Shuck and Jive

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Faux Covenants

I see that Jim Berkley, formerly of the IRD, now of the LayMAN, has written his letter to the Civil Union and Christian Marriage Committee. Presbyweb posted it. Here is a snippet:
We do not love others by setting up faux “covenants” so that they may feel confident and encouraged to continue in sexual sin. We do not love others by failing to warn them about the consequences of their actions, but instead just let them continue in sin to their own destruction.
That is what he thinks of your relationships, my gay and lesbian friends, faux covenants. Allies, that is what he thinks of your friends' and family members' relationships, faux covenants.

This post is not a critique of his letter. I don't even care if you read it. It is the same destructive, harmful nonsense that we can expect from the right wing. He has a right to express it.

The question is this and I put it as bluntly as I can: will he speak for you?

The answer is "yes" unless you speak.

The right wing is churning out the letters and posting them on right wing websites. My post here will probably stir up more anti-lgbt letters. I hope it does more than that.

The committee obviously is not going to be so shallow as simply to take a vote count of pro-lgbt vs. anti-lgbt letters. However, volume does matter (that is why on-line newspapers are always posting those annoying polls).

What matters more is that
  • if you are reading this and
  • if you disagree that same-gender relationships are faux covenants
your voice needs to be heard as much as these others.

You don't need to be a member of the clergy to write a letter.

Maybe you are in a "faux" covenant yourself. Tell the committee it ain't

Maybe you have a friend or family member that the right wing thinks is mo faux. Tell them it isn't so.

Tell your story. Tell the committee and thus the Presbyterian Church that same-gender relationships are the real thing and a far cry from faux covenants.

Perhaps you are not really sure where you stand, but you do think that clergy and congregations need the freedom of conscience to provide pastoral care to all of their members and that blessing these relationships is an important part of that care.

This committee needs to hear the voice of reason and compassion. You are that voice.

Here are the

Responses can be sent
electronically or mailed to Civil Union and Christian Marriage Committee, Office of the General Assembly, Room 4621, 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202-1396.

We have until August 16th.


  1. Gotta love the double whammy of both calling our relationships faux, and the scare quotes around covenants. LOL I wonder if he could possibly be more patronizing and insulting? Probably not.

    I don't need nor want his faux "love." If that's what he thinks love is, he can keep it.

  2. His letter reveals the passive-aggressive nature of fundamentalism.

    1) Mask hatred and aggression with patronizing prose and call it "love."

    2) Deny responsibility for your own prejudice by projecting it on to God.

  3. I didn't read the whole thing ... no reason to, I already know what's in it. But I am sick of the "love" of people like that. Why can't the busybodies, fusspots, tattletales and scolds realize we just don't want their "love" or however else they're currently trying to spin their hate? How hard is it for them to simply mind their own business and butt out, for once in their lives?

    Too hard, I guess. If they weren't grousing what else would they do?

    We ought to start a collection of jig-saw puzzles and sudoku books for them. It might give them something better to do with their time. :)

  4. I have been reminded that "threats and orders" are not helpful in writing a letter to this committee.

    Telling your story will be most valuable.

  5. John,

    This is critical. We are frustrated because those right wingers will never believe that gay people are "born that way." Because if they would ever happen to actually admit that’s it's in our "Calvins" then what would they do? Who would be their next target?

    We're not sure where to start but we're thinking of including some of our pre-marital letter to the session plus some of what we have shared on your blog.

    We are so frickin' fired up it's not even funny. To call our relationship "faux" is pure blasphemy. One may faux paint his walls but there is nothing about our love that is false. Were they there when I almost died? Were they there when we have lost loved ones and held each other in hope?

    They don’t even know what the f@&k they are talking about. How is it possible to REALLY convince them of the harm and damage that they are doing???

    We would like to respond responsibly but we are not sure how to proceed.

  6. Hey Tony and Mike!

    "Fired up" is a sacred thing. We need that passion! Best way to put it to use in this situation is to tell your story to the committee. I think the pre-marital letter you wrote is great, plus what you wrote here.

    The 'faux' stuff is Berkley's letter. I wouldn't mention him or that in your letter. Obviously, you don't want to direct your "fire" at the committee. : )

    The committee (with reasonable, thoughtful people from all over the spectrum) needs to hear from people just like you as to what your relationship is.


  7. Your letter, Drew, is about the finest piece of writing on the subject that I have read! I particularly loved this line: the turning point was not in how I understood sin, but in how I understood love and what healthy and up-building relatedness looks like.

    Amen, Brother!

  8. I agree with Snad! Great work and thanks Drew!