Friday, March 30, 2007

This Makes Me Sick

A friend dropped this story "over the transom" today. It disgusts me. The hatred and abuse of women and the hatred of gay people conspires to make one big fat hate-mongering feast. . . . It's too much for me to comment on. Just read it. And then let's all sing Kumbaya with the Archbishop of Canterbury who thinks the world is a safe place for gay men and lesbians.

CNN brings us this story as if it's a "good thing" to be raped as punishment for being a lesbian ... if that may "open the door" to immigration. Who the devil writes these headlines?? But here's the article from CNN, with their idiotic missing-the-point headline intact.

Lesbian's Asylum Case Opens Immigration Door

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AP) -- Olivia Nabulwala says her family in Uganda was so angry and ashamed to learn she was a lesbian that her relatives hurled insults at her, pummeled her and, finally, stripped her and held her down while a stranger raped her.

"I hated myself from that day," she said in a sworn statement. "I disliked my family for subjecting me to such torture, and yet they felt this was a good punishment for me."

Now, in a case that illuminates a relatively unexplored area of U.S. immigration law, the African immigrant is asking for asylum in the U.S. on the grounds she was persecuted over her sexual orientation. A federal appeals court ruling last week has raised her hopes of success.

Persecution based on sexual orientation has been grounds for asylum in the U.S. since the 1990s, but such cases are still rare. Most involve gay men persecuted by their government. There are few cases involving women, who are more likely to be persecuted by family members, said Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality, a gay rights group that represents immigrants.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it does not systematically track the number of asylum claims based on sexual orientation. Most immigration cases are dispensed without a published opinion.

"That's why we're so excited about this case," Tiven said. "A published opinion gives it greater weight, makes it citable."

Immigration Equality, based in New York, said that last year it won 18 asylum cases for gay men and transgender women from the Congo, Algeria, Jamaica, Russia, Egypt, Peru, Bangladesh, Venezuela and Colombia. It said it lost two such asylum cases.

Among some recent cases: A man who said he was beaten by Mexican police and threatened because he is gay won asylum in January. Another Mexican man was granted asylum in a 2000 appeals court ruling that extended protection to transvestites.

To qualify for asylum, applicants must demonstrate past persecution or well-founded fear of future persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular group, which now includes homosexuals. Asylum seekers must also show, among other things, that their government was unable or unwilling to protect them.

In 1990, a gay Cuban who said he was abused by government officials in his homeland won asylum in the first significant ruling of its kind in the U.S. That ruling became the basis for then-Attorney General Janet Reno's 1994 order allowing gays from other countries to seek asylum for persecution based on sexual orientation.

"It is a relatively new area of asylum law; there's not a lot of bricks in the wall as to how these cases get played out," Tiven said. "But here's a high-level court, citing a reasonable and relevant application of government passivity."

"For women, it's developed quite slowly," she added. "Around the world, women face harm, often severe harm, from the nearest and not so dearest."

In an affidavit in support of her application for asylum, Nabulwala, who is in her late 20s, says being gay is shameful in African culture and illegal in Uganda, and that her family expelled her from the clan.

The Associated Press normally withholds the names of people who claim to be victims of sexual assault, but Nabulwala agreed through her lawyer to allow her name to be used.

In her affidavit, Nabulwala says she realized she was a lesbian while attending an all-girls Christian boarding school in Kampala. In her senior year, 1994, after the local newspaper wrote a story about lesbian relationships at her high school, and her parents confronted her, Nabulwala admitted she was gay.

She says her admission was a "big blow" to her father, who angrily told her she must end it or she "could no longer be his child." Later, she says, she was brought to a family meeting, where insults were hurled at her and an aunt "beat me so hard with clenched fists and said it would help bring me back to my senses."

In 2001, Nabulwala, by then in college, says she was called to another family meeting after relatives learned she was still involved in a lesbian relationship.

"During this meeting, my Dad said so many unpleasant and hurtful words to me," she says. "He was so angry that he reached out to grab my neck to strangle me. He stated he was going to kill me because I was an embarrassment to him, our family, as well as the entire clan."

She says two aunts dragged her out of the meeting into her room, where a young man was waiting.

"I was forced to have sex with a total stranger, which was very nasty, while my aunts watched in laughter," she says. "Afterwards, they all left me lying there in a lot of pain."

Three months later, she entered the U.S. on a visitor visa, overstayed, then fought deportation by asserting a right to asylum.

An immigration judge in Minnesota, where she now lives, said he did not doubt Nabulwala had suffered in Uganda because of her sexual orientation. But he ruled that the rape was a "private family mistreatment," and not sponsored or authorized by the government.

However, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the judge used the wrong legal standard, and ordered the case sent back for further proceedings on whether the Ugandan government was unwilling or unable to control the abuse, as Nabulwala contends.

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and punishable by one to four years in prison. But a police spokeswoman, Alice Nakoba, said no one has ever been convicted. She defended her country's treatment of gays, saying that Ugandans seeking asylum in developed countries exaggerate.

Nabulwala is "extremely happy" about the March 21 ruling, said her attorney, Eric Dorkin. Dorkin would not allow her to be interviewed or photographed, citing concerns about her safety and privacy.

If Nabulwala is unsuccessful, she will be deported.

"She's afraid to go back," Immigration Equality legal director Victoria Neilson said. "There's no protection in Uganda for gay people."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My Bishop Weighs In

Bishop George Wayne Smith has written to the diocese, and I am claiming "blogger's privilege": he is my bishop, and surely this is the largest "platform" from which I will ever have an opportunity to say, "Thank you, Bishop."

