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同性戀歧視:無知與偏見 ------ Donald Beaulieu
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50 years ago, psychiatrists stopped calling homosexuality a mental illness

Donald Beaulieu, 12/15/23

Fifty years ago Friday, on Dec. 15, 1973, the board of trustees of the American Psychiatric Association voted to remove homosexuality from its diagnostic manual of mental illnesses. Newspaper stories the next day mostly treated it as a technical change rather than a seismic shift that would transform the lives of gay people. The activists who fought for the change knew otherwise.

“When the diagnosis existed,” said Jack Drescher, a psychiatry professor at Columbia University and author of “Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Gay Man,” “military groups, religious groups, education groups, medical groups could use that diagnosis as an excuse for discrimination. When the diagnosis was finally removed, a major rationalization for discrimination was taken away.”

He added, “Nothing happened overnight — it took a long time. But it was a world-changing event.”

The treatment of homosexuality as a mental disorder in the mid-20th century had its roots in Freudian psychoanalysis. “The Freudians had a great deal invested in the idea that homosexuality was the result of arrested development, and a form of mental illness,” said Andrew Scull, a sociology professor at the University of California in San Diego.

The manual that catalogues every psychiatric illness recognized by the APA is called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the DSM. When it was first published in 1952, the DSM defined homosexuality as a “sociopathic personality disorder,” and inadequate parenting was commonly deemed the cause. “The psychoanalytic stereotype of the family that created a homosexual,” Drescher said, “was an overbearing mother and a distant or hostile father.”


Psychoanalysts still dominated the field of psychiatry in the early 1970s, just as the gay rights movement picked up momentum after the 1969 protests that followed the police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village. “It is an interesting period when gay activists are finally coming out of the closet, but it is a very fraught environment,” Scull said. “Gay sex is still illegal in many jurisdictions, and public prejudices are very high.”


The first National Coming Out Day 35 years ago took on Reagan and AIDS stigma

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聯合衛理公會分裂 ----- Ruth Graham
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聯合衛理公會是美國基督教新教第二大教派;今年年底是該會各地方教會自動獨立出走的期限。目前已經有高達1/4的地方教會脫離。如記者格蘭女士指出:在任命女性牧師和同性婚姻議題之外,教會事務控制權以及地方教會財務分配也是各地方教會決定離開該教派總部的重要原因。

以上「控制權」一類的原因是就擁有教會事務話語權或管理權的執事等人而言,他/她們畢竟是少數(宣傳、洗腦不論);大多數贊成出走的教友和信眾,還是基於無知」與偏見」(見開欄文標題)。由此也可見「社會建構」的力量

在相關專有名詞外,請參考基督教新教各教派分類名單

索引:

denomination
:教派
Episcopal Church
:聖公會
Evangelical Lutheran Church
:福音路德會也稱福音信義會
L.G.B.T.Q. people:各類性傾向和/或性別種類」群體的合稱;由於在社會中居於少數,這類人是經常被歧視或打壓。
Nativity
耶穌誕生,以「耶穌誕生」為主題的畫像、圖片、兒童劇等等
ordain
:授予教會職務
quadrennial
:每四年一次的
schism
(尤指教會、學派的)分裂,另立山頭
Southern Baptist Convention
:美南浸信會
theology:教會理念
United Methodist
聯合衛理公會
Wesley, John:約翰衛斯理,衛理會創派牧師


With a Deadline Looming, the United Methodist Church Breaks Up

A quarter of the denomination’s churches have left, as the faith divides over L.G.B.T.Q. policies.  

Ruth Graham, 12/19/23


With 17,000 members, White’s Chapel Methodist Church in Southlake, Texas, offers multiple worship services each weekend along with the kind of attractions that only the largest houses of worship can boast: a coffee shop, an indoor playground, a Christmas festival with pony rides and fireworks, and near-daily opportunities for volunteering and socializing. On Sunday mornings, a small white bulldog named Wesley, after the founder of Methodism, roams the campus with a handler, greeting admirers.

“They call this place the biggest small church,” said Linda Rutan, who was sitting with her husband near a sprawling holiday train set on a recent Sunday morning. The Rutans have attended White’s Chapel since they moved to Texas from California in 2022. “It’s so friendly,” she said, “you don’t feel like it’s a huge church.”

Until July, White’s Chapel was the second-largest United Methodist congregation in the country. The conservative-leaning church lost its status this year not because it shrank — it is growing, leaders say — but because it left the denomination.

America’s second-largest Protestant denomination is in the final stages of a slow-motion rupture that has so far seen the departure of a quarter of the nation’s roughly 30,000 United Methodist churches, according to the denomination’s news agency.

At issue for Methodists is the question of
ordaining and marrying L.G.B.T.Q. people, a topic that has splintered many other Protestant denominations and which Methodists have been debating for years.

