Ground Rules for the site and commentary
We consider ourselves in all ways, moderates. Methodist Moderates in the Middle… We strive to balance the 4 points of the Wesley quad. The issues that often divide our community and certainly threaten to divide our church are complex and often emotional. There are no easy answers, and it is dishonest to suggest otherwise. The solutions will be difficult; complete consensus on most of these challenges will be almost impossible.
We invite discussion and reaction from those on the left and right of center, though extremism, pure political partisanship, and hostility will not be tolerated. Angry ranting, and shrill rhetoric have no place in our community.
Aren’t there websites and blogs already dedicated to rights for LGBT persons wishing to have a greater role in religion floating around? And for that matter, I’ve seen lots of sites about liberal vs. conservative theology.
Yes. There are some incredibly wonderful and dedicated activists working and blogging for gay rights within the global church and the Methodist Church. The Reconciling Movement is one such group, Breaking the Silence is another.
There are several sites, groups, and authors that try to monitor the religious right’s influence on the Christianity and government. Talk2Action.com is enormously successful at this.
We admire these and many more sites for all of their efforts, (see blogroll).
But we have not found a site or any comprehensive work that looks at these issues as they apply to the Methodist Church. We are in simpatico with our friends in the LGBT community, but often that is a very specific agenda for them; we want to recognize that there are even more ways that our mainstream church is being marginalized by outside political or religious/political groups in ways that some of these other groups do not focus on.
We also wish to target study and responses specific to the Methodist Church in a way that may have some effect toward strengthening our church. We want to take some of this research and discussion and motivate our community to become even more involved in the governance of the church.
Am I free to say anything I want here?
Readers are free to comment what they wish, but postings may be monitored. Trolling, personal attacks, inflammatory statements, blog baiting, and shrill or disturbing comments will be deleted and the authors permanently suspended.
Is there anything off topic?
The following is a list of givens for this site and should serve as a guide for this blog, posted articles, commentary, and letters:
- We support separation of church and state.
- The church can and should lead in social justice issues, (poverty, health, prejudice, discrimination, bigotry). The church should take seriously stewardship of our environment.
- We are pro-choice, often very reluctantly… in fact, almost all of us would describe ourselves as essentially pro-life — but from the legal and practical side, we are pro-choice. We understand the gravity, risk, and sometimes desperation in the choice to terminate a pregnancy. Many of us are conflicted about this issue, however, but we support Roe vs. Wade. We recognize the great complexities involved here, and we seek to support the churches involvement in programs that would reduce the number of abortions in our country.
- We support equality in issues that involve human sexual identity.
- We do not believe that any living man has shown to be the sole interpreter of scripture, nor do we believe in Bible “literalism”.
Who decides what is on or off topic, or for that matter, the difference between an impassioned essay or a shrill diatribe?
We do. The moderators.
But isn’t that a subjective call?
But I would like to make some important points that might not be anywhere near what you have established in your guidelines, how can I do that?
Get a website. Start a blog. Purchase an AM radio transmitter. Better yet, search for those communities that align with your narrow view. You can start by looking at the Good News Movement, The Institute for Religion and Democracy, and The Confessing Movement. There are many others, of course.