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Heartbreak and Joy: D025 & the Episcopal Church - Chronarchy

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July 15th, 2009


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11:12 am - Heartbreak and Joy: D025 & the Episcopal Church
Yesterday, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church here in America passed D025, acknowledging that the Episcopal Church ordains partnered gays and lesbians. The newscycle is caught up in other things right now, so this isn't even a blip on the screen.

Some know that I follow the Episcopal Church pretty regularly recently, ever since the consecration of Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson and election of Right Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori as the Presiding Bishop and a Primate catalyzed schism and dissent in the Church. American churches have switched affiliations to join Communions across oceans, and bitter fights have arisen in the American courts about what to do with property owned by those churches. Strange systems of "complementary bishops" have arisen for folk who can't deal with bishops they don't have faith in, the Anglican Primates have failed to come up with good solutions to both gay and women bishops, and the whole thing is seeing some pretty nasty responses.


I watch the Archbishop of Canterbury and wonder what he's thinking of all this.

The measure was able to pass primarily because the more conservative members of the Episcopal Church have affiliated with other parts of the Anglican Communion, and are no longer part of the Episcopal Church in America. In other words, they took their balls and went home, and this freed up the House of Bishops to move on this topic without their votes.

I watch with deep interest, because I look at things like D025 and wonder at the bravery of the Bishops who voted for two-to-one it: they did so knowing full well that it could end in a break from the Anglican Communion. I can imagine the heartbreak and joy that they experience with this vote. . . for all they try to downplay the importance of this vote, saying that it simply affirms that openly gay bishops can be consecrated, and that it does not say that they will ever confirm an openly gay bishop in the future, they know that this is not how the Communion will see it. This heartbreak must temper the joy they feel at embracing the civil rights they feel LGBT persons deserve. It is freedom and fear, all bundled into one great emotion.

I also look at those congregations that left the American Episcopal Church, and I wonder how they feel, knowing that their exit may lead to a break in communion. I imagine that they question the decision, that they feel that they are partially responsible for any break that may occur. I suspect that they also feel the thing we all know is true: they're isolating themselves and becoming part of a great minority that will eventually lose the fight to keep rights away from same-sex couples. I cannot imagine what the feeling is among those congregations: not only have they chosen a losing side in this battle, but they have lost the war by refusing to work with others of differing values. . . and potentially destroyed or seriously disabled the Anglican Communion as a whole.

Only time will tell how things go from here. My conjectures of a break in Communion are just that: conjecture. But I know that it's a real fear among Anglicans. It may yet happen.

Today, the House of Bishops is expected to take up the question of blessing same-sex unions. I wonder how, exactly, that will go, as well.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: awake
Current Music: "Door Number Three", -JB

(6 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:anivair
Date:July 15th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
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Watching the horrible struggle in other faiths, there is something pleasant about belonging to a religious community that doesn't have to deal with these issues. it's like seeing someone who has it way worse than you. makes you appreciate what you have. Speaking of which ... onto my lj and whether or not evangelicals are new pagans.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:July 15th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
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I think that I watch it mostly because I wonder what sort of issues exist that might weigh similarly on ADF at some point in the future, and learning how others have dealt with it is helpful to me, personally.

Also, it's a pretty clear example of what happens when those who dissent leave for greener pastures, like the "I'm moving to Canada" response we saw in 2004 after the second Bush election. . . I wonder what might have happened if everyone who said they were going to move actually did. We might have Sarah Palin as a president by now.
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From:anivair
Date:July 15th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
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No, we'd have Stephen Harper as Prime Minister!
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From:gullinbursti
Date:July 15th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
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I'm just glad I don't have to take it so personally anymore. ;) The "debate" was a big part of the reason I left the Episcopal Church and returned to Paganism (the other part being that I missed my tribe something fierce.) The lay representatives have always lagged behind the clergy on these issues, so I'm glad to see the lay votes in favor of equality are moving toward the majority there too, and not just in the clergy ranks.
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From:verginiamus
Date:July 16th, 2009 12:03 am (UTC)
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I live in the center of the fight - several churches which George Washington either attended or funded or helped to build are being fought over. The pastor at one was one of the ring leaders. He said openly that his congregation had more Methodists and Fundamentalists than Episcopalians. He managed to have several of these historical churches pull out of the American and join with some in Africa to be the reformed Episcopal church. I personally met the man, and think it is an ego thing and a power thing than an actual difference in beliefs. He is a bigot from the word go anyway.
[User Picture]
From:smithing_chick
Date:July 16th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
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I imagine that they question the decision, that they feel that they are partially responsible for any break that may occur. I suspect that they also feel the thing we all know is true: they're isolating themselves and becoming part of a great minority that will eventually lose the fight to keep rights away from same-sex couples.

Having dealt with people like that before, I'm pretty sure they don't feel any of that. They're so convinced of their own righteousness that they'll never consider they might be wrong. They'll even go so far as to claim that they're the ones being persecuted.

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