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The letter isn't addressed to anyone. It is addressed to everyone.

Defending the notion that the civil rights associated with marriage should be preserved according to religious doctrine, 30 religious organizations representing various Roman Catholic, Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormon), Lutheran, Wesleyan, Evangelical and Pentecostal, Baptist and Southern Baptist churches and organizations have signed the statement.

The purpose of the letter? Read into this what you will:

"Marriage and religious liberty are at a crisis point in the United States," he said. "This letter is a sign of hope. Not only are tens of millions of believing citizens represented in the letter's signatories, but the letter itself testifies to the growing and shared awareness of just how important marriage and religious freedom are to the well being of our country." --source

I read this as saying they believe their religious freedom entitles them to discriminate against the civil rights of those they disagree with. An old story, right?

Several of the letter's signee organizations claim millions to tens of millions of members in the United States [note: the direct signees on this letter are bolded, however many of the signees are member groups of another or a part of a larger church organization, for instance the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)]. PLEASE NOTE THAT IS IS NOT A LIST OF THOSE SIGNING THE LETTER. IF YOU CLICK ON THE FIRST LINK IN THE DIARY, THOSE SIGNEES ARE THERE. THIS IS A LIST OF THE TOP MEMBERSHIP CHURCHES IN THE NATION. ONLY THE BOLDED CHURCHES ARE INVOLVED, OR CHURCHES THAT FALL UNDER A GENERAL CATEGORY SUCH AS "EVANGELICAL". THIS LIST OF THE TOP 25 CHURCHES IS TO SHOW THE RELATIVE STRENGTH OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE SIGNEE CHURCHES, NOTHING MORE.

1. The Catholic Church, 68,115,001 members, up 1.49 percent.

2. Southern Baptist Convention,16,228,438 members, down 0.24percent.

3. The United Methodist Church, 7,853,987 members, down 0.98 percent.

4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5,974,041 members, up 1.71 percent.

5. The Church of God in Christ, 5,499,875 members, no membership updates reported.

6. National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc, 5,000,000  members, no membership updates reported.

7. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 4,633,887 members, down1.62 percent.

8. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., 3,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.

9. Assemblies of God (ranked 10 last year), 2,899,702 members, up 1.27 percent.

10. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 1(ranked 9 last year), 2,844,952 members, down 3.28 percent.

11. National Missionary Baptist Convention of America,  2,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.

11. Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. 2,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.

14. The Lutheran Church-- Missouri Synod (LCMS), 2,337,349 members, down 1.92 percent.

15. The Episcopal Church, 2,057,292 members, down 2.81 percent.

16. Churches of Christ, 1,639,495 members, no membership updates reported.

17. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, 1,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.

17. Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., 1,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.

19. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 1,400,000 members, members, no membership updates reported.

20. American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., 1,331,127  members, down 2.00 percent.

21. Baptist Bible Fellowship International (ranked 22 last year), 1,200,000 members, no membership updates reported.

22. Jehovah’s Witnesses (ranked 23 last year) 1,114,009members, up 2.00 percent.

23. United Church of Christ (ranked 22 last year), 1,111,691 members, down 2.93 percent.

24. Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), (ranked 25 last year), 1,072,169 members, up 1.76 percent.

25. Christian Churches and Churches of Christ (ranked 24 last year), 1,071,616 members, no membership updates reported. --list from National Council of Churches, here

As states like North Carolina and Minnesota work to enshrine "one man/one woman" language into their constitutions via votes on May 8 and November 6, respectively, other states like Washington (and here), Maryland (and here and here), and New Jersey continue the arduous legislative process which, if successful, may very well bring about a California Prop 8-style reaction from not only the churches cited above, but separate organizations including National Organization for Marriage (which, I was informed yesterday here a DK, is already polling Washington state) and others.

You can BET that the cited letter, above, will become part of that process.

In Maine, marriage was granted, then taken away at the ballot box. Groups in Maine are preparing to circulate another petition to get the issue on the November ballot and an announcement is expected tomorrow. (Maine groups here, and here).

