November 09, 2007

Church cancels aboriginal dance

Winnipeg church nixes native dancing at Habitat for Humanity eventA Winnipeg church prevented aboriginal dancers from performing at a Habitat for Humanity event this week, saying the performance was not an expression of Christian faith.

Habitat for Humanity invited Kim Houle and her children to perform at its annual volunteer appreciation night, which was held Tuesday in an auditorium Habitat had rented for the event inside the Church of The Rock.

But the afternoon before the performance, the church told Habitat it could not allow the dancing.

Pastor Mark Hughes said he was sorry for Houle and her family, but he agreed with his staff's decision to prevent them from dancing in his church.

"Native spiritual dancing has its roots in a different spiritual belief system that is incongruent with traditional Christian worship," Hughes said in an e-mail.

"I don't think a Buddhist temple would allow a Christian pastor to speak about Jesus."
Comment:  Pastor Hughes expresses that well-known Christian value: intolerance.

I'm not sure a Buddhist temple would let a pastor speak about Jesus, but I bet it would let a pastor say a few ecumenical words. Hughes's move is akin to banning pastors from appearing, not banning them from proselytizing.

Native worship often incorporates Christian beliefs because it's flexible and inclusive. Christian worship usually doesn't incorporate other beliefs because it's rigid and dogmatic.

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