Things are getting pretty ugly out there. Progressives and self-described moderates are now fighting with each other over where to draw the line between the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.This is from someone that I trust. Maybe I don't understand.
I fear this is exactly what the other side intended. It paints us into a corner and doesn't readily serve anyone. The trouble is, I think it may be very necessary.... for a season.
Two observations based, in part, on my own level of pure rage and pain in the midst of this dreadful mess.
First, I don't believe our beloved TEC has ever really known the depth of pain of its LGBT members. Some of that pain lessened by our church. Some of that pain amplified by our church. But the pain is undeniably real and often goes to the core of our being. The very necessity of this conversation hurts in a way I believe few can comprehend. I don't hear anyone not acknowleding the pain, but I do sometimes feel that, unless you've lived it, you really can't begin to understand it. I don't at all meant that to be disrepectful because I do believe we're all trying.
If nothing else, the blogosphere is giving space for some of that rage to be expressed and witnessed. We need a place where we don't have to be nice at the expense of our own integrity. Christianity isn't about niceness and too often we allow our practice of it to devolute into that place where we manage the inequities of this world but do not challenge and transform them. Transformation is difficulty and sometimes bloody busines. I'm sure the other side is delighted at our ability to tear one another apart-- and I fear this is exactly what they intended. Those of us who study systems theory realize that we are all falling nicely into our assigned roles. I do believe we are better than that, but I don't think we can be better if can't let the toxins out.
Secondly, it seemed to me that the way B033 was passed at GenCon06 passed over the costs to our integrity as it necessarily violated otherwise intentionally included members of the body and the ver integrity of our baptismal ecclesiology. A new PB, with her remarkable presence that invites trust, persuaded the Deputies to do something they had already agreed they could not do. Without casting judgment on that act (I already made that point at the time), it left me feeling deeply betrayed and without voice. The current circumstance now amplifies that experience and encourages feeling hopeless. Maybe we're now doing what we were not able to do at that time-- expressing that fear and outrage. The risk is that, once again, no one is really listening.
One more thing, those who continue to say that the requests of the Primates do not really change anything on the ground in our everyday ministry simply are not making the connections. If all are not fully welcomed, then no one is safe.
I desperately wish the church had a way to talk with us instead of about us. I know it's our historic pattern, but I'd hoped we had learned better by now.
So let's be generous with one another by allowing the full force of our rage to come forth knowing that, together, we can hold it with one another. There's no need to fracture over this, but only if we can speak our truths to one another.
I'll try to have more faith in all of you. Rage away if you must. I'll not interfere.