Belhar’s open doors

The decision by the NAACP to endorse same sex marriage rights sanctions the understanding of gay rights as a civil rights. This whole cloth approach to human rights makes the segregation of the Belhar Confession from gay issues more difficult.

The link first came to light in the actions of Allen Boesak at the general synod of the Uniting Reformed Church of South America. In response to that, the Christian Reformed Church has explicitly rejected this link., that gay rights do not exist as a civil right in the same way concerns about race or socio-economic status might.

In wake of the NAACP’s action, this denominational stance loses a fair measure of credibility. That in turn means the vote next month at Synod will not simply be one on the Belhar document itself, but on gay rights generally. A rejection that now seems more likely, nonetheless does not stop the issue. seeping in as it does, like the tide at King Canute’s feet. The church may say no today, but the questions remain, lapping at the door.

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