The Battle Has Begun

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In other words,

George, you and yours are right and those who disagree with you are wrong, isn't that correct? Your attitude in this and other posts is a perfect example of the bigotry you decry in others. You are very good at calling other people names while not seeing that maybe you, too, are part of the problem.

DW more than 2 years ago

Here's my answer

There was no name calling in that post, so I'm not sure what you mean. I believe on this issue I am right, but I'm open to suggestions. My second sentence is in a sense ironic and not necessarily realistic. Given the current situation of the Christian religion we could either divide into separate pro-gay and anti-gay sub-denominations, or else continue the current struggle, but either way, the UMC is likely to continue to decline in membership.

Right-wing yearnings for another "Great Awakening" (the fourth, I believe, following the ones in the 1780s, the 1820s, and the 1910s, more or less) are not realistic. The right-wing crowing at the decline of the liberal Mainline denominations have only been followed by the decline of the right-wing churches. The rise of the Religious Right was certainly not on the level of those first three Great Awakenings except in certain Southern regions where it succeeded segregationism as the raison d'etre.

What is needed, I believe, is a faith which forgoes wagging fingers at others and instead looks inward. We cannot do that while engaged in bigotry. Present an alternative to both schism and maintaining the sturm und drang and I'll tell you whether or not it's acceptable or realistic. I find the right-wing efforts to make heterosexism a sine qua non to be not unlike, for example, the Mormons' struggle with the racism against African-Americans and the Negroid race in general articulated by their founders. As Mormonism grew, it accepted for full membership Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, Asians, Hispanics, and all Caucasoid people, but maintained the prohibition of Blacks obtaining the priesthood status, or full membership (males only, still, but that's another tangent). Then, since their LDS Church President is considered to be a prophet, in 1978 the man who held that office said he received a revelation that the rule must be changed.

Granted, Mormonism's growth among Blacks did not substantially increase and still today the percentage of Black Mormons has got to be still well under 1% (The Musical "The Book of Mormon" makes fun of the LDS' stereotypical whiteness). But at the time the change to the rule was made, the prohibition was hurting them among whites and all other races because racism had become unacceptable to the large majority of people. Now, heterosexism is becoming just as unacceptable. Our brand is damaged, but so is the whole "Christian" brand. If we continue as we are doing our irrelevancy is a given.

George Nixon Shuler more than 2 years ago

George

To clarify my comments, when you repeatedly refer to those who disagree with as right-wing/extremists, you are calling them names. When you state that you would like to either get rid of the conservatives in the UMC or force them to believe as you do, you are showing your bigotry. When you tell someone to submit an alternative to your ideas and you will tell them whether or not it is acceptable, you are displaying your arrogance. These attitudes are not helpful. I have watched a number of conservatives leave because of similar attitudes in my local church. They feel that their concerns are not being addressed and ther no longer feel very welcome. Is This what you want? If so, you just might get it.

DW more than 2 years ago

Fair enough, but

Fair enough, but...I'm still on the fence. I'd like to schism and be rid of the right-wing forces within the UMC. But dragging them kicking and screaming into the future seems more appropriate.

George Nioxn Shuler more than 2 years ago

Pot Meets Kettle

Never has a piece with such purported depth so utterly failed to recognize how it illustrates that which it critiques.

Drew McIntyre more than 2 years ago

Notable Quotes


Brian McLaren"All of us, especially people of faith, need to proclaim that white supremacy and white privilege and all other forms of racism and injustice must indeed be replaced with something better – the beloved community where all are welcome, all are safe, and all are free. White supremacist and Nazi dreams of apartheid must be replaced with a better dream – people of all tribes, races, creeds, and nations learning to live in peace, mutual respect, and neighborliness. Such a better world is possible, but only if we set our hearts on realizing the possibility."

– Brian McLaren, writing in "What I Saw in Charlottesville" on the Auburn Seminary website.


"The idea of racial (or most any other) supremacy is antithetical to that Gospel. We should remember that Jesus himself grasped for no superiority, no rank, but instead made himself a servant, giving himself in love. What we saw in Charlottesville was therefore a kind of anti-gospel, something that must be resisted, yes–but more, something that must be overcome."

– Dr. Craig Hill, dean of United Methodist-related Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, on Facebook.

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