March 23, 2017

August 12, 2009

A Brief Glimpse into the Sideshow that is General Convention

Robert Lundy of the AAC and I stood in the exhibit hall watching Massachusetts state representative Byron Rushing, a gay/transgender “rights” activist, do what amounted to a street-corner rally with a small gaggle of GenCon deputies at a corner booth sponsored by Integrity, complete with a small p.a. system, which I guess is a step up from a bullhorn, and more in keeping with Episcopal standards of good taste.

Fortunately, Robert was videotaping and uploaded this excerpt, so I can give you another glimpse into the culture of General Convention that is never seen by the folks back home. If you’re inclined to compartmentalize it as an anomaly, trust me - it wasn’t. For proof, just watch the people in the background, walking by as though nothing about this were out of the ordinary… because it wasn’t.

Watch this video - it’s only about 10 minutes long. In a nutshell, you’re watching a bunch of lunatics sit around and discuss their lunatic ideas. If you doubt me, note the question asked about getting the church out of the marriage business, and hang in there until the last few minutes, when you can observe the person manning the booth - “facilitating” as it were. The pantomime-cheerleading you see her doing is what she did the whole time - the entire half-hour or so Rushing spoke. These are the people who carried the day in Anaheim last month - the ones who now run the church at the national level. Note also the line of “reasoning,” such as it is, that Rushing uses: Entirely devoid of Christian theology, and representative of quite a large percentage of revisionists in the Episcopal Church.

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(Around 9:50)
“I will advocate any person’s religious beliefs, as long as they are not hurting anyone.”
”  I represent the Christian Scientists in Boston.”
His main point: “As long as you are not damaging anyone by those beliefs, I will advocate for you.”

Funny thing is, I wonder if he would “advocate” for my beliefs as an orthodox Christian.
Doubt it.

[1] Posted by heart on 8-12-2009 at 11:14 AM · [top]

What an incredible sacrifice of time you and Robert made for us. I would not have lingered 5 seconds at the Rushing booth unless they were handing out free snacks. I can see why conservative groups did not set up their own booths (or did they?).

[2] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 8-12-2009 at 11:14 AM · [top]

Who is the shim to the right of the screen, who keeps nodding and thumping?
At first, I thought she was signing (as in ASL) but then just realized that she has an unusual way of promoting this guy’s message.

[3] Posted by heart on 8-12-2009 at 11:15 AM · [top]

#2, Unfortunately, the conservative booths were shut down by Mr. Rushing, as they were advocating views that “hurt” him.

[4] Posted by heart on 8-12-2009 at 11:17 AM · [top]

There were a few conservative booths, but not many (I’d say half a dozen or fewer), and obviously they didn’t get much traffic.

[5] Posted by Greg Griffith on 8-12-2009 at 11:19 AM · [top]

Maybe it’s just me, but this has an almost Manson-esque feeling about it: a bunch of shabby, ill-kempt women with glazed expressions sitting in a circle and listening with slack-jawed rapture to the ravings of a loony.

I have been baptized.

[6] Posted by Athanasian on 8-12-2009 at 11:22 AM · [top]

I was thinking the same thing only I was thinking more like a Hari Kirshna of some sort. but, then I see almmost all revisionist activists as cult-ish anyway. Like the hippie communions of the sixties.

[7] Posted by TLDillon on 8-12-2009 at 12:06 PM · [top]

So civil marriage gives you lots of things but church marriage gives you nothing!!!

Why was he at GenCon?????

[8] Posted by Bill C on 8-12-2009 at 12:51 PM · [top]

I think that person has some sort of nervous tic problem.  I don’t think she can help it.  So, we probably shouldn’t make fun of her, even though it looks like it would be pretty easy to do.

[9] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 8-12-2009 at 01:14 PM · [top]


Nope, no nervous tick. Lundy and I watched her for the better part of half an hour. She’s just, um… very enthusiastic about the New Thing.

[10] Posted by Greg Griffith on 8-12-2009 at 01:33 PM · [top]

He seems to say “of course” a lot which assumes that there is a logical connection between each incoherant statement and the next, but it escapes me - so it’s just the illusion that there are logical connections in what he says.

