It was inevitable that Leftist divinity students, marinating as they are in the relentless insanity of the Left’s pet causes, would end up making gods in their own image: gay, woke, and whatever else the Left is idolizing at the moment. Duke Divinity School is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, which is already like being affiliated with the Maoists (gay, gender-fluid Maoists, that is), so it was the perfect place for a recent “Pride worship service” in which participants offered prayers to “the Great Queer One.”
Hope Rawlson of the Institute for Religion & Democracy reported Tuesday that the Pride worship service was designed to proclaim “God’s acceptance and support for LGBTQ relationships.” The bizarre service was the brainchild of Divinity Pride, a Duke student group that “affirms the dignity, faithfulness, and strength of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and gender/sexuality non-conforming Christians! We are committed to intersectional advocacy, education, and support for queer people and our allies specifically in the Divinity School, but with a Kingdom-reaching vision. We facilitate educative dialogues for the whole community, and we are here to support anyone who is reconciling their gender/sexuality and faith, facing persecution, or desiring a safe space.” They succeeded: the Pride worship service was plenty safe for men who think they’re women, and vice versa.
Master of Divinity (M.Div) student Caroline Camp kicked things off, and set the tone for the proceedings, with a prayer to the “strange one, fabulous one, fluid, and ever-becoming one,” and the “drag queen, and transman, and gender-fluid.” All this fluid put me in mind of Moss Hart’s wicked parody of Noel Coward’s precious and pretentious song lyrics in his riotous play The Man Who Came to Dinner: “Softly a fluid Druid meets me, Olden and golden the dawn that greets me…” Moss Hart had nothing on the Duke Divinity School. Camp also prayed, more prosaically, to the “mother, father, and parent,” Oh brother — that is, Oh brother, sister, and sibling.
Another M.Div student, Tirzah Villegas, declared: “You are never called to abandon yourself. Abandoning the self is negating the truth of who you are, and that is always a lie.” Now, just a minute: Duke Divinity School is supposed to be a Christian school, at least vestigially, and I seem to remember someone involved with Christianity saying “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). But the one who spoke those words is not someone who appears to get much traction at Duke Divinity.
Villegas added that the assembled worshippers that their god was a “queer god,” which is likely true, as they have made a god out of their own proclivities. Nor are these divinity school students the first Leftists to make a religion out of their sociocultural delusions. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Grey Goose) a year ago gave thanks to her god for his salvific sacrifice: “Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice.” Catholic University displayed a painting of George Floyd as Jesus.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D-Planned Parenthood) proclaimed in September 2021 that the unvaccinated “aren’t listening to God and what God wants.” The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which is so far-Left as to make Duke Divinity School look like MAGA country, last October published a new hymn entitled “The Climate is Changing.” In September 2019, climate idolaters at Union Theological Seminary began worshipping potted plants as a “liturgical response to our climate crisis.”
Another Duke divinity student, a “self-identified trans woman,” declared that while men pretending to be women and women pretending to be men “can be framed as a choice,” actually “transition is better framed as a calling. It is a calling to wrestle with God and not let go until we receive a blessing in our own bodies.” This was in stark contrast to the judgmental religion some of those in attendance claimed to have encountered. One young man, or whatever, Justis Mitchell, said: “In the pews we listen to the pastor who preaches about commandments, condemning those who disobey, predicating a future of fire and turmoil.” Where does this being Mitchell go to church? In 1895?
Mitchell offered some hope, however: “We can become holy, we can become worthy, we can become valued…even as we remain queer, even as we discover our own queer God whose presence is within these walls.”
Making up a god to suit oneself has a long history. While it’s strange to see it happening in a place that is supposed to be dedicated to Christian theological inquiry, which historically has not taken a positive view of idolatry, it isn’t surprising. The corruption of the institutions is everywhere. Sane people desperately need an alternative.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.