I have never been tempted to charge Bishop Smith with long-windedness. He's thoughtful and smart and deeply serious about the "current unpleasantness." But he's a pretty taciturn guy.

His letter, dated today and now available on the diocesan website, is true to form. Beginning with thanks for the diocese's prayers and for the House of Bishops' "graciousness of conversation and the care shown to one another," he promptly cuts to the chase: "I am also writing to let you know that I support the various actions taken by the House of Bishops during that meeting and that I cast my vote in favor of them."

Early last fall, Bishop Smith had the grace and courage to meet with the diocese's Integrity and Oasis members—many of whom were hurt or angry after General Convention's insidious B033. During the House of Bishops' meeting, I simply prayed that the same man who spoke to us that evening would attend the meeting in Navasota. It appears my prayers were answered.

Thank you, Bishop Smith. I'll kiss the ring next time I see you.

Straight from the Bishop's Mouth

March 30 update: Aw, shucks! As Saint Pat observes in the comments below, "The fun police are at it again." YouTube pulled the video. So don't bother to click on the video link. It was a good 'un, though. First Brother Causticus's eBay auction ... now this. I'm pretty sure both sites are owned by the IRD. Coincidence??

Dr. Peter Jensen, Bishop of Sydney, is very, very clear that the Bible "does forbid us to bless homosexual unions or practising homosexuals from joining the ministry of the church." He has Leviticus on his side, after all. See what happens when a biblically astute journalist poses some further Leviticus-compliant questions to the Archbishop.

This is truly rich. Hat-tip to Episcopalooza for finding this one.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Gay Bishops?

I asked a question a few posts down. The Admiral of Morality has deigned to note my query and address it. Read it here.

Happy Birthday, ++Katharine

I'm belatedly noting that today is Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori's birthday. A kibitzer on the Bishops/Deputies listserv offered the very fine idea that we celebrate by making a donation in her honor to Episcopal Relief and Development's Inspiration Fund (created under her leadership at the Executive Council meeting) or the MDG-oriented organization of your choice.

What a marvelous idea for saying "thanks" and "happy birthday" to the Presiding Bishop.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Waiting for Rowan

If you're one of the tiny band of folks who read this blog, then surely you're aware that our House of Bishops has all but begged the Archbishop of Canterbury to visit the U.S. -- something he has steadfastly refused to do since his installation.

No doubt, you're also aware of Brother Causticus' efforts to bring the Archbishop to the U.S.

You might understand why the Archbishop is quite content to meet with Zimbabwe's murdering bishop of Harare, while eschewing a visit that might bring him {eek!} face-to-face with a gay bishop in the U.S.

You're probably aware, too, of how mean some of the Anglicans in England are being to the Archbishop. If you've seen articles like this and this -- in which even the conservatives and evangelicals in England are asking what he's up to -- then you must wonder why he would not flee to the Anglophiles in the U.S.

So ... if you know all that ... you are surely aware that our waiting for Rowan to visit us has become something akin to Waiting for Godot.

And so is Father Jake. He has begun writing Act I of Waiting for Rowan. I think it's a masterpiece. Go check it out.
OK? Been to Jake's?
Now I'll copy the script here. 'Cause I promised him I would not put it here until he had published it. And because I fear he might delete it from his site. So it will remain here.
I give you . . . an excerpt from Act I of Waiting for Rowan (by Father Jake):
From Act I:
VLADIMIR: Well? What do we do?
ESTRAGON: Don't let's do anything. It's safer.
VLADIMIR: Let's wait and see what he says.
ESTRAGON: Good idea.
VLADIMIR: Let's wait till we know exactly how we stand.
ESTRAGON: On the other hand it might be better to strike the iron before it freezes.
VLADIMIR: I'm curious to hear what he has to offer. Then we'll take it or leave it.
ESTRAGON: What exactly did we ask him for?
VLADIMIR: Were you not there?
ESTRAGON: I can't have been listening.
VLADIMIR: Oh . . . Nothing very definite.
ESTRAGON: A kind of prayer.
VLADIMIR: Precisely.
ESTRAGON: A vague supplication.
VLADIMIR: Exactly.
ESTRAGON: And what did he reply?
VLADIMIR: That he'd see.
ESTRAGON: That he couldn't promise anything.
VLADIMIR: That he'd have to think it over.
ESTRAGON: In the quiet of his home.
VLADIMIR: Consult his family.
ESTRAGON: His friends.
VLADIMIR: His agents.
ESTRAGON: His correspondents.
VLADIMIR: His books.
ESTRAGON: His bank account.
VLADIMIR: Before taking a decision.
ESTRAGON: It's the normal thing.
VLADIMIR: Is it not?
ESTRAGON: I think it is.
VLADIMIR: I think so too.
ESTRAGON: (anxious). And we?
VLADIMIR: I beg your pardon?
ESTRAGON: I said, And we?
VLADIMIR: I don't understand.
ESTRAGON: Where do we come in?
VLADIMIR: Come in?
ESTRAGON: Take your time.
VLADIMIR: Come in? On our hands and knees.
ESTRAGON: As bad as that?
VLADIMIR: Your Worship wishes to assert his prerogatives?
ESTRAGON: We've no rights any more?
Laugh of Vladimir, stifled as before, less the smile.
VLADIMIR: You'd make me laugh if it wasn't prohibited.
ESTRAGON: We've lost our rights?
VLADIMIR: (distinctly). We got rid of them.
Silence. They remain motionless, arms dangling, heads sunk, sagging at the knees.

