"Even The Dogs Get Crumbs..."

photo credit: “Feed My Sheep” by Rev. Alex da Silva Souto, California, USA.

photo credit: “Feed My Sheep” by Rev. Alex da Silva Souto, California, USA.

25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 
26 He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 
27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 
28 Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And her daughter was healed instantly.”
Matthew 15: 25-27

Over the last month or two, I’ve seen an increase in LGBTQ people, largely in the pews, asking important questions about the Simple Plan.

I am an advocate for the Simple Plan - the plan that simply removes the discriminatory language from the Book of Discipline. I cannot fathom going into GC without the Simple Plan and all the work that has gone into getting something queer-led into the fray. I’m grateful. It’s a reasonable compromise - one with integrity that doesn’t require us to choose who will go on living under discriminatory policies and who won’t. One that doesn’t assert a theology of indifference towards the suffering. One that doesn’t require anyone to do anything they aren’t ready to but also doesn’t sanction LGBTQ discrimination any longer, anywhere.

But even as an advocate, the questions being raised are welcome ones. Because as poet Andrea Gibson has said, “even the truth isn’t hopeful, the telling of it is.”

People are rightfully asking:

- Does the Simple Plan say anything positive about LGBTQ people? (nope)

- Does the Simple Plan do anything to protect LGBTQ people? (nope)

- Does the Simple Plan keep people from discriminating against LGBTQ people? (nope)

- Does the Simple Plan repent of any of the harm done to LGBTQ people? (nope)

- Does the Simple Plan move the church towards an affirming theology? (nope)

Somehow over the course of things, this plan that is simply a carrying on of the advocacy LGBTQ people in the UMC have been doing for decades now, has managed to be painted as a “radical” step in comparison to the One Church Plan. Those who are not mired knee-deep in the UMC drama see our ask clearly for what it is: paltry.

It's so easy to get lost in it all.

To let the chaos justify the violence.

To let the need for control seduce us into turning on our own values and neighbors.

To let arguments and debates and (misused) god-language entice us into rationalizing hate and discrimination.

To forget we are debating human lives and loves.

Even as an advocate for the Simple Plan, as one who would weep with joy and disbelief if it were passed, I’m still deeply appreciative of those who are cutting through all the noise, appropriately asking, "This is the best we have to hope for? This is the most progressive take?"

That's important accountability, in the midst. And hopefully, helps us maintain some perspective - about compromise, about integrity, about harm.

The Simple Plan is still crumbs...

"Even the dogs get crumbs..."


Rev. M Barclay

Rev. M Barclay