Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rhetoric Run Amuck!

Quotes of note from today's AP story on the election this weekend in the Diocese of California:

"... they'll be compelled to elect a partnered gay..." ????????? [Bill Atwood]

" ... a terrorist bomb, which is timed to destroy a peace process." ?????? [Paul Zahl]


Good Lord Almighty, talk about rhetoric-run-amuck! I see no indication the good people of the Diocese of California will do anything other than elect the person best suited to be their next bishop. I do not believe they will be bullied away from electing a gay or lesbian bishop if that person is the best "fit" for them nor will they "compelled" to reject a straight candidate as Atwood suggests. What rubbish!

Pray for our Dio Cal brothers and sisters and for ALL the candidates who have offered themselves in service to the Gospel and to our Lord.

==============================

Calif. Episcopalians May Elect Gay Bishop
By KIM CURTIS, 05.03.2006
Associated Press

What's left of unity in the Episcopal Church is at stake heading into a weekend election for bishop of California that sets up a major clash over gays' role in the church. Three of the seven candidates are openly gay, and choosing one of them to head the Diocese of California would further alienate Episcopal conservatives already feeling betrayed that the church approved a gay bishop three years ago. It could also fracture the strained relationship between America's 2.3 million Episcopalians and their parent body, the worldwide Anglican Communion. A vote against a gay bishop would likely preserve the fragile truce.

The Rev. Paul Zahl, dean of the conservative Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa., likened the election of a gay bishop in California to "a terrorist bomb, which is timed to destroy a peace process." Anglicanism, which includes the U.S. Episcopal Church among its 77 million followers in 164 countries, has been torn over the issue of gay clergy for years. In 2003, New Hampshire Episcopalians elected the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, who has a longtime male partner, as their bishop.

A year later, an international Anglican panel asked U.S. dioceses to stop installing bishops in same-sex relationships for now, and requested that the Episcopal Church show "regret" for the turmoil its actions had caused. On Saturday, about 700 priests and lay people will gather for a special diocesan convention at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco to elect a new bishop to replace the retiring Rev. William Swing.

Among the candidates they'll consider will be two gay men - the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe of San Francisco, and the Very Rev. Robert Taylor of Seattle - and a lesbian, the Rev. Bonnie Perry of Chicago. All three live openly with same-sex partners.

The four other candidates are: the Rt. Rev. Mark Handley Andrus of Birmingham, Ala.; the Rev. Jane Gould of Lynn, Mass.; the Rev. Donald Schell of San Francisco; and Canon Eugene Taylor Sutton of Washington National Cathedral. The delegates know their actions will be closely watched by Anglicans around the world.

But conservative Canon Bill Atwood of the Ekklesia Society, an Episcopal aid network based in Carrollton, Texas, predicts the Californians will "totally ignore the consequences" of their actions. "I don't think there's any question they'll be compelled to elect a partnered gay," Atwood said. "I think they've got a mistaken understanding of issues of justice. Huge portions of the Episcopal Church are theologically adrift. "I'm not saying there isn't religion, but it's not the historic Christian faith."

But the Rev. Susan Russell of Integrity, the national gay and lesbian Episcopal caucus, said the Diocese of California has no obligation to elect a heterosexual as the Communion struggles to remain unified. She argued that a "radical conservative fringe" within Anglicanism is determined to bring about a split no matter what concessions the American church makes.

"For any elector to allow the current political climate in the global church to hamstring the Holy Spirit would be working against who we are when we're at our best as a church," Russell said.

The seven nominees spent much of April touring churches and meeting parishioners. They were asked not to give any interviews in the week before the election. On Saturday, delegates will cast their ballots until one of the candidates gets a simple majority of the votes. If no winner is declared, voting will continue the following Saturday, May 13.

The winner cannot be consecrated without approval from the Episcopal church's legislative body, the General Convention, which meets in June. The Convention has a long history of deferring to dioceses' choice of leadership, but the head of the denomination - Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold - warned last month it would create "definite difficulty" between Episcopalians and the rest of the Anglican Communion if California elects the church's second openly gay bishop.

The Communion lacks an authoritative leader, someone who functions as the pope does for Roman Catholics, for example. Each province within the Anglican Communion can make its own decisions and Griswold, whose term ends later this year, has repeatedly expressed the desire to remain part of the Communion.

An Episcopal panel studying the issue proposed last month that dioceses use "very considerable caution" in electing bishops with same-sex partners, but it stopped short of a moratorium. That recommendation is among several the General Convention will consider at its meeting June 13-21 in Columbus, Ohio.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

20 comments:

jg6544 said...

