Sunday, February 06, 2011

Speaking of "letting your light so shine!"

I loved the lessons today ... especially the Gospel about being salt and light. It's one I got in a BIG old argument with my homiletics professor over in seminary so I've always had a soft spot in my heart for it. But that's a story for another day. The story that's caught my eye tonight is this one ... a story from the Huffington Post about our friends over at Hollywood United Methodist who had their Marriage Equality sign vandalized last week:


I loved their response:
The attempt to silence Hollywood UMC's historic support for gay rights has in fact given the church a larger platform for their message. This Sunday, the church will be consecrating and then posting a new banner in response to the act. It reads: "Dear vandals, you can cut the word 'equality' out of a banner, but you can't cut the message out of the church. We will always believe in marriage equality." To the larger Los Angeles community, Reverend Kathy Cooper-Ledesma says, "come on in. Everyone is welcome here--we would love to have you as part of this congregation to help change the world." To the vandals, Cooper-Ledesma says, "we're praying for you."
And then just a few minutes ago this photo came into my email inbox (thanks, Nick!):


So Bravo, Hollywood United Methodist! And well done, Kathy Cooper-Ledesma! I'm proud to have you as a sister in the struggle (and a Facebook Friend!) and hope this light you're shining out into the darkness of discrimination will be a beacon of God's love, justice and compassion to those seeking it in your neck of the woods.

29 comments:

Bill Carroll said...

It reminds me of an African-American church near where we lived in South Carolina that repeatedly had its sign defaced because they offered to help people join the NAACP.

Martin T. said...

It's not the same thing Bill.

Martin T. said...

And by the way (before someone tries to say something to the contrary), I don't support anyone breaking the law (vandalism) to get your point across. It weakens it.

nacinla said...

Thanks, Susan, for passing this on. I should have mentioned that the photo of the new sign was from a post on FB by Tom Carpenter, a hero in our community!
Nick

JCF said...

It's not the same thing

You think so, why?

Martin T. said...

Two different issues for one,JCF. You can't compare racist individuals to those who want to uphold marriage between 1 man and 1 woman. No matter how much you and anyone else want to paint lifestyle issues with the same coat of paint as racial issues, it will never work because the paint will just run off it. Your movement might gain more credibility if you stop comparing it to issues of race and gender. It ticks people off.

danielj said...

from danielj

I am sorry Susan+(you can kick me off for this), and I'm sorry Martin T, but you are graceless when you always have to interject your contrariness into other people's joy.

Susan+ posts something and says "praise God" and someone else agrees "glory to God"...and you just CAN"T let it be.

You are a merciless antagonist. Pray that God has more mercy on you, than you have on others.

Keep it up bro., and you may become the one Jesus spoke of when he said " they prevent others from entering the Kingdom of God, neither do they enter it themselves".

my apologies Susan+
danielj

uffda51 said...

Martin T., the civil rights and marriage equality movements are indeed not only comparable but parallel. You are looking at the wrong end of the telescope by focusing on those being discriminated against, as opposed to those doing the discriminating from a place of unexamined privilege.

In the case of civil rights, a majority (bigoted white Christians) believed that a specific minority (African-Americans) was not entitled to the same civil rights as the majority, and used the Bible to support their position. The majority had an extremist fringe (the KKK and others), supporters in Congress (Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond, etc.) as well as a politically correct doctrine (The Southern Strategy) which was used to win elections from the presidency on down to local school boards.

In the case of marriage equality, a majority (bigoted heterosexual Christians) believe that a specific minority (LGBT persons) is not entitled to the same civil rights as the majority, and use the Bible to support their position. The majority has an extremist fringe (Westboro Baptist Church), supporters in Congress (The “C” Street Family, etc.) as well as a politically correct doctrine (God, guns and gays) which was used to win elections from the presidency on down to local school boards.

BTW, people with the same skin color do not share the same “race.” The concept of race no longer exists in modern genetics, thanks to discoveries in DNA and human genome research.

By the same token, people with the same sexual orientation do not share the same “lifestyle.” I’m a heterosexual married monogamous guy. Hugh Hefner, also a heterosexual, chose to live with three young blonde women and televise is on cable. We don’t share the same “lifestyle.”

For those who didn’t choose our sexual orientation, I would love to hear about the day conservative TEC members chose their orientation. Is there a ceremony? Is it like a bar mitzvah? Or maybe a quinceanera? Are in-laws and friends invited? Is it in the church parish hall? Or perhaps a hotel banquet room? Is there a catered lunch?

Bill Carroll said...

It's may not be the same thing, but it's a closely related thing. The violence is just as deadly, the motives are similar, and some of the culprits are the same.

All of it involves desecration of the image of God and is bound up with the sin of Cain.

IT said...

Thank you uffda. I'm tired of Martin T who is not interested in learning or in dialogue but only in pronouncements.

Martin T, We get your opinion. We think you're wrong. You show no awareness of us or our experience and no ability to listen to us. I'm done with you. And as far as civil marriage, your religious opinion is completely irrelevant.

