Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Advocacy Committee for Women's Concerns and their advice on overtures pushing same gender marriage

The Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns on all overtures that are meant to change the Book of Orders language about marriage from “between a man and a woman” to “between a couple” advises the 219th General Assembly to approve the overture. They place their rationale on item 12-07. There they write:

“The practice of excluding people who are gay and lesbian from marriage has its roots in the persistence of patriarchal standards for the lives of women and men. The notion that men and maleness is superior dictates that men and women behave in particular ways that abide by the rules their sex dictates. For this reason, same-gender loving women and men are perceived as a direct threat to the norms that patriarchy lays out, as they, in their loving, challenge the models of prescribed masculinity and femininity that patriarchy determines. Gay men are a threat as they are perceived as “too feminine,” and lesbian women are perceived as “too masculine.”

In withholding the right to marry from same-gender loving people, the church is upholding this patriarchal standard for humanity. As a group committed to standing against patriarchy and its effects within the world and the church, ACWC advocates that same-gender loving women and men be allowed to participate in the commitment of marriage. The ACWC draws particular attention to the vulnerability of lesbian women in this exclusion, as these particular members of the body of Christ find themselves excluded and marginalized both for their gender identity and sexual orientation.”

The ACWC, having just admitted that one of their goals is to advocate for same gender marriage, have, in their advice, placed themselves on the side of those who are adversaries of the one holy universal church. They are not in this case advocating for the needs of women but are instead stepping on biblical truths valued and upheld by many Presbyterian women.

Going further they have insulted the husbands and friends of many Presbyterian women who also value and uphold biblical truth. They have insulted my husband, my sons, my grandsons, sons-in-laws and friends.

In my estimation they have lost all sensitivity towards those they are called to help. If the ACWC was a committee that was part of such affinity groups as More Light Presbyterians or the Covenant Network giving this advice would make sense. But then, in fairness, they would not be allowed to place such advice on an overture meant to be voted on by Presbyterian commissioners. They are after all a Presbyterian Church (USA) committee meant to advocate for women's needs.

There is an even greater loss of sensitivity in their action. The ACWC is basing their advice on radical feminist theories rather then on the commonsense of the Bible. They have lost their care for scripture and instead are standing with the popular culture of the day. They are failing to be prophetic.

The ACWC have lost their sensitivity to the warnings and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. They are rejecting the words of Christ as he reaches back to the beginnings of Scripture and insists that marriage is between a man and a woman. (Matt. 19: 3-7)

May the Holy Spirit sweep the church, once again, lifting up Jesus Christ and his word. May we bow before the holy God who calls us, while bearing the righteousness of Christ, and follow in obedience.


Anonymous said...

Who pays for these people?

Mary E said...

I was reading the PCUSA website about ACWC (

Who is ACWC?
What is the mission of the ACWC?

The ACWC's primary responsibilities include:

* Advocating for full inclusiveness and equality in the church and in society.

As a Presbyterian women, the first thing they list is Advocating full inclusiveness. As a women I would prefer that women's rights are the main primary focus.

They also mention that PW is partners with them. It is being guilty by association. I don't advocate inclusiveness. I advocate obedience to God.

The PCUSA I think as sometimes should be renamed PUCLU Presbyterian United Civil Liberty Union. It is acting less like a church and more that a advocacy group. Going for the trendy and less about scripture.

Viola Larson said...

Toby here is your answer:
"The ACWC is funded and supported through the Office of the Executive Director of the GAMC. Staff support is provided by the Racial Ethnic and Women's Ministries program area , PC(USA)."

To find that go to

I think it is the same page Mary E. copied from only scroll down.

John McNeese said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary E said...

John offers the stereotypical White Anglo Saxon Protestant male response.

Thank you for being wrong and misinterpreting the rights of women and the choice of homosexuality.

I hope you don't get your dingy stuck in your river of molasses.

Pastor Bob said...

I know that GA committees and organizations are allowed to present overtures but should they be able to do so? I think that power should remain with the presbyteries.

Viola Larson said...

Please don't go there, "stereotypical White Anglo Saxon Protestant male response--etc." I don't want a lot of anger here just truth.

The Bible teaches what it teaches because it is God's word. It shows both men and women to be sinners in need of a Saviour.

If Presbyterians don't like this kind of thing they should make sure no money goes that way. And they should flood the Office of the Executive Director of the GAMC with mail explaining that this isn't how Presbyterian organizations should treat others in a connectional church.

And that was an insult to the Christian male members of my family. That is a fact.

Viola Larson said...

I just now realized that John erased his comments. Thank you John I respect you for that.

Debbie said...

Where do they get this stuff about gay men being perceived as a threat because they're "too feminine" and lesbian women being perceived as "too masculine", anyway? Who perceives them as a "threat" this way? Does the ACWC just make this up? I don't know anyone who perceives this sort of threat. They need to cite their sources. Otherwise it's like they're just using propaganda.

Debbie said...

Forgot to say:

Debbie Berkley
Bellevue, WA

Debbie said...

Also, saying that marriage is between one man and one woman does NOT say that maleness is superior. That is a totally illogical conclusion that ACWC seems to have drawn. There is no relationship between the two ideas.

Debbie Berkley
Bellevue, WA

Mary E said...

Thanks Viola,

I will look up more information about the ACWC their origin and who decided the groups direction. Then I will address them directly, maybe (hopefully) they can answer my question.

Sorry about the other statement, I abused my own carnal rule of blogging. Address the blog itself not those who respond.


Quotidian Grace said...

There are 9 overtures advocating this change and only 3 (including the one from my presbytery) to keep the Biblical definition of marriage on this committee's docket.

Clearly there is a concerted effort to make this change. Hate to see this being sent back to the presbyteries for a vote.

Viola Larson said...

I hate to see that too. But I think that just because there are more overtures for changing than not changing doesn't mean that it will happen. I can't imagine that that many commissioners will want to change the Book of Order that way.