Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Woot! I Have Been Layed!

I have been waiting a long time. Previously, I have made it to the Letters to the Editor section. But today, thank you very much, Mr. LayMAN himself, Parker "Burn the Heretics!" Williamson featured me in one of his rants.

Awesome. Check it. Here is the part about me!

Shucking Scripture

Not only does the PCUSA turn a deaf ear to whispers of heresy, it harbors clergy who loudly applaud it. The Rev. John Shuck, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Elizabethton, Tenn., an advisor to the Presbyterian campus ministry program at East Tennessee State University, and a member of Holston Presbytery’s governing council came quickly to the five ministers’ defense on his March 23 blog.

Shuck warned conservative church people might attack non-believing clergy by focusing on their integrity. Such attacks turn reality on its head, says Shuck, because faithless ministers are not the problem. The real problem is “the traditional church’s worn out faith” that these ministers no longer believe. Shuck believes these ministers are announcing “the demise of supernaturalism and the creeds that continue to uphold it,” and that their non-belief should be applauded rather than punished.

Happy Easter!

“We were not placed in any garden by any divine being,” Shuck tells his Internet audience. “No god/man came to Earth, walked on water, rose from the dead and sits on a heavenly throne. That is religious fiction. It is metaphor, story, myth, human invention. It is how our ancestors tried to find meaning. Bless their hearts.”

Shuck continues, “My advice for clergy and for laypeople who are growing out of a childish supernaturalistic past is to stand your ground. Don’t let them set the terms or the rules. Don’t resign. Be bold. Tell the truth. Don’t call it a loss of faith. It is a growth in understanding. It is waking up from sleep. It is gaining sight from blindness. It is resurrection from death to life. Happy Easter.”

One wonders how the churches of Holston Presbytery have agreed to tolerate this in-your-face apostasy, much less commend college students to his counsel and honor him with a position of presbytery governance.

Happy Easter, indeed! Shuck has sucked the life out of Easter. Scripture speaks clearly to those who so cavalierly discard the Gospel:

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins.”

Here is the blog entry he was talking about, A Church Without God.

I am glad Mr. Williamson mentioned the Presbyterian Campus Ministry.

Join us Tuesday nights at 7 and for the program at 8. All ETSU students are welcome!!

The students and I work together to create some great programs.

Last night we had an authentic Passover Seder presented by rabbinical student, Barbara Turner, and her students at Hillel (the Jewish campus ministry at ETSU).

Thanks for the shout, Parker!



  1. "Shuck has sucked the life out of Easter."

    All I can say is, if this, their most sacred holiday is that fragile, it needed to go before a "death panel" long before now.

  2. That one is lovely. Good enough for the sidebar.

  3. Good idea! It does want a bit of freshening up, every so often.

  4. Indeed, Snad. It is amazing that the BFTSs claim to believe that Jesus Christ can overcome sin and death, but they clearly don't believe that He can overcome John Shuck without their help. Thank goodness the BFTSs have been taking their geritol!

    Truly you are powerful as the Emperor has foreseen, John. :)

    The article allows comments. I think it would be amusing if you called Williamson out and dared him to file charges against you, or else prove himself to be as big of a hypocrite those he smears in his article. Fish like him can't help but rise to such cheap bait, and even better, you know all you'd get is a sputtering frail and feeble-minded rationalization of some sort about why he can't file charges because they wouldn't go anywhere anyway, blah, blah, blah (which would yet again prove him to be the impotent BFTS that we all know and love.)

    On the upside, at least the campus ministry got some free publicity. As you can probably tell, I think the Layman is great for free publicity. ;) They've been very useful to us in the past.

  5. I did send him a little note.

    Maybe Parker can use some of the proceeds from smearing me to help fund our campus ministry so heretics like me won't be asked to do it for free.