"Kill All Your Darlings"

All day I've continued to ponder what I wrote last night about how I have gotten caught up in Battlestar Anglicana. Today Jim Naughton is doing a very brave thing (about which I'll write soon); but he decided he had better "turn comment moderation on," because of the flak he expects to be flying. Recognizing that tempers or feelings may run high, he encourages people to exercise civility:

If I can make one recommendation that may help keep the conversation lively, but civil, it is the advice that Ernest Hemingway gave young writers about the editing process: "Kill all your darlings." If you think you've gotten off a particularly witty retort; said something in a marvelously sharp-edged sort of way; absolutely decimated your debating partner, etc., take that language out. That kind of writing tends to appeal to the hometown fans on any blog, but playing to the crowd, rallying the faithful, firing back at the commenters on another blog (while necessary at times) isn't what this exchange is for.
In this "run-up to Anglican war," most of us have spoken intemperately. God knows, I have previewed some of my blog postings or my comments on other blogs, and thought to myself, "Yeah, that's tellin' 'em!" And, like you, I've read plenty of comments from the "other side" that I know were written in exactly the same "smite 'em" tone.

Jim's words are wise . . . and not applicable merely to the item he's posted today on his blog . . . if we want to step away from a holocaust in our Episcopal Church.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I wonder if there's something in the air. I came upon two very fine -- but very different -- postings today, both featuring mountains, both speaking to me about perspective.

Caminante observes "We are Sisyphus" in our endless wranglings in the Anglican Communion over sexuality and power. The posting features a cool graphic of the figure pushing a rock up a mountain . . . only to have it slide back down again. You know the story.

Caminante's blog then offers a series of vignettes about Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was martyred 27 years ago today, shot with a single bullet that pierced his heart, while he celebrated a requiem mass. He lived these words:

Let us not tire of preaching love;
it is the force that will overcome the world.
Let us not tire of preaching love.
Though we see that waves of violence
succeed in drowning the fire of Christian love,
love must win out;
it is the only thing that can.
It is so easy to get caught up in what I've started calling Battlestar Anglicana. It is so easy to lash out at others, secure in the sense of the righteousness of our cause.

Rochester's Bishop McKelvey said of the recent House of Bishops meeting: "There was more agreement about major and significant things than I have felt for a long time. Such things as agreement that we can disagree and yet be of one heart, and that we have not been diligent to keep our squabbles out of the way of our call to ministry in God's mission." [emphasis mine]

Perspective. "Keeping the main thing the main thing," as Matt Currin counseled a while back.

I have a feeling that, when this is all over, we are all going to spend a long time on our knees in confession. Despite the time we already spend day by day confessing the "things known" and the "things done" that we already recognize as sin. We will eventually come to ourselves ... at least I hope so.

Then I turned to Dave Walker's site, where this image greeted me.

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

This was welcome humor . . . but not entirely humor, is it? None of us knows how long we're going to be climbing this mountain. What if part of this struggle in Battlestar Anglicana is just because we're reacting to the illusion that somebody else is promulgating? What if it merely appears to be an impossibly long climb?

I'm reminded of a phrase I've been hearing ever since Presiding Bishop Katharine met with the Executive Council: "non-anxious presence." It sounds like her non-anxious presence was balm to the bishops meeting. And I'm reminded of the delightful comment by TEC staffer Jan Nunley quoted in USA Today, along the lines of "It's only an ultimatum if you let it be an ultimatum."

These two finds in the blogosphere today were "sermons" to me. The desire to "go smite somebody" is always close at hand on Battlestar Anglicana. But as often as I can, I recollect the baptismal covenant. A whole lot of folks on "my side of the aisle" have memorized these parts of the covenant:

Celebrant Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
People I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
People I will, with God’s help.

But those are only the last promises we make. We first have to answer these questions in the affirmative:

  • Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?
  • Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
  • Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God?
  • Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Savior?
  • Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love?
  • Do you promise to follow and obey him as your Lord?

Sometimes I think that the folks accusing us of heresy and apostacy and of not even being Christians -- I think they forget that we have already made these fundamental promises.

And sometimes I need to remind myself of them, lest Battlestar Anglicana take over my life.

So . . . this has been a very long and rambling post. I need constantly to recall all the parts of my baptismal covenant. And I need to remember that this journey up the mountain may not be what some folks want to pretend it is.

Gay Bishops?

I looked again at Stephen Bates' blog at the Guardian. This statement about the primates' meeting left me slack-jawed:

They [TEC] were to stop consecrating gay bishops (though ironically, two of the 35 archbishops attending the meeting are known themselves to be gay).

I know people have said -- and have said so often that it's now almost a truism -- that Bishop Gene Robinson is not the only gay bishop in the Episcopal Church. But nobody seems willing to come out (aside from retired bishop Otis Charles) and show a bit of the courage and integrity that Bishop Robinson has shown. And, frankly, as a person who has been "out" for a couple of decades, it really ticks me off that there could be others in the House of Bishops who are content to let Bishop Robinson take all the flak.

But there are gay archbishops, too? Who knew?? And, again, why the secrecy?

Mind you, I'm not on a campaign to "out" any bishops who need to stay in the closet. But it's beginning to sound to me like the Anglican Communion has a problem with truth-telling.

March 26 update:

The Admiral of Morality has taken note of this post and and deigned to respond to it. He offers this response:
Yes, Lisa, you read correctly. At the meeting where under the careful watch of the Archbishop of Canterbury the primates wrote a lengthy and angry document demanding that The Episcopal Church never again consecrate an openly gay partnered bishop, that we discipline every priest who performs a same sex blessing and the bishop who does not intervene to prevent it, and that we relinquish our autonomy to them, there were in attendance two primates "known to be gay." Yet somehow, this did not appear anywhere in the document, is not generally known, and did not at all prevent the communique from being issued with straight faces (no pun intended) all around.

