Who was Bill Johnson?
Billy Johnson was the president of Houston’s Christian Youth Council. Billy Johnson was the first individual to openly proclaim his association to homosexuality in the service of a major denomination. Billy’s action is significant because, it serves in shaping religion in America. Social aspects have helped shape the religion, for instance, billy’s move to admit his homosexuality stands led to revelation of various individuals associated to homosexuality that serves religion. After Bill declares his homosexual stands, there is a homosexual parade organized and sermon conducted by a reverend in in favour of the homosexuality.
Why was his ordination controversial?
In my opinion, ordination of Bill Johnson was controversial due to his open acknowledgment of the gay in the society despite his position in the church. During this time, the gay persons experienced utter marginalization because of lacking any acceptance in the society. The gay were struggling for acceptance even in the religious places like the church. The large number of the gay individuals that come up during the gay parade was also controversial. This parade takes place in a church compound, a place that signifies purity and holiness.
Another controversial feature evident during ordination of Billy Johnson is the support by different seminary groups that he has served for twenty five years drawing their reference from the birth of gay rights that occurred in 1960s – 1970s (Gaustad amp. Schmidt 398). The youth groups of that particular church express their support by attending Billy’s ordination. To my opinion, this is an indication of the transformation of religion under influence of the young persons. Acceptance of homosexuality is driven by two factors, the religion and the young individuals. I feel that the young individuals are seeking for recognition despite the opposition they face in the society. In addition, the young individuals represent other marginalized individuals that have no support to champion their acknowledgment. The church offers a suitable medium that shows expression of the marginalized in the society.
I feel that, the acknowledgement of the gay persons pioneered by Bill Johnson is important to show the liberal nature of the church. Despite opposition from other institutions to recognize the gay individuals, the church under the influence of Bill Johnson expresses recognitionof the gay to show that the church is not bound to any form of discrimination. This has shown tremendous changes in acceptance and recognition of gay persons in America over the years.
Would it still be controversial today?
I think the ordination of Bill Johnson cannot still be a controversial today, because, of the equality adopted by various institutions. There are legislations that have been adopted to protect each one regardless of their sex, race, age and religion (Gaustad amp. Schmidt 408). As a result, the gay persons are also entitled to protection by this legislation. Today, each and every individual receives equal treatment despite their sexual life. Different organizations and human right activists have struggled to create equality among all individuals (Gaustad amp. Schmidt 393). Results of such right to equality have led to the increased in number of prominent people to openly proclaim their association to homosexuality. A number of churches have also come up to support homosexuality to the point of homosexual marriages in the church (Gaustad amp. Schmidt 385). With the revolution of current affairs, practices that were initially observed as vices have received a different perception. Individuals have accepted such activities and develop appropriate mechanisms to protect them.
Gaustad, Edwin S. amp. Leigh, E. Schmidt. The Religious History of America: The Heart of the American Story from Colonial Times to Today. New York, N.Y: HarperOne, 2004. Print.
Who was Bill Johnson?