27 September 2007

You Brutes! You Brutes! You Brutes!

While I am far from satisfied with the results of The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops meeting (scroll down to post below), the uber-lefties, ex-hippies, and single-issue Episcopalians, are far from satisfied, either. So maybe it wasn't such a bad meeting after all. Reading posts on the House of Bishops / Deputies Listserve, it is clear that the flower children are fuming. Posters are claiming that the Bishops sacrificed "justice" for "unity" (that is, keeping The Episcopal Church (tm) in the Communion by saying they will not ordain non-celibate gay and lesbians to the episcopate, and would not bless same-sex marriages), and that they made gays and lesbians "second-class citizens" in the Church because of it.

What a load of press release.

First of all, would you please calm down and smell the patchouli? Remember, your side runs the place. At least in the US, anyway. Traditionalists like me (also known on the Listserve as "bullydox", "thieves", "bigots", "zealots" "homophobes" and other terms of progressive Christian compassion), had little say.

And stop using the crucifixion imagery over and over to describe what you see as this martyred condition of gays and lesbians in the Church - it is insulting as heck to those of us who still believe Christ's crucifixion actually happened. No one is nailing you to a cross. No one WANTS to nail you to a cross. No one wants to throw you out of the Church. I sure don't, and I am firmly in the orthodox camp on things Spiritual. You are, like me, a child of God. And like me, a sinner. So listen to me closely:

Sexual orientation is NOT THE ISSUE HERE.

I don't disagree with Louie Crew because he is gay. I disagree with Louie Crew because I think his theology is wrong. Gays and lesbians are NOT barred from higher office in the Church. NOTHING in Lambeth 1.10 or B033 forbids it. A gay or lesbian who wants to be a priest or bishop can be if they feel called - just adhere to the teachings of the Church that everybody else has to follow. And the Church teaches that sex outside of marriage is adultery. A sin. If it is a sin for a non-married heterosexual man or woman, and should bar them from the episcopate, why should a gay man or woman be different?

When my wife and I returned to the Church, it was through the efforts of a wonderful priest who helped us discern our path back. He was (and is still) a cherished friend. He is also gay. But he puts his love of God and the Church before himself, and he remains celibate. He would make a superb Bishop.

Second, before you castigate the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the Presiding Bishop, or the House of Bishops, for their stance holding off on non-celibate gay Bishops and gay marriage, ask yourself this question: "What did Abraham Lincoln do?" Lincoln came to power strongly for emancipation. But once in office, he realized his priorities had changed - he was now the President of ALL the Union, and the Union needed to be preserved if emancipation was ever to take place. He once said "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that." See it from their side, and from their perspective. Realize we all have to make sacrifices for the greater good of all in the Church. Me. You. Even Bishops. (Wait a minute. Did I just defend the Presiding Bishop?? I guess I did. Well whadda you know...)

Third, quit using the language of the persecuted, marginalized outsider when referring to gay and lesbians. This is not the 1950's or even the 1970's. Yes, you can still find examples of true persecution, but gays and lesbians are accepted today in ways that would have been unthinkable even 30 years ago. 'Queer Eye' was not pulled from the airwaves - it was a smash success. Gays and lesbians are not run out of town, living in dark corners begging for food. They are productive members of society, and productive members of our Church. I do not think you would find any on the orthodox side who would refuse the Sacraments to a gay or lesbian who comes to the rail just because they are gay or lesbian.

We should not (I think) have any disagreement about what constitutes sin. Adultery is a sin. And a member of the clergy, especially a Bishop, should be an example of a Godly life. If +V. Gene Robinson had been celibate, this whole thing might have been avoided. But he isn't - he put his own desires before those of the Church. That not a "prophetic vision" - that is bad policy, and very bad theology. What kind of example does that set? If we can ignore Scripture we don't like, or Church teachings we don't like, can we ignore Church Canons and Constitutions we don't like, too? If not, why not?

Remember that there are those in our Church, like me, that feel spiritually injured by what has happened since 2003, and feel marginalized by The Episcopal Church's (tm) "prophetic vision". Where do we fit in? What kind words do you have for us?

Or, do you care?

No comments: