…than the United Methodist Church? That’s a serious question, by the way, and I am looking for a serious answer. Most people, and so most organizations, before they set out to screw the pooch at least look at where other people have gone wrong. Suppose that you knew ten people who set out to walk down the street but failed. You might examine the streets they didn’t manage to navigate looking for clues to avoid coming to the same end they did. When you look at the street, you might find a large hole in the street. As you peered down the hole, you might notice those people sitting at the bottom of it. Most people would learn from this, but not the United Methodists! They would just jump in the whole to be with their friends.
Every major denomination has struggled with the issue of human sexuality over the last thirty years or more. Every last one has fallen down that hole. Many of they climbed back out and gave it another shot. Some of them fell in at least once more. Most of them climbed back out. In fact, most of them learned to walk around the hole and move forward. By now, you might expect that any group still struggling with their position on human sexuality would have learned from the experiences of other denominations. Most who haven’t learned are hopeless cases – Southern Baptists, Roman Catholics, Conservative Lutherans, and the like.
What hole is it they keep falling down? The hole is the hole of unity. The hole of unity says that, no matter the cost, we must remain united. The hole that says nothing is more important than our membership numbers, control of our physical property, and converting the developing world. That hole is a lie, and most denominations love unity much more than they love God. Don’t believe me? The record speaks for itself. There are people in these organizations who see the truth – that discriminating against anyone for any reason is always wrong. Unfortunately, institutional religion loves to discriminate, and every tradition provides their adherents more than enough misguided misinformation and misinterpretation that they can use to deceive themselves into believing their actions are justified. The result is that they placate ignorant bigots and marginalize human beings. You don’t have to be a theology major to know that reasoning is completely inverted.
If ever there was a sign that institutional religion is hopelessly bankrupt, it’s the United Methodist Church.