"Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night,
and give your angels charge over those who occupy."
photos by: Kristin Bedford
and give your angels charge over those who occupy."
photos by: Kristin Bedford
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.
On this date in 1978 (33 years ago), Mayor George Moscone and councilman Harvey Milk -- one of the most prominent national leaders in the legal protection for gay and lesbian citizens -- were murdered in city hall in San Francisco. The murderer's defense was dubbed "Twinkie Defense:" he'd eaten too much junk food and that's why he planned and carried out the murders. The jury bought the defense, And 33 years later, we have not yet reached the goal of equal protection under the Constitution for all Americans.And yet, Hope Will Never Be Silent.
"We're especially grateful for the Americans who defend our country overseas," Obama said in his Thanksgiving Day address. "To all the service members eating Thanksgiving dinner far from your families, the American people are thinking of you today."He gave thanks for pilgrims, pioneers and patriots. He talked about the many blessings we share as Americans. And he thanked those who were stepping up to help neighbors in need ... in shelters and soup kitchens ... modeling a sense of mutual responsiblity that (in his words) shows that we "are our brother's keeper ... we are our sister's keeper."
President Obama ripped by GOPers for leaving out God in his Thanksgiving speech(Seriously -- this is all it takes these days to get Crabby Conservative Christian panties in a wad?)
-- New York Daily News
Obama criticized for Thanksgiving remarks omitting God -- L.A. Times
And then there was Fox News columnist Todd Starnes who complained that the president's "remarks were void of any religious references although Thanksgiving is a holiday traditionally steeped in giving thanks and praise to God."
Matthew 7:21: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.And if that doesn't do it, then take two Micah 6:8s and a Matthew 25:40 ... and DON'T call me in the morning. Go feed somebody who's hungry or donate some clothes to the shelter or visit a shut-in.
Conservatives are criticizing President Obama for not mentioning God in his weekly Internet address, which was about Thanksgiving. The President did, however, mention God in his Thanksgiving Proclamation. Sadly, for Republicans, neither of the top two GOP front runners mentioned God in their Thanksgiving statements. Oops.
I am profoundly struck, however, by the parallels between the Occupy movement and Jesus’ band of homeless wanderers ... The covenant renewal possibilities around here are mostly about breaking down dividing walls – dividing walls between ourselves and God, between us and all sorts and conditions of fellow human beings, and between ourselves and the rest of creation. Once again live in right relationship, well fed, healed, and at peace, the reign of God will indeed be here in its fullness.Thanks to my friend Jason Samuel for sending the link to this sermon preached by our Presiding Bishop at the Diocesan Convention held in St. Louis last week: a really great job of weaving the challenge the Occupy Movement is making to the powers and principalities of our culture with the challenge the radical rabbi from Nazareth made to his. It seemed to me particularly relevant reading on this cusp between Black Friday and the First Sunday of Advent.
“Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’” It seems to me that most of these bands of campers have done just that. “Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house.” The Occupiers have shared food, cared for each other, and challenged the rest of us about justice in the size of paychecks. Now those who have been evicted are struggling with how to continue their global demonstration.Read the rest here ... and give thanks for the gift of bishops who lead and colleagues who forward!
We have the same challenge in the Church – both in presenting the good news we have to share, and in how best to do it. Our old settled tradition of staying put in church and waiting for others to come to us doesn’t work so well with younger generations or the unchurched. Our message remains the same as it always has, but we need new ways of telling it and showing an effective response to the hungry outside our doors.
What does Jesus tell his band of wanderers? He sends the 70 out two by two to every city where he plans to go himself. He SENDS them OUT. That’s where our word “mission” comes from. When they arrive in the mission field, they’re supposed to find some place that’s interested in hearing what they have to say, and then stay long enough to build some community and have an effective conversation. They’re supposed to start with good news of peace, and then share food, heal the sick, and tell about the coming reign of God.
Our fall-back habits are rather different. For centuries we’ve depended on an established pattern of building beautiful churches and expecting that people will know where to find good news. That’s not quite the same as what Jesus told those 70 missionaries. Nor is the news that’s always proclaimed. We’ve often heard supposed Christians start out with words of damnation rather than peace – listen up, believe right, or you’re going to hell! And most of us still tend to think that a bit of bread and a sip of wine is the only meal that’s really needed, and that an hour on Sunday morning is enough to build the reign of God.
