An excerpt from Michael Hopkins' blog, From Glory to Glory:
Having just stated the ways in which they feel the Church must continue to violate our dignity (how, in our tradition, could withholding the public celebration of our relationships and prohibiting our share in all aspects of the church’s ministry be thought of as anything other than a violation of our dignity?), the bishops then promise to oppose violating our dignity. That violates our dignity.
We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God's children, including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ's Church.
But we are not full participants in the life of the church. You yourselves have just said so.This gap between word and deed, reality and wishful thinking, is untenable. It is monstrous in how easily it seems to have been perpetrated. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! Wishful thinking is reality because we say so!
Two sentences would have been a balm in the form of some sense of honesty and compassion.
To the first sentence quoted above could have been added, “We believe this journey we are on as a Communion is itself a journey toward making that dignity a reality in our own midst."
And to the second, "We offer our profound apology to our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers that we continue to fall short of this Gospel."
That's it. You see, the gift lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons have been giving the church for the past thirty five years is honesty. It is something that the church has always struggled to keep at the heart of its message and mission. This has never been a surprise because honesty is hard for religious people who want to believe they can make themselves right, convincing God to love them. Jesus taught us that.
The church has had a tough time admitting it is a flawed, human institution and therefore solely dependent on Gods’ grace for its very existence, much less its salvation.We have been trying to teach you that honesty is the most painful thing in the world,and the only thing that can save us, because dishonesty is fundamentally the spiritual denial of grace itself.
Honesty is the balm in Gilead.
Please stop telling us things you think you want us to hear and start telling us,yourselves, and the world the truth. It really will set us all free.
But hear this clearly, a dishonest church is a dying church. Where there is no balm,the people perish. A word of truth and a word of compassion will not only be our comfort. It will be our resurrection.