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The Pain Continues

February 26, 2007

I sent Ann+ a brief email regarding +Katharine’s speech on Friday.

I see some hope in that speech. My own personal faith and trust in +Katharine is a bit shaken, but, not permanently damaged. She’s a liberal, afflicted with a liberal’s ability to perceive the views of the “other” side, even while believing most strongly in her own views.

Of course, as PB she will make policital decisions. It’s a political position.

But that does nothing to help to heal the pain of people who have been marginalized FOREVER.

Ann+ pointed out this blog, Brash, Dramatic and Outspoken, and this post Still Reeling, which talks about how those who are not GLTBQ cannot really understand the depth of the pain experienced by these folks in the hands of mother church.

Perhaps it’s too big a burden to hang all one’s hopes on any one person? Perhaps, +Katharine is relying on the voice of TEC is a whole, through our polity and our presence to keep things moving forward.

Maybe she is truly torn between what is right for LGBTQs here in the States vs. those in countries where they have no voice and no recognition, no rights and half-lives.

I told Ann+ I’m glad I’m not standing in her shoes, trying to balance the needs of one group of individuals vs. the needs of another group.

Much easier to just be little old Eileen, who can stamp my feet, and say it isn’t fair. It isn’t right. We are ALL human beings. To heck with the people we can’t do anything for today – LET’S JUST DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE!

And no Church is a Whole, United Church, The Whole Body of Christ, without including ALL peoples.

We are all “sinners” called to salvation at the whim of God’s gift of grace. We can’t buy it – he just gives it.

Too bad if we can’t make sense of it. It isn’t our gift to make sense of, denials for or demands of.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Mystical Seeker permalink
    February 26, 2007 5:10 pm

    I’m neither an Episcopalian nor gay, but I have been following this issue somewhat closely, and I have to say that my feelings about how Katharine Schori handled this matter are much, much stronger than disappointed. I keep thinking back repeatedly on the question of slavery in the US, and how it split many American churches. It seems to me that some moral questions just don’t involve compromise or seeing the other side. There is no other side to the holocaust, there is no other side to slavery, and there is no other side to bigotry against gays and lesbians. To me, either you believe in I’m including all children in God’s love, or you don’t. I believe there is no compromise when it comes to standing on the side of the victims of oppression.

  2. Pisco Sours permalink
    February 26, 2007 6:06 pm

    You know, I learned growing up to do for myself, and not to expect anyone else to help me out.

    That so many people are standing with LGBTs right now, and are worried about fairness and justice before God, is itself an incredible blessing from on high.

  3. Luiz Coelho permalink
    February 26, 2007 6:19 pm

    Eileen… I want to pinch your cheek for this posting.

    You’re a blessing!

  4. Eileen permalink
    February 27, 2007 11:03 am

    Mystical – I know what you mean. I had higher hopes – hopes that she would sit at the table with them, and then tell them all to go scratch off.

    But, what can I say? I’m a liberal, too, and suffer a similar affliction.

    This is exactly like slavery, though. EXACTLY. Even more so then the divorce analogy people make – this is an issue of basic humanity and basic human rights, and respect and love for all of God’s creation.

    If the secular world can’t discriminate, then the church should be ASHAMED to do so. Feh.

  5. Bill permalink
    February 27, 2007 12:02 pm

    I’ll give her credit, I couldn’t do it. I don’t have that kind of control. I believe she will wait out the current storm and then begin to set things right.

    Not all things change in a day. I recently saw “Amazing Grace” and was struck by the fact that the process took almost 18 years to abolish the slave trade. I’m sure that there was similar angst among the most vocal abolitionists. There were thousands of slaves dying every day that the trade existed. It was a long hard struggle, but William Wilberforce stayed the course. He had a similar problem. He had to win over the center while holding the hearts of the abolitionists. The end result was that the English Parliament did what the American nation could not. They ended slavery without a civil war. I know that the process is slow. I know that we should fight as hard as we can. I know that we should be vocal. Just remember that Katherine fights for us on a very different battlefield.

  6. Eileen permalink
    February 27, 2007 1:12 pm

    Bill – Your thoughts continue the slavery/LGBTQ parallel in a very interesting way.

    England was able to slowly end slavery without bloodshed.

    America couldn’t wait. The change had to be now. Either you are with us, or your agin’ us.

    Wonder if history will repeat itself – this time the war will be within the AC.

    ((Luiz)) and ((Pisco))

    I’m not gay – I can’t know what it’s like to deal with the reality of being gay day in and day out, but, I am empathetic, and what I imagine it’s like makes me shudder with anger and want to weep with sadness.

  7. Mystical Seeker permalink
    February 27, 2007 2:41 pm

    You might be interested in the story of John Woolman, a Quaker who lived in the 1700s. Believe it or not, it wasn’t unheard of for Quakers back then to own slaves. Woolman became a passionate opponent of slavery, a saint who lived according to his values to such an extreme extent that he was able to sway his fellow Quakers to take a strong stand against the practice. He never resorted to compromise as a means of getting his point across. Whether that is a model for our times is another question, of course, and it is possible that a lot of Quakers felt pretty guilty about owning slaves and found his lifestyle to be a model that stirred something within them. Anyway, I do think about him as an example of uncompromising opposition to a great moral evil. It is a shame that so few people really know about him.

  8. Mystical Seeker permalink
    February 27, 2007 2:43 pm

    Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about John Woolman:

    In 1754 Woolman wrote Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes. He refused to draw up wills transferring slaves. Working on a nonconfrontational, personal level, he individually convinced many Quaker slaveholders to free their slaves. He attempted personally to avoid using the products of slavery; for example, he wore undyed clothing because slaves were used in the making of dyes. Whenever he received hospitality from a slaveholder, he insisted on paying the slaves for their work in attending him.

    Woolman worked within the Friends traditions of seeking the guidance of the Spirit of Christ and patiently waiting to achieve unity in the Spirit. He went from one Friends meeting to another and expressed his concern about slaveholding. One by one the various meetings began to see the evils of slavery and wrote minutes condemning it.

    In his lifetime, Woolman did not succeed in eradicating slavery even within the Society of Friends in the United States; however, his personal efforts changed Quaker viewpoints. In 1790 the Society of Friends petitioned the United States Congress for the abolition of slavery. The fair treatment of people of all races is now part of the Friends Testimony of Equality.

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