Saturday, September 22, 2007

++Rowan, who else

Is this man for real?

I'm referring to ++Rowan aka His Grace, Archbishop of Canterbury of course, the same individual who has remained silent to all appearances during raids on American dioceses, during the consecrations of irregular 'missionary bishops,' and during the firestorm of invective raining on the American Church and two individuals in particular, whom I honour as a sister and brother in Christ Jesus.

'In response to a question about the significance of his brief visit, Archbishop Williams said it "probably would not make much difference on the whole,""

Duh? This is his best shot at responding to all the noise and nastiness that’s been going on?

Is this speaking hope to the regular decent human beings who faithfully turn up most Sundays to take their place in the pew, hoping for some semblance of sanity, for something which speaks to the complex reality of their every-day lives?

Is this pastoral care for the millions of LGBT Anglicans ( both known and unknown) who courageously refuse to default on Christ’s call to each of them personally, as people of faith, as baptized Anglicans?

Is this reaching out to all of the African Anglican’s ‘under the radar’ whose lives are a daily struggle with AIDS, poverty and the political realities in countries like Zimbabwe?

This isn’t even the proverbial bad parent handing out stones instead of living bread. This is positive neglect.

And unfortunately it doesn’t end there...

Quoting from the Integrity USA blog ‘Walking with Integrity’

‘I asked +Rowan what word of hope he had for the gay and
lesbian baptized. He repeated assurances of the communion’s stated opposition to
discrimination against gay and lesbian persons. I followed up and asked whether
that opposition to discrimination applied to the world outside the church but
not within the church.
He answered it was a matter of how people perceived a
person’s "choice of a style of life" and how that affected what level of role
that person was "eligible for" within the church. (‘Choice’ of a ‘lifestyle.’
Flashback to the 70s.) He also said 'we’re concerned with the appropriate limits
of pastoral response to gay and lesbian people'.

‘Choice of style of life’?

What century is this man living in? Sorry ++Rowan you're well on the way to making yourself just about as relevant as the current incumbent of the Chair of Peter.

Has the man even heard of the word ‘science’? Of the anthropological work on the unique and essential roles LGBT men and women have played through-out human history? Of the pathology called ‘homophobia’ and of its common-cause links to misogyny, racism and violence? Of the embodiment of same-gender relationships within the creature kingdoms?

Dear brother ++Rowan, listen closely please...

My being born gay is nothing short of a gift from the hands of the one true living God.

It’s not a mistake.

It’s not a genetic error,
and yes, it is a part of God alive and working in Creation.

My baptism and confirmation within our Church is equally unblemished as yes, even yours- and like yours it is only through the grace of our Lord Christ Jesus.

And yes, I’ll say it, the presence of my LGBT brothers and sisters within the wondrous work-of-grace which our Communion is called to be is just as essential as yours, as ++Peter’s, as that of all those who have stormed from the sanctuary of the Episcopal Church in America.

Do the math ++Rowan, it is the same grace which made me a gay man in the image and likeness of God which baptized, confirmed and calls me daily to be a living wintness and embodiment of Christ's love and healing grace.

‘Style of life’?

The creation of my LGBT brothers and sisters as LGBT children of God is not one jot less wondrous, less challenging, less valuable, less joyous and less essential, than those of my straight sisters and brothers.

And one more thing brother ++Rowan aka ‘Beloved Rowan.,’ ‘The appropriate limits of pastoral response to gay and lesbian people?’

How can you even consider such an ugly homophobic concept?

Those ‘appropriate limits’ are limitless if we’re speaking of Christ’s love and yearning for humanity.
‘Appropriate limits’ for the LGBT baptized are exactly- let me say that again EXACTLY THE SAME as those for all humanity.

Christ’s ministry and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross were as EQUALLY and as UNCONDITIONALLY made for me as for you, dear brother Rowan.

And it is Christ’s words, Christ’s example which I and my LGBT sisters and brothers of faith cling to, and are nourished by daily.

It is Christ’s unconditional love ‘beyond our wildest imagining’ which has us turning up most Sundays in the pews of the same churches which historically have tried to teach us to hate our God-created selves, our bodies and the love that we yearn for.

Dear, dear ++Rowan have you ever even considered the blessed irony of the fact that it is once again the Communion’s current version of the ‘most despised’ who are calling the Communion to live a more real & vital embodiment of Christ’s unconditional love? Just as it was when the Church struggled with its fear of racial and cultural differences, with its objectification and exploitation of women, and with its demonization of our Jewish sisters and brothers.

Dear, dear brother ++Rowan, the sad truth is indeed that if we’re speaking healing, if we’re speaking the larger embodiment of Christ’s living, passionate love and grace working in our Communion, your visit to New Orleans ‘probably would not make much difference on the whole.’

In closing, I’d remind you of the words of another brother in faith, +Jack, Newark retired- words which must be haunting your sleep these nights, but words which also inform the prayers of many of us these days

"You were appointed to lead, Rowan, not to capitulate to the hysterical anger of
those who are locked in the past. For the sake of God and this Church, the time
has come for you to do so. I hope you still have that capability."
Dear brother Rowan, no one ever said it was going to be easy, but if you’re needing the comfort of solidarity in prayer, you’re always welcome in the pews of my LGBT sisters and brothers. There’s always room with so many people working so hard and acrimoniously to make sure they never fill up. There’s always room, ++Rowan, and through the living grace of Christ Jesus we’ll always welcome you as a beloved brother striving for God’s Greatest Blessing for God’s Greater Glory- always & unconditionally.


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