Is there really any distinction between a religious and a civil marriage. Does God look at people who were married in a civil office and think they are any less married than those who were married in a church? Does he really suggest that couples who are married in a church are not able to get the same benefits from the state as those who are married in a civil office? Isn’t he forming a straw man argument to press for church’s to get out of the marriage business just because they don’t provide the same services and benefits for married couples as the state provides. Christians don’t expect to receive state supplied benefits from the church just because they were married in a church - and the state will provide those benefits to any couples regardless of where they were married, so what is his point?

Isn’t there a very marked difference between tolerating a different belief and advocating for another’s belief in a pluralistic society. Christians in a pluralistic society have a great opportunity to press our case and advocate for the Lord Jesus Christ as being the only Lord and Saviour for the whole world. We might tolerate other beliefs, which I understand means being willing to live alongside those who hold different beliefs without agreeing with them. We understand them to be wrong and unenlightened, but we certainly do not advocate for wrong beliefs. As Don Carson has pointed out elsewhere in talks I’ve heard him give, the word “tolerate” has had its meaning changed by liberals from “being willing to live with” to “being in agreement with” and even “advocating for”. Yet “tolerate” only makes sense in conditions where there is disagreement over beliefs. While pluralism requires toleration between disagreeing parties, we must insist it does not require advocacy of another’s different belief, only of the right of the other to hold a different belief.

[11] Posted by fyffee on 8-12-2009 at 02:02 PM · [top]

So this State Representative reveals an increasingly common corporate amnesia in public economics.  Why does the State get into the marriage business in the first place?  Why does the State offer those benefits that Mr. Rushing says he can get from the State but not the Church?  Historically, governments have wanted to regulate one man and one woman to get married and raise a whole bunch of future taxpayers without the hastle of extramarital births, instabilities of fights over who has sex with whom, etc.  It was an economic staility for the government’s interest and minimizing of domestic issues by pairing up the populace for reproduction.  Yet now those couples who will never (between themselves) produce a single tax payer child want the same benefits.. because its “fair” that way.  Prior to the introduction of the Marriage License (and Tax breaks) Marriage was purely a matter for the Religious body to govern.

[12] Posted by Soy City Priest on 8-12-2009 at 02:12 PM · [top]

BTW, this sort of thing was why I only visited the Exhibit Hall a couple or three times at this General Convention.  In past GC’s I visited the hall a couple of times a day…

[13] Posted by Soy City Priest on 8-12-2009 at 02:14 PM · [top]

Did I hear this turkey right?

Did he really say that the state should legalize same sex marriages so that, among other things, churches can collect the fees?

I guess it really is about money.

Maybe that’s how TEC plans to make up for their lost revenue: seize churches, turn them into “wedding chapels” and collect the rents and fees from all the gays and lesbians getting married.

[14] Posted by Ken Peck on 8-12-2009 at 02:19 PM · [top]

If I’m OK and you’re OK, and nobody hurts anyone else, then why is He hanging on the cross? 

Thank you Byron for this secular Massachusetts eye opener on life in the fast lane.

[15] Posted by Dallas Priest on 8-12-2009 at 03:09 PM · [top]

Right click on the video and send the URL to everyone you know who is and/or was a member of TEO.

[16] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 8-12-2009 at 03:19 PM · [top]

Perpetua of Carthage may have an idea on the identity of the handwaver.

[17] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 8-12-2009 at 03:57 PM · [top]

I think you hit on something.  This gentleman says that religious belifs are OK as long as they don’t “hurt” or “damage” someone else.  What I want to know is what is his definition of “hurt” or “damage”??? What I keep hearing from the revisionist lobby is that they find traditional interpretation of Scripture and Tradition to be “hurtful” and “damaging” and “disenfranchising” to the LGBTQIABCDEFGHIJ…Z communities in and outside of the Church.  Basically it is overstatement by the revisionists…it’s really: “I feel ‘damaged’ by what you preached or read or interpreted…therefore you MUST cease and desist, because it is ‘hateful’ to me for you to not advocate for our position.”  That is why you can be fined in Sweden or jailed in Canada for “Hate Crimes” and “Hate Speech” or “Inciting Verbal Violence” just for publicly holding and advocating the Traditional position. It’s not about fairness.  It’s about the left wanting to keep their pacifiers way past when they should have outgrown them and grown thicker adult skin.  “Coddle me or I’ll scream…or make you sorry…or make you pay.”  It’s narcissism at it’s fever pitch.  No tolerance for real diversity of expression.

