Sixteen years ago, in the small town of Wahpeton, N.D., a United Methodist pastor refused to baptize a baby raised by lesbian parents. The pastor said because the child had lesbian parents, there was no way he could get a Christian upbringing. In response, the child's mothers, Valerie Nelson and Diane Gira, left the church.In other words, she would refuse to baptize Madison if Madison were an infant today.
Evergreen United Methodist Church, the place where the pastor refused to baptize the baby, still stands today. It's a one-story building made of tan brick that sits in a quiet cul-de-sac in Wahpeton. The current pastor of the church, Jen Tyler, would not say whether Nelson and Gira would have been able to baptize their son if they had tried today.
"For me as a pastor, my focus and my emphasis is on making sure I'm caring for folks the best that I can," Tyler says. "And there are times and places that as a pastor you have to make difficult decisions."
The Methodist church usually baptizes infants. It makes you wonder what would happen if 16-year-old Madison came to the minister and requested to be baptized now? My guess is that he would be baptized.
In other words, that earlier decision was all about the moms -- not about Madison or about his baptism.
Last time I looked, the commenters were wasting a lot of bandwidth trying to figure out if Madison looked more like one more or the other. Because we have to figure out who's the "real" mom and that's the more important message to this story...