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Of The Spirit

This page contains the Revised Spiritual Leaders' Statement with electronic sign-on, followed by articles of interest to religious and spiritual persons.

 



Revised Spiritual Leaders' Statement
sign-on

Note to clergy/spiritual leaders:  The Revised Spiritual Leaders' Statement (below) has replaced the Original Spiritual Leaders' Statement, having the advantages of being transgender-inclusive and specifically referencing same-gender civil marriage.  You may sign on to the Revised Spiritual Leaders' Statement if you are a clergy member (or spiritual leader for those groups which do not have "clergy") whose residence and/or ministry is in Delaware.  Just fill in the blanks and submit below. This document is used to educate, to lobby for fairness legislation, and to be your perpetual witness to civil rights equality. And thank you for doing God's work!

To sign the Revised Spiritual Leaders' Statement, please complete the below:

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When you click on "Submit" you have signed the Revised Spiritual Leaders' Statement

Please expect contact from Douglas Marshall-Steele verifying your submission.  Also, if you do not see your name listed as a signatory within 48 hours, please email douglas.marshallsteele@gmail.com as a computer glitch may have prevented your submission from going through.


REVISED SPIRITUAL LEADERS' STATEMENT

Love for and respect of one's fellow human beings are perhaps the most prominent and universal core values of the many spiritual and religious traditions that have ever existed.  While sometimes differing markedly in many other ways, spiritual and religious persons and groups can at least agree with this tenet:  "We have a deep and abiding obligation to love and respect others." Indeed, not treating others respectfully or as we would want to be treated is seen by the various faith traditions as moral failure.

As leaders representing a wide variety of spiritual expression in the State of Delaware, we strongly support the full civil rights, including civil marriage, of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, and see such support as being very consistent with our spiritual belief.

Signed,

JEWISH (CONSERVATIVE; RECONSTRUCTIONIST; REFORM; UNAFFILIATED)
Rabbi Michael Beals

Rabbi Micah Becker-Klein
Rabbi Peggy de Prophetis
Rabbi David B. Kaplan
Cantor George A. Mason
Cantor Ruth Landau Ross
*
Cantor Mark Stanton
Ms. Beth Cohen

CATHOLIC (AMER.; OLD CATH. APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF THE AMERICAS)
The Rev. Msgr. Michael Carroll
The Rev. Msgr. Patrick Gaffney
The Rev. Carl Gregory Desmond
The Rev. Sub-Deacon Kenneth R. Warne

EPISCOPAL
The Rt. Rev. Wayne P. Wright
The Vy. Rev. William B. Lane
The Rev. Canon Dr. Mark Harris
The Rev. Canon Lloyd S. Casson

The Rev. Canon Thomas A. Kerr Jr.
The Rev. Canon Gary L. Rowe

The Rev. Dr. Jo Ann Barker
The Rev. Dr. Rayner W. Hesse Jr.

The Rev. Dr. Keith Hudson
The Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Kaeton
The Rev. Mary Louise Allen
The Rev. David Andrews
The Rev. David J. Archibald

The Rev. Earl Beshears*
The Rev. Patricia Bird
The Rev. Kim Capwell
The Rev. Celeste O. Cox

The Rev. John Desaulniers
The Rev. Patricia Downing
The Rev. Eunice Dunlap
The Rev. Paul W. Gennett Jr.
The Rev. Juan Victor George
The Rev. Ronald D. Gerber
The Rev. Carlyle Gill
The Rev. Edward E. Godden
The Rev. E. Perren Hayes
The Rev. Brad Hinton

The Rev. Larry Hofer
The Rev. Al Holland*

The Rev. Louise Howlett
The Rev. Peter B. Huiner
The Rev. Donna Jean Kiessling

The Rev. Elizabeth Rust Masterson
The Rev. Christopher C. Moore*
The Rev. Rita B. Nelson
The Rev. John B. Pumphrey
The Rev. Jeffrey Austin Ross
The Rev. Joseph M. Rushton
The Rev. Lara Shine Stroud*
The Rev. Anna M. Waid
The Rev. Rod Welles
The Rev. William H. Wickham III
The Rev. Virginia Wilder
The Rev. Max J. Wolf

The Rev. Tammy Wooliver*
The Rev. Deacon Cecily Sawyer Harmon
The Rev. Deacon Thomas McCormick
The Rev. Deacon Susan Phillips
The Rev. Deacon Sheila G. Sharpe
The Rev. Deacon Katherine Tate*
Abbess Barbara Conroy, Anamchara Fellowship
Sr. Kathleen Aidan, Anamchara Fellowship
Bro. William Morgan, Anamchara Fellowship
Mr. Jon J. Rania

LUTHERAN (ELCA)
The Rev. John Barton
The Rev. Richard F. Kauffman
The Rev. John Steinbruck**
The Rev. Thomas M. White
Mr. Robert T. Freeman

PRESBYTERIAN (PCUSA)
The Rev. James L. Moseley, Exec. Presbyter
The Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Taylor, Assoc. Exec. Presbyter

The Rev. Dr. Randall Clayton
The Rev. Dr. John W. Dean
The Rev. Dr. Frank Deming
The Rev. Dr. Lyle J. Dykstra
The Rev. Dr. Douglas D. Gerdts
The Rev. Dr. Gregory Knox Jones
The Rev. Dr. David C. Kaminsky
The Rev. Dr. Anne R. Ledbetter
The Rev. Dr. Nate Phillips
The Rev. Dr. Christopher Schooley*

