Standing up for freedom
June 23, 2006
One of the comments I made over at Fr. Jake Stops the World yesterday was that I'm not really sure that blogging does much good. That seems really obvious to me right now, when after Wednesday's events the blog debates aren't across the divide, but within the same side of it. I can see that blogging only really contributes to polarization. After Wednesday within the gay community we just started fighting amongst ourselves. Going back into the same familiar blog pattern of constructing and deconstructing arguments, point and counterpoint, we started bickering. With ourselves! Very stupid. We all want the same things. Blogging hasn't been building up community- it has been breaking it down in the past days.
That isn't true completely, of course. Since I administer so many of these stupid things I can see the stats, and I know that a lot more people just read them than actually post on them. That's particularly true of this one, for some reason (why don't you people ever comment here, anyway? Give a guy some props. :)) Only about 1-2% of hits on my blog post– more on some of the other blogs I run and less on others.
So maybe you folks are just absorbing, forming your thoughts, trying to find inspiration, meaning, hope, and guidance.
AND – the whole point/counterpoint thing for me doesn't put me in a very relational place. I realize that because I've been doing this for the past two weeks (I'm the chair of a sub-committee at All Saints Pasadena responsible for the use of technology in Communications– you might call it the Chair of Blogging and Web Sites), I've been glued and stuck in a position of blogging. That has put me in a very non-relational place to respond to everything from convention.
With each passing day I have gotten a little more space to breathe.
And, I get a little less pragmatic about the results. A little more disappointed. Not less hopeful for the future, but more disappointed that Griswold didn't head this off sooner.
I don't know if he just thought that the Houses intuitively understood that the moratoriums were necessary and that they would have sailed through. I don't know if he just panicked at the end. I don't know if he got an 11th hour call from Lambeth saying "What the hell are you letting them do?" I just know that the convention was going fine until his last minute engineering.
It seems to me like there should have been, right up front, at the beginning of the convention, an open and honest debate about our place in the communion. Do we have a place here? Can we stay at the table in a communion that won't allow us the freedom to follow the Spirit as we are called? What sacrifices are we willing to make if we decide we are to stay? At whose expense, and are those people willing martyrs or are we sacrificing them without their consent?
Those questions, to my knowledge, never got honest debate or dialogue during the convention. That is why the outcome was disingenuous.
Fear certainly was there. I don't know what happened in the few short hours between Schori's election and her speech to the House of Deputies. Did the Archbishop of Canterbury call her? Did she get electro-shock Griswold therapy to remove her backbone? I don't know.
Hopefully she will tell us someday. I'm certain she's hearing lots of disappointment coming her way.
But, that is not to say that all is lost. I still have a problem with those gay and lesbian people who automatically translate one loss into "the church is going to hell and I'm leaving." I'm sorry, but that is just childish. That is just throwing a tantrum because we didn't get what we wanted. I know we're not talking about getting an ice cream cone at the park, but we do have to think strategically here. We have to acknowedge what we've gotten, and plan for our next success. Yes, there may be a few who are just so isolated and alone in their faith journey that they cannot bear the burden of waiting. To those, God's peace, and may you find a home where you can get the nourishment you need.
But for the rest of us, set the timer for five minutes, have your tantrum, pick up your toys, and let's start planning for the next victory.
Yes, it's disappointing. Yes, it was a shock. Yes, we got sold out.
But this is a time where we as a people can show our strength of character. When the going gets tough, the tough… pack up their pantyhose and go to another church? Hell no. This is my church. I will not leave. I am claiming it as mine. If there comes a time where it is obvious that I am not wanted, I will reconsider. That just isn't what happened here. We rejected the ban on same-sex unions. We got a resolution to fight the Federal Marriage Amendment. We even rejected the moratorium on gay bishops before Griswolds whip was held to the back of the deputies.
No, I will not leave. I will stay and chart this course. I will stay and walk the talk. When Jesus faced persecution, he didn't say, "Well, I guess I'll just quit." No, he kept at the Pharisees and Saducees relentlessly– until they killed him. He took it that far. We must show strength. We must show resolve. If we do not have the stomach to fight our fight than how can we possibly expect anyone else to?
Let's hold it together. Let's move forward. Let's thank our brothers and sisters in the House of Deputies and Bishops for their draining and hard work over the past two weeks. They didn't cave, they were under duress. Let's write letters to Griswold, Schori, and Williams. Let's show this church who they are dealing with. We showed our power in the 80s with Reagan when he messed with us. Let's show these folks again what they have done now.
Are you with me?