Thursday, July 2, 2009

FAQs About Rejecting the False Dichotomy Between The Unity Of the Anglican Communion vs. The Equality Of The LGBT Faithful

Part 3 of 3...

The Anglican Communion is very important to who we are as Episcopalians. Won't we further fracture the Communion by rescinding B033 and moving forward on same-sex marriage rites?

Our relationships in the Anglican Communion are important to ALL Episcopalians. Those bent on fracturing the Anglican Communion have been working hard to make that happen since we started ordaining women in 1974 and the very members who B033 were meant to placate declared it "too little, too late" before the ink was even dry on the resolution.

Relationships cannot be maintained by bullying and blackmail. And--while we’re talking about our Anglican Communion brothers and sisters--let’s not forget the LGBT Anglicans who are looking to us--and to others in the Communion--to continue to move forward as a beacon of hope for them as they live in places where their very life is in jeopardy if they speak the truth about who they are and who they love.

Why can't we table LGBT issues for awhile so that the church can deal with more important problems?

#1 Because thirty three years is long enough to let the promise of full and equal claim upon the love, acceptance and pastoral concern and care of the Church be a resolution and not a reality.

#2 Because the Schismatics who couldn’t pull off the rupture of the church they want to make happen in the 70’s over women’s ordination continue to try to make LGBT inclusion a wedge issue that furthers their goals.

But the most important reason is:

#3 The reason we can't "table LGBT issues for awhile" is because we cannot move forward on other important issues while these remain unaddressed. The LGBT baptized are not going anywhere and if we can say--once and for all in Anaheim--that we meant what we said in 1976 about “full and equal claim” then we can move on with the wider gospel agenda we are ALL committed to proclaiming.

Why expend so much energy over something that only affects a handful of people?

Because it does not affect "only a handful of people." Because it is a core value of our baptismal promises to respect the dignity of EVERY human being--a handful or a boatload. Because of Luke 15:4...because we follow a Lord who would leave the 99 sheep to gather in the one left out in the wilderness.

Because the mission field is ripe with LGBT folk who have been rejected by their faith traditions and are yearning for the spiritual home the Episcopal Church has to offer. And as the issue of equality for LGBT people becomes increasingly a no-brainer for our younger generations, because the church needs to be a headlight and not a tail-light on equality and justice for all if its going to continue to be relevant in the 21st century.

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