Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Reflection on a Meeting with the Presiding Bishop

Last Thursday (March 1, 2007) the Rev Susan Russell and I had the privilege of sitting down for a little over an hour with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. I was grateful for the opportunity and I hope it signals a new openness on the part of her office regularly to engage acknowledged leaders in the Episcopal lgbt community.

Bishop Katharine is a remarkable listener and, even more strikingly, an amazingly non-anxious and non-defensive person. Those qualities alone go a long way to encourage me to trust her, even when I disagree with her. My impression is that she says what she means and does not speak in code, so we do not have to spend (and should not waste) a lot of time trying to figure out what is really going on or what she is really intending to do. This too is refreshing, and makes her election all the more remarkable.

This brings me to probably the most important thing I brought from my meeting with her. She told the Church Center staff after her return from Tanzania that she really did not know if the Episcopal Church could make a positive response to the “requests” of the Primates. I believe she sincerely means that, and is willing for us as a Church to disagree with her. I say disagree, because I do believe she thinks the current proposals are the best way forward, and I have no doubt she will continue to argue for them. On the other hand, she is not going to force us to do something we are not willing to do.

This means that we (lgbt Episcopalians and our supporters) must vigorously participate in the forming of consensus, whatever shape that is to take. It is time for us to make clear who we believe we are, and what the limits are to our participation in this ongoing process. I think we can do this in as non-anxious and non-defensive way as Bishop Katharine, so that our word is not a simple, “We have no need of you,” which would be a less than Christian response.

Susan and I presented Bishop Katharine with three bottom lines as we perceive them among lgbt Episcopalians:

The full inclusion of lgbt people in the life of this church (incomplete as it is, but also as far along as it is) is not up for negotiation, and this must include our being very clear that Lambeth 1.10 (1998) is not the standard of teaching in this province of the Communion (the most recent missive from the Archbishop of Canterbury makes it clear that his goal is our accession to this standard. If that is the case, then the Communion is indeed in trouble).
The days of pronouncements such as the Tanzania Communiqué that are about lgbt people without the body producing them having been in any substantive conversation with us must be over. It is absolutely intolerable for this non-listening to continue.
Integrity in particular, and lgbt Episcopalians and our supporters in general, will continue to insist that nothing short of the full inclusion of all the baptized at all levels of the church, including sacramental ones, is acceptable for the church to be a whole and holy body. We asked her not to perceive this as our being unsupportive of her.
She signaled her agreement to all of these points, although I have no doubt we remain in some disagreement about how best to carry them out.

I believe from various things she said that she has acted thus far as she has for three basic reasons:

She values the Communion and believes the Episcopal Church does as well, and faced in Tanzania with its break up, she offered what she thought she could in a good faith effort to hold it together. It is difficult for me, who has been a part of this conversation for twenty years now, to believe wholeheartedly that this is a good faith effort. I hear, for instance, her insistence that we see the graciousness in the Communiqué. I have looked hard and failed to find even an ounce of it.
She believes there has been progress on the issue of the inclusion of lgbt people in other provinces of the Communion and that we have a vocation to stay at the table and ensure that this progress continues.
She believes there will be an Anglican Covenant and that it is best, again, that we stay at the table and participate in its formation.

I find myself in relative agreement with her on these positions, but a serious “cost-promise” analysis needs to be done. We will do no good at the table if we are there without our integrity intact. My estimation of what is being asked of us is that we say we are something that we are not for the price of our continued admission to the table. This is highly problematic and smacks of institutional idolatry. It may very well be that many (even a majority) of our Communion partners need us to stand clearly against this process for the sake of Anglicanism and the Communion, and that our full capitulation to the Primates’ demands may do more damage than good to the Communion in the long run.

In addition, Susan and I were able to share a great deal of our personal stories and the contexts in which we live and minister. I was able to share some of my experience at the Lambeth Conference in 1998 (at which she was not present). I wanted her to know that I have stayed in this church not simply to fight a justice issue about which I feel passionate, but because it is in this church, and in particular in the two communities with which I have been privileged to share an Altar as priest, that I continue to find God and God continues to find me.

One puzzlement that I carry with me since the meeting is her mentioning several times that she thinks we should be looking for a “non-violent” response. “What would Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. be doing in this situation?” she asked. I must confess I am not exactly sure what a “non-violent response” means here. I am not sure that simply saying, “No, we cannot do these things,” is a violent response, or especially, “Here are things we can do, but here are things we cannot do.”

