Bullying and Humanity at General Conference



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There is a failure to understand that is mine when I read the comments about bullying. My non-understanding is expressed in these questions: As we protested aainst racial segregation, were we bullying those for him segregation was a conviction? Were the 8 white pastors in Birmingham who took out an ad urging Martin Luther King to "get out of Birmingham"
because he "stirred up the locals" responding to Martin KIng because they viewed him as the bully? Or, were they the bullies because they wanted no change, or gradual change in the policies and practices of segregation, and were justified in seeking to "bully" him out of town?

My fear is that we have no sense of history and thus no understanding of what it has taken to achieve justice. It appears that today there are a multitude of persons who would have been against the independence struggle that created the USA, the Protestant Reformation that made possible Protestantism, the emergence of the Methodist Movement that became the Methodist Church, the challenges of racism and sexism that were essential to the achievement of equality for blacks and for women, the efforts that made possible the eventual ordination of women. etc.
Those actions and challenges, represented bullying?

I am reminded of these words; "Some want crops without plowing up the land, the mighty ocean without the roar of the waves, and rain without the lightening and the thunder. If there is no struggle, there is no progress."
(Remembered less-than-perfectly)

All of us, as difficult as it may be, must remember the struggles of others that made possible the life we enjoy today. I agree, that those seeking justice for themselves and others, must not demean, de-humanize or bully those who disagree with them. We cannot "Use the tools of those who
oppress and discriminate, if we want to tear down and re-build the house in which they hold their prejudices." (A paraphrase)

The nonviolence of the Civil Rights Movement represented not only personal discipline and commitment, it was a way of respecing the humanity of those whose bigotry we challenged.

I have been tuned into the live streaming of General Conference and googling the websites of the various caucuses. I am fearful that after presenting the best of United Methodist ministry and mission on Sunday night, the delegates will again express the less-than-best of our denomination by again approving the legislation of 1972.

There seems not to be the understanding that each and every day we
retain the 1972 language and legislation, we are "bullying" Mark Miller
and all of the gay and lesbian United Metodists among us. And, just like
the past when the Methodist/United Methodist Church held sexist and racist views, we are a 24/7 heteosexist denomination today. Biblical
interpretation that supports any ism, diminishes the power of Scripture.

"The more things change, the more they remain the same"

Gil Caldwell, Asbury Park, NJ

Gil Caldwell more than 9 years ago


I felt bullied by having to walk through the gauntlet of the silent demo the same night.

Bob more than 9 years ago


Unlike the blogger, I attended all the Church and Society committee and sub-committee sessions as an observer. Mark Miller was not personally attacked or bullied about anything, unless people sharing their traditional understanding of Scripture amounts to bullying. (But he may have been referring to other people's experiences instead of himself in his plenary floor statement.) The ONLY person disrespected in the C&S subcommittee was Rev. Eddie Fox, an evangelical. He was symbolically "dissed" by a half dozen of the rainbow-clad observers. Their negative spirit was in direct contrast to the holy conversation that actually did occur in the group.

Karen Booth more than 9 years ago

Bullying Mark Miller

What really happened? The bishop that appears to have moderated the session where the alleged bullying took place is my bishop. I know in many instances "bullying" is a code word for "It's not fair to enforce the rules." I know that one side makes it a habit to demonstrate and try to get arrested on the floor of the conference. Isn't that bullying against the ones who follow the rules. I know one side always accuses the other of hate speech and then turns around and names their proposal after the abortion pill, Plan B, with the intention of offending the others. Tell us what really happened so we can see if there really is an apology due or if this is more of the same fluidity of language so common to the arguments of one side.

Bob more than 9 years ago