Join 1st Universalists (http://firstuniv.org), MN Atheists (http://www.meetup.com/minnesota-atheists), Secular Bible Study (http://www.meetup.com/Secular-Bible-Study/), and the local (http://www.meetup.com/circle-of-reason-minneapolis) and international (http://www.circleofreason.org) branches of the Harvard Pluralism Project-recognized (http://pluralism.org/interfaith/twin_cities/practices/secular_bible_study) society for "pluralistic rationalism," The Circle of Reason (http://www.circleofreason.org), in a unique audience-panelist dialogue to replace rhetoric with reasoning dialogue concerning what some are calling the greatest civil rights struggle of our generation: The Right of Same-Sex Marriage.
Assumptions on the Marriage
A Reasoning Forum
ONE-TIME MEETUP: Thursday, September 20
First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
If you find it difficult to understand why others think and feel differently from you about the Minnesota GOP-proposed "Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman" Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage, this forum will give you greater insight -- by focusing not on debating, but uncovering the different assumptions that underlie our beliefs and actions.
In a Moderated Discussion and Q&A between audience and panelists representing the Evangelical, Progressive, Political, Black Protestant, Catholic, Atheist-Humanist and LGBTQ-Family communities, we'll attempt to set aside emotive language to delve into the different religious, ethical, biological and political assumptions that underlie our political stances for or against the Marriage Amendment.
Our Forum Speaker-Panelists are in the news -- each having been professionally or personally on the receiving end of opposed religious doctrine. Each will initially tell us what they've heard, seen and felt from these communities, as well as what they themselves once thought and now believe; then the audience and moderator will delve with the panelists into what assumptions underlie these beliefs, attitudes, and acts, considering assumptions like these:
* If marriage is claimed by some to be a "sacred biblical institution for only one man and one woman," might then others ask, "If a sacred biblical institution, why not for one man and many women as in biblical polygamy? If a sacred biblical institution, why not outlaw 'non-biblical' divorce instead of fidelity in same-sex marriages? If a sacred biblical institution, why not outlaw non-religious, civil marriage? If civil marriage is allowed for non-theists, why then must it remain civil marriage only for a man and woman?"
* Does the issue of whether same-sex attraction is biological or a choice even matter, to the legal right to marry whom one chooses? Does it even matter, to the biblical stance that seeks its prohibition?
* Is the Marriage Amendment based on not only religious but political assumptions?
Our Five Speaker-Panelists will be:
1. Broc Dobervich, Board Member of the Minnesota Log Cabin Republicans (http://mnlogcabin.org), to present the GOP/Tea Party's and the Log Cabin Republicans' differential assumptions underlying their opposed stances on the Marriage Amendment. Broc in the News: KFAI (http://mnlogcabin.org/2012/06/interview-with-lcr-of-mn-board-member-on-kfai/), "Fresh Fruit (http://mnlogcabin.org/2012/01/fresh-fruit-and-so-much-more/)."
2. The Reverend Oliver White, Pastor of Grace Community United Church of Christ (http://gracecommunityucc.org), who lost one-third of his congregation, and their church home, after voting to support gay marriage, to present the black religious community's assumptions underlying concern about the Marriage Amendment and its being considered a civil rights struggle. Oliver in the News: Star Tribune (http://www.startribune.com/local/stpaul/155852495.html?refer=y), CBS (http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/03/04/big-donation-helps-church-open-same-sex-marriage-stay-open/), DailyKos (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/05/11/1090832/-Pastor-Abandoned-by-Congregation-after-Supporting-Same-Sex-Marriage-Can-We-Help), Fox9 (http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/18922072/st-paul-pastor-loses-church-over-gay-marriage-support), Star Tribune 2 (http://www.startribune.com/printarticle/?id=160884695), UK DailyMail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2167540/Reverend-Oliver-White-loses-church-voicing-support-sex-marriage.html).
3. The Reverend Kathy Itzin, Pastor of Parkway United Church of Christ (http://parkwayucc.com), and former religious education coordinator of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church whose religious education award was rescinded by the Archdiocese due to her being a parent with a committed lesbian partner, to present doctrinal priests' and progressive parishioners' differential assumptions underlying their opposed stances on the Marriage Amendment. Kathy in the News: Star Tribune (http://www.startribune.com/templates/Print_This_Story?sid=11610066), WeNews (http://womensenews.org/story/cheers-and-jeers/030524/catholic-archdiocese-withdraws-award-lesbian).
4. Professor John Gustav-Wrathall, Adjunct Professor of United Theological Seminary (http://unitedseminary.edu), and religiously progressive, excommunicated gay Mormon and same-sex married parent, to present the LDS Church's and the progressive Mormon & LGBTQ communities' differential assumptions underlying their opposed stances on the Marriage Amendment. John in the News: Religion Dispatches (http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/joannabrooks/6115/gay_pride_weekend_draws_mormon_allies_and_equality_supporters), MN Daily (http://www.mndaily.com/1996/05/16/heterosexism-can-be-spiritually-transformed).
5. August Berkshire, President of Minnesota Atheists (http://mnatheists.org), to present the secular non-religious and humanist communities' assumptions and scientific data underlying their rejection of the Marriage Amendment. August in the News: Star Tribune (http://www.startribune.com/printarticle/?id=165860336), Star Tribune 2 (http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/138207759.html).
Our Moderator for Audience-Panelist Dialogue (in the second hour, after opening statements by each Speaker-Panelist) will be:
Dr. Frank H. Burton, Executive Director of The Circle of Reason (http://www.circleofreason.org) (the international society for "Pluralistic Rationalism"), local co-organizer of the Twin Cities' two "transbelief reasoning dialogue" groups, Secular Bible Study (http://www.meetup.com/Secular-Bible-Study/) and First Minneapolis Circle of Reason (http://www.meetup.com/circle-of-reason-minneapolis), and U of M professor & scientist. Frank in the News: MN Independent (http://minnesotaindependent.com/25218/abortion-politics-trump-social-justice-at-catholic-school), Star Tribune (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-69395277.html), Harvard Pluralism Project 1 (http://pluralism.org/interfaith/twin_cities/practices/secular_bible_study) & 2 (http://pluralism.org/interfaith/twin_cities/media/secular_bible_study).
Our Forum Host will be:
The Reverend Jen Crow, Minister of Program Life at First Universalist Church of Minneapolis (http://firstuniv.org/ministers).
Join us -- and invite your pro- & anti- amendment, GOP & Independent & DFL, conservative & progressive, religious & non-religious neighbors & colleagues -- for this unique reasoning "Dialogium," to illuminate and discuss the assumptions our different communities have brought to the roundtable of debate on the GOP-sponsored MN Constitutional Amendment to ban Same-Sex Marriage.
RSVP "YES" today!