The new pastor at St. John United Church of Christ in the eastern Missouri town of St. Clair doesn’t play softball, but members of his church do. Or at least they did until their pastor’s sexuality prompted a boycott within their church league. The Rev. James Semmelroth Darnell is bisexual…. St. John players decided to quit the six-team league rather than ruin things for everyone else. “It certainly is very upsetting, especially in 2012, that this is an issue,” Darnell said Wednesday. “It’s very disappointing but quite frankly not too surprising given the nature of this community – it’s a pretty conservative area.”
Does it really matter that it’s 2012 or is marital fidelity itself now something viewed as irrelevant and dated?
But let’s think about this for a minute: if he’s bisexual and sexually active it means first of all that he’s being unfaithful to his wife. Second, his being upset about the response of people to his behavior should rather be turned inward towards self so that the ultimate target of his ‘upset-ness’ is himself and not the reactions of others.
In short, his feelings about the situation should be aimed squarely toward self and not towards the outside.
Darnell said he has reached out to Church of Christ congregations and other sympathetic churches in the area about forming their own softball league, or at least playing in a tournament. “The reason I’ve been willing to go public with this is it needs to go challenged,” Darnell said. “Otherwise folks think it’s all right to do this sort of thing and get away with this sort of exclusion.”
They didn’t exclude him- he excluded himself. He might believe his infidelity is appropriate but that doesn’t at all mean that others are obliged to accept his skewed and theologically malformed viewpoint.