Friday, June 25, 2010

I Agree With Her,Ask Me Why. Woman Sues Church For Performing Gay Unions

I posted this video under the same heading as this video is posted here. A conversation ensued and here is an excerpt of my comments.

It’s the bottom line of the financial transaction that I agree with. Whether or not its a place to fellowship and worship it is a place in which the good sister Williams has invested considerable time and money only to have her voice muted by the pastors of the church. I am not looking at the particular issue as much as I am looking at the principle. I think she's wrong about gay marriage but I think someone who invests as much time and money as she did deserves to have her voice heard and she deserves to have the pastor consider her voice in the shaping of her/his own theological interpretations (to use Mark's language) its not just about money its also about time and effort but you can't get either of those back. You can get money back.

This is a question for me of entitlement and empowerment in the Black Church. For me it is a question of gender equality and social justice in the Black church. For the most part women and gay men form the financial and logistical back bone of Black churches but the overwhelming majority of pastors, deacons and trustees are heterosexual (at least heterosexually identified) MEN. The voices of women and gay men tend to marginalized in Black churches even though they constitute a majority of the active and contributing members.

Here is the story of a Black woman, who may have been wrong about her reasons, but who stood up for the value of her voice in the decision making process within the church. If you paid attention to the clip you hear the co-pastorial husband and wife team say that THEY (the two of them) wrote the vision statement for the church. Now I have done a number of strategic planning sessions both as a participant and as a leader of the process and I can tell you that it is absolutely inappropriate for two people to write a vision statement for any organization, religious or otherwise, without input from a diverse group of stake-holders. This is why I believe that woman was right. Not because of money, not because of her beliefs about homosexuals but because of the way that they marginalized her voice in the running of the church after what seems to me to be considerable contributions of time and effort from her.