That’s the thinking of the Rev. Ian Watson, who’s none too pleased with some folks making the case for inclusion of gays in the Church of Scotland. The Presbyterian church, which counts about 14 percent of Scotland’s population as followers, is battling over whether the openly gay Rev. Scott Rennie (pictured) should be allowed into the flock — a typical debate whenever you mix religion and sexuality. But what’s this business about pro-inclusion supporters being labeled members of the Third Reich?
Later this month leaders from The Kirk (as the church is known) will rule on the Rev. Rennie’s appointment, with loud voices being heard on both sides. Rennie’s supporters want everyone to look “the issue in the light of biblical faith rather than with anger and prejudice” while opponents insist “the Church should not ‘train, ordain, admit, readmit, induct or introduce to any ministry of the church anyone involved in a sexual relationship outside of marriage between a man and woman.'”
As for the incendiary comments from Rev. Watson? Ekklesia:
In a sermon which religious leaders and politicians have condemned as “deeply disturbing”, the Rev Ian Watson invoked the failure to stand up to the Nazi annexation of the Rhineland in 1938 as a parallel for the refusal of many in the Church of Scotland to join an anti-gay crusade.
The sermon was delivered last Sunday at Kirkmuirhill Church in Lanark and then posted on Mr Watson’s blog. He heads the group Forward Together, which opposes the recognition of gay people in the life, work and ministry of the church.
Rennie, meanwhile, is looking on the brightside.
Scott Rennie, the minister who is being challenged says that the opposition to him has actually “strengthened my faith and heightened my sense of call” to serve the Kirk.
In an interview with the OneKirk Journal, Mr Rennie, aged 37, says that the past few months have been “hugely stressful and distressing” for him and for his partner, David.
Mr Rennie spent nine years as minister at Brechin Cathedral, before applying for the post at Queen’s Cross parish, where he now serves. He was elected by 86 per cent of the church’s congregation, a vote ratified by the Presbytery of Aberdeen in January 2009.
Forward Together, which has campaigned against him, has had to apologise to Mr Rennie after it wrongly claimed that he had left his wife to set up home with his partner.
Sound familiar? That’s because New Hampshire’s Bishop V. Gene Robinson faced the same disinformation campaign.