Shuck and Jive

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

Monday, March 31, 2008

My Big Fat Gay Wedding



Rev. Jane Spahr is going to church court on April 25th.





This is the final appeal in front of the PC(USA)'s equivalent of the Supreme Court, the
Permanent Judicial Commission of the General Assembly.

Here is the article in the Presbyterian News Service.

Janie did the dastardly deed of performing weddings for two lesbian couples.

How did she end up getting taken to court in the first place?

Oh, here it is:

The charges against her were sparked by an inquiry from the Rev. James Berkley, a member of Seattle Presbytery who is currently director of Presbyterian Action, an arm of the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

Janie is a gem. Win or lose she knows who is really on trial. In her words:

“My sadness is that I feel I am not on trial but the church that raised so many of us to live loving and caring lives is on trial,” Spahr told the Presbyterian News Service in a written statement. “The church is on trial for forgetting and wrongly judging its very own children — the church which raised us to love.”

Hallelujah, sister.


13 comments:

  1. John,

    I could be wrong, but doesn't the current PCUSA constitution (which you and Jane have sworn to uphold) prohibit ordained PCUSA clergy from presiding over such ceremonies.

    For the record, I respect Spahr, she stood up for what she believed in and appears to be willing to go through the process.

    I understand that you don't support the current constitution, and that you would like to work (I assume) through the proper polity avenues to change it. But it seems as though something like this is part and parcel of the process. It will be interesting to see how it comes out, as well as the Capetz (who I also respect, and am told is a really nice guy) case that will inevitably make its way up the PJC as well.

    Enjoy your Monday

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  2. I can only say this as an non-Presby...

    Sometimes, no matter who we are or what we are, we have to take a stand in the name of what we believe.

    If we always wait for the change and even if we work hard for the change, that kind of thing often doesn't happen until after some you know what hits the fan multiple times.

    It is just human nature and the dynamics of groups at work. One random thing sometimes has to come in and cause the change.

    Amen!

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  3. "I could be wrong, but doesn't the current PCUSA constitution (which you and Jane have sworn to uphold) prohibit ordained PCUSA clergy from presiding over such ceremonies."

    I guess we will see. The court system is also part of the process. The presbytery court found her not guilty. The synod court found her guilty. Now the general assembly court will rule.

    "I understand that you don't support the current constitution,..."

    I do support the constitution and have vowed to uphold it. The constitution is always in the process of change and interpretation. That is why every two years, it is up for amendment.

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  4. "I could be wrong, but doesn't the current PCUSA constitution (which you and Jane have sworn to uphold) prohibit ordained PCUSA clergy from presiding over such ceremonies."

    Well..... yes and no, kinda. The Book of Order is a bit nebulous on the matter. Church courts have upheld that a minister can indeed preside over a same-sex union, under certain circumstances. Unfortunately, like most of the constitutional questions surrounding LGBT issues, the BoO and BoC are often contradictory with themselves, each other, and more importantly, with Scripture.

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  5. Thanks, Fran.

    You know I often wonder how long Jesus would have lasted as a PC(USA) minister (or RC priest, for that matter).

    I don't like to use the Bible as a proof text. But this little quote from Jesus reflects my sentiments of late regarding those who care oh so much that everyone else follows every rule in the book:

    Matthew 23:23 NIV: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

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  6. Thanks Alan! That is what I meant to say...

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  7. Rev. Shuck.

    ERRRRNNN!

    I'm sorry, Matt 23:23 is not an authentic saying of Jesus, according to the Jesus Seminar.

    Thanks for playing, though!

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  8. It is pretty close, Harry. It is in Q! : )

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  9. Close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades.

    Isn't Q divided into four stata? I seem to remember a stratum where the redactors added all sorts of anti-jewish stuff to ingratiate themselves with the Romans.

    Doesn't sound like the thing a good Progressive would want to get involved in.

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  10. "Close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades."

    Does that go back to the historical Harry?

    "Isn't Q divided into four stata? I seem to remember a stratum where the redactors added all sorts of anti-jewish stuff to ingratiate themselves with the Romans."

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to plug Burton Mack who wrote The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins.

    According to Mack, the verse in question is divided this way:

    "Shame on you Pharisees! for you are scrupulous about giving a tithe of mint and dill and cumin to the priests, but you neglect justice and the love of God."

    This is the Q2 phase:

    "Q2 (normal text) makes up more than half of the Q collection of sayings and parables. Jesus has passed on from sage/cynic to child of wisdom. Clearly we can see an evolution in the thought process of these people. They had encountered rejections and had made some advances. They had encountered some difficulty with the Pharisees and with lawyers. We see the introduction of John the Baptist in this collection. John had apparently had his own cult following at the time and there was some interaction between the two groups. We also see the introduction of an apocolyptic vision that was not evident in Q1. An impending "Judgement Day" looms large in tone. Mr. Mack puts Q2 in the late 60's or early 70's."

    The last sentence is later:
    "These things you ought to have done, without neglecting the others."

    This comes from Q3:

    "Q3 (the italic) is by far the smallest source in Q. Jerusalem has fallen, and the tone here is one of a reproach of the ones who refused to listen. Jesus has evolved one more time from child of wisdom to son of God. This would be the vision of Jesus that would last and be the strongest influence on Mark, Matthew and Luke. Mythology has completely taken over here, and only a glimpse of who Jesus actually was is left here. Mr. Mack puts Q3 in the mid 80's of the first century."

    That is astute of you. According to Mack, this verse is probably not from our man, HJ.

    Progressives eat this stuff up.

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  11. Amen brother John. I think Jesus would have lasted maybe two seconds as any clergy in any of our churches!

    Great scripture quote on that one too.

    On a related topic, my two friends (and Dr. Monkey's as well) got theyselves hitched up, lesbian style.
    Go say hey if you have a chance.

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  12. Its amazing what you can do with nothing but the four gospels to play with.

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