“…Not Adam & Steve”

If you are attending #RioTxAC, you have likely received a ride from the United Methodist Men (UMM).  These jolly fellows, always quick with a smile and a joke while they are on golf cart duty, graciously provide rides for those parking a distance from the convention center.  It is a very helpful ministry, one that touches me every day of Annual Conference.

You may also have noticed that several wear white stoles approximately the size/shape of Reconciling Ministries Team rainbow stoles.  And if you look closely enough, you can read the dark stitching: “Adam and Steve” with a circle surrounding the words and a line diagonally over to “cross out” the words.  As in, “No Adam and Steve.”  It leaves the viewer to infer, “God Created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”, a line heard from time to time used as a way to diminish, discount, and deny the beauty of God’s creation.  It leaves me feeling very sad to see such a witness.  As a friend yesterday said, “Can you imagine that someone took the time to carefully hand-craft that message of exclusion and discrimination?”

Moving beyond my initial emotional response, I begin to ponder the logic behind the statement.  Do the UMM wearers think that God should have stopped with the first type of every thing created?  Should there be only one kind of horse, tree, and flower?  Should we only have oaks shading our parks, and only bluebonnet fields (my favorite!) to admire in the spring?  For that matter, what about skin color?  Adam and Eve were “white”, if most Bible illustrations are to be believed, are we next to say that people of color are not also part of God’s plan?  Without diversity, God’s world would be far less interesting, and so much less beautiful than it is today.  Diversity is God’s gift to us, and it is my prayer this last morning of Annual Conference that we can all find some time to reflect on that for the remaining hours of this SWTX/Rio Grande/Rio Texas Annual Conference.

All shall be well,

Joy Butler
SWTX Reconciling Ministries Team


13 thoughts on ““…Not Adam & Steve”

  1. Agreed. Was grateful for the ride and hospitality and then greatly distressed when I saw the edge of the stole worn by the driver (who looked like Santa Claus and made a comment about knowing where all the naughty girls lived). Also could not believe someone would work so hard on a message that hurts people.

  2. I would like to believe people would graciously decline to ride with any of the white stole wearers.

  3. They are right–as far as they go. The Bible, and Jesus, say nothing, absolutely nothing, about “Adam” marrying “Steve.” All of the biblical passages that our homophobic brothers and sisters love to cite assume same-sex “relations” (if, especially as regards Sodom and Gomorrah, one can rightly call rape a “relation”) among heterosexuals. The Bible says nothing, absolutely nothing, about people who are “homosexual” as we have come to understand and define the term–there isn’t even a Hebrew or a Greek word for it. Or they are addressing something else, like divorce. The question for these gentlemen is, why do we continue to make such an issue over something about which Jesus said nothing?

  4. As a friend yesterday said, “Can you imagine that someone took the time to carefully hand-craft that message of exclusion and discrimination?”

    Yep I can. Just like once upon a time some one took time to carefully craft white hoods and robes for the KKK to hide behind. Just like WBC takes time to carefully craft protest signs of hate to wave ignorantly at funerals of soldiers.
    Just as I would respectfully decline assistance in anyway from either of those two groups, I would respectfully decline the assistance of another group who are openly discriminating.
    Perhaps the UMM of has not reached the extreme tactics of the other two groups but keep in mind the KKK was originally organized as a men’s club. And WBC was once just a small unheard group of people which skewed ideas.

  5. Joy, thanks for blogging about this. I had an interesting encounter with one of the UMM stole-wearers at the MFSA luncheon. I was feeling so high on inclusivity yesterday after great early morning worship – and after all, the context was MFSA – that at first glance I thought the stole was a weird kind of protest against those who were against same-sex marriage. Or maybe it was just overly optimistic hopeful thinking. After all, I’m not sure I would wear a rainbow stole to a MRM event. After realizing my ‘mistake’, I tried to get into a conversation about ‘agreeing to disagree’ on some things, which went nowhere. So we turned to chit chat and I found my seat as quickly and graciously as possible, thinking (a la Susan Beckett above) that I was not going to use their ‘service’ in the parking lot in the future, no matter how tired or hot I might be.

  6. If someone is welcome at His table but not in our church, it’s pretty easy to see that we’ve strayed from His path.

  7. As a gay United Methodist, If I saw this, I’d say, “No, in all Christian conscience, the Book of Discipline states that “”everyone is of value (something along that)””. To deny that in a trite form is against all of the Methodist values I have leaned”.

  8. I can’t even get gay church members to be a part of Reconciling Ministries.
    All are welcome is a cute slogan but miles from reality.

  9. As usual, the UMW is light years more progressive than the UMM… Progressive men seem to be an endangered species…

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