Thursday, May 07, 2009

Scott Rennie: A Minister at bay

I have known the Rev. Scott Rennie for several years. In addition to being an active Minister of the Church of Scotland he has also been an active member of the Liberal Democrats.

Over that time he has had to face up to the fact that he is homosexual. I put it in those terms, because Scott comes from a very conservative religious background that refused to countenance that there was any validity in gay relationships. As Stephen Fry rather eloquently put it, the crisis of being gay is the exclusion because of love, and Scott felt very thoroughly excluded.

Scott Rennie now faces further exclusion. A large number of C of S Ministers have raised a petition protesting his appointment as a Minister in Aberdeen. This appointment was made by the Presbytery of Queens Cross (yes, I know...) in the full knowledge that Scott is in a gay relationship. In that sense it is not a matter for the rest of the church.

However I can not be alone in finding the Rev. Rennie's stance rather admirable and certainly brave, and his critics rather diminished. The story of Scott's painful journey to self acceptance is both moving and even somewhat noble. Those who are trying to remove a sincere and kindly Christian Minister for the sake of personal bigotry do seem to be betraying the founding principles of Christianity.

I don't think I remember the Nazarene who said "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" and "turn the other cheek" also declare himself in favour of ugly witch hunts, exclusion and intolerance.

In this most unfortunate situation, Scott Rennie is conducting himself with no little dignity and his critics look mean spirited, bigoted and, in short, Unchristian.


Caron said...

Thanks for this. I agree entirely with you and posted accordingly the other day.

I have a huge amount of time for Scott, who I also know through the Lib Dems. He is entirely suited to the vocation of being a Minister.

I think it's important to remember that only a relatively small proportion of clergy have signed that petition. I was encouraged by the wise and tolerant views expressed by other clergy on a Radio Scotland phone in the other morning.

Newmania said...

True true but ,"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour`s ass" is in there somewhere , even if he "Turns the other cheek"..( comedy trombone)

I know I know its all very serious but as a Christian (ish) who would not dream of being nasty to the gayers its also a bit ludicrous from another perspective (. Not Mr. Rennie`s obviously and I do greatly sympathise).

That was an interesting and sensitively handled post actually.( Wasted on me )

Heavy Heart said...

As a Queen's Cross regular attender and having heard him preach, I have no doubts that he could have been suited for this post BUT Scott is not 'at bay'.

He is a political person and knew he was putting the Church into a confrontantial position by highlighting his 'partner' joining him in the manse.

His 'amicable' relationship with his ex-wife also disguised his active role in 'Fathers for Justice' - not quite an avenue most 'amicable' break up fathers take.

Am I sorry for the position Scott is in? It is of his own choosing and to further his cause and break up the unity of the Church of Scotland.

Am I sorry for the position he has put the Queen's Cross Congregation in? Too true!! He has fragmented a loving, loyal, accepting, band of people and used them for his own ends.

If they were to vote now, knowing how they had been duped, he would never have received support.

So, so, sad!!

Anonymous said...

Rather than Scott Rennie being at bay I think it's the other way around: the Church of Scotland has been put at bay and severely damaged by his selfish action. No matter what any one says he must have known that his what he was doing was going to split "his" church. I have never been a member but my wife and kids were and they are currently looking for a baptist church to attend in our neighbourhood