No Such Law

She persisted

I am so tired of groups of people telling other groups of people who are not like them that they are somehow less worthy or not to be treated equally. The Romans did this to the conquered in their empire – including Jesus’ people. The Europeans did this to indigenous people across the planet. European Americans did this and continue to do this to African Americans and Native Americans and Latino and Latina Americans and frankly anyone who is not European American. Men have done this to women. The rich have done this to the poor. The healthy have done this to the sick. Christians have done this to Jews and Muslims and others who are not Christian. Heterosexuals have done this to persons who are LGBTQ.

Yesterday, with its decision that the consecration of same gender loving bishops is against “church law,” the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church reaffirmed that the United Methodist Church continues in this long and sinful tradition of excluding and mistreating those they perceive to be not like them. The only proper response is repentance and radical inclusion and a recognition that there is #NoSuchLaw that calls us to exclude and to harm those who do no harm to us.

There is no such law that calls us to exclude anyone from the human community. There is no such law that makes a bishop who happens to be other gender loving to be more worthy than a bishop who happens to be same gender loving. There is no such law, nor will there ever be, that justifies practices of discrimination and injustice towards persons who do no harm. There is no such law because as St. Augustine and Martin Luther King, Jr. remind us, “An unjust law is no law at all.” It is not antinomian to disobey unjust laws.

When will we learn that we are all in this together and stop trying to exclude or mistreat others because of their differences that cause no harm? Will we ever learn, or will it continue to be the same as it ever was? We are living in a time that cannot afford this “same at it ever was” mentality.

I am so tired of groups of people telling other groups of people who are not like them that they are somehow less worthy or not to be treated equally, and I am especially tired of groups of people using religious justification for this behavior. It is bad enough that we continue to treat each other so poorly – let’s at least stop pretending that there is some divine entity that approves of us treating each other like crap.

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About Mark Y. A. Davies

Mark Davies is The Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and Director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. From 2009 to 2015, Mark was dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences and Wimberly Professor of Social Ethics at Oklahoma City University. Previously, Mark was dean of the Wimberly School of Religion at Oklahoma City University and Founding Director of the Vivian Wimberly Center for Ethics and Servant Leadership. Prior to becoming dean of the Wimberly School of Religion in 2002, he was associate dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma City University and chair of the department of philosophy. Mark has published in the areas of Boston personalism, process philosophy and ethics, and ecological ethics. Dr. Davies serves on the United Methodist University Senate, which is “an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.” He and his wife Kristin live in Edmond, OK in the United States, and they have two daughters. The views expressed by the author in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of Oklahoma City University.
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8 Responses to No Such Law

  1. Lisa Wolfe says:

    Preach! Crucial message, powerfully argued and written.

  2. Meyers, Robin says:

    I am just returning from a weekend in Madison WI, after a weekend of lecturing and preaching at First UMC church downtown, a flagship reconciling congregation. The have a giant banner outside the church that says, ALL MEANS ALL. Simple, yes?

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. kingtutt65 says:

    I think it is high time for the Good News movement and the Wesley Covenant Association to strike out on their own and form a rules-based denomination to their liking and leave the rest of us grace-based Methodists in peace so we can be about our Father’s business of being the hand and feet of Jesus to a world that is continually hurt, broken, and beaten down by fear and hate of the other.

  4. Doug Echols says:

    I agree with King Tuttt! the audacity of suggesting that those of us who disagree seek an honorable exit is so insulting.

  5. I stand with the testimony of God how a tells us to love one another for Who We Are God never told us to try on nobody for his Goodwill in work and if you want a really good depth Lee into the Bible with me right now I will let you know that homosexuality was put into the Bible 1940 that’s when they put the word homosexuality into the Bible so that is what was added in what does God say do not add any words to my book. So it tells us not to judge his people that are LGBT or leave in a different religion it still gets to God somehow.

  6. rolandlegge says:

    So sad to hear of this decision! Everyone is being hurt! So far from what Jesus would have done.🙁

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