Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Unite and Conquer!

I've finally pinpointed what is, for me, the most upsetting part of my now-former pastor's lamebrained scheme to hide the gays in her church from the Latinos.

It's the same strategy used by "The Man" to whom "progressives" like pastor are supposed to be sticking it.

Divide and conquer. Keep us all balkanized into separate little groups. See us not as individuals, each possessing his or her own, free will -- no, that's too messy! -- but as neatly-manageable (and basically interchangeable) cogs in the machine.

The gays and the Latinos are being played against one another, very much the same way Hillary Clinton tried to play the African-Americans against the hard-workin' white crackers. That's the spirit, sister: Keep us ALL down.

Cogs in the machine...pawns on the chessboard. It's easier, I guess, to keep track of us that way -- when you really don't care about us as people. But what happens to those who happen to be members of more than one little minority group? What, for example, about gay Latinos?

They don't count, that's what about them. Not, at least, to their "pastor." She has failed them most spectacularly of all.

Boys and girls, if anybody ought to know better than to play such a losing game, it should be a Christian clergyperson. She, of all people, should be able to see each and every one of us as a unique creation of God. And she should recognize that NO one's rights may be sacrificed for the sake of anyone else's.

In a world in which ANYone's rights and freedoms are endangered, EVERYone's are. I'm not sure what part of that she doesn't understand.

United we stand. United we conquer. This must be our rallying cry in the face of anyone who would exploit us for the sake of their own power and control.

By all means, we MUST "stick in to The Man." Even when The Man is a Woman.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A New Page

My now-former church likes to have what they call Adult Forums after Sunday services. They get together over coffee ("Lutheran gasoline") and goodies to talk about Important Issues of the Day. Even though I'm on my way out, I'd like to suggest a new topic for them to ponder.

How come it is they can't figure out how to be TRULY welcoming, tolerant and inclusive? Why does it always have to be a big show with little backstage substance?

The pastor was for Hillary in the primary. The two of them are just about exactly the same age, from the same sort of background, and with the same outlook on life. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

That generation did a lot for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you...but can we move on now? They don't seem to be able to yield the stage with a new generation, or even to share it with us. Addicted to the limelight, they stay out there bowing and kissing the air, even as the curtain falls on them.

Now they're merely getting in the way. We don't need Mommy (or Daddy) to do it all for us; we're big enough to do it ourselves now. They led the way, but they won't even let us follow.

So she wants to be inclusive -- fine and dandy. What a tremendous help it would be if they knew what that means. What she seems content to do is to THINK she's being inclusive, and to act the part. That it is nothing but a role she can step in and out of at will, she either doesn't realize or thinks we don't.

There are different conceptions of what multiculturalism means. She has chosen the most unsustainable, counterproductive and self-defeating conception possible. She credits Anglo America with moral superiority over everybody else -- all the good qualities come from us, she thinks, and are somehow uniquely ours. Everybody else in the world gets credit for nothing but misery.

Latinos, and quite a number of other folks in this world, might take some issue with the notion that Americans are the sole beacons of tolerance, inclusiveness and human dignity in this world. She thinks she's being "multicultural" by "letting" the Latinos "have" the bigotry and intolerance she evidently credits to them. We must be "inclusive" of them by denying in them all decent human qualities, and projecting upon them our own bigotry and narrowness of mind. She can't conceive of them as having the potential to welcome those who are different from themselves, so to make the church more "welcoming" for them, she must lie to them and make them think the gays aren't there.

Good topic for Adult Forum? I'd bet my eyeteeth it's one they'll never have the gumption to touch.

Progressives in this country -- and indeed, all over the world -- are turning to a new page. Visionaries like Senator Obama are leading the way. Getting prima donnas like Hillary Clinton and my former pastor OUT of the way is crucial to moving on. (And okay, maybe Obama's former pastor, too.) A new page, a new act -- there's much more to this play.

As I move on, like Senator Obama, to a new church home, I turn to a new page, too.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Out-Luthering Luther?

