Them Again: Faithful and Welcoming
John Dorhauer printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 10:36:36 PM EST
Image hosting by Photobucket
I wrote about this newest of `renewal movements' within the United Church of Christ a few weeks ago. There is more to say.

Sometimes I forget how important is this work of exposing attacks on our churches from the right. Many people will contact me each week asking me to stop doing this for one reason or another - and I will confess there is a small part of me that wishes I didn't have to do this.

And sometimes you get to wondering if you are not just seeing things that aren't there because you have been looking for them so hard for so long. You wonder if you aren't as paranoid as your accusers say you are.

But while sitting at our Association Council Meeting last week I was reminded why this work was so important.

We were talking about who was going to set up displays at our upcoming Annual Meeting when the question arose about whether or not we would let a renewal group set up a display. Much discussion followed. But for at least one around the table, this was more than a philosophical discussion: a GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bi, or Trans) pastor of a predominantly gay church. Such churches and such pastors experience these attacks in a whole different way than most of us do. There was real fear, real anger present in the concerns raised by this pastor.

And so, yes, there is more to say about this newest renewal group: Faithful and Welcoming.

At there coming out party held on the campus of Eden Seminary in St. Louis on March 16, right smack dab in the middle of their Power Point presentation, a slide appeared that stayed on the screen for quite some time as Brandon Woosley (the evening's spokesperson of this movement) continued to speak: it read "Faithful and Welcoming... TO ALL!"
I did not add or embellish their presentation of those words at all: the ellipsis, the caps, and the exclamation point are all theirs.

Which means this lie they are telling is done all the more egregiously. Choosing not to sell this particular piece of garbage with subtlety, they want to embellish it with emphasis and fanfare. You see, they will not accept into their membership or fellowship any churches, individuals, Associations, or Conferences that have declared themselves to be Open and Affirming.

A brief interruption, if you please: Open and Affirming is the official designation of those bodies within the United Church of Christ who have voted that when it comes to full participation in the life of their church, they will not discriminate based on sexual orientation. It is how the GLBT community knows that they might be safe, loved, and affirmed when they enter a particular church. (I say might knowing that some churches that have voted to be OnA aren't really experienced as such when gay men and women show up there).

And because the United Church of Christ - in its National Settings, Offices, and through its General Synod - has declared itself to be Open and Affirming, and for that reason continues to consistently support movements, positions, and communities that demonstrate justice for ALL and a welcome... TO ALL! (this group means it), Faithful and Welcoming continues to attack it.

One of the handouts given to those who attended their coming out parties (held in 16 locations throughout the east and Midwest - and Hawaii) is entitled "Crisis in the UCC." For this group, the entire crisis is supposed to have been generated around one sole issue: Open and Affirming. For this reason alone, their welcome is modified so as not to include quite as many as ... TO ALL! would imply. And for this reason alone, the UCC is "in Crisis." Which makes the United Church of Christ a lot like Jesus: we too find people willing to kill and destroy us simply for those whom we choose to love and to whom we choose to extend a less calculated, more extravagant welcome. Kind of ironic, isn't it: a group known as Faithful and Welcoming isn't, and is built to dismantle a group that is.

Are kill and destroy too strong words to use for an organization that is `welcoming' and that purports only to want to renew the UCC?

You be the judge. In their handouts and on their website churches are invited to consider, believe, or enact the following:

·    The primary reason for a church to identify itself as Faithful and Welcoming is to distance the local church from the controversial resolutions and marketing of the national and regional settings of the church.
·    Consider delaying a vote to withdraw until after July 2006 in order to connect with other UCC churches and members who share your concerns.
·    Change your church's bylaws to require acceptance of the UCC Basis of Union with Interpretations, Preamble to the Constitution, and Lexington Confession (I will write something about this soon) by pastors, and to disallow avowed practicing homosexuals as clergy and disallow same sex marriages and civil unions in the church.
·    consider redirecting or designating funds marked for the UCC.
·    Refuse to be intimidated! Note the following clear provision in the UCC Constitution, Article V, Paragraph 18 - which includes this phrase: "Nothing in this Constitution and the Bylaws of the United Church of Christ shall destroy or limit the right of each Local Church to continue to operate in the way customary to it; nor shall be construed as giving to the General Synod, or to any Conference or Association now, or at any future time, the power to abridge or impair the autonomy of any Local Church in the management of its own affairs, which affairs include, but are not limited to, the right to withdraw by its own decision from the United Church of Christ at any time without forfeiture of ownership or control of any real or personal property owned by it."

An organization that announces its primary reason for being is to distance churches from its national setting; that asks churches to delay their vote to withdraw until they all gather together in July; to stop funding the denomination of which they are a part; and to remind churches they can vote to leave any time they want and no one can stop them: I ask you, is this a group hoping to renew, or more intent on destroying the denomination of which they are a part?

I can promise you this: for our Open and Affirming churches and for our GLBT clergy and members, this is much more than a philosophical discussion. They have experienced a lifetime of such vitriol - and it matters not to them how slickly and how subtly the hatred is packaged: it feels the same either way.




Display:
Sometimes I think that I could use a Secret Decoding Ring to decipher the real meanings of some of the phrases used in these various organizations.

Open and Affirming= Everyone is really welcome.

Faithful And Welcoming= Everyone except GLBT people and those who love them.

Fair And Balanced= Neither. You must be smoking something to believe that!

Sigh... Great post, by the way.

by Lorie Johnson on Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 11:30:43 AM EST


Thanks for this post.  What I find troubling is the willingness of so many christians to automatically deny other children of God a place at the table.  


by glendenb on Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 02:39:43 PM EST

No, not paranoid. There was a big turnout for a counter-rally at an Exodus "pray the gay away" event recently. A significant percentage of participants were LGBT Christians from OandA UCCs, MCC, Oasis (their OandA) Episcopal, the 5 unofficially OandA local Catholic parishes. Not to mention some turnout from one of the local seminaries. A genuine OandA policy is the difference between staying unchurched or being a rare visitor/communicant, and being an enthusiastic participant in church life.

by NancyP on Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 11:29:07 PM EST


WWW Talk To Action


Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (2 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (5 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (0 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (4 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (6 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (7 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (21 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (4 comments)
Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (8 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (3 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (4 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (3 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (2 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (13 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (7 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (2 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.