Monday, June 18, 2012

Christian Baseball League Shuns UCC Team Because of Bisexual Pastor

Here's another story that's slightly old news, but new news to me. Members of St. John United Church of Christ in Saint Clair, MO, were members of a local Christian softball league. Somehow, pastors from other league teams learned that St. John UCC's pastor (who doesn't even play softball!) is a bisexual man. At least three of the league's teams refused to play ball with the UCC church. Eventually, the St. John UCC team pulled out of the team to "avoid causing further controversy". Leaders within the larger United Church of Christ have come out in support of Rev. James Semmelroth Darnell, but the other Christian teams are unrepentant about their desire to keep Christian softball homo-free:
"We believe that God's word speaks clearly about boundaries, and that lifestyle is outside of those boundaries," the Rev. Ben Kingston, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We call ourselves a Christian softball league, and if we call ourselves that, we want to be that."

Darnell, who completed his seminary training in Washington, D.C., thought that his open sexual orientation might cause "some difficulty," but did not think it would prompt a boycott.

"It's very different than the nation's capital, but I certainly didn't expect this," he said. "I don't feel that anyone's sexual orientation has anything to do with how they play softball or [how they] enjoy each other's company during a game."
Rev. Darnell has reached out to other UCC churches and at least eight of them have agreed to either form their own softball league or to host some kind of tournament.

This is one of those events that tells the LGBT communities that we have no place in the Church. I mean, if they won't even play softball with us, what is the likelihood that they will allow us to join them for worship and fellowship on Sunday morning?

1 comment:

Katy Anders said...

Wow! That's hardcore... I mean, Refusing to play softball against a team representing a church with a bisexual pastor...

That's like Jim Crow hardcore.

If someone objects to playing softball under those conditions, they might be misunderstanding what the game entails.

Seriously, though, it is tragic, and it makes me wonder what sort of cognitive dissonance these folks are going to have to go through later, when (when!) they realize how wrong they were...