Friday, January 17, 2014

An Ecclesiastical Intervention

Dear United Methodist Church,

I think we need to have a talk.

While you are an organization that I respect greatly for your work in hurting areas around the world, I feel you are making some troubling choices lately. As I think that these choices are going to take you down a path that you might not be able to return from, I feel that an intervention is necessary. 

Please sit down.

You are going down the wrong path, UMC.  You are taking what precious little resources you have and using them to fight against a group that has done you no harm:  gay people.  You are hurting people in this futile fight: gay, straight, and everything in between.  You are driving them away.  You are tearing up families.  You are breaking their hearts.  

People trusted you, UMC.  They trusted you to be there for them.  They trusted they could lean on you when times were hard.  They trusted they could depend on you to do the right thing.  They trusted they could bring you their troubles and their joys.  Their births and their deaths.  Their marriages...well, apparently that came with a caveat.

You know, while it's going to sting, these people will eventually be fine.  They will go on to live their lives.  Maybe they will open up enough again to find another church...maybe not.  But, their livelihood does not depend on you.  Yours, however, DOES depend on them.

Do you think there will be an infinite number of people who think it's okay to discriminate against love?  Do you really think that your numbers will grow with every pastor you convict and fire just because they officiated in their child's wedding?  Do you really think that there is not a point where even the most loyal will simply shake their head, walk out that door, and never come back?

Because, there's not.  They won't.  And there is.

Just pack up these bigotries and tear that stupid page out of the book.  Stop putting pastors on trial for love.  Stop firing people for love.  Just tear that page out, burn it, bury the ashes and salt the ground.  It doesn't deserve a place in a house of worship, it doesn't deserve a place in a teaching, and it doesn't deserve a place in your future.  Get rid of it.

We want you to survive, UMC.  And, not just survive, but to thrive.   Put all your energy back into relief and healing.  Put your energy into uniting, not dividing.  Stop diluting it with these petty differences.   You really don't have enough of it to keep doing that.

UMC, you are on a bad path.  Many have given up, and many are considering it.  Even those who love you have limits.  Why would you want to risk everything to find out what they are?  There will be a point of no return.  Is this really what you want to be remembered for?  How many pastors you fired for marrying their children?  How many people you closed the doors on?  How you pointed to the words on a page, written by you, and claimed it was divine policy?

Just tear that page out, UMC.  We can start over, but you have to tear that page out like you mean it.

Also, I have some rainbow wristbands, if you are interested.

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” -John Wesley