Gay Episcopalians wondered this weekend whether the bishops of our church gathered in New Orleans would throw us under the bus to preserve the Anglican Communion -- it’s a church kafuffle, if by chance you don't pay attention to this teapot. So it was great to read that they'd gotten an earful about the place they were visiting from Gus Newport, former mayor of Berkeley, an urban visionary, and a long time agitator for justice who can be trusted not gloss over realities. Episcopal News Service reports his talk:
Newport has always told it like it is.
I have a vivid memory of Newport from the mid-1980s. President Reagan was funding a guerrilla assault on the elected government of Nicaragua without telling Congress where he was getting the money; in El Salvador, the U.S. was propping up a brutal military and right wing death squads. Bay Area activists in solidarity with popular movements in Central America held a meeting in the Physical Sciences Lecture Hall in Pimentel Hall at UC Berkeley; as a courtesy, the mayor was invited to say a few words.
Newport got up and rocked the house, saying something like this:
Well, we didn't do it and Newport didn't either, but he meant it about seriousness -- and we still need that kind of fire. Glad the bishops got to hear from him.