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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Pat Robertson has consigned me to hell

"Worried" accidentally deleted the link to the article she wanted to feature and asked me if I could find it. Sure I can, I subscribe to it.

I've made a point (to myself) of not discussing personal religious (or non-religious) beliefs here. It's a distraction from what's really important. There is too much we all (all 5 or 6 of us?) agree on to waste energy quibbling about our differences. That kind of preaching has never been my style. I even agree with much of what the non-religious people say but for me the church fills a void in my life. I don't have to agree with all they say either. And I'm much more spiritual than "religious".

For the record, I'm a Methodist. I was raised as a Baptist (liberal variety) in central New York, moved to the south in the late 60's (first Memphis and then Jonesboro, AR), joined the Southern Baptists and unjoined them very quickly when I realized how much difference there was between Baptist and BAPTIST. I had Methodist relatives, they needed an organist (that's me, of sorts), I liked what I saw, and I stayed.

The church was against Viet Nam, it ordained women, and we were making moves toward desegregation in the south. Most of our segregation then was de facto; more because of the absence of people of color in the community than church policy. The Southern Baptists, of course, went the other direction.

I was away from the church for some time after I left the south in the late 70's. Since I moved here and started raising the girls I've come back to it. Except for the recent flap about their two terrible decisions about the GLBT community (which our Bishops protested unanimously) we've been, if not leading the parade for social change, at least somewhere toward the head of the line. We've supported most progressive causes, we're a member of the World Council, and generally worked for change. Many of us are working within the church for a change in our outdated policy on homosexuality.

Our local church encouraged our brand new PFLAG (Parents, Family & Friends of Lesbians & Gays) to hold their meetings there, a brave move in this city. Our pastor attends at least part of every meeting, not as a spy, but to support. He gave a talk to the group about the ways the Bible is incorrect, contradicts itself, or taken out of context. We do a lot of things right. And we're losing ground to the mega-churches and the religious right.

We have a food bank, a clothes closet, we support our sister city in Nicaragua with medical supplies, and we work closely with other community organizations. We have a prison outreach program; not to preach but to help inmates and their families.

For me, even though I'm not all that sure of what I believe or don't, the church provides structure and true moral teaching for my girls and another way for me to be active here. As the girls grow older, they can decide for themselves what they want to do. Meantime, they're learning about love and compassion instead of hatred.

Now that I have all that out of the way, I think I may have posted about this before. If so, it was a while ago. The Title will take you to a group called Def Con (Defending the Constitution) . The front page has an article containing some of the more absurd sayings of that upstanding Christian, Pat Robertson.

He singles my church out for mention along with the Presbyterians and the Episcopal Church. We must be doing something right because we're all doomed.

When I first heard that statement, I said to somebody that I wonder if he realizes that Bush is a Methodist and Frist, Presbyterian. Bill Clinton, btw, is a Southern Baptist, Hillary is Methodist.

I'm not sure what Bush is doing in the Methodist church but we have an open door policy. We have Oral Roberts (have had for years) doing his thing and Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial in San Francisco doing his. In between, we have a little of everything.

I keep saying I've given Pat his last mention on this blog and yet here we are again. There are many much more dangerous than Pat and the Def Con organization lists most of them, complete with biographical information.

"worried", I'm not sure if all this is what you had in mind but I thought perhaps if I told a little more about myself, it would help.

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5 Comments:

  • At Saturday, January 14, 2006 9:48:00 AM , Blogger JBlue said...

    Granny, if there is a hell, and people like you are going there, something is truly wrong in the universe.

    Interesting post. My father-in-law attends a church up in NE that is very, very fundamentalist here but is so very liberal up there. We're like two different countries.

     
  • At Saturday, January 14, 2006 4:11:00 PM , Blogger Granny said...

    There are many quarrels and even schisms troubling the mainline Protestant denominations and much depends on geographic location. Mine may be headed for one. I hope not but, while I will work for change from within, I couldn't remain a part of any organization with an ongoing pattern of bigotry.

     
  • At Saturday, January 14, 2006 11:10:00 PM , Blogger Elizabeth Green said...

    An interesting post. All I can say is IF you go to hell--which I don't think you will because it doesn't exist--and Pat Robertson's not there, you better save him a seat.

    I am Unitarian, so I am sure he knows I'm gonna be there, too.

    When you were in Memphis, did you ever happen to go the Second Baptist Church? They had a really cool pastor there back during that time period named Brooks Ramsey. He is extremely liberal and does the lecture circuit now. He comes to the Unitarian church & does services when the pastor has to be away. He is one of the few well read Baptists I've ever met. He was telling us how when he was in seminary in St. Louis one of their teachers told them not to read anything that challenged their beliefs and how stupid he thought that was. He said he likes coming over to visit us because he can say whatever he wants.

    He was saying the difference between a Baptist and a Southern Baptist is that a Baptist will say "They ain't no hell." A Southern Baptist will say "The hell they ain't." Funny guy.

     
  • At Saturday, January 14, 2006 11:42:00 PM , Blogger Granny said...

    Elizabeth - hi

    My former bil was a choir director at the Baptist Church in Collierville so that's usually where we were. I went to 1st Baptist once or twice but I don't think we ever went to 2nd. I think I remember the name though.

    I lived in Memphis from autumn of 1967 to early winter of 1968. I was there when MLK was shot (about 1 mile from the motel buying groceries) and was in the Methodist Hospital giving birth when RFK was killed in L. A. Bad year 1968.

    We were out near the fairgrounds and then in Whitehaven (isn't that a great name for a town - right up there with Southhaven, MS).

     
  • At Sunday, January 15, 2006 4:38:00 PM , Blogger Elizabeth Green said...

    Yes, Whitehaven is southwest Memphis in the area around Graceland.

     

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