Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's Called "CLERGY CALL"

I was invited to write a piece for "Walking With Integrity" about the upcoming HRC Clergy Call event and figured I'd go ahead and post it here as well ... the more the merrier!

Again this spring the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is mobilizing to field a great cloud of witnesses from across the country to descend en masse on our nation's capital for two days of teaching, training and lobbying. It's called "Clergy Call" -- and as a founding member of the HRC Religion & Faith Council I'm delighted to once again be making plans to be among those who will gather in Washington DC to proclaim God's love, justice and compassion (in general) and to lobby for justice for LGBT Americans (in specific.)

I'm looking forward to being able to network with clergy from all over the country as we learn from some of the best political strategists in the business about how our voices can help turn the tide on securing marriage equality, ending employment discrimination and continuing to move forward on issues that impact the LGBT community.

In 2007 here was what we looked like at our "photo op" in front of the Capitol before we headed off to pay calls on our representatives and senators.

Episcopal clergy included the Revs Kate Lewis and Pat Hendrickson ...

... and me:

In 2009 we were back again ...

... with a crowd that included another great cloud of Episcopal witnesses:

And now we're gearing up for Clergy Call 2011. Let's make this the "best ever" turnout of Episcopal clergy for what I know will be another grand opportunity to put our faith into action on behalf of LGBT justice.
  • Clergy folk: check your calendar, visit the HRC website and make your plans now to be in Washington in May.

  • Lay folk: talk to your clergy, encourage them to attend, volunteer to water their plants or feed their cat or walk their dog so they can come.

  • EVERYBODY: give thanks for the work and witness of these voices who have helped move LGBT justice forward in the public arena ... for progress on marriage equality, for an inclusive Hate Crimes law and for the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. And keep the prayers and support coming as we work for an inclusive ENDA, the repeal of DOMA, Just Immigration Reform and ... well, "thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven."
Ready. Set. GO!


Martin T. said...

Not all Epicopalians agree with this so it's only fair if they only represent themselves and not the Church as a whole.


Actually, Martin, all the issues we're lobbying for on Capitol Hill have the support of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church ... the only body that speaks "for the whole church."

We may still be working out some of the sacramental details but equal access to the proctections of civil marriage, employment non-discrimination and just immigration reform are all issues "the church" has spoken out on in one resolution or the other over time.

Martin T. said...

I'm sure if the GC actually had
"the whole church" voting, no way would we be going in this direction. The GC doesn't represent me and I'm quite sure, a nice size of other laymen and ordained on these matters. I guess we are indeed the Church of the General Convention.


For heaven's sake, Martin ... that's like saying Congress doesn't "represent you." Did you never study the polity of the church you belong to? It's called "representative governance" ... and we elect diocesan convention delegates who elect General Convention deputies who make decisions on behalf of the whole church when they meet every three years.

If you want some remedial reading suggestions let me know and I'll point you in the right direction.

Evan said...

Martin, the General Convention is, if I am not mistaken, composed mainly of representatives chosen by laypeople. Or have you never heard of virtual representation?

I can't help but wonder whether you'd say the same thing about the GC not representing "the whole church" if its resolutions were what YOU wanted?

Martin T. said...

Yes Susan, I know how it goes. I don't need any remedial reading material from you or my own priests. I know the process of choosing these representatives and it's a dirty one, just as dirty as congress. And yes, when it comes to some of the decisions made in DC, they don't represent me either. Thank you.

Evan said...

I can't help but wonder, Martin, if you'd say the same thing about the GC not representing "the whole church" if it was voting the way YOU wanted?

It's called virtual representation. Deal with it. As Susan said, the GC is made up of delegates elected by laypeople. How exactly is that not "representative" of the church?

Martin T. said...

I've been dealing with it Evan. I haven't left yet,have I? I'm still here, holding my nose and gagging but I'm still here.

Evan said...

Apologies for the double comment.


"Holding you nose and gagging?"

