The African Methodist Episcopal Church has yet to hammer out a unified position on a proposal to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Signs of division emerged with a statement purporting to be the church’s official position on May 17.
A bill amending the Human Rights Act, including the so-called two words amendment, was tabled in Parliament that same day.
That statement which opposed the sexual orientation amendment was contradicted by Rev Nicholas Tweed of St Paul’s AME Church, who gave a sermon two days later supporting the measure.
It later emerged that the May 17 statement was unauthorised and did not in fact represent the church’s official position.
The Royal Gazette contacted pastors of the 11-church denomination in a bid to determine whether an official position had been crafted.
Rev Jahkimmo Franklyn Smith, of Mount Zion in Southampton, said he had been pushing for a meeting since learning of the May 17 statement.
“I do have a position. However, we have to meet so we can put out an official statement as to where we stand. So I would not want to give a personal view without us putting out a position as a denomination,” he said.
The May 17 statement was issued by Rev Joyce Hayward and her husband Rev Gilbert Hayward, both Associate Ministers with Richard Allen in St George’s, and sent to the media by Rev Lorne Bean of Bethel AME in Flatts.
We received no response to phone calls to the Haywards over the last two weeks. Rev Simmons, the pastor for that church, would not comment when contacted, referring us instead to Presiding Elder Rev Betty Furbert-Woolridge.
Rev Furbert-Woolridge also declined comment.
Rev Franklyn Smith said: “I would disagree with the initial statement that was put out. I would absolutely disagree with that statement. If you look at our history you could probably read between the lines as to where our church would stand as it relates to discrimination in a broad sense.”
He continued: “I would say our church has always fought against discrimination and for rights in general. Not necessarily just race. But we feel that equal rights doesn’t just benefit black people. It benefits all people. It’s not a black thing.
“We may disagree on specific issues but we feel everybody should have a seat at the table.
“I do not think that initial statement reflects the legacy of the church.”
The church articulates its position on social policy issues at a conference every four years.
Its annual conference in 2011 noted that “sexual orientation is anticipated to once again become a topic of debate in the House of Assembly” and affirmed “the God-given worth of every person while remaining totally opposed to any changes of legislation, forms of entertainment and activity (including substance, sexual and spousal abuse) that further undermines the traditional family structure and eventually Bermuda society as a whole”, according to a column in this newspaper.
The May 17 statement also makes reference to the “traditional family structure” after stating that “the AME Church opposes the Human Rights Act amendment to include sexual orientation as a protected class”.
The only reason why this church is "undecided" about this issue is because many of the major players themselves are booty boys! No question about it. The Bible trumps culture inordinate desires and this should not even be on the table for discussion as God has clearly condemned the practice and behavior of the perversion of homosexuality! These folks need to get a grip on biblical truth!
The AME church is doing what they were taught by the Emperor Constantine and King James I. How can YOU classify them as wolves in sheep's clothing knowing the history of Christianity?
Fallen away from what? The other 40,000 some odd Christian sects that have pretty much violently and vehemently fallen away from each other as an act of Christian Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
EbonyMan, the majority of males in Christianity are homosexuals, so there is no surprise there. Carry on.
---------------------------------------------------------------- Today's Anointed Word = "You Either Become a Christian Or I Will Torture You Saith The Lord!"
And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion.
Jesus is LOVE! Accept Him NOW! Or, God WILL KILL you LATER!
The doors to the church are now open, come to Jesus Or God Will Kill You!
Here you are again with your fraudulent apologetics for this anti-Christian rant you do day after day. Fallen AWAY FROM THE MORALS OF THE SCRIPTURE OR ARE YOU TOO DENSE IN YOUR HATRED OF ALL THINGS CHRISTIAN TO KNOW THAT. Christian thought started way before the King James Bible. Remember this?: "What if some don't believe? Does their unbelief made the word of GOD of none effect? Nevertheless Let GID be true ad Every man (INCLUDING YOU) a liar". Oh yes, here you are agin with some baseless stats you throw out in hopes that the gullible and uninformed may believe it. The majority of males in Christianity are homosexuals? Please stae your source. Is it from the corrupt COGIC slime you oozed from? From thei rbelief that one must speak in tongues to be filled with the Holy Ghost? Is it the over emphasis on emotionalism, anti intellectual preaching, frenzied worship practices that you embarced and taught while you were in this "homosexual" sect of Christainity? You are maybe gay. Are you? YOu throw out false facts almost daily here and then deem to call Christian thought and tradition superstition. You are an internet bully. Where is your own site to refute the false teachings of Christianity. You lurk here on LSA's religious discussion quoting scriptures out of context, lying and making a fool of your self actually and present no cogent, intelligent argument against what you yourself once taught and promoted. Carlton Pearson MAY BE ABLE TO ASSIST YOU IN MAKING A MORE INFORMED ARGUMENT. Oh, and umm. let's not forget he was once COGIC royalty. Go and vist Elder Burnett's real website with true information, refutations of your lies and daily chatter and stop merely harassing here as a lurker and a phoney and a liar. Press, groan and laughter at the same time. PLEASE?? I assume this post may disappear as several have in the past that don't engage in stupid arguments with you an another frequent groaner of lucid thought.
Last edited by BostonOne; 08-15-2013 at 09:58 AM..