If this fact does not underscore the distinction between communion and power nothing does.
I gather the good Admiral is well connected and knows these things. But for the life of me, I do not understand how these things can be.

The Gay Food Conspiracy

Those folks at Anglican Underground are still at it. They're now up to their 5th installment revealing the Gay Food Conspiracy. Go jack up their sitemeter.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Friends We Keep

You know the old saying. So . . . I am just heartbroken [not!] to learn that the American Family Association thinks we're a bunch of lost souls who "abandoned scripture long ago." This Wildmon guy just cracks me up!

Update/Postscript: A friend just pointed out to me that Jim Naughton also flagged this article. He titled his, "Offending the right people." Sounds like we're on the same page.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

And from the right . . .

I've been busy at The Episcopal Majority, capturing the coverage of the resolutions adopted in the House of Bishops' meeting. There are some things that I declined to post over there, because they are just too far outside the realm of Episcopal dialogue. Here are a couple that I didn't want to post there. Don't go there, my friends, unless you are wearing your asbestos uniforms.

Virtue Online does what Virtue Online always does. Am I the only one who wonders why he and his readers are so obsessed with anal sex?? I read a lot of gay Episcopalians' blogs, and none of them is as fixated on that topic as are David Virtue and his minions. Of course ... if anybody had this photo of me that we have of David Virtue ... then I might re-think my position altogether. [Yes, this photo is of David Virtue, taken during the primates' Tanzania meeting ... and by a friend of his, no less! I have it on good authority that several homosexual males, upon seeing this photograph, have decided to become heterosexual.]

The Midwest Conservative Journal is all over the right side of the map. He left TEC some years back, and he just gets more angry as the years pass.

Let me remind you: Like so many of the noisier voices in our current dialogue, these bloggers are not Episcopalians. They have long ago departed this church of ours for more pure "religions."

Today in History

On this day (March 21) in 1556, after denying earlier forced recantations, Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, author of the Book of Common Prayer, was burned at the stake by Queen Mary. It is said that he stuck his right hand (the one with which he had signed those recantations) into the flames that it might be burned first.

And looking back to last week: On the Ides of March, the election of the Reverend Mark Lawrence as bishop of South Carolina was declared null and void, after his supporters neglected to submit their consents in appropriate form.

I'm not sayin' . . . . I'm just sayin' . . . . Oh, never mind!

Incidentally, if you're wondering why I've abandoned my blog, it's because all my energy is going into The Episcopal Majority. But I'm sure you're all following the news in the Episcopal Church as closely as I am, and you'll understand.

Primatial Vicar waits

Dave Walker has located the Primatial Vicar.

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

"A Miracle Has Occurred"

Tonight I'm working my fingers to the bone over at The Episcopal Majority, trying to capture the responses to the bishops' statement in the aftermath of Tanzania. Naturally, I'm trying to capture the giants of the blogosphere. But I have some friends helping me. And one of them pointed me to a blogger I had never seen before. Reflecting on the bishops' meeting, s/he said:
And oh my heavens, what a discussion that must have been. Tonight they issued four resolutions, a brief letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates' Standing Committee, and then a long statement that is so powerful, so moving, so stirring, so Declaration of Independence-y, so full of the Gospel ... I can't even describe it, but it's SO worth reading, even if you're not Episcopalian but simply appreciate good rhetoric. I tell you, a miracle has occurred . . . .

You know, there have been times in the last few years where I've almost thrown in the towel, where I've come close to deciding that church causes more grief than it alleviates, that any human institution is so inevitably and deeply flawed that one should simply avoid as many of them as possible and therefore being part of a church is just an invitation for heartache and disillusion. But sometimes, people can surprise you, and sometimes a group of people can actually fulfill the promise of Church. Sometimes miracles happen.
"A miracle has occurred." That's how I feel tonight. If the bishops of our church really do live up tomorrow to the words they issued tonight .... It will have been a miracle.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Conspiracy Revealed!

There is one solemn vow you must make on that day when you slap your head and say, "Gosh! I think I'll be a homosexual now." When you earn your toaster oven – or help someone else earn his/hers – you must make one promise. On that day when someone finally hands you your very own copy of The Homosexual Agenda (bound in stereotypical leather for the girls and lace for the boys, dontcha know), one commitment is required of you.

It is this: You must never, ever reveal the secret by which we are slowly but inexorably converting the entire world to homosexualism.

So imagine my dismay this evening upon discovering the relatively new blog, Anglican Underground. I don't know the folks over there. Perhaps they are homosexuals who have broken their vow. Or maybe they are traitorous heterosexuals in whom some poor benighted homosexual foolishly confided. No matter. Whatever the reason, they have now spilled the beans.

They have broken the silence about the plot that dare not speak its name. They have revealed the Gay Food Conspiracy in this startling exposé:

It is important to us here at Anglican Underground to never miss important stories in the news. This may be one of the biggest stories we have seen so far. Evidence in [sic] mounting that the new Food Pyramid may be part of an elaborate gay conspiracy. I guess we should have noticed that the Pyramid was a rainbow to begin with and that if it were made into a sticker and put on the back of a car... well you get the idea. Now information is coming from many sectors that the food women eat during pregnancy may make their children gay and Soy could be a main culprit. Soy milk is featured prominately on the New Food Pyramid.
The Gay Food Conspiracy goes all the way to the top, as you'll learn from their interview with +Bob Pittsburgh; he divulges the nefarious plot in which the Presiding Bishop is showing an unseemly and anti-Levitical disposition to serve shrimp and lobster at Episcopal Church functions. (That's what we get for electing an oceanographer, I suppose.)

