Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Episcopal Church and the MDGs

Conservative critics of the Episcopal Church seem to take great joy in challenging the recent efforts of the Episcopal Church to focus on world poverty, and in particular, on the Church's support of the Millennium Development Goals. Now, I do realize that at times the focus on MDGs becomes self-parody (most notably with the well-meaning MDG Stations of the Cross). Nonetheless, I think that these conservative critics are missing a larger bibical point.

As a starting point, I think that it is important to emphasize the affluence of Americans by world standards. All but the poorest Americans are rich--quite rich--by world standards. So, assuming that the conservatives are right about same sex relationships, what do you think that Jesus will be most upset about on Judgment Day: that we have a few hundred gay and lesbian priests in the Episcopal Church or that American Christians have done so little to deal with world poverty?

Can you read the gospels and really come to any other conclusion than that Jesus will be more concerned about what we did to help the one billion (yes, billion) people living in extreme poverty than the issue of same sex relationships?


Michael said...

I just returned from a 100 mile trip to Houghton Mi. My wife and I attended our first gay wedding. It was held at the Episcopal church there. There were many people in attendance and a high proportion of homosexuals.

Having grown up in the 40s and 50s, it was really a wonderful feeling for my wife and I to see the acceptance we have attained.

There was cheering and loud applause when the bride and bride kissed. I came near crying.

I can only say that it was beautiful.

I am a little sad that they will be leaving our parish in a few months.

God bless the beautiful coulple.

Anonymous said...

That American Christians have done so little to deal with world poverty, and have done so little even to deal with poverty in their own neighborhoods.