In New Hampshire, gays were finally given the right to marry, however the legislature is NOW considering rescinding that right. Groups working in New Hampshire are here, here, and here.

THERE ARE REASONS BEYOND THE FACE OF THIS I AM POINTING THIS OUT.

1. The churches WILL organize against any and all permissive legislation landing on the November ballot or put opposition language on the ballot themselves. They will stop at nothing. This has the effect of both increasing conservative turnout which in turn increases the likelihood of conservative votes from the president down ticket. Do not think it won't. It will.

2.  (1), above, means that NO ONE can stay home. The November election is about these important equal rights issues AND about the presidency and house/senate. It means we have a lot of work to do. A. Lot.

3.  The marriage issue is the premier civil rights issue of our time.  Gay and straight  folks alike need to work in coalition in each state to help push these issues over the line. That means monetary and time commitments. If you don't have a fight in your state, find one close by you can support.

On the involvement of the religious groups cited above, I think we all realize that not every member is reflected by the church's view. There is, however, a lot of solidarity within certain religious groups/communities/churches. These folks will donate and work against equal rights. In some cases, they will be moved forward by the hierarchy of their church especially if that particular church tends to authoritarian structure.

In the case of Mitt Romney, we know he has donated to causes to stop marriage rights of lgbt people.

We also know that the meme of religious freedom and "attacks on religious freedom" continues to come up with GOP candidates pointing the finger at the Obama administration and the left. Newt Gingrich has a long history of anti-gay rights/marriage statements/positions, including these statements made on BillO's show:

Newt has even gone so far as to propose a Presidential Commission on the issue. (See the language at his site if you want, but I just won't link to it.)

The bottom line is that this issue is being attacked from every corner. Polling is various around the country, but as we saw in California, that can (and did) turn around.

Religion and state don't mix. Where we can make a difference,  we must.

Originally posted to http://thisskysings.wordpress.com/ on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:14 PM PST.

Also republished by Angry Gays.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (24+ / 0-)

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:14:19 PM PST

  •  Marriage is so important... (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, HugoDog, maf1029, sfbob, kait, EdSF

    ...that they must prevent people from having it.  Total hypocrites.  If they truly valued marriage, they'd be promoting it, not trying to keep people from getting married.  They claim the letter is a "sign of hope"; but in reality it's an act of bigotry.  Their letter and their efforts don't make me feel hopeful, it makes me know that I am hated.

    •  well, I don't hate you, but I get what you mean (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ebby, kait

      and it needs to stop. Now.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:30:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  BTW: Pew did a 2008 study on religious voters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kait

    with a nifty chart and all in it. It is seriously worth reading.

    Linkie goodness.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:28:56 PM PST

  •  religions are loathe to relinquish control (7+ / 0-)

    and in a secular society, that is exactly what happens.  It seems some faith communities are becoming more and more aggressive so at what point do the rest of us say enough?
    Faith communities have already chosen marriage and abortion as battleground issues where they insist their worldview become the social norm.  It appears birth control will soon be another battleground.  However marriage is not the sole concern of the faithful.  It is also a social contract which the state has a vested interest in regulating and enforcing.
    Few churches today try to regulate divorce among nonmembers though this was also a battleground in the 50s and 60s.  Personal suggestion for the faithful is for them to look to their own morality and leave me to worry about mine and I will return the favor  

    •  this... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ahumbleopinion, Pluto, kait
      so at what point do the rest of us say enough?

      I've been saying it for a damn long time! (and I'm pretty religious!)

      Fortunately for me, my church doesn't jump up and down about this stuff and if it did, I would not be a member of that church.

      Bright line between church/state. That is, I believe, what the founders meant and what I most certainly want.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:36:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  They're gonna regret this when they actually meet (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, chipoliwog, sfbob

    up with God someday.  I truly pity them.

