Retired Pastor and author of The Message, Eugene Peterson has retracted his comments in support of Same Sex Marriage due to the backlash from the evangelical community.
Peterson was asked in an interview with the Religious News Service on his thoughts on the morality of same sex relationships. He responded by saying “… I know a lot of people who are gay and lesbian and they seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do. I think that kind of debate about lesbians and gays might be over. People who disapprove of it, they’ll probably just go to another church. So we’re in a transition and I think it’s a transition for the best, for the good. I don’t think it’s something that you can parade, but it’s not a right or wrong thing as far as I’m concerned.”
When asked if he will officiate a same sex marriage, the retired pastor said he would.
The evangelical community went into an uproar and popular Christian book chain, LifeWay threatened to remove all his books including The Message Bible from their store.
Following the backlash, Peterson released a statement to The Washington Post. In it he says, he affirms a biblical view of marriage: one man to one woman.
Many have condemned his retraction including Pastor John Pavlovitz. In a blog post he wrote, “… I’m disgusted by the cowardice of his speedy retreat and the sucker punch to the gut it has been to my LGBTQ friends, who once again are used like piñata by the Christian Right; something to be beaten up for entertainment. He’s going to have to live with whatever the truth is about his personal convictions, and he’s going to have to also carry the weight of his acquiescing—on the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people whose enemies are now rushing to use him as further justification to be terrible in Jesus’ name.”
Peterson and Lifeway have offered no further comment.