• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Rich Barlow

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 12 comments on Marsh Chapel Dean Deplores United Methodist Decision on Anti-Gay Rules

  1. I couldn’t be more proud to know Rev. Hill and Jan Hill and call them friends. Their caring and courage in the face of this institutional turmoil is inspirational.

  2. This is yet another reason to avoid organized religion.
    You can believe in God without subscribing to an institutionalized belief system which is largely preoccupied with itself, and which comes up with canons which defy reason and are incongruent with our evolving understanding of the universe. A church does not get you any closer to the creator.

    And do we really need more intolerance and factionalization in this world?

  3. It is always a difficult decision as a progressive whether to remain in an organization and push change from within, or break free and start something new. I think the Methodist faith will benefit greatly from compassionate leaders like this, who spread love and acceptance from within and work with more conservative members to bring understanding. It may even be the harder path to walk, though action from both within and without is needed for organizational change.

    Of course, BU should be very careful about maintaining relationship with any faith group that runs contrary to university policy. While BU has no current formal tie to the Methodist church, it’s something to keep in mind.

  4. “I pass over the diminishment of membership, particularly in the congregations of the US north and extended north, due to young adults, especially millennials, who sense the homophobia in our sanctuaries and find another place.”

    Then how does one explain the rapid growth of Islam across the US and most of the Western world? Is it because Islam is very tolerant of LGBTQ? I will be looking for an upcoming article in BU Today that discusses Islam stand on the issue…

    1. Actually, The Economist published a special report two weeks ago that touched on this very question: It highlighted the ways in which Muslim communities in the United States and Europe have been moving towards more liberal stances on women’s and LGBTQ rights and away from hardline conservatism, largely as part of a generational shift as young people begin to take leadership roles within the faith. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re legitimately interested in this issue: https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/02/16/the-little-noticed-transformation-of-islam-in-the-west

      1. Thank you — I am legitimately interested, so I did check out the article.

        Am I supposed to feel reassured by the statement that “Some prominent scholars ALLOW female converts to keep non-Muslim husbands”? (Emphasis on the word “allow” is mine. The fact that there were “only” 14 Jihadi related deaths in Europe in 2018 is not highly reassuring either, especially since even the article had to put an asterisk next to that number. And I expect the real number is much higher.

        The only reference to LGBT attitudes is very carefully hidden in the statement “Although young Muslims are conservative by the standards of Western society (eg, on gay schoolteachers), they are more liberal than their elders”.

        So I ask again (as a non-Christina myself) when will BU Today publish similar article discussing attitudes toward LGBT community in the Muslim religion?

  5. Thank you Reverend Hill for your commentary. I agree with you completely, I also am a life long Methodist. I was very disappointed when the delegates made such a poor decision. For many years I thought politics in the church should not exist, now it seems we are becoming the same as the country where “Freedom Rings”. Split along political lines and not Christian ideals. Please keep up the fight, I have always said I will not leave the Methodist church after 70 years, but I will fight for what I believe. John Wesley would allow each person to do what he felt was right, why can’t we?

  6. I think the Methodist faith will benefit greatly from compassionate leaders like this, who spread love and acceptance from within and work with more conservative members to bring understanding.

  7. What is the plus for in lgbtqia+ ? This is not a crazy question. I truly wish to know. Is it there to let the next sexual idea in the Methodist Church? How about Men and boys? Where would you put them? I am truly asking. How do you answer that?

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