The leftovers are in the tupperware in the fridge; the turkey stock is simmering on the stove; the football game marathon continues; and as we R&R our way through Thanksgiving Weekend we're also on Countdown to Advent as we prepare to ring in a New Church Year on Sunday.I first learned from Herbert O'Driscoll that Church vocabulary in the Middle Ages had two different Latin words for the future: futurus and adventus.
Looking ahead to Advent, here's what Bishop Mary Glasspool wrote in her "Unofficial Letter Volume I, Number 22 November 25, 2011:"
One Apostolic advertisement for adventus goes like this: "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor human heart even conceived, that what God has coming from the future toward those who trust him." I Cor. 2:9 But can anything so unconceivable be described at all, if it is so radically brand new? Paul answers yes. It is grounded in the Jesus story.Another thing to give thanks for this Thanksgiving weekend -- The adventus of Advent.
•Pick up the free-range turkey we ordered last week from the meat market.And there you have it: The Thanksgiving Gay Agenda revealed.
•Make sure the guest room is ready for our son Jamie, who is arriving home for his first Thanksgiving as a veteran (15 months in Iraq and a tour in Afghanistan.)
•Stuff the turkey, bake the pies and chill the white wine.
•Set the table with Louise's grandmother's china and Susan's mom's tablecloth, and make sure there aren't any water spots on the wine glasses.
•Welcome friends and family. Give thanks for all we have received, and ask God to keep us mindful of and responsive to the needs of others.
•Eat some turkey. Have some pie. Watch some football. Tell some stories. Argue about some politics.
•Call Louise's Uncle Joe in Denver and Susan's Uncle Don and Aunt Shirley in Florida. Eat some more turkey.
•Polish off some more pie. Complain because we've eaten too much. Again. And then make a turkey sandwich for the road.
Super Soul Sunday News! On Sunday, November 20, 2011, we will be airing The Oprah Winfrey Show: When Life Breaks You Open featuring Ed Bacon, Elizabeth Lesser and Michael BeckwithAh, yes. We remember it well. Ed described it in a recent Huffington Post blog:
As a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show in January 2009, I said, "Being gay is a gift from God." Those seven words -- spoken to a call-in viewer from Atlanta -- set off a ripple of response that lit up Oprah's switchboard, almost crashed our parish email server and continues to bring people toward us here at All Saints Church in Pasadena. And that moment continues to be for me an iconic example of how important it is for people of faith to confront discrimination against our LGBT brothers and sisters by standing up and by speaking out.So if you missed it the first time -- or you just want to watch it again -- then tune in (or "TIVO on") to "Super Soul Sunday" on OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network) on Sunday morning between 8-11am ... details here ... and check it out!
While today’s ruling from the California Supreme Court is disappointing, the good news is that the Perry case is now back in federal court, where we expect a quick victory. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that today’s ruling addresses only a procedural legal question. The key issue in this case is whether the U.S. Constitution permits a state electorate to treat one group of people unequally to everyone else by depriving them of what the state’s high court has held to be a fundamental right. A federal court has already ruled that the federal Constitution prohibits the voters from doing that and that Prop. 8 therefore is unconstitutional. We look forward to seeing that decision upheld so that same-sex couples in California may once again enjoy the freedom to marry.I also could NOT agree more with Rick Jacobs from the Courage Campaign who wrote (also in an email:)
In addition, today’s ruling does not settle the federal law question of whether Prop 8 proponents have standing in federal court. It remains up to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to decide whether or not the U.S. Constitution allows initiative proponents to defend a challenge to the measure the proponents supported when elected state officials don’t. Regardless of today’s decision, we at Lambda Legal believe that the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that initiative proponents don’t have that right.
In the end, the proponents of Prop. 8 are just people with an opinion. That does not make them entitled to stand in for the government when they don’t agree with its decisions. We believe the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit should rule that Prop. 8′s proponents lack standing under federal law and, if the judges who originally heard the appeal rule otherwise, that the full Ninth Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court should rule that initiative proponents are not entitled to take over the government’s role.
Even if the federal courts find that the proponents have the right to appeal, we continue to believe that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional and that the appellate courts will agree. As Judge Walker ruled, there is not even a legitimate government interest in denying same-sex couples access to the title and status of marriage when the state provides them all of the rights, benefits, and duties afforded different-sex couples through marriage.
Prop. 8′s only purpose was to send the message that the same-sex couples don’t deserve to be seen as equal to different-sex couples and that message is one the federal Constitution prohibits. That is especially so when, as here, the state supreme court has ruled that denial of access to marriage violated the state’s guarantee of equal protection.
