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Every denomination needs one of these...

Definition of a conspiracy

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

According to Google, definitions of conspiracy on the Web include:
  • a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act
  • a plot to carry out some harmful or illegal act (especially a political plot)
  • a group of conspirators banded together to achieve some harmful or illegal purpose
In Rev. John Dorhauer's world, the definition is a little different:
For now, though, let me restate the case clearly and succinctly: this is a conspiracy. An alliance has been formed between the IRD and renewal groups deployed in all of the major Protestant denominations. Their goal is to diminish, demoralize, and demean them.
It's also funny how Rev. Dorhauer (and co-conspiracy theorist Sheldon Culver) keeps lowering the bar on the goal of the conspiracy. The goal of the conspiracy used to be:
As Culver explained, litigation is a preferred weapon for the more hierarchical denominations. She said that more and more often the goal is not to win a theological argument but to punish overly liberal churches by seizing their property through the courts or draining their resources in litigation.

Independent churches like the UCC are harder to sue, so they are often targeted one-by-one. Specially trained activists show up and launch campaigns to convince parishioners to vote themselves out of the UCC.
Apparently, Dorhauer and Culver have given up on the idea that the some mysterious shadow group is stealing churches for their property and wealth. Now the point of the bogus conspiracy is to "diminish, demoralize, and demean" liberal churches.

Now Dorhauer claims to have evidence that the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) is (gasp) organizing conservative, grass roots participation to challenge liberal denominations on matters of politics.

Stunning. Truly ground-breaking.

The irony is this is exactly what Talk2Action.org (the nutty right-wing conspiracy web site that Dorhauer blogs on) does everyday... only they choose to organize and go after the religious right. The same thing is going on with thousands of groups all over the political spectrum.

If this were really about "Steeplejacking," there are plenty of UCC churches that are closing and looking for new occupants... some even in Dorhauer's backyard. This isn't about "steeplejacking," it's about politics.
posted by UCCtruths, Tuesday, October 16, 2007


LOL-Dorhoer is an idiot... what will the conspiracy be next week, that the IRD is stealing cookies from the bake sale?
commented by Anonymous Drew, 9:44 PM  
Thanks James. Dorhauer's story keeps changing and your coverage of this is forcing him to make illogical statements and digging him and Culver deeper into a hole they can't get out of. If it wasn't for this web site challenging Dorhauer on his "information", a number of people would be duped. Thank you.
commented by Anonymous David Louis, 10:03 AM  
One would think that the aim of the renewal groups would be quite the opposite of "diminishing, demoralizing, and demeaning" churches in their denomination. In fact they are crticized for trying to "re-moralize" them!

In the modern experience of the renewal groups, I believe it's safe to say that litigation - far from being a tool of the renewal groups - is a tool of hierarchical churches to punish the churches who are trying to be faithful. The hierarchical denominations take their endowments given by the faithful for generations for the promotion of Christ and the church and use these funds to batter churches that still believe in the creeds, confessions, and morality of the founders of the church.

The true irony is that these funds given by faithful people are now used to take people to court who are more faithful to the founding vision of modern denominations than the ones holding the checkbooks!
commented by Anonymous ReformationUCC, 11:30 AM  

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