February 8, 2016

UCC President: ‘Religious Right’ Wants ‘Theocratic State’

Last week, United Church of Christ (UCC) President John C. Dorhauer accused the “Religious Right” of attempting “to turn America into a theocratic state.” In an opinion piece posted to UCC’s website on February 4, Dorhauer argued that his own liberal agenda advanced religious liberty, while the Religious Right are supposedly undermining  religious freedom in America.

Beginning by tracing his lineage back to the Mayflower, Dorhauer described the early American Puritans as “religious zealots.” He said the Founding Fathers opposed the “religious tyranny found in the spirit of the Pilgrims,” and thus attempted to prevent religion from gaining too much power in government through the Bill of Rights.

He then said the Religious Right were attempting to undo these protections. “The irony of the Religious Right fighting for a ‘freedom’ that utilizes all three branches of government to enforce their narrow theology isn’t lost on me,” Dorhauer said.

He attempted to explain why opposing legalized gay marriage and abortion was anathema to religious liberty:

“I believe in religious freedom, but not the kind that argues that government should grant me the right to refuse to serve or hire someone because they are homosexual. Removing someone’s civil rights by empowering the government to protect and preserve my religious homophobia is not my idea of religious liberty.

“I believe in religious freedom, but not the kind that argues that government should tolerate employers or medical professionals who want to deprive women of their full range of health care options. Depriving women of choices that our courts deem legal and appropriate to preserve my religious misogyny is not my idea of religious liberty.”

What Dorhauer left out, of course, was that the government’s support for gay marriage and abortion imposed a separate but still very real “moral compass” on Americans. Mandating that many Americans violate their conscience when it comes to the sanctity of marriage and the sanctity of life clearly demonstrates the very theocratic spirit Dorhauer so detests. Yet Dorhauer not only found it acceptable to use the government to impose liberal morals across the country, but also had the nerve to call this true “religious freedom.”

23 Responses to UCC President: ‘Religious Right’ Wants ‘Theocratic State’

  1. Typical hypocritical UCC (Unitarians Counterfeiting Christ) wolf. He is forcing his “religious” views on us via unrestricted, taxpayer-funded abortions and oxymoronic “same-sex marriage,” among other things.

  2. Tiger says:

    The religious left doesn’t hate jihadis, and doesn’t hate atheists, but they truly hate, loathe, and despise traditional Christians. In their theology, we play the Satan role.

    FWIW, another of the UCC’s seminaries (Andover Newton) has fallen upon hard financial times and is being forced to sell its campus. Only a few years previous, the UCC’s Bangor Seminary shut down and merged into Andover Newton. Two of the ELCA’s seminaries are preparing to merge. Much of the anger coming from the religious left is that they market a worldly, no-demands gospel, yet instead of growing, they continue to shrink.

    • StarTripper says:

      Agree. I remember once a few years back in an adult Sunday school class when one of the other participants insisted that all religions are paths to God. I asked, “Then why the heck are we spending time here?” No response. If faith isn’t demanding then worship and study are just entertainment options.

      • MarcoPolo says:

        If all Religions AREN’T paths to God, then what are all religions about? ……(cricket sounds)….

        Time spent among fellow seekers of truth is never wasted. I mean, the word ‘congregation’ always had a liturgical sound to me!

        Keep the faith….just keep it to yourself!

      • Stefanie says:

        Yes the person who said all religions are paths to God was correct. Obviously the answer to “what are we doing here, then” is that the person considers that the right religion for them – duh! There is no one size fit all religion and no way to tell if any are the correct one – that’s why we have religious freedom and human rights, to make our own autonomous decision on whether to follow any religious beliefs at all and which one to follow. My religious and ethical beliefs are none of the corrupt and immoral government’s or immoral and corrupt president’s business as long as I harm none and obey the laws. Keep the filthy non degreed in a course in theology ignorant government out of my personal life! I don’t even recognized the right wing or any fanatics seeking worldly power as religious or Christian. Only a party defending everyone’s rights to religious freedom is even spiritual – that is the Democratic party. Being against a tyrannical theocracy and a bunch of Pharisees and Sadducees is not being against Christianity

    • Patrick98 says:

      When Jesus was transfigured the voice from heaven said: “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him.” (Luke 9:35) Just prior to that what Jesus said that was to be listened to was his prediction of his own impending crucifixion and resurrection as well as telling his disciples that if they want to follow him they must take up their own crosses and follow him. (Luke 9:21-23) We human beings sure like that part about Jesus dying for our sins; it is that part about us taking up our crosses that we don’t like so much.

