Archive for the ‘liberal religion’ Category

Liberal Morality

June 23, 2006

fall on your unbending knees before me, plastic peons!

In light of the recent sexual-morality kerfluffle in the Episcopal Church (which I have obsessive-compulsively covered on this here blog), and the interesting conversation about marriage (to snakes and dogs) over at Tres Toros, I thought this sermon by the Rev. Nathan Woodliff-Stanley might be timely. Woodliff-Stanley is a minister at Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, Colorado.

Meet Karen Johnson, a 19-year-old woman struggling to live off a minimum-wage job from a welfare-to-work program. She has a baby from a boyfriend who used to beat her up whenever he drank too much. She’s been trying to put her life back together as far away from him as possible. But Karen feels the pressure from her church and from government programs, both of which seem to be telling her that marriage is the solution to her problems. So she wonders if maybe she’d better go back to her boyfriend after all and marry him.

Now meet Kayla Jordan, a 26-year-old lesbian woman with a good job and a social work degree. She’s been in a loving relationship for several years. Kayla and her partner would love to get married and adopt a child, but her state government has told her that they will not be allowed to do either of these things. She also is not welcome with her partner at the church where she grew up.

What’s wrong with this picture?

In both cases, the problem flows from a conservative vision of morality that places more weight on ideological categories of right and wrong than on a genuine assessment of what does good or harm in real people’s lives. The conservative wing of our society has tried to claim the high ground on morality for a long time, proclaiming it from pulpits, on the radio, and in TV talking points, repeatedly blaming liberals for a moral decline in our culture.

Well, I don’t buy it.

You can read the rest here.

Hat tip to Josh S., who pointed to this sermon in a comment thread over at Father Jake’s.