I also fundamentally disagree with her that “impatience is an idol” in this situation. She is the presiding bishop because of past impatience, so this assessment rings hollow with me. Patience was not one of the virtues with which Jesus was invested, nor Paul as I read him. There is, rather, an urgency to the good news that they believed must be proclaimed in word and deed, and a radical impatience with those who would put up roadblocks to that proclamation. The Anglican Communion itself is what may have become an idol in this case, its preservation having become more important than the work of God. God is no respecter of persons was a fundamental part of the early proclamation of Christians. God is even less a respecter of institutions, even (perhaps especially) religious ones.

35 comments:

Dale said...

Thank you for this, Michael. It is helpful and "comfortable". While I find it helpful, often, to think of Ghandi or Dr. King, in this context it seems a bit odd--perhaps wrong--to speak of seeking a non-violent response. It belittles the experience of those 2 movements. Besides, to the extent there is violence involved, it is against GLBT people, not by them.

RebstockTSSF said...

Thank you for all these insights. I would love to know (and wonder if you discussed this) why Akinola's active promotion of discrimination towards LGBT folk (in violation of Lambeth 1:10 and other proclamations) was apparently not in any way addressed in Tanzania. Part of my hurt and disgust with the communique is its extreme selectivity--only TEC is singled out, only anti-gay portions of resolutions are mentioned, etc.

Father Doug said...

Seems to me that either Jesus was patient or patience is not a virtue. Can't be that he's missing a virtue, can it?

Wilkie said...

You were at Lambeth 98 and clearly heard the reaffirmation of 2000 years of Christian teaching and yet you continued in your defiant lifestyle and teaching - shame on you!

The Rev Michael W Hopkins said...

For rebstocktssf, sorry but Akinola didn't come up. It was about the next thing on my list when we had to end.

The Rev Michael W Hopkins said...

For wilkie,
Hey come and have dinner with us sometime and see how "defiant" we are. Interesting that Jesus never said, "Shame on you!" to anyone.

Jesse said...

Our church was established on this land by the Church of England but we have not always walked with it. There was a moment in our history we had to seek orders from other anglican churches.
The communique from Tanzania is onerous and offensive. We are a church that functions on a democratic model and I think this offends the primates the most. The bishops of their own have no authority to speak for the church and if they do the battle is lost to us. The Anglican Communion will have wrestled our church away from us and turned us into a shadow of the Church of Rome complete with vociferous prelates.
Jesse
From all sedicion and privye conspiracie, from the tyrannye of the bishop of Rome and all his detestable enormities, from al false doctrine and herisy, from hardnes of heart, and contempte of thy word and commaundemente:

Good lorde deliver us.
-from the "Litany" BCP 1549

Bob-San Diego said...

Thanks, Fr. Michael, for the report and insights. I can only hope that each bishop in TEC will meet face-to-face with the GLBT Episcopalians in his/her diocese. Even in the TEC we are too often spoken about, not with. Say Hi to John.

LAG+ said...

Michael,
To answer the question of a non-violent response is not our job. I believe that "walking apart for a season" is a non-violent response. It is those who would excise the GLBT community that participate in the violence. "To walk apart for a season" is recognizing the dignity of the other and respecting their boundaries while refusing to be victims of their violence. It is important for the HOB to know that walking apart is neither a violent response, but a considered respectful one that says "yes you have the power to do this to exclude us but we refuse to allow you to 'put us out' because we chose to walk apart.

I think that it is important that the HOB recognize that this is a matter that is not dependent upon human sexuality or GLBT issues. It is purely an issue of power and let the whole communion recognize that we will not return the kind of sword rattling of the Primates to deter us from the ministry to which we are called.

Anonymous said...

Well, the Dalai Lama is a pretty non-violent chap--in the tradition of MLK and Gandhi--and he, like MLK, does not support homosexuality. So maybe we just need to say, difficult as it is, that the RC Church is right on this one, even if we cannot say this gently enough

Phil Nicholson said...

From the text: One puzzlement that I carry with me since the meeting is her mentioning several times that she thinks we should be looking for a “non-violent” response. “What would Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. be doing in this situation?” she asked.

I think I can tell you quite quickly what MLK would be doihng -- one need only read the Letter from Birmingham Jail. King would not be suggesting that we wait "for a season..."

Rev. Robert Semes said...

