Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Episcopal Bishops Leave Us Nothing to Celebrate

I'm just back from the National Religious Leaders Roundtable meeting in Washington, D.C., an organization sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. We are a diverse group of religious leaders supporting full equality and full inclusion of LGBT persons in society and in the life of the church.

I'm proud to be an elected member of the Steering Committee, and leave these meetings with a renewed sense of excitement and purpose about this part of my ministry. I'm grateful to Phil Soucy from Lutherans Concerned who suggested using "Advocates" instead of "Allies" as the "A" in LGBTQQIA in response to the issues I raised here a few weeks ago.

How sad it was then to read about the decision by the Episcopal Bishops in this morning's New York Times. Here's what it said:

In a voice vote, all but one bishop supported a resolution, called “A Response to Questions and Concerns Raised by Our Anglican Communion Partners.” Several conservative bishops who are considering leaving the Episcopal Church were not in attendance. The resolution affirmed the status quo of the Episcopal Church, both theological conservatives and liberals said.

It states, for example, that it “reconfirms” a call to bishops “to exercise restraint” by not consenting to the consecration of a partnered gay bishop. It also says the bishops promise not to authorize “any public rites of blessing of same-sex unions.” Still, some bishops allow such blessings to occur in their dioceses.

Both positions have been stated in past meetings of the governing body of the church, the General Convention.

In other words, they did not renounce their previous decision to elect Gene Robinson Bishop, but surely did not move further to fully include lesbian and gay persons in the denomination. I'm sure that this was seen as a compromise and an attempt to hold the worldwide communion together.

But, it was a compromise made by considering some of God's children less deserving of serving and of living family lives sanctified by the church they love, and I don't see anything to celebrate. I am certain though that one day, maybe not even so long from now, that justice will prevail. Until then, we'll just have to work and pray harder.

1 comment:

Reverend Bitch Sir! said...

Amen...there indeed was nothing to fact it was an act of cowardice. If there are those who don't like treating people as the full people of God...then let them leave and do thier own thing else where.

The American Bishops had the opportunity to be herioc, be the Isaiah of our time, but instead chose to whine and pat themselves for keeping a hypocritical instituion intact.

My comment sounds angry? Darn tootin I am a women once said to Jesus: "Even the dogs get the crumbs from the table".

God Bless,
Pastor Paul
aka RBS