      • MarcoPolo says:

        “…the voice from Heaven said…”
        Be ever so wary when that phrase is used to validate a position!

        • Patrick98 says:

          My mistake! The actual verse says that the voice came from the cloud on the mountain. That is Luke 9:35.

          The fact remains that what the disciples were to listen to were Jesus’ words about having to go to the cross, and to take up their own crosses if they were to follow him.

          • MarcoPolo says:

            Duly noted. But still VERY scary stuff, given that clouds are inanimate clumps of moisture!


          • Patrick98 says:

            If someone were in another room and said something to you, you might say “The voice from the room said…”. That does not mean that the room (walls, carpet, furniture) said anything because those are all inanimate objects. It is just a way of saying that is the place where the voice was heard from. In the same way Luke is saying that the voice was heard from within the cloud on the mountain. The moisture droplets themselves did not make the words, but someone within the cloud did. Get it?

          • MarcoPolo says:

            Thanks for attempting to straighten me out. I do understand the esoteric vernacular of some texts, and I’m assuming that the “cloud” in question was merely a metaphor for a “divine edict”, meant to enlighten whomever was present at that moment.

            My quandary comes when someone states something ridiculous like: “God said…” That, I suppose should be interpreted as something purely esoteric?

            Much like the “Burning bush” in the book of Exodus, maybe these are simply messages used to communicate with a primitive mind?

            Either way, I wasn’t trying to sound snarky. Sorry if it came off that way.

    • Mark Brooks says:

      Given the UCC’s historic Campbellite ecumenism, I anticipate they will eventually end up merging with the Unitarian-Universalists, if only to keep the lights turned on.

      • Brad F says:

        There are already cases of a UCC and a UU merging into a “union” church, which is pretty amazing when you consider that UUs do not even identify themselves as Christian.

    • Mike Ward says:

      My wife was once talking to a progressive Christian pastor (I don’t remember the denomination and my wife’s at work now or I’d ask her). The woman was trying to explain a biblical argument for homosexuality and was looking for a passage in the old testament. My wife had to tell her where the book was. I’m sure this woman had been to seminary somewhere. My wife hadn’t, just a life time of Sunday school.

      Anyway, I don’t know what they talk about in these seminaries, but I doubt it’s the bible unless they ocassionly discuss how wrong it is.

      • Mark Brooks says:

        They aren’t interested in the Bible. I had a “discussion”, if you want to call it that, with some liberal Catholics on the issue of martyrdom recently, and quoting scripture caused a little name-calling in my direction and some sneering remarks about “ahistorical Biblicism”. What interested me is that when they DID try to refer to the scriptures, they didn’t actually cite anything specific and when I did nail down what they were trying to cite, they got it wrong. Needless to say pointing that out wasn’t welcome.

        To so-called “liberal Christians” — whom some of us call “professing Christians” — the Bible is just a book of stories that can be made to mean anything, and so means nothing. Jesus made a big deal of the word of God he gave to his disciples. How can anyone say they are a Christian and have such low opinion of that word?

    • Mark Brooks says:

      The love Christians’ money, which might explain the bitterness, since without the Christians they don’t have the money.

  3. Mike Ward says:

    Typical progressive “Christians” sucking up to the secular left by telling them what they want to here. They wear the name “Christian” just to give them credibility to smear us with.

  4. Mike Ward says:

    John C. Dorhauer (I believe his name is misspelled in the article above) wrote an article for Huffington Post which contains “Doctorate in White Privilege” after his name.


    I’m not sure if this is even a real thing. I’ve never heard of such, and when I search the internet for “Doctorate in White Privilege” all the results are about Dorhauer.

    • Brad F says:

      He’s just happy about using the latest buzzword. Liberals are like that, give them a cute phrase, and they’ll repeat it like mynah birds.

  5. Mark Brooks says:

    Dorhauer doesn’t know his history all that well. The Puritans and Pilgrims were actually two different groups, with different religious ideas, though both came out of the English Reformation.

    His definition of “religious freedom” sounds quite puritanical in fact. He doesn’t appear to object to the unity of state and religion, so long as it is his religion, his real religion.

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