Bless your heart ... that hardly sounds like the "life abundant" Jesus lived and died for and calls us to.

Martin T. said...

Jesus died for our sins so we wouldn't die a second death,not so that we kick everything we ever known to be righteous in the spine.

Muthah+ said...


What are the dates for the Call?


May 22-24

JCF said...

Jesus died for our sins so we wouldn't die a second death, not so that we kick everything we ever known to be righteous in the spine.


Not all Epicopalians agree with this so it's only fair if they only represent themselves and not the Church as a whole.


So our democratically-elected GC "we" is illegitimate, but YOUR "we", Martin T, isn't just your own opinion, but The-Faith-Once-Delivered-for-2000-Years-and-Clouds-of-Heavenly-Witnesses?

I repeat my question of the thread below: wouldn't you really be happier as a (Anglican Use) Roman Catholic, Martin T? No GC for you to argue with there! With Rome, there's a democracy of precisely *1*, the Supreme Roman Pontiff. No muss, no fuss!

Why not try it? For YOUR spiritual health, Martin T?

Martin T. said...

JCF, that isn't an opinion for me. I believe the RCC is in a worse state of affairs than we are wouldn't you agree, or are you just trying to get rid of me. TEC is out of step, but the RCC is off the cliff.

JCF said...

I believe the RCC is in a worse state of affairs than we are wouldn't you agree

Well, they are from MY perspective. But your perspective and my perspective are very different things. For you, the RCC's "state of affairs," while beset by human sin (as are all human institutions), still might approve a far more wholesome spiritual home, FOR you.

I know you probably don't believe me, but I really am trying to think positively for your spiritual life (I mean, what's in it for me, if you become an RC? It's not like you're going to be any LESS anti-LGBT there, are you? You'll actually have a bishop COMMANDING you to vote against my rights! You'll be told it's a MORTAL SIN to vote in favor of marriage equality! You'll become a member of a far more effective organization, at outlawing my love . . . and yet I still think you might be happier there, so I think perhaps you should at least check it out. Enroll in RCIA, and see if it's for you. It couldn't

Martin T. said...

JCF, check my other post on the other thread. I wouldn't fit in there either. I don't need a clergyman to tell me how to vote or how to feel, thank you.

Martin T. said...

I'd much rather stay unlike those who took the BoR's and Duncan's deal and remain a thorn in your side than to just pack up and go,JCF.


So it's the David Anderson "I stay because I like a good fight" argument.

(CNN trascrip link below in case you missed it ...)

Martin T. said...

Ok Susan lets get this straight, it's not about "fighting". TEC is my home and I have the right to remain, even with my views and knowing that I will never agree with what is going on here. That is what I mean by the thorn in his side. Even if you get what you want, in many eyes you will never be equal, perhaps on paper and paper alone of course. But never accepted. That is what keeps me going.

it's margaret said...

Susan --the link doesn't work. But I hope to see you there in May.


Fixed. Thanks!!

IT said...

At last, the truth.

This is a breathtaking admission, from Martin T:
Even if you get what you want, in many eyes you will never be equal, perhaps on paper and paper alone of course. But never accepted. That is what keeps me going.

Who has admitted that his goal is to be sure that faithful, loving gay people are never accepted, always cast out, exiled, and unwanted.

What a sad, sad man, driven by the need to exclude.

WWJD, indeed?

Martin T. said...

IT, I'm not sad, it's just the truth. The state and the federal government can create and change whatever laws they may. But changing/creating man-made laws doesn't change natural law. Those "partnerships" if you will, will never be looked at as equal by the majority of the Christian community or the world. I'm not driven by anything but the truth. You can't pass a law to make people accept you. Are you going to sit there,IT, and tell me you can??


"You can't pass a law to make people accept you."

No, no you can't.

Brown vs. Board of Education didn't make anybody "accept" African American children as equal but it did set a context where it was illegal to act on racism.

Adding gender to non-discrimination legislation didn't make anybody accept that women were entitled to equal rights, but it made it illegal to act on sexism.

