The General Synod of the United Church of Christ made it clear yesterday that it wants none of Anita Bryant's brand of Christianity.
The liberal church's national body discreetly ommited mentioning the name of Bryant in a resolution deploring "the use of scripture to generate hatred and violation of civil rights of gay and bisexual persons."
But the resolutions, which began, "Whereas in recent months we have witnessed the widespread violation of the civil rights of gay and bisexual persons in the name of Christianity . . .," was understood by delegates in the discussion here as a reference to last month's successful campaign, spearheaded by Bryant, to repeal Dade County's (Miami) equal employment and fair housing laws for homosexuals.
The resolution which moderator George K. Nace estimated was supported by 90 per cent of the delegates in a show-of-hands vote, urged church members to "work for the enactment of civil rights legislation at the federal, state and local levels of government."
A proposed substitute resolution affirming civil right for homosexuals but putting the church on record as "not condoning homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle" was resoundingly defeated.
A General Synod of the church two years ago adopted a position paper expressing determination to end all discrimination "relating to sexual or affectional preference."
Not all churches of the denomination have been in sympathy with the stand. At least two churches petitioned the General Synod to reconsider the earlier statement. One, First Congregational Church in Minot, N.D., said it accepts gays as members "so long as such persons do not engage in homosexual relationships."
If they do have such relationships, the North Dakota Church explained, they are "lovingly admonished for their actions, reinstructed in the Christian faith" and prayed for. Should they reject this, they are expelled from church membership, the Minot church said.
The Minot church's message to the synod also said that "any radical deviation" from that policy by the national church "shall be considered an unacceptable deviation" from traditional Christianity.
The Minot resolution got buried in the mass of resolutions that deluged the delegates in the synod's closing hours yesterday. It will be considered later by the church's executive council.
In other actions, the synod agreed to begin work on a new official hymnal employing feminine as well as masculine references to God, Christians and the Holy Spirit.