  6. Here is what I wrote to Parker and the LayMEN:

    So Parker,

    What are you going to do about this big, bad heretic just across the border? Whine and cry like a baby? Use me to raise money for the LayMAN? The least you could do is include a link to my blog so people could read my heresies in full without your filter. And you could give me a cut of the money you will raise with your little smear campaign. The real question is: why don't you file a charge, big boy?

    John Shuck
    Elizabethton, Tennessee

  7. LOL

    You have finely arrived, John. To get maligned by name by none other than Parker himself is an honor few can claim.


    Although I do have to say the hypocrisy is eye popping. Even coming from Parker.

  8. John you have been writing articles entitled Hersey 1, 2, 3. I assumed that this meant you saw yourself as a heretic. Of course I pointed out that one of your heresies isn't really a heresy.

    Now as for me I'm not interested in bringing charges against you. Having seen the PCUsA discipline system from the inside I wouldn't bring charges against anyone but a person who has committee sexual misconduct or stole a lot of money from the congregation they serve. Besides I think the PCUSA is more fun with you in it than if you were out. Who would be next on the list? After all, with a win under their belt (if they got you kicked out) the heretic hunters would move on to someone else. Oh wait. They already have brought charges, haven't they!

  9. @Bob,

    You know me. I shuck and jive.

    Some days I'm a heretic. Some days I'm a saint. Some days are diamonds. Some days are stone.


    I’m a bitch I’m a lover
    I’m a child I’m a mother
    I’m a sinner I’m a saint
    I do not feel ashamed
    I’m your hell I’m your dream
    I’m nothin’ in between
    You know, you wouldn’t want it any other way

    You are right on, though, Bob. I agree with your second paragraph.

  10. You can always tell if you are doing good work because some know it all will be pointing a finger and shaking it vigorously.

  11. Snad

    Nope. If John wants to be a cross dresser and sing and dance (or preach) in drag it's fine with me. Hey I wear an ankle length gown every Sunday except in the summer. On top of that I'm known for walking around town in a kilt, which of course is not cross dressing but the manliest of manly clothing!

    And if John wants to go the hormones and surgery route, that's up to him. Personally I think he's prettier as a male than he would be as a female but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. :)

  12. I think you spend too much time thinking about that, Bob. You may want to talk to someone.

  13. "The real question is: why don't you file a charge, big boy?"

    Sweet. LOL

  14. Yea, but they didn't have the balls to fully quote him.

    Who knew the layMAN actually edits their letters to the editor?

    It completely changed the meaning and tone of the letter to their own propaganda advantage.

  15. Disclaimer for those wondering what the scuttle is:

    This is bullying.

    To bring the campus ministry into is about as low as you can get.

    Parker Williamson is a destroyer.

  16. BTW, I'm pretty sure they did link to an external site (ours) when they published info about the Northside delete-B overture.

    So I guess they endorse it then?

  17. "is about as low as you can get. "

    Well, that and implying that deleting B will then allow sexual misconduct in the church and using someone who supports the deletion of B to make your case for that ... That would be right down there too.

    But that's the thing with pigs. They like mud.

  18. "How low can they go?"

    Are really you sure you want to know? Because I'm convinced we'll find out as they get more and more desperate and hysterical after B is deleted.

  19. The BFTS would probably work off some of their pent up "steam" a little if they'd just go clubbing with Michael Steele once in a while.

  20. Here's something I posted to comment made on FB

    Yes, yes, yes ... I've read Shuckandjive for a long time ... he's a good friend of the faith, and he's right: it's not faithless pastors who are the problem, but the worn out faith held by many, a faith defended without love and without reason. With a little less "faith" and a whole lot more Scripture (see Wright's work), we might actually recover a pre-Contantinian way of life grounded in the Risen Christ who also carried the cross. I've never been able to understand why the LameMan gets so totally focused on "heresy" - more time spent there than in genuine proclamation - a serious violation of the parable of the wheat and tares - let the sorting begin, not now, but with the angels at the end!

  21. BTW, I'm pretty sure they did link to an external site (ours) when they published info about the Northside delete-B overture.

