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Every denomination needs one of these...

John Dorhauer recycles conspiracy "evidence"

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

For some time now, Missouri Mid-South Associate Conference Minister John Dorhauer has been running his IRD church stealing conspiracy on fumes. Short on evidence and short on common sense, he continues to recycle the same information to gin up a conspiracy that doesn't exist.

The staple of his "evidence" is a 7 year old strategic planning document from the Institute on Religion and Democracy which makes it clear that they want to align and organize with fellow conservatives in mainline denominations. He has recycled the same document here, here, here, here, here and in his latest post today on Talk2Action.

The crux of his latest tantrum is that the IRD is training activists in the local church to develop wedge issues within the denomination to create schism. He starts by citing the IRD strategic planning document:
Beginning in 2001, we will emphasize training conservatives and moderates for the debates on marriage and human sexuality.

Remember how in 2001, the calm before the storm, our churches had never heard of `Marriage Equality?"
And then concludes:
Do you think that just because the same people who fund the ultra conservative wing of the Republican Party also fund the IRD it is only a coincidence that they developed the same divisive wedge issue to mobilize their bases at the exact same time?
The IRD created the Marriage Equality wedge issue? In the United Church of Christ, it was UCC leaders who made Marriage Equality an issue for the General Synod to vote on, not the IRD. Lets be clear here - this isn't a debate about the issue itself, rather this is a debate about the origin of this "wedge issue". Dorhauer is being willfully ignorant by suggesting it was the IRD and not denomination leaders who raised the issue of Marriage Equality in the UCC. His suggestion of it is a distraction from his real issue: local churches in the UCC can do what they want, when they want, without interference from the conference or national office.

Dorhauer's problem is one of control: He can claim all the "judicatory" authority he wants, but his role as an Associate Conference Minister in the UCC is little more than a title on a business card. He cannot control a single thing in the life of the local church in Missouri or anywhere (with the notable exception of determining whether ministers are fit or unfit for ministry). So... when local churches voice objections to issues being raised in the denomination, like Marriage Equality, he is powerless to do anything about it - except to marginalize local churches by claiming their concerns are merely wedge issues generated by outside groups. It also suggests that local churches are too stupid to discern the issue of Marriage Equality on their own if they disagree with Dorhauer and other UCC leaders. If you don't tow the party line, you must, of course, be under the control of a trained activist from the IRD.

Since the 2005 General Synod when the Marriage Equality issue was voted on, over 200 churches have left the UCC and Dorahuer cannot name a single church that was "steeplejacked" by the IRD. Neither Dorhauer nor a 7 year old document can dispute that.
posted by UCCtruths, Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Sadly, it's the mainline leadership who are introducing "wedge" issues into the churches, not the IRD!

If anything the IRD and mainline renewal groups helped expose what was and is being done to co-opt the message of the Gospel and replace it with the current paganism that passes for mainline religion these days.
commented by Anonymous ReformationUCC.org, 3:16 PM  
I wonder if an antiwar petition-arrest publicity stunt is a controversial "wedge issue" invented by the vast IRD conspiracy ... no wait, that was the Collegium.

It is fascinating how Dorhauer perpetuates his patently flaky theory out of some prideful inability to admit he's wrong. He misdiagnosed the source of conflict and now "stays the course" to keep up appearances.

I was just talking on uccforums.com today how there is no accountability or conflict resolution mechanism in the UCC Upper Judicatory. Maybe if we had better ways to mediate conflicts (through obudsmen??) people might feel less obliged to jihad for "their side."
Dorhauer is simply a dope for pushing a conspiracy without evidence.
commented by Anonymous Micah, 1:10 PM  
Calling him a dope leaves him no room for issuing a retraction. The theory is dopey, but I believe Dorhauer can best be described as overeager, and maybe even "unloving critic."

What I really want to see is somone at the National level or Dorhauer himself apologizing for the witch hunt and whisper campaign against UCC conservatives.

Maybe when Mayalang retires he'll write a book that tells all.

commented by Anonymous Richmond T. Stallgiss, 2:26 PM  

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