Sister Joan Chittister famously said, "We are each called to go through life reclaiming the planet an inch at a time until the Garden of Eden grows green again." Reflecting on that journey -- a blog at a time -- is the focus of this site.
... where I try to be really clear about what I'm clear about. For example:
Until we end the blatant and indefensible discrimination of DOMA we are not living up to the pledge we make to be a nation of liberty and justice for all, we are not providing the equal protection guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to same-sex couples and we are failing to defend the self-evident truth that our forbearers fought to protect: that ALL people are created equal.
Using "biblical standards" to condemn Episcopalians who understand that sexual orientation is morally neutral makes as much sense as using "biblical standards" to condemn astronomers who understand that the earth revolves around the sun. The Bible may have said it but that doesn't always settle it.
Thirteen and fifteen year olds are not 'adopting a lifestyle,' they're trying to have a life! They're trying to figure out who they are, who God created them to be and what on earth to do with this confusing bunch of sexual feelings that they're trying to get a handle on. They need role models for healthy relationships -- not judgment and the message that they're condemned to a life of loneliness, isolation and despair.
Choosing not to show up because you don't like the guest list and then looking for sympathy because you've been "excluded" is like killing your parents and then looking for sympathy because you're an orphan.
It's liberty and justice for all -- not some. It's respect the dignity of every human being -- not just straight ones. Got it? Great. Let's do it.
In order to keep moving forward toward liberty and justice for all we can't just be right about what the 1st Amendment protects. We have to be smart about how we respond to those who skipped the 9th Commandment and think lying is a Traditional Family Value.
Jesus said "Love your neighbor." Not "Love your neighbor unless your neighbor is gay."
A cradle Episcopalian second generation Dodger fan ENFJ native of Los Angeles I was ordained in 1996 and currently serve as a Senior Associate at All Saints Church, Pasadena.
Engaged to be married to my partner Lori in June 2014 my family consists of 3 dogs, (Luna,Juno, Betsy), 4 (yes 4!) cats (Baby, Maui, Cheorkee and Harold) and our four nearly-grown kids: Jim, Brian, Grace and Emily.
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. It’s been a long and winding road and the journey continues: an inch at a time.
Resolved, That we acknowledge that while the issues of human sexuality are not yet resolved, there are currently couples in the Body of Christ and in this Church who are living in marriage and couples in the Body of Christ and in this Church who are living in other life-long committed relationships; and be it further
Resolved, That we expect such relationships will be characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God.
A Comment On Comments
Strongly held perspectives are appreciated. Ad hominem attacks will be deleted. When in doubt, revisit page 305 of the BCP and if what you're typing doesn't meet the "respect the dignity" clause of the Baptismal Covenant then save us both some time and energy and don't hit "send."
This blog is the personal weblog of one Susan Lynn Russell. The opinions expressed herein are hers and hers alone. The postions taken on matters theological or political (or anything else, for that matter) are in no way to be construed as the official positions of any other person, institution, group or organization.
THE CONSTANT PROCESS
Information and updates on the short documentary film produced and directed by Douglas Hunter:
“Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"It's time for "tolerant" religious people to acknowledge the straight line between the official anti-gay theologies of their denominations and the deaths of these young people. Nothing short of changing our theology of human sexuality will save these young and precious lives." -- The Rt Rev Gene Robinson
"How can you initiate someone into the Body of Christ and then treat them like they’re half-assed baptized?" - The Rt Rev Barbara Harris
"Invite everyone to the eucharist. Those who come and share are Anglicans in communion. Those who don't or won't are something else. That should settle the property disagreements too." -- S. Huston
“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ~ Elie Wiesel, 1986 Nobel Peace Prize
"Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these." — Siddhārtha Gautama
"I'm so glad Mary didn't wait for the formulation of a Doctrine of the Incarnation before she said 'Yes' to God." -- Ed Bacon
"The great Easter truth is not that we will be born again someday but that we are to be alive here and now by the power of the resurrection." -- Philips Brooks (paraphrase)
"History belongs to the intercessors, who believe the future into being.” -- Walter Wink
“Patience, a quality of holiness may be sloth in the soul when associated with the lack of righteous indignation.” -- Abraham Heschel
"Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what difference it makes that you believe!" -- Verna Dozier
“We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief. Nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief. At the same time as our constitution prohibits state religion, establishment of it protects the free exercise of all religions. And walking this fine line requires government to be strictly neutral.” -- Ronald Reagan
Let's be clear. The fact that the State authorizes a marriage in no way compels any Church to perform or recognize it. As priests, we are entitled to refuse to perform any marriage for any reason. Roman Catholics routinely demonstrate this liberty when they refuse to perform marriages of divorced persons, even though the State allows them to do so. Similarly, they refuse to recognize marriages of non-Roman Catholics even though the State has issued a license. Political arguments against states allowing same-sex marriages and the federal government recognizing these marriages that claim it would violate the “sanctity” of marriage and force churches to do something contrary to their teaching or their conscience, are blatantly misleading and dishonest. Marriage equality merely guarantees equality under the law to all citizens; it does not compel churches to do anything.-- Katherine Ragsdale
“Faith in action is called politics,” said All Saints rector Ed Bacon explaining All Saints’ perspective. “Spirituality without action is fruitless and social action without spirituality is heartless. We are boldly political without being partisan. Having a partisan-free place to stand liberates the religious patriot to see clearly, speak courageously, and act daringly.”