Typical right wing tactics: call names; ramp up the hyperbole to the level of downright hysteria; create an excuse for stomping out in self-righteous rage, and then blame the other side for it all. Goebbels would have loved this! And I know, the RW doesn't like the comparison, but if the shoe fits . . .!

Beyond Reconciliation said...

We can only hope that the "reasserters" comparison of electing another gay bishop to a "terrorist's bomb" will so enrage the voters in the Dio of California that it will blow up in their own faces.

revsusan said...

I believe "beyond reconciliation" has nailed that one on the head. These over-the-top histrionics of the schismatic fringe are likely to be the last straw for many Episcopalians who may have reservations about LGBT inclusion but know blackmail and bullying when they see it.

Anonymous said...

You will vote for a lesbian or gay man just to stir up the Africians and wreck the communion. You really don't care about the church, it is all about you shoving gay rights down our throats.

Anonymous said...

How come you never mention Jesus? Your whole site is about "gay sex."

revsusan said...

Hmmm ... I think they call that "projection" ... I'm at a loss to find a SINGLE post about "gay sex" ... there are plenty about faithful relationships, the baptismal covenant and the Body of Christ.

Maybe "anonymous" has pointed to the real crux of the current divide: we want to talk about theology and they want to talk about sex.

hg said...

The one from God who was God and who died on the cross for the sins of the whole world - whose name was and is "God saves" - we are to be following in his way and doing his works: healing and calling for repentance, righteousness, mutual service, and mercy. Unless we live this way and "do church" this way, we will not be identifiable as Christians.

revsusan said...

Great summary of the faith, hg. "...healing and calling for repentance, righteousness, mutual service, and mercy" all work for me. Can we agree that these are values that transcend sexual orientation, that the LGBT faithful ascribe to all those same aspects of our common faith and then get on with the work of building the Kingdom ... of seeking and serving Christ in "the least of these" as our Lord called us to do?

jg6544 said...

"How come you never mention Jesus? Your whole site is about "gay sex." "

Curious how obsessed RW minds are by what other people "do".

Anonymous said...

Susan I think you misunderstood me. You are a priest and I don't see the first thing about Jesus on any of the articles on the front page of your blog. What I do see is you screaming " Good Lord Almighty" and the word gay or lesbian used about 40 times. So I was just confused if this was a religious site or a gay rights site. By looking at your blog it looks like your religion is gay rights.

jg6544 said...

Anonymous, it's always best to read before running off at the mouth (or the keyboard, as the case may be). From Susan's bio on the front page of this blog:

"My life in the church has included everything from Junior Altar Guild with my Aunt Gretchen to my “obligatory young adult lapsed phase” to a tour of duty on the St. Paul’s, Ventura vestry where I also worked as parish secretary to a life-heart-soul changing experience as part of the Cursillo community to serving on my parish ECW Board to seminary at the School of Theology in Claremont to associate/day school chaplain positions at St. Mark’s, Altadena and St. Peter’s, San Pedro to Executive Director of Claiming the Blessing to my current parish position at All Saints Church."

Nothing about gay sex there or about gay rights, but a lot about her life in the Church.

more martha than mary said...

From a COE newspaper article (last week, I think):

Dr Williams has also held a meeting with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA, who last week invited the Guardian’s religion correspondent, Stephen Bates to interview him. In the resulting article at the weekend, Bishop Griswold issued a thinly veiled warning to the Diocese of California not to elect one of the three practising homosexual candidates for its bishopric next weekend. “The diocese needs to respect the sensibilities of the larger communion. It will note what is going on in the life of the church and make a careful and wise decision,” he said. The American House of Bishops, he suggested, could withhold their consent if California elects one of the homosexual candidates.


I think those on the conservative side realize the gravity of the vote on Saturday. Our presiding bishop has indicated its seriousness as to its effect on our place in the Anglican communion. Please don't try to make us feel like it's just another vote, Rev. Susan ... because it's not.

revsusan said...

"Just another vote?" Hardly! I'm thrilled there are qualified gay and lesbian candidates under consideration, trust that the Diocese of California will listen to the Holy Spirit and elect the BEST bishop -- gay OR straight -- for their diocese and recognize that on May 7th we will still face all the same challenges and opportunities we currently face in the Communion as we did before the election.

It is a very important election.

It is not a make or break moment for the Communion.

Brenda Dixon, Irmo S.C. said...