What Prop. 8 did was amend the California Constitution’s equal protection clause to create a gay exception and provide that all people in the state have equal rights except for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. That too is something the U.S. Constitution does not allow.
We therefore remain very optimistic that, one way or another, Prop. 8 will eventually be overturned.
"Allowing any random, unelected, unaccountable website like ProtectMarriage.com to represent the entire state of California in court will turn California from a democracy to a mob-ocracy. We can’t have it." -- Rick Jacobs, Courage CampaignAnd here's my own statement ... for what it's worth:
While disappointed in today's ruling giving legal standing to an unelected, un-appointed mob committed to taking away fundamental rights from LGBT Californians, more important than today's decision that they have the right to appeal is the decision they're appealing. And that decision is Judge Walker's ruling that taking fundamental rights away from equally protected American citizens is fundamentally unconstitutional.
The Prop 8 challenge isn't a "gay" issue -- it's a fundamentally American issue.
We are a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all -- not just some -- are created equal. Equal protection isn't equal protection unless it equally protects all Americans. And it is fundamentally unconstitutional to put the fundamental rights of American citizens up to a "majority rules" vote. Judge Walker was right. It's time to put Prop 8 in the dustbin of history along with DADT and become the nation we say we are -- to make liberty and justice for all a reality and not just a pledge.
And as a priest and pastor let me be perfectly clear: The issue before the courts isn't whether God equally blesses same-sex marriage -- the issue is whether the Constitution equally protects them. And the answer -- in alignment with the traditional American values of democracy -- not "mob-ocracy" -- must be a resounding YES!
Reports out of Washington are now indicating that – just a week after forcing a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) through the Judiciary Committee on a party line vote – Senator Diane Feinstein, Senate Judiciary Chair Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Majority Leader Harry Reid may now attach the DOMA repeal bill to the 2012 Defense Authorization bill, a bill that must be passed in order to fund our servicemen and women through the next year.Is it true? Not according to "our" Washington sources. From the Courage Campaign:
Reports out of Washington” = making stuff up. Notice they didn’t cite any source. Beyond that, Courage Campaign and its members have been working on the Respect for Marriage Act since it was introduced in March, and our Senate allies tell us there are no plans to do so. Our friends at HRC confirmed. It’s just false. And sad.There may be no fire behind the smoke NOM is blowing on this one but two things are clear:
One is that we have committed supporters in Senators Feinstein & Leahy and they are going to keep at it until DOMA is in the same dustbin of history as DADT.Anyway, stay tuned. With DOMA repeal in the air in Washington and "The Supremes" ready to rule on Prop 8 here in CA it looks like a busy time for marriage equality.
The other is that this is another great example of how little regard these so-called defenders of Traditional Biblical Values have for the Traditional Biblical Value of Telling The Truth.
1 - constitutionality of Prop 8Rather than immediately rule on those arguments, the 9th Circuit decided to kick the ball over to the California Supreme Court on the issue of standing, asking an important question:
2 - whether the proponents of Prop 8 (ProtectMarriage.com, et al) even have standing to appeal when CA Governor and Attorney General Harris decline to do so.
Do proponents of ballot initiatives in California — in this case, those who collected signatures and raised money and helped pass the initiative — have the authority to represent the state when the state’s public officials decline to defend the initiative?If ultimately the answer is NO then Prop 8 goes without a defendant and our side (the plaintiffs) win and Prop 8 ends and marriage equality is restored to the State of California.
It’s important to note that tomorrow’s opinion, while influential, is more of a “hey 9th Circuit, here’s what we think about your question.” It’s not a binding decision per se. That said, many legal observers believe that the 9th Circuit will follow what the California Supreme Court decides on standing. The issue of whether Prop 8 is constitutional is another question.From there, the ruling can be appealed to the full 9th Circuit en banc, and of course the Supreme Court, both of which may or may not take up the case.So there you have it. Hope you found it as helpful as I did. For updates tomorrow follow @equalityontrial on twitter.