Martin T. said...

danielj,
I stated an opinion about what Bill said. JCF asked me why I held said opinion. I told JCF why I held said opinion. Now, instead of you addressing said opinion, you address your opinion of my spiritual state?? Are you not doing the same thing that you far-left liberals accuse conservatives of doing?? Your prejudice is showing.

-Martin

JCF said...

Your movement might gain more credibility if you stop comparing it to issues of race and gender. It ticks people off.

Mildren Loving (RIP, of "Loving v Virginia") didn't think so.

Her case (the ban on interracial marriage, which she and her husband's case overturned) was THE analogy, re marriage EQUALITY.

*She* could see that banning marriage on the basis of race ("Race-Mixing is Sinful!"), was the same as the basis of banning marriage on the basis of gender ("Homosexuality is Sinful!").

Frankly, Martin T, Mildren Loving has HECK of lot more credibility on this issue than you do.

Martin T. said...

uffda,
There is only one thing I care to address about what you said. Why do you call those who want to keep marriage between 1 man and 1 woman "bigoted heterosexual Christians"? What exactly about holding that position makes one "bigoted"?? And I stand by what I said, you can't compare those issues of race and gender with a small group of people with a certain way of life that the majority of the people of faith consider immoral. Only on blogs have I saw people attempt to make the connection. But that's your opinion and I respect it your right to one.

MarkBrunson said...

Lot's of luck gettin' anywhere with that, danielj.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Just for the record ...

bigot: A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs.

JCF said...

Why do you call those who want to keep marriage between 1 man and 1 woman "bigoted heterosexual Christians"?

It's in the word "keep", Martin T.

I was going to suggest, "ala a castle keep, the most secure, locked portion" . . . but thought you might reply "Aha! We want to keep marriage safe from her attackers!"

But think of that castle keep in a less romantic viewpoint.

Say the Lord of the Manor kidnapped your fiance, to take her and rape her. You want to get her back, but she's locked away in the keep.

There's your analogy. We're prevented from marrying our beloveds, because an arbitrary Power-Over wielding despot---in this case, a heterosexual-privilege-wield majority---have LOCKED marriage away from us.

Behind guns and barbed wire. Behind electrified fences [I'm picturing the outcome of "Go ahead and arrest me: I'm not leaving this courthouse till me&my beloved get our marriage license!"]

And behind unfair "You must file 'Single'!" tax burdens. And "If you're unmarried, you can't get health insurance for your unmarried partner" rules.

At root, this "keeping marriage" of yours, Martin T (I'm not talking about you and your wife keeping your vows, obviously) is a violent business.

Christ didn't "keep" things, He emptied himself. [To the law, he was faithful, which is not the same as "keeping" here. The English language and its freaking ambiguities!).

I humbly ask you to empty yourself, Martin T, of your Power-Over. Don't KEEP marriage away from your LGBT brothers and sisters.

Evan said...

Martin:

People who want to uphold "traditional marriage" are bigots because they hold that position based on the false idea that relationships between people of the same sex are immoral and inferior to their own, despite the overwhelming experiental evidence of actual same-sex couples who have built happy and stable lives together. They discard all this evidence based on a distortion of what it means to have Christian "faith," a distortion which says that being a Christian means taking a few isolated lines from Scripture more seriously than the pains and loves and losses testified to by one's neighbors. They have, to quote Christian philosopher Eric Reitan (http://thepietythatliesbetween.blogspot.com/) on this subject, plugged their ears with Bible verses, so that they can conveniently ignore the actual lives and experiences of their neighbors.

Anyone who continues to hold discriminatory positions that fly in the face of the actual lives of their neighbors is a bigot, no matter how much they hem and haw that "I don't hate gays, BUT..." Your notion that racial discrimation and discrimination based on sexual orientation are "not the same" is based on the false idea that people "choose" to be gay. Stop and think about that for a moment. Why would anyone "choose" to be gay? Why in the name of God would a teenager in, say, Uganda, wake up one morning and decide to adopt some kind of "lifestyle" that would make them subject to draconian penalties up to and including execution?

Racist bigots and anti-gay activists are exactly the same.

1) They hold to a position which they defend as "tradition" based on highly selective use of the Bible,

2) They bolster their position with phony science and unfactual assertions when people don't take their use of Scripture seriously,

3) They completely ignore all evidence fromt the actual lives experiences of the people they are discriminating against.

Martin T. said...

Well, that doesn't apply to me. If I was so intolerant I would have left the Church instead of remaining to fight to get it back on the path of righteousness again. My uncle is a partnered homosexual and I love him very much, but I wouldn't want him to be my deacon or priest, let alone a bishop. Now, would you categorize others that share your views as bigots as well, intolerant of those moderates and conservatives who disagree with them??

danielj said...

Susan+ thank you for your grace concerning my post. Please allow this one final post..then i will go away.

Markbrunson Well, you are right, and i wasnt intending to get anywhere. In fact, i was very surprised that Susan+ allowed my post. Yes, i may have been a bit over the top, and i can't even remember the last time i got like this...

However, my warning stands... an addiction to battle mode is a killer of grace and mercy; which is a killer of people; which is a killer of the law of Christ. No matter where one stands on the 'gay issue' mercy and grace, not legalism and battle, is the only true Christ like response.