Well, I've just about had it. A full year after I'd thought our pastor had given up on her "Let's hide the gays from the Latinos" scheme, I find out she's still at it. Balkanizing us into groups to avoid dealing with us as individuals, and pushing us around like pawns on a chessboard. And my fellow church councilmembers (the straight ones, anyway) have morphed into The Stepford People -- totally without consciences or wills of their own, apparently. Over this entire year, no one has had the backbone to stand up to her. Have I missed something, or have we elected her pope?

These people like to brag about their Lutheran heritage, but they'd toss Luther out the first time he made them the least bit uncomfortable. The Lutheran Church -- even its most liberal branch, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America -- has gone Catholic. Sooner or later, the institution becomes all-important. Don't rock the boat...don't make waves.

This is as insulting to the Latinos as it is to the gays. It is downright degrading to everybody -- even the pastor. Especially the pastor. I am so outta there.

The ELCA's "Sexuality Statement" is also an insult to everybody. They manage to take half a gazillion words to say absolutely nothing. And they took seven years of "study" to do it! I. AM. OUTTA. THERE. With bells on.

Truth be told, my two years in the United Church of Christ spoiled me for anything else. I lost my head and returned, from there, to the Catholic Church, quickly realized what a boner that was and then, too embarrassed to return to the UCC, went through my whole rediscovery of Luther -- who did, indeed, help me through my final break with Rome -- and returned, anew, to the Lutheran Church of my youth. Again, I have popped a massive green one.

There's a UCC downtown that everybody's talking about. Several friends and acquaintances of mine go there, and they all are proud to call it home. I'm on my way there, myself. Is the UCC for me? To quote them quoting Gracie Allen, "God is still speaking," and "Never place a period where God has placed a comma." Among all the children of Israel, Gracie is my favorite prophet.

The denomination has a stellar history. They didn't do so well with the Salem Witch Trials, but they pulled out of that tailspin pretty completely. Half the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Congregationalists, as the denomination was then called. They stood strong against slavery when few other churches did anything but cheerlead on its behalf. They were staunch champions of women's rights when that, too, was, to most of Christendom, considered uncool. And they have led the way for GLBT rights like nobody else under Christ.

Obama's church, too, huh? Jeremiah Wright said some wacky things, but I must admit I agree with at least 95% of the things I've heard him say. Including some of the stuff Obama himself has disavowed. I like the way they stood up to the IRS, too. Were there any justice in this world, most of the churches on the Religious Right would have lost their tax-exempt free ride decades ago.

First Congregational United Church of Christ. The "Church of the White Spire," as it's known here in Phoenix. Historic building -- it even looks the part of an old-style Congregationalist church. Come this Sunday, God willing, I am there. And maybe -- if, again, God is willing -- I will truly be home at last.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Our man is in! It is now official. Barack Obama will be the Democratic Party nominee for President.

Hillary still hasn't figured that out. We're told we have to "give her time." Bullcrap. By the time she decides what planet she's on, the world will have cheerfully moved on without her.

And what of all those sore losers who say they won't vote for her? You know the ones...the hard workin' white crackers for Hillary and the sour old broads of the "Denver...Denver...Denver" chants in the balcony? Let 'em bite big green ones. They, too, are totally out of touch with reality.

Grandpa McSame would keep on screwin' all the working folks. And I guess the balcony-chanters don't need no stinkin' Roe v. Wade.

Watch this space for continued gloating about Barack's big win. And now for the official prediction: major Republican carnage in November.

That's right, righties. It's Custer at the Little Bighorn for you. That earthquake you hear is us comin'. You have no idea just how bad the slaughter will be. But you'll find out soon enough. You can run, but you can't hide.

Millions more are going to be voting this year, and they will pull the lever for Obama. So, too, will most of the former Hillary-ites who didn't fry their brains too far past the point of no return back in the Sixties.

McSame has gotten a cushy ride from the worshipful (supposedly liberal) media thus far. They call him a "maverick." Were he a Democrat, he'd be just another flip-flopper. This generation knows how to use technology. His every flip and flop will be instantly immortalized on You Tube. We're gonna nail him to the wall flatter than a flyspeck.

More cottage-cheese-on-lime-jello speeches, sir. Please. They are charming when you make 'em sound like bedtime stories for the kiddies. Give us all the screaming creepies as we imagine you reading us yet another rendition of My Pet Goat.

Obama in '08. You've seen the preview. Now brace yourselves for the reality.