Shuck and Jive

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mother (Dearest) Church Reconsiders

John Knox struck up the alleluias too soon it appears. The Church of Scotland (behaving like all superstitious and fearful cults--like the PCUSA) gave into its homophobic element. I praised it yesterday for approving an openly gay man as minister. The backlash has begun.

Instead of outright rejecting a motion similar to the PCUSA's G-6.0106b (effectively banning gays without mentioning them), the General Assembly decided to set up a commission. From the BBC:

The Church of Scotland has avoided a potentially damaging debate about whether gay people should be allowed to become Kirk ministers.

At its General Assembly in Edinburgh, it was decided instead that a special commission should be set up to consider the matter and report in 2011.

There will be a two-year ban on the future ordination of gay ministers.

"Avoided a potentially damaging debate" says the news. Potentially damaging to whom? Those of us who have watched commission after commission in the 35 year struggle in the PCUSA know what these commissions end up doing.

The Church of Scotland will experience a shit storm of fear-mongering for two years. At the end of this time, the beleaguered commission will come up with some report. It makes no difference what the report will say. Fundamentalist forces will wrest control and tell the same lies and offer the same threats that have been made here for the past third of a century. Then they will come up with some horrific rule (just like G-6.0106b).

The Church of Scotland will be no further ahead then than they are now.

It was fun for a day.



  1. I have copied your post into my own blog as an update to the initial good news. I have also added your blog to my blogroll:

  2. What I continue to find both annoying and amusing in equal measure is each denomination's inability to pull it's head out of the sand and look around at what other denominations have been doing, and how those efforts have failed miserably again and again.

    Why would anyone with any knowledge at all think that a "study" is going to do any good?

  3. The only good it does is buy time for people who don't want something to happen on their watch.

  4. Obie--thanks! I have added you to my blogroll as well.

    Alan--exactly. It is nothing more than avoidance and it serves those who don't want change.

  5. Hello John,

    Those of us working on this issue in Scotland do not see it in quite such a negative light. I would call your attention to an article in the Times at this link -

    One thing about the debate here is that if people resort to negative tactics, it tends to create a backlash, so that if the people seeking to keep the doors closed do that, it will work against them.

    Take Care - John Mann

  6. Hey drjohnmann,

    Good luck to you over there. A couple of observations. I doubt your denomination is anything special in regards to "negative tactics."

    Here is the first lesson. Those who are in control of power or who are privileged by current arrangements of power use the phrase "negative tactics" at those who "upset the peace" by "introducing conflict."

    Of course that totally and conveniently ignores the current situation of injustice within the church. The one naming the injustice of the current arrangements of power will be accused of using "negative tactics."

    Good, nice, moderate folks don't even know what real "negative tactics" are.

    Here is one. Stalling by issuing a moratorium on gay clergy is a "negative tactic." You got hit with a "negative tactic" and you didn't even know it.

  7. I love the headline of that article. Leading the way? Not even.

    When it comes to delay/distract/stall/no action tactics, the PCUSA is way ahead of the Church of Scotland.

    Leading the way? Sounds like someone's got a bad case of Stockholm syndrome to me.

  8. drjohnmann,

    I reread your post. You were talking about negative tactics by the opposition. Got ya.

    Really, I do hope you are right. I will hold out hope for that. Since you have all taken a vow of silence, I guess no one will say anything about it for two years!

    A moratorium and silence are not things that work well for the cause of justice. You are starting off with two strikes against you.

    While you are trusting the good work of the commission, all the opposition has to do is organize behind the scenes.

    Don't get blindsided.