Sunday, August 10, 2014

Major Baptist church in Washington DC addresses traditional attitudes in denomination toward homosexuality today


Today (Sunday, August 10, 2014), Dr. Stan Hastey, Interim Preaching Minister at the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC, gave a sermon, “Saying it Plainly: Everyone Is Included”, in which he took up the issue of LGBT people in the Christian protestant church.  This topic has not been often addressed in the church in which I grew up.
Hastey talked about his brother, who died of AIDS at age 49, but who came out at age 34, at one time causing some issues in the family, and withdrawing from sight for several years while living in the Houston Montrose area.  Hastey referred to that area as comparable to Dupont Circle, although now in Washington a comparison should include Shaw and the U-Street area. 

Hastey said that there was one “clobber” passage in the Epistles (I’m not sure if that’s the one in Romans, or Corinthians), and a few in the Old Testament, mostly Leviticus.  In all cases he believed that the passages really referred to pagan practices of relationships with underage males.  He did distinguish between the idea of “gay” and “sexual orientation”, which he accepted as immutable.  Churches have seized on a few passages to condemn all homosexuals the same way they seized on a small set of teachings to subjugate racial minorities or sometimes keep women from working,  He referred to a statement by Dr. Martin Luther King, that the most segregated hour in America was 11 AM on Sunday morning.

A number of years ago, Dr. James Somerfield, then pastor at FBC, organized a group to see the film “For the Bible Tells Me So” (Movies blog, Oct. 14, 2007).  Somerfield now has the First Baptist Church in Richmond.

Note, also, on Saturday the Washington Post reported that Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring asked the Supreme Court to review lower court rulings striking down Virginia’s 2006 Marshall-Newman Amendment, banning legal recognition of same-sex marriage and civil unions in Virginia. 

On the biological immutability argument, I still notice an oddity occasionally, as like on Friday night at the Cobalt.  An unusual large percentage of the men present (statistically) were much taller than average, some probably over 78 inches.  Maybe there is some coincidental epigenetic correlation to adult height. 

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