By Peter Johnson, Juicy Ecumenism.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) has the reputation for being an “affirming” denomination. Church officials recently voted to affirm same-sex marriage. Before that, they affirmed non-celibate homosexual clergy and abortion. The church’s affirmations even extended to its investment philosophy—which resulted in divestment from companies doing business in Israel.
Right before Labor Day, the PCUSA released its latest affirmation: “We affirm the church’s stance on labor and offer up examples of our work in pursuit of dignified work, better conditions, and fair wages.”
Affirming various progressive political fashions has become a regular project of the PCUSA, specifically for the church’s governing body, the General Assembly. These affirmations are couched in euphemistic rhetoric that obscures the divisiveness of the issues and alienates those in the church with dissenting views. For example, when the PCUSA affirmed “reproductive options” using words like “justice” and “compassion,” it failed to acknowledge that the issue may be contentious for pro-life members.
What the PCUSA euphemistically calls “reproductive options” might more accurately be called “anti-reproductive medicines and medical procedures.” Similarly, I would submit that the PCUSA’s campaign to increase the federally mandated minimum wage might more correctly be described as a campaign for a smaller job pool.