Monday, October 18, 2010

The Issue Is Justice Not Disunity!

We, the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin just finished our 51st Annual Convention on an incredible high. Gregory Straub "filled in" for Bonnie Anderson at the last moment and all I can saw is Wow! For the first time I heard a national officer of the Episcopal Church state clearly and unequivocally our position with regard to full inclusion. And then, today I started to read Leonardo Ricardo's blog, Eruptions At the Foot of The Volcano which is an outstanding piece but it took me to a posting from Father Jake in 2005 which led me to this quote:

To return us to the issue of the Windsor Report, I'll close with a quote from Bishop Spong which Kennedy includes within his essay:

(The Lambeth Commission) decided mistakenly that they were dealing with an issue of disunity, when they were in fact dealing with the evil of prejudice. That was clear when their solution was to invite those churches that have banished their homophobic prejudices to consider apologizing to those parts of the church that were offended by their inclusiveness. That would be like asking those nations that have thrown off the evil of segregation to apologize for hurting the consciences of the segregationists. It was an inconceivable request. Whenever growth occurs there is always conflict and dislocation. The world would still be practicing slavery, child labor, and second class status for women, had not a new consciousness confronted our prejudices in a movement that always destroys the unity of the old consensus.

I bring this up for a couple of reasons. First, it more than adequately describes the level (or multiple levels) upon which our conversation on the Anglican Covenant is based. Second, though it has been said before it bears repeating, repeating and repeating until the conversation comes back to the real issue, that of mellenia of prejudice. Our parish is currently dealing with the Anglican Covenant just as the Presiding Bishop, Executive Council and the General Convention has asked for us to do, but it is so very hard because the Anglican Covenant deals with, has been written in, and is being deciphered and dissected on the basis of Anglican Unity and not prejudice. In each section and at every turn we read about those things that bring the Anglican Communion closer together and what would happen if one does not "walk the line" or "toe the mark" but it leaves not room for real discussion and genuine disagreement when it comes to biblical social justice issues such as prejudice. We are just not communicating.

The primates of the Global South want to have a uniform means and manner of presenting issues that affect the communion, such as full inclusion, and are willing to remove anyone from the "confessing community" when we do not confess our sins against unity. The Archbishop of Canterbury views this as much the same thing, an issue of unity. When we talk about the Anglican Covenant, we talk about the same thing, it seems reasonable. But It IS Not! We have been forced to take up the conversation that those in the global south see as the issue, one of disloyalty to the Anglican Community. WRONGO BUCKEROO!

We need to reshape the discussion to the real issue of prejudice and full inclusion. Dr. Straub's speech on Friday night clearly laid that out. We need to send messengers to all corners of the Anglican Communion to accomplish this task, and we need to do it now! (By the way, while I wish Bonnie a speedy recovery we are/were glad to have had Dr. Straub with use, and thank you to Dr. Straub for coming.

h/t Leonardo Ricardo
h/t Fr. Jake
a big thank you to Dr. Straub!

1 comment:

Beryl said...

I appreciate your very positive convention reports. I am so proud to be a part of this strong and brave group of people in our diocese. It is time to continue the work as Christians in this diocese.

Beryl Simkins