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.


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