Thursday, March 27, 2008

Locked for fear of the Jews

Tough bunch. They'd just arranged to have Jesus arrested, tried, convicted and executed on trumped-up charges. One of his disciples, Peter, only escaped by insisting loudly that he wasn't a disciple. It was reasonable to assume that if they were found, they'd all be swept up and crucified in turn. So they met in a house with the doors, and presumably windows, locked. Nobody gets in to threaten them; nobody even wants to get out and risk death. So how did Jesus get in, twice?

Let us now fast-forward to Lambeth 2008, the decennial meeting of bishops and archbishops of the Anglican Communion. It is hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the epicenter of the autonomous Anglican churches around the world, the First Among Equals of all the Primates. The churches of the Anglican Communion are united first by their history of Colonial domination at some point in the last 400+ years, and second by their obeisance to a common liturgy, in spirit if not in word. It is he, Rowan Williams, appointed by the Queen of England, who decides who and what constitute the Anglican Communion.

Every ten years, the Archbishop of Canterbury invites most Anglican bishops and their wives to a fabulous party in the U.K. Those invited are "in" the Anglican Communion, those not invited are, well, "out". Bishops consecrated irregularly are "out." Bishops alleged to be complicit in murder of Muslims, or recently deposed, or actively violating centuries-old boundaries of other dioceses, are nonetheless "in." Gay bishops who hide or publicly deny their God-given sexuality, are "in;" the only gay bishop to openly proclaim God's gift of homosexuality to him, is "out." No one has ever asked, however: in the selection of invitees, is Christ ever locked out?

Which brings me to the subject of this post's title. I believe that God will appear behind the doors of Lambeth 2008 that Rowan the Easily Frightened has locked for fear of homosexuals. Bishop Robinson will appear at the Marketplace and speak to all who will listen. Bishop Marc Andrus has proposed a Witness at Lambeth to put the flesh and blood of LGBT persons on the ground or in videotapes at Lambeth. His idea, now public, will gather strength and support, God willing. The bishop which the Anglican Communion has refused will become, if not the chief cornerstone, the chief topic of discussion, at this Conference. The Spirit of God cannot be denied.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Throwing your life away

An acquaintenance of mine, on a listserv for married men who are coming to grips with their homosexuality, wrote:

"I feel like I am throwing my life away"

I wrote back:

I know how disorienting and frightening it is to abandon your married life and start over. All those images and ideas about the idyllic married life: 2.3 kids, house with picket fence, loving wife and housekeeper, stable job, all run aground on the reality that you're really a lot happier--a lot happier--with a guy. I had that same feeling last year, I also walked away from certain financial security in retirement. My parents were adults during the Depression, so I inherited a lot of frugality, and "throwing that away" takes either a lot of guts or no brains!

But, y'know, some things you have to throw away. They don't work anymore, and can't be repaired, or start to smell bad, or clutter up the place so you can't do other things of greater value to you. You may have discovered, as many of us [on this listserv] have, that you bought it for the wrong reasons. Your "married life" may fall into one or more of those categories. With deepest respect and great care for your wife and kids, throw away the marriage. Go with what works best for you.