In a shameful turn of events, the Methodist Church of South Africa has today betrayed the trust of all its non heterosexual members and supporters - and its foundational message of inclusive worship - by upholding the guilty verdict handed down at an earlier internal hearing which discontinued the services of Methodist minister Ecclesia de Lange - a Methodist minister who is also a gay woman for daring to marry her partner albeit in another church.
The Methodist Church of South Africa has thus fumbled a perfect opportunity to right past wrongs, to truly show a meaningful welcome to the pink community in its ranks - and has instead chosen to compound them by affirming instead rejection and bigotry.
Now all GLBTI people know that the leadership of the Methodist Church of South Africa is not welcoming and affirming - but is merely tolerant - and only tolerant up to a point of law.
We now see that we are good enough to serve, but only as long as we leave our natures at the church door - while others may come to the table of Christ as they wish to. We know now that we should not expect to be treated like everyone else - with equality, dignity or respect. We see now that the Methodist Church of South Africa has chosen to turn its back on us - and on the message of Christ who died for everyone, all inclusively.
It is with indignation and revulsion that I strongly condemn this hateful act of discrimination which enforces prejudice and which seeks to overturn the very actions and sentiments which resulted in the very same organisation taking a heroic stand against Apartheid in the 1980's. I find the convenience of their morality and the hypocrisy evident in this, shocking and truly profound.
I am utterly disgusted by this display of prejudice on the part of the Methodist Church of South Africa, as it is not simply Ecclesia alone who is on the receiving end of this unjust and willful act of hatred and bigotry - it is ALL of us.
Organizers of the support group which has supported Ecclesia have announced plans for legal action. I support them wholeheartedly in this. It is time that churches found out that Constitutional rights and equalities for all people do not end at the church door. It is time these hypocrites and back stabbers learned that they too are subject to higher laws which grant equality to everyone - even those they do not like - and to laws which abolish persecution on unreasonable grounds. It is time they learned that, as employers - they are NOT above the laws of the land. It is time they learn that they are a church - and not the law.
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