|Rev. Tara Spuhler McCabe |
McCabe's fitness to serve the Church was challenged by anti-gay conservatives when they published an article before the General Assembly that included reference to a same-gender wedding license she had signed in Washington, D.C. McCabe told the Assembly today in her resignation statement that “the amount of conversation in person and comments online indicate that my confirmation touched a nerve."
"We grieve that these personal attacks did not stop with that first article. Rather, they escalated in person and online. It is a sad day for the Presbyterian Church (USA) when some within it resort to nothing less than ad hominem attacks and cyber-bullying. This is a sad day for Christianity. This is a sad day for civility," said Michael J. Adee, Executive Director.
During the question-and-answer session during the moderatorial election Saturday night, Rev. Neal Presa acknowledged that he and McCabe disagreed on same-gender marriage but their friendship outweighed their disagreement. When Presa placed McCabe’s name in nomination as Vice-Moderator on Sunday, questions about McCabe were raised on the floor. Her confirmation was approved by a 55-44 percent vote.
Of McCabe's resignation and this situation, Moderator Rev. Neal Presa said today, “It is clear that there are parties within the church who would not let her split confirmation vote rest, who questioned her integrity and even the authenticity and veracity of our eleven-and-a-half year friendship. I absorbed those attacks and still stand by her while this pernicious poison reared its ugly head."
We believe her statement before this Assembly and the whole Church is both a teaching moment and a wake up call. We hope and pray that the leadership of the Presbyterian Church (USA) will not allow such bullying to continue. It is time to draw a line against such un-Christian attitudes, speech and action.
Rev. McCabe, we stand with you. We give thanks to God for you. We certainly respect the decision you've made to step down from serving as Vice Moderator and regret the circumstances around it. Rev. McCabe, please know that you will always be Vice Moderator in our hearts. We are holding you and your family in our thoughts and prayers as together we're building a Church that reflects God's heart.
Watch Rev. Tara Spuhler McCabe's Resignation at Minute 8:00