12 May 2006

NEWS: United Methodist invitation to Indigo Girls singer draws fire

This item is forwarded from the United Church of Christ News Web Site:
The choice of lesbian singer Emily Saliers of the music duo Indigo Girls as a keynote speaker at the United Methodist Women’s Assembly in Anaheim, Calif., has created controversy.

Saliers spoke May 6 at the conference along with her father, the Rev. Don E. Saliers of Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. They addressed an estimated 8,000 women on their new co-written book entitled "A Song to Sing, A Life to Live."

Saliers' sexual orientation has been the topic of controversy for some conservatives, but event organizers instead have cited her "spiritual and theological understandings and (her) commitment to justice for women and children" as reasons for the invitation.

The Indigo Girls have devoted much of their 14 records spanning 18 years to themes of social justice and environmental awareness. The elder Saliers is the author of a dozen books and is president of the North American Academy of Liturgy and the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality.

Some groups, however, have criticized the church for giving a prominent speaking slot to a lesbian, noting that the Methodists' constitution says the church cannot "condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching."

"...Even if Ms. Saliers does not openly advocate for the acceptance of homosexual practice in the Assembly presentations, her public recognition as a lesbian icon puts the Women's Division in the place of endorsing the lesbian lifestyle and of offending the women of the church," said Faye Short, president of RENEW, a conservative women's organization.

The Indigo Girls won a Grammy award for "Best Contemporary Folk Recording" in 1989. Singer Amy Ray is the other half of the duo.
Someone needs to explain to me why God cares so much about our sexual orientations.

I guess the RENEW leadership and other conservative Christians know what God would want done if God had all the facts at hand.

1 comment:

The dykes next door said...

Steve, thank you for always being there to stand up for us. Thank you for your courage to take on all issues and for being a voice for liberal religious expression/opinions. I know what it is like to be in a community where there is no one to point out the absurd and stand up for others. Most people these days are afraid to voice their opinions if they are liberals for fear of reprisal. We have let the conservatives act like they are the moral and ethical ones, when in reality they are neither. Thank you again, Steve. You are very much appreciated.