Michael,

I totally agree with your thoughts on the PB's talk. I think she is not providing any serious leadership in this case, maybe because she is new, or maybe because she can't. But, the matter is really simple: enough talk about "listening," "fasting,""conversations," "discussions," "coming to the table," and all the other bafflegab that has infected the Episcopal Church for decades. Enough already. Let's go forth and tell these wingnuts in the so-called Global South and also here in the U.S. that we aren't going down that path, and that if it means leaving the Anglican Communion, so be it. Unity on the back of oppression is no virtue.

C.B. said...

MLK and others put themselves at risk to protest the lack of justice. They refused to sit at the back of the bus, they refused to get up from their seats at white only diners, they marched, they were arrested. Is this the type of non-violence she wishes to see. Refusals of all ordinations, blessings, fastings??? Ghandi fasted to the point of being near death to draw attention to the plight of the Indians. To move the powers that be to consider them anew, they also boycotted English cloth and spun their own. Is this the type of action she wishes TEC to join in at this time. Perhaps??? It certainly would bring the issue to fore front in a new and possibly surprising way. What a statement it would make if for instance TEC gave up all public rites to bless gays and straights, and instead adopted Tobias Haller's proposal to have blessings for homes that include those who live in them. What happens if there is a protest march staged during Lambeth? Or sit-ins at churches that do not support LGBTs in the church? Have any of these been considered? All of these require an intense proactive stance. Is this what she would like us to consider?

C.B.

jmoss said...

for Wilkie and to Rev. Hopkins,

And what does " Go and sin no more" mean

Mike Bertaut said...

Father Michael,

Thank you for your insights on your meeting with the PB. You must understand that although I reside firmly on the "Other side" of this issue that pervades your existence so, you are in my heart and prayers at this very moment. For comfort in your struggles. I weep for our differences and know that you must feel unrecognized, unappreciated and pushed aside.

Know that any article you see from me is written in the knowledge that the same Scripture that I hold forbids that which you hold dear, offers NO MAN the opportunity for hate, least of all me.

I wish you and all the LGBT strugglers, Integrity and all supporters nothing but God's pure and undying love, though I respectively disagree with your interpretations of God's expectations for us. I know that would never keep us from worshipping at the same table, but you should know that as time goes on, I cannot condone what you stand for.

Keep the Faith....mrb

Anonymous said...

In answer to Michael Hopkins:


You say:

"This means that we (lgbt Episcopalians and our supporters) must vigorously participate in the forming of consensus, whatever shape that is to take. It is time for us to make clear who we believe we are, and what the limits are to our participation in this ongoing process."

I'd hardly call this "participating in the forming of consensus." This sounds more like forcing everyone else to give in and accept your demands or accept "the limits to your participation in the process." Sounds a little bit like extortion by the (no one expects the) lgbt mafia.

Your demands include:

1 "The full inclusion of lgbt people in the life of this church (incomplete as it is, but also as far along as it is) is not up for negotiation, and this must include our being very clear that Lambeth 1.10 (1998) is not the standard of teaching in this province of the Communion."

But that is the teaching of the church and always has been. So I gather from this that you think the teaching "of this province of the communion" should differ fundamentally from the teaching of the rest of the church.

Which means that you do not care that you're demanding that "this province of the church" (i.e., ECUSA or TEC) teach doctrine that very many of the people who actually go to church, support the church, work for and in the church do not agree with and do not want taught to their children or used to bring more people into the church.

2 "The days of pronouncements such as the Tanzania Communiqué that are about lgbt people without the body producing them having been in any substantive conversation with us must be over. It is absolutely intolerable for this non-listening to continue."

The only "non-listening" that was going on with the consecration of Robinson was by the ECUSA hierarchy/beauracrarcy that has come to be completely dominated by by the lgbt (no one expects the lgbt mafia) in the past twenty years. They didn't listen to Lambeth, they didn't listen to the people in the pews who are the heart and soul of the church, they didn't listen to the churches of the third world who have rather more pressing problems than those experienced by affluent, (am I allowed to say?) white middle-aged men and some women of the same demographic.

I'm in that demographic. That's why I find your whining and threatening so reprehensible. You would destroy this church for this. You would leave people in churches all over the country with no place to go, to worship, to give thanks to God, to ask Him for forgiveness and absolution, to give praise for his creation. You would deprive people all over the country of their church, if that church doesn't sign on to your concept of sexual morality because to do otherwise would mean that you don't get your way, that the church doesn't change to accommodate you, that unlike everyone else, you don't have to carry your cross to follow Christ.