    So I guess they endorse it then?

    Must be. Else the LayMAN simply is not telling the truth. Hmmm...

  22. What always has annoyed me about the LayMAN and the Lay Committee is their basic disloyalty to the denomination. Lay people are represented within the denomination at all levels. How dare they say they speak for the Laity?

    They are well funded by some rich plutocrat and have spread their divisiveness and disrespect for decades. I am glad you challenge them. I wish we could make them go away as they have no place in the life of the church when they cause so much division. They are like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and so many other Right Wingers spreading disinformation and fear and anger day after day after year after year after decade after decade. They mock the legitimate leadership of the nation and our denomination with their misuse of press freedom and way too much money.

    love, john + + "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind." -- Albert Einstein

  23. Right on, John.

    In my casual conversations with folks, I find that people are just afraid of him and afraid of the controversy he stirs up.

    He thinks he can just trash talk me and bring my presbytery and the campus ministry into it and everyone will just cower.

    I think that has worked in the past. Afraid of controversy, people walk on eggshells around the mighty LayMAN.

    He has bullied gays, he's bullied clergy, he's bullied denominational staff, he's bullied theologians, enough.


    I'm not afraid of that pompous blowhard.

    Bring it, Parker.

  24. What I don’t understand is why you are surprised that it happened. I am not your biggest fan but there are others who are just waiting for you to post exactly what you posted.

    “No god/man came to Earth, walked on water, rose from the dead and sits on a heavenly throne. That is religious fiction.”

    Once you made your statements of Potluck, it was like blood in the water, they couldn’t wait to attack it was just a matter of time.

  25. Mary,

    Some of us believe in freedom of expression. Some of us believe that it is an important value for a free society to be able to express one's views, that it is good for democracy and for our institutions (including the church) to explore avenues of thought including strange and unexplored avenues.

    Some people believe that even though we disagree and disagree strongly even to the point of thinking that someone is absolutely wrong, that it is better for a free society to allow forbearance than to force someone into silence by threat.

    Many of my colleagues in my presbytery disagree strongly with some of the views I have expressed on this blog. Yet, the bullies and busybodies from the outside cannot seem to convince them (so far at least) to silence me in some way. Why is that?

    I can think of a couple of reasons. The first is that my colleagues know me as a person. They know me as more than simply a blog persona. They work with me. We work together on things we have in common, including ministry to our college students for example.

    A second reason could be that they value freedom over coercion. Rather than force me, they would prefer to converse with me, even persuade me, but in the end, they decide to live and let live.

    Even though doing so may require us to co-exist with people who have viewpoints we really don't like, it is better than the alternative of coercion.

    I think that freedom of expression and freedom to explore different views is of critical importance to the survival of a free society. If the church really cares about Truth, then it ought to be able to handle expressions that seem to counter its treasured assertions.

    When we must resort to coercion rather than conversation can our views really be that truthful or convincing? Is the church so fragile that it cannot even bear to hear the wisdom of the world let alone "Divine" wisdom?

    So when punks, toughs, bullies, and blowhards like Parker Williamson use their power, influence, finances, and underhanded tactics to cajole and threaten, what do you think lovers of a free society ought to do?

    Here is what I think you do. It is what I will do. You don't back down. You tell your truths as you best know them.

    There is much more at stake than just me. Who cares what I say? I am likely wrong on 99% of everything, but that 1% may be what the church needs.

    That is true for anyone.

    That is true for you as well. You are welcome to express what you think is true anytime, including on this blog.

    Who knows, we might even learn something from each other.

  26. "Once you made your statements of Potluck, it was like blood in the water, they couldn’t wait to attack it was just a matter of time."

    And THAT'S a good reason?! Rather than condemn this bullying, you simply rationalize it?

    I think, Mary, that you've missed a bit about the 30 year history of the LayMAN which has been precisely about this sort of bullying. This isn't a new thing, and it didn't happen because John wrote a post about potlucks. It has been happening for years.