We had almost destroyed the Sanctity of Marriage. We were getting closer to Ending Civilization As We Know It. But it's all over now, I suppose. The homosexual quest for world domination has been exposed. I am devastated.

Thanks a lot, Anglican Underground.

P.S. to you HoBD junkies: Please, please – I beg you, of your mercy! -- do not tell Mr. Becker about this. This could be the one that finally sends him right over the edge.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

"Those who just don't get it" … Indeed!

Somewhere in Michigan, there's an Episcopal priest who, methinks, needs to spend just a wee bit more time with his Book of Common Prayer. It seems he saw and takes grave exception to the statement from The Episcopal Majority that was quoted in a recent ENS story.

Here's the full posting of this blogger who calls himself StJohnsPriest:

Quote from those who just don't get it....

Being a bishop is all about theology. They are to uphold the faith of the Church! Yet here is a quote from a group in the Episcopal Church that just doesn't get it. It is from an Episcopal News Service article.

Episcopal Majority describes itself as a “grassroots organization committed to the values and vitality of The Episcopal Church and working to neutralize the negative influence of the American Anglican Council (AAC), the Anglican Communion Network (ACN), and related groups.”

The group’s statement also noted, “There should be no ‘litmus tests’ for theology – no ‘litmus tests’ at all, beyond those already established in our canons and Book of Common Prayer.

Of course, no mention of the standards of SCRIPTURE, which involves THEOLOGY, which is the STUDY OF GOD!

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for these folks....

If he allowed comments on his blog, I would have made a comment there, but he doesn't, so I'll say my piece here.

I'm not sure what prayer book he uses, but here are the things that are in my BCP:

  • the Decalogue, the Psalms, and a great deal of Scripture spread throughout our liturgies
  • the Catechism (or Outline of the Faith), which specifies our fundamental theology and teachings
  • the Apostles Creed, which outlines our fundamental theology
  • the Nicene Creed, which outlines our fundamental theology
  • liturgies for baptism, the daily office, Holy Eucharist, pastoral offices (confirmation, marriage, penitence, burial, etc.), episcopal services (ordination and so on), and some of the richest prayers ever written in the English language [pp. 810ff] – all of which reflect and reinforce our theology and our understanding of God
I have participated in all these and can do so without crossing my fingers, even if I must confess that (like many Episcopalians) there are parts – and sometimes different ones in different seasons of my life – that make me wonder, "How can that be?"

As The Episcopal Majority statement said quite clearly, the only litmus tests for theology should be those "already established in our canons and Book of Common Prayer." The theology deeply embedded in our prayer book should be the "litmus test" for the election and consecration of a bishop. And the other litmus test should be a declared conformity to the canons of our church.

Now … what part of that does StJohnsPriest fail to grasp? By citing the Book of Common Prayer, the Episcopal Majority statement already encompasses the standards of Scripture and the core theology which undergird our faith.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Life in Missouri

Pam's House Blend is not a site I've visited before. Until a friend directed me to this story about two lesbians being kicked out of an IHOP restaurant in Grandview, Missouri, because some customers were offended that the two women kissed.

Just so you know, Grandview is not out in the "back end of beyond." It's in suburban Kansas City. Where some of us think surely this stuff just does not happen anymore.

The story begins:

A group of lesbians hanging out at the International House of Pancakes in Grandview said they got thrown out of the restaurant because they're gay.

The women said they met up at IHOP Friday night around dinner time. When one of the women's partners showed up, they greeted each other with a kiss. They said there was another kiss on the cheek later, but they said it was nothing outrageous. The restaurant's general manager said he got a complaint and asked the women to leave.

..."He said it's just that we've had complaints and it's unacceptable and as a family restaurant we don't accept that and don't accept you and she said maybe we should go," Jackie Smith said. "He said I'm going to have to ask you to leave and not return."

The site has more details and links to coverage provided by a local television station and the Kansas City Star.

From all accounts, these women were not behaving in the outrageous way that makes some of us (whether gay or straight) want to suggest, "Get a room!" They apparently kissed just exactly like we all see heterosexuals behaving every day in virtually every public place in these freedom-loving United States of America.

Kansas City Star columnist Mike Hendricks picked up the story and points out more about life in Missouri for gay people:

These days it’s rare for gays and lesbians to be denied service in restaurants for acting like who they are. . . . However, incidents like this one are not unheard of, and the people affected often can do nothing about it.

There is no federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. Neither Kansas nor Missouri are among the few states that protect gay people from being discriminated against in areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.

Kansas City does have an ordinance protecting gays, as do St. Louis, Columbia and University City. But if you’re anywhere else in Missouri and you’re gay, you can legally be denied service in restaurant. Landlords can refuse to rent you a place to live.

You can even be canned from your job on the suspicion that you’re romantically inclined toward members of your own sex.

“Many people are shocked to hear that people can be fired from their jobs for being gay or being perceived to be gay,” says Julie Brueggemann, executive director of the Missouri gay rights group Promo.

That would change if bills pending in Kansas and Missouri would ever pass. It’s only the first year for Senate Bill 163 in Kansas. But the so-called Missouri Nondiscrimination Act, House Bill 819, has been up time and again.

And as in past years, it has almost zero chance in Jefferson City, says Rep. Jeneé Lowe, a Kansas City Democrat, the bill’s sponsor.

There's just one silver lining here. They were merely told to leave a public place. If Akinola had his way, they'd be in jail, facing a five-year prison term.

Notable & Quotable

The Richmond Times-Dispatch today carries an article about how various Episcopal parishes and individuals are reacting to the drama in the Anglican Communion. In it is this most marvelous bit:

Howard Wells, a member of St. Philip's who is gay, said he would like to be able to have a ceremonial blessing in his church for himself and his partner.

