Pastor's Support of Gay Marriage Costs Him His Congregation

Thursday, June 14, 2012

We're talking all this week about how homosexuality is perceived in American life, from politics to the church, and the challenges openly gay Americans face. 

Yesterday we spoke with Wade Davis, a former NFL player who recently revealed that he is gay. Today we look at same-sex marriage and religion with Reverend Oliver White, pastor of Grace Community United Church of Christ in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

In 2005, Reverend White attended a national United Church of Christ assembly in Atlanta, where, with a majority of attendees, he voted in favor of a resolution supporting same-sex marriage. Two-thirds of Reverend White's congregation soon abandoned the church. The congregants left with their money, and in 2007, Reverend White was forced to take out a loan to keep the church afloat. Grace Community United now owes the bank $200,000, a sum that must be paid by June 30 or the church will have to close its doors for good.

Reverend White discusses his stance on LGBT rights and how same-sex marriage is often perceived in predominantly African-American churches.

Guests:

Reverend Oliver White

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [7]

The practice of usury is prohibited in the bible and the bankers' lifestyle inflicts more human suffering than two dudes getting married can ever promise. Where's the congregation's outrage in that impious behavior?

Jun. 15 2012 10:12 AM
Ariadne from NYC

@Ed from Matthews, NC: "King James had the Bible translated into English." Yes, the key word there is "translated." King James was a political figure and his commissioning of the translation is undoubtedly imbued with the agendas of his day and country, including his foreign and religious policies. If you truly want to read the bible as it was originally written, you are better off learning ancient Greek and Hebrew, studying the cultural and literary customs and traditions of writers 2,000 years ago, and reading and ascertaining for yourself what the book's meaning(s) is (are). Because the King James' bible is as much an interpretation of the original texts as it is a translation.

Let's also remember that religion - and the Christian bible - has been used to justify many horrible things throughout history, including slavery.

Jun. 14 2012 08:05 PM
listener

Was there this much sympathy for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure defunding campaign recently?

Jun. 14 2012 12:00 PM
Ender Locke

In a leadership position in any organization you must support the general idea of that organization or you lose people who follow you. In this position it’s understandable that people who disagreed with what the pastor said left as he lost his leadership position. That’s just part of the job.

Jun. 14 2012 10:30 AM
Ed from Matthews, NC

Thank God, the Great Jehovah, that King James had the Bible translated into English where everyone can read the Word for themselves and not have the priest or pastor tell us what it says. We can read it for ourselves. The UCC has taken the wrong road and the people have followed the Holy Spirit and left the Heresy that they have taught. The leadership in Cleveland has been taken over by Atheists, Agnostics and Heretics. I hope they repent and turn back to, teach and preach the Word of God. It is sad seeing the empty UCC buildings around the country. The leadership in Cleveland must be changed. I hope the UCC parishioners fast and pray and read the Bible of their forefathers.

Jun. 14 2012 09:53 AM
Ariadne from NYC

Good on you, Rev. White, for standing up for basic human rights and not doggedly following religious intolerance - if only more religious leaders would follow your lead. I hope you're able to find your financial footing again and keep setting a great example.

Jun. 14 2012 09:29 AM
Ed from Larchmont

This is technically not a church, because it lacks the Eucharist, but is an ecclesiastical community. But it's not at all uncommon for members of these communities to change because of disagreements with teachings of specific pastors. Also, the people who left aren't 'judging' homosexual persons, they are refusing to endorse the act of homosexuality, two different things.

Jun. 14 2012 07:29 AM

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