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some heterosexuals. We always live in the tension between personal freedom and social discipline, so we want to liberate ourselves from this tension and live in the light of a pure freedom that never says "no" to human possibility. The two or three pages he wrote in Church Dogmatics on homosexuality assumed that gays and lesbians despise the opposite sex and choose partners of the same sex as a substitute for the woman or man they have rejected. So does the only gay and lesbian denomination, the Metropolitan Community Churches, whose rite for blessing same-sex couples is called "union not "marriage." In its "Order for Marriage the Book of Worship of the United Church of Christ reflects this ecumenical consensus: The scriptures teach. Sin distorts our life together as the Body of Christ, so that no contentious issue in the church can possibly be discussed without anger and mutual recriminationparticularly an issue like sexual morality, which exposes our deepest fears of alienation, loneliness and chaos. But throughout its history, the church has also held an honored place for women and men who were called into a different covenant, but one by which they nevertheless were liberated by God to live a life with and for others. Do we want our handfasting to be legally binding? When celibacy is imposed not by God's call but by ecclesiastical discipline on gays and lesbians, the result is precisely what Gônzburg described: the senses are dulled, the heart is hardened, honesty is restrained so that, in the end, one is left is "so incivil.

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Left on our own, we cannot live together as God intended. We certainly cannot say, in the light of these sayings of Jesus, that entrance into marriage is universally the higher way, the better possibility. Are same-sex relationships a means of grace? Defined in this way, freedom is the doctrine of personal sovereignty, the private property of the ego that has to be seized and defended. Do we want guests seated or standing, and in what configuration during the handfasting?