The Clam

Deep beneath the water,

hidden in the sand,

doing what he oughter,

lies a hard-shell clam.

He never says Good morning,

nor gathers with the gay.

He shuts up tight on warning

of footsteps down his way.

He just grows old and harder,

and deeper in his fears,

till he’s too tough for chowder,

and dies from added years.

Leslie T. Wells c. 1955

From Push, by Sapphire

“But me when I think of it I’m more inclined to go wid Shug in The Color Purple. God ain’ no Jew or Muslim, maybe he ain’ even black, maybe he ain’ even a “he.” Even now I go downtown and see the rich shit they got, I see what we got, too. I see those men in vacant lot share one hot dog and they homeless, that’s good as Jesus with his fish. I remember when I had my daughter, nurse nice to me — all that is god. Shug in Color Purple say it’s the “wonder” of purple flowers. I feel that, even though I never seen or had no flowers like what she talk about.

Richard Rohr, writing The Universal Christ, works hard at the same point.

The “United” Methodist Church

The UMC may be having an existential crisis and be headed for a schism between the misnamed “progressives” and “conservatives.” In the 1970s, a group of perhaps closeted bishops rammed through a regulation prohibiting gay clergy from marrying or ministering in the church, or even marrying a gay couple off church property, on pain of expulsion.
So-called “conservatives” want to maintain and enforce this change, while “progressives” want to go back to the old rule book. The argument is already upside down.
Conservatives want to save. It’s right there in the name. But today, “conservatives” are in love with this change, which has damaged the denomination’s ministry, and continues to, while “progressives” want to go back to Christianity, remove the exclusionary sentence, that was born in fear, and resume ministry to and by the Christ in all of us.
All means all. That’s not a progressive position. It’s obvious.

note: I use “gay” to indicate any position on the gender spectrum. The idealistic string of letters can’t do the job, no matter how long it gets in its effort to be all-inclusive.