Why I am no longer a Presbyterian
: I left the Presbyterian Church five years ago and I am happier than ever that I did.
Yesterday, the NY Times had a story about a group of Presbyterian ministers being sued in the denomination’s ecclesiastical court for allegedy violating the Presbyterian policy against ordaining gays to the ministry or church office.
Evil, disgusting bigots.
Here’s my tale:
I first left the church way back in 1968 when our minister preached against the Vietnam War and received death threats against him and his family from his own congregation. He left the ministry. I left the church.
Decades passed. I had children. I decided they deserved the same right to reject what I had rejected and so I went searching for churches.
We went to a local Presbyterian church. I knew I was a round peg in a square hole when I gave an adult class in TV — I was a TV critic then — and said I liked Cheers and was attacked by church ladies. Why? Because it has sex on it. Well, so does life, you shriveled prunes! I knew I didn’t fit in when one of the ministers had people coming up to the front of the church to witness like Baptists; Presbyterians usually do not wear their faith on their bumpers like that.
But I knew I had to leave when the ruling body of the congregation eagerly signed — in secret — a morally repugnant letter that came out of Princeton Seminary condemning gays in the ministry, pouring fire on a fight that has been raging in the denomination for more than a decade.
How dare they sit in judgment over others? How dare they decide who is and is not good enough to be a minister? Would they do the same to blacks? Well, actually, they would; this church tries to hide the fact that it hosted KKK meetings — in New Jersey, mind you — way back when. These were the same sorts of people who tried to keep women out of the ministry.
Now it so happens that my sister is a Presbyterian minister. I’m proud of her and her vocation. She fights the fight in the church against this discrimination. She loses but keeps fighting. I support her in that.
But I refuse to raise my children in this atmosphere of hate. Raising them in the Presbyterian Church would be like raising them in the KKK or the Nazi Party. And no, I’m not exaggerating for effect. A church that breeds hate is a most hateful institution.
So I told the minister that he and his cohorts were a bunch of bigots and quit.
We went to another church but it got mired in politics when a new minister who did not fit in was fired. We quit again.
Now I go to a small, open-minded Congregational church.
That story in the Times only reminded me of my disgust and anger.
The Catholics aren’t the only church in trouble these days.
Speaking of fascists
: The Guardian reports that the FBI spied on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor because she was allegedly shtupping and passing secrets to Joachim von Ribbentrop:
The damning dossier – released for the first time by the intelligence agency – shows that the main reason why the Americans thought the abdication of Edward VIII had taken place in 1936 was because the duchess fervently supported the Nazi regime and this was totally unacceptable to the then Conservative prime minister, Stanley Baldwin. The official view has always been that he abdicated to marry the person he loved but could not stay on the throne because she was a divorcee.
The papers show that the FBI was told by a minor German royal that Wallis Simpson was having an affair with Joachim von Ribbentrop, who was then German ambassador to Britain, while she was seeing the Duke of Windsor….
The papers also contain reports from a party in Paris that the duchess told guests that the duke was impotent and she was the only person who could satisfy his sexual desires.
The documents fuel the long-running controversy over allegations that the disloyal pair secretly admired fascism and that he was lined up to return to the throne if Hitler had conquered Britain.
Speaking of corruption
: The Observer gets to the core of the corruption in American business:
This is not just a case of companies fudging a billion here or there, as President Bush said in his folksy statement on Friday, and hoping nobody notices, a problem, as he characterises it, of individual ethics rather than systemic deformation. Rather, this is where America’s business culture has led, legitimised by the conservative ideological barrage now a generation old which has transformed American public discourse. Everything should and must be pro-market, pro-business and pro-shareholder, a policy platform lubricated by colossal infusions of corporate cash into America’s money-dominated political system.
The Observer blames much of this on the South.
Come to think of it, the Presbyterian Church was ruined when it merged with its Southern half. Hmmm.
Speaking of rich dolts
: Can you believe Michael Bloomberg saying that investors are as much to blame as crooked CEOs for the capitalist crisis into which we are now sinking and fast? He said:
“People who were buying stocks in the stock market at multiples that never made any sense should look at themselves in the mirror. They’re as responsible, I think, as those who actually committed the crimes of misstating earnings and fudging the numbers.”
Dick. As if these investors could know that these CEOs were lying to the tunes of billions of frigging dollars and their accountants were covering up for them. Dick.