A Faithful Dialogue in Lexington, KY
September 23, 2011
Post by Joanna Blotner, Religion and Faith Program Coordinator
Our Lexington equality bus stop wrapped last night with a lively conversation on UK’s campus about religion, sexuality and gender. “A Faithful Dialogue: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and our Religious Communities” welcomed a diverse group of students and community members alike to give voice to an otherwise silenced struggle for all too many – a struggle to reconcile their religious upbringing or beliefs with LGBT identities. The featured panelists included four local clergy, all of whom are superstar advocates for equality in their own right: Rev. Laurie Brock of The Episcopal Church of St. Michael the Archangel, Rabbi Marc Kline of Temple Adath Israel, Rev. Cynthia Cain of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lexington and Rev. Marsha Charles of Bluegrass United Church of Christ. UK LGBT Task Force member Sally Evans served as the panel’s moderator. Sally was a natural for this role, herself having a very common story to many students on campus growing up in a Pentecostal church and then serving as a youth pastor until she could no longer hide her conflict with faith and sexuality.
The panel tackled tough questions like, “How do you respond [with compassion] to those that argue, ‘We love the sinner but hate the sin?’" and “How can gay Christians live out a belief in traditional sexual ethics?” and more. The clergy panel offered unique some unique and powerful insights for the audience about the many ways to understand holy scriptures in relation to our lives and reminding us to engage with one another in ways that fulfill the commandment to “love God, love your neighbor and love yourself.” My personal favorite one -iner of the evening came from Rabbi Marc: “Judaism has always seen the Bible as a starting point for conversation, not the answer.” Hopefully everyone left the room feeling empowered with new tools to continue this important conversation.
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