Religion: The Perplexing Question

"Neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor homosexuals ... will inherit the Kingdom of God," wrote St. Paul. That attitude has survived the centuries. Christians have been grudging in their acceptance of homosexuals in their congregations, if indeed they acknowledge them at all. This tepid welcome has not deterred gay activists from pressing for recognition and even for ordination, issues that sparked long debates at two recent national Protestant Church assemblies.

Last week the gays received a setback, when the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church in Baltimore voted that it would be "injudicious if not improper" to ordain homosexuals. After a...