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. BTW, I checked because unlike the BFTSs, I don't like to make unsubstantiated assertions.

    The LayMAN did indeed link to Northside's website when we proposed our overture. In fact, they linked to it 4 times in 4 separate articles*. (Like I said, about the free publicity... Those fish can't help but rise to cheap bait. Care to predict to whom I sent out that Press Release first?) :)

    So either they endorse it, or they're liars.

    *I won't like to the articles, because I wouldn't want to appear to endorse their content.

  29. Alan,

    As much as it makes me nauseous to point this out, I think they could slither away from your criticism on a minor technicality. Their Editor's Note made reference to blogs not to church websites.

  30. Meh. I'm going with their endorsement of deleting B.

    They've said it, so it must be true. :)

  31. Well then, maybe your church should send out a Press Release announcing the Layman’s endorsement.
    On second thought, that would be in pretty bad taste.

    It's been a while since the church has seen a heresy trial. Do you think we could push those cowards at the Layman into filing a charge?

    Burn Him! Burn the Heretic!

  32. Um, perhaps a little too energetic there, Kattie.

    Reg: [arriving at Brian's crucifixion] Hello, Sibling Brian.

    Brian: Thank God you've come, Reg.

    Reg: Well, I think I should point out first, Brian, in all fairness, we are not, in fact, the rescue committee. However, I have been asked to read the following prepared statement on behalf of the movement. "We the People's Front of Judea, brackets, officials, end brackets, do hereby convey our sincere fraternal and sisterly greetings to you, Brian, on this, the occasion of your martyrdom. "

    Brian: What?

    Reg: "Your death will stand as a landmark in the continuing struggle to liberate the parent land from the hands of the Roman imperialist aggressors, excluding those concerned with drainage, medicine, roads, housing, education, viniculture and any other Romans contributing to the welfare of Jews of both sexes and hermaphrodites. Signed, on behalf of the P. F. J. , etc. " And I'd just like to add, on a personal note, my own admiration, for what you're doing for us, Brian, on what must be, after all, for you a very difficult time.

  33. "Do you think we could push those cowards at the Layman into filing a charge?"

    Nah, they have their lackeys do their dirty work for them. For example, where's that Yearsley guy when you need him? Maybe he'd do it, since these sorts of losing cases seem to be a hobby for him and his "classically" presbyterian cronies.

    Oops, but John's not gay. So that's probably why they're not interested in filing charges against him. Because if history is any guide, if it doesn't have to do with someone's naughty bits, those old guys aren't interested.

    However, given that filing charges is a primary money maker for the LayMEN, I'm surprised they haven't done so yet. John's got to be worth some serious donations to the LayMAN from the BFTSs of this denomination.

  34. A friend on Twitter pointed out this interesting statement.

    It appears that it has cost so far $143,000 to keep Lisa Larges from being ordained.

  35. Sorry John, I got carried away.

    Alan, if we are to believe Pope Gagnon, then homosexual use of naughty bits is the WORST kind of sin. I guess that's why the BFTSs get so riled up over it. They’re just following their Bishop.

  36. Why should money laundered through them to a Law firm be tax deductable?

    When conservatives brag that they give more money to charity than liberals, this is some of the kind of 'charity' it goes toward.

  37. "What is CPC's envolvement in the Larges case? Why should money laundered through them to a Law firm be tax deductible?"

    Since they're giving for a particular good or service, I would think that the deduction could only be for the amount over and above the fair market value of the service.

    For example, if I give money to a church at an auction for $300 to buy a widget that is really only worth $40, I can only deduct the difference as a charitable contribution.

    I would think this is a similar situation, and since they're still raising money, I can only assume that they haven't covered all the expenses for their crack legal team yet, meaning that the fair market value for their legal fees is still higher than what they've collected so far. So none of it would be deductible.

    But I'm no tax attorney, so what do I know?

    Perhaps the IRS should investigate.

  38. "Perhaps the IRS should investigate."

    Yes, maybe they should.