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.Someone needs to explain to me why God cares so much about our sexual orientations.
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.
I guess the RENEW leadership and other conservative Christians know what God would want done if God had all the facts at hand.