In Response to Rachel Zoll’s “Meeting Held on Anglican-Episcopal Split”
I find it "bizarre and puzzling" that the Archbishop of Canterbury should be so confused at this particular stage in his journey. Perhaps he might spend a few hours with a good book...by a respected and renowned theologian...hmmm...maybe his own? I find it puzzling and bizarre that a person could change so much within such a short time.
The good Archbishop wonders how far the Episcopal Church is willing to go to stay within the Anglican Communion. I wonder just "how far" he is willing to go to appease those within that same Communion who are so filled with hate. I wonder how far those who oppose gays and lesbians in this church are willing to go to get their way. I can visualize all the gays and lesbians, their friends and family in this church standing before these people who decided right and wrong. The place would have to be large because this church is full of gays and lesbians. I imagine these people who are only trying to live into the promise that was given them at their baptism standing there with their arms reaching up. Rather than being offered as sacrifices by those who have little to lose, they are offering themselves for the sake of those who deem them evil and abominations. Many in the Anglican Communion who would immediately cry out, Off with their heads! There are others who would plead for them to just be quiet; be good little girls and boys...go back into the closet, while others would cry disgracefully – why do you have to tell the truth? It is sometimes more difficult to imagine how many others would suddenly turn and say, “This is enough. It has gone too far for far too long.”
Gays and lesbians have drawn no lines but the line has been drawn. People can choose which side they want but if they don’t speak up now, they run the risk of being swept up in the rhetoric. Gays and lesbians in this church have given and have so much more to give – only because that is what we feel called by God to do - to give, to grow, to be within community, to raise our children within these God-walls – just like all the others who are in the church for the very same reasons. Yet we are rebuffed. We are denied. We are battered and bruised. We long for the day when those who hover near the center clearly state – This is enough. This has gone on for too long.
Katharine Jefferts Schori called being a gay or lesbian Episcopalian at this time a "crucified place to stand". I disagreed at the time because I did not wish to use that sacred comparison. Yet...each time our bishops meet; each time the Archbishop of Canterbury stands to offer his revered opinion, every time the Primates decide to issue a judgment, I feel just a bit as though I am tied and tethered lying beside the piles of sticks while the masses wait to hear whether or not they will be tossing me on the fire or untying the binds that tear at my flesh.
So, I wait with a certain amount of apprehension as these bishops sit together, hoping and praying that they will hold fast to their commitment of not going backwards. I wait in prayerful anticipation that they will remember that the ultimate sacrifice has already been made and that the only sacrifice required by being One is that we love one another as we love ourselves.
In the event that we do not know how to love ourselves – I pray that we love one another as God loves us…without fail...steadfastedly...regardless of our differing opinions.