The Church of Scotland would.
On Saturday evening, the commissioners of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland ratified the appointment of Scott Rennie as minister of Queens Cross Kirk in Aberdeen. Scott Rennie is openly gay and despite winning the support and approval of his prospective congregation and presbytery, there was opposition to his appointment from within, and markedly without the Church of Scotland.
The Kirk has a commendable history of liberalism. It has long championed universal and free education, the National Health Service and the Welfare State. It has officially supported the Anti-Apartheid Movement, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Scottish Consitutional Convention. And of course, it was way ahead of the game when it came to ordinating women as ministers.
Despite that record, i feared the threat of splits, literal readings of scripture and institutional conservatism might stymie the Church of Scotland's chance to be a leader again among churches of the world. I shouldnae have worried. The vote was close - 326 to 267 - but the arguments seemed to focus not on what the bible says but on what Jesus Christ would have done. As an atheist who was brought up believing that Jesus was the first socialist, i'm delighted that JC's still considered the good guy by people who know much more about him than i do.
A wonderful day for the Church of Scotland and fitting testament to the bravery of Scott Rennie. Now if they could only get over that guff about believing in God.....