Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Homosexual Coupling -- Woot!

The LayMAN has posted an editorial regarding marriage overtures to the General Assembly.

You can read about
these timely overtures at More Light Presbyterians.

The LayMAN disapproves.

They don't want any gay marriage.

None of the LayMEN want to get gay married.

They don't want any other LayMEN to get gay married.

They don't want any LayWOMEN to get gay married.

If you are Presbyterian, they don't want YOU getting gay married.

If you are a Presbyterian clergyperson, they don't want YOU doing any hocus pocus at any gay weddin' either!

You got that?

And if you are a session member of a congregation, don't you go approvin' any gay weddings in your church.

It would be just too confusing. The LayMAN's brain just can't seem to manage freedom of conscience.
To wit:
These overtures are evidence of a mindset that is comfortable with cognitive dissonance, the idea that logically opposing propositions can co-exist. Mental contortion is required when the effect of these overtures is considered. It would be okay for one church in a presbytery to bless a homosexual coupling, while another church in the same presbytery might reject the request outright on the basis of Scripture. Proponents don’t see a problem with that.
Nope. We don't see a problem with that.

If y'all don't want folks to get gay married in your LayMAN church, send them right over to FPC Elizabethton! We like hosting gay weddings.

We really get into that homosexual coupling and think it is grand.

At gay weddings we read scripture, laugh, cry, and celebrate with the newly married couple. We think that if Jesus were to visit he might turn the water into wine.

We also respect the views of our neighboring Presbyterian congregations. No one is forced to attend.

No one is forced to agree.

These overtures simply remind us who we already are.

That is what makes us Presbyterian.



  1. You are making me want to get gay-married!

  2. If you are not careful, they will take your Presbyterian license away !
    Is your sect loose about what they allow different congregations to do and still use their title and participate in their conferences or are you a outcast?

  3. @Doxy It's fun!

    @Sabio I am a minister in good standing. I'll hang around as long as they will let me. : )

  4. I do wish the LameMan would give it a rest. I am pretty sure most Presbyterians feel the same. We are getting Fundamentalist fatigue.

  5. But Jodie! If they gave it a rest, The!Sky!Would!Fall! and it would be The!End!Of!The!World!As!We!Know!It!!!!!

    Of course, some of us would be just fine with that....


    I find the LayMAN's histrionics pretty amusing since I've seen any number of their ardent supporters admit that they know that ordination and marriage issues are a fait accompli. I've seen them on various blogs admit that they realize they cannot fight demographics. As a recent headline in a DC newspaper put it, "Gay marriage opponents inch closer to death."

    Which means that the busybodies, fusspots, tattletales, and scolds are just doing all this to keep their jobs. Once gay marriage and LGBT ordination are approved in the PCUSA, what would be the point in employing Parker Williamson, or Carmen "The Millstone" Fowler?

    And when this is all over, what will the old biddies, grouchy old geezers, and church ladies do with their time? (Seriously, imagine if they'd picked gardening as a hobby 10 years ago instead of butting into other people's lives. Think where the church would be now!)

    So while it would be nice if they'd give it a rest, I think they simply cannot think of anything else to do with their time.

  7. How kind of you for not forcing other Presbyterians to attend your weddings! It hard enough to figure out who is on the bride's side and who is on the other bride's side. :) LOL

  8. @pastor nathan

    Now if only the busybodies would be just as kind to leave the rest of us alone.

  9. @ Alan,

    "Seriously, imagine if they'd picked gardening as a hobby 10 years ago instead of butting into other people's lives"

    I imagine that would have solved the deforestation problem by now!

  10. an individuals belief system is more intimately connected with their identity than is given credit. belief systems dont function and respond to reason, and are only changed thru living experiences.

    the issue about homosexuality has to be lived out up close and personnal...............eventually it it will be credited as equal to the mean time what better way to live it out than thru diversity in a denomination. in this way each believers understanding is honored.

  11. Problem in the interim:

    Unless the FoG is changed and a section on sexual orientation is added to chapter 4 there will be problems with both a gay or lesbian pastors or pastors who is willing to perform marriages for two people of the same sex if they try to move to a more conservative presbytery.

