Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Monday, June 13, 2011

The LayMAN and Its BogeyMAN

The LayMAN is fuming. Here is the latest from Carmen Fowler:
If you disagree with the latest liberalization of ordination standards you will be openly called names: bigoted, closed-minded, homophobic, old-fashioned, behind-the-times, out-of-touch....In all this remember that the flaming arrows are not really aimed at you. They are aimed at Him. Consider it a privilege to take the flack for the One who took the nails.
Where have we heard that before? If you disagree with us you crucify our Lord. Hi Ho.

And this from Forrest Norman:

Fresh off a political triumph which redefined the mores of a denomination, advocates of this liberal trend are not going to adopt what they view as an archaic worldview nor are they going to stop seeking further revisions. They will seek to redefine marriage. They will seek to redefine the trinity, demoting the divinity and undermining the historicity of Christ’s bodily resurrection. They will seek to progress from “may” to “must” in terms of gay ordination, same-sex marriage rights and per capita support. They will seek to “retranslate” (i.e. change) and replace the wording of the confessions to bring them into conformity with their preferred proclivities. They will seek to further dilute the existing confessions by adding additional ones.
Let me see if Mr. Norman is correct from my point of view.
  1. They will seek to redefine marriage. Yup, that's me, although I call it marriage equality.
  2. They will seek to redefine the trinity, demoting the divinity and undermining the historicity of Christ’s bodily resurrection. Already been done. I push for further undermining of supernaturalism.
  3. They will seek to progress from “may” to “must” in terms of gay ordination, same-sex marriage rights and per capita support. I will not enable prejudice. If there is "may" to "must" on the ordination of men or white people, then I advocate "may" to "must" on ordination of gay people. If there is "may" to "must" on opposite-sex marriage, then I advocate for "may" to "must" on same-sex marriage. I don't care about per capita.
  4. They will seek to “retranslate” (i.e. change) and replace the wording of the confessions to bring them into conformity with their preferred proclivities. The confessions are historical markers and should be translated accurately.
  5. They will seek to further dilute the existing confessions by adding additional ones. Belhar would have been a helpful addition to call the church on its racism. Dilute? Odd choice of words. I like "enhance". Also, I would advocate for a new confession to address the issues I raise on a regular basis.
All in all, I am pretty much everything Mr. Norman warned you about. I would smile if my liberal friends would do all of these great things. While the liberals in the PC(USA) are liberal on social issues, they are mostly status quo on theological matters. They are nicer than me, too. They seek dialogue and they beg for the LayMANites to stay in the denomination and they wring their hands in sorrow that ordination changes might make someone mad or sad. I don't.

It won't help the LayMAN with its fundraising efforts for folks to know the truth. That truth is that I am a small minority in the denomination. Perhaps a minority of one. Most who resonate with my ideas have long left organized religion. They are the church alumni association. Most could give a flip about the church except when it seeks to force its oppressive "morality" on the secular world.

There are these odd pockets (one of which I happen to inhabit at present) that will never be a majority in church or culture. We are that strange group that neither the religious nor the non-religious quite understand. We embrace secular values for the most part but still like to play in the Christian sandbox. Oddities to be sure. We get lifted up by the religious right as bogeymen for everything wrong in the church. So we are a good fundraising tool for the LayMAN. I should demand a cut. We aren't that powerful or numerous. It would be nice if we were, though.

6 comments:

Alan said...

You gotta love the layMAN... "If you disagree with the latest liberalization of ordination standards you will be openly called names..."

Heh.

Well, let's break that little gem down, shall we?

If you believe that some people are second-class citizens and should be treated as such, if you believe they should be denied basic human rights because Angry Santa told you so, if you believe that those people should die alone in the hospital because Angry Santa told you it was "Christian" to deny them hospital visitation rights, if you believe that people should lose their jobs for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with their job performance, if you believe that people who disagree with you should undergo electric shock "therapy" to "cure" them, if you believe people who disagree with you should have a millstone tied around their necks and drowned ....

... then some folks might call you names you don't like.

Awwwww. Boo-frickin'-hoo.

Just how crazy do you have to be to try to make a moral equivalency like that? On what planet is name calling as bad as gay bashing?

They should instead be thrilled that the "New World Order" in the PCUSA hasn't treated the bigots like they treated the rest of us for years. They're lucky as heck that we *don't* want to play the eye-for-an-eye game.

Note to Carmen The Millstone Fowler: We're not going to conduct witch-hunts or inquisitions or exorcisms, we're not coming after your jobs, your health care, your homes, your spouse, your children, nor will we chase you down the street with a baseball bat.

While all that behavior is what you expect because it is what you and your friends have been dishing out for centuries, you should thank God every day that we're not like you; we're Christians.

Snad said...

They will seek to progress from “may” to “must” in terms of gay ordination, same-sex marriage rights and per capita support.

Yeah. Just like pro-lifers are forcing people to have abortions when they don't want to. And just like those crazy, heathen, apostate churches that allow divorced people are nor REQUIRING married couples to divorce. because the natural progression is not from inequality to equality; it's from what they want to indulgence to insistence.

Did I get that right?

Alan said...

I think this LayMAN article is really fascinating.

Let's see... Who in the church has been foisting a "must" regarding gay ordination for 30 years? Folks like Norman and The Millstone. i.e. You "must" not ordain LGBT people.

Who has picked a bad translation of Heidelberg and insists on keeping it because it brings it in conformity with their preferred proclivities? Folks like Norman and The Millstone.

Who attempted to redefine and undermine our relationship to the confessions, Scripture, and Christ? Folks like Norman and The Millstone in their support of the clearly un-Reformed (and now gone) G-6.0106b.

From a psychological standpoint, their deluded paranoia and fear of the agenda of hate and intolerance they themselves have been pursuing for (at least) 30 years is intriguing. Add to that their disturbing pathological need to be a martyr. Someone should do a study.

It's like they're running scared from their own fun-house mirror reflections.

Sea Raven, D.Min. said...

Um, Snad, I think you might have meant "pro choicers."

"Pro Lifers" are anything but pro life, in my opinion, and the actual result of their policies has been MORE abortions, not fewer.

Sea Raven, D.Min. said...

Here's a question for the LayMAN -- How is it that a Woman (apparently) is a spokesperson?

Seems the right hand doesn't know what the left is up to.

Snad said...

SR - of course that's what I meant, which you understood. Sorry for the typo. I was on my iTouch, which is tedious.

As for the Woman being a spokesperson, it's like so many other bigoted groups: "We have black members/friends/relatives (circle one), so of course that proves we aren't bigots!"

Yeah. Right.