The Rev. Janet Edwards, descendant of Jonathan Edwards and PCUSA minister, is going to soon be facing new charges resulting from her 2005 performance of a same-sex wedding, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
A Pittsburgh Presbytery committee plans to pursue new charges against the Rev. Janet Edwards for officiating a wedding between two women in June 2005, a spokeswoman for the Oakland minister said Tuesday.
Edwards and Pittsburgh church officials are negotiating to reach a resolution and the Presbytery could decide to not pursue the charges before Edwards’ case goes to trial, said Ashley Harness of New York-based Fenton Communications.
Edwards, a parish associate at Community of Reconciliation, did not return a phone call. Harness released a statement from her.
“While another trial now seems inevitable, along with it comes an opportunity for meaningful dialogue about how we can truly open our hearts and our doors to our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters,” Edwards said in the statement. “I know these conversations will not be easy, but I am hopeful because my Presbyterian tradition teaches me that it is only through dialogue and struggle together that something more beautiful and more pleasing to God can be born.”
Translation: I am hoping that my fellow Presbyterians will ignore the PCUSA constitution, just as I did, and thereby allow me to avoid the consequences of my actions. I will make any trial a political circus in which I will put the constitution on trial, and hope that one result will be that my blatant disregard for the standards I vowed to uphold when I was ordained will be overlooked among the general uproar. I am going to do this because I know that I cannot win on the merits, nor will my position prevail in fair and honest debate across the denomination, so I am trying to change the facts on the ground. And with any luck, I’ll get away with it.
It’s actually pretty easy to translate these kinds of statements. You just have to speak the language.
(Via Layman Online.)
UPDATE: According to the Presbyterian News Service, one of the two women Edwards “married” (Nancy McConn and Brenda Cole) has weighed in:
McConn, a longtime Presbyterian and former member of Dallas Presbyterian Church in Dallas, WV, currently worships at a Unitarian congregation. Cole was raised Methodist but now is a practicing Buddhist.
“The church’s actions are extremely hurtful toward me and Nancy and toward other gay couples,” Cole told the Presbyterian News Service. “We’re determined to stand by Rev. Edwards as she faces these charges and continues to speak the truth about our marriage. And we’re quite determined that no matter what the church’s actions are they in no way undermine the sacredness of our marriage.”
Whatever. I’m sorry they’re feeling hurt, but I also don’t understand why a Christian denomination should take advice from non-Christians about the meaning and definition of marriage according to the teachings of Christianity. Given that they are not, in fact, married, apparently the state of Pennsylvania isn’t interested in their views, either.