[18] Posted by TXThurifer on 8-12-2009 at 04:13 PM · [top]

Again, I’m struck by how unhappy, even miserable, the people in the audience look. They probably are true believers of what Mr Rushing is saying, but it’s not made them happy.

[19] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 8-12-2009 at 04:35 PM · [top]

I believe Perpetua of Carthage nailed it.  Rebecca Gordan

[20] Posted by wildiris on 8-12-2009 at 04:38 PM · [top]

Same face. Same hairdo. Same glasses. Same Timex watch.

[21] Posted by Ken Peck on 8-12-2009 at 04:57 PM · [top]

Maybe 815 can market some Rebecca Gordon bobblehead dolls so Terry Martin can have his job back.

BigTex AC

[22] Posted by BigTex AC on 8-12-2009 at 05:40 PM · [top]

You owe me ten minutes of my life back.  Listening to that drivel was agonizing.  The guru was completely inane, the woman with Tourette’s was just sad, and the Squeaky Frome - lookalike was freaking me out. 

And who were these people who had spare brain cells to waste on this incredibly shallow presentation?  The nutjob who offered up the church’s authority as God’s representative to marry to…the state?  And Mdme.  Tourette herself couldn’t see the irony of suggesting she was somehow injured by being required to say “Christian” prayers in primary school when she, a “good Jewish girl” she admonishes the group, chooses to go to an Episcopal church - not Temple?  I guess for her there is no irony, as her Episcopal church is not Christian.

But seriously, Greg, I had to try twice to get through this, it was so painful.  You owe me.

[23] Posted by Fidela on 8-12-2009 at 05:53 PM · [top]


So civil marriage gives you lots of things but church marriage gives you nothing!!!
Why was he at GenCon?????

Maybe he was looking to move up in the world, next Bishop from Mass.?

[24] Posted by Edwin on 8-12-2009 at 06:19 PM · [top]

How can this person say that it doesn’t matter what people believe as long as it doesn’t hurt people and go on to defend Christian Science.  I mean, like, hello?  Hello?

Christian Scientists are also people of wealth and position.  Geez.  No one is fooled.


[25] Posted by BabyBlue on 8-12-2009 at 06:19 PM · [top]

Mixed-up nuts.

[26] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 8-12-2009 at 06:22 PM · [top]

Unbelievable…..but in all honesty, believable for what has gone on for years in the Church.
Talk…make no sense…talk some more…..make less sense than before….get people to agree with you and your golden.

[27] Posted by goonole on 8-12-2009 at 06:35 PM · [top]

A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I’m a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald… striking. So, I’m on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one - big hitter, the Lama - long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga… gunga, gunga-lagunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” And he says, “Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.” So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.

[28] Posted by J Eppinga on 8-12-2009 at 06:37 PM · [top]

25 Baby Blue
Because he is a DioMA sock puppet.

[29] Posted by JanDioMA on 8-12-2009 at 07:01 PM · [top]

29…uh oh…you mentioned puppets…now I’ll have to bring up those famous Scary Liturgical Puppets!!!  wink

[30] Posted by TXThurifer on 8-12-2009 at 07:07 PM · [top]

JanDioMA #29… beat me to it…Rushing is nothing more than Tom Shaw’s puppet… glad to be in ACNA.

[31] Posted by MassPK on 8-12-2009 at 07:23 PM · [top]

What did The Simple Country Bishop (TM) say about TEC being the church of the mentally ill?

[32] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 8-12-2009 at 07:23 PM · [top]

I can accept a secular authority having no problems with other people’s religious beliefs as long as they don’t hurt some one.  However, since he was a spokesman for a religious group at a religious convention, I object. 
Jesus talked about hell more than any other person in the Bible.  By not offering people an opportunity to know Jesus, we are hurting them, from an earthly perspective and an eternal perspective. 
We, as Christians, must challenge so as not to create a false security.  A challenge is a blessing to a prodigal son.  Not to do so is the equivalent of a curse.
We Americans have forgotten that ‘repentance’ is one of the sweetest words in the Christian vocabulary.  God calls us to repent because He loves us.  When God puts His finger on sin, it is like a kiss on the cheek.  ‘My child, I love you too much to let you continue.’

