TO: My Collaborators in the United Church (Confidential)
RE: Why we must keep atheists in our pulpits. (An Imaginary Memo)
You may have heard objections to the Toronto Conference (TC) settlement with an aggressively atheist pastor. It is suggested that TC settled to save the cost of litigation and it is wise to maintain this façade. No one can know the real reason for the settlement, since TC wisely sealed it in a non-disclosure agreement.
The anger generated by this decision – its lack of transparency, its defiance of the Conference Interview Board recommendation, its disregard for the place of God in the very definition of church – this anger is to our benefit.
It has been rightly observed that any financial savings the national church experiences through avoiding this litigation will be negated by the loss of membership from congregations, and resultant loss of income. Don’t worry: that’s the congregations’ problem, not ours.
We will ultimately benefit from this outcome.