New Episcopal Leader Says Homosexuality a Gift from God
Katharine Jefferts Schori, whose weekend election as the leader of U.S. Episcopaleans was already likely to spark incredible controversy, has wasted no time adding fuel to the fire, telling CNN that not only is homosexuality not a sin, it’s a gift from the God.
Newly elected leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said on Monday she believed homosexuality was no sin and homosexuals were created by God to love people of the same gender. Jefferts Schori, bishop of the Diocese of Nevada, was elected on Sunday as the first woman leader of the 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church. the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. She will formally take office later this year.
Interviewed on CNN, Jefferts Schori was asked if it was a sin to be homosexual. “I don’t believe so. I believe that God creates us with different gifts. Each one of us comes into this world with a different collection of things that challenge us and things that give us joy and allow us to bless the world around us,” she said. “Some people come into this world with affections ordered toward other people of the same gender and some people come into this world with affections directed at people of the other gender.”
Steven Taylor agrees that “letting the whole ‘woman in charge of the denomination’ thing sink it first might’ve been a good idea before jumping into the next controversy….”
I’ve got no theological dog in this fight but find it rather amusing. It’s rather clear that the few biblical references to homosexual relations consider it a sin but it’s far from clear that it’s any more of a sin than, say, lustful thoughts. Indeed, it presumably ranks below dishonoring one’s parents and coveting your neighbor’s possessions on the sin food chain, given that two of the Ten Commandments focused on those evils whereas the only sexual misconduct included was the prohibition against adultery.
Schori’s statement to CNN has some wiggle room, though, in that she does not distinguish between “homosexuality” as a predisposition and homosexual relations as a practice. One could certainly argue that the former, and the internal struggles it would bring to the devout, are a “gift” in the sort of way that the trials and tribulations of human existence constitute. One has to stretch Christian teaching to the breaking point, however, to conclude that the latter was handed down as a gift from the Almighty to be enjoyed along with all the others.