I used to think that mainline protestant churches in the U.S., once they'd lost significant power over people's lives, finally became what they should have been all along: benificent institutions existing to actually make people's lives better. I have even been known to defend these so-called Christian denominations.
Then they go and make me look stupid.
The United Methodist Church, a church with a tagline - "Open hearts. Open Minds. Open doors." - just voted to reinstate a minister who was suspended for not allowing a gay man to become a member because the man was gay and had no desire to change.
I guess I'm not welcome by the Methodists.
Apparently "open doors" refers strictly to exit doors in the Methodist church. I have no idea what the "open hearts" and "open minds" could possibly be referring to, however.
It's almost enough to shake my faith. It's also definitely enough to make me wonder if I've been wrong in thinking that churches have lost much of their power: It's hard not to feel that right-wing churches are doing a damn good job of turning the U.S. into some kind of bizarre theocracy, wherein religion has risen to play a major role in deciding public policy.
What I want to know is, what would a state church look like in the U.S.?
The Swedish word for the day is stängd. It means closed.
- by Francis S.