Friday, December 21, 2007

The Advocate on the Episcopal Church


As you can probably tell, I have largely stopped blogging about the ins and outs of the anglican soap opera. Heck, I did not even blog about the decision of the San Jacquin Diocese to leave the Episcopal Church and join the Southern Cone. I am doing so for several reasons. First, there are many, many bloggers more informed than I who have far more intelligent things to say about this. Second, I find that a focus on church politics is bad for my soul--my treasure is in Jesus and God, not in church politics.

Still, ever so often, I read something that reminds me what this whole struggle has been about. Teresa Morrison, a non-Christian lesbian offers some thoughts in The Advocate from an outsiders perspective that are well worth reading:

I firmly believe that within a generation the antigay hate speech Bishop Schofield so freely espouses will receive as little tolerance as we do today, and I look forward to a time when men like him will wish they had quietly harbored hatred rather than staking their reputations on it. Meanwhile, Bishop Jefferts Schori and other proponents of inclusion will be credited with having furthered the integrity of their faith institutions as dynamic, relevant forces in the 21st century.

Non-Episcopalian gays and lesbians might not think we have a dog in this fight, but we all have a vested interest in the outcome. We find ourselves in a very rare position here, one so unfamiliar to LGBT people we can scarcely grasp its significance: In the determination of the U.S. Episcopal Church to take a stand for our equality and inclusion, we have everything to gain and nothing to lose, while the folks fighting for us risk their political and financial footing in the Anglican Communion, the third-largest Christian body in the world, which is far more sympathetic toward your Bishops Schofield than to the progressive platform embraced by Bishop Jefferts Schori and the majority of her church’s 2.5 million members.

We never asked Episcopalians to take up our fight. Rather, it seems, their spiritual path has led them to believe that we aren’t any less deserving of ministry or recognition or even consecration simply because we happen to be unpopular sexual minorities. I wish that weren’t an extraordinary concept in 2007, but it is. And Bishop Jefferts Schori has hardly blinked in a year of denominational strife that has seen her character and her commitment to her religious office questioned, challenged, dismissed, and maligned.

In this age of gay bashing from all sides, it isn’t often we encounter a religious leader -- or any leader -- willing to bulldog for our rights, especially when faced with such a potentially high cost to herself and the institution she represents. What I wouldn’t give for such genuine representation in our elected officials.


Read it all here.

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