I get e-mail

Crommunist is still mad at you. I’ll be back from hiatus when I feel like it.

Last week, I pointed out what I thought was a really cool story in the news:

A [city] church has voted to stop signing marriage licenses in protest of the state of [state]‘s denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples. Douglass Boulevard Christian Church made the unanimous vote Sunday. The Rev. Derek Penwell, senior minister of the church, said it’s unjust that heterosexual but not homosexual couples can benefit from marital rights involving inheritance, adoption, hospital visits and filing joint tax returns, saving thousands in annual taxes.

The Douglass Boulevard Christian Church in Lousiville, Kentucky (yes, that Kentucky) decided to do something courageous. Today I got an e-mail from a representative at the church:


We want to thank you for your kind words of support. We have been humbled deeply by your support and the support of countless people like yourself that have found hope in the action Douglass Blvd. Christian Church took on April 17, 2011.

We pray this message finds you well and ask that you continue to support us in prayer. The day has not arrived that all in the family of God are equal. Until that day arrives it is our hope that we as a community of faith continue to be instruments of Gods love, Gods peace and Gods love.

Blessings, Rev. Derek Penwell, Rev. Ryan Kemp-Pappan & the members of Douglass Blvd. Christian Church

For the record, I am not going to join them in prayer. I will do something only slightly less useless – publicize it on my blog. God’s peace is kind of hilarious, considering the number of religious wars currently going on in the world, and I’m not sure why God’s love is listed twice, but I’ll pass all the same. Still, I will give credit where it’s due, and all the deity babble aside these guys have done something truly incredible.


  1. says

    With respect, it seems counter productive to so vividly and publicly announce how incredible and unbelievable their “courageous” actions are, yet in the same breath mock their faith and chastise them for nothing more then being religious.

    To lump this group in with the “Holy Wars” going on about the world without evidence to support this claim seems hypocritical. Gods love is mentioned because they truly seem to believe that by taking this course of action, they are examples of Gods love for all his Children. The fact it was mentioned twice seems like a typo. The way you presented yourself, be it intentionally or not seems like saying “Yeah, thanks for the support but you’re still a bunch of hypocrites who engage in useless prayer to a God that doesn’t exist.” I derive this from your quote above which states

    “For the record, I am not going to join them in prayer. I will do something only slightly less useless – publicize it on my blog.”

    Also to say “and all the deity babble aside these guys have done something truly incredible.” is flat out rude to their entire reason for doing what they are doing. They deity “babble” is talking about their Faith and how they believe it is unfair for same sex couples to not be allowed to marry, based on their FAITH.

    Its your blog and you are certainly able to post what you wish, however in the future I hope you give better thought on how to praise potential allies who cross mainstream at risk of scrutiny(You say they are from Kentucky). I do wish to thank you for this has given me an idea on something I need to write about on my own blog. Look for it tomorrow: “V for Vexation”

  2. says

    Thanks for your comment, LiVia.

    I don’t think it ‘counter-productive’ (I’m not sure you meant to use this term) to praise someone’s actions without agreeing with their beliefs – even if those beliefs are what spurs the action. I think that the church’s actions are commendable – they are standing up for a noble cause and refusing to be complicit with the entrenched homophobia in the rest of their state. Their stated reasons for doing so are a collision of their “god is love” philosophy and their recognition that all people deserve equal rights. The second is in no way contingent upon the first.

    My point about the holy wars was simply that claiming to be operating “out of god’s love” is essentially meaningless as a moral statement. People say that they are doing the will of YahwAlladdha when they commit shockingly immoral actions – does that make the deity evil? Of course not – the deity is non-existent and, as such, can be the figure upon which any human virtue or vice can be projected in equal measure. While I applaud the church’s commitment to human rights, I do not see them as having anything to do with the intervention or wishes of a deity.

    As far as the ‘rudeness’ charge goes, I’ll just have to eat that one. I am intentionally insolent and belligerent when it comes to matters of religion. It gets too much unwarranted respect, and I refuse to censor myself simply to make people feel better about their particular imaginary friend. My purpose is not to ‘gain allies’ – merely to point out matters of human interest. These people are good despite their faith; not because of it.

    I will look for your post tomorrow with interest.

  3. says

    I had a wonderful reply all typed out on your post in my blog but for some reason my computer decided the “Backspace” button was the “Go back one page button” and I lost it….all….

    I will get back with you today I just need some time to recreate the post later today. First, I need to eat. I had no intention of being on this long. lol. I regret having you wait and it makes me sick to lose something I spend time on but it happens. I found your post above as well your post on my site respectful and enlightening. Though we are going to agree to disagree on some parts, I look forward to giving you an actual response. I, like you, do not censor comments. I only require to view them first to ensure spam and such doesn’t get posted to the site.

