Most Americans probably don’t think of my neck o’ the woods — southern Appalachia — as a very progressive part of the country. There are a lot of stereotypes about “rednecks” and “hillbillies.” But mountain folks like to confound (remember, East Tennessee didn’t secede during the War Between the States, but chose to become an independent state of the Union).
I’ve lived here in East Tennessee for a good while now, and I can tell you that my neighbors and friends who are true natives of this area continue to surprise me. They don’t like to be confined to a box — not in their thinking or in expectations that others may have about them. And I love that independent, ornery streak about the people of southern Appalachia.
So while it might surprise the rest of the country, it actually doesn’t surprise me that much that the East Tennessee Episcopal Diocese to which my church belongs has just taken a bold leadership role in the civil rights movement that is slowly establishing institutional justice and compassion for those Americans who happen to have been born gay.
Thank you, Bishop Young for your willingness to step outside the comfort zone and speak out to support compassion and love within our congregations. You’ve made me proud to be an East Tennessee Episcopalian.
So how about you? If you are a member of a faith community – Christian, Muslim, LDS, Jewish, Hindu….etc etc etc – where is your congregation at the moment when it comes to the issue of marriage equality? Are your personal views aligned with your denomination’s leadership when it comes to this debate, or do you hold a very different view? Have your views on gay marriage changed or evolved in any way over time? Let’s discuss.
WARNING: This is a hot topic, and a highly personal one. I will be moderating the conversation carefully. Feel free to disagree with other commenters, and even to disagree vigorously, but please keep your tone and words kind and civil in expressing your point of view or I will not publish your comment. I want to foster a healthy, grown-up, thoughtful dialogue here, not a collection of dull, ad hominem attacks. We can do this! Be smart. Be original. AND BE NICE.
Now, get talkin’! – Katie
READ MORE FROM KATIE OVER AT MAMAPUNDIT (HER PERSONAL BLOG)