In 2019, Methodist leaders opened a window for any congregations
to leave over “reasons of conscience,” in most cases allowing them to take their property and assets with them in a clean break if they received approval to depart by Dec. 31, 2023. Many conservative congregations have done just that.

“It’s the biggest denominational
schism ever,” said Ryan Burge, a political scientist at Eastern Illinois University. There were eight million Methodists in the United States in 2020, according to the U.S. Religion Census. Between large-scale departures and the broader trend of decline, Dr. Burge said, that number could drop by half in a decade.

The exodus marks a calamitous decline for the broader tradition of mainline Protestantism, which once dominated the American
religious, social and cultural landscape.

Now, as the deadline approaches, remaining congregations and leaders are taking stock of their losses, and looking ahead to a future in which the denomination’s footprint in the United States may continue to
shrink (even as it grows overseas, especially in Africa). In Texas, a historic stronghold for United Methodists, more than 40 percent of churches have left.

“It’s significant, and it’s been at a high cost,” said Thomas Bickerton, a lifelong Methodist who is president of the denomination’s Council of Bishops. More than
7,500 congregations have left since 2019, a number that he said was slightly higher than leaders expected when they extended the offer. Next year, Methodists plan to vote on what will likely be their lowest quarterly budget in 40 years.

Officially
, the United Methodist Church still forbids same-sex marriage and does not allow “self-avowed, practicing” gay people to serve as ministers. But in recent years, some leaders began defying official restrictions on the practices, and the church now has a number of openly gay clergy and two gay bishops. Many anticipate that church law could change — and spur more departures — at the denomination’s quadrennial meeting next spring in Charlotte, N.C.

That meeting was initially planned for 2020 but was delayed multiple times in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In the meantime, conservatives launched a rival denomination, the Global Methodist Church, which says it will not ordain or marry gay people. As of this fall, the new denomination said that more than 3,000 congregations had joined it.  

White’s Chapel is helping to launch another new denomination, the Methodist Collegiate Church, of which it will serve as the inaugural “cathedral.” Many other departing churches have opted to remain
independent of any denomination so far.

The Methodist movement’s history traces back to
18th-century England, when preacher John Wesley proposed a “method” for encouraging deeper commitment to the Christian life, including small group meetings and an emphasis on holiness and service. In the United States, the faith grew quickly in the 19th century as circuit riders crisscrossed the country preaching and establishing churches. Methodists have ordained women since the 1950s, a topic that has divided many Protestant traditions but remains uncontroversial within Methodism.

After a series of mergers and schisms, the current United Methodist Church — by far the largest expression of Methodism — was established in Dallas in
1968. As of 2020, only the Southern Baptist Convention was bigger among Protestant denominations.

Historically, United Methodism has been a denomination marked by both geographical and ideological
diversity. Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who wrote the Supreme Court opinion establishing the right to abortion in Roe v. Wadewas a Methodist; so is President George W. Bush, who signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act 30 years later. The list of 31 current members of Congress who are Methodist includes conservative Republican senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and his progressive Democratic colleague Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

But the era of big-tent Methodism may now be ending, as conservative congregations exit. Mr. Cotton’s lifelong congregation, now known as Dardanelle Methodist Church, left the denomination this year and joined
the Global Methodists. An analysis this summer found that departing churches were disproportionately white, located in the South and likelier to be led by male pastors.

The United Methodist Church is part of the tradition of mainline Protestantism that now tends to be
broadly progressive in its theology and traditional in its worship style. In the mid-20th century, more than two-thirds of Americans identified as Protestants. Now, most surveys show less than 15 percent of the country identifies with the mainline, a group that also includes the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The
split is the latest in decades of divides in Christian denominations over questions about sexuality and theology. Most mainline denominations now endorse same-sex marriage — and most have seen significant shares of their churches break off into new denominations that maintain their traditions and worship styles while restoring what they describe as theological orthodoxy.

Mr. Bickerton, the bishop, said that many of the congregations that left the United Methodists seemed to be motivated as much by a desire for
financial independence as by deep theological differences.

We’ve learned this is not as much about human sexuality as we thought,” he said. “This is about
power, control and money.”

That’s not the language that the leaders of White’s Chapel use to describe their decision to leave. But they acknowledge that their congregation’s dissatisfaction with United Methodism went beyond its approach to sexuality.

In Southlake, congregants were increasingly wary of the direction of the national denomination’s theology. But they were also unhappy with the Methodist custom of moving pastors to new locations frequently.
Money was an issue, too. Because of its extraordinary growth, White’s Chapel paid the denomination about $600,000 annually, and had lost confidence that its money was being well spent by a remote administrative bureaucracy, said Rev. Larry Duggins, a longtime member who the church hired to help manage the separation process.

“We wanted to see, where was that money going?” said Rev. Duggins, who is now chancellor of the new
Methodist Collegiate Church denomination. “We weren’t happy with what we saw.” Too much of the money, the church felt, was going to administrative overhead rather than into its core missions.

