If/Then on Christian Responsibility in Orlando

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This quote I recently read came to mind

“When Bryan Collier, pastor of The Orchard in Tupelo, Mississipi said towards the conclusion of a compelling Thursday night sermon, “our causes have become our Gospel.” And he didn’t mean it as a compliment for the people called Methodists.” Talbot Davis, “Top Five Moments from the (Western North Carolina) Annual Conference”, The Heart of the Matter, talbotdavis.com

Betsy more than 4 years ago

Amen

Thank you for speaking a truth that also applies to the UCC hoax of support for LGBTQ equality. I wrote this email to UCC "leaders" this morning:

Having grown up in the UCC I was always proud that my church was among the first to endorse marriage equality. It wasn't until my own congregation decided to vote on this basic human right that I realized that the UCC commitment was a hoax. This fact was underscored by the recent vote of yet another congregation (in Pennsylvania) to not allow same sex marriages.

The UCC, like most of organized religion, is complicit in acts of violence against LGBTQ people including the slaughter of 49 people in Orlando and countless others who have been excluded or beaten or murdered. All Christian faiths claim to have their "reasons," but the fact is that congregational voting on human rights (the UCC website even qualifies its commitment to LGBTQ equality with this) contributes to the process of othering that makes LGBTQ people less than human. Whether it is the misinterpretation of the Old Testament or a 17th century dispute over church hierarchy, the result is the same - that it is ok to dehumanize some people.

My break with the UCC is permanent, as is my involvement with organized religion. It still grieves me, however, to know that the faith that shaped my commitment to human rights actually values its own arcane rules more than equality.


Larry Kressley more than 4 years ago

While this atrocity is horrible

...coming so soon after the UMC General Conference, it has certainly gotten people talking. What has been interesting to me is the frequency at which adherents to the antigay position repeat disinformation or otherwise indicate their ignorance regarding the real lives of LGBTQIA people.

For one blatant example, an antigay person referred to the Pulse victims as "49 men." This was on the Sunday after the Saturday night attack and some may be inclined to excuse it as such. However, I believe that would be a serious mistake. Even before the names of the victims were released, I reasoned the odds of all 49 being male had to be less than one percent, perhaps much closer to zero percent than one. So I rolled the dice and noted the ignorant statement was absolutely wrong since it would not account for (1) lesbians; (2) female friends of gay men a la Grace of "Will and Grace,"; and (3) transwomen. And that's all not to mention there are plenty of heterosexuals in gay bars for whatever reason these days - people who just come to dance, lovers who come to enjoy a moment where their friends will not think to look for them, heterosexual employees, etc.

As it turned out with the odds so spectacularly in my favor I was able to show the audience that bigotry against folks is based on disinformation such as this. Unfortunately, I was right - although of course the whole thing was unfortunate. People like the antigay faction within the UMC need to realize that their hateful words equal death.

There is no hiding behind the Bible on this. Anyone who believes the victims were just sinners who were going to hell anyway takes direct action as I see it to reject Christ. Christ is represented always as the representative of the outcast, the sinner, the nonconformist, the cast out....he is not present when megachurch millionaire pastors deride sinners they never expect to meet.

I do not know what effect such things will have on the UMC. If such an attack is not repeated, probably little, given the hardened hearts who disdain the LGBTQIA people so much. But as a nation, the size, scope, and dynamics of the event, following other terrorism, may help us to limit access to firearms. I do not think there will be any more "bathroom bills" this year - although here in Kansas in the special legislative session occurring now a leader of the far right Republican majority threatened his opposite numbers in the moderate Republican and Democratic caucuses with it if they cannot agree on the school funding issue. In my high school class of 45 years ago it so happened that one classmate is a gay man who lives in Orlando. Everybody loves him. He put on Facebook he was not at The Pulse that night. People were so overjoyed to hear that. Makes me sorry for the ones who heard the opposite.

George Nixon Shuler more than 4 years ago

If/Then on Christian Responsibility in Orlando

Thank you for your thoughts here. We contribute to a culture of violence as we continually encourage it through mass media, nationalistic practices which support war, turning gun ownership into idolatry and refusing to follow the teachings of Jesus regarding love and our response to violence.

Gary Olsen-Hasek more than 4 years ago

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