Saturday, February 01, 2014

Thank you Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

Finally a clear statement from The Episcopal Church of the USA about the vile laws in Nigeria and Uganda.

The Episcopal Church has been clear about our expectation that every member of the LGBT community is entitled to the same respect and dignity as any other member of the human family.  Our advocacy for oppressed minorities has been vocal and sustained.  The current attempts to criminalize LBGT persons and their supporters are the latest in a series, each stage of which has been condemned by this Church, as well as many other religious communities and nations.  Our advocacy work continues to build support for the full human rights and dignity of all persons, irrespective of gender, race, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability or inability.  To do less is effectively to repudiate our membership in the human community.  No one of God’s children is worth less or more than another; none is to be discriminated against because of the way in which she or he has been created.  Our common task is to build a society of justice for all, without which there will never be peace on earth.  Episcopalians claim that our part in God’s mission is to love God fully, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  That means all our neighbors.

Full Marks to her.

In comparison the statement by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York is barely worth 50% and far too little, far too late.
They were probably, as usual, trying not to upset the GAFCON bishops too much and as usual they were unsuccessful  as is seen in the typical replies from those individuals.

Meanwhile, here in Aotearoa/New Zealand the silence is deafening. I know it is just coming to the end of the silly season when in Australia and New Zealand everyone goes on holidays but we wait to hear something.
I expect they will wait until  the General Synod to be held in May when there will finally be a report from the Gender Commission.
Discovering what is happening in the local diocese, let alone the province, is almost impossible.  I am very fearful the many on Synod who say they are welcoming of LGBT people will be too afraid to upset the fundies and just extend the process.  I am unwilling to wait any longer.

Here in New Zealand the only remaining establishments of discrimination are within the churches. I am finding it more and more difficult to justify being a member of such an establishment.
Depending on the decisions of the Synod in May, I could need to withdraw my support from the Anglican church of Aotearoa/New Zealand including my regional diocese and my local parish.

Unlike many gay brethren who have broken all contact with the church, I would be unwilling to forego regular participation in the Eucharist so hope it will not come to that.

I am dismayed that there is some news that our church will be welcoming visitors from the GAFCON church of Kenya.  It is some bizarre form of reverse evangelism.  It is under the auspices of CMS.
I regret my youthful support of CMS. I have written before how a previous Rector left my parish in Sydney due to his feelings of same-sex attraction. He became the diocesan leader of CMS. The lack of support from that organisation led to his subsequent suicide.

While CMS may have provided some medical and educational benefit in the areas in which it worked, I consider most of their efforts to have contributed to the benighted churches that exist in those areas today.  It is a longtime since I have directly supported any overseas missions run by a church.  I much prefer my money to go to secular work such as Medecins Sans Frontiers.
We have been asked to pray that these Kenyans are granted visas. While happy for them to come to our beautiful land as tourists, that prayer is not on my list.  If they do arrive, I will not be at my local church those days.

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