By Bill Mefford
For years - almost my whole life - I have waited for this day; anticipating it with eagerness and expectation. And now it is finally here. Opposite Day. You have no idea how long I have tried to guess when it would be here. And for so long as a kid I kept wondering who it is who would be the one to announce its arrival. I should have known it would be a group of people who claim biblical fidelity and leadership in holiness. I never would have guessed the name of this group though because it never existed until a couple of years ago and the name itself is one of the oddest names of a group I have ever heard of, but thanks to the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA), Opposite Day has arrived!
How do I know Opposite Day is happening? Because the WCA has announced that after they have organized and poured in TONS of outside money goading, cajoling, manipulating, and yes, possibly even buying votes at United Methodist Church General Conference sessions to ensure discriminatory language against LGBTQ remain in the church’s Book of Discipline, the WCA released a statement last week saying in part:
We long for and are working for a church that offers radical hospitality and genuine community to all persons. While we affirm the orthodox, biblical view of sexuality and gender, we also welcome all persons to the redemptive grace of Jesus. We are committed to being a place of refuge and community for all who experience brokenness.
Yes, Opposite Day is fully here. Essentially, the WCA are saying to LGBTQ people in particular that “we are going to hurt you, tear you down, convince you that you are not who God desires you to be and who God loves, and then after you have sufficiently dehumanized, we will minister to your brokenness.” This is like having a doctor who is a thug or a professional boxer. They will beat you up and then immediately administer first aid. At least it is efficient!
The WCA doesn’t stop with this statement though, because when it is finally Opposite Day you might as well live it up! In their statement they go on to say that they remain “resolute in [our] fulsome welcome of LGBTQ+ people in the life of the church.” They decline to accurately state the only thing they are resolute in is their rigidly fundamentalist claim that LGBTQ people are incompatible with Christian teaching.
This is kind of like when trump said in his campaign, “I am the least racist person I know” while he called for a ban on Muslims, repeatedly denigrated Latinx immigrants, and said that Nazis were very fine people. Following in the footsteps of their leader, trump, the WCA make the very Opposite Day claim (otherwise known as a lie), stating, “The legislation adopted simply requires that those who have taken a vow to uphold the teachings and polity of the UM church do so.” Of course, as with all claims on Opposite Day, this statement is patently untrue!
The legislation passed just a couple of months ago at General Conference does something never done before; it initiates mandatory minimum sentences for those who run afoul of their rigid fundamentalist beliefs. Opposing mandatory minimum sentences has long been a staple of United Methodist missional engagement in the church’s call for fairness in any criminal justice system. But now, thanks to the WCA, the UMC will violate its own beliefs in keeping with a rigid and frankly, unbiblical form of fundamentalism.
But, in keeping with the spirit of Opposite Day, the WCA ends its statement with a bang and not a whimper when it states that, “the WCA welcomes LGBTQ+ people, their families and allies to participate in the life of the church. Many LGBTQ+ people regularly worship right beside us every weekend, and we hope and pray they will continue to do so.” So, to translate Opposite Day speak, they are saying, “Yes, LGBTQ people, we want you to be a part of the life of the church except for the parts of the life of the church, like weddings and raising up leadership. Everything else? Have at it. But please, just to make the straight people feel comfortable, please wait in the parlor while the rest of the church celebrates weddings and raises up new leaders. As soon as you are straight, you can come back in! You feel welcome don’t you?”
In other words, come to church so that we can spiritually, socially, culturally, and sexually colonize you. And if you defy us we will use our network to bring charges against you in such a coordinated way that you will be forced to leave.
The WCA wants to literally love the LGBTQ out of LGBTQ people.
But as long as Opposite Day is here we might as all join in so here are a few things I will be celebrating on this long-awaited day:
I pledge to work for the success of the trump administration
I will love and support the Pittsburgh Steelers
I will eat asparagus all freakin’ day
I will always defer to people in positions of leadership solely because they have titles associated with authority
I will listen to nothing but boy bands
I will enjoy DC traffic
I will agree with and support the Wesleyan Covenant Association
Opposite Day is here so enjoy it! The WCA sure as hell is.