    "There's nothing in the dark that's not there when the lights are on" ~ Rod Serling

    by jwinIL14 on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:36:55 PM PST

  •  This is highly inaccurate! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mapamp, maggsmum, CorinaR, Bob Love

    The link to this purported letter doesn't work, but while some clergyman in each of these denominations may have signed some letter about same sex marriage, many of these denominations clearly have not done so as a part of any official action of the denomination.

    I have, however, after considerable searching in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website, found what what appears to the the letter you're talking about.

    There do not appear to be ANY signatories of the letter from several of the denominations you list, much less anybody purporting to sign on behalf of the entire denomination.  For example, if the letter I located on the USCCB website is what you're referring to, there are ZERO signatories from the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, or the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A.

    I have no idea what point you're trying to make by asserting that these organizations have signed onto a letter which they have not in fact signed onto, but you need to either seriously revise this diary, or delete it.

    PROUD to be a Democrat!

    by leevank on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:40:31 PM PST

    •  Leevank, it was actually on the site. I have made (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maf1029

      a link error.

      Let me see if I can find/fix it.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:44:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are NO signatures from many of these bodies! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany

        In addition to my original list, there are NO signatories from the United Methodist Church.

        I have no idea why you continue to insist on something that simply isn't true.

        PROUD to be a Democrat!

        by leevank on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:53:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lee I explained that. I included this list of 25 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wayoutinthestix, kait

          churches because they are the top 25 in the nation. ONLY the bolded ones signed the letter (link is corrected).

          Please remove your hr. I made the appropriate corrections.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

          by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:11:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's finally clear (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cany

            Still not sure why you included the others at all, but it's now clear that they had nothing to do with this letter, whether as "direct signatories" or otherwise.  HR has been removed.

            PROUD to be a Democrat!

            by leevank on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:14:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you. I included the top 25 to show where in (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Catte Nappe

              the scheme of religious membership the signee churches are.

              These are pretty big churches!

              202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

              by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:24:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I have a suggestion (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MrJayTee, kait, cany

            Post TWO lists. Keep the rankings in each list but provide one list of the signatories and another list of the non-signatories.

            I did not see the original diary; it was clear to me what you were intending by bolding some churches but not others. I personally think the membership and ranking information you've provided is quite useful. However to make it simpler (because apparently some folks have a reaction and forget to re-read your explanation), two separate lists might help.

            I do find it interesting that while the single largest denomination in the US opposes marriage equality as an official organizational policy, poll after poll seems to indicate that the membership actually SUPPORTS marriage equality, and by a rather substantial margin.

            •  Thanks, Bob. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sfbob

              I'll try again another time!

              What needs to be remembered is that in CA, the churches literally turned the vote around by over 8 points. That is significant.

              There are states where it will be possible to do that now, likewise. I sure hope they don't achieve it, but it part of stopping that is to get dems to help the issue in their states and if not there, another one.

              NOM, the LDS Church, the Evangelical and Pentecostal and RCC churches are NOT going to change their positiions onb this any time soon. Therefore, they are, and will remain, a formidable opponent. They have a LOT more money than we do, for one thing.

              202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

              by cany on Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 09:46:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  They do but (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cany

                they are not unbeatable. Money is important but it isn't everything. One thing to keep in mind is that ultimately we have the US Constitution on our side (at least we do for now). I actually do not expect it to be possible to amend the Constitution on an issue such as marriage equality, nor on abortion rights for that matter...and I do see the two as related. For me at least that is an entirely a good thing because if we--and the courts--read the Constitution properly, the guarantee of equality and the right to make personal decisions is absolutely included there.

                •  Yeah, I agree there. But as you know, these things (0+ / 0-)

                  also end up in court. Look at prop 8. It's hardly done and I sure don't trust this supreme court to side with equal rights, do you?

                  202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

                  by cany on Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 07:03:19 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  leevank, check the bolded entities (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cany, skrekk, sfbob

          They are the ones Cany is talking about in the context of a list of the largest churches in the country. The UMC is not bolded on Cany's list. But the LDS and the SBC, are.