[33] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 8-12-2009 at 08:26 PM · [top]

Rebecca Gordon

Like I said: Lunatics, discussing their lunatic ideas.

So let’s see… a Jewish lesbian who inexplicably goes to an Episcopal Church.

Runs an anti-war rag and is affiliated with International A.N.S.W.E.R., an overtly Marxist group well-known for their astro-turfing and protests by proxy.

Also running a booth at GenCon for Integrity.

This may call for a little more looking-into…

[34] Posted by Greg Griffith on 8-12-2009 at 11:39 PM · [top]

Blah blah, blah blah blah blah. 

Sorry dude, God spoke on the issue…you can believe what you want, but you are deceived.

This man is Byron Rushing, a Mass state rep?  Oh my…

[35] Posted by B. Hunter on 8-13-2009 at 06:03 AM · [top]

Just curious to know if anyone else thinks that this fellow isn’t wearing socks ... sure looks like it to me. 

If so, how is this “in keeping with Episcopal standards of good taste?”

[36] Posted by BrotherQuotidian on 8-13-2009 at 08:40 AM · [top]

He is correct that only a state validated marriage (with state license, signed, returned and state marriage certificate mailed back to the parties) grants the state rights, obligations and benefits of marriage.  A religious certificate ALONE issued in the US would not be accepted in most cases to validate a marriage. Most US clergy will not issue a religious certificate without a state license.  I won’t. 
This becomes clear when we look at the US Muslim community.  A Muslim man may have more than one wife according to Islam and the certificate issued to her honors her as a legitimate wife by any Mosque in the world but offers her no protections as a legal wife in the US.  If she has any protections they need to be established by contract, insurance etc by the husband.  As long as he is not “state married” to more than one woman, he cannot be charged with bigamy.

[37] Posted by citykid on 8-13-2009 at 09:49 AM · [top]

Hare Krishna! This enlightened one should get himself fitted out in an oversized diaper, and pass out incense.

[38] Posted by hellcat on 8-13-2009 at 10:01 AM · [top]

The enlightened one is a ringer for Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.

[39] Posted by hellcat on 8-13-2009 at 10:11 AM · [top]

#28, THANKS!!!!  I’ve always said Bill Murray was a genius….


[40] Posted by Mike Bertaut on 8-13-2009 at 02:19 PM · [top]

Greg - what’s the hand thingy with these two all about???

over the teeth, over the gums. lookout stomach here it comes…...the koolaid!

If I was on the clock doing a psych eval, I would certainly have to say “poor reality testing”!

[41] Posted by no longer NH Episcopalian on 8-14-2009 at 11:06 PM · [top]

The woman who made the strange gestures throughout the talk also did the daily reporting for Integrity during GC. Her enthusiasm for the New Gospel was even more evident in those clips. It was frightening—like Seasame Street meets the Daily Kos. I’ve never felt so patronized and so assaulted simultaneously.

[42] Posted by JoshuaB on 8-17-2009 at 10:15 PM · [top]

It’s interesting that on Rushing’s offical Mass. legislature page he lists interests in both the Episcopal and Unitarian churches.

[43] Posted by James Manley on 8-17-2009 at 10:50 PM · [top]

sort of like which came first - the Episcopalian or the Unitarian???

[44] Posted by no longer NH Episcopalian on 8-17-2009 at 11:58 PM · [top]

I think you should put a Jefferson Airplane sound track to this.

[45] Posted by tjmcmahon on 8-18-2009 at 07:13 AM · [top]

In point of fact, I think Unitarians came first- although I don’t know if they identified themselves as such at the time.  There were several noted Unitarians among the founders of both the US and the Foreign and Domestic Missionary Society of the United States.  Unitarians have risen in the ranks of the latter organization to the point that several of them are now addressed as “bishop.”  The irony of this has yet to dawn upon the bishop unitarians.

[46] Posted by tjmcmahon on 8-18-2009 at 07:18 AM · [top]

Those who think swimming the Tiber will cure all should note that Rebecca Gordon teaches at a Jesuit university:

[47] Posted by James Manley on 8-18-2009 at 07:19 AM · [top]

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