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Conference Leaders Allow Pro-homosexuality And Pro-Abortion Groups To "Storm" UM Legislative Stage


Gay Rights Protesters Storm General Conference (again)

5/1/2008

In what has become a quadrennial tradition, many dozens of gay rights activists associated with groups from within and without the church invaded the plenary floor (where only delegates are allowed) to interrupt for a lengthy protest of the evils of the United Methodist Church for not abandoning Scriptural teaching on sexual morality.

I just got back from there.

Numerous delegates, bishops, and visitors stood in solidarity during the protest. Interestingly (but unsurprisingly), every single staffer of the denomination's Washington office (including Linda Bales and Neal Christie) and staffer or volunteer from RCRC's team to lobby delegates (including that pro-abortion group's PR Director Marjorie Signer) that I saw stood for such solidarity with the homosexuality cause.

More on this to follow ...

- John Lomperis
 

Setting Aside Differences at GC08

5/1/2008

On the Sunday before General Conference, my pastor mentioned the Conference in the morning announcements. He added his hope that the “special interests” that have besieged past General Conferences would be set aside along with divisive issues like abortion, human sexuality, the environment, and immigration. Indeed the Rev. Tom Berlin, the lead clergy delegate for Virginia, mentioned the same hope in a commentary for UM News Service. “The curtain may be rising on a new act in our story as a Christian movement—unless forces of the past conspire to jam it shut.”

Sadly, the hope expressed by my pastor and Rev. Berlin have not been exhibited at this General Conference. There is little agreement on social issues like human sexuality, abortion or the war in Iraq. Each day there are anti-war protests, pro-homosexuality demonstrations, immigration reform rallies, one anti-Bush Library protester, and over a dozen daily leaflets available from various caucus groups.

There is little theological agreement either. On a quick walk through the official UMC bookstore, Cokesbury, one can find monographs by radical Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong, Jesus Seminar author Marcus Borg, and “dissenting” United Methodist Bishop Joseph Sprague. One can also find a few evangelical authors like orthodox Oxford don Alistair McGrath, Jesus Seminar critic and New Testament scholar N.T. Wright, and Mere Christianity’s C.S. Lewis. And there are those from the so-called “extreme center” like UM Bishop Scott Jones (who, by the way, has a curious habit of avoiding taking all leaflets offered to GC delegates and visitors each morning—as a former professor, perhaps he’s already read enough).

Sorry Pastor John, General Conference hasn’t changed a bit.

-Jerald Walz >>>more
 


‘Witness’ translates into ongoing conversations

By Cynthia B. Astle

A stark and somber witness May 1 by LGBT people and their supporters, including delegates and bishops, called The United Methodist Church’s retention of exclusionary policies “wrong and a sin.”

By the end of the day, dialogues around organizing the dignified demonstration evolved into a commitment to continue “holy conversations” on sensitive issues over the next four years.

Some 500 people peacefully walked – not “stormed,” as claimed by John Lomperis of UM Action (click on “2008 General Conference weblog”) — onto the floor of General Conference during a recess as a result of negotiations between leaders of Common Witness and the Council of Bishops. Common Witness was the name given to coordinated efforts on behalf of LGBT people by Affirmation, Reconciling Ministries Network and Methodist Federation for Social Action, with consultation from Soulforce.

Dressed in black, the witnesses expressed their grief at the actions taken the day before by General Conference, which upheld the right of a pastor to refuse membership to LGBT people and that the UMC holds homosexual practice “incompatible with Christian teaching.”...>>>more
 

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