Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"It's as simple as if she had stolen church money"

Rev. Jane Adams Spahr will go before the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission on Friday. Her crime? She married two lesbian couples.

Jim Berkley of the IRD, who likes to claim that he really has little to do with this, still oddly enough, finds himself in the news. He makes one juicy quote after another. In an article in Tuesday's (Santa Rosa, CA) Press Democrat, Berkley is quoted again:

The Rev. James Berkley, a Seattle-area Presbyterian minister, contends the law is paramount and Spahr "thumbed her nose" at it.

"It's as simple as if she had stolen church money," he said.
Why mince words, Jim? Why not say,

"It's as simple as if she took a knife and stabbed the church secretary?"

No, what Rev. Jane Spahr did was facilitate at wedding ceremonies for two lesbian couples. She didn't steal church money or anything resembling that. To make that comparison as Berkley is wont to do, demonstrates the level of false witness organizations such as the IRD will stoop to smear ministers with whom they disagree.

On Friday, Rev. Spahr either will be found out of order or not by the GA PJC.

If she doesn't win the case, then, it will be clearly time to make some changes regarding how ministers can do ministry. Celebrating at a wedding ceremony (regardless of whether the participants are gay or straight) should not be considered a crime.

General Assembly 2008 in June will consider some overtures including the Baltimore Overture to change the definition of marriage from "one man and one woman" to "two people." It is time to say yes to this. No more waiting.

Also, several presbyteries have sent overtures regarding changing our ordination policy. I personally like the one from Cincinnati, but most any will do. No more waiting.

Go to More Light Presbyterians for a listing of these overtures.

Moderate delegates at the GA will decide. Moderates, you may be personally uncomfortable with all of the complex issues surrounding prejudice against non-heterosexuals. You may not be sure if you agree with me or with Rev. Spahr on all things. You don't have to agree.

But good Lord, you surely do not want the IRD's church, do you? Their vision is a disaster. In their church, everyone is out including you unless you agree with their incredibly narrow fundamentalism.

If you are near our mountain learn about the tactics and goals of the IRD as we watch the film, IRD: Renewal or Ruin? Rev. Steven D. Martin, producer of the film, will be present at the screening.


  1. I can't believe someone compares officiating at a wedding to "stealing money from the church". Making that kind of comparison is like drop kicking babies into the ocean.

  2. "Making that kind of comparison is like drop kicking babies into the ocean."


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  4. Marrying two women or two men is akin to taking the bottle out of the baby Jesus's mouth.

  5. Now I have mental images of Jim Berkley grabbing the left boob of the BVM to get the nipple out of the Baby Jesus' mouth.