A couple days ago, I posted a response to one of Fr. Harris’ (Preludium) comments about wanting people to understand the polity of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. To that wish, I agree.
But, Fr. Harris seems a bit more willing to forgo the Anglican Communion than I am or many other Episcopalians. So, I commented.
It seems that my comment and a couple others have made to a brand new post, coming up yesterday.
Here is the original blog post from Mark Harris and my response, entitledThings I wish we could get right.
Here is the second post by Fr. Harris, and resulting comments, entitled How important is it to belong to the Anglican Communion?.
You can read my comments –
My follow-up comment:
As I try to both engage and observe (which isnâ€™t easy and sometimes makes me schizophrenic), Iâ€™ve come to see a couple things.
I can agree with Elizabeth that our presence and voice have encourage people in Africa and other parts of the Communion to begin to stand up and advocate for inclusion of LGBT people. Yet, part of the very reason for embolden, Anglican-provincial internal-advocacy is because we ARE a part of the Communion. If we continue on in a trajectory that to the world comes across as, â€œWe are determined to do thisâ€¦ and donâ€™t care what you think or how your culture understands or how it makes you feel,â€ and the result is that we are no longer part of the Communion, then our voice and influence are gone. In the very provinces that most need our presence and voice for the sake of GLBT people, if we TEC does not agree to basically two moratoria for the time being (for the time being!), those who boldly and at the risk of their own safety stand up will be left to the devices and desires of the likes of Archbishop Akinola, with no governor to temper their hatred and actions.
Part of me wonders whether this is a generational shift in attitude â€“ a GenX-Y â€œpost-gayâ€ understanding who and what we are and what we need. Kind of like the â€œpost-feministâ€ attitudes of younger women. I donâ€™t know, but my sense of self, my sense of acceptance or welcome, does not depend on whether we have another open, gay bishop over the next few years or whether we have liturgies for the blessing of same-sex relationships. If my sense of self depends on such things, then Iâ€™m depending on outward, temporal, and temporary things rather than God and Godâ€™s declaration of who and what I am.
We need to not cut off our nose to spite our face â€“ for their sake. We also need to consider our â€œweakerâ€ sisters and brothers (Romans 14). Gay people – we need to consider the wellbeing of our sisters and brothers before we consider ourselves. BO33, in all of its lacking, should be maintained for the time being.
We havenâ€™t reached the end goal in this country or the West, yet, in comparison to how most other gay people have it in the world, Iâ€™ve got it good. Personally, I and a lot of other gay Episcopalians I know are more than willing to wait a bit longer, sacrifice a bit more, for the sake of those who face real violence every day of their existence. Keep BO33, for now â€“ keep our voice and influence in the parts of the Communion where it is needed most. We can wait, for their sake. Some will be unwilling to wait, I understand, but I fear for some that their personal identity is so wrapped up in this issue that they cannot step back.
There is a whole lot more I can write to flesh-out my thoughts, but I donâ€™t want to bore everyone (as if I havenâ€™t already). One thing I will touch upon (which took up several more paragraphs that I cut) is that we all have to be careful not to become the very kind of people and take upon ourselves the very attitudes that we love to negatively associate with others. (Like, American becomes the worst of Al Quaeda by torturing â€œenemy combatantsâ€ in order to save our own butts.) We have to avoid being the â€œugly Americans,â€ the unilateralists, the arrogant types that are hell-bent in doing our â€œAmericanâ€ thing regardless of the consequences to other peoples.