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Greenwich on my mind
The Archbishop of Canterbury's visit to Greenwich, CT on August 30th was
set up long before Lambeth and needed to be hosted with appropriate grace
and style, as Christ Church did it. I commend them.
The Archbishop's work is immensely important and needs our continued
generosity, but we cannot afford to participate in his stigmatizing of
lesbigays. Those who host new events to honor the Archbishop or support
his ministry ($200,000 on this overnight visit) should be careful to
disassociate themselves from supporting his abuse of lesbians and gays.
For example, hosts might insist that if he addresses the sexuality issues,
he will also use part of his visit as occasion to LISTEN to lesbigays.
Hosts might provide a public or private forum for this listening to take
place. The Lambeth Conference made this same commitment. The archbishop
has never yet met with lesbigay leaders.
Albeit unwittingly, Christ Church funded the Archbishop's standing in the
pulpit yet again to stigmatize us. He did have the option of saying
nothing, as he did in a similarly charged situation when he spoke at
General Convention in 1997. Of course, at GC in 1997, he was addressing a
body that had numerous elected 'out' lesbigay witnesses who were his
hosts, and he would have been the intruder. At Greenwich, we were the
guests, invited only by the Lord of the Feast.
I hope that Christ Church Greenwich will clear its own association with
this act of stigmatizing by hosting a forum of some sorts on lesbigay
Much concern was exercised about whether lesbigays would be polite on this
occasion. Almost no concern was expressed about whether the Archbishop
would be fair. We were polite. He was unfair.
Persons die and many more are psychologically harmed every day because of
the stigmas to which the Archbishop gave his imprimatur -- stigmas all the
more pernicious because they are not informed by conversations with us.
Of course the Archbishop is entitled to his convictions and obligated to
share them. He is not entitled to claim that he has listened when he has
Lutibelle of the Lambeth Lepers Belles/Louie
Louie Crew, English Dept., Rutgers, Newark, NJ 07102 973-485-4503
Chair, Rutgers University Senate. Board of Governors.
It's not the lobbying that bothers me; it's the scale. I never thought
I'd see the day when the Body of Christ needed campaign finance reform.
--The Rev. Jan Nunley, Rector, St. Peter and St. Andrew, Providence, RI