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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill

5.28.2007

The Religious Left Does It Again

The nice thing about being Catholic is not having to get into these kinds of messes:

Should members of the clergy be permitted to change their sexual identity?

The issue is now coming up for the SECOND time among United Methodists in Maryland. A United Methodist minister in Baltimore has informed the denomination's Baltimore-Washington Conference that she has morphed from the Rev. Ann Gordon into the Rev. Drew Phoenix.

A closed session of the clergy will discuss the issue during the regional body's annual conference, now under way in Washington, D.C. The minister's name change is already reflected on her church's website. The former Rev. Ann Gordon now reportedly professes a male identity as Rev. Drew Phoenix.

According to the congregation's website, St. John's United Methodist Church embraces a "diversity" that "reflects the many facets of God's creation in our age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic status, work and educational experience, physical and mental abilities, and spiritual needs."

Rev. Phoenix's case is not unique. In 2002, the Baltimore-Washington Conference had a similar controversy, when Rev. Richard Zamostny had a sex change operation and became Rebecca Steen. That minister's request to return to the active pastorate was ultimately sidetracked and Zamostny/Steen left the ordained ministry of the United Methodist Church.

Like most denominations, the United Methodist Church has no explicitly stated, official policies regarding gender identity issues or sex change operations. And like nearly all churches, the denomination does officially disapprove of homosexual behavior and expects traditional Christian sexual ethics of its clergy. Rev. Phoenix's congregation supports the "Reconciling" movement within United Methodism, which campaigns to overturn the church's official teachings on marriage and sexual ethics.

Unlike with Rev. Zamostny, it is not clear whether Rev. Phoenix has had any gender reassignment surgery. A recent visit to her Baltimore congregation found the petite pastor wearing khaki slacks and a blue blazer. During the social hour after the service, congregants referred to their pastor in the masculine sense. Models of butterflies were prominently featured in the church, perhaps metaphorically illustrating the pastor's metamorphosis. The name "Phoenix" also conjures up images of birthing a new identity.


The answer to the opening question is, "No."

God does not err. We are created with the proper gender, and those afflictions of body, mind, and soul not self-inflicted do not excuse us from proper behavior. It is interesting but perhaps unsurprising that people who have supposedly devoted their lives to God's worship and the spreading of His word would believe He erred so terribly in their own creation as to merit extreme and dangerous surgery.

Is it not more likely that the creature is twisted and the Creator straight and true?

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