And in the church -- passing legislation in 1976 didn't make anybody accept that women not only can be but "are" priests.

And at the end of the day ... believe it or not ... nobody really cares whether you "accept" any of that or not. What we care about is that the world has changed enough that you don't have the power to use your prejudice to exclude other created equal children of God from the same rights and responsibilities you have.

The freedom train is a movin' on to Jordan. And you can either get on board or get outta the way. But we're bound for glory.

Martin T. said...

You can't compare going to bed with someone of the same gender to being a particular race or gender. And it does indeed matter, ask IT. It seems to be more about "being included" than getting the rights. Isn't that what you really want? By the way Susan, and you should already know this as someone who was one is entitled or has a right to the sacraments. No one.


And you, my friend, cannot reduce the complexities, depth, beauty and wonder of marriage to "going to bed with somebody." Anyone who thinks marriage is "all about sex" hasn't been married.

And no ... no individual has the "right" to ordination ... it is a vocation discerned by both the individual and community. But we have moved past the point where a catgory of people have been excluded from responding to God's call because of gender or orientation. And not everybody "approves." And that's not the point.

Martin T. said...

You're absolutely right,Susan. Marriage, as understood by the larger Christian community as being between one man and one woman (not fringe groups who got tired of following the same guidelines and took over the Church), including as written in our BCP isn't "all about sex". So you personally Susan could care less about approval and just want the legal rights, is that correct? Because a lot of your group, including Gene Robinson are calling for much more than that. Do you disagree with him?

IT said...

Martin T, I don't care a fig whether YOU accept me or not.

We don't force racists to like people of other races. But they can't use the government to impose their bias against them.

But that the thing that "keeps you going" is ensuring other people are never accepted... that's pathetic.


Why do you care what other people think? What's it to you?

And what's sad is you think that kind of thing makes your God happy.

Don't you have anything more important to worry about?


Bless your heart, Martin. Do you actually READ any of the stuff I post on this blog or just react to what you think it says?

I believe the arc of history bends toward justice. I believe part of God's justice is making the corporate face of God's love equally available to all people. I believe that the kingdom will be closer to coming when we've moved beyond racism, sexism, heterosexism and all the "isms" that divide us as a human family. AND I believe it's a "both/and" not an "either/or" in the changing-hearts-and-minds process and the getting-votes-to-secure-legislative-progress process. We're all in this for the long haul. And when I look at the progress that has been made in just the last few years I can't help but be DEEPLY encouraged ... and more committed than ever to stay the course and continue to work to bend that arc toward justice.

Martin T. said...

Ok IT, let me clarify, because I'm not on a mission to ensure anything. I don't go through my days and nights caring about what other people think first of all. What keeps me going is there are still people out there, no matter what laws change or get created (or not) is that there will still be some people in this world who would still refuse to call what is evil 'good' and what is good 'evil'. I hope that clears that up. So get off your wishful thinking wagon, I didn't say anything groundbreaking.

Susan, you didn't answer my question. Is it affirmation of the world/Christian community that you are after or just the rights? Because let me tell you, the way that you guys went about these episcopate elections and these GC resolutions, I believe you guys lost by a long shot when it comes to "changing hearts and minds". If anything, you made it that much worse. Look out beyond the All Saints bubble and see what people think and say about this.


Here's your answer, Martin ...

... and, just for the record, I recognize what a "blessed bubble" I live in by being part of the All Saints community. It's what feeds, empowers and enables me to keep going back out into the world to do the work. And it's been a great place to observe the paradigm shift toward inclusion taking place during our lifetimes. What was once unthinkable ... except for "bubb;es" like All Saints is now part of the wider work and witness of the Episcopal Church. Bishop Parsley thanking Integrity in his retirment address. A woman presiding bishop. The Diocese of San Joaquin convening an equality comission. It's a brave new world. Let us rejoice and be glad in it ... and then get back to work on it!