I have just finished reading an article that was written based on content from a manifesto written by Dr. Dorothee Benz an LGBTQI activist from New York and is a founding member of MIND (Methodists in New Directions) and serves as its national representative. To say that I was taken aback by the tone of her writings would be a massive understatement. I know that sitting in the pew we are not always aware of these types of things going on in the church, after all why upset the troops so to speak. But the bitterness and the unsubstantiated thoughts, actions and statements attributed to our church which I have inserted here:
– “An anti-queer majority at General Conference, a combination of U.S. and international conservatives, led and whipped into a hateful frenzy by southern white Americans, has refused to consider our humanity,” contends Benz in her 2,000-word manifesto. “We are told we are prostitutes, pedophiles, murderers.”
-……, but at General Conference a tyranny of the majority is hellbent on denying our humanity,” Benz writes.
To my knowledge I have never heard of such actions from the church.
Along with the following begs to ask the question how is there no violence in the following statements.
-We must find a way to make it impossible for delegates to continue to step over our bodies, ignore our hymns, and stick to their schedules. It will take my body and yours – all of ours – to do this,” proclaims Dr. Dorothee Benz, an LGBTQI activist from New York, in an April 13 statement.
– According to the Love Prevails website: “The training will offer attendees direct action skills in a nonviolence framework while being clear about divesting from white supremacist interpretations of nonviolence.” (note what does this mean? Is it a vailed threat?)
-“If we do not disrupt business as usual, then nothing will change,” Benz concludes. “The money changers, the dove sellers, the discriminatory legislation, the foundational hate language in our Book of Discipline – it will all continue.”
This is a rather awkward attempt to ask a very difficult question. Going back to the blog title I have to ask. Why hasn’t the leadership of our church addressed this issue? So far, and I could be very wrong, I have not read, seen or heard any response from the leadership. Should we not defend the concept of peaceful assembly, orderly presentation and discussion of issues as also being part of the Methodist way? Are we not by our inaction endorsing the mindset that if you don’t agree with something you disrupt, ignore, disobey and refuse to allow others to be heard?
The leadership of the church needs to step up and do what they have been elected or appointed to do. Lead God’s people in a civil discourse of ideas that will bring to all people the word of God. You the leadership is by your inaction allowing a picture of our church as one of a divided house held hostage by bitterness, hate and disrespect for our brothers and sisters in the Faith. Loss of members, closing of churches and the division of leadership as to the intent of the gospel has made its way into the pew. We are watching and we don’t like what we see. We come to church to worship our God, share the word and to leave and go out to face the world as it is strengthen by the grace, guidance and love of our savior Jesus Christ. One last thought. How can anyone who has such hate and bitterness in their heart ever expect to have God’s ear or be led by the Holy Spirit?