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Bingo in the Buff
The Layman ^ | October 6, 2010 | Parker Williamson

Posted on 10/06/2010 11:21:15 PM PDT by kaehurowing

Bingo in the Buff

By Parker T. Williamson, The Layman, Posted Wednesday, October 6, 2010

“This is not your grandmother’s bingo,” says Marcus Wise, a writer for ArtVoice, a Buffalo, N.Y. area Web publication. Wise’s article, written in 2008, refers to Saturday night games that are now being played at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, home of “Buff Bingo.”

The players’ pitch is clearly intended to attract Buffalo’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender population. But – true to management’s professed inclusiveness – “the crowd averages half and half,” according to the event’s hostess and drag queen Gladys Over.

Wise describes Gladys as “a six-foot glamazon reminiscent of Pricilla, Queen of the Desert, with her shimmering dresses – three changes in the course of the evening – inch-long caterpillar eyelashes and black feather boa.”

The game is peppered with sexual allusions that display, according to Wise, “an unabashed, raunchy sense of humor that would make Hugh Hefner blush.” The Oct. 9 event is titled “Trick-or-Treat Bingo.” During the winter months, crowds will gather for “Naughty or Nice? Bingo,” “Bollywood Bingo,” “Ken & Barbie Bingo,”“Erin Go Bra Bingo,” and “The Real Housewives of Gay Bingo.”

In 2008, drag queens Augusta Wind and Vanity Vogue entertained the players, Vogue dressed as a cowgirl and later in a fairy costume bedecked with pink wings.

Big bucks change hands during all this fun and frolic, with the proceeds going to support the Gay Men’s Chorus and a plethora of HIV/AIDS related causes.

Diversity … and then some

Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church advertises itself as an all inclusive congregation: “You are welcome here, regardless of who you are or what you believe. Nobody is too rich or too poor, too good or too bad, too dark or too light, too – well, you get the idea. We want Lafayette Ave Presbyterian Church to reflect the diversity of the Elmwood Village, and then some.

“As you can see,” continues the congregation’s Web site description, “we are a church. That might be scary to some people, and we regret that. We don’t want to be scary.”

Employing a narrative written and copyrighted by Paul Nixon, Lafayette Presbyterians advertise Jesus as their “spiritual leader.” Their description of who he is and what he did during his earthly sojourn dimly resembles what the Bible has to say about him. According to Lafayette, he was “a Jewish peasant in northern Palestine” who left the carpentry business at age 30 and traveled the area as “an itinerant, story-telling Jewish Rabbi. … Rumors of miracles swirled around him,” causing great crowds to follow him.

Lafayette’s narrative continues: “Jesus was executed by the Romans in the early first century – and yet within days of his death, a whole series of persons and groups experienced him alive again.” This “experience” energized “a world-changing movement.”

Rumor and experience

Careful readers will note that there is nothing in Lafayette’s narrative that declares Jesus Christ to be the Son of God. Lafayette says, “rumors of miracles swirled around him,” but it falls short of saying that Jesus actually did anything miraculous. Also omitted is any reference to Jesus’ bodily resurrection from the grave. Lafayette’s narrative simply says that people “experienced” him alive after his death. Presumably, a living memory would qualify for such an experience.

Stripped of the claims made for him in Scripture, this Jesus can be anyone’s Jesus, a Jesus of one’s own making. And that is exactly where Lafayette comes out: “Across the centuries, there have come to be many different ways of looking at Jesus. Different groups focus on different aspects of Jesus … We could add the Muslim Jesus, the Jewish Jesus and more. Each Jesus is simply a unique angle on the same person.

“Jesus belongs to the whole world, as much to the Muslims of northern Africa as to the Baptists of south Mississippi. He is not the property of any church or regional culture,” says Lafayette. His mission – and the apparent mission of his church – is to bring in “the kingdom God,” which Lafayette describes in egalitarian terms.

Jesus, an illustration

Lafayette quotes the Gospel of John: “’I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: No one comes unto the Father but by me.’” While declaring that “it is impossible to determine if Jesus historically said this,” Lafayette affirms that Jesus’ statement is true in the sense that he illustrates a way of life that leads to God.

That life includes “solidarity with poor and socially marginalized people, including a willingness to confront the rich and the powerful about their moral obligations towards persons who are less privileged,” and “treating all people as precious treasures, regardless of their race, religion or gender.”

Lafayette’s Jesus is the spiritual leader of movement politics.

