Friday, July 12, 2019
Pastor feels the Trumpenfreude buzz
The New York Post reported, "The Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, ousted pastor of Riverside Church, was tight-lipped Friday morning when asked about the sex-toy shopping spree scandal that torpedoed her cushy career."
Riverside is a prominent church in Morningside Heights, Manhattan.
Forbes noted today, "The church has been at the forefront of progressive Christian leadership since its inception in 1930. Statues of scientists like Darwin, Galileo and Einstein decorate the building where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous anti-Vietnam War speech in 1967. And in 2004, the church issued a statement in support of same-sex marriage and said it had been performing same-sex ceremonies as early as 1991."
Her contract was not renewed after five years on June 30, the Post said. Her salary was $250,000 a year plus more than $150,000 in fringe benefits, according to the newspaper.
Butler rose to fame by being the first woman pastor of the church.
She enhanced her brand in October 2016 when she wrote in USA Today about her late-term abortion. She wrote, "Trump's words drove me to tears, and to write my painful story for the first time."
It was her second child. She and her husband had three other children, and then divorced.
Nearly 3 years after her anti-Trump column, Butler is without a job. In May, she attended a conference in Minnesota. She and the other pastors visited the Smitten Kitten, a sex shop.
Fox News reported, "While in the raunchy store, Butler allegedly bought a $200 bunny-shaped blue vibrator for one minister -- a single mom of two celebrating her 40th birthday -- and offered to buy a toy for the second minister -- a gay man in a committed relationship. The man declined and repeatedly told her he felt uncomfortable."
He filed a harassment complaint.
The Christian Post reported the pastors attended the 27th annual Festival of Homiletics, a week-long conference where the 49 year old presided over the closing worship service.
That publication quoted the conference blog, which said, "We wrapped up our week of powerful sermons with ‘Sink or Swim,’ a message shared by Amy Butler, senior pastor at the Riverside Church of New York based on excerpts from Genesis 6-9. In the sermon, Butler dug into a text many preachers like to avoid, the story of Noah and the Flood. The story of Noah does not appear in full in the lectionary. Maybe because as Butler put it, ‘The story of Noah and the ark is pretty much a terrible story. … The plotline centers around a natural disaster that destroys the whole world … and God is a terrible character in this story.'"
God is the bad guy?
According to a pastor?
Maybe more than Trumpenfreude is involved here.
Don Surber at Friday, July 12, 2019