We've been listening. We hear you loud and clear. We know what you want and why you want it. But what you want is post-Christian. (not to mention envious, prideful, gluttenous, and probably some of the other seven deadly sins)

You can have that. But it is not bigoted of me to want you to take it somewhere else. This has been my church for many generations and I don't think you have the right to demand that it change to suit you.

Anonymous said...

Michael,

I feel your pain, but sharing one's pain is nothing more than today's way of expressing one's opinion. It is no substitute for a cogent, thoughtful, and/or persuasive argument.

Please come back with something more persuasive to those of us who really want to understand your position!

Jim Greer said...

Michael, it's also been my church for many generations and I'm very grateful to you and Susan for the message you have taken to the PB. I believe the points you made to her represent the correct position. I also agree that we need to particpate in the consensus building process as fully equal and fully comfortable. And I look to you and others to lead a well planned and vigorous effort as you have so many times before. Let us know how we can help.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

I don't think you have the right to demand that it change to suit you.

Can you even consider the possibility that those of us who are pushing for full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the life and ministry of the church are doing so because we think God is demanding it of us?

You probably can't---but I felt the need to ask anyway.

I am not a member of any "mafia"--I am a straight woman with gay family members whose Christian lives put mine to shame. Jesus said "by their fruits you shall know them"--and that has been true in my relationships with gay and lesbian Christians. They have been faithful, even when reviled and treated shamefully by their "Christian" brothers and sisters. Their faithfulness speaks to me of God's work in their lives--and in the life of this church.

Michael---thank you for your report. I confess that I have been mightily disappointed in +Katharine's leadership---particularly in her silence on the Nigerian legislation. I hope you are correct in your assessment of her.

Anonymous said...

Christ did not preach a gospel of inclusion. He said many times that not all would enter into the kingdom. Read Matthew 19:16-23, Mark 10:13-3 and Luke 18:15-30.

Anonymous said...

"Can you even consider the possibility that those of us who are pushing for full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the life and ministry of the church are doing so because we think God is demanding it of us?"

I have no doubt that you have convinced yourself of that position. The history of the church is replete with people who have advanced heresies, schisms, and just plain nonsense absolutely convinced that God was demanding it of them.

The further one diverges from the teachings of the Scriptures, the Churches' teaching about the Scriptures, the Creeds, the Councils, the traditions, the more likely you'll find yourself in a swamp of con-artist, ego-infested charlatans that pass themselves off as preachers of God's demands.

It is the agreed upon discipline, respect of authority, appreciation for the wisdom of the Churches teaching, understanding that we're under the influence of the wisdom of ages past, not just this (boomer) generation, that has sustained the Episcopal Church in the US and the Anglican Communion worldwide. Without that, we'd have pastors wrestling with snakes.

Sorry, but I'm an Episcopalian and have been hanging around Episcopalians my entire life, I've never know one who claimed to "be in the spirit and channel God."
So if you think God is "demanding " something of you, I would guess you're delusional, pentecostal of the most snakeful variety, or just using that locution as a way to give your frankly political goals more gravitas.

You can't have been in the Episcopal Church for a short time or forever without having know very many homosexually oriented people, especially men. I have never known a single one who was ever reviled or treated shamefully. In fact, every single one I have ever has been showered with welcome and thanks for their presence and contribution to the church. Which is entirely right.

But to claim that they have been uniquely and intentionally harmed by the church is simply not true. And to demand unique status based on a falsehood, especially when it damages the whole, deserves to be rejected.

Tammy+ said...

I am struck that you have quoted +Katharine as saying that impatience is an idol. Perhaps she said this in your meeting, but in her address she stated that "anxiety is an idol." This is a big difference in my humble opinion. When we live and react and relate to others out of a place of anxiety we discount the image of God within ourselves. Not only do we discount the image of God within ourselves, we buy into the illusion of scarcity. When people speak from a place of anxiety, the anxiety in the other reacts back and then you have two sides hoarding and clinging onto something that doesn't belong to either. The church, the communion, does not exist for itself, but for the world. You and I are the church and together we share the good news of God's abundant love to all others. From what I'm reading, however, scarcity or the fear of it seems to abound. My brother, I will participate in forming a consensus
with the lgbt community, as a lesbian priest, if our identity is one grounded in power and abundance and not victimhood or scarcity. We are already present at the table, a gift given freely, and those we call enemies sit across from us and we from them. I am not suggesting that we do not set boundaries. After all, when Jesus set boundaries he ended up on a cross. It seems though that boundaries happened as he lived into sharing God's abundant grace with the sick, the poor, the lame, the hungry rather than demanding justice through political channels.

