Presbyterian Voices for Justice presents a terrific example of the kind of mindset that is now in the driver’s seat in the PCUSA. Sylvia Thorson-Smith is a member of the coordinating team of the PVJ and a long-time feminist activist with “Voices of Sophia,” which recently merged with PVJ. This was presented as a statement at a news conference celebrating the recent passage of Amendment 10-A, and deserves to be quoted in full:
I represent a group that’s the recent merger of a passionate feminist organization and the oldest liberal issues organization in the Presbyterian Church. We’re not connected with the official structures of the church – just like the other groups on this call.
Feminists have long made the connection between issues of sex and gender – and all of the other “isms” that plague us. When we strike a blow at any oppression, we undermine the entire structure of oppression.
Twenty years ago, the Presbyterian Church soundly rejected a report I helped write — that said that patriarchal sex bolsters patriarchal injustice. Compulsory heterosexuality – the social mandate that everyone be heterosexual – also requires that all men dominate all women, and the world. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons undermine the fundamental structures of domination because they proudly refuse to conform to these traditional norms.
I believe that this movement has the power to shake the world. Every country, some more than others, punishes LGBT experience and behavior. And every victory to make institutions less punitive moves us closer to more freedom for all.
This is a profoundly historic moment, not only for the Presbyterian Church, but for the liberating energies at work all over the world. We stand on the shoulders of people who have worked not only for sex and gender justice but racial, environmental, and other justice issues. What we celebrate today is part of the world’s groanings for peace and freedom! Which is why we call for More Light, more love, more justice!
Now, there’s no doubt that Thorson-Smith represents the far left of the PCUSA, but it is the far left that has been the driving force behind making homosexual behavior the defining issue of the last thirty years in the denomination. It is the far left that never gave up despite repeated defeats, did yeoman’s work in wearing down opposition (with the help of an increasingly pro-gay culture and the flight of evangelicals tired of fighting the same battles over and over), and which will do everything in its power to prevent any reconsideration of the issue. (The attitude among gay activists, like that of Muslims and Communists, is that once any territory has been captured by The Movement, further debate is not only unnecessary but pointless, because no territory can ever be ceded to the opposition except perhaps by force. There will certainly be no reason for any further voting on the subject, except perhaps to codify the right of clergy to perform same-sex marriages.)
The far left is heavily overrepresented in the councils of power, and can be expected to continue to drive the denomination farther and farther to the left on a variety of issues. Those of you who thought you’d heard the last of Sophia worship, for instance, should think again. The far left will not rest until every aspect of PCUSA life is under its complete control, and every program, statement, and goal reflects its worldview. If that means driving out a million more members, so be it. They will not rest until their control is absolute. Thorson-Smith’s final words–“more light, more love, more justice”–make that clear for anyone with ears to hear.