The Consequences of Injustice

May 28, 2007

If you haven’t read yet (or worse, seen), a large-scale gay-bashing took place in Moscow Saturday:

Russian police detained gay protesters calling for the right to hold a Gay Pride parade in central Moscow on Sunday while nationalists shouting “death to homosexuals” punched and kicked the demonstrators.

Riot police detained gay rights activists as they tried to present a petition asking Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who has called gay marches satanic acts, to lift a ban on the parade.

Nationalists and extreme Russian Orthodox believers held icons and denounced homosexuality as “evil” while a group of thick-set young men turned up with surgeon’s masks, which they said would protect them from the “gay disease.”  (Click here for whole story.)

The gay rights activists sought to peacefully present a petition, yet the “Nationalists and extreme Russian Orthodox believers” attacked them.

Back in the Episcopal church, a Bishop who faithfully shepherds his diocese has been refused an invitation to Lambeth because another group of bishops has denounced homosexuality as “evil.”

There are consequences for failing to uphold the gospel imperative of inclusion, love, and faithfulness in community.

We saw them on Saturday in Moscow.

“Oh,” but they say, “the Archbishop says that we do not condone violence so this is different.”

This is no different.  The Archbishop still condones discrimination.  The effects of the hateful theology we saw in play in Moscow on Saturday do not wear off with a single wave of the hand of the See of Canterbury.  They will take years to undo.

It was only, what, a little over 100 years ago? when the clergy of this country were debating whether to give slaves Christian educations or not because they were unsure of whether or not they had souls.  If they had no souls, they reasoned, there was no reason to baptize them, nor to church them.  What would be the point?

Racism sure isn’t dead here just because (most) clergy no longer hold that view.

But the longer our religious leaders hold on to discriminatory views, the longer our laity will, too.

And the longer events like the one on Saturday in Moscow will be events that we all– even the Archbishop of Canterbury, I am sure– will hang our heads and grieve about.  But the power to change them comes only for those with the power to change policy–  and, for those of us with the power to change the policymakers.

Click here to visit Integrity’s web site for sample letters you can download to write to the Archbishop of Canterbury today, and tell him that we can no longer stand for discrimination in religion.



One Response to “The Consequences of Injustice”

  1. Richard Angelo Says:

    Very well said. I agree 100%. Until we stop discriminataion at all levels it still exiists no matter how subtle or couched in other terms.And especially by those of us who are called by the name of Christ. Our Bishops and other leaders need to stand up against it. Only then will the laity feel the empowerment ( with the added empowering of the Holy Spirit) to make and demand change.
    Thanks for your continuing voice of Inclusion!!

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