WOW, I thought! Now that's progress ... until I read the bishop's "pastoral letter" which raised the bar on self-righteous condescension:
The Rite approved by General Convention in July of this year failed, in my judgment, to plainly distinguish between Holy Matrimony and a Blessing. The enabling resolution for the Rite that was passed, however, provided Diocesan Bishops with the ability to "adapt" the Rite for use in their respective dioceses. I had hoped the language would have authorized something more expansive than "adaption," but that did not happen. So, we must work within the structures of what the Church has decided. None of this is perfect. We all look "through a glass darkly," as St Paul reminds us. I am unconcerned by what is politically, socially, or culturally expedient, or what will be the majority opinion. I am concerned with doing what is right in the eyes of God.The Bishop of Georgia then goes on to offer an "adapted rite" that the Bishop of New Hampshire describes as a "substitute" that is "deplorable, weak and unacceptable."
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Let's not do political, societal or cultural ... let's do Bible. Jesus did not send the Syrophoenician woman away with crumbs from under the table – he healed her daughter. And yet that’s what the Bishop of Georgia offers the LGBT baptized in his diocese – crumbs from under the table rather than the rite for blessing authorized by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Methinks the Bishop of Georgia’s concern about “doing what is right in the eyes of God” would be well served by doing a little remedial reading on the work and witness of the Radical Rabbi of Nazareth.
My heart aches for those who will receive from these cavalier and condescending crumbs offered by this “pastoral letter” another slap in the face from the institutional church rather than a welcoming embrace by the Body of Christ. By offering this pathetic substitute -- which the Bishop of New Hampshire has called “deplorable, weak and unacceptable” -- the Bishop of Georgia has perpetuated the heresy that LGBT people have some kind of second-class baptism that entitles them to only a percentage of the sacraments.
Having the “right” as bishop diocesan to make this choice does not make it the right choice – for the proclamation of the gospel or for the LGBT people in his pastoral care -- and it is precisely an act like this that draws into sharp relief how much work there still is to do to make the 1976 promise of “full and equal claim” to the LGBT baptized a reality and not just a resolution in the Episcopal Church.