Don't repeat the mistake on page 847 of The Prayer Book .  Here is what God really requires from the chosen people:

Do justice

A series of essays in the Episcopal Church


Muffie Moroney to the Bishops of Texas

Muffie Moroney
4010 Whitman Street
Houston, Texas 77027

March 15, 2007

The Rt. Rev. Don A. Wimberly
Episcopal Diocese of Texas
1225 Texas Ave.
Houston, Texas 77002

The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr.
Episcopal Diocese of Texas
2695 S. Southwest Loop 323
Tyler, Texas 75701

The Rt. Rev. Dena A. Harrison
Episcopal Diocese of Texas
606 Rathervue Place
Austin, Texas 78705

Re: House of Bishops' meeting at Camp Allen, March 16, 2007.

Dear Don, Rayford, and Dena,

First of all, please feel free to share this letter with anyone you wish. I am writing it specifically to you as my Bishops, but my thoughts are directed to the Church generally.

As you well know, the House of Bishops will need to respond by September 2007, in some way, to the demands of the Primates for moritoria on the ordination of gay and lesbian bishops in committed relationships and on developing rites for blessing same-sex unions. These demands are inappropriate for reasons of polity and theology. They are also inappropriate under the laws of the United States of America and the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. If the House of Bishops approves a response, I urge you to consider and include the following:

  1. The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to freely love God and our neighbors, not to force our neighbors to conform to our beliefs about God.

  2. Approving moratoria will further diminish parish roles and impede growth.

  3. LGBT inclusion has been a given in The Episcopal Church for more than 30 years. We need to be honest and clear about that fact.

  4. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of the Canons of General Convention.

  5. A decision on moratoria is one that should be made by both the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops in order to properly constitute the position of The Episcopal Church.

  6. The Primates' demand for moratoria violates the Constitutional rights of homosexual persons in this country, as articulated by the Supreme Court of the United States in Lawrence and Garner v. Texas, 123 S. Ct. 2472 (2003). This case, which arose in Houston as you may know, held the Texas sodomy statute unconstitutional and void. It did not involve minors, persons who might be injured or coerced, those who might not easily refuse consent, or public conduct or prostitution. It did involve two adults who, with full and mutual consent [and in the privacy of their home], engaged in sexual practices "common to a homosexual lifestyle." 123 S. Ct. at 2475. The Petitioner's right to liberty under the Due Process Clause [of the Constitution] gives them the full right to engage in private conduct without government intervention. Id. The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the individual's personal and private life. Id.

    Similarly, The Episcopal Church has no legitimate interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private lives of gay and lesbian Episcopalians, lay or ordained, under the criteria in the Lawrence and Garner v. Texas case (adult, consenting, private, etc.). If the Episcopal Church does choose to adopt such an intrusive position, and arguably it could under the First Amendment (I have not researched that question), at the very least the Church should make its position clear and public, informing all members, aspirants and postulants for Holy Orders, and current clergy (GLBT and straight), that the Church requires these persons to forfeit their Constitutional rights as citizens of the United States. In addition, numerous Canons would need to be amended by omitting sexual orientation as a class protected from discrimination in The Episcopal Church. Honesty and integrity demand that we acknowledge the consequences of our position.

  7. Finally, I believe Resolution BO33 of the last General Convention is void because it conflicts with the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church (see Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 10th Edition, Section 10 Main Motions That Are Not in Order and Section 39 Improper Motions).

Please let me know if you have any questions about this letter. I wish you and your colleagues in the House of Bishops well during your deliberations.

My best to you,

Muffie Moroney

cc:

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
The Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris
The Rt. Rev. John B. Chane
The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson
The Very Rev. Joe D. Reynolds
The Rev. Helen M. Havens
The Rev. Susan Russell


You are welcome to submit your essays for consideration for this series. Send them to lcrew@newark.rutgers.edu Identify yourself by name, snail address, parish, and other connections to the Episcopal Church. Please encourage others to do the same.

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