Council Within Rights to Suggest Same-Sex Blessing
TO THE EDITORS
I am writing in response to Randy Karger's piece entitled "Appropriating the Pulpit" in the Feb. 3rd issue of the Crimson. In this piece, Mr. Karger denounces the Undergraduate Council for passing a resolution that encourages Memorial Church to "sanction administering same-sex blessing ceremonies at Memorial Church by clergy willing to perform such ceremonies."
It is necessary to first correct a vital factual flaw in Mr. Karger's article. Mr. Karger writes that the Undergraduate Council has no business calling upon Harvard's non-discrimination policies as justification for why Memorial Church should allow same-sex blessing ceremonies because "then the church should not only allow same-sex blessing ceremonies but also stop discriminating against non-Christian religions and Jewish and Muslim services as well." In fact, Muslim and Jewish ceremonies have been performed in the church on numerous occasions for both holidays and weddings.
It is exactly because the church already allows such diverse ceremonies to take place, which certainly do not all fully comply with every literal word in the Bible, that it is unjust for Memorial Church to exclude homosexuals who wish to have their unions blessed in the Church, assuming those involved have a clergy member willing to perform the ceremony. Furthermore, the Church does receive some financial assistance from the University in terms of the maintenance of its buildings and grounds, which means that indirectly at least, students pay to support part of the Church. Therefore, it is clearly within the jurisdiction of the representatives of students to make a suggestion (which is all the resolution is ) about church policy.
It is worth noting that when I spoke to Reverend Gomes, he said he thought the more input the better, and said he would be happy to have us send him our resolution.
Mr. Karger quotes extensively from the Bible to come to the conclusion that "those with homosexual desires" are sinners who "face a very powerful obstacle indeed, but no less than any other sinners, they are called to overcome it."
Mr. Karger, If you would like to consider homosexuality a sin, you are entitled to do so, but please do not preach that nobody at Harvard can disagree. --Sam Spital '00