Monday, December 04, 2017

Called to choose a side

Bishop Gene Robinson (retired bishop of New Hampshire and the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican Communion) preached at our little San Francisco parish of St. John the Evangelist yesterday. This photo of the Bishop giving communion to two of our current crop of little girls is cribbed from my friend Susan Hansen. What a wise, brave man the Bishop is!

After the service, Robinson answered questions from quite a crowd of parishioners. He admonished those of us LGBT people living in the protected environment of this city to remember that in 29 states we queers may have a constitutional right to get married -- but we can be fired the next day for our sexual orientation. Here's a current map showing the state of employment discrimination law:
In all those gray states we have no protection at all; only the deep purple states offer wide protection to queers of (most?) flavors. From Fortuynist at Wikipedia.

He was asked where is the Church in these dire times. Like so many of us, he's mighty unhappy with attacks on poor and marginalized people from the President and the Republican Congress.

But he hastened to add gently that he was sure there were Republicans among us ... I'm not so sure about that in this congregation. We're a pretty radical bunch even in a radical city.

And I do wonder about how people claiming to be followers of Jesus can also be followers of Trump, Pence, Ryan and McConnell. There is little about which the Bible is more clear than this: "... do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another." Zechariah 7:10.

Denouncing oppression is not something to be carefully polite about.

I think that wonderful escaped evangelical the Slacktivist has it right about how faithful people and churches must orient themselves toward our current regime; he takes direction from the abolitionist Frederick Douglass in calling out blasphemy.

“Blasphemy” is not hyperbole there. It is a term of acute theological precision. It is the correct and apt and necessary term. It is the word we need to be using now, today, to describe the blasphemous champions of oppressors with their so-called piety ...

... Many white churches support white nationalism and Trumpism.

Other white churches allow the option of not supporting it. But it is only that — an option, one that is permitted and tolerated, but never demanded.

This, too, is blasphemy.


Rain Trueax said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rain Trueax said...

I had a wrong word in this; so had to delete and republish it.

I have long believed we have to make it normal to not all be the same. It's not so much for people in my age group, where they have come to terms with who they are, but for the kids, my grandkids, future generations, where it's not thought to even be different but just who they are. I came across this in a Montana paper and thought you might like it-- sad though it is. Accepting Sam. I hope we can get there but we aren't yet-- even with parents as loving as these. He'd have made a beautiful woman but didn't believe it in time.