      •  fixed the link. (0+ / 0-)

        thanks for letting me know.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:00:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Cany can corect me if I'm wrong (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany, vacantlook, wayoutinthestix, sfbob

      but I think the list was just of the top 25 denominations in terms of recorded membership and the BOLDed names are the associated denominations of those organizations that signed the rather odious letter.

      Nobody is normal because everyone is different- my eight year old daughter

      by left rev on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:47:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that is exactly it. I used it for membership ref. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wayoutinthestix

        only,.

        THE BOLDED churches are signees.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:50:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, what's your point? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cany, CorinaR

          There is a gross lack of context here.   Many members of conservative churches oppose marriage equality.  This is diary-worthy?

          Your headline mentions '30 religious communities'. This itself is questionably accurate (I know quite a few individual Catholics and Missouri Synod Lutherans who are supportive).

          Then you list some of the most progressive denominations in the U.S. and parenthetically note that "only the bolded ones signed the letter" (actually, certain representatives and/or high-ranking members signed the letter.  Not the entire rank-and-file).

          It pisses me off, because (for example) the United Church of Christ was supporting up front on gay issues, probably 20 years before many so-called liberals.  

          The unclear writing is very misleading.  I didn't HR, but I don't argue with those who did.

          "Capitalism doesn't reward hard work; it rewards capital. That's why its called capitalism." -- me

          by RickinStLouis on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:59:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is a letter that will be sent out and IS on (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kait

            site of many churches, now.

            The point is that the opposition to gay marriage from the religious quarter is very large. that does not, as my diary notes if you read it all, mean every member agrees.

            It does and will reflect, in some churches, a very high degree of agreement within those bodies.

            As you well know, it was the religious factions that turned Prop 8 around and there is just no denying that. In fact, when they couldn't quiiiiiitttteeee push it over the edge, they got the LDS church involved. That pushed it over the edge in CA.

            Did you actually read this whole thing?.

            202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

            by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:14:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  But you did not state this n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cany
          •  I'm sorry, what didn't I state? Do I need to fix (0+ / 0-)

            something?

            202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

            by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:25:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Then why even list the others? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maggsmum, cany

        The clear implication is that while they may not have been "direct signees," they somehow had something to do with a letter that they in fact had NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with!

        PROUD to be a Democrat!

        by leevank on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:56:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You've mistaken United Methodists for FREE Methodi (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mapamp, leevank

    Methodists ... they are NOT the same church
    Free Methodists

    United Methodist

    Please correct your diary.

    The United Methodist church just had 800 ministers say that they will perform gay weddings/marriage ceremonies

    The United Methodist church, while not supportive of gay marriage, does believe in equal rights for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation.

    “The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church,” which includes all of the church’s doctrines, reads :

    Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.
    - The Blaze

    and this one too http://www.lgbtqnation.com/...

    Please also fix you link for  the letter

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:45:42 PM PST

  •  My HR of the tip jar is for grotesque inaccuracy! (3+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Clytemnestra, mapamp, cany
    Hidden by:
    Dave in Northridge

    A number of the religious bodies listed in the diary appear to have nothing whatsoever to do with this letter, and some of them (including at least the United Church of Christ and at least some dioceses of the Episcopal Church) expressly permit clergy to perform same sex marriages

    PROUD to be a Democrat!

    by leevank on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:45:46 PM PST

  •  OK, fine then (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, maf1029

    we won't make them marry someone of their own gender.

    Everyone happy now?

  •  Cany it looks like the letter has been taken down. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    I would like to see it as I don't think my church would not sign an anti-gay marriage letter. It is #7 in the list - the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ECLA). We have ordained women pastors since some time in the 1970s.  Also, in August of 2009, the assembly voted to open the ministery to gay and lesbian pastors in commited relationships. The church that Dr. Tiller was a member of and assasinated in is part of our assembly.

    Now the Missouri Synod is very conservative and may have signed the letter but they are not associated with us.