    This would have the effect of congregations in presbyteries which refuse to have gay or lesbian pastors and those who are will do weddings for two people of the same sex to get a pastor who agrees with them in some presbyteries.

    This is an interim problem because most likely when my childrens' generation move into leadership in presbyteries I am fairly certain that they will change the position of most presbyteries.

  12. @Bob

    But that is no different now regarding any issue. Presbyteries are always the gatekeepers. Presbyteries are always balancing in regards to how they respond to congregations who are not in the majority in their presbytery. For instance, a liberal presbytery will make decisions on whether or not a conservative congregation can call a minister who fits their vision or to tell the congregation no. I don't know of any presbytery (liberal or conservative) in which 100% of its congregations are on the same page regarding this or any other issue. Every presbytery has at least one odd stepchild.

  13. Bob,

    That's only a problem if individual pastors actually care about the rules regarding marriage and ordination set up by their presbytery. Those pastors who care about justice don't follow the BoO now, so why would that change after the nFoG passes? My guess is that liberal pastors in conservative presbyteries are ordaining LGBT elders and deacons now, and conducting marriages now. So what would change and why would it change?

    And does anything in the nFoG stop random strangers from filing nuisance charges against people they've never met? I'm not sure what the point of any sort of "local option" is if the busybodies, fusspots, tattletales and scolds don't have to abide by it and stop making ridiculous spectacles of themselves.

    Ordination (of elders and deacons) and marriage are congregational issues, not a presbytery ones, so if the nFoG attempts to circumvent that in some way, I don't see how it will solve much.

    But then, making up waste-of-time solutions that don't solve anything (PUP report, Marriage report, etc., etc.) seems to be the PCUSA's mission lately.

  14. The millstone expresses more hyperbolic paranoia on this in her latest.

    She writes:

    What does the Church have to say to the sexually confused and those unwilling to subordinate their own proclivities to the revealed will of God in the Word of God?

    Since the millstone appears to be the sexually confused one, here is the answer. At its best, the Church has been pretty consistent with what it has to say regarding ethics:

    1) Don't bear false witness against others (in your case Ms. Millstone against gays and lesbians ie. blaming them for heterosexual divorce).
    2) Don't make "God" or Scripture an excuse or scapegoat for your prejudices.
    3) Acknowledge the fact that the church is not always in agreement.

    I'll bet if you think really hard, you might be able to communicate that to the seven year olds in your life.

  15. "Since the millstone appears to be the sexually confused one..."


    Now there may be any number of BFTSs like Larry Craig, Ted Haggard, Richard Curtis, Bob Allen, Glenn Murphy, Roy Ashburn, Charlie Crist, Ed Schrock and the latest closet case, George Reker who are sexually confused. As far as I can tell, all the available evidence seems to suggest that those at greatest risk of being "confused" are the homophobes in our midst. Remember when the gay stereotype was a limp-wristed, lisping florist? Now the predominant gay stereotype is an rabidly anti-gay evangelical Christian.

    But hey, whatever lifts Carmen's luggage .... so to speak.

    But I'm pretty sure that real straight people just don't spend that much time obsessing about gay sex.

    So what should the church say to the sexually confused anti-gay closeted evangelicals out there like Rekers, Haggard, and our resident BFTSs? Probably something like, "You'll be a lot happier when you stop lying to yourself and just come out. We already know you're gay anyway, and you're not fooling anyone."

  16. Alan

    My point was that a COM or a presbytery might not allow a pastor that differs from the majority of the presbytery to become a member of the presbytery. Similarly, the COM and the presbytery have a say in who within the presbytery can move to which church.

    If a pastor is known for his/her positions on homosexual marriage or is gay or lesbian no matter what a congregation may want the presbytery has the power to prevent people from accepting a call or a congregation from issuing a call.

    An example: I am pretty certain that if there was a congregation in Beaver/Butler Presbytery that wanted to call her the presbytery would not allow her to be a member of the presbytery or to accept the call. But as I said I think this problem will go away in 15 years or so.

  17. @Bob

    The change is already well underway. Interesting that it is the conservative congregations leaving the denomination because they presumably cannot do ministry in a "liberal" denomination.

