Putting things in perspective

September 26, 2007

I know that I’m still sorting out my feelings this morning– sorting everything out from my response to the HOB to my response to the various responses.

One article that has helped me in that endeavor is this article in the Telegraph.  Despite its horrible title, the operative line for me was this:

“Dr Williams is now expected to call the bluff of hardline conservatives who have threatened to boycott next year’s showcase Lambeth Conference in Canterbury if the liberal American bishops are also there.”

Calling the bluff of the conservatives is an important thing to do.  While the hardening of the language of B033 was a disappointing loss (to say the least), we had no real other setbacks.  We had no official rites for same-sex blessings and the bishops know that they couldn’t develop them until GC09 anyway.  When the real deliberative body meets in Anaheim, all bets are off as we move forward on the goals Integrity set out here.  As a colleague of mine set to me yesterday, “bishops are just politicians.  You can’t take them too seriously.”

I agree and disagree. But at any event their words have real impact on our lives.  Whether this is a real political gain or loss is largely an irrelevant question- the House of Bishops cannot enact canon law without the House of Deputies so in one sense their resolutions are largely symbolic.

So it is the symbolism that is important.  It is the effect on people’s lives; our self-perceptions; our identity as it relates to our place at the table, and that is my concern.

Right now my heart goes out to all those who feel slighted, whether they “should” be or not, because they feel disenfranchised, because they feel wounded, they feel crucified.

It is hard to hope in the darkness, but the dark of the tomb always becomes the dark of the womb in our religion, and we have much in this document to indicate a commitment to that transformation, to that new birth and growth.  Right now we may be in the tomb, but someday we still must hope for that transformation– even if that day is not today.



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