I am a parish minister currently serving the Eliot Church of Natick MA. Eliot Church is a Community Church affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. Any statements made and postions held in "Unity," however, are solely mine(of course, they may be used with appropriate atribution). Therefore if you disagree, please do not blame the church!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

God is Still Speaking?

My mother is a UCC pastor. I am (as you probably already know) a UU minister who serves a (partly) UCC church. I have been proud of the work and culture of the United Church of Christ. It has struggled to develop its own unique place and identity in the 21st Century religious landscape and continues to grow in faith and committment to Jesus' message. I was, therefore dismayed to hear of the ban CBS and NBC has placed upon the new commercials produced by the UCC's identity campaign "God is Still Speaking." My church is not involved in the campaign, but probably will be when we get the chance to sit down and go through the application process.

I have seen the commercials. Obviously, I will have to see them again. They seemed pretty inoffensive to me! The concern appears to be that they endorse homosexual relationships. First, as I have mentioned elswhere, I am in favor of loving, committed relationships regardless of the gender of the two participants. Second, when I saw the commercials, I wasn't entirely sure that they take a firm position either way. They certainly did not condemn being Gay. Maybe that's their problem...

I have watched ads from other religious groups on TV and did not agree with all that they said, yet they are still on the air. I can only assume that the networks do not mind controversy as long as they promote it without disturbing conservatives. The UCC isn't some fringe group, after all, they are a well established Christian denomination. Why aren't they interested in what we have to say? It is hard, sometimes, to find effective avenues for communication when the major roads are no open to liberals of faith. This, of course does not mean that we must give up! We must clear the barricades, find new routes and build bigger streets of our own. I do not necessarily know how to do this other than to keep preaching and writing. I encourage you to do the same. If anyone has an actual plan, feel free to share...

On the one hand, I find this situation with CBS and NBC disturbing. I am frustrated that a good, faith-filled Christian organization is not allowed to broadcast its views because they might be unpopular. On the other hand, I am honored to be a part of that group (as a member of Eliot) and am pleased that we are doing the work that Christ called us to do. God is still speaking. We must make it so that God can be heard.

Sadly, I have the tendency to vent. I encourage you to get involved on this issue, however. If you want actual information about what has been said and done on this subject. I refer you to Philocrites' link on this page. He actually has links and things and the addresses of the heads of CBS and NBC.