  18. That may be true, but I don't see how that would be anything new under the nFoG.

    COMs and Presbyteries play these games all the time because someone isn't part of their clique.

  19. Alan

    "COMs and Presbyteries play these games all the time because someone isn't part of their clique"

    Ain't that the truth.

  20. Oh, my. So many wonderful comments! Diving in:

    @ Alan said Which means that the busybodies, fusspots, tattletales, and scolds are just doing all this to keep their jobs.

    What? You mean it hasn't been about them keeping their jobs all along?!?! Silly, cynical me.

    @feetxxxl said an individuals belief system is more intimately connected with their identity than is given credit.

    This is so very true that it amazes me how the fusspots et al can think that sexual identity isn't at least as intimately connected to a person's identity!

    @John S said in your case Ms. Millstone....

    Have I told you lately that I love you? I think I have, but just in case, that monicker alone has purchased my undying admiration.

    I am just giddy from all this!

  21. "What? You mean it hasn't been about them keeping their jobs all along?!?! Silly, cynical me."

    Well, and their pensions. Right John? ;)

  22. the change in interpretation of scripture will happen when those who think homosexuality is a sin witness up close and personnal(1john1 witness) that the lives and marriages of believing homosexuals are filled with the fruit of the spirit in the same way as those of believing heterosexuals.

    what is interesting is that this could be settled today if heterosexual believers proactively sought out to fellowship with gay believers. but be it as it may such a step to a many believers is comparable to cutting off their right arm.

    for the record: there is no scripture that has ever said that homosexuality was a sin.
    and being homosexual does not come against either the 2nd commandment(love your neighbor........)the summation of all new covenant law, or the fruit of the spirit the essence of the spirit of christ.
    and under the new covenant believers do not have a relationship to god thru regulation as in deut28(torn curtain), but instead directly to the spirit of the one who lives in each believer.

    the homosexual issue is really about christendom taking their other foot out of the old covenant and putting it in the new.

    what's also interesting is that the spirit of the understanding that homosexuality is good and of god has existed since christ.

  23. "the change in interpretation of scripture will happen when those who think homosexuality is a sin witness up close and personnal(1john1 witness) that the lives and marriages of believing homosexuals are filled with the fruit of the spirit in the same way as those of believing heterosexuals."

    I agree.

    I have said for years that debate does not, and has never worked to change people's minds on such issues because people simply do not make rational, data-driven decisions about their beliefs on such issues.

    So knowing people will move the conversation forward.

    And demographics. To paraphrase Max Plank said, change happens one funeral at a time.

    "what is interesting is that this could be settled today if heterosexual believers proactively sought out to fellowship with gay believers."

    Doesn't even have to be that much effort. It could also be settled today if the homophobes would just decide to give up being busybodies, fusspots, tattletales, and scolds. But as long as they decide to spend their lives telling the rest of us how to live ours, it becomes a problem for all of us -- particularly when there is so little evidence that they're any good at running their own lives.

  24. one thing i have found consistent with those who think it is a sin is that they have no understanding about spirit..the spirit of christ, the love of god (and the father)(instead are obsessed with his wrath), or that we live under grace, and somehow they think they can in some way make themselves holy, they refuse to acknowledge that the only way we are holy is because the spirit of christ lives in us.

    the fact that anything without love(godlove)(love one another as i have loved you) is nothing and gains nothing escapes them.1cor13

    they are extremely effected by the fact that there is a prohibition in lev about same sex relations.

    again.....its about stepping out of the old covenant.

  25. "one thing i have found consistent with those who think it is a sin is that they have no understanding about spirit..."

    What I have found consistent is their inconsistency.

    While they talk a good game about salvation through grace alone, their actual views of salvation are entirely works-based. Not straight? Yer goin' to hell.

    While they talk a good game about Presbyterian polity, their actual views are that ministers of the word and sacrament are actually Catholic priests who are required to be sinless and somehow more special than the rest of us cattle, and who have the supernatural power to lead people to hell.