The Rev. Fritz Ackerman*
The Rev. Robert G. Bolt
The Rev. Holly Clark-Porter

The Rev. Thomas C. Davis
The Rev. Elizabeth Doty
The Rev. Edee Fenimore
The Rev. Laurie J. Hiller
The Rev. Winona Holy
The Rev. Andrew W. Jacob
The Rev. Lois Lehman
The Rev. Brad Martin
The Rev. John D. Potter
The Rev. Kathie S. Pownall

The Rev. Barbara Price-Martin
The Rev. Neta Pringle
The Rev. Bob Richardson*

The Rev. Jane Ritterson
The Rev. Timothy D. Rodden
The Rev. Nancy L. Rowland
The Rev. Emily Schwenker
The Rev. Katherine Simons
The Rev. Patricia S. Singleton**
The Rev. Robert D. Stoddard

The Rev. Thomas R. Stout
The Rev. Robert Undercuffler

The Rev. Jennifer P. Warren
The Rev. Michael Williams

The Rev. J. Cameron Yorkston

UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
The Rev. Dr. C. Dusty Pruitt

The Rev. Patricia Carque
The Rev. Dorothy Greet
The Rev. Cynthia E. Robinson
The Rev. David Weddington*

BAPTIST (AMER.; SOUTHERN)
The Rev. Dr. David Albert Farmer
The Rev. Dr. E. Jeffrey Mask
The Rev. J. Thomas Ledbetter
The Rev. James Warren

UNITED METHODIST
The Rev. Dr. Vicki Gordy-Stith, Dist. Supt.
The Rev. Derrick E. Porter, Dist. Supt.
The Rev. Dr. Jonathan Baker
The Rev. Dr. C. David Buchanan
The Rev. Dr. James C. Faltot
The Rev. Dr. H. Ward Greer

The Rev. Patrick Bowman Gordy-Stith
The Rev. H. Sterling Green
The Rev. John F. Holden
The Rev. Paul G. Huebner
The Rev. Patricia Loughlin

The Rev. Tom Pasmore
The Rev. Robert E. Paulen
The Rev. J. Christopher Pennington

The Rev. Anne Pruett-Barnett
The Rev. Mark M. Pruett-Barnett

The Rev. Thomas C. Short
The Rev. Debra Stanton
The Rev. Thomas Starnes
The Rev. Victoria Starnes
The Rev. Richard C. Stazesky

The Rev. Karin G. Tunnell
The Rev. Amy D. Yarnall

METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH
The Rev. Karla Fleshman

UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST
The Rev. Dr. Richard Speck, Dist. Exec.
The Rev. Dr. Joshua Snyder
The Rev. Greg Chute
The Rev. Barbara Gadon
The Rev. Keith Goheen
The Rev. Harvey Manchester

INTERFAITH
The Rev. Karen Laughman

EARTH-CENTERED (WICCA; WOMANSPIRIT)
Ms. Riva Brown

Mr. James E. Dickinson
Mr. Ivo Dominguez Jr.
Ms. Yvette Rudnitzky
Mr. Michael G. Smith
Ms. Coleen Walls
Mr. James Welch

 




*No longer in Delaware
**Now deceased

158 Signatories
Updated Mar. 31, 2015
Created & maintained by
Douglas Marshall-Steele doug@towardequality.org


Does the Bible really condemn gays?

Left: An excerpt from "For The Bible Tells Me So." Right: Matthew Vines examines six Bible passages.
More in-depth examinations of the Bible's "clobber passages" by The Rev. Colby Martin

And now, adapted from the Internet, an open letter to the Rev. Franklin Graham...Woman questioning

 

"Why can't I own Canadians?"

Dear Franklin Graham:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's law. I have learned a great deal from you and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. For example, when people try to defend the homosexual lifestyle, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's laws and how to follow them:

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves—both male and female—provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not to Canadians. Can you clarify?  Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them.  Should I smite them?

4. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states that he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

5. A friend of mine feels that, even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Leviticus 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality.  I don't agree.  Can you settle this? Are there "degrees" of abomination?

6. Leviticus 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20-20, or is there some wiggle room here?

7. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed—including the hair around their temples—even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus 19:27.  How should they die?

8. I know from Leviticus 11:7-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

9. My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field—as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton-polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Leviticus 24:10-16)?  Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Leviticus 20:14)?

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.  Thank you again for reminding us that Biblical laws are eternal and unchanging.


African American man with bowed head

 

"...And there is no new thing under the sun."
—Ecclesiastes 1:9

 

 

As the Bible is being used today to argue that LGBT persons are not entitled to equality or respect, it is informative to see how the Bible has been used to support racism:

"Slavery was established by decree of Almighty God...it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation...it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts." (Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America) 

"There is not one verse in the Bible inhibiting slavery, but many regulating it. It is not then, we conclude, immoral." (The Rev. Alexander Campbell) 

"The right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example." (The Rev. Richard Furman, D.D., Baptist minister in South Carolina) 

"Every hope of the existence of Church, and of State, and of civilization itself hangs upon our arduous effort to defeat the doctrine of negro suffrage." (Robert Lewis Dabney, Presbyterian theologian and professor at Union Theological Seminary)

"The doom of Ham has been branded on the form and features of his African descendants. The hand of fate has united his color and destiny. Man cannot separate what God hath joined."  (U.S. Sen. James Henry Hammond)

In 1959, trial judge Leon M. Bazile, upholding Virginia's anti-miscegenation law, said this:  "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay, and red, and he placed them on separate continents.  And but for the interference with his arrangements there would be no cause for such marriages.  The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

•••

As George Santayana put it, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

And from Blaise Pascal:  "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction."

 

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