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The structures of hate

A Kentucky Baptist Church has voted to ban interracial couples becoming members of their congregation.  They can still attend church but can’t take any leadership, except for funerals. Read more.

The stated reason is that it is “intended to promote greater unity among the church body and the community we serve.”  Let’s build our unity while we exclude those we are uncomfortable with.  Let’s work with people just like us.  Let’s not face diversity.

Whatever the language, we’re a racist species.  We are clever in the way we justify our prejudice, our conservatism and our hate.   However, it’s racism and it’s obscene.

The LCA treats women in a similar manner.  ‘You can come to church but you can’t have leadership.  Anything else would detract from our unity.’  We create structures in our own image, rather than allow our gaze to fall on Jesus embracing despised prostitutes and criminals (and of course women).  Just as the U.S. south has not recovered from the racism of slavery, the LCA has not recovered from its isolated, antipodean, German misogyny, and it’s obscene.

There can never be a justification for slavery, and there can never be a justification for misogyny, not in anyone’s name.

via Kentucky Baptist Church votes to ban interracial couples.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2011 in sociology

 

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When churches represent hate, hang in there

I’ve come across a very down-to-earth woman’s blog from corn-country in Illinois, US.  The blog, Halfway to Normal, by Kristin Tennant, gives a hint that life hasn’t turned out like she thought it would and that life is messy and complicated.

Her post, ‘ “Why church?” is the wrong question‘, ponders what happens for many people when church doesn’t measure up to their hopes, when people need to leave church for their own health, their own sanity. She tells the story of people dropping their church attendance because of, “bad worship songs and fake people, hypocrisy and often more evidence of hate than love”.

She says, “Sometimes I still wonder ‘Why church? Why do any of us bother?’ When I hear news stories about pastors who are doing all in their power to spread hate, like the pastor in Florida who has plans to burn the Quran on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, I’m tempted to distance myself as far as possible from all pastors and churches. If churches represent hate to more people in the world than they do love, I want to find another way.” (Halfway to Normal’s emphasis)

Those of us alienated by men-only ordination in the LCA so easily experience Church as hateful.  When women are excluded generation after generation, yet are unhindered in public life, when the institution belittles a woman’s call, yet cannot fill parish vacancies, the implications are clear.  It is not surprising that Church can be experienced as hateful.

Fortunately Kristin Tennant found a welcoming, embracing church community where the pastor reminded her in a sermon, “I need to be with brothers and sisters in Christ so I don’t forget what I’m about—what God wants to do through me.”

If you are growing weary of the LCA’s disconnectedness and current direction, please hang-in there.  Don’t walk away from this Church. We need you so that we “don’t forget what (we) are about.” Do what you must to change the Church.   Who do you need to connect to?  Who should you write to?  Talk about it in your congregation.   What can your congregation do about it?  If your pastor isn’t interested in supporting you, find those who will. Connect with this blog, with Women’s Ministry Network or with the Facebook page, Women’s Ordination in the Lutheran Church of Australia.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome.

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Posted by on September 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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