Thursday, March 08, 2007

Rainbow Presence

I commend to you this Easter initiative launched called "Rainbow Presence." You can find out more here ... and I'm posting the "Rainbow Declaration" below. Grateful thanks to those who thought this up and have been willing to organize it!


But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house, I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you. Psalm 5:7

To our sisters and brothers in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion:

In their Communiqué of February 19, 2007, the Primates of the Anglican Communion laid out steps to be taken by the Episcopal Church, specifically by the House of Bishops, by September 30, 2007. As lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender members of the Episcopal Church and heterosexual supporters of full and equal participation for lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender people in the church, we do not agree as to the course of action the Episcopal Church should take in response to the Primates’ Communiqué.

We agree that:

* The Episcopal Church must understand what is being asked of it—especially in terms of its lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender members.

* The Episcopal Church needs to know who its lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender members are in order to know who is being asked to pay the price of unity in the Anglican Communion.

* Until lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender members of the Episcopal Church have full and equal access to all the sacraments and rites of the church, lesbians/gays/bisexuals/transgendered people are essentially second-class members of the Episcopal Church.

We acknowledge that:

* No matter what course of action the Episcopal Church decides to take, faithful Episcopalians will feel it necessary to leave the Episcopal Church.

* Some of us may be among those who leave the Episcopal Church.

* There are lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender people who live in places where making themselves visible is unsafe and even life threatening.

* We affirm the presence in the church of our lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender sisters and brothers who preceded us, giving of themselves and their gifts while remaining invisible as lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender people.

Therefore, on Easter Sunday we (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender and all allies) will be present in our churches and make ourselves visibly known to our fellow parishioners, clergy, bishops, and leadership through the wearing of rainbow sashes, stoles, hats, buttons, and other articles of clothing and accessories.

==========

UPDATE: Greg Griffiths over at "Stand Firm" is taking great umbrage at this initiative. Entitled "Tears of the Clowns" his reflection includes:

The gay pity party has really got to stop. It has gone from silly, to ridiculous, and now to downright offensive, because it so arrogantly trivializes the true suffering for the faith that goes on around the world every day. Stop it. You're not being asked to pay any price the rest of us aren't being asked to pay. All that's being asked of you is what's being asked of us: That you read your Bible, acknowledge your sins, and meet us at the foot of the cross where we repent and ask for forgiveness. Your constant whining about how much you're suffering, and your insistence on placing yourselves alongside history's most persecuted peoples, is a silly, fey joke that has ceased to be funny.

I guess as a selective literalist he can select to skip the "bear each other's burdens" part of what I was raised to understand was part of our call as Christians. And from venturing into Stand Firm Land for awhile now I know the "respect the dignity of every human being" part of the baptismal covenant the rest of us embrace is not part of the reasserter lexicon. I've quit wondering how ugly it can get over there -- but I do wonder a bit that I can still be surprised by the venom and polemic.

7 comments:

Jeffri said...

One wonders if Greg would aim the same criticism about whining, etc. at the many folks on his side of the aisle who say they are a persecuted minority in the Episcopal Church--some of whom have left.

Anonymous said...

One further wonders to what degree and Greg would whine if he and those who echo his position were truly bearing the same burden.

Given that they feel free to marry, and raise children, and have the State and the Church recognize, celebrate and protect their relationships, they have a very long way to go to be "bearing their brothers' (and sisters') burden.

Until the join the fast and cease to have sex, co-habitate, marry and /or serve in the episcopate, it will continue to be an unlevel playing field.

Greg, I'm happy to hand you my shoes, but I seriously doubt if you're up to walking in them.

Bruno said...

Mr Griffiths says
"The gay pity party has really got to stop. It has gone from silly, to ridiculous, and now to downright offensive, because it so arrogantly trivializes the true suffering for the faith that goes on around the world every day. Stop it. You're not being asked to pay any price the rest of us aren't being asked to pay. All that's being asked of you is what's being asked of us: That you read your Bible, acknowledge your sins, and meet us at the foot of the cross where we repent and ask for forgiveness. Your constant whining about how much you're suffering, and your insistence on placing yourselves alongside history's most persecuted peoples, is a silly, fey joke that has ceased to be funny."
I would agree, it is not funny, but it is his joke and short sitedness that is not funny keep reading the news... unfortunatly the news fails to talk about such crimes, because,, well you decide.