Martin T sorry bro. but its not prejudice. I was pointing out to you that your quickness to battle when no battle is given, is a very dangerous road to go down (I know from past experience).

As for the initial context of this thread; it had nothing to do with the battle you so quickly turned it into.

Susan+ posts a story about a church whose sign is vandalised, but the church responds with another sign.

Bill Carrol responded with "It reminds me of an African-American church ...that repeatedly had its sign defaced because they offered to help people join the NAACP."

The story and response was about praising God that churches can keep up replacing torn down signs in the face of vandalism.

It had nothing to do with equating two kinds of bigotry, but about two different churches which respond the same in regard to torn down signs.

The fact that you took it to mean something else, and went on a rant about how "their" paint will never stick...etc... is evidence that battle is too much of where you are at.

Martin, it matters not to me at all where you stand on SS blessings or ordination. When the Kingdom of God is manifest, there is always fallout.

What matters to me is that you and the other guy came on to this blog site with battle on your mind.. and have been totally deaf to the insults and abuse you cause because of your addition to that battle.

Others have tried to discourse with you and teach you; but you are here to fight, not to learn.

That is all i have to say
thanks again Susan+ for your mercy
Danielj

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

"... would you categorize others that share your views as bigots as well, intolerant of those moderates and conservatives who disagree with them??"

I would ... and do ... when they exclude others because of their opinions. One of my best friends has a great line he uses all the time: "Are you willing to be part of a church that's so inclusive that the person sitting next to you in the pew thinks you shouldn't be there."

Martin T. said...

JCF, I'm not keeping anything from anyone. We're just following scripture. The wedding at Cana was that of one man and one woman. Even if you guys do end up getting what you want, there will still be a huge majority of people who will never look at their marriage as being on the same level spiritually or socially as a SS couple. Be honest, is it just the rights you are after or acceptance and affirmation?

Evan & danielj, I respect your right as American citizens to have your opinion.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

“I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.” -- (thus spake Archbishop Desmond Tutu ... who, incidentally, is going to be preaching at All Saints on Feb 20th)

JCF said...

My uncle is a partnered homosexual and I love him very much, but I wouldn't want him to be my deacon or priest, let alone a bishop.

IF your uncle discerned a call to holy orders and IF the Church concurred in that discernment (which, I hardly need add, is a Kafka-esque nightmare to get through---ask anyone who's undergone the torment, one way or another!) AND at the end of all that, you Martin T, tried to obstruct his ordination...

...then yes, you would be a bigot. Ta-da!

But let's ignore the rigamaroles of the ordination process, and dig deeper: would you block your uncle's partner's getting his health insurance? What if your uncle was employed by, say, the Church? Could your "love" endorse denying your uncle's beloved, say, cancer treatment? What IS your "love him very much" worth? [I apologize if this is a personal question, but Very Interested inquiring mind wants to know]

JCF said...

Even if you guys do end up getting what you want, there will still be a huge majority of people who will never look at their marriage as being on the same level spiritually or socially as a SS couple.

I'm sure you're right . . . in 2011. World-wide.

You DO realize your viewpoint is dying out, Martin T, right? You've seen the age-group demographics? You understand that increased global social networking will only accelerate these demographic trends?

I'm getting to the point where I'm not sure Christianity CAN be saved . . . but I'm CERTAIN it will be LOST, if it's seen by the world denying the very Imago Dei (made LGBT) it claims its Christ was incarnate as, and died for.

Yes, yes: the Church as the Body of Christ can never die (again).That's the faith-claim, and I believe it. But it may be a Body w/o any actual warm bodies in it, if it (through a homophobic freewill) Chooses Death.

Martin T. said...

JCF, to answer your first question, I wouldn't try to obstruct anything. What I mean is that I wouldn't support him. I wouldn't go his ordination or receive sacraments from him. Love does not mean to give your blessing to what you truly believe to be wrong. How he lives his life is his business. As long as he doesn't push it in my face or the rest of the family's face, it doesn't matter. As far as your comment about it being 2011 and world-wide views are changing, I don't care about what the rest of the world has to say about this. Let those countries figure it out. I believe that people, young and old are still holding to the traditional viewpoint.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

“I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.” -- (thus spake Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

Martin T. said...

I'm no one's master. There is only one Lord, one Master, one Teacher.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Martin ... with all due respect, can you not see that when you presume to have the power to translate scripture for us; to decree whether our relationships are valid or holy; to exclude us from vocations the Holy Spirit has called us to and the community has affirmed; to exclude our families from equal protection under the constitution ... can you not see that when you do these things you are indeed setting yourself up as "master" over those who are "less than" you are?

If you can't, I suggest some remedial reading on the term "unexamined privilege."

Martin T. said...

Oh please, it's not like I have any power. I'm not on my parish's vestry, standing committee, or any committee. Basically, I go to Mass and go home. I don't even talk about these issues in our parish and the folks that do, I avoid them as to not cause scandal. The only power I have is the power to walk away and I choose not to. Give me some credit.