Religious Groups Divided on Approach to Same-Sex Unions

via Guardian News
OPINION | This article contains the author's opinion.

The recent Vatican declaration allowing priests to bless same-sex couples has sparked divisions within the Catholic Church, with supporters of LGBTQ inclusion welcoming the move and conservative bishops condemning it.

This debate mirrors similar controversies in other Christian denominations such as the Anglican Communion and the United Methodist Church.

The Anglican Communion recently allowed blessings of same-sex partnerships, causing uproar among conservative bishops, while the United Methodist Church is experiencing a slow-motion breakup over LGBTQ-related policies. (Trending: Michelle Obama Admits Being ‘Terrified’ Ahead of 2024)

Ryan Burge, a political science professor at Eastern Illinois University and pastor of an American Baptist church, said, “A lot of denominations are in the position where you have to make a decision — you can’t be wishy-washy anymore.”

“That’s the tension they’re facing: how to keep older conservatives in the fold while attracting younger people,” he continued.

“African bishops have this ammunition. They say to the West, ‘We’re the ones growing. You have the money, we have the numbers,’” explained Burge.

Kim Haines-Eitzen, a professor of religious studies at Cornell University, said, “Christianity is incredibly diverse — globally, theologically, linguistically, culturally.”

“There are bound to be these incredibly divisive issues, especially when bound up in scriptural interpretation. That’s what keeps world religions alive — that kind of push and pull,” she continued.

Sarah Mullally, bishop of London, said, “What we have proposed as a way forward does not go nearly far enough for many, but too far for others.”

Brent Leatherwood, president of the Southern Baptists’ public policy commission, said, the Catholic Church “has been on a trajectory that seems destined for the allowance of same-sex marriage.”

“The reality is marriage has been defined by God … It is a union between one man and one woman for life,” he continued.

“Southern Baptists remain anchored in this truth,” said Leatherwood.

These issues reflect broader tensions within Christianity over marriage, sexuality, and LGBTQ inclusion.

Other major religions, such as Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, also have varying attitudes toward LGBTQ issues, but the level of division seen in Christianity is not as prevalent.

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