    They complain that that we pick and choose from Scripture and only they take it seriously. But they choose to only pick and choose one half of Lev 20:13, while ignoring the second half. (Well... ignoring it out loud, I should say. I suspect many/most privately like that second half much more than they're willing to admit. Note their support of Christians in various African countries who are pushing for the death penalty for homosexuality.)

    They say that our condemnation of their views as hate is a lie, and then they suggest that anyone who doesn't agree with them should have a millstone tied around their necks. They sign onto various declarations written by the same people who support the death penalty for homosexuality in various African countries. But that's not hate, right?

    They say we should just pray the gay away while citing as their support for such lunacy, a bunch of closet cases who cruise gay sex websites and hire prostitutes.

    They say it's all about the children! Then they oppose gay adoption.

    And then these people, like Carmen "The Millstone" Fowler say that it is liberals who enjoy cognitive dissonance?!

  26. @Alan

    Regarding jobs and pensions. It might be time for my mini-rant.

    1) I am a clergyperson. I get paid for what I do. I (and our congregations) pay into a pension plan (which I doubt I will ever receive because I think we are in for a major economic crash before I get to retirement age, but that is another issue altogether).

    2) I have been accused of being in the ministry "only because of the pension." That is both absurd and partially true. I am also in the ministry because I make a living at it. Imagine that! There are chemical engineers at Eastman Chemical who do their work in order to get paid for it and are in the pension plan. Are they wrong to do so? Should they do it for free? The PCUSA could be like the Mormon church and we could all be volunteers. But we are not. We pay our clergy. That is our system and I am in it.

    3) This is my career. This is my job. This is my livelihood. I think I do a good job at it. I think I serve my congregation and the larger church well. I am also in the ministry because I find it to be a joyful and meaningful way to make a living. Even as I disagree with and work to change some aspects of my denomination I am proud of what we do on the whole. I am saddened when clergy and others in our denomination lose their jobs. I get angry when BFTSs attempt to meddle in the lives of clergy and others.

    4) As Alan has pointed out correctly, the BFTSs only seem to go after clergy rather than the actual gay couples getting married or gay and lesbian VOLUNTEER deacons and elders. Why? There is no payoff in going after volunteers. You cannot ruin their lives. Instead they threaten clergy who rely on salaries and pensions to make a living (and so they can eventually retire like anyone else).

    5) I don't care why the LayMAN is in business. When Parker "pompous blowhard" Williamson accuses my colleagues (and me) of receiving pay for living a lie, my response is "Whatever, you hypocrite."

  27. I thought you'd enjoy that little dig at one of our "classically" presbyterian friends, a presbyterian minister who I assume receives neither a paycheck or a pension. :)

    (I assume that if he were receiving either one, he gives every penny away. Oh wait, that would be expecting consistency from people who are incapable of it. I won't hold my breath.)

    I'd say this was yet another example of inconsistency and cognitive dissonance on the part of the BFTSs if I had any evidence that there was any cognition involved whatsoever.

    As for the BFTSs, you know I'm with you on that one. I've been *begging* them to come after me for years to no avail, because I don't get paid by the church. Even the LayMAN quoted me coming out on the floor of GA. And what happened? Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. I've written letters to the LayMAN about my big gay marriage. And what happened? Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zilch.

    So, do they go after the gay guy who is actually totally gay married and an actual big ol' gay elder elder or do they repeatedly threaten and go after the straight ministers? Well, the straight ministers, obviously, because threats are totally What Jesus Would Do.


    But in the meantime, their refusal to go after those of us who are so publicly out is proof-positive that their statements about discipline, connectionalism, and sin are complete lies that not even they believe. Yet more inconsistencies. They say they're about discipline but refuse to enforce it. They say they're about connectionalism, but refuse to practice it. They say they're about preventing sin, but refuse to admonish it.

    This point about pay and pensions and ministers and elders is a point that isn't brought up enough to counter the lies of the BFTSs. Every time one of them mentions discipline, connectionalism, etc. I simply respond, "Oh, really? What about me?" Then I laugh at them (including our "classically" and "orthodox" presbyterian friends when I've asked them that question) as they trip over themselves attempting to come up with pathetic rationalizations.