Over at Huffington Post, a pastor at the First Universalist Church of We Believe in Nothing (I actually made up that name) wrote a thank-you letter to Ms. Kardashian for making it obvious that extending marriage recognition to two people of the same gender does not diminish the institution of marriage in the least ... The argument that "marriage is meaningless now anyway, so you might as well let us get married too" is both bizarre, and, I would think, insulting to those in same-sex relationships.It was also nothing LIKE the argument I was actually making, which the good folks over at Pam's House Blend picked up:
Apparently unable to think of a logical way to refute Rev. Russell’s thesis, Backholm slipped into schoolyard bully mode and simply impugned the religious convictions of Episcopalians. Rev. Russell never made statements like “marriage doesn’t matter” or “marriage is meaningless now anyway”, nor would any marriage equality advocate. Quite the opposite. Marriage equality advocates find great value in civil marriage. That is why they fight to have discriminatory marriage laws repealed.Let's hear an "AMEN" for blogger Laurel Ramseyer. (But wait ... there's more!)
Happy Sunday, day of the Lord, people of the Episcopal Church, did you know you believe in nothing? This was news to me. Not my words. The words of Joseph Backholm, Executive Director of the Family Policy Institute. In a posting at the Family Policy Institute website, Joseph Backholm refers to the Episcopal Church as:"the First Universalist Church of We Believe in Nothing."SCORE!!
The Reverand uses the media maelstrom surrounding Kardashian's 72-day marriage to frame a tongue-in-cheek essay on the absurdity of the current state of marital law. Miss Kardashian, by virtue of her heterosexual lifestyle choice currently enjoys unlimited access to the "sacred union" that is marriage, and she can also abandon that covenant on a whim. By contrast, LGBT Americans, some of whom have sustained decades of mutual love and support and inter-dependency find themselves denied simple legal protections of their families.
Russell's point is not that "marriage doesn't matter," but rather, Alec and Jamie's marriage does matter. They are a part of her family of faith, they are a member of her community and she respects them, and their family. And it is her wish that someday United States government will respect Alec and Jamie's marriage as well.
If there is anyone here who thinks "marriage doesn't matter" it is clearly Backholm.
In point of fact, the argument being made in the Huffington Post piece (which I wrote) is not that "marriage doesn't matter because Kim Kardashian can't keep hers together" ... it is marriage DOES matter -- and what matters are the values that make up a marriage; not the gender of the couple who pledge to love, honor and cherish each other until death do they part.Mr. Backholm posted the following comment "clarifying" his position about the Episcopal Church. (Yes, it gets better.)
The Reverend Canon Susan Russell
All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena ... where we believe in the Good News of God's love, justice and compassion made known to us in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Just for the record.)
Since I have obviously offended some Episcopalians with my tongue-in-cheek comment about a possible name of a church, I should clarify. Once an individual or an organization puts themselves in the position of deciding that the the unambiguous words of the Bible are wrong, they have decided that they, not God, are the final arbiter of what is right and wrong.And yes, of COURSE I chose to post again ... deciding this was a teachable moment to let anybody who MIGHT be wandering by know just a little bit about what Episcopalians (or at least THIS Episcopalian) believes:
In my opinion, that position is antithetical to Christianity, particularly of the protestant variety which was founded on the concept of Sola Scriptura (by scripture alone). It also puts such a person in a position of having them appoint themselves to effectively be God, since they consider themselves free to ignore what they claim to believe God said in scripture.
Ergo, they don't believe in anything more than their own opinion. Or one might say, they believe in nothing.
At this point, scripture just has nice suggestions and stories that make them happy or hopeful. But it is no longer authoritative. While I enthusiastically defend someones right to hold that position, I do not consider it to be on the reservation of Christian orthodoxy. I also do not understand why people would bother to concern themselves at all with what the Bible says about anything if they are just going to selectively edit it according to their own preferences. If you value what it says that little, why bother? I don't expect this to make anyone feel better about the comment, but I thought a more thorough explanation was in order given the attention that comment received. Thank you all for the respectful feedback. I appreciate the conversation.
Mr. Backholm,So we'll see where this goes. That may be the end of it and it may be the beginning of something more. I don't know.
Just to make sure I'm clear here, your strategy to "clarify" having offended Episcopalians by suggesting we "believe nothing" is to dismiss hundreds of years of Anglican ethos grounded in scripture, tradition and reason because it fails your "sola scriptura" litmus test?
As a cradle Episcopalian I was raised in a church that taught that we take the Bible too seriously to take it literally. Reading the Bible as the Living Word of God -- not to be confused with the "literal words" of God -- is the foundational principle for living a life of faith committed to aligning our lives with God's love, justice and compassion.
It is the context that allowed us to hold in tension our identity as both catholic and protestant during the 16th century and continues to call us into the challenges of the 21st.
