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UCCtruths

Every denomination needs one of these...

Stirring It Up Some More

Friday, January 04, 2008

By Pastor Ted Weis, Congregational Church, Little River, KS

With the "Stirring It Up" post revealing the internal left-leaning motivations of Rev. Barry Lynn and his AU organization, interested readers will want to see the external evidence of how the AU ignores religious liberals who act like the conservatives they often rail against.

In particular, here's how the AU looked away when the liberal denomination that ordained Rev. Lynn-- the United Church of Christ-- gladly took $100,000 from the state of Connecticut to put on its General Synod in that state. The following article is an excerpt from a June 21 post at LivingtheBiblios:


It's significant to note that the State of Connecticut gave the (United Church of Christ) $100K only and after the UCC promised to take its General Synod to another state.

When the UCC initially booked its 2007 General Synod at the newly constructed Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, the State didn't give the denomination any financial incentives. But that changed when the UCC determined that the union rights of Convention workers were being thwarted.

For this reason, in a Hartford Courant story posted at UCCtruths, UCC Associate General Minister Edith Guffey said:
We're not threatening to move; we will move if this issue is not resolved.
Consequently, UCC President John Thomas said in an email to UCC Conference Ministers:
The only other option within the city capable of accommodating General Synod, the Hartford Civic Center, initially proved too expensive. As directed by the Executive Council, UCC Associate General Minister Edith Guffey began exploring other cities as possible venues for the General Synod.
That's when Connecticut governor M. Jodi Rell intervened. Not wanting to lose the largest ever convention in Hartford--and the economic benefit of 8,000+ visitors that could bring in up to $7 million--Rell pulled some political strings. The Connecticut Economic Development Authority (REDA) awarded a $100,000 grant to the Greater Hartford Convention and Visitors Bureau, who in turn applied it to the UCC's use of the Civic Center.

Responding to the grant news, Guffey said in a June 6, 2006 United Church News press release:
This type of incentive program is a common occurrence, a way of doing business. We appreciate the collaboration between the governor, CEDA, and the Hartford Visitors Bureau, and their efforts to keep the UCC meeting in Hartford.
Guffey also told the Hartford Courant:
...the governor wants very much to make this work, and that they will be taking care of the $100,000 fee for the Civic Center...It's a very generous assistance, and we're very appreciative of it.
Here's the bottom line that Rev. Lynn and the AU should note well:

It was due to the United Church of Christ's religious conviction-- that it would not hold its Synod in a facility involved in a labor dispute-- and the UCC's financial inability to move its event across town to the more expensive Civic Center-- and the UCC's promise to move its religious event out of state-- that the State of Connecticut and its governor intervened and worked out its $100,000 grant.

And after all this, Rev. Lynn still isn't complaining.Usually, "liberal" means someone with a progressive outlook toward politics and social issues. But it can also refer to someone who is generous.

And in this case, Rev. Lynn's silence about Connecticut giving his liberal UCC $100,000 for its General Synod is ... shall we say ... generous.
posted by Living the Biblios, Friday, January 04, 2008

6 Comments:

Responding on his blog to charges that he failed to speak out against the UCC-Connecticut $100,000 arrangement, Rev. Lynn states:


Since I am an ordained UCC minister, this issue was of great concern to me. I expressed those concerns to denominational officials, and I also asked AU’s Legal Department to research the matter. AU attorneys did extensive research. They found that government officials in Connecticut give discounts to any group that brings a large crowd to town. What’s offered is a rebate, not direct aid, and thus cannot be diverted to support religion. Our lawyers’ view was that the courts would not rule against this kind of aid...

To be clear, I disagree with court opinions that allow rebates and so-called “indirect” aid. AU opposes government subsidies to religious groups. Religious groups should pay for their own endeavors. But again, we did research the matter and acted according to the facts
commented by Anonymous chad, 11:38 AM  
Yes... but he doesn't reconcile the fact that he went after the State of Maryland for a similar grant:

http://ucctruths.blogspot.com/2007/06/barry-lynn-and-hypocrisy-of-separation.html

Barry Lynn and Americans United are hypocrites.
commented by Blogger UCCtruths, 3:18 PM  
I don't know why this is popping up again. I'll try this one more time. The situation in Baltimore was an entirely different situation: the government subsidy was initially to go to a specific event which included a food and Bible (note, and Bible) distribution. At the judicial hearing on this matter the judge asked if the Bibles could be eliminated in light of the funding, and the denomination agreed.
Just speaking of hypocrisy, I'd like to know if you folks believe I am right (and the courts are wrong) in permitting so-called "indirect" subsidies of religious groups. Nobody ever answers me on this one.
commented by Anonymous Barry W. Lynn, 4:00 PM  
I doubt that is really Barry Lynn since the issue this person is referencing was an entirely separate issue directed at the City of Baltimore, not the State of Maryland. The Maryland grant I have been referencing come from this AU post:

http://www.au.org/site/News2?abbr=pr&page=NewsArticle&id=8237

The City of Baltimore case references an AU lawsuit about shoes and Bibles - which is completely separate from this issue.

http://www.au.org/site/News2?abbr=pr&page=NewsArticle&id=8275

Nice try at confusing the issue and pretending to be Barry Lynn.
commented by Blogger UCCtruths, 4:08 PM  
The position Rev. Lynn espouses that it is wrong for the government to support the Christian Faith while not supporting other religions is not one either the Congregationalist or Reformed ancestors of the UCC would recognize as tenable or Christian because every society creates laws based on its ultimate theological convictions, i.e. it's "god".

This is abundantly clear in the Congregationalist Confession (Savoy Declaration) and the 2nd Helvetic Confession for instance from the reformed tradition.

So, since "Rev." Lynn claims to be a minister of the Christian Faith in a tradition that historically promoted the idea of Christian rulers promoting laws based on the Christian Faith and he does not, what "god" precisely does he serve?

Why is he not honest enough to resign his claim to being a Christian minister and, instead, honestly promote whatever religion his work is intended to have the government promote?

By helping expunge Christianity from the public square, he simply paves the way for a rival religion to be promoted because there is no neutrality. Even atheism isn't neutral.

What's worse, the things in "civilization" that we consider "good" spring directly from Christianity's legacy. So by attacking this legacy, Lynn and his supporters are enemies of the public good, not its promoters.
commented by Anonymous ReformationUCC.org, 5:07 PM  
RE: The position Rev. Lynn espouses that it is wrong for the government to support the Christian Faith while not supporting other religions...

This is a mischaracterization of AU's position. AU does not support "equal opportunity" government support of religion, it advocates, consistent with the constitution, NO government support of religion.

As Ben Franklin said, if your religion can't make it on its own, without support from an earthly, and often corrupt, power, it could hardly be considered a true work of God.
commented by Anonymous Alan, 10:24 PM  

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