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PCUSA Continues to Walk a Fine Line

Timothy Kincaid

October 3rd, 2008

A Presbyterian court has found that a pastor accused of violating church law by conducting a marriage between two women was not guilty (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

A church court of Pittsburgh Presbytery ruled 9-0 that the Rev. Janet Edwards did not violate scripture or the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) when she conducted what she has always said was the marriage of two women in 2005.

However, their decision appears to be based on creative reasoning and a desire to be two opposite things at once – one dictated by policy, one by an urge towards decency.

Since church and state define marriage as between a man and a woman, she cannot have done what she was accused of, the court ruled yesterday.

“It can’t be an offense to the constitution to attempt to do the impossible,” said the decision, read by the Rev. Stewart Pollock, chairman of the Permanent Judicial Commission of Pittsburgh Presbytery.

Even the prosecution appeared to be going through the motions, calling only one witness.

That no one seems scandalized by the decision and because the process seems more of a formality than a battle, I have hopes that the PCUSA is moving ever closer to full inclusion of their gay and lesbian members into the life of the church.

Comments

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Ben in Oakland
October 3rd, 2008 | LINK

If the intention of the minister was to marry the women, and if she used her spiritual powers that result from her being a minister to do it, doesn’t that mean that she performed a marriage? My cat believes that when I take her to the vet, if she just hides her head under my jacket, she really can’t be seen and technically isn’t there. Therefore, it isn’t happening. Or, it sounds like they are saying that a religious ceremony is not ‘real’ in some sense if a civil ceremony isn’t valid? Would they really want to go there?

all of these machinations to avoid the obvious make my head hurt.

Ben in Oakland
October 3rd, 2008 | LINK

if anyone is interested, I’m in the bowels of a hotel on a two day job, getting piad a lot of money to do almost nothing except read and surf the web. I’ve worked approximately 10 minutes in the 6.5 hours I’ve been here. So I may be posting a lot. This is the equivalent of a lfight to Europe, except that they are paying me.

Craig L. Adams
October 4th, 2008 | LINK

That’s a really weird ruling. Thanks for the report.

Ephilei
October 5th, 2008 | LINK

Oh, politics.

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