Shuck and Jive


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election 2006--Reflection

The Democrats have taken control of the House and depending on Montana and Virginia, could make the Senate 50-50. What will they do differently regarding ecology, energy, economy, and empire?

Here is a tally of the marriage amendments in various states:

State

Yes

No

Arizona

48.6%

51.4%

Colorado

56.0%

44.0%

Idaho

62.9%

37.1%

S.C.

78.0%

22.0%

S.D.

52.0%

48.0%

Tennessee

80.4%

19.6%

Virginia

56.9%

43.1%

Wisconsin

59.4%

40.6%


Thanks to Mass Marrier for this chart and an analysis. Arizona is the only state to defeat its marriage amendment proposal. Tennessee (ahem) is the least progressive of all. Carter County voted for the measure by 88% and Washington County by 81%. Link

Mass Marrier quotes a 41 year old woman from Lebanon summing up her view of same-sex relationships: "A lot of people don't realize that's damnation to their soul."

Here is how I look at it. The field is ripe for harvest. First Presbyterian of Elizabethton is the only congregation I know of in Northeast Tennessee that states its full welcome to LGBT people. Here is our statement of welcome:

First Presbyterian invites you to become a part of our fellowship as we worship God and serve others in the spirit of Jesus Christ. With a commitment to achieving a just and peaceful world community, our congregation welcomes those of every age, gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnic identity.

Those 19% in Washington County, 12% in Carter County could well find a home with us. If they found out about us, we will become a mega-church!

Peace,
John

16 comments:

  1. Have the MCC and UUC congregations in the Tri-Cities quielty withdrawn their endorsement of non-heterosexual equality/normality? I think your claim to be the only open and affirming congregation in NE TN is unwittingly inaccurate.

    I know the MCC doesn't have a building until you get to Knoxville, but they still had a small planted congregation in the area when I left four years ago. And I know that the UUC is openly affirming from the funeral I preached there a few years ago.

    By the way, my friend Dr. Jay Mehta will be presenting a lecture there on the Hindu concept of divinity this weekend. He's a capable lecturer, and you might enjoy dropping in if it fits your sechedule.

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  2. I don't think the MCC exists in NE Tennessee any longer. Holston Valley UU is open and affirming, but not a Christian church, although Christians attend. I should have clarified Christian. So I don't think I am that "unwittingly inaccurate."

    Have you told your friend, Jay Mehta that his religion is false?

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  3. Here is a web page that lists gay-friendly churches in Tennessee, http://www.gaychurch.org/Find_a_Church/united_states/us_tennessee.htm
    If you know of others in the Tri-Cities besides HVUU, let us get them on the list!

    john

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  4. Although I was hopeful, I was never truly naive enough to believe the marriage amendment wouldn't pass in Tennessee. I wasn’t exactly prepared to wake up this morning feeling the anger and hate of 80% of this community. I'm overwhelmed and deeply sadden by the outcome of this election.

    As bleak as these times may be, I do take comfort in the positive comments made by the GLBT allies of this blog site, as well as in the wonderfully progressive, inclusive and supportive members of First Pres. in Elizabethton

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  5. Beth,

    I am sorry for the anger and hurt caused by homophobia. I didn't imagine the numbers would be that lopsided either. The road to justice is going to be a long one, and I am glad we are on it together!

    I am so pleased to have you as a friend!

    Blessings,
    John

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  8. John,

    Just a comment from Chris's twin sister. Your statement does not explicitly inlclude gender identity, though you claim it's open to lgbT people. Just a thought.

    JKL

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  9. Hi Jamey! Welcome! I was hoping the adjective "every" would work as we say, "every age, gender, sexual orientation."

    But, we are most certainly welcoming and affirming to trangsgender folks. In an advertisement that appeared in the Loafer, the East Tennesseean and the Elizabethton Star, we wrote

    "Are you looking for an approach to Christianity that welcomes all people regardless of race, sexual orientation, or gender identity?"

    Thanks!
    John

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  10. Yeah, I read. Mom keeps harping on me to take you guys up on it.

    It's a conundrum when the church can only take half of you.

    Pax

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  11. Hi John
    So once you get all those folks in and become a mega-church with a large gay following, what do you tell them? Do you tell them that God has a plan for them that will ultimately free them from their sexual identity and all other things material through Jesus Christ?

    I'm curious as to what your ultimate goal is in regards to the gay followers that you attract.

    Here's a suggestion.
    There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. - Galatians 3:28.

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  12. Hi Jamey,

    I hope to see you some Sunday! I guarantee we will accept and affirm all of you. You can e-mail me privately if you want to find out more about our congregation.

    John

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  13. Jim,

    For the philosophy regarding this blog check out the upper right post under Philosophy.

    Since you are new, I will let you know as I have others that I have zero tolerance for any anti-gay comments, debates over whether or not homosexuality is a sin (it is not) and so forth. Our glbt members and friends of the congregation are accepted and affirmed completely as they participate in their spiritual search.

    Just so you know, any anti-gay stuff such as references to ex-gay ministries or whatever will be deleted.

    Blessings,
    John

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  15. John,

    I'd love to believe that, but most people's eyes pop out of their head when they find out I'm rabidly orthodox and, at least, moderately conservative. While I'm sure my "birth defect" (and, no, I don't mean Chris :p) would be welcomed and affirmed, my insistence that all outside of Christ (in the "orthodox" understanding) perish would probably make your congregation as uncomfortable with me as my GID does with the PCA (where, yes, I have been asked not to come back).

    Though He slay me,
    JKL

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  16. Hi Jamey,

    We have a progressive theological statement, yes. The question is not so much whether we would be comfortable with you, as whether you would be comfortable with us, including my liberal theology! You might check out some of my sermons or articles regarding that. I don't know what most people believe. I could say with certainty that no one in the church agrees with everything I preach or teach. They allow me to preach and teach anyway. I may share some things that might open them to see new things on their path as they open new paths for me. We are open to any who wish to explore their spiritual path regardless of human condition. Does that mean we are perfect? Not by a long shot. You are certainly most welcome to come and give us a try.

    I think our mission statement and the eight points of TCPC pretty well sums up who we are.

    Many blessings,
    John

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