    Do you have a screen shot of the letter as I would be very interested in seeing it?

    I am not as brave as George Carlin was, but I am trying.

    by maggsmum on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:51:59 PM PST

  •  It is intresting that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    so few of the churches on the list are signatories of this letter. Makes me think this is the work of smaller, breakaway groups jumping on board the RC Bishops group.

    Nobody is normal because everyone is different- my eight year old daughter

    by left rev on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:53:04 PM PST

    •  Actually, that list as I just made clear, is the (0+ / 0-)

      top membership list of 25 churches in the US.

      IT IS NOT THE LIST OF GROUPS SIGNING. ONLY THE BOLDED GROUPS SIGNED THE LETTERS.

      There are a lot of evangelical split groups, you are correct, but there are also some very large churches as you can see.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 07:58:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I got that.:) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany

        This is a hopeful sign, really, that so FEW of these top membership churches would sign on to it. I'm not surprised at the ones who have.

        Nobody is normal because everyone is different- my eight year old daughter

        by left rev on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:01:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Me neither, but the memberships are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kait

          really big. That is really the point.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

          by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:03:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  all this enmity - you'd think you all supported (6+ / 0-)

    bigotry.

    The letter is still up.  I accessed it 5 minutes ago.  But the nitpicking here -- I just don't get it.  So the diarist published a list with a few denominations in bold.  Did you ask about this?  Did you go to the letter to see if the denominations lined up with the list?  No, you hate rated it.  WOW, were these HRs inappropriate.

    Republished, cany.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:02:47 PM PST

    •  Thanks Dave. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kait

      I wish people wouldn't jump to conclusions. I would not make a mistake like that... though there was a link problem I fixed, and I added a bolded paragraph...

      Sigh.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:05:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I read it and when I clicked on the link to the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany

      letter, the page was blank. I didn't HR the diary, but if you knew what the ECLA goes through because of their stance on gay and lesbian issues and women issues, you would  understand my being a little touchy about being on a list in this diary.  Even if they are not bolded indicating they did not sign it was not clear to me at first.

       I agree that there are a lot more churches than ours that would work to over turn the little gains our LGBT brothers and sisters have made. But not the ECLA.   Our church wants all citizens have the rights we are all entitled to.

      I am not as brave as George Carlin was, but I am trying.

      by maggsmum on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:17:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    with your diary is that it is the just the usual suspects signing, but from your headline and until you clarified, it sounded as if you were indicating all of the churches on your list.

    This is not news really ... just the same thing those denominations are always doing.  But we in the more liberal denominations have worked so hard on marriage equality and social justice that lumping us with the usual suspects (even unintentionally) is disheartening.

    •  It is some of the usual suspects, true. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kait

      There are a few new ones in here that I had not seen sign onto letters like this.

      The timing of this letter is not coincidence. We have a huge array of LGBT marriage issues being voted on either by voters or by legislators before november.

      NOM is already polling Washington, for instance.

      I started checking the letter against some churches near me that are NOT signees on this and even some of them have the letter there which means it will have broad church appeal on these issues.

      The other side is VERY well funded. Some groups bring ground games that would rival the best football teams! They are organized, funded and doing a lot of outreach.

      We have a large fight ahead of us.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:44:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My church has worked very hard on it too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kait

      But that list of the 25 churches, which reflects membership only unless bolded, is telling. many of the progressive churches have relatively small memberships compared to the larger letter-supporting churches which is what we need to keep in mind.

      We have a long fight.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 08:52:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Remember... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany

        Not all Catholics support the church's stance. As a matter of fact, I believe a recent poll suggested more Catholics supported marriage equality than opposed. The difference was about 5%, but still!

        As for the SBC, they are most prominent in the South, and I'd say the majority of Christians and churches in Texas are SBC-affiliated.

        •  If you read to the end of my post, I made that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kait

          clear. I know RCCs who don't support it. I know LDS people who don't (but fewer).

