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Against Indifference

posted Apr 29, 2017, 3:07 PM by Gary Walpole

The Judicial Council, the supreme court of the United Methodist Church, ruled Friday, April 28. 2017 that the first openly elected lesbian Bishop, Karen Oliveto, is in violation of church law barring the ordination of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals.” But rather than removing her from her office of Bishop or invalidating her ordination credentials they referred the case back the Western Jurisdiction who unanimously consecrated her to be a Bishop. This is an administrative geological area of the United States made up of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Her consecration was immediately challenged by the South-Central Jurisdiction made up of the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

This is just the latest in an intensifying conflict about the inclusion of LGBTQ with the United Methodist Church.

During this Easter Season, I have been reflecting on a quote by writer, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, “The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.”

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines indifferent as “marked with impartiality: unbiased.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines indifferent as “the quality of not caring or being uninterested in something or someone.”

The United Methodist Judicial Council followed the letter of the United Methodist law and in doing so is trying to remain unbiased, indifferent. Resurrection screams as loudly as possible, “the time for indifference has past.” It is time for the United Methodist Church to proclaim that the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Resurrection are for all of God’s children!

Once again, the United Methodist Church has found a way put up a road block of injustice against people within the LGBTQ (LGBTQ stands for - lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, queer) community.

In a United States that is quickly realizing a person’s sexual orientation is a gift, the United Methodist Church has found a way to deny “God’s work of justice, reconciliation, and healing” to transform the world. A world that is infused people of faith from the LGBTQ community; gifted LGBTQ people participating in our United Methodist Churches and even serving as ordained leaders and a bishop within the United Methodist Church.

If you wish to read more about the Judicial Council’s ruling and articles from the Denver Post and Washington Post, or New York times you can click the links below;

http://www.umc.org/decisions/71953

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/04/28/gay-bishop-karen-oliveto-methodist-church/

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/28/us/methodist-high-court-rejects-first-gay-bishops-consecration.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/methodist-court-ruling-a-blow-for-openly-lesbian-bishop/2017/04/28/d76509e4-2c74-11e7-9081-f5405f56d3e4_story.html?utm_term=.67a8e3573a61

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