Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
September 26th, 2014 by Joel Watts

#brogressives are why we, #UMC, can’t have nice things

brogressive

I wrote a post in a follow-up with Dr. Watson, followed by a post at Via Media by Drew M. Jeremy Smith, someone I imagine I could agree more than I disagree on certain topics, goes on to rebut us, not on arguments, but by accusing us of date rape, among other things.

Somehow, he connects this discussion to these points:

Men don’t need a friend to watch our bar drink when we go to the bathroom.

White Men don’t need an advocate when we make a complaint about the police, or a translator when applying for asylum, or hope for a video camera on a cop that shoots them.

Straight White Men don’t have to bring a partner to Thanksgiving dinner to feel safe with our families.

Married Straight White Men don’t need to be walked home, and after being dropped off, we don’t need to be watched from the car to make sure we make it in the door.

Not only did he fail, horribly, to get what I was actually saying, but he then suggests that somehow this is connected to date rape, being closeted, and other forms of rape/harassment.

Jeremy on twitter charges us with the crimes of Ferguson, which I imagine will soon be followed by slavery, the holocaust and maybe even Japanese internment camps. He writes,

Here’s the deal. Closing the floor doesn’t mean everything is done in private. What it means is that there is no audience participation. It means that neither the left nor the right (because believe it or not, the right has their share of attempts to disrupt the meetings and control the delegates) can control delegates through threats or intimidation. The conference, even the closed sessions, would be streamed so that all can see. There will always be a record.

Further, as I stated, I would hope that such a plan would moderate the delegates. Because coming from experience, not having threats leveled at you actually makes you more moderate. As someone who has spoken with more than a few conservative-voters about threats against them (to vote conservative), I can tell you that without the glare of the exclusion community, you may even see a change.

But this? I might even vote for schism now.

Oh, and what is a brogressive? Jeremy.

See David Watson’s post here.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Comments

11 Responses to “#brogressives are why we, #UMC, can’t have nice things”
  1. Know More Than I Should says

    The politics of religion can be almost as dirty as the practice thereof.

    Once politics becomes intertwined with religion, it becomes impossible to reform either.

  2. Don’t wanna be a brogressive, and I don’t agree with all Jeremy is accusing of, but I do think this is about the fact that outside of those in the audience lgbt don’t really have a listened to voice in UMC church policy. Barely any place at all to speak to the church leadership of what they would like, and this isn’t about politics but about actual human beings. In other words, being only allowed to be a silent audience is still being silenced, and as long as this lasts lgbt will likely just move on somewhere else where they’re heard. But that’s probably exactly what UMC wants.

    • Justin, did you accuse me or rape or suggest you have been sanctified out of your privilege? No. Then you’re not brogressive.

      Read Watson’s response: http://davidfwatson.me/2014/09/26/the-slow-death-of-intellectual-virtue/

      Here’s the thing – the LBGT groups do have a seat at the connexional table, etc… and here is my issue. We should come to the GC with Scripture in hand rather than segmented minorities. I believe we can argue from Scripture for inclusion — and further, I believe if a debate was held without the glare, threats, and others from the outside, the UMC would be changed in ways we cannot help but hope for.

      And remember, closed does not mean closed. It only means the delegates have a space free from disruption. (by the right and the left).

  3. I do wonder if this was people of color say instead of lgbt whether the same arguments would be being made? The problem is if the privileged are the ones debating, there’s still that problem of privilege and unintentional bias. At best I see most churches taking this approach coming up with some kind of “third way” approach. It’s always been that when those in marginalized spaces began having a voice in leadership positions that things changed. You need a marginalized interpretation of scripture, marginalized voices in the debate, why is is okay for privileged voices to be speaking over in this debate anyways?

    Perhaps when and if there is more delegation of lgbt voices to speak for lgbt as a part of the conference rather than the “disruptive” audience, that would be a good thing, and contribute to your desire for order. But since lgbt are not allowed in leadership positions that doesn’t actually happen, and thus they go unlistened to in a debate about them. Which just seems really off.

    • Justin, as my POC friends remind me, it would be unfair to attempt to compare the two.

      I think we are going down the wrong path when we see this as privilege, rights, etc… (not to say it is not). However, for most this is a moral issue. For the conservatives, this is about sin and the preservation of Scripture. For the liberals, this is about injustice and progress. These two things are not likely to ever be distilled.

      However, there is a third way. The third way is this – we turn to our Wesleyan heritage of listening to Scripture through several things, including Reason and experience. In Reason, or scholarship, we have scholarship that says Scripture does not speak against homosexuality. In experience, we know that gay Christians lead holy lives devoted to God. In the safe space created by order, I believe the third way can win out, especially since Reason is connected to the Truth and the Truth is what the Spirit is going to lead us into.

      We have to likewise remember, inerrancy and other aberrant forms of fundamentalism developed as a marginalized interpretation of Scripture, as anti-empire, as anti-privilege — and we can see what damage has done to us. I saw we do this correct, as Scripture says, in order.

  4. Know More Than I Should says

    “Men don’t need a friend to watch our bar drink when we go to the bathroom. White Men don’t need an advocate when we make a complaint about the police, or a translator when applying for asylum, or hope for a video camera on a cop that shoots them. Straight White Men don’t have to bring a partner to Thanksgiving dinner to feel safe with our families. Married Straight White Men don’t need to be walked home, and after being dropped off, we don’t need to be watched from the car to make sure we make it in the door.”

    Translation of the above:

    I am not my brother’s or sister’s keeper.
    I have no intention of treating my neighbor as myself.
    When it comes to faith, hope, and love, the greatest of these is me.
    The Good Samaritan should have minded his own business.
    The Pharisee’s prayer is my profession of faith.
    My fruits of the spirit are waxworks.

  5. Easy there. Jeremy is not accusing you of date rape. He is pointing out that you as a man have the privilege of taking your safety for granted in certain situations.
    What this post fails to take into account, what the call to close GC fails to take into account is that the degrading, attacking, abusive, AND the disruptive, speaking-truth-to-power, demonstrating actions are primarily done by people who are delegates already. The call is coming from inside the house. The speaker who equated homosexuality with beastiality was a delegate. The individual who cornered an lgbtq friend in the bathroom and told them “people like you should not be allowed to live” was a delegate, speaking to another delegate. The people who stood with Mark Miller were delegates, every one. The people who lifted the bread and cup at the communion table, breaking the body of Christ in the midst of the broken body of Christ were delegates

    • Becca, when you place the call for a safe place into the same realm as date rape among other actions, you are accusing us of those things. Further, at no point are these things related. This is Jeremy using rape as a ploy to make political points, none of which he would be allowed to do if he was, say, a conservative. Indeed, Jeremy’s privilege is that he gets to use whatever tactics he deems necessary – misappropriation and more – as long as he is pro-inclusion.

      Not to mention the fact Jeremy relies on stereotyping of women as well as dismisses men who are raped.

      If delegates display those behaviors, including rushing to take over the Table, or anything else Love Prevails may attempt, they should be summarily kicked out. But, what we see are disruptions, threats, and attempts to do both of these things by groups from the outside. Caucus groups are a detriment to the UMC and are anti-wesleyan, if not anti-Christian.

      For the rest of us who support inclusion, order, and orthodox Christian doctrine, we will continue to fight for inclusion without the disgusting, shameful, and if I may say sinful tactics Jeremy and others have employed.

  6. If all of these people are delegates, then what difference does it make to close the floor to non-delegates?

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