C.A.I. is a network of people, gay and heterosexual, lay and ordained,
We have a high view of the bible – the Word of God nourishes all we think and do. Bible reading and study is one of the things that all Christians are called by God to take seriously.
We do not accept that biblical references to homosexual behaviour in scripture can be fairly applied to the kind of faithful, lifelong relationships we wish to defend. The Sodom story in Genesis concerns gang rape, not a loving, permanent partnership, and its primitive morality (for example, when Lot offers his daughters to be raped instead of the men) means we can hardly take the text as an ethical guide. Similarly, while Leviticus includes homosexuality in its list of ‘abominations’ we must also note that it condemns a number of activities (lending money for interest; shaving the beard; weaving two kinds of cloth together) which scarcely worry us today.
When Paul mentions homosexual behaviour in Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 1, it is highly unlikely that he had in mind the concept of an equal same-sex partnership, but rather homosexual prostitution and pederasty, which were the most visible kind of homosexual practice in his own society. Also, it is clear from Romans 1.26 and 27 which mention men and women ‘exchanging’ homosexual sex, that Paul, like other Jewish and early Christian writers, believed homosexuality was a free and perverse choice, whereas we now understand that for most gay people there is no choice in the matter at all.
We find it ironic that most of those who disagree with us quote these few, highly ambiguous passages at us, while finding reasons to ignore other much clearer and more numerous scriptural texts – against divorce and remarriage, for example, or against women holding positions of authority. Their highly selective brand of literalism shows clearly that their position is based on prejudice, not on any genuine concern for biblical authority.
- To seek full acceptance and welcome for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons in the Churches in Ireland.
- The blessing of same-sex relationships in church using an authorised liturgy.
- Working towards change in the official teaching and attitude of theChurches in Ireland.
- Equality of opportunity for LGBT people, including the ordination and preferment of partnered lesbian and gay clergy.
- there is integrity in being both Christian and gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.
- gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are called by God to express their sexuality in loving, faithful and committed relationships.
- same-sex orientation is a God-given reality for a large minority of people, not a sin or a sickness.
- as the positive contribution of the gay community towards society becomes clearer, the church’s mission to this expanding group becomes urgent.
- The lives of Christian gay lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people can offer evidence of the fruit of the Spirit