"There is so much irony," he said. "The Episcopal Church will bless everything from a warship to my dead body at the end of my life. But they refuse to bless my relationship with my partner of 13 years."

Others have made similar statements. God bless Howard Wells for saying it again, and saying it powerfully. Someday ... someday ... the message will get through to those who still don't get it.

Undeniable Truth

And now for something completely unrelated to the Episcopal Church. (Aren't you delighted?)

Mid-week here in Missouri, the high temperature was over 75 degrees on two consecutive days. Guess what I awoke to this morning? A blanket of snow covering the (icky dead) ground. So this cartoon is just perfect for today.

Update, thanks to Ann in the comments section below: Check here for a weather report.

Friday, March 16, 2007

An Unasked Question

Much has been said in the blogosphere about the election and consent process for Father Mark Lawrence as bishop of South Carolina.

Early on, partisans at StandFirm and Virtue Online were harping about the nomination process. Many seemed to think it was not an open process. Some of the conservatives were screaming that the process seemed to be manipulative. I didn't pay much attention at the time.

Then there were unexplained delays in the Diocese of South Carolina sending "consent requests" to the standing committees of the Episcopal Church.

Then there were the discussions from left and right about what Father Lawrence might or might not think, might or might not do.

And now it has all come down to this. His election has been declared null and void because he did not gain the necessary consents. And from the report at ENS as well as one poster at T19, there are questions about whether the South Carolina standing committee handled this whole process responsibly.

Some bloggers have tried to pretend that the "left" was objecting to him on theological grounds. That was never the case. We objected because he could not manage to issue a clear statement that he would remain in the Episcopal Church and would do all in his power to keep the diocese of South Carolina in the Episcopal Church. We wished for a clear contrast to bishops like +Schofield, who seem hell-bent on leading their dioceses out of our church.

I've discussed this ad infinitum with some moderate friends. I have tried to explain it's not Lawrence's theology that made me hesitant about his consecration.

In all those conversations, I have referred them back to this questionnaire, which Father Lawrence apparently had to complete as part of the nomination process in South Carolina.

This is the questionnaire in which he "strongly agreed" that "Faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation," that "Jesus Christ was born of a virgin," and "Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead in bodily form." OK. I'm with him on all that.

It's the questionnaire in which he "disagreed" that "There should be room in TEC for priests and bishops who accept homosexual conduct as a valid, non-sinful choice," strongly disagreed that "The church should not divide over this issue [of homosexuality]," and strongly disagreed that he would remain within the Episcopal Church if South Carolina separated from TEC. Those responses gave me pause.

Father Lawrence's replies to that questionnaire troubled me, and they still do. But go look at that questionnaire. Scrawled across the top of it is a handwritten note that (if my eyes aren't deceiving me) says:

Great to be with you! Could you take a moment and fill this out again so we have the right answers for our file on you?
Yes, "right" is underlined on that document. Apparently, Father Lawrence had answered the questionnaire before, but was asked to submit it "again" so that South Carolina would have "the right answers" on file. What's that about??

What were Father Lawrence's initial answers to that questionnaire? Were they not "right"? Were they not radical enough?

And if someone in the diocese was submitting the questionnaire to Father Lawrence a second time, was "the fix in"?

These questions have been niggling at the back of my mind. With the strange turn of events today, they came back to the forefront.

In a word: What the heck has South Carolina been doing?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Feed Your Soul Here

Louie Crew is the man the right-wingers most love to hate. And, make no mistake, they do hate him. You can read it all over their blogs. In their view, he is Evil Incarnate – the symbol of all that's wrong with the Episcopal Church.

He's the gay man who founded Integrity and has been elected and appointed very often to responsible positions within our church. He's also the person who – when intemperate, impatient people like me get all bent out of shape and start hurling epithets – urges, "Peace – Be still."

He preached this past Sunday at St. Thomas parish in Washington, D.C. This sermon will knock your socks off! Go. Read. Know you're walking on holy ground.


We live in the land of biblical idiots.

So declares this headline in the Los Angeles Times. The writer observes, "Because they lack biblical literacy, Americans are easily swayed by demagogues on the left or the right who claim — often incorrectly — that the Bible says this about war or that about homosexuality."

[Oh! and, for that link, yet another hat-tip to Ann . . . who certainly is racking-up the blogosphere indulgences these days!]

I thought of that article today when I read one of the "commenters" over at ViagraCentral, who declared that "homosexuality was rampant" in New Testament times. Yeah, right! ("I'll have some of what he's smokin', please.") I wonder what biblical scholar taught him that! No, he surely picked up that bit of "truth" from one of the demagogues currently making the rounds.

Well . . . not me. I was taught the Bible from the cradle -- by women who had charge of my life at school during the week, then at church on Sundays. Hours and hours, year after year of Bible verse memorization, "sword drills," Vacation Bible school, and real Bible study. These old maids -- and they all were respectfully termed "old maids" back then -- took the Bible absolutely seriously and had no doubt of the authority of Scripture. Nor do I. However, even back then (in the '60s), they allowed for interpretation and reason. Even as a child, I remember these godly women saying we really cannot know what were the six "days" in which God created the earth. They saw no conflict between evolution and the Genesis account of creation. They believed that the "high view" of Scripture required us to engage our full selves in its study and reflection.

And I suppose all that teaching "took." Here's the proof -- based upon a tool for rigorous theological assessment:

You know the Bible 100%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

Yes, I'm kidding about this being a "rigorous tool." But it is an interesting quiz.