          The point is, the largest churches in this country DO support it and that is certainly not something to underestimate. They have very powerful political allies and a ton of money and can raise millions in a relative wink.

          We have a church nearby with 80K members. They are on the wrong side of this issue. I haven't found the letter there on this issue (yet) but am watching for it. We protested there in 2008.

          Even if you take half of the RCC #s and attribute only 10% of that figure to the wrong side of lgbt marriage (3.4 million) that is LARGER than all but a couple of the mainline protestant churches, many of which are progressive on the issue. THAT is a perspective, in the most conservative extreme, that is, well, dreadful. And there is NO way that only 10% support the wrong side. I am just using this for conservative comparison.

          These letters have legs.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

          by cany on Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 09:56:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think, BTW, your assumptions about the SBC is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kait

          likely correct, though I couldn't find any real geographic comparisons but will continue to look. That IS an interesting perspective.

          However, remember that evangelical/pentecostal churches (basically covered not by singular denomination in the letter, but through coalition and despite digging for hours and hours I could not find the member groups listed anywhere, but will keep trying) are very numerous throughout the country. We have a lot of them here where I live (west coast). The Vineyard churches, for instance, which were listed on the letter independently, are all over so cal. though I was unable to find a membership number anywhere.

          That is just an example. There are thousands of these little churches in California and their members are hell-bent on "preserving traditional marriage" and really DO believe there is a war against religion.

          It's a manufactured issue but given about 90% or more of the US citizenry cleaves to one religion or another, that is hardly a small number and it behooves us to realize that just as in California, when these churches hit the airwaves and start their ground game (the LDS church is expert at this), they are a force.

          We underestimate their power at our own risk. And unfortunately, when we lose, civil rights are denied and/or stripped from citizens across the nation.

          It also makes it harder and harder, every time we lose, to get anywhere on ENDA and DOMA.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

          by cany on Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 10:04:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Just found a great interactive map on this topic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kait

          (religion and geography) at the Pew site.

          Linkie ishere.

          Really helpful.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

          by cany on Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 11:00:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  On a positive note (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    Of the 25 largest churches, only 5 signed on. (In fact, of the 15 largest, only 5 signed on). That leaves a lot of churches (and members) who are not on board with it.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 10:05:01 AM PST

    •  True. But don't forget most of the evangelical (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kait

      churches (the largest in the nation overall) are covered by a coalition, so are not independently named.

      Those figures don't include that fact.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 11:01:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I just found this really helpful Pew religion and (0+ / 0-)

      geography map on Pew's site.

      It's quite instructive.

      Here.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Thu Jan 26, 2012 at 11:04:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I get it. Actually, I got it. The first time I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    read through it. Usual suspects, yeah, but no matter how many RCs or even Pentecostals (HA! Fat chance.) don't, as individuals, support this, as a collective, the membership numbers are big, and if they even get an extra 2% of their membership out to vote, aroused and sweaty over who's wanting to marry who, that is an extra 2% who could vote with a big fat R on the Presidential election, and make an impact. And as we've seen with abortion, these are hot ticket distractions that do get conservatives sweaty, bothered, and out the door to vote.

    As a Yankee who has lived in the South for more than twenty years now, I think it is easy when you feel relatively safe "up north", to think that some of this stuff is so (as I read it over and over and over) "batshit crazy", that really, the polls all indicate that it can't succeed. We say it all the time around here, and I've read similar dismissive comments on a few LGBTQ blogs. It's the SOUTH. We welcome you to the land where crazy has been a fine tradition for well over 100 years. And parts of the midwest, northwest, and southwest as well. Add in some voter caging, some wins and some losses with redistricting, and suddenly batshit crazy becomes the new normal, swinging us even further right. I can't afford to be dismissive. That cold chill that hangs around succeedingly more batshit crazy election results keeps me vigilant, crusading (small c), and voting.

    And if religious people are willing to HR a diary over their religion possibly, maybe, faintly being misconstrued, imagine what batshit crazy, conservative, and religious all together in a sweaty stew might accomplish.

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