Anonymous said...

So, this is what we have to show for 30 years of activism, faithfulness and Integrity: being trashed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, trashed by the Presiding Bishop, and having two Integrity leaders sit with her and listen to Judas' latest "explanation."

It was all a waste of time, eh?

I suggest, Michael and all other LGBT clergy, that the next time you're celebrating mass and you get to the words, "On the night in which he was betrayed," you take a big deep breath. And reflect for a good long moment on the nature and identity of betrayal.

It always comes at the hands of friends and family. Now after 30 years of activism, it's come at the hands of your Archbishop and Presiding Bishop.

These officers of the institutional church will never betray the institution, even if they have to betray the church to save the institution.

LGBT clergy, which do you belong to?

Josh Thomas

C.B. said...

Dear Michael - I see that the copy of your post on T19 has produced an onslaught of reasserter comments. Even now, at this point - it is fascinating to read how people are so caught up in their idea of principles that they fail utterly to see how unloving they are. Nothing new there - but I hope you read all these with a suit of Christ's armor (love) securely in place.

I think Josh speaks for many -the fear is that in the end TEC will fudge it in order stay in the AC and the opportunity to have a clear unequivocal witness for the full humanity and full redemption and full inclusion of LGBT will be lost - possibly for a generation for once the "fast" is in place - there is no end to it in sight. How can we not be impatient with such a prognosis.

What then will the gay and lesbian priests say for themselves and to their neighbors.

This is not the moment to be silent and wishful - but active. Waiting idly is not an option. The Executive Council, the House of Bishops AND the PB must indicate concretely how we may act.

C.B.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

"waiting idly is not a option" C.B.

Absolutely not. The PB has twice overimposed her "best thinking" on the GC decisions. I'm very sorry to report that no matter how charming, kind and thoughtful our PB is she simply is engaging in "wishful thinking" and "playing pretend" that anyone in the Anglican Communion actually gives a flying "hoot" what she does or says...the buzzards are circling and PB Katharine has her HEAD 20,000 leages under the Sea/See!

BTW: YOU/SUSAN and the Primates have something in common...putting REAL LGBT Anglicans/Muslims in extreme danger by having Akinolan subject at the END OF YOUR LIST AND NOT HAVING TIME, or the courage, TO ADDRESS challenging Akinola or Orombi!

It's clear to me why nobody LISTENS to us!

Luke said...

On the Dalai Lama, he has made very liberal statements about gays -- he is close to Jefferts Schori on this.

D said...

CB, As a infrequent reader/blogger on things TEC/Anglican, I'm struggling to figure out whom you are refering to: which of the post-ers on T19 are being unloving in holding to their theological stance? You say reasserters, so I guess that means the regular T19 crowd. The posts there, however, and on both sides of this issue, seem to be basic expressions of belief. When I last checked, there was no inflammatory speech, no bad-mouthing or foul talk, no offensive metaphors. "It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the LORD, you are safe" (Pr 29:25 GNB). Who cares if someone rejects my view based on his or her own belief system, especially if he or she believes to be loving me best by doing so. What s/he thinks is not my concern. I must seek God with my whole heart and trust in Him and in His sovereignty over truth. His protection and acceptance is all I need.

David said...

We should remember that Reinhold Niebuhr aptly noted that Ghandi's "non violence" included a boycott that brought the British Empire to its knees, and as such was surely revolutionary in its intent.

Social revolution, such as that brought about by MLK's "non violent" civil disobedience can and should be the intent when injustice prevails. Niebuhr insists that such "violence" is not evil unless it proceeds from an evil intent. For gays and lesbians today, the evil resides in the prejudice of the institutionallly empowered, who seek to safeguard their own privilege at the expense of others. That is where the true evil resides.

I only hope that the good Bishop sees the injustice rather than merely the status quo as an agenda item for a righteous religious order.

C.B. said...

D- I will only say that when you go on someone's site who is an LGBT person, it would do well for reasserters to remember that they are not just talking about "beliefs" in the abstract or amongst themselves, but are speaking to people about your beliefs about them. Not about their beliefs, but about them. Gay people don't just have beliefs "about" gay people, they ARE gay people!

Anonymous said...

Above we read"On the Dalai Lama, he has made very liberal statements about gays -- he is close to Jefferts Schori on this."

