Andrew Belonsky

Are Separate Gay Prayers Equal?

Filed By Andrew Belonsky | November 13, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Finland, gay religion, News, politics

Religion and the gays have a tenuous relationship, at best. Some spiritual institutions admonish and damn the homos, sweetjesus.jpgwhile others welcome us with open arms.

The Finnish Episcopal Church, however, has found a middle ground of sorts: they're now offering special prayers for gay unions.

Is this good or bad?

After a decisive debate, the church decided to create a new prayer for same-sex unions. And, according to them, it's the only way forward. "The proposal offers a positive opportunity to minister to church members who are sexual minorities," said the General Synod. These prayers are "equal," although definitely, spiritually separate.

"A prayer moment is part of pastoral care ... It's not an official sacrament, but you can't say that a prayer is less important," explained a church spokesman.

Well, actually, I can.

While I'm supportive of religious groups including their LGBT congregants, I'm not entirely convinced that a distinct prayer system's the way to go. Sure, it's nice to be accepted -- who doesn't want an invitation to the proverbial ball? -- but this practice of creating special prayers for the gays strikes me as something of a religious purgatory: not entirely integrated, yet not removed.

If religious institutions want to move forward, they need to fully incorporate their LGBT brothers and sister, not concoct a distinct divinity just for them. Souls look the same, no matter who they love...


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Okay, if only lesbian couples can quote the book of Ruth. ;)

Acceptance, tolerance or even a "special" prayer are not necessary because there is nothing "wrong" with us. Oh, wait - Christians believe we are wrong, sinful and deviant. That traditional Christian belief has defined us for centuries. If the really want to do something significant, un-wrong homosexuality.

There isn't a single Christian denomination that has stated simply that "homosexuality is not wrong." Until they do that, I can't imagine why anyone gay would want to participate in the continued negative branding of homosexuality.

Rainbow flags, inclusion, acceptance, special prayers and even allowing gays to be preachers, is just marketing. Let them set the record straight before we support them.

Before I judge whether a "special" prayer for SSM is needed, I want to check the wording for the "standard" prayer. If it is all full of "God help the husband do this" and "God strengthen the wife to do that" then a change in wording is perhaps desirable.

Another case of splitting hairs and indulging the PC brigade's endless symptoms of PC-OCD.

Get over it.

Or maybe this whole post was meant to be a parody? ... Yeah, that's it! Please tell me you were just being sarcastic ...

I just received my latest UnderGear catalog today. It is full of skimpy male underwear and jockstraps that the average straight guy probably would not want to be caught dead in.

But can separate jockstraps also be equal? Where is the concept of equality in the jockstrap industry? How can I be equal to a straight guy if I can't wear the same jockstrap he is wearing? The nerve of a straight guy to think that he can command a jockstrap all to himself!

The decision was approved, not without conflict, by the synod's representatives of ministers and bishops in a vote of 78 for and 30 against. The vote can be seen as a concession of sorts to a groundswell of popular support within the church community for Christian gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

"A prayer moment is part of pastoral care ... It's not an official sacrament, but you can't say that a prayer is less important," Kailasmaa said.

The Church has been under pressure since a televised debate on gay marriage hosted by Finland's public broadcaster YLE featured church officials arguing that gay relationships were contrary to Biblical teachings and the values of the Church.

Although these opinions were in line with long-held Church doctrine, the publicity of the debate sparked a mass exodus, with more than 40,000 registered Lutherans quitting the church in the month following the debate.

40,000 quit because of us - great.

Link: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h2eV7ab8frVBeb_p3IiURGKrOWPA?docId=CNG.442824fa7c08853af96322d7315a6f02.e1

There is One God in the Christian faith, so different prayers are not supported from my understanding. Besides if we really wish to talk sin, and judgment is it not a sin to pass judgment upon our fellow man? I seem to recall verses Matthew 7:1-5 that admonishes us not to judge others. That judgment is reserved for one person John 5:22.

From my understanding of this, the purpose of the church is not to close their doors to anyone who seeks to worship. So the churches that deny Gay, Lesbian, and Transgendered people access to houses or worship may well be judged more harshly for their actions.

All this said I have likely gone too far into the Theological debate here than many have stomach for. So this is my final two cents on the matter so to speak.

More than 40,000 quit, and that reaction is the only important result about these events. "in 2010, the number of church members leaving the lutheran church of Finland has been increasing rapidly with an estimated number of between 70,000 - 80,000 or close to 2 % for the total year of 2010... " Citation in finnish - http://www.eroakirkosta.fi/media/none/tiedote_19_2010.html?year=2010

The significance of that number increases when you take into account the fact that "In Finland, as in other Nordic countries, most people go to church only occasionally, or on special occasions such as Christmas and weddings." wiki

Religion and anti-LGBT politicians are the enemy. Religion is a form of insanity composed of equal parts of greed, superstition and ignorance that comes howling straight out of the Dark Ages and prehistory.

Religion is humankinds greatest tragedy.

Prayers, seperate or not are for believers, people who've freely chosen a bizarre lifestyle that includes worshiping thunder gods and sky pixies, having heart to heart talks with invisible beings and renting copies of 'The Exorcist' for training seminars.

Separate prayers for Gays???

If one grew up in a Christian faith, one is taught to always ask the question: "What would Jesus do?". In reality the Jesus many were taught to believe in would not be welcome in alot (or maybe most) Christian churches today.

As for separate prayers: Isn't prayers a way to speak with God? It should not matter if one is Gay or straight.

FYI: I am a very spiritual person. I grew up in a faith where there is no dialog and Gays are not welcome. I speak with my God daily. I do not need a special prayer.