Furry Muslim Transgender Methodist Deacons

Image above is from this video of a ceremony.

Headline: How Can Literature Resist Islamophobia? One Writer Answers: Gay Muslim Furry Romance.

The Time He Desires is the story of Aziz, a cheetah in a faltering heterosexual marriage who explores the boundaries of his sexuality with the help of a gay fox…

Gold’s been writing furry romance novels full-time for several years, after bouncing from chemical engineering to business school to zoology.

Zoology.

After he was laid off in 2010 with a generous severance package, his husband said…

Husband.

Muslims, queers, and furries all share the experience of having been marginalized by the mainstream, and of being continually forced to justify their existence. But just as public opinion on LGBTQ folks has softened over the last few years, furries seem to be enjoying a break as well.

Furries.

Even just one year ago, I’d have bet good money that the following sentence would never have appeared in the English language:

Back in March of 2016, a group of Syrian refugees was temporarily placed in the same hotel as a furry conference, resulting in a heartwarming cultural exchange as the con attendees welcomed the residents to their new country.

Quoting two truths: (1) “The key factor in expanding tolerance for queers and furries seems to be exposure.” (2) “In fact, the furry fandom may be among the best possible communities to expand religious tolerance.”

Tolerance.

Headline: The United Methodist Church has appointed a transgender deacon.

The bishop spoke the traditional words as she placed her hands on the new deacon named M with just a slight difference from the way those words have always been spoken before.

“Pour out your Holy Spirit upon M,” the bishop said. “Send them now to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, to announce the reign of God and to equip the church for ministry.”

Not “send him now” or “send her now.” “Send them now.”

M is them.

He who controls words controls the world, controls the ability, or, more crucially, the inability, to think. We cannot tell initially from the picture whether M is a man pretending to be a woman, or a woman pretending to be a man. If pressed, we might say the latter, because “them” is ugly.

In the Northern Illinois Conference, where Barclay was commissioned Sunday, Bishop Sally Dyck said in a statement, “While M’s journey over the last few years has included gender identity, all of those who were commissioned or ordained on Sunday have been on some kind of journey that has brought them to new places of faith, life and relationships. Likewise, I hope the church will find itself at a new place in the near future when it comes to full inclusion.”

I promise—I swear—I did not monkey with the female “Bishop’s” name.

Anyway, it used to be in the Christian religion that inclusion meant accepting that all are stained by sin and stand in need of salvation (this absolutely includes Yours Truly). That meaning has morphed into its inverse: now, the lone sin is to say actual sin exists.

A year or so of reading theology — feminist theology and queer theology included — helped [M] Barclay realize that they weren’t straight after all. Barclay came out, initially as a lesbian woman.

So the guess about the picture was correct.

It also used to be, in the Christian religion, that “queer theology”, if it meant anything, would have been a sort of cautionary tour guide of Sodom and Gomorrah as gateway to Hades. It now seeks excuses for certain activities that people well know to be sinful but want not to be.

Still, Barclay’s gender identity is a cause of concern for some in the church. The Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, general manager of the United Methodist group Good News, which advocates against allowing same-sex marriage or gay clergy, told United Methodist News Service that most people in Good News believe people should live as the gender they are assigned at birth, though transgender people should be welcome in churches.

Lord help us. Assigned at birth forsooth. And tell me, oh great Washington Post, how does the person at the birth “assign” the “gender” to the newborn? Toss a die? Consult the Farmer’s Almanac? Or perhaps—just perhaps—use the clues every reality-based person for all time used?

6 Comments

  1. Furries? I must have been out of school (with a bad case of hypochondria) on the day that term was introduced. What the heck is a furry?
    Things are getting curiouser so fast that I can’t keep up. Do I really have to?

  2. “Pour out your Holy Spirit upon M,” the bishop said. “Send them now to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, to announce the reign of God and to equip the church for ministry.”
    The bishop also is confused about duties of a deacon. These are things assigned to pastors and elders. Deacons are mostly responsible for the physically well being of the local church. Certainly there are spiritual elements to the service of a deacon, but they are not the primary focus. This appointment looks suspiciously like a way around barriers to ordaining M as de facto clergy.

  3. I sort of saw this coming, having known years ago that the Methodist Church was accepting error. The error of that day was ‘liberation theology’. {My grandfather was a Methodist minister and his son is a retired bishop in that church.] When I accepted Christ, I knew that I and all around me are sinners, in need of redemption. How can one be redeemed if the leaders accept error, I ask. I cannot, in good faith, align faith in Christ with the, now errant, teachings of a church. Methodists are not the only ones affected.

  4. @ Gary, that’s correct. The deacons will have to, at times, be called upon to do the pastor’s duties, should the need arise and another pastor isn’t available.

  5. Even in my most petty days as an “angry atheist” I would never have wished so humiliating a fate upon Christianity. How far we have come that my hands are permanently clenched in rage even at the subjugation of Christianity. I will never not hate these people. Whatever war is coming can’t come soon enough.

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