Well, jd6544 if you want to call me a right winger you can. I am a pretty open minded person . I just don't understand why you folks want to wreck the communion. I think it is pretty selfish on your part to cram your agenda down everybody's throats and then try to hide behind the church. It reminds me of the fundamentalist and the KKK. Not much diffence in the two of you if you ask my opinion. You all are "inclusive" if people agree with you and if they don't you act like a bunch of rednecks and start calling people "rightwingers". I will publish my name now and not hide like you.

Jeff Martinhauk said...

Brenda -

Thanks for posting. I hardly think we are trying to wreck the communion. We are asking for our full and equal place at the table. We know and understand that God created us in our sexual orientation the same way God created different races, hair colors, personality types, etc. Whether or not it is genetic or environmental doesn't matter. We chose our sexual orientation no more than you chose your eye color. To turn us away is sinful. We are not excluding anyone. We only advocate our inclusion. Those that do not agree are free to stay even if they do not agree, which is different from what we are being told by those who disagree with us. Tell me how that is not inclusive?

I believe it was your reference to "gay sex" that began degrading the conversation, since to my knowledge there is not a single posting on this site about gay sex. That might be confusion on your part since you may not know the difference between gay sex and sexual orientation. If you orient as straight, you can differentiate between your relationship with your husband as you present it to the world and what you do with him in the bedroom. So can we with our loved ones. I think the assumption that we can't make the same distinction has gotten you off to a rocky start in this post.

j

jg6544 said...

"Well, jd6544 if you want to call me a right winger you can."

Res ipsa loquitur.

rmf said...

Some equate inclusion/full open participation with exclusion, because some don't want to be around other kind of people. Let us keep in mind who has been walking away from the communion table--it is has been those on the right fringe.

I ask again.

What positive, life affirming roles for lesbigay people, do self styled "right wingers" and their friends, advance? What roles besides denunciation and self loathing and denial, do they present for lesbigay people?

Tell us. Tell us what role you see for lesbigays in the church besides being quiet about their orientation, not ever having loving intimacy with another person, not calling themselves full of sin, and never using their gifts for God's greater glory?

If the answer is anything like what it has been in the past, it will be silence. They have offered zero alternatives to silence, denial, and rejection.

This is why the vast majority of our church cannot be persuaded by the claims and demands of the dissidents and their friends. Because at bottom, their demands are negative, exclusionary, and acts of denial. Some may even call them acts of spiritual and emotional violence.

They are right about one thing, however. It has taken us a long time to start coming to terms with the ways that for so long we have done spiritual and emotional violence to a large number of souls. They see in this history of discrimination and silence, a sign that we should continue in this.They see in the inability of others to join with us, a sure sign of failure and error.

It is no doubt only because of God's enduring love and mercy, and the strength and hope afforded us by His Son and by the Holy Spirit, that we have been able to at least in this area, stop always seeing as through a glass, darkly.

We work for and are motivated by hope, love, positive participation, and life affirming inclusion. If these do not come of God then what does?

Lillian said...

RMF---Well, since you asked, "What positive, life affirming roles for lesbigay people do right-wingers advance?" I will tell you...none. Nor do we "advance" roles for people who do not fall into those categories.
It is and has always been the role of the Holy Spirit to tell us (one and all) what to do, where to go, what plans he has for us (all.)
I don't think any serious Christian would feel the need to create specific roles for any group of people based on sin category. So, no, there's not a special Sunday School for the adulterers, no evening contemporary worship service for the gossips and liars, no LEM for just the alcoholics. We are all sinners; I just think that a person living in known, unrepentant sin (ie non-celibate singles of any stripe, whether hetero OR LGBT) should not be elevated to positions of leadership in the church.

Eve said...

RMF---Well, since you asked, "What positive, life affirming roles for lesbigay people do right-wingers advance?" I will tell you...none. Nor do we "advance" roles for people who do not fall into those categories.
It is and has always been the role of the Holy Spirit to tell us (one and all) what to do, where to go, what plans he has for us (all.)
I don't think any serious Christian would feel the need to create specific roles for any group of people based on sin category. So, no, there's not a special Sunday School for the adulterers, no evening contemporary worship service for the gossips and liars, no LEM for just the alcoholics. We are all sinners; I just think that a person living in known, unrepentant sin (ie non-celibate singles of any stripe, whether hetero OR LGBT) should not be elevated to positions of leadership in the church.

rmf said...

lillian/eve,



what if our gay man or lesbian has been married in Massachusetts? they are not single then. they are in a perfectly legal marriage. there is no bar then to them serving in leadership then, is there.