Tuesday, February 19, 2008
It's a Good Fight: Take It On
Presbyterians are all a gabbin' about the recent PJC decision, what it means, and what to do now.
Witherspoon (represented pictorially by our lovely heroine)
has links to responses by Eugene TeSelle, Covenant Network, More Light Presbyterians, and even (dare I be so humble) me(!) regarding this decision.
The LayMAN (represented pictorially by this bellicose braggadocio)
has also written typical right-wing reactionary drivel.
The 14 dollar and 39 cent question is this: Did the 20 fine folks who drafted the Theological Task Force recommendations want what the PJC handed down?
One of the Task Force members, Mark Achtemeier, says no. The PJC did not deliver what the TTFers intended. So he is sending forth an overture to GA to tidy up that bit of confusion. H/T Toby. Despite Toby's decree that Prof. Achtemeier is not an evangelical (I guess that is an insult), the good professor sent it in anyway.
The Theological Task Force is reaping what it has sown. They told the fundies, "Nothing has changed. Don't worry. The constitution will still protect you from gay cooties." Then they told the progressives, "Great news! Now you can sneak all of those gay folks in!"
I am thinking that it is a good thing the PJC made this decision as heartbreaking as it is. G-6.0106b has got to go. Slavery had to go. The ban on women's ordination had to go. Institutionalized heterosexual prejudice has got to go. Wake up moderates. Wake up progressives. We know what we have to do.
The fundies have shown they are unwilling to compromise. For them, if one gay gets in without a spanking, then the whole denomination is infested with cooties. Their Bibles, while large, are not big enough for that. There can be no compromise for them. The Word of God is at stake.
We shouldn't be disappointed about this. We shouldn't get down on ourselves about this conflict. It is OK to fight. It is what we do best. Let us honor it. People get the mistaken illusion that Jesus would like us all to be really nice to each other and not raise issues of disagreement. Read the Gospels! He was one tough scrapper.
We are doing the larger culture a favor by fighting over this issue in church. Oddly enough, this is our mission in this time. It isn't just about gays. It is about freedom. It is about embracing change. It is about whether or not (as one of my favorite's wrote) whether the church will change or die.
I am honored to fight for lgbt justice. When I see the pain experienced by and the violence performed against my friends, neighbors, and parishioners, I know that this is a noble cause. I will gladly fight against any right wing blowhard who tries to put down my brothers and sisters.
When you mess with my friends, it is personal. Homosexuality is NOT a sin. Denying ordained office to gays is the same as regarding them as second class citizens. I will fight for lgbt justice in the church and in culture until I am dead. Then I will come back and haunt your ass.