Paying the piper

Apparently, Lancaster’s “Buff Bingo” proves more fun than financially rewarding, for this dwindling congregation is struggling to pay its light bill. From a peak membership of 1,500 members, Lancaster posted a count of “about 90 in early 2008,” according to a history of the church posted on the Internet.

In a blog interview with “Fix Buffalo Today,” Lancaster’s pastor, the Rev. Andrew Ludwig complained that the church’s operational budget is “nibbling away” at the endowment’s principal. “Do we have to collapse as a congregation, fold as a spiritual community for the building to find a new life, or can we become more proactive?” he asked rhetorically.

Ludwig answered his own question by pointing to “religious buildings that have been repurposed in Pittsburg.” His centerpiece example is The Church Brew Works, a beer drinking establishment that is housed in the now defunct St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

A popular watering hole, The Church Brew Works has turned St. John’s sacred symbols into a marketing magnet: “By far, the most breathtaking element is the position of the brew house on the altar,” says its online brochure. “Because the altar was built as a centerpiece of the church, the steel and copper tanks gleaming in the celestial blue backdrop is nothing less than captivating. This extraordinary view is only paralleled by the quality and taste of our beer.”

Ludwig is not quite ready to turn Lancaster into a brew hall – although “Buff Bingo” may come pretty close – but he is enthusiastic about a plan to convert 50 percent of the church’s physical plant into 20 “market-rate, affordable apartments” if he can find a way to tone down the organ. “Tentatively, we see middle-class ‘empty-nesters’ as the target demographic,” he says.

No, this is not your grandmother’s bingo. Nor does it resemble your grandmother’s church. Amidst Saturday night’s revelry one senses a naked truth: Something precious has disappeared from this place, something that no gamesmanship can revive.

TOPICS: Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Other non-Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: abominationtogod; antichristian; apostatechurch; fauxchristians; gaychurch; homosexualagenda; homosexuals; lesbyterian; opc; pcusa; perversion; presbyterian; protestant
PCUSA: The place for gay, naked bingo.
1 posted on 10/06/2010 11:21:23 PM PDT by kaehurowing
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To: kaehurowing

Interesting the way they pick and choose what to believe.

For instance, they don’t know if Jesus really said “I am the Way the Truth and the Life”.

But they do believe he was a Jewish peasant, who was a rabbi, who went around telling stories? So how do they know one is true and not the other?

Hint: It has nothing to do with the truth.

I’m very old fashioned. Something is true, or it’s not. It’s not what you feel. It’s true, or it is a lie. Facts are stubborn things.

2 posted on 10/07/2010 1:38:59 AM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; narses; Natural Law
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, home of “Buff Bingo.”

Is this part of the OPC?
3 posted on 10/07/2010 2:24:55 AM PDT by Cronos (Hollandaise)
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To: kaehurowing

Yech. Imagine all the fecal matter ground into the chairs.

4 posted on 10/07/2010 4:20:11 AM PDT by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: Cronos
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, home of “Buff Bingo.”

Is this part of the OPC?

They make no mention of denominational affiliation, but their senior pastor is "a former union staffer with the United Farm Workers and Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers" and they have a (female) Rev. Lynne West on staff, and they make no mention of the Westminster Standards.

I'm guessing "negative" to your question. PCUSA, if I read the signs right, home of a dwindling horde of gun grabbing lefty pagans.

5 posted on 10/07/2010 6:04:17 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("evangelicals don't know Torah well enough to be theonomists." --D. G. Hart)
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To: kaehurowing

Hopefully they hose down the pews before little old Mildred Jones comes for Sunday services.

6 posted on 10/07/2010 7:42:26 AM PDT by aSeattleConservative
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To: Lee N. Field

Your link is to Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian in Brooklyn. The article is about Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian in Buffalo. Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian in Buffalo is apparently PCUSA (not that that surprises anyone).

7 posted on 10/08/2010 6:10:02 AM PDT by Campion
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To: Campion

I'm out in FlyoverLand. "Lit by torchlight, the domain of cretins and mechanical calculators." (Literary reference, let's see who gets it.) All them NooYawk names and locations all run together for me.

8 posted on 10/08/2010 7:28:48 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("evangelicals don't know Torah well enough to be theonomists." --D. G. Hart)
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To: Campion
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian in Buffalo is apparently PCUSA (not that that surprises anyone).

Especially given that the source is the "Presybterian Lay Committee", an embattled orthodox remnant inside the PCUSA.

9 posted on 10/08/2010 7:31:14 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("evangelicals don't know Torah well enough to be theonomists." --D. G. Hart)
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