"Ideas over People" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
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Rev. Gretta Vosper is a minister in the United Church in Canada, and she is presently the pastor of West Hill United Church in Toronto. She is an atheist. Here's some background
. You can also read the story on West Hill's own website
. Please read up. It's a fascinating and frustrating story. For me anyway.
Gretta has written two books, Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief
, and With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe
She is going to be tried for fitness for ministry. She will be asked to confirm her vows.
Yes, it's a heresy trial.
It reminds me of the famous heresy trial of Bishop Pike
that began in 1962. The attacks he received, Gretta receives.
She's getting some support, even and especially from her own congregation. However, the attacks she's getting online is immense. One day, in her defense, I wrote a response to someone's negative post about her on Facebook:
"My point is a simple one, although controversial: Gretta has the right to believe what she believes or doesn't believe. She represents a growing number of Christians or people who wish to continue associating with the Christian religion and its community. Therefore, her valid voice must be allowed a place in the institution where people like her wish to gather. This whole story is so reminiscent of the Bishop Pike heresy trials that began in 1962 and should be a lesson to us. But the church is unwilling to bend at all for the millions of people like them."
She has the right to believe what she wants. That's what she stands for. And I support her!
Anyway, in this supportive post
she's quoted as saying, "how one lives is more important than what one believes",¬†
and it reminded me of the cartoon above that I drew back in 2010.
I'll be writing and cartooning more about this important story.
Why do I care about this? Because what she's standing up for is what I stand up for: your right to believe what you want to believe, as Bishop Pike said, in a way that does not offend your intellect or your conscience. Do you want space to believe what you want to believe... or even not believe? Consider joining as at The Lasting Supper