Thursday, February 22, 2007

More From the Episcopal church

The Religious News Service headline reads, "Top Episcopal Bishop Urges Fasting on Gay Issues."

My first reaction -- before I read the article was -- "it's bad enough that churches are tearing themselves up over these issues but now they can't eat!"

Bishop Jefferts Schori meant it metaphorically of course. She was responding to the Anglican primate's directive to the American Bishops that I blogged about on Tuesday.

She wrote, "While those who seek full inclusion for gay and lesbian Christians, and the equal valuing of their gifts for ministry, do so out of an undeniable passion for justice, others seek a fidelity to the tradition that cannot understand or countenance the violation of what that tradition says about sexual ethics. ..Each is being asked to forbear for a season."

But, what does that tradition really say about sexual ethics? Surely she's not talking about that part of the tradition that doesn't believe women should be leaders of the church (or even speak within the church.) Surely she's not talking about polygamy or patriarchy or divorce or premarital sex.

No, she's talking about people who fall outside of the heterosexual monogamous married model that is espoused as the moral norm. I had hoped instead she would talk about understanding that sexual and gender diversity are part of our blessed endowment. Somehow a time out doesn't seem to me what is needed. These very type of compromises not only ultimately satisfy none, but do damage to the thousands of faithful who are gay and lesbian or who love gay and lesbian people.

I had hoped for better. May her fast lead to new insights and commitments to justice for all.

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