On Celibacy

February 10, 2007

Taken from a comment on a post on this site…  Again I decided to lift this one up and raise it to the surface, slightly modified as I re-read it…  I promised myself this morning I was going to try and instill more of my sense of humor in my posts and be less… intense?  in them…  Oh well– there’s always tomorrow!!

On a side note, I am sending off the Petition and Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury tonight so that it will reach him before the Primate meeting in Tanzania, which begins on Tuesday.

Please let’s all remember that meeting in our prayers, while not forgetting that there are many problems in the world besides our own that are very worthy of the primates’ attention.  Let us pray that the issues of “the Windsor report” may not be so distracting to the primates that we may all return to the practice of the gospel without forgetting that our issue is, in fact, one of the many ways in which our church is faced with practicing the gospel at the moment, too.


God doesn’t call us to be celibate.

I appreciate the intent of your compassion, but it is mis-placed.

It so much reminds me of when the Spanish missionaries tried to inculturate the indiginous native people of our continent.

Their rationale was that they knew how God needed to be brought to the other– God could not possibly have been present in them already before they (the missionaries) arrived, so they thought. They (the objects of the missioners) needed to dress, talk, and worship in the way that the Spanish did in order to be “Christian.” They “knew” how God was going to work in the other, not pausing for one minute to ponder how God might already be deep at work in them (they were unfamiliar to the Spaniards, but God already knew who they were).   Today’s models of mission would have them first develop relationships, so that each side could develop understandings of the other, and together both be at risk of change while allowing God to change BOTH as they move forward together into God’s future for them.

So too you assume that you know how God must be absent from us, not pausing at all to wonder how God might already be at work within us. You do not have a curiosity to develop a relationship with us to see how we might move forward together, both changed by an increased understanding of the Christ within us; rather you have an arrogant insistence that you alone know the only shape Christ can take– the shape envisioned within your imagination developed by your understanding of tradition; and that unless we assume that shape and form– just as the Spanish missionaries wanted the indiginous of North America to assume the shape and form of their understanding– you fail to see the Christ already at work deep within us.

The result of the Spanish missioners work? Devestation. Genocide. Slave labor. Dehumanization.

What is the difference here?

Perhaps we are not subject to genocide, because God has revealed enough of Godself to humanity to allow the collective Body of Christ to prevent that level of atrocity. But there is still violence against us. And Christians still rationalize it. On a conservative site, there are “Christians”- so-called “Episcopalians” claiming to be true to Anglican Tradition- who rationalize the murder of Matthew Shepard, saying that in some way, shape, or form, his tragic and horrible murder should be “mitigated” because of the circumstances of his death.

This is no different than saying that a woman who is raped while wearing a short skirt is asking for it, therefore her rape is somehow “mitigated.”

There is simply no Christian justification for such violence. And the violence of gay-bashing has its roots in the Christian tradition of discrimination against us.

Just like the genocide of the indiginous people of this continent has its roots in the Christian tradition of the Puritan and Roman Catholic roots of our fathers.

Just like the lynching of those Africans brought to this country for the benefit of Anglo-Americans was allowed to continue while the church stood by silent; even, in some cases while it condoned such atrocities.

Just like women have stood by, treated harshly for centuries as either property or as incidental to the history of man, silenced yet asked to bear the burdens of this human race.

Just like the industrialized nations, their corporations, institutions, and their churches have sat by and built up power centers of capitalism, having the resources to feed the whole world but instead choosing to allow the hungry to falter, suffer, and die rather than risk the possibility that the bottom line be impacted by our collective humanity.

Its time to stop these traditions.

So again, I ask, what is the difference here?



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