The issue of recognizing the rights of gay Christians has driven a wedge in many long standing Protestant churches in America. Individual local churches are separating from their national denominations over the acceptance of the ordination of gay clergy and the blessing of same sex unions. This split, separation or dismissal, as it is often called, is happening currently at Fremont Presbyterian Church in Sacramento.
One of the large stumbling blocks for both the national church and the local congregation is the disposition of the property and buildings. Technically, the church is usually held in the name of the national church or a regional diocese. Congregations that seek dismissal often times want to keep their existing facilities and pay very little compensation in exchange. For one community member in Sacramento, he sees the new Fremont Presbyterian Church as getting a sweet deal on the property and building, while his community gets an unfriendly congregation to the diverse university neighborhood. -Editor
By Kirk Carson Stact
For those of us in Sacramento who support women’s rights and LGBT rights, tomorrow is going to be a very sad day for us.
If you’re wondering why I say that, let me answer you with a question: would you give an anti-gay organization 9 million dollars just to help them out? No? I didn’t think so. Me neither.
What about if you saw some little kid being bullied every day out of lunch money? Would you maybe tell the bully to stop, or tell the victim to stand up to it? You would?
Well, tomorrow, on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, that’s what’s gonna happen. Only this time, the bully is an anti-gay organization, and instead of having their eyes on somebody else’s lunch money, they’ve got them on somebody else’s 9-million asset.
The man currently leading the anti-gay organization, fundamentalist preacher Don Baird, recently broke away from his denomination in protest of its decision to accept the ordination of gay clergy, and tomorrow he’s planning on seizing that denomination’s roughly $9 million dollar landmark property facing California State University Sacramento (CSUS), unless someone tells this bully to stop, or tells the victim to stand up to him.
Think of what $9 million dollars will do for an organization like theirs that actively promotes allowing discrimination against people on the basis of gender, marital status, and sexual orientation, by refusing them positions of power.
Actually we already know what it does. Not long ago, when this very man, Don Baird, became a mentor to a highly decorated US Air Force Sergeant named Tom Paniccia,
the sergeant ended up dead – and personally I have absolutely no doubt that it was Don Baird’s fundamentalist anti-gay idealogy that killed him. That’s why I think Don Baird is a dangerous leader.
Look, I’m not a blogger. I’m not a journalist. I’m not a woman. I’m not gay. So why am I writing about this? Because I happen to know about it. Most people don’t know this is happening, and I think they should. Why do I care? Because I support human rights, and working towards a world free from religious-shaming and bullying – bullying that sometimes leads to property theft and the deaths of innocent people.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that I have any power whatsoever to change this situation. The only thing I have is the optimistic belief that there are people in and around Sacramento who may care about things like this, and that when people come together, sometimes they can do amazing things.
So please, be the one to take action on this now, and pass this on.
We need to contact the Sacramento Presbytery (the owners of the property who strongly support women’s rights and LGBT rights) and tell them not to simply give away the property to Don Baird’s group. Tell them to rescind or change the actions already taken by the presbytery, or we’ll be setting back the cause for women’s rights and LGBT rights in our community, who knows how far.