He has explicitly said homosexual activity is wrong on numerous occassions and is closest, really, to the position of most Anglican conservatives: love the sinner, not the sin. Which is what we all do BTW with ourselves in some measure.

So please do not claim the 14th DL as backing your case the way you want him to. He doesn't.
Now, if you had said KJS is close to the DL in her thinking . . .well, with that I would heartily, overwhelmingly concur:)!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Leonardo Ricardo: The conversation STARTS with Akinola and the extreme danger facing our people in Nigeria. Their safety is what KJS signed blithely away for the sake of her idolized Communion.

But no, "sharing your experiences at Lambeth '98" was deemed Important and Revealing!

I bet every time Jesus hears the word Lambeth, he takes off running the opposite direction.

Josh Thomas

Tamara said...

The question of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama's stance on homosexuality bothered me and so I decided to see for myself. In his 1996 book Beyond Dogma: Dialogues and Discourses, he said that homosexuality was wrong. He later clarified that homosexuality was wrong because it involved the use of the mouth, rectum and/or hands as opposed to only using genitalia. He added that the use of the mouth, rectum and hands are also proscribed in heterosexual encounters.

The primary issue is whether an act is "sexual misconduct." The problem is that "sexual misconduct" was not defined by Buddha. An article published on the World Tibet Network News website of a transcript between an interviewer and the Dalai Lama, he explains that sexual activity, and therefore sexual misconduct, has to be separated into two different categories. The first category is for those who are in religious communities--nuns and monks. The second category is for those who are not celibate--everyday Buddhists. In the first instance, any form of sexual activity, including masturbation would be wrong because there would be ejaculate (he obviously had men in mind). However, the same could not be said of masturbation for someone not in a religious community.

In actuality, there is a third category: non-Buddhists. Although he viewed homosexuality as "sexual misconduct" for Buddhists, he said that it was "non-harmful" for non-Buddhists. The San Francisco Chronicle quotes him as saying, "From society's viewpoint, mutually agreeable homosexual relations can be of mutual benefit, enjoyable and harmless."

The article linked to the World Tibetan News site is difficult to read in that the DL doesn't always know how to say things in English and relies on his interpreter. Nevertheless, what is clear is that he is a celibate man who has never really considered these issues. The first time he did so in depth was during a private meeting with a number of LGBT Buddhists who were deeply concerned about the statements in his book. That meeting was the beginning of a shift in his position toward greater study and concern.

Fast forward to 2006 when the DL sent greetings and support to the International Lesbian and Gay Association on the occasion of their 28th World Congress. In the interim, as he stated during his visit with LGBT Buddhists in 1997, I believe he reflected on several of the supposed methods of committing "sexual misconduct" and realized, as he hinted at that time, that they may have been shaped by their culture and point in history. I also believe that he followed through on his desire to learn more about LGBT people through scientific study.

It seems to me that the DL has done/is doing exactly what LGBT Christians of all faith traditions want their leadership to do--come into the 21st Century and realize that the Bible should be referenced in the context of place, time and culture. I'm surprised no one has mentioned that it has gone through several translations into its current form and many things could easily have been mistranslated "accidentally on purpose."

I think it would be instructive for others to read the evolution of the Dalai Lama's thoughts. While not a direct line of progression, a Google search using the terms "dalai lama homosexuality" brought me to all of the articles referenced above.

There is one other point I'd like to make. I've noticed that at least two of the rather unkind comments made in association with this article have been signed "Anonymous." While I realize that anyone has the option of doing so, I am left to wonder why someone would do such a thing if s/he feels so strongly that they take the tone this anonymous commenter has above.

Tamara said...

Rev. Michael,

I couldn't find an e-mail address for you and so I post again here. I just wanted to let you know that I cross-posted my comments to this article on my blog, Words From a Wicked Woman, and referred readers to your original.

I am a journalist who has written quite a bit about religion and the LGBT faithful in the United Methodist Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA). I plan to write about what's going on in TEC next week.

Seeking to Know said...

Thank you Michael for your thoughtful and honest insights. But know, that for some of us, the tipping point was June '06 and B033....we were "sacrificed" so the new PB would "have something to take to the Primates meeting." (so I was told by ammeber of the NH deputation.) What a sad and sorry situation then and now.

Well....tipped we were...right out of the ECUSA and into a local UCC congregation just waiting to love us and raise up our ministries. Thanks be to God for choices and the voices of generation gone before.

May Almighty God bless and keep us in His care througho the darkness and into the Light. Raymond/Manchester, NH

nana said...

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