Tuesday, January 08, 2008

"Here I Stand" -- by Howard Anderson

You'll want to read all of Howard Anderson's essay, just posted over at Episcopal Cafe ... but here's a snippet to get you started:


The tolerance of the majority of General Convention Deputies who have voted strongly for full inclusion of GLBT members of our Church in all orders of ministry, has been used against us. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

So, shame on me. Shame on me for tolerating evil. Dr. [Marilyn] Adams points out sharply
in her paper that homophobia of the type exhibited by some of the sex and gender conservatives, most particularly, Archbishop Akinola who is advocating Nigerian legislation that would criminalize merely being homosexual, is evil. Period! Evil!

Strong words, but who can deny their truth? Adams says “homophobia is a socially constructed sin, one that is built into us as part of our socialization.” She calls boldly for us to root this sin out of the institution and our hearts. Amen! Preach it sister! I am convicted. This sin of homophobia is both institutional sin (sin done in our name) and personal, (those things I have done, and left undone.)

And so I confess that I have been guilty of poor discernment, often sacrificing justice, and following Christ in breaking down the walls of prejudice, in order to keep peace in the family. I confess that I have sometimes allowed others to talk me into “toning it down,” and not pushing the agenda of inclusion of all the baptized quite so hard, so I would leave a place for sex and gender conservatives to stand.

I confess this, and I know there are many whom I love and respect that have succumbed to this same demand to “slow down so that the rest will catch up” when it comes to the full inclusion of GLBT members of TEC. I have spoken out, but mainly in safe places where most people agree with me. And so I repent, and speak it here for all to see. I have been guilty of the sin of cowardice in not doing more to root out the sin of homophobia in the Church.

Bravo, Howard! Bravo!

1 comment:

Hiram said...

The article says, "Archbishop Akinola ... is advocating Nigerian legislation that would criminalize merely being homosexual..."

I read the legislation in question last summer. It does not criminalize being homosexual. No one is to be arrested or imprisoned on the basis of their being sexually attracted to members of their own sex.

However, advocating the acceptance of homosexual behavior and working toward such acceptance would be illegal. That is indeed a very restrictive stance, and it appears dreadful to we who are used to almost limitless freedom of speech.

I think that the proposed Nigerian legislation is too restrictive -- but it does NOT criminalize simply having an attraction to members of one's own sex. It criminalizes actions, not an emotional proclivity.