Friday, February 15, 2008

Infamous Methodists

I was baptized and raised in the Methodist church. My father was a Methodist lay minister. My grandfather was the Methodist chaplain at one of the largest hospitals in Missouri.

At one time in my life, I was proud to call myself a Methodist. But the Methodist church began to deteriorate in the seventies after merging with another denomination to become the United Methodist Church. It seemed as if the denomination was becoming more and more liberal (and spineless), both theologically and politically. Eventually, I stopped attending that church except to visit on very rare occasions.

Looking back, I have to say that I'm glad I made that decision, especially when I consider some of the people the Methodist church has contributed to our culture in recent years.

Let's consider a few of the figures who occupy the hall of Methodist infamy:

Sarah Weddington

Thanks to the industrious work of this illustrious attorney from Texas, abortion was legalized in 1973 in the case known as Roe v. Wade. So far, roughly 50 million human beings have been killed legally as the result of her efforts.

Incidentally, the "Roe" in Roe v. Wade, Norma McCorvey, has long since repudiated her own role in the matter. The significance of that fact apparently eludes Weddington, since she has not repented of her own role in that national tragedy.

Hugh Hefner

Yes, the man most responsible for popularizing porn and adultery in America also came from the Methodist church, which he claimed was "repressive".

If the leaders in the Methodist church had done a better job of presenting biblical sexuality in a manner which had helped Hefner to understand the difference between freedom and licentiousness, contemporary American culture might be profoundly different. And a lot of people such as myself might not have come from broken homes.

Hillary Clinton

That's right, Hillary Clinton --- who was recently quoted by the Chicago Free Press as having said that she would be the first president, if elected, to march in a Gay Pride parade --- is also a "lifelong, devout Methodist".

Perhaps President Hillary will appear on the float along with the woman who recently appeared topless (with "pasties") at the Gay Pride parade in Chicago. Gosh, won't that photo op please Bill immensely!

Or maybe Hillary will join arms with the young lady I saw at the Fullerton CTA stop, a few years ago when the parade was being held. The girl had a T-shirt which said "Taste The Rainbow," along with a big arrow pointing straight at her crotch. Yummy! (That's sarcasm, for those of you who are incapable of discerning the obvious.)

Gregory Dell

Dell is a United Methodist minister from Chicago. He achieved his notoriety by performing weddings between gay couples, in spite of the United Methodist policy forbidding such weddings. (Well, at least there are some Methodists who have some moral backbone.)

Walter Coleman

The pastor of the tiny Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood, Walter Coleman's main contribution to culture in this nation of ours has been to undermine the idea that new immigrants to our country have an obligation to obey our immigration laws. His willingness to harbor Elvira Arellano and Flor Crisostomo, both of whom sought "refuge" in Coleman's church, ought to embarrass the United Methodist Church immensely.

George Bush

O.K., the Methodist church isn't completely corrupt yet. George is a flawed man, no doubt about it, but I'm still glad that I voted for him, when I consider who his opponents were at the time.

There are other good (albeit fallible) people in the Methodist church as well.

If you're one of the good Methodists who are trying your hardest to help undo the damage caused by those who have given the United Methodist Church a bad name, then I salute you.

As for me, I no longer identify myself as a Methodist. I no longer identify exclusively with any particular denomination. I just call myself a Christian. I think that's the way Christ would want it.

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