Thank God we live in a country where the First Amendment protects your right to believe "the Bible said it, I believe it, that settles it." But that same First Amendment also protects us from you writing your theology into our Constitution. That's what the marriage equality struggle is about -- whether narrow ideologues have the right to take away fundamental rights from American citizens because they do not believe God blesses same-sex marriages.
The issue isn't whether God blesses them. The issue is whether the Constitution protects them.
So, Mr. Backholm, if you really want "clarify" what Episcopalians believe then ask us. Or visit our websites. (My church is allsaints-pas.org) Engage in some dialogue. We may not believe what you believe. But I respectfully suggest that our beliefs deserve more respect than to be dismissed as "believing nothing" -- particularly by someone who purports to stand for Traditional Values. Or perhaps respect isn't on that list.
The Reverend Canon Susan Russell,
All Saints Church, Pasadena CA
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“In many cultures, men have been able to marry many women and young girls. For centuries, women have been treated as chatel in marriage. Further, if the religious purpose for marriage is procreation, why would we sanction marriage between an 89-year-old widower and an 80-year-old widow?” Franken said. “I just think we need to be accurate when we talk about the history of marriage, the history of man and woman, the history of our institutions.”And Patrick Leahy (Judiciary Committee Chair) responding the argument that this was not the "right time" to bring the issue to the Senate:
"It is never the wrong time to right an injustice."Finally there was this encouraging quote from Senator Dick Durbin (Illinois):
“I voted for DOMA. I believe that I was wrong. Upholding marriage equality is the right thing to do now. I don’t care if it wins me votes or loses me votes … . I don’t want to be on the wrong side of history on this issue.”The vote was 10-8, with all committee Democrats favoring appeal and all Republicans opposed. The repeal bill would need 60 votes in the 100-member Senate, and sponsors acknowledged the votes aren't there. The measure would have no chance in the House, controlled by conservative Republicans.
WHEREAS, the institution of civil marriage in the State of California is, as a result of Proposition 8 and the Court’s decision, a constitutionally-mandated instrument of discrimination, which furthers injustice and denies same-sex couples the fundamental dignities to which each human being is entitled;andThe Respect for Marriage Act will allow All Saints Church to get back into the business of ministering equally to all who come to us seeking to live lives committed to each other and in alignment with God’s love, justice and compassion. And by granting the same federally protected rights and responsibilities to all married couples it will help us live into our DNA as a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal.
WHEREAS, our active participation in the discriminatory system of civil marriage is inconsistent with Jesus’ call to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being; and
WHEREAS, All Saints Church is called to make the sacrament of marriage equally available to all couples, regardless of their sexual orientation;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Rector, Wardens and Vestry do declare that the sacramental right of marriage is available to all couples, but that the clergy of All Saints Church will not sign civil marriage certificates so long as the right to marry is denied to same-sex couples.
Tomorrow, the fight to repeal DOMA will reach a critical juncture.TAKE ACTION HERE.
That’s when the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on the Respect for Marriage Act, our legislation to ensure that the federal government recognizes all state-sanctioned marriages, including gay and lesbian couples.
The Committee will also consider amendments to the legislation -- changes that could strengthen the bill, as well as some that threaten to weaken it.
Forward this information to your friends and family and ask them to join you in urging Congress to support a strong Respect for Marriage Act that ends the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) once and for all.
We must end the federal government’s discrimination against same-sex couples and its interference with states that want to marry same-sex couples.
The Respect for Marriage Act would move us much closer to those ends, but we still face several legislative hurdles to get it passed.
I’ll need your help every step of the way to finally repeal DOMA.
Thanks for making your voice heard, and letting Congress know you won’t accept half-measures or delay.
.“Our nation needs to stop doing for people what they can and should do for themselves. Self reliance means, if anyone will not work, neither should he eat."
"It seems to be about the dollars – and of course it is and the figures are terrible as the wealth has become concentrated in the hands of so few. But the emotional content is that it seems that we as a people are mourning that we are becoming a society. I don’t want to live in a country where it’s every man, woman and child for themselves. I think that’s an awful existence and I think the cries of pain we hear from this movement are the cries of the loss of that kind of community."And then "Choose this day" people.
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"Grant us so to follow thy blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys which thou has prepared for those who unfeignedily love thee."For those who unfeignedly love thee. Not for those who pass some theology quiz. Not for those who digest the right dogma. Not for those who second guess God about who's welcome at the banquet table and who's not. For those who unfeignedly love thee.
un·feigned adj \-ˈfānd\And what does that look like ... to "unfeignedly love?"
