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Leftists, Gay-Friendly Church Features Atheist Pastor

Posted by V the K at 10:30 am - April 28, 2016.
Filed under: Religion (General)

In a society where a seventy year old man with a penis can claim to be a brave and stunning woman, and the Secretary of Homeland Security actively opposes securing the nation’s borders, why not a minister who doesn’t believe in God?

There is not one mention of God during the 70-minute service at Toronto’s West Hill United church. Bibles are nowhere to be seen. The large steel cross – one of the few remaining religious symbols in this church – is hidden behind a cascade of rainbow streamers.

But that is perhaps to be expected in a church led by an avowed atheist.

“I do not believe in a theistic, supernatural being called God,” says Gretta Vosper, the United Church of Canada minister who has led West Hill since 1997. “I don’t believe in what I think 99.99% of the world thinks you mean when you use that word.” Tor [sic] her, God is instead a metaphor for goodness and a life lived with compassion and justice.

Vosper’s outspoken commitment to a seemingly clashing set of beliefs has prompted turmoil in the open-minded United Church of Canada. A progressive Christian denomination that began ordaining women in Canada 80 years ago and for decades has allowed openly gay men and women to lead ministries, the church has been left questioning its boundaries.

“I don’t believe in what I think 99.99% of the world thinks you mean when you use that word.”How Progressive do you have to believe that the Nature of God is subject to a vote?  That’s as dumb as believing that Climate Change can be settled by a vote.

 

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18 Comments

  1. Sounds sort of like the direction UCC (united church of Christ) and even Episcopal churches are going. Unitarian churches are pathetic, they’re just Obama worshiping, climate change yuppies.

    Comment by John C — April 28, 2016 @ 11:35 am - April 28, 2016

  2. You beat me to it, John. UU is totally lib, and there are often atheists who attend (I think to find others of their ilk).

    And there are often avowed atheists as pastors. So, big deal.

    Comment by Charlotte — April 28, 2016 @ 12:41 pm - April 28, 2016

  3. I have always called the UU “The Church That Believes In Nothing”.

    It still astounds me that people think that morals are simply a matter of what people agree with. That would make human sacrifice okay, since the Aztecs practiced it, right?

    Moral Relativism, by its very nature, is hypocritical. It usually advocates a standard that all moral codes are equal, yet constantly is at war with Christian morals as if they were less equal. They tell Christians that they cannot force their morals on others, yet force moral relativism on Christians. Double standards are the hallmark of hypocrisy.

    Comment by Craig Smith — April 28, 2016 @ 1:04 pm - April 28, 2016

  4. But if they couldn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

    Comment by Ilion — April 28, 2016 @ 1:40 pm - April 28, 2016

  5. Maybe it’s not so much that leftists have a double standard as that they’re using two different standards — Children of Dune Quotes: “When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.

    Comment by Ilion — April 28, 2016 @ 1:48 pm - April 28, 2016

  6. Unitarian churches are pathetic, they’re just Obama worshiping, climate change yuppies.

    UU is totally lib

    Not entirely true; my local UUC is home to the Republican state senator who’s been on the vanguard of the fight to prevent Medicaid expansion (much to the feel-good, do-gooders’ chagrin and loud complaints). Though I will admit he’s in the minority on the political spectrum, he’s not on the age spectrum, as I’m pretty sure the majority of the congregation is 50+ (while realizing it is probably a unique UU congregation, overall).

    Comment by RSG — April 28, 2016 @ 2:27 pm - April 28, 2016

  7. This is what happens when churches decide that it’s rude to call heterodoxy “heresy” and take steps to suppress it.

    Comment by Sean L — April 28, 2016 @ 2:29 pm - April 28, 2016

  8. I lived in Canada for a long time and anyone who knows the United Church there would not be at all surprised. They are in utter thrall to the Cultured Despisers of religion who dominate public Canuck culture.

    Comment by EssEm — April 28, 2016 @ 2:54 pm - April 28, 2016

  9. You know, what strikes me most about this is just how intellectually lazy it is. I mean, whatever you think about God or the concept of God, it can’t be said that there’s not a deeper level that must be thought about and studied in order to adequately perform the kinds of tasks that a true priest must be able to and the kinds of questions they might have to answer. Diluting God down to this very saccharine, lame, and furthermore nonthreatening and “safe” form displays an unwillingness to pursue deeper thought about religion.

    Comment by Kilroy — April 28, 2016 @ 4:49 pm - April 28, 2016

  10. What I find most funny is the fairytale she tells herself that “God is sunshine and rainbows.”

    A God whose universe is dependent on a constant cycle of metabolism and catabolism, creation and destruction, life and decay, isn’t precisely “nice” by anyone’s standards, hers especially. Of course, with that in mind, the idea that such a God would permit His own Son to die in some time or place for the sake of some talking apes.

