Shuck and Jive

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Standing for PCUSA Moderator

Presbyterians have the vapors over General Assembly this weekend. Plenty of websites and blogs are claiming to be the place to go for the news.

But you know who really loves you.

Shuck and Jive is your home. I don't even need to be in Minneapolis to give you the lowdown. I just intuit the news you need via secret and special revelation.

For instance, I have channeled the LayMAN to give you this picture of our six candidates for moderator:

They all have nice smiles. Like you, I don't know any of these people from Adam or Eve. Here are interviews in the LayMAN and Presbyterian Voices for Justice. Julia Leeth didn't respond yet to PVJ but the Presbyterian Outlook had questions for her here.

The only question that drives any passion is:

Where do they stand on teh gay?

Everyone says that we need to be concerned about more than this issue. Agreed.

Everyone says that we need moderators who are this, that, and the other and their opinions on marriage and ordination equality should not be the only litmus test. Agreed.

But...and I don't insist or even argue the point...

If you had enough interest at all in who was standing for moderator--that is, enough interest even to read this post or other interviews--I ask, who of you didn't check out closely where each came down on LGBT issues?

I rest my case.

Here is my rank from friendliest to least based on their comments:

  1. Maggie Lauterer (Pro-Equality) "Perhaps when we can speak with a strong majority on matters of human sexuality, we can move on with our mission."
  2. Cynthia Bolbach (Pro-Equality) "Those in favor of the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in our life together – and I include myself in that group – believe that we fail to satisfy the Gospel imperative of inclusiveness as we continue to exclude gays and lesbians from leadership in our church."
  3. Eric Nielsen (Dodge but...) "Assessment of the gifts for ministry of Elders, Deacons, or Ministers of Word and Sacrament should be returned to congregations and presbyteries. They know their people and churches best." (Not sure if Eric agrees but the only way to succeed at this is to remove G-6.0106b. Didn't see any comment on marriage equality)
  4. James Belle (Dodge) He quotes the Bible and Westminster with the slickest non-answer to the question.
  5. Jin Kim (Anti-equality, but keep chatting) "My reflections on the life of Jesus lead me to reject both complete equality in the matters of either ordination or marriage, and ruling out any further GA consideration of these questions for years to come."
  6. Julia Leeth: (Anti-equality) "I pray the Assembly maintains the traditional definition of marriage as supported by the Bible..."
I am going to make a post or two this week about other issues coming before General Assembly. Should be an entertaining party.


  1. I know James Bell (I should he's from my presbytery) and I know Jin Kim from the Presbyterian Multicultural Network. I am surprised as Jin Kim's answer as he gives a different one at Multicultural meetings. There he basically says that all are welcome including homosexuals. Go figure.

  2. Everyone says their welcome includes homosexuals. Even yours, right, Bob?

  3. I had the impression at the multicultural conference this year that he went beyond that.

  4. But the issue isn't about welcoming homosexuals into the church, is it? It's about welcoming them into the place of power. That's a whole other issue, and apparently one with which Jin has an issue.

  5. Um... If someone is still calling us homosexuals, they're not that welcoming.

    This isn't 1869 and even the New York Times style guide suggests using the word "gay" now.

    Welcome, my friend, to the 21st Century. A lot has changed while you've been asleep. :)

  6. Yep.

    All about power.

    Language matters.

    Proving the power of language in the debate, survey responses were nine to 10 percentage points higher when the term “gay and lesbian” was used instead of “homosexual.”

  7. Indeed. Using "homosexual" keeps it all about sex (and allows people like Mike Huckabee to legislate based on their personal "ick factor") rather than making it all about the person.

  8. "Homosex" is fairly new one the homophobians are throwing around. Not sure if it is a noun or a verb.

  9. It's supposed to be both, I guess. Not only is it bad writing and linguistically incorrect, it is also a blindingly obvious attempt by the BFTSs and their gay expert, Gagnon to dehumanize people as much as possible and turn us into an "issue" or a "condition."

    I guess we can be somewhat happy that these days they've at least learned enough manners to stop calling us fags -- to our faces anyway. Unfortunately, they just invented a new word that means the same thing.

  10. Thanks to MLP and PVJ for linking to this post. MLP added names to faces for us. In the above photo:

    (Photo: Candidates, left to right--top row: James Belle, Cynthia Bolbach, Jin Kim; bottom row: Maggie Lauterer, Julia Leeth, Eric Nielsen).

  11. I think I will drop Jin Kim a notch. According to his website he is former president of Presbyterians For Renewal. Affectionately known as Presbyterians For Repression.

    Also, in reading James Belle's comments again, he dodged but it was an anti-gay dodge.

    Erik is a mystery.

    Maggie and Cynthia are the only pro-equality candidates.

  12. My order continues to prove accurate in regards to equality. Maggie and Cynthia top the list. Eric looks like a supporter. He originally voted for G-6.0106b and now regrets it. The LayMAN reports on the moderators talking to CovNet.

    The other three? Anti-equality.

  13. Congratulations to Cynthia Bolbach! Good choice.

  14. Loving your blog.
    Just returned from home after Mod election last night but will check back for your continuing commentary.