Next Decade.

There are strong religious reasons for a more affirming attitude to sexuality and gender.

Virtually all the world’s religions understand sexuality as a divinely bestowed capacity for expressing love and generating life, for mutual companionship and pleasure. They teach that sexuality calls for responsibility, respect and self-discipline; they honor loving, ethical relationships. They understand that sexuality may be celebrated with joy, holiness and integrity, but that it is also vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

All the major faiths, we are reminded, have rich histories and traditions celebrating sexuality and sexual diversity:  the Song of Songs in the Hebrew Bible, the Christian emphasis on embracing the stranger and the explicit welcome to Philip the eunuch, Islam’s recognition of the erotic dimension of spirituality, and Hindu deities that transcend sex and gender categories.

The report notes remarkable progress over the past decade in several areas: Read the rest of this entry »