Oklahomophobia – from Rev. Welch

 

Dear Friends and Members of the United Church of Norman-UCC

Rev. Lori Walke is presenting for our annual speaker’s series. I thought her words about homophobia can give an example of what a prophetic witness looks like. I’ve also included information on her two talks that she’ll be doing for our church.

Oklahomophobia

For far too long we have been the heartland of homophobia and transphobia, depicting the LGBTQ community as predators and terrorists (again and again). In 2016, Oklahoma legislators introduced 26 anti-LGBTQ bills, more than any other state in the nation. In every case, the author of anti-LGBTQ legislation was a lawmaker waving a Bible overhead.

One of those bills, SB 1014, targeted transgender people for discrimination in bathrooms. Supporters of the measure smeared the transgender community by saying the bill was about the safety of women and children. They repeated this claim while ignoring evidence that there is no correlation between assaults in restrooms and allowing transgender people to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

Anti-LGBTQ legislation continues

This year, SB 197, proposed by Silk, whose campaign features the tagline “faith, family, freedom,” would allow discrimination based on “the sincerely held religious beliefs or conscience of the individual regarding marriage, lifestyle, or behavior.”

Although one can certainly argue that this bill is so broad it would allow discrimination against a wide variety of people (including single moms and interracial couples), it ultimately intends to deny service to same-sex couples based on the “sincerely held belief” that same-sex marriage is a threat to “traditional” marriage.

As a minister who has officiated more than 100 same-sex wedding ceremonies and who just celebrated nine years of marriage to my husband, let me assure you that marriage equality has done nothing but inspire more loving and committed relationships in our community.

Bible condemns power imbalance, not gays

Some claim that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but there is scant evidence that the writers of sacred scripture understood homosexuality as we do. When homosexuality does come up, it is in the context of condemning unbalanced power dynamics in sexual relationships. There is hardly a better example than a 35-year-old man who solicits sex from a teenage boy. The Bible proscribes the power imbalance – not that two males are involved.

Time to confess

Oklahoma, it is past time to confess. Not only have we simply failed to live up to the Greatest Commandment with our LGBTQ neighbors, we are actively harming them with discriminatory legislation.

This is an important moment. Let’s not make it another tragedy.
We’ve had enough of those, haven’t we?
Want to hear more?

RESISTANCE AND THE CHURCH
REV. LORI ALLEN WALKE
“A THIRTY-SOMETHING IN THE PULPIT”

FREE TO THE PUBLIC
FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 7PM SAM NOBLE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

WORKSHOP: SATURDAY, APRIL 1, 9AM-NOON “POLITICOS IN THE PEWS”
$20.00 REGISTRATION UNITED MINISTRY CENTER, 1017 ELM, NORMAN. SEATING LIMITED.
REGISTER TO ATTEND
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/resistance-the-church-tickets-32433396161

Rev. Walke is a young Oklahoma leader known for speaking out about the church and its role in seeking social justice. She is an advocate for civil rights for all citizens. She has been a voice in the Resist Movement. She is Associate Minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC. She holds a Master of Divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary and a Juris Doctorate from OCU School of Law.

 

 

Church Events

March 26th Just War with Tom Schott. The Christian tradition has had three major tradition as it it thinks about war. Pacifism which rejects war, the Holy War tradition which embraces it, and the majority view, Just War which tries to place limits on war. But are those limits possible? How sustainable is the Just War tradition? This will be explored.

March 26th Prophecy by Dwight Welch. Prophecy in current popular culture involves predicting the future. But in the Bible, more often than not, it serves a different purpose: one of good news for the poor and the marginalized. We’ll explore how prophecy is talked about in the Bible.

One Great Hour of Sharing is one of the 5 charitable missions supported by the National United Church of Christ. Donations to One Great Hour of Sharing enable the organization to build sustainable communities. It supports self-help programs in more than 80 nations to build sustainable communities that enable people and communities to stand against and rise above hunger, disease, illiteracy, and other forces of injustice that deny and destroy dignity. It provides emergency and long-term assistance to people in the aftermath of hurricanes, tornados, storms, floods, tidal waves, fires, explosions, technological disasters, civil strife, war, or other natural or human-caused events. On average, OGHS responds to a disaster once every 2.5 days. It uses the funds to responds with advocacy and help, hope and hospitality for people who have been uprooted from their home of origin.

In cooperation with Global Ministries, it is part of a remarkable network of service and caring that is efficient, effective and faithful. Please consider making a donation on March 26th.

April 2nd Don Holladay will lead a discussion on ideas raised by Lori Walke during our speaker’s series for Conversation Sunday. Join us for conversation and a shared potluck Sunday at 9:45 a.m to 11:45 a.m..

 

 

Book Club March 27th

We’re discussing chapters 10 and 11 of Listen Liberal at Nancy Logan’s home 3200 Summit Bend at 7pm.

 

 

Food and Shelter Needs

Resident and Shelter Needs include soap, cleaning supplies, furniture, diapers. Kitchen Needs are dry sealed foods. Care Packets for the homeless include deodorant, self care products, snack foods

 

 

A New Recycling Box

Given the number of paper products we use for our morning gatherings and conversation box the Social Justice committee has set up a recycling box to discard those items. Look for it on Sundays!