Definition of UNFEIGNED
: not feigned or hypocritical : genuine
To attract the best employees, companies have to offer robust benefits and a “workplace ethos of transparent fairness,” the brief says. But “DOMA forces amici to investigate the gender of the spouses of our lawfully married employees and then to single out those employees with a same-sex spouse. DOMA enforces discriminatory tax treatment of spousal health care benefits.”“The companies paint the law as an overburdening government regulation that should be repealed,” writes Lucas Grindley at The Advocate.
The companies say DOMA “forces” them “to investigate the gender of the spouses of our lawfully married employees and then to single out those employees with a same-sex spouse.” For example, HIPPA laws usually consider marriage a “qualifying event” that automatically enrolls a spouse in an employee’s health insurance. Companies now spend time and money weeding out any gay employees who get married.The New Civil Rights Movement piece includes a list of the amicus brief signatories. Might be nice to tell 'em "thanks."
If companies don’t want to discriminate, because it hurts their recruiting efforts or they’re just opposed to it in principle, then DOMA causes a bunch of “workarounds” that come with wasteful administrative costs of their own.
Companies complain that when a same-sex couple legally marries, it requires them “to maintain two sets of books.” That’s because the couple is considered married under state law but not married under federal law. “The double entries ripple through human resources, payroll, and benefits administration,” they write.
Some of the companies have had to pay consultants to jury-rig systems used to track benefits and taxes so they can accommodate the double records. “These dual regimes have spawned an industry of costly compliance specialists,” they complain.
“The burden on the small employer is especially onerous,” the companies point out. Small businesses can’t afford to hire consultants, and “such burdens, standing alone, might chill a smaller employer from employing an otherwise qualified employee because she happens to be married to a same-sex spouse.”
"I have been tracking the numbers and just confirmed with Simon Sarmiento that more than a majority of English dioceses have approved women Bishops and rejected the various "following" motions that would have limited their authority."Champagne, anybody?
Americans voted to elect an African American as President of the United States.It was for so many of us both the best and worst of times all rolled into one.
Californians voted to take fundamental rights away from same-sex couples.
In 2000, a similar marriage ban in California was passed by a margin of 61% to 39%. So the closeness of this race and the positive shift in public opinion underscores that it is only a matter of time before we add more states to the march for marriage equality. As Obama said last night, “That's the true genius of America – that America can change.”"We grieve, but not as those who are without hope." Words from 2008 that continue to inform and inspire in 2011 ... as we work to turn hope into reality -- and poll numbers tell us that arc of the universe IS bending toward justice:
Yesterday, an unfortunate majority of voters stood with the most extreme and negative elements of society to deny the rights of loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. But it’s not the first time that has happened to us, and it won’t be the last. It doesn’t change the fact that we are married. It doesn’t change the fact that we have families. Make no mistake. We are bowed, but not discouraged. We are sad, but not disheartened. We grieve, but not as those who are without hope.
Remember, our marriages didn’t begin with a decision of the court, and they will not end with a vote of the people.
Public acceptance of same-sex marriage has grown at an accelerating pace, with approval jumping by nine percentage points in the past two years and the nation now evenly divided on the issue, according to a new Pew Research Center survey released Thursday.Maybe not as quickly as we would like, but it IS bending. And today ... three years after history was made ... Twice ... we're ready to make it again as the Prop 8 case wends its way through the courts and the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to mark-up the Respect for Marriage Act.
Throughout the month of October we've told stories of the many ways All Saints has touched the lives of individuals in our church community. What does it take to make all this happen? Today we give you a glimpse "behind the scenes" - a look at how our 55 full-and part-time staff members put in 1,775 hours every single
[Bishop Harris] told the Boston Globe: "This is a power struggle as to who is going to run the church, the white boys who have always run it, or some different kinds of people. White men see their church being changed and they don't like it."And there you have it. In the end they can argue scripture, tradition, polity and biology all they want but when it really comes down to it it’s not about theology or even sexuality – it’s about power. And it’s about time for us to get on with the work we have ahead of us and step away from the arguments which have surrounded us. The joy of yesterday’s celebration will linger for many days to come and the gift of Gene’s episcopate will bless this church for many years to come. The work immediately in front of us is to “catch the wave” of the attention the Episcopal Church has received and reach out to those for whom a church where there are no outcasts is good news – who long for the spiritual community we offer – who will find a home here in this inn where all may be joyfully received.