Randall Miller believes his church should accept him as a gay man.
“As an openly gay man it causes a significant amount of personal pain for me when the church that I love says homosexuality is incompatable with Christian teaching,” said Miller, an assistant professor of United Methodist studies, ethics and leadership at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. He was part of a 2012 debate over a petition to remove language from United Methodist doctrine stating that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”
“It’s just fundamentally unfair and untrue,” Miller said.
His church, however, disagrees. The petition was voted down at the church’s 2012 general conference.
That debate over Methodist doctrine on homosexuality plays out in “A Church Divided,” a documentary produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting in collaboration with KQED. A screening of the film was held Tuesday at the Delancey Street Theater in San Francisco, followed by a panel discussion that included Miller, among others.
“I know that there are lots of folks out there who just say, why are we wasting any time with religious institutions who don’t want us,” Miller said in the documentary. “My response is that 60 percent of gay and lesbian people claim some religious affiliation, mostly Christian, despite everything that’s happened.”
The panel discussion was moderated by KQED’s Scott Shafer, and it also included documentary producer Adi Sambamurthy, reporter Matt Smith and Glide Memorial United Methodist Church Pastor Karen Oliveto. Click play below to listen to the discussion.
You can watch “A Church Divided” online here. The Center for Investigative Reporting also put together this infographic on how some churches view homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
What’s your church’s stance on homosexuality? The Bay Citizen is asking that question in conjunction with the screening of “A Church Divided.” You can share your thoughts by filling out the form below; click here for more information.