And I am dead serious about the fact that I know the Bible and take it very, very seriously.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Refused Communion

I've commented on how some in our church seem to be ratcheting-up their reactions against the Rainbow Presence. Ann has now posted this story from someone who has experienced such a withholding of communion. I urge you to go there and read her full story. For I can't begin to do it justice here.

Honesty 1, Hypocrisy 0

I wrote here of my frustration at the primates' hypocrisy in attacking the Episcopal Church, when so many other Anglican churches have gone much further than we have. I was delighted, then, to receive this story Sunday from Ron Chaplin, an Anglican in Ottawa.

Last week has been a busy week, what with the address delivered by Vancouver Bishop Michael Ingham in my parish, and discussions about the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Episcopal Church last weekend, and this weekend's meeting of the equivalent body in the Anglican Church of Canada -- the Council of General Synod.

During these discussions, I was given further information about the actions of the Canadian Primate at the Primates' Meeting in Tanzania. Apparently, after the "report" from the Episcopal Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury turned to ++Andrew Hutchison to ask if he could report on "compliance" by the Canadian Church. Our primate apparently said he would be delighted to do so, immediately following a report from the Church of England on same-sex blessings and civil partnerships.

That ended the suggestion.
No doubt, some would term that a "smackdown." But I wouldn't use such a term. No, not I.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

"Getting" It

I don't often begin with imperative sentences, but I'm doing so here: Go read Ann's reflection on today's collect. In it, she talks about factors that led to the Rainbow Presence initiative, and voices the surprise and concern that many of us feel at the vitriolic reaction some people are having to this initiative. But that's not even the most amazing part.

Go. Read. Then come back and finish reading this one.

OK. Back now?

Here's the paragraph that flat took my breath away:

Personally, I have discovered that although I knew the kind of threats that daily life brings to sisters and brothers who are gay, lesbian, transgender, I did not KNOW (duh - dope slap here) it in my person. It brings new meaning to the angels' words "Fear Not."
This is not something I talk about much, but I know those daily threats Ann mentions. Growing up in the '50s and '60s, I didn't even know there was such a thing as being "gay." (That term didn't exist then, as far as I know; the word back then was "homo.") I didn't have the foggiest notion what one might do about attraction toward someone of the same sex. But because I was a "tomboy," I got the taunts and verbal abuse from other kids way, way more often than I like to recall – as well as probing, "therapeutic" queries and admonitions from teachers and other adults. And, of course, I was told by church leaders that I would go to Hell if I ignored our Lord's condemnation of homosexuals. I've only been beaten up once for "walking while queer" – and that was years before I had even kissed anyone. But I most certainly have received threats of violence. I've had men follow me and my partner down a street, hurling epithets. I've heard the snarls delivered supposedly under the snarler's breath. In my bones, I'm vividly aware that, when in public, I can't even hold the hand of a woman I love without risking violence. Several folks told much more powerful stories – and told them more eloquently than I can – last week at Father Jake's.

I know all that. It's just a fact of life, and I rarely even think about it.

Until something like this. Something like what Ann wrote in her blog.

After the events of the past week, Ann now knows these threats of violence (physical, verbal, or emotional) – and not just intellectually, but in her bones – because some people (in places like StandFirm and MCJ, and in personal e-mails to her) are making cagey warnings of violence against people who dare wear a rainbow symbol on Easter … and those people warning of violence are not distinguishing between the "queers" and the "straight" people who support us. She's had a kind of "conversion" experience – though I wish she had never heard those words that forced her to "get it" so powerfully and personally.

We Christians talk about incarnation and about bearing one another's burdens. Ann's words in her blog today are water to a thirsty soul.

Thank you, Ann. My words here fall short of my gratitude.

Now, you folks go over there and jack up her site stats!

Bishop Robinson on Public Radio

Yet another hat-tip to Ann for this. (How does she do it?? The woman is a living, breathing Web aggregator!)

Bishop Gene Robinson was on New Hampshire Public Radio this week. The interview, running about 50 minutes, is available here, and it's very good.

When I listen to him, I just can't square the real, incarnate Bishop with the boogey-man whom the conservatives love to hate.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Hypocrisy of It All

Much news has been flying about the Anglican blogosphere in the last three weeks, and I have had neither energy nor heart to comment on most of it. I have made many notes to myself about things I might or could write about. Tonight, this one has bubbled to the surface.

Like many others, I continue to wonder why "some of" the primates and related bloviators in the Anglican Communion continue to hammer away at the Episcopal Church. I would like to think it is, as they tell us, all about the "authority of Scripture" or the "faith once delivered to the saints" or whatever is the justification du jour. But I just cannot continue to entertain that fantasy.

Yes, the Episcopal Church ordained a godly, partnered gay man as a bishop. Yes, we ordain gay men and lesbians to the diaconate and priesthood. And, yes, there are priests in our church who will officiate at the blessing of a commitment between two men or two women. And we have gazillions of faithful gay men and lesbians exercising gazillions of ministries in our church.

But we are not alone. Heck! We're not even out front. In the Anglican churches of England and Canada (and perhaps others), priests are officiating at "weddings" and official, state-sanctioned "civil unions." Our very own Archbishop of Canterbury acknowledged (before his spinectomy) he had knowingly ordained gay men to the priesthood. And – according to all I hear – there are plenty of gay men and lesbians in the episcopate, and not just in the U.S.; it's just that none of them has the honesty and integrity that Bishop Robinson has. (And more's the pity!)

All of that is old, wearying news.

In an article headlined "Williams tells US Church to get a move on with reforms," Church Times merely adds another angle:
Changing Attitude Scotland added a new dimension to the debate in pointing out that, on the day the Tanzania communiqué was issued, the Church of Sweden had agreed rites of same-sex blessing.

