Tuesday, December 28, 2010
An openly gay man has been elected to head North Carolina's Council of Churches. Stan Kimer, 55, is a retired businessman and a lay leader of the Metropolitan Community Church.
Only one other of the country's 33 similar church councils has elected an openly gay leader. Only one other of the country's 33 similar church councils has elected an openly gay leader. In California, a lesbian was elected president in the late 1990s. That makes Kimer's presidency of the N.C. Council - a coalition of 17 Christian denominations and eight individual churches that work on social issues - historic in the South. It also signals an acceptance among member denominations - Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Roman Catholics - that even if they have theological differences about homosexuality, they are OK with a gay man at the helm. Or at least, they don't see it as an issue worth fighting. "A lot of our member denominations have internal battles about this," said the Rev. George Reed, the council's executive director. "But the governing board felt the fact that he is a gay man was not a disqualifying factor."A sample reader comment on the above-linked Charlotte Observer story: "Having him over the board of church's is like building a mosck on ground zero. Its obsurd!!!! If he is a true Christian and in fact reads the word of god then he should know how the lord feels about homosexuals. Sir you are an abomination and when you burn your smoke and ashes will ascend up to his nostrils like insence. Read it for yourself!!!"