Last year, 93 percent of church members voted to leave, a decision that was formalized this summer.

For many of the members, the vote signaled that their
theological and political values were increasingly out of step with mainline Christianity.

“There’s been a trend toward
liberalizing a lot of things in society, not just churches,” said Bruce Krieger, who has attended the church since the 1990s. The sexuality question had become a political football, he said, where liberals in the denomination wanted to show their allegiance to a wider slate of progressive causes that Mr. Krieger and his wife — “conservative folks” — were increasingly uncomfortable with.

They voted to leave.

Sunday mornings have not changed much since White’s Chapel left the United Methodists, in Mr. Krieger’s view. The Christmas season had begun, and he was looking forward to the all-church brunch after a special service that would include a live
Nativity scene — a longstanding tradition.

Some people had left after the vote, but not many, he said, and newcomers have already arrived to take their place.

A correction was made on 

Dec. 19, 2023

An earlier version of this article incorrectly described Methodist practices on moving pastors. It is a custom to move them frequently; there is no policy to move them every three years.


When we learn of a mistake, we acknowledge it with a correction. If you spot an error, please let us know at nytnews@nytimes.com.Learn more

Ruth Graham is a national reporter, based in Dallas, covering religion, faith and values for The Times. More about Ruth Graham Ruth Graham writes about faith and religion, and visited a Methodist church in Southlake, Texas.

 

A version of this article appears in print on Dec. 18, 2023, Section A, Page 11 of the New York edition with the headline: As a Deadline Looms, the United Methodist Church Fractures.

More on Texas

*  Immigration: Gov. Greg Abbott signed a measure that allows the state’s law enforcement officials to arrest migrants who enter the state from Mexico without legal authorization. El Paso County and two immigrant rights groups subsequently sued to challenge the sweeping new law.
*  Risky Pursuits: High-speed police chases are on the rise near the border in Texas, leaving bystanders vulnerable to deadly crashes and rattling communities from El Paso to Brownsville.
*  Forging a New Path: Vietnamese refugees in Palacios, Texas, overcame war trauma, language barriers and prejudice to make it as shrimpers. The industry’s decline is forcing them to consider other options.
*  An Unexpected Turn: A high school production of “Oklahoma!” in a conservative Texas town was halted after a transgender student was cast in a lead role. But then the school district reversed course.


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天主教教會容許「祝福」同性伴侶-Jason Horowitz
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祝福」不等同於「認可但它應該相當於「排斥」。我給教宗方濟各(法蘭西斯)按個

liturgical rite
:符合天主教規範的儀式
sacrament of marriage
:基督教婚禮儀式

Pope Francis Allows Priests to Bless Same-Sex Couples

A church official said the blessings amounted to “a real development” that nevertheless did not amend “the traditional doctrine of the church about marriage.”

Jason Horowitz, 12/18/23

The Vatican had long said it could not bless same-sex couples because it would undermine church doctrine that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

But the new rule made clear that a blessing of a same-sex couple was not the same as a marriage sacrament, a formal ceremonial rite. It also stressed that it was not blessing the relationship, and that, to avoid confusion, blessings should not be imparted during or connected to the ceremony of a civil or same-sex union, or when there are “any clothing, gestures or words that are proper to a wedding.”

Blessings instead are better imparted, the Vatican says, during a meeting with a priest, a visit to a shrine, during a pilgrimage or as a prayer recited in a group.

The new rule was issued in a declaration, a rare and important Vatican document, by the church’s office on doctrine and introduced by its head, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, who said that the declaration did not amend “the traditional doctrine of the church about marriage,” because it allowed no liturgical rite that could be confused with the sacrament of marriage.

“It is precisely in this context,” Cardinal Fernández wrote, “that one can understand the possibility of blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples without officially validating their status or changing in any way the church’s perennial teaching on marriage.”

In his introduction to the declaration, which was signed and approved by Pope Francis, Cardinal Fernández nevertheless acknowledged that broadening the scope of who could receive blessings amounted to “a real development” and a “specific and innovative contribution to the pastoral meaning of blessings.” He said the decision was “based on the pastoral vision of Pope Francis.”

In recent decades, many Christian denominations have decided to allow blessings and marriages of same-sex couples, and to ordain openly gay clergy. But debates over the issue have led to conservative breakaways in Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian and other churches. The Roman Catholic Church has long been seen as among the least likely to change its stance.

But Francis, who turned 87 on Sunday, has in recent weeks sought to jump-start discussion on the most sensitive topics in his church even as he has cracked down on his most incessant conservative critics. The new declaration is something akin to an executive order outside the more deliberative process he has favored, and it shows that he has come to see the issue of blessing for same-sex couples in terms of his vision of a more pastoral, and less rigid, church.


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