    – LiVia

  4. says

    Again, sorry to have kept you waiting. Today has been a very busy news day and last night was a very difficult one for me. I shall offer you a rare treat and actually give you a short reply. I am certain known to prattle on. Here it is:

    You are correct that Children is also a valued argument in the case against Gay Marriage. I never meant to suggest that Religion was the Only reason, but I should have stated it is one of several.

    Indeed I did not read your initial post and as I mentioned before, I praise you for your high spoken words to what they are doing. It is amazing.

    I disagree on your view on Gods Love. As with any group, there are extremists and there are those who actually practice the teachings of their Faith. To group them with people who do not follow teachings of peace and understand when they are clearly showing otherwise makes no sense to me. To them and to me, my Deity is real. I do not expect you share this belief with me. It is a choice and path each must take.

    There are points that we are and disagree on. Blogs are wonderful ways to express our opinions and I hope that you did not take my post an attack. If you did, I apologize for that. You have every right to express how you feel and think just as I do. I admire you sticking to your guns and expressing your thoughts on my own ideas in your reply to my blog. Intelligent debate and conversation are always welcome. We may agree to disagree on some fascists, but we both agree what the church did was an amazing thing.

    I am certain this is the shortest reply I have ever written. I’m proud of myself. lol


  5. says

    I’ve never heard the ‘marriage is a godly thing’ argument. You are right that such an attitude precludes pretty much ANYONE from getting married, but religious fundamentalists are not known for thinking things through.

    Here’s my problem with the phrase “God’s love”: you have a definition of what that means which is VERY different from what, say, Fred Phelps thinks, or what Pat Robertson thinks, or what Ayatollah Khomeni thinks. They each will be able to defend their particular definition with scripture, with historical support, with commentary… the EXACT SAME SUPPORT that you’d use to defend your “God is a fuzzy loving cloud of bunnies” definition. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Fred Phelps “practices the teachings of his faith” far more consistently than does someone who ignores half of the supposed scriptures and picks/chooses what parts of Christianity they want to believe in. The concept of “God’s love” is completely meaningless – there is no consistent definition, and no rigorous justification for it. The people at the Douglass church are showing human compassion, which does not come from an external deity but from all that is good about humanity. These people deserve the credit, not a supernatural being that has no consistent definition or behaviour. THAT is what I disagree with – not their actions.

  6. says

    Oh my…I do like you. Good points, however there is one piece of information that you lack and that is my actual belief system. I do not believe the bible was all from the word of God. Religion is power and back in the day, hell even today, I think people used the bible for power. I mean what can you say about a book that was edited by the Catholic Church to deem what needs to be seen by the people and what doesn’t? I highly doubt they were working in God’s or the peoples interest. Even the claim that the bible is unchanged is not true. Go to any book store and see how many versions you can find. Not to mention even some of the translations were wrong. A prime example is that there are 4 types of love in the Hebrew language where as we have one.

    I do not think God is this “warm and fuzzy” being. If we are truly made in Gods image then when have his wrath and his love. His anger and his peace. Mostly when I speak of religion I refer to the new testament and things that Jesus came to speak of. His message was one of peace, understanding and love. He never turned away anyone, even when those who followed him debated why he would give any attention to a hooker or tax collector. Humans will always find a reason to fight. Religion is a great and powerful tool to use to get people to fight. In my new post I am writing today, V for Vision, I address that very thing.

    Honestly I believe that human compassion is apart of God, but as you and I have both said, sometimes we simple have to agree to disagree. You defend your position well and I salute your beliefs. You certainly are no conformist and frankly, I don’t care what someone believes in as long as they believe in something. And that isn’t always a higher power. Thank you for helping the community in anyway that you do.

    (You know, in an off note, I find it kinda cool how my blog centers around the letter V and I was lucky enough to have a “V” right in the middle of my name. lol)

  7. says

    And if you want to invent a whole religion for yourself, you’re more than entitled to do so. But at that point you’re not allowed to chastise others for not following the teachings of their faith – you’re not either. I think you SHOULD be your own moral guide, and use whatever sources help you figure that out. My personal ethics are informed by some stuff in the Bible, some stuff in the writings of the Buddha, secular philosophy, a whole host of stuff; it’s just not predicated on the existence of a supernatural entity that I have no convincing reason to believe actually exists.

    At any rate, while I don’t agree with your position, I’m pretty sure you don’t give a rat’s left butt cheek if I approve of your religious beliefs 😛 I am curious as to what you mean by “I don’t care what someone believes as long as they believe in something.” Why do you have to BELIEVE IN something? Why can’t you just accept those things for which there is evidence and leave it there?


  1. […] V for Vivified {May 3, 2011}   V for Vexation I had not planned on making a post today. As I wrote only a few moments ago I am working on a project for tomorrow, however after reading this post from a gentleman, I simply felt the need to shed my own style of light on the subject. […]

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