    Comment by Sean L — April 28, 2016 @ 8:23 pm - April 28, 2016

  11. Craig Smith @3: I’ve always called the UU “the next best thing to an actual religion. Much like the Episcopalians.

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — April 28, 2016 @ 9:00 pm - April 28, 2016

  12. I attended a UU “church” for a while after a move to the ‘burbs one Summer. In the several months I went, one rarely-ever heard God or the Infinite mentioned, but plenty of Leftist fem-liberation anti-patriarchy propaganda. By Labor Day I just couldn’t take it anymore and stopped publically walked-out during the anti-capitalist sermon diatribe.

    I was very disappointed, but it explained why there were so-few gay guys who attended.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — April 29, 2016 @ 8:12 am - April 29, 2016

  13. There was a gay friendly Catholic event and it was the same, victimizing, drivel I’ve heard from UCC and UU churches. Although I don’t think I like to go to a traditionalist Catholic service either. So I’m sort of at odds right now on a personal level with going to any church.

    Comment by John C — April 29, 2016 @ 8:55 am - April 29, 2016

  14. There was a UCC church near me that had a sign that said Check your privilege. There was also a UU church that quoted a Bernard Shaw, who was a fan of the Soviet Union and Hitler.

    Comment by James — April 29, 2016 @ 1:19 pm - April 29, 2016

  15. You know, what strikes me most about this is just how intellectually lazy it is.

    How is it intrinsically more lazy than memorizing catechisms for generation after generation? How is it more lazy than “if you disagree with my theology, it’s because you’re using human logic, rather than God’s logic”? How is it more lazy than “homosexuality is Intrinsically Disordered”?

    How is it worse, in short, than the intellectual slovenliness that characterizes 90% of everything written by theologians in every religion throughout history? Most of it is PAP.

    Comment by Throbert McGee — April 29, 2016 @ 5:32 pm - April 29, 2016

  16. A God whose universe is dependent on a constant cycle of metabolism and catabolism, creation and destruction, life and decay, isn’t precisely “nice” by anyone’s standards… Of course, with that in mind, the idea that such a God would permit His own Son to die in some time or place for the sake of some talking apes.

    Sean L seems to have left the final sentence accidentally incomplete, and I’m intrigued by where he was going with this. I’d say that the observable Universe seems so strange and improbable that if there is a Creator behind it, this Being must be very strange, too.

    In other words, “the Lord works in mysterious ways” seems inevitable, and the idea that God is both deadlier than Kali, but compassionate enough to die for the sake of talking apes, is not so farfetched.

    Comment by Throbert McGee — April 29, 2016 @ 5:43 pm - April 29, 2016

  17. One other comment — atheists and Christians agree on quite a number of things. For instance:

    (1) An atheist and a Christian agree that Islam is unpersuasive, or else they’d become Muslims.
    (2) They agree that Judaism is unpersuasive, or else they’d become Jews.
    (3) They agree that Mormonism is unpersuasive, or else they’d join the LDS Church. (Which, admittedly, would be a smaller apostasy for a mainstream Nicene Christian than for an atheist — waving to V the K.)
    (4) They agree that Quetzalcoatlism is unpersuasive, or else…

    Well, you get the picture.

    And while admitting that the pastor described in the article sounds about as intellectually stimulating as a Ziggy cartoon, there’s no reason for Christians to make fun of her simply because she chucks your preferred worldview (i.e., the Jesus story) into the same bin that Christians chuck every non-Christian religion.

    Comment by Throbert McGee — April 29, 2016 @ 5:55 pm - April 29, 2016

  18. As I understand it, the [majority of the members] of the U.C. of C., Believe in a supernatural god, and a god with powers similar to the traditional [Canadian + American] religious definition of: Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.

    Websites that list the core beliefs of the United Church of Canada say that these core beliefs are in [what sound like] traditional Christian views of God, The Holy Spirit, and probably the Holy Trinity.

    From sites that talk about the U.C. of C., these sites say that this church has been very flexible on what the whole U.C. of C. believes, and maybe this church is also flexible on what- individual church congregations can believe, while they belong to the U.C. of C. denomination.

    However, I think that instead of just one clergy-person stating what he or she thinks the whole U. C. of C. believes, or just one of its congregations should believe, I think it would be more successful for all of the members of the U.C. of C. to decide on what they believe, or maybe these members could discuss their churches’ beliefs, and then these members could do a majority vote [on what the church wants to believe].

    At least, in a voting sense, the members would have a chance to say what they think, about what they want their church’s denomination to have as its beliefs.

    Comment by TR — May 4, 2016 @ 5:55 am - May 4, 2016

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