A St. Paul, Minnesota, Roman Catholic priest denied communion to more than a hundred people on Sunday, May 15, saying they could not receive the sacrament because they wore rainbow-colored sashes to church to show their support for gay Catholics.
The Associated Press reported, in a May 16 story, that a group called the Rainbow Sash Alliance has encouraged supporters to wear the multicolored fabric bands since 2001 on each Pentecost Sunday, the day many Christians celebrate the Holy Spirit’s coming to give power to Christians soon after Jesus ascended to heaven. But Sunday’s Minnesota service was the first time these activists were actually denied communion at the altar.
In an expression typical of liberal support for these activists Sister Gabriel Herbers said she wore her sash to show sympathy for the gay and lesbian community. She noted that their sexual orientation ”is a gift from God just as much as my gift of being a female is."
The activist nun’s quote undercores the primary argument now advanced by the homosexual community and its supporters. Sexual inclination, or "orientation" as it is called, is inherent in our genes and thus a gift from God as much as maleness or femaleness. That there is absolutely no proof for this claim never seems to get in the way of the claim. In this case, if the claim is made often enough, and loud enough, people will buy into it in due time.
I am profoundly grateful for the stand the Minnesota priest took. I wonder how evangelical Protestant ministers would respond to a similar scenario. It may not be long until we find out. If we will not stand with, and for, our Catholic brothers and sisters on an issue as central as this one we will probably not have the courage to stand ourselves when our time comes.
If your church leadership has not thought through a public response to this kind of scenario I urge you to do so now before the time is too late. In twenty years much of our religious and social freedom in this area may be completely removed (by hate speech laws, etc.) but the requirement to stand for the truth of the gospel, and thus for moral clarity, will still remain. Where will the churches that major on the easy road that supposedly leads to Christ be then?