We must humble ourselves!

The 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church in the United States comes to an end today, or at least is scheduled to end. Today we will see whether we can deal with the Windsor Report in ways very un-American – whether we can actually humble ourselves just a bit.
I have never used this phrase before because I do not engage in Identity Politics, but now I will for a reason: “As a gay man” all that happens at General Convention is not all about me or my “tribe.” My identity as a gay man is not paramount, but as a Christian (perhaps I should say “follower of Jesus” because self-identifying as a Christian is an identity in and of itself, I know). As a Christian my call is to a life of self-denial, to love others more than myself, to even love my enemy. To find life, I am to die to this life. If I honestly love my enemy, how can I do that which only causes them harm or hurt, regardless of whether they want to harm or hurt me? What is the example of Jesus on the cross, after all? This doesn’t mean I have to accept my opponents’ interpretation of Scripture, their form of piety, or what they want to accomplish. I can be a strong advocate of my position, but when I see my brother or sister hurt and distressed by my actions or words when they specifically ask me to slow down, wait a bit, or allow their voice to be heard, how as a follower of Jesus can I say, “NO?” It is only in our hyper-individualized, arrogant American way can we simply say to world Anglicanism – those who agree with me (us) and those who don’t – “screw you,” I’m or we’re going to do what we want regardless of how it effects you.
So, we wait two years until Lambeth. So we agree to withhold the election of another gay bishop, so we wait to conduct blessings of same-gender unions, so we express our profound regret that what we did has caused such division, harm, and dismay among the vast majority of Anglicans and Christians worldwide. We humble ourselves and say we may have been wrong in how we did it, and we could be wrong in what we actually did. I can advocate for my position, but my position is not what is most important – loving my brother and sister is regardless of how they respond to me. When concepts of justice conflict with concepts of acting in love towards others, we have a profound misunderstanding of both and I believe completely miss the Gospel imperative of love and justice and how they work hand-in-hand. “As a gay man,” I’ve always been vilified, never had the opportunity of blessing, so what is two years if in those two years many people around the world may understand me a little better, my perspective, or my interpretation of Scripture, and perhaps come to see things the way I do, or at least we can come to a compromise. For the sake of crucified Jesus, I’m willing to wait. If I simply want to force others to do want I want them to do, or the hell with them, then I am not acting as a Christian, but I am certainly engaging in Identity Politics. I am certainly enslaved to the “Tyranny of NOW.”
We have been in a limited way discussed this issue for thirty years in this Church. The clergy have done a terrible job in bringing the discussion to most parishioners. What we did three years ago has forced the issue and forced the conversation called for by Lambeth Resolution 1.10.3, so let us continue in a way that will include as many people around the world as we can. I know what it is to be excluded, and I don’t want to do to others what I have experienced myself! Pass the Commissions recommendations for Windsor as a beginning point. If in three years our opponents do not accept the conversation or do not listen, then we have gone the extra mile and we continue on as we feel we should – but we tried, again.
Below I go into this whole issue of Identity Politics a little more deeply.

Identity politics taken to it conclusion, it seems to me, does nothing more than balkanize society or organization that finds itself under the sway or control of this way of thinking and acting. Wikipedia has a decent overview of Identity Politics, including criticism of it from the left, right, and center.
In the overview, we find this: “Essentially, identity politics is based on the concept that special oppression requires special liberation, i.e., special circumstances existing outside of the wider one of class consciousness. The group identity will deal with and seek to alleviate injustices associated with real or perceived oppression against them based on that identity.” In and of itself, this seems fine. The problem is when elements within the group push their agenda beyond the seeking the equality of rights and opportunities and ends up isolating itself against the greater society – at times intentionally.
Identity Politics carries the day in most of academia and is reflected in how we now go about trying to right the wrongs of past discrimination, denial of equal rights under the law, outright persecution, and stereotyping. It is realized most poignantly in the Political Correctness movement or way of approaching all these issues. In my opinion, this will accomplish little in bring about a true change of heart in those who continue to wish to deny basic rights and equality for all, because attempting to force people to change their minds or feelings never succeeds in the long run.
Gandhi and King understood this, and while they certainly fought against the powers that oppressed them and their people, they never intended to be punitive or pull their group out of the larger society or world community. What Gandhi and King accomplished was not isolation, but integration. Too many in our society today who engage in Political Correctness and Identity Politics (on the left and right) are not really interested in full integration, but victory above all else and the exploitation of their “victim-hood” in order to gain advantage over other groups or parts of society. Too many want special treatment. Too many have allowed their whole self-perception to be dictated by their identity and their cause. Too many want no compromise, but with the denial of compromise comes the denial and fall of democracy! Authoritarianism is all that is left (and in religious circles it is know as fundamentalist whether of the left or right).
I believe these same attitudes have overwhelmed The Episcopal Church. I believe it to be contrary to the general teachings of Jesus and the apostles (Galatians 3:27-29, for example), although I have to admit that we can find statements that suggest the very same in parts of Scripture and the writing of the early church fathers. I believe such attitudes have caused us to care little about what people outside our national and ecclesial borders thing or feel.