Remember the oft quoted WWII cautionary -- "First they came for the Jews ... ?" I've heard it a lot in the last few years as the pressure has mounted on the American Episcopal Church to sacrifice its LGBT members on the altar of ecclesial unity, only it's been reframed to "First they came for the gays, then they came for the women ..."
Paranoia? A friend and mentor gave me these sage words of advice many years ago, "Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you" -- advice I remembered this morning when I read Peter Toon's recent advice to the Communion At Large: "Women's Ordination in the context of human rights."
I guess I should be comforted that his opposition to the ordination of women is "not because women are evil and men are good, but because to ordain women is to set aside God's will in creation and in the new covenant that man is male and female, in that order." But I'm not.
I'm reminded once again that the challenges we face in the Episcopal Church are about power and privilege and patriarchy and the witness we have to offer of a church striving to fully include ALL of the baptized into the Body of Christ has perhaps never been more critical than it is right now.
If we fail to live up to that high calling -- if we count the cost of discipleship too high to pay and choose institutional unity over prophetic witness by abandoning the LBGT baptized -- then we should not be surprised at whose vocations and ministries will next be the target of "communion-at-any-price."
The cost of discipleship is high -- but not as high as the cost of capitulation.