"Voices of Witness: Out of the Box" debuted a week-ago-tomorrow and has already racked up over 3000 views on IntegriTV's YouTube Channel -- and is "in the mail" via DVD to every bishop and deputy to General Convention. And a study guide is Coming Soon to the Integrity website ... here's the page to bookmark.
If you've not watched it yet, of course you'll want to go right now and see for yourself. But first, check out what viewers are saying about the groundbreaking documentary giving voice to the witness of transgender Episcopalians:
Fiercely, beautifully, compelling. Enlightening and comforting to ALL of us who need to courageously live into our true selves, whoever that is and wherever that takes us. - Sharyn D, Los Angeles CAOf course, there are dissenting voices. (After all, this IS [a] America and [b] The Episcopal Church.) I was intrigued by one of those ... Kendall Harmon over at Titusonenine ... not because he has another perspective (which of course I expect) but the way he chose to frame this introduction to the piece on his blog.
Powerful, heartfelt and beautifully done. Thanks for this blessed gift. – Donna M, Pasadena CA
Someone at my parish told me during coffee hour today how much they loved this film and how proud it made them feel to be part of the Episcopal Church! I hope to share it widely here in Oregon, I think it might be especially useful for clergy.—Andy M, Portland OR
Just watched it -- so terribly impressed -- thanks to all who made this film possible -- As a form LCMS Minister of Education I was especially impressed with the priest who left the LCMS and who spoke so clearly about God's love for us all. – William R, Washington DC
Gripping, heart- wrenching, challenging.... Outstanding! – Ann R, Alexandria VA
Moving, thoughtful, and the humanity of transgender people shines through every frame. This is a wonderful tool to educate all about a subject that is so misunderstood and feared. Great work!!! -- Bill B, Los Angeles CA
And as seen on twitter: "awesome, inspiring, powerful, needed, feeling called to replicate this in Jamaica."
Entitled A new Video on Transgenderism put together by TEC Reappraisers to be shown at G. Convention 2012 he introduces the discussion with this disclaimer:
This is an important video because it represents the prevailing theology among the TEC elite. It is something you need to be aware of as illustrated by the fact that it is planning on being screened at General Convention 2012, and that it contains two members of the House of Bishops in its content. You, however, need to make your own decisions about whether to view it since the theology advocated will cause major dissonance--KSH.Wow! Just "Wow!"You'd think after all these years I'd be past the point of being flummoxed what comes from the Titusonenine side the aisle but I have to admit -- they got me again! Seriously.
The idea that theological "dissonance" requires what amounts to A Warning Label is ironically antithetical to just about everything I was raised to understand was uniquely Anglican about being Anglican -- especially the gifted ability to hold in tension seemingly irreconcilable "dissonances" -- Protestant/Catholic come to mind just for starters.
Try as I may to wrap my brain around what lies behind a disclaimer that urges caution in viewing an alternative theological perspective 'since the theology advocated will cause major dissonance' all I can come up with is Henri Nouwen's "house of fear." Dissonance (according to Merriam Webster) is defined as
1 : lack of agreement;
2 : a clashing or unresolved musical interval or chord
So if there's no place for lack of agreement in conversation with each other there's no actual conversation. And if there's no place for clashing or unresolved musical intervals or chords then there's no actual music. Or at least nothing I'd consider worth listening to.
Isn't the "dissonance" of the voices of those with whom we disagree most often the ones who challenge us to grow and change? And aren't the "dissonances" of clashing or unresolved musical intervals exactly what make great musical moments great?
Of course I could go on and on but I have other work to get to and -- at the end of the day -- I guess I've talked myself out of being flummoxed. Kendall represents a cadre of folks -- bless their hearts -- whose criterion for being included is being agreed with. We've lived in that tension -- that dissonance -- for years and now that the Episcopal Church has pretty definitively come down on the side of historic Anglican comprehensiveness our mission is to move forward with those who are ready to claim, proclaim and celebrate that. And if others can't live with the "dissonance" then there it is.
Nevertheless, it (dare I say it?) .... Makes the Heart Sad.