by Matthew Hamilton
Last Sunday, United Methodist Bishop Sally Dyck gave a sermon called The Meat of God’s Law at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington DC. Dyck has been a bishop in Minnesota since 2004 and will soon be assuming a position as bishop in the Northern Illinois Conference based in Chicago. According to her bio, she enjoys exercising and traveling. Evidently she also enjoys using God’s pulpit to proselytize for liberal ideology.
Sally Dyck began her sermon with this quote from 19th century abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglas:
You are all on fire at the mention of liberty for France or for Ireland; but are as cold as an iceberg at the thought of liberty for the enslaved of America… You can bare your bosom to the storm of British artillery to throw off a three-penny tax on tea; and yet wring the last hard earned farthing from the grasp of the black laborers of your country. You profess to believe “that, of one blood, God made all nations of men to dwell on the face of all the earth,” and hath commanded all men, everywhere, to love one another; yet you notoriously hate all men whose skins are not colored like your own.
What is Dyck’s point of including this quote? To equate opposition to gay marriage with the institution of slavery? She says: “We still have not granted full civil rights to our own LGBT communities.” Besides grossly trivializing the institution of slavery with such a comparison, Dyck is overreaching way too far in playing the victim card on behalf of LGBTs. Not condoning homosexuality by approving of gay marriage is hardly at the same level of owning another human being’s life.
The Frederick Douglas quote is also employed as an exaggerated appeal to emotion regarding U.S. immigration policies. Bishop Dyck denounces the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws while carefully ensuring that the word “illegal” never passes her lips as she says “We still don’t have immigration rights. We still hunt down people in our own boundaries.” Hunt down people who break federal laws? What sort of draconian nation is this? Apparently for Sally Dyck, enforcing the rule of law is less important than allowing people who break the law to get away with it and be rewarded for their actions. And if you don’t support amnesty for illegal immigrants, then you might as well support slavery.
Then there was proselytizing for Obamacare and condescendingly chastising those that voiced their opposition to it during the lively Townhall Meetings of 2009. There was also her reference to “Global Weirding” during her story about a rain storm. Evidently, absent evidence of increasing global temperatures, “weirding” has replaced “warming” as a concern. And then Dyck played the class-warfare card by echoing the rhetoric of the now faded Occupy Wall Street Movement. She said that the American taxation system works “to protect that 1%… I think there’s 99% out there who continue to struggle.” Nevermind that America has one of the most progressive income tax structures of any government in the world. Nevermind that 50% of Americans pay no income tax at all. But who really cares about facts when Big Government populist rhetoric sounds so catchy?
Bishop Dyck then argued that people are disillusioned about Christianity because of its “ineffectiveness.” Ineffectiveness at what? Redeeming people’s souls and bringing them to God, or fulfilling the liberal vision of social justice? I would say that the Bible and Christianity are perfectly effective at bringing people to God. If Christianity is ineffective at anything it would certainly be in fulfilling the liberal utopian vision for society.
Maybe Sally Dyck should focus more on what Christianity is really about: the redemption of mankind and our reconciliation with God. Instead, she’s trumpeting for liberal causes like amnesty for illegal immigrants, socializing healthcare, condoning sexual immorality, stirring up hatred against rich people, pushing the “Global Weirding” agenda, and belittling her political opponents.
Christianity is growing by leaps and bounds all over the world where Christians preach about the redemptive power of Christ and the forgiveness of sins. Maybe if Bishop Dyck preached that gospel she would see less people become disillusioned with Christianity and experience growth in the body of Christ around her as well. If there is any disillusionment going on, it probably has a lot more to do with liberal political activism masquerading as Christianity than with Christianity itself.