Monday, May 04, 2015

Established Baptist church near White House reports on LGBT group at congregational meeting; some activists not ready to dialogue if we "win" on marriage

Sunday, at a congregational meeting of the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC, there was a brief verbal report of a meeting of an LGBT neighborhood support group.  There weren’t any details, but the congregation is obviously dealing with the enormous change in social values that have occurred over the past few decades, leading to disagreements and making it difficult for any pastor to stay a long time.  On all kinds of issues, leading back, for instance, to the days of US involvement in the Vietnam War, there has developed  a wide range of opinions throughout the membership of the church, and a wide diversity of experience of religion itself – whether it is very personal (as with me), or is dictated by others.  For example, I believe that support for same-sex marriage would probably be around 50% now.
That morning, a visiting pastor had given a stunning sermon on sacrifice and military service (my issues blog), although he did not mention the repealed DADT specifically. 
The long term pastor, Edward Pruden, from the 1940s through the 1960s, raised in Richmond, was well known for progressive views on race and civil rights even in the early 1950s. More than once he commented on racial integration in the military under Truman as necessary (progressive in 1948), and had offered theories as to how a Christian nation like Germany got fooled by Nazism. 
I grew up in this church, which belongs to both American and Southern conventions, as well as several other affiliations.  The church, like many downtown churches, has experienced dwindling membership, but has prospered from real estate holdings and the construction of a modern mainstream-market rental apartment building, the Drake. 
I thought I would relay a Washington Blade article by Mark Lee, “Some gays and lesbians aren’t ready to win”, here retweeted by Richard Sincere (GLIL) yesterday.  Note the remarks about Bruce Jenner’s “conservatism” and the invitation of Ted Cruz to meet with business owners from Fire Island, NY (which I haven’t visited in a long time, as is also the case for me with P-town). 

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