Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Enough already! End this season of waffling and delay

From Episcopal News Service:

"A group formed by Episcopal Church bishops to study the theology of same-gender relationships has begun its work, but the chair of the committee that appointed the panel refuses at least for now to identify its members, a decision that critics say is insulting and lacking in transparency."


Here's how the committee chair, Diocese of Alabama Bishop Henry Parsley, justifies the secrecy of the panel:

"We believe that for a season the work can best be accomplished by allowing the panel to work in confidence. This supports the full collegiality and academic freedom of the theologians and provides the space they need for the deep dialogue and reflection that is taking place among them."

And here's my reaction to this.

Bull**it.

If there is one thing a Texan recognizes, it is bull droppings. And this is a big pile of it.


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The ENS report continues, "While the study is mentioned in one paragraph of the House of Bishops Theology Committee's report to the 76th General Convention, the names of the "diverse and balanced panel of theologians" the report says have been appointed to the sub-committee are not included.
"The committee's report says the House of Bishop requested the study, which is described as "designed to reflect a full spectrum of views and to be a contribution to the Listening Process of the Anglican Communion, as well as to the discussion of this subject in our province." The report calls the study 'a long-term, multi-step project' designed to be completed in 2011.
"Parsley said in his statement that he wanted to 'assure those concerned that the panel very intentionally represents a robust range of views on the subject and includes gay and lesbian persons.'
"The project, he said, 'is designed to articulate theologically a full range of views on the matter of same sex relationships in the church's life and to foster better understanding and respectful discernment among us.'"

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Here's a piece of wisdom that I've learned from my LGBT friends as I've listened to them that I will share freely with Bishop Parsley and that is, the closet makes you sick.

No matter how you dress it up, no matter how you try to justify it, working in secret, living in secret makes you sick. It makes authenticity and integrity impossible.

What's more, as has been pointed out by Integrity time and again, and in the ENS story by the Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers of the Chicago Consultation, this has been studied enough.

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"Meyers said in her statement that 'the theological study of human sexuality is essential to our common life, to our mission and evangelism, and to our ability to live out our baptismal promises' and 'deserves to be no less than a model of the transparent governance that the Episcopal Church has upheld for centuries.'
"Commending the committee for continuing the effort to study the issues of human sexuality in the life of the church, Meyers noted three of four official Episcopal Church studies in 1994, 1997, 2000 and 2003 involved the House of Bishops Theology Committee. Those studies include:
the House of Bishops' 1994 'Continuing the Dialogue: a Pastoral Study Document of the House of Bishops to the Church as the Church Considers Issues of Human Sexuality';
'The Blessing of Same-Sex Relationships' report of the Standing Liturgical Commission with the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops to the 72nd General Convention in 1997;
the liturgical commission's report to the 2000 General Convention titled 'Theological Aspects of Committed Relationships of Same-Sex Couples'; and the House of Bishops Theology Committee's 2003 report 'The Gift of Sexuality: A Theological Perspective'".
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This "a long-term, multi-step project" is an obvious delaying tactic designed to give the House of Bishops cover for not moving beyond B033 and not moving toward marriage equality at this General Convention.

So, as a first-time deputy to General Convention, I want to know just how much more insult and injury are we planning to pile on the LGBT baptized?

First we asked LGBT priests to "for a season" stand aside and become official second class people in the church in an effort to appease those unhappy with the moves the Episcopal Church was making toward full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments.

Convention 2006 scapegoated LGBT clergy to appease bullies. And for what? NOBODY claims it worked.

Now we are supposed to ask LGBT Episcopalians to "for a season" accept the secrecy of this panel in order to let the members "reflect deeply" on same sex relationships for three years.

Why? Are they afraid that if we know who the members are they might be -- God forbid -- talked to by people whose relationships are the focus of the study?

Isn't that what a "Listening Process" is?

Enough already! I'm calling for an end to this season of waffling and delay.

It is time for this church to have the courage to include all the baptized in all the sacraments. It is time to say to the Communion, let us show you how we can include all the baptized AND participate fully in the life of the Communion. They are not mutually exclusive.

Yes, such a decision will resonate throughout the Anglican Communion.

Yes, many of the powerful men in the Anglican Communion will be angered and will issue reports and make threats.

But I guarantee you that the most powerless in the Anglican Communion -- straight women, girl children, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Anglicans in Africa, in Asia, in South America, in all those places where speaking the truth about who they are can get them imprisoned or killed -- those Anglicans will stand up and cheer that the Episcopal Church had the courage to do the right thing. Our actions can give hope and a vision of how things can be to more people than we can ever imagine.

So where will we choose to stand at this General Convention?

With the powerful?

Or with the powerless?

That's our choice.

5 comments:

James said...

Well, you do have a way with words - or at least "one word". :) I agree.

Catherine + said...

I second James' agreement on this entire issue that you have put forth in this post. I could not have articulated it better, Katie.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

¨But I guarantee you that the most powerless in the Anglican Communion -- straight women, girl children, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Anglicans in Africa, in Asia, in South America, in all those places where speaking the truth about who they are can get them imprisoned or killed -- those Anglicans will stand up and cheer that the Episcopal Church had the courage to do the right thing. Our actions can give hope and a vision of how things can be to more people than we can ever imagine.¨

Yes, this is the authentic, REAL LIFE, REAL FAITH, Good News that will be carried and shared with the oppressed, the marginalized, the damned/demonized and persecuted Anglicans (and we know exactly where/who they are) our families, our friends.

It´s time to stop playing PRETEND by pretending ¨prudent¨ coverups are better than glaring, and ugly harmfilled truths.

Fr Craig said...

Amen, and amen. I for one am tired of worrying about what the rest of the world thinks...

Pat Klemme said...

Could you please get on the agenda at GC 2009 and make this priceless speech to the ones who need to hear it most?

You are prophesying the Word of God, my Sister in Christ!