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Married February 2, 1974
Don't repeat the mistake on page 847 of The Prayer Book . Here is what God really requires from the chosen people:
A series of essays in the Episcopal Church
A Reflection in a Hard Time
By The Rev. The Rev. Craig Burlington
Reading the report of the former Archbishop of Canterbury’s comments this morning during his Wickford visit depresses me. It’s like a blow to the gut to have the issues of homosexuality and same sex marriage articulated again as the cause of the split in the worldwide church without any reference to the hope and the grace of such moves toward liberation as a true expression of the gospel. The ABC says it’s a shame for the potential schism will cut us off in the West from seeing all the good things God is doing in Africa!
Well, I say what about the absolutely amazing good thing God has done in New Hampshire and is doing in the Episcopal Church as we take stands to totally legitimize gay people, lifting the shame of centuries of oppressive views toward those who are a bit different from the norm of society. I just don’t get it. Why can’t we get over this terrible injustice right in our own faces? Why can’t people of the same sex love each other and be faithful and true to each other—upheld by church and society—just like the majority?
It would be great to have public leaders not only prize the unity of the church but also prize the movement toward lifting the oppression of gays that KILLS people in Africa, just as it does and has in America and all over the world. I say Jesus would prize this movement toward healing and “seeing things from a different angle.” All the parables turn people’s assumptions upside down so to see new grace in unexpected places. Who would sanction more “Matthew Shepherds”?
Every time a leader speaks in a conservative way, for the cause of unity, without also acknowledging the need to move away from the long held prejudices and stereotypes that kill people, another sword pierces the heart of all of us who are gay or who know and love someone who is gay. Lord, how long?
We need to say “our church is GAY” just like we said “Our church has AIDS” years ago when so many were suffering and in need of the advocacy of the church in a hard time. That hyperbole would bring untold grace and love to many who feel disenfranchised by some churches who say gay people are “intrinsically disordered.” Why would any person want to give to or pray in a church with that kind of view of some of its children? Or would want to seek communion with such a church?
By way of contrast we could say “The Episcopal church is gay…and straight, and everything in between” just like the rest of the world God came to save.
So, let us pray indeed for the unity of people under God--not just Christians or the church--so that ALL might be invited to the Father, to wholeness, to love by how we live our lives in Christ.
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