Friday, May 28, 2010

The Ridiculous and yes, The Sublime: Pentecost 2010

Yes, I know, I’ve reversed the usual order ‘sublime and the ridiculous,’ but it’s only to reflect the unfortunate reality of how things too often happen within our Communion; when the cowardly, divisive pontificating of one of our most visible purple shirts receives wider visibility and audience than the prophetic voice of one said purple shirt would most probably be incapable of even hearing- inspite of all his degrees (honary & earned), the numerous books he’s published, the company he keeps and the rather excessive real estate he occupies.

Visitors to this space will know who and what I’m referring to, though thankfully we have keener minds than mine to give ‘Rowan the Irrelevant’s’ Pentecostal pronouncement more attention that it really merits. It particular, I’d draw your attention to where Terry+ comes to his own prophetic conclusions. Thank-you Terry+ where Mark+ Harris, another shining gift of the Episcopal Church to our Communion takes 'R the I' apart, stands him on his head and reminds us of what our calling to be the Body of Christ is really all about. Thank-you Mark+ where Elizabeth+ reminds of some of the reason she's loved and appreciated by so many of us with her dismissal of Rowan's latest for the impotent foolishness that it realy is. Love you Mother Elizabeth+

Poor Rowan, every time I see his name he's either posturing or postificating- from either one of his palaces, as the rest of the world waits for him to activate the listening exercise our Church has been promising/proposing for decades now.

But Praise God! this Pentecost, among other blessings saw another gift to the Church- one which unfortunately will probably not get the distribution it deserves.

Ironicaly, the post got written because its author, unlike most Sundays was unable to attend his parish-and I can't help but wonder if there's not something wonderful in that simple detail, because, at knees in his parish Church, or at home this brother waxed posatively prophetic asking quesitons our Church in all its orders needs to hear.

I'm referring to Counterlight's 'Something to Ponder for Pentecost Sunday' written by a member of the Episcopal Church who is not only an articulate academic, an art historian of some note, but also an accomplished artist whose work I appreciated and wrestled with long before blogging came along.

Yet another time that one of my on-line siblings-in-Christ sent blessing my way via her post on Counterlight's post- merci milles fois Chere Mimi.

Not wanting to deprive anyone of the experience of the original I'd only quote:

Is homosexuality the issue that we really want to define the Christian faith? Already, when people are asked what the Christian faith is all about, opposition to abortion and homosexuality immediately comes to their minds, not the Incarnation or the Resurrection, or salvation, still less anything that could be called "Love." Are those who are breaking up the Anglican Communion solely over this issue prepared to shoe-horn opposition to homosexuality into the Nicene and Apostle's Creeds? Do they really see it up there with belief in the Resurrection and the Trinity

I would argue that what's really in peril are not gays and lesbians. We'll always be around no matter how many of us get killed.What's really in danger is the Christian religion. If it wants to be taken seriously by the rest of the world as anything other than institutionalized bigotry and superstition, then it must take the lead on a major human rights issue. As I've argued repeatedly before, what the institutionalized homophobia of the churches offends is not people's sense of permission (as the right argues), but their moral sense, their deepest sense of what is right and fair. That's why there are so many heteros out there willing to go to bat over this issue on behalf of gays and lesbians

Did the Savior who forgave His murderers from the Cross without their asking limit His Love and Mercy to those who meet membership requirements, or to those who could pass a catechism exam? Did God put another asterisk beside His pronouncement that His creation is good? Did God make anything that was not good?

Long after reading, and re-reading Counterlight's prophetic call one question kept haunting me:

Is homosexuality the issue that we really want to define the Christian faith?

As if Rowan's Pentecostal posturing weren't enough there was also a story online about a plan to organize international pulpit swapping between those formerly known as the Anglican purity police. Does this appear to anyone else to smack of Christian imperialism? Next thing we know they'll be organizing their own 'theologically pure' travel agency.

In the meantime, I'm waiting for an honest answer to Counterlight's question- from someone other than any of my 'usual, beloved suspects.' Most any bishop will do.

I'm waiting.

1 comment:

KittKatt said...

A belated happy Pentecost. I just discovered your blog and added it to the blog roll at the Jesus in Love Blog on GLBT spirituality and the arts .

Your combination of Zen sitting practice and Anglicanism sounds similar to the eclectic backgrounds of many people who like my blog. I look forward to keeping in touch.