“The Church of Sweden is in full communion with the Scottish Episcopal Church. Through its own synodical processes, the Church of Sweden has now agreed a text for the blessing of gay people,” a statement said on Tuesday.

“We note that there has been no condemnation of the actions of the Swedish Church from the Anglican Primates during this extensive process, nor from any of the bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church. We are glad that this is so, and recognise that this illustrates very clearly that the actions of the Primates towards the Episcopal Church in the US are primarily political rather than theological.”
That really is it, isn't it? It is not theological. It is not ecclesiological. It is not soteriological. It is not christological. It is not about any of those church-related "-ologies." It is political. It is merely and simply political. Other Anglican churches have gone further than we have, more often than we have. But the financial and political pressure is coming from within the U.S., and its aim is to destroy the Episcopal Church. Jim Naughton and Matthew Thompson [God bless 'em!] have documented this cabal quite adequately.

If it were about the authority of Scripture or theology or ecclesiology or soteriology or Christology … then we would hear +Bob Pittsburgh and Akinola and the AAC and the NACDP and all the other alphabet-soup splinter groups decrying the "heresy" and "apostasy" of other churches that are (for now) in the Anglican Communion. But we do not. Why not? Because they are liars and hypocrites.

Therefore, I wonder why any of our bishops or our Presiding Bishop or anyone else in our church continues to take seriously – much less wrestle with – the Tanzania communiqué or the Windsor Report or any of the other statements and demands that have been issued. This. Will. Not. Stop. If we "fast" or "pause," they will only concoct another attack against us. Then, if they can destroy the voice and witness of the Episcopal Church, they will go after the Anglicans in England and Canada and Scotland and Ireland and Wales and New Zealand and South Africa …. It will not end. But with the U.S. church out of the way, it will be a helluva lot easier for them to destroy the voices of the real Anglicans in the rest of the world.

Yes, let us Episcopalians pause for a moment to remember who we are and whose we are. Let us heed Bishop Jefferts Schori's call for non-anxious reflection. Then let us humbly and hopefully get on about the business of being who we are, rather than being the "people of the lie."


In this amazing web of serendipity that is the blogosphere, I found a new blogger today at Dancing Through Doorways. I've enjoyed reading the few posts there. Nina asks some tough questions, dares some personal exposure, but also manages here to come up with one of the funnier lines I've heard in the last 3+ years:
Why do we still call it the "Anglican Communion" when some of the primates won't go to the Lord's Table with the rest? In the current circumstances, wouldn't "Worldwide Anglican Food Fight" be more like it?
Nina then goes on to point out the delightful irony of +Bob Pittsburgh insisting that the Episcopal Church submit to the authority of the Anglican Communion, while refusing to submit himself or his diocese to that of the church in which he is a bishop. Go take a look.

Friday, March 09, 2007

More from the Rainbow Presence

The group behind the Rainbow Presence has issued a media release which is well worth your reading. After the Rainbow Presence movement was unveiled this week, it didn't take long for the neo-cons over at StandFirm to take note. But here's an interesting difference: the people behind the Rainbow Presence make clear that this is to be a subtle, quiet display of solidarity with and support for gay/lesbian members of the Episcopal Church. StandFirm immediately labeled the group as "Rainbow Warriors." One group wants to be quietly supportive; another group wants to declare war -- and wants to bar them from communion. Which group do you reckon Jesus would hang out with?

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Rainbow Presence Declaration

Something new landed in my inbox today. The Rainbow Presence declaration urges gay/lesbian Episcopalians and their supporters to take this modest action on Easter Sunday: that "we will be present in our churches and make ourselves visibly known to our fellow parishioners, clergy, bishops, and leadership through the wearing of rainbow sashes, stoles, hats, buttons, and other articles of clothing and accessories." Go to their site to read the whole rationale.

This notice kicked up some thoughts and feelings for me.

Right after the dastardly primates' communiqué, I had the treat of spending the weekend with a couple who are warm friends of mine. They let me rant about the communiqué and about TEC's (thus far) lukewarm response. They literally cried with me about some parts of this whole thing. They are good friends, warm people, and solid Episcopalians. At some point in the conversation, A. asked what she could do to show her solidarity with gay/lesbian Episcopalians, and she asked whether there was a button or other insignia she could wear as sign and symbol of her support. I'll confess (with some chagrin now) that I kinda "went off" on her – explaining that married heterosexuals wearing buttons or applying bumper-stickers is too cheap and easy. I think I said something along the lines of "it's like putting a "Defenders of Wildlife" bumper-sticker on an SUV."

And still this couple persisted: What, they asked, could they do to make their support of me and of all gay men and lesbians in our church visible? To let people know they stand in solidarity with the mainstream of TEC and with the gay men and lesbians they know and love?

I had no answer. But I sure loved them for asking the question, and for the support that underlay the question.

Then I read about the "rainbow presence" initiative that some people in our church have launched. I confess my first, stupid reaction was to dismiss it. But y'know what? It's the only thing I've seen anyone propose as a way to make this not merely about gay people – as a way to let everyone know that we do indeed have many allies. The more I've considered it, the more I am grateful for it. And the more I realize it is anything but "cheap" or "trite." It's a way to let our many supporters make their support known. And for that I am grateful.

In quiet moments, I let myself fantasize about what it would be like to walk into my parish on Easter morning and see rainbow symbols all around me. If that happened -- Oh, my God! if that happened!! ... I would probably be prostrate. But then reality sinks in: In this conservative parish, it won't happen. I know it won't. But … ah … what a delightful moment I can have, just thinking about what such a gesture would mean to me. And maybe that's one of the blