Hundreds of evangelical Lutherans got a gay shock this morning after eighty-two ministers staged a coming out of Biblical proportions. Protesting the churches ban on gays and gay marriage, God-loving queers lifted the veil and stopped living a lie.
One of the men, Rev. A. Dale Truscott, retired from his Michigan parish early to enjoy more time with his longtime lover, whom he kept hidden during his four year tenure at Saline’s Holy Faith Episcopal and Lutheran Church.
I retired a couple of years sooner than I needed to because of this. I have been quiet and tried to keep the peace, and it’s very painful. You finally get to the point in your life where you’re tired of the pain.
The active, retired and on leave reverends, pastors and seminarians plan on making their voice heard at next week’s Lutheran conference in Chicago. During this biennial event, Lutheran leaders will discuss, among other things, the role of gays in the broader church community.
The current ELCA sexual policy reads thus:
Married ordained ministers are expected to live in fidelity to their spouses, giving expression to sexual intimacy within a marriage relationship that is mutual, chaste, and faithful. Ordained ministers who are homosexual in their self-understanding are expected to abstain from homosexual sexual relationships.
Truscott and his freshly out friends hope the church will change it’s anti-gay policy. Not surprisingly, more than a few good Lutherans maintain their archaic, hateful ways.
Head Bishop Mark Hanson, however, insists the Evangelical Lutherans will not succumb to schism:
I’m certainly hearing concerns … for how the relationships would be impacted. I hear ‘impacted’ not ‘severed.’ I hear honesty in that statement, but I also hear an invitation. The Lutheran communion has not come to the point of division over human sexuality. It’s not to minimize the tension, but it is to affirm the thoughtfulness with which we have engaged each other.
Hanson’s but one man among 4.8 million. Let’s hope he can stick to his guns and get shit done.
For a complete list of the outed religionists, download this pdf.