It’s been a long time since the United Church of Christ has been a serious religious organization, at least on the national level. I’m sure there are many faithful, evangelical congregations in the UCC, but its national leadership evinces little interest in anything other than political activism of a far left variety. It is especially fixated on advocacy for gay rights, and in the interest of doing so has launched a bizarre campaign to get lesbian comedienne Ellen DeGeneres to agree to be the keynote speaker at its 2011 convention. On a FAQ page, these questions are posed:

Why Ellen?

Many visible personalities have addressed General Synod in recent years, including Barack Obama, Bill Moyers, Eugene Robinson, Marian Wright Edelman, Andrew Young and the late Lynn Redgrave.  As a television icon, Ellen’s constructive use of humor, her sensitivity toward others, and her ability to touch and lift the spirits of millions everyday is something we can affirm as a sacred calling.

At a time when religion is often used to divide and exclude people, Ellen’s address before a major religious body could send a powerful message to the world: “Imagine What’s Possible” if we could set aside our need to be right and focused instead on bringing hope and healing to one another, if we could lighten up — and love instead.

What are we doing?

We are asking UCC members and churches to unleash their inner Ellen, by creating funny, inviting photos and videos — and submitting them so we can upload to YouTube & Vimeo and send them along to her.  Learn more.

Our message to Ellen is succinct:

• At a time when religion is often used to divide and exclude people, Ellen’s address before a major religious body could send a powerful message to the world, a message of hope, inclusivity and acceptance — and the need for more love and laughter.
• We’re a church that resonates with Ellen’s personality.
• We’re a church with a sense of humor, even as we advocate for justice.
• We’re a church that offers extravagant welcome and changes lives.
• We’re a church that loves to dance!

Out of curiosity, I tried to find out whether DeGeneres was UCC, or even Christian, and discovered that she was raised Christian Scientist, but has no known religious affiliation as an adult. Sounds like a perfect candidate to address a denomination that no longer has any known religious convictions.

Oh, and you don’t want to miss the video that the geniuses in Cleveland put together as part of the effort:

Now, I’m not a fan of DeGeneres’s, so I don’t watch her talk show. I take it that fans of hers do a variety of goofy things to try to get her come take her show on the road to their communities. If, however, they are unable to get DeGeneres, I’d like to suggest that they consider these folks instead: