Chapter 6: Real People and Real Marriage
In this chapter, Rogers deals with some of the stereotypes and language that surrounds the topic of homosexuality. For example, many times you’ll hear people refer to “the gay lifestyle” as inherently promiscuous, sinful and the specter of AIDS. This is just one way in which people use the power of language and perceptions to foster fear against the LGBT community. Rogers likes to point out the injustices and inequalities that exist in our current system, especially when it comes to issues related to clergy sexual misconduct. Rogers speaks about male PC(USA) pastors who have affairs with women in their congregations:
“…These heterosexual male pastors who have clearly violated the teaching of Scripture, their marriage vows, their ordination vows, by having affairs with female parishioners, are usually treated as individuals, with restoration always a possibility. But in the case of homosexual people the church makes a blanket a priori that none of them is worthy of ordination to serve as deacon, elder, or minister of Word and Sacrament” (93).
It would have been interesting if this chapter would have been written after the recent passing of Prop 8 in California. Rogers believes that the issue of ordaining people who are gay and lesbian is linked to the issue of marriage. Specifically in the Presbyterian Church (USA), candidates for ministry are supposed to be married or celibate. And since LGBT folk are barred from marriage in the church, we give LGBT persons one option: to remain celibate and not express their God-given sexuality.