(Detroit, Michigan) Police in Detroit, Michigan and Bolder, Colorado say they have little evidence to go in two particularly vicious gay bashings - one that resulted in the death of a 72-year old Detroit man and the other that left a college student bruised and battered.
Andrew Anthos, 72, died Friday night in a Detroit hospital, after being beaten senseless in front of his own apartment building on Feb. 13.
Andrew Anthos was riding a city bus back to his apartment building when another male passenger asked him if he was gay. When Anthos got off the bus the man followed him and attacked him on the street in front of his apartment.
Anthos was repeatedly asked by the man if he were gay. He was beaten with a pipe and left on the sidewalk bleeding profusely. 
The attack left him paralyzed and barely able to speak.
..."The hatred and loathing that led to the vicious murder of Andrew Anthos only because he was gay is not innate," said Foreman. 
"Instead it is being taught every day by leaders of the so-called Christian right and their political allies who use their vast resources, media networks and affiliated pulpits to blame lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for all the ills of society. They disguise their bigotry as 'deeply-held religious beliefs. They cloak themselves in family values."
He added that "it is appalling hypocrisy for these forces to pretend that their venomous words and organizing have no connection to the plague of hate violence against gay people, including the murder of Mr. Anthos.
Meanwhile, in Boulder, Colorado more than 300 people held a march and rally to denounce an attack this week on a 21-year-old lesbian student from Naropa University. 
The marchers wore rainbow ribbons and carried signs that read "Hate is Socially Learned" and "Stop Pretending Boulder is Safe." 
The march ended outside Boulder's municipal building.
"This is not acceptable in Boulder. This is not acceptable in Colorado and this not acceptable in this country," Boulder Pride executive director Blake Weber told the crowd.
Boulder Mayor Mark Ruzzin called the attack a "shameful act." Ruzzin said the large turnout would help the young woman with her recovery.
The student, whose name is not being made public, was not able to attend the rally but she sent a statement that was read to the crowd thanking them.
...

Catherine + said...

The log is still firmly stuck in this man's eye. I forgive him his arrogance and ignorance; he would be singing a different tune if he were in the shoes of a gay brother or sister and crying out "How could I have been so blind as not to see the pain of my brothers and sisters! God forgive me, a poor sinner, a whitewashed sepulchre."

WaterBird said...

Actually, I agree with Greg. I have never treated anyone differently because of their sexual orientation, and I never will. I, too am a sinner. Among my numerous sins, I procrastinate. You don't see me whining because my boss doesn't accept my late projects. I also envy those who do not have to fight their weight. I envy those who have good health. (I'm fighting cancer) I also don't whine about how unfair it is because I've got to fight this disease, which, by the way, is genetically transmitted. Instead, I am glad to be alive and glad that I can shoulder this burden instead of my sister having to carry it.

What you are complaining of is peanuts compared to those who have given their lives for their faith. Grow up and wise up.

Anonymous said...

I must respectfully disagree with your statement that respecting the dignity of every human being is "not part of the reasserters lexicon".
I am an orthodox woman (not a white male) who has a gay niece and a daughter who has been living with a boyfriend for the last two years. Do I not love and respect them?? Of course not!! But it doesn't mean I think how they are living is not sinful. I myself have sins I struggle with. I just believe that none of us qualify to be bishops, or priests for that matter. I most certainly have love and respect for "every human being" and it is out of love and respect that I refuse to tell anyone that their sins are ok by God and that the Bible is outdated, ignore it.

uffda51 said...

Out of curiosity, I went visiting to “Stand Firm” land.

The “Stand Firm” logo proclaims, “Be loving in everything you do.”

Then I read the post entitled “Tears of the Clowns,” which references the “Rainbow Presence” initiative.

Hmm. Where did the love go?

This mean-spirited post, and most of the responses to it, see the LGBT concern for community and safety as something to be treated with mockery, sarcasm, and condescension.

Many of these same posters would adamantly have us believe that there is no bigotry within the Anglican Communion, but rather, just a lot of loving, neighborly folks, acting in the name of scripture and tradition.

The “insistence on placing yourselves (LGTBs) alongside history's most persecuted” criticism is off the mark. While the LGTB experience is not directly parallel to that of the blacks who endured slavery, lynching, segregation and Jim Crow laws (and I don’t believe anyone is claiming that it is), the group leading the persecution is exactly parallel: church-going, Bible-believing, God-fearing Christians, lovingly upholding their “traditional” values.

As a couple of others here have mentioned, the admonition to “walk a mile in another man’s moccasins” seems appropriate, but I imagine that suggestion, not being “scriptural,” might be rejected as heresy.