Source: The Wall Street Journal
Religious groups that oppose gay unions re-emphasize teachings, fine-tune their message
By TAMARA AUDI
In Michigan, where gay marriage is illegal, the Roman Catholic Church is running television ads this week “honoring traditional marriage.” The church’s seven dioceses in Michigan are celebrating a year of activities to provide “a precise understanding of why marriage between one man and one woman is important for families,” according to its website.
A spokesman for the Michigan Catholic Conference, which is spearheading the effort, said the church believed it was important to “be part of the conversation.”
Other churches are developing ways to include gay worshipers while refusing to condone same-sex unions—a practice that could increase if same-sex marriage is legalized across the country.
For example, a few gay parents have wanted to baptize their children in the Greek Orthodox Church, which opposes same-sex marriage. Bishops and priests might consider applying a broad principle that allows for infants to be baptized even if their parents are living outside of church teachings—as long as their godparents are in good standing with the church, said the Rev. Nathanael Symeonides, ecumenical officer of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
“The church would not deny the child,” he said, adding, “A priest would never have to deal with this until recently.”
The Rev. Nathan Lino, senior pastor of the Northeast Houston Baptist Church in Texas, said he is spending more time blogging and preaching about how to handle a possible legalization of gay marriage. His 12-year-old church of 1,000 congregants opposes homosexuality, but he said he is advising his followers to speak gently with their children and others who may have different views.
“We are teaching our people very practically to think through relationships with people in the LBGT community,” he said. One way is to promote a “holistic view” of marriage—that any deviation from the biblical view of marriage, including premarital sex, is wrong, he said.
Christians in his congregation aren’t advised to go into the corporate world “to crusade” against gay marriage, he said. But, if they are asked about it directly, “they have to be honest about it and face the consequences,” Mr. Lino said.
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