Friday, November 07, 2008

Pastoral Letter from All Saints Church Rector Ed Bacon

On Tuesday, our nation and world experienced a momentous and decisive shift away from the politics of fear and domination toward a new day of cooperation, interdependence and hope. During our liturgies Sunday, we will joyfully mark the beginning of a new day for this nation and the world, reflecting on the tasks at hand for us at All Saints, a community whose mission is to make love tangible and to help turn the human race into the human family.

While we have a renewed sense of hope and resolve, we at All Saints are also deeply disturbed, angered, saddened and embarrassed by the passing of Proposition 8, an attempt to revise our State’s Constitution to be a document of discrimination against an entire class of citizens. How immoral to use the State Constitution to deprive some citizens of their human rights instead of guaranteeing human rights for all! The proponents of Proposition 8 seem to be callously unaware of the abusive impact on lesbian and gay citizens and their allies when California votes to give rights to poultry and take them away from human beings.

What is particularly shameful about Proposition 8’s victory Tuesday is that so many religious people promoted it using a distorted interpretation of Scripture. Jesus himself reversed many Biblical guidelines when they were not aligned with the central admonition of Scripture to love your neighbor as yourself. Not everything in the Bible is Godly, moral, or Constitutional (Jacob’s defining marriage as between one man and two women Genesis 29: 17-28; stoning rebellious children Deuteronomy 21: 18-21; killing those who work on the Sabbath -- Exodus 31: 14-15; eating shellfish seen as an abomination Lev. 11:10). The separation of Church and State prevents religious oppression as well as writing the Bible into the Constitution particularly discriminatory interpretations of Scripture.

So what will we do at All Saints? We will be of good courage, hold fast to that which is good, help the afflicted, and honor all persons. We will continue to work passionately and tirelessly for equality, freedom, and justice for all. We will continue to bless same-gender unions until we can once again legally celebrate same-gender weddings. We will fight to make sure that although in this election Proposition 8 passed, it will not succeed.

President-elect Obama on Tuesday night spoke words resonant of Dr. King’s. He reminded us encouragingly of what can be achieved when people who are not cynical, fearful, and doubtful put “their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.” That characterizes the DNA of All Saints people. Come to church Sunday where we will recommit ourselves to doing our part to help the long arc of the universe continue to bend toward justice.

Yours in Love,
The Reverend J. Edwin Bacon, Rector
All Saints Church, Pasadena


Cany said...

It really pisses me off, Susan, that you actually posted against Prop 2 in this way through this post. It is disgraceful.

TEC has a campaign and a mission for animals.

I am really, really angry that he put it in this way.

These are NOT apples and orages. They are all apples.


I voted for Prop 2.

I support the SPCA and the Humane Society.

And the impact of the Nov 4th election was a message that they live in a state where the rights of animals are -- for a majority of California -- more important than the rights of same sex couples.

Yes, they're all apples. Ed didn't say they weren't. What he said was some of the apples are feeling like the election made them into applesauce.

And he's right.