Monday, January 19, 2015

Major Washington DC Baptist church again fields a question on inclusiveness


Sunday morning, at a congregational breakfast at the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC, consultant John Wimberly was asked about inclusiveness.  Apparently a few years back the Church did not vote a LGBT inclusiveness measure when it had came up.
   
Wimberly said that a church should follow its own conscience first.  However, the practical world suggests that the biggest source of new members, the 35-44 age group or “Gen X”, has changed in attitude tremendously in one generation;  furthermore the highly educated workforce in Washington and around the Dupont Circle area is among the most socially liberal in the nation.  He also said that his own interpretation of Christian theology was that the Bible is neutral on sexual orientation as if is understood in the modern world and does not consider adult homosexual relations wrong on their face.
  
The First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC is affiliated with both American and Southern Baptist Conventions, and is located very near the "17th Street Strip" in Washington's "gay" neighborhood.   17th St, between P and R Street, is "Frank Kameny Way" (Wiki).  I grew up in this church, which opened its current sanctuary on Christmas Day 1955.  The Church has operated since 1802.  Dr. Edward Pruden was pastor from the 1940s to the 1960s, and (raised in Richmond) was wat ahead of his time on race, and his book "Interpreters Needed" (1951) had examined why a "Christian" country Germany could become vulnerable to Nazism.

In the morning presentation, Dr. Wimberly mentioned President Truman's order integrating the military in 1948 (as in the HBO film "Truman", 1996) as a precursor to civil rights;  he did not specifically mention the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" under Obama in 2010-2011, but that was a rather obvious inference in context. 
        
Even the Vatican, as in more recent statements, seems to recognize biological differences but seems to believe it is appropriate to ask for more disproportionate “sacrifices” from some people to support the reproductive activity and future generations of everyone else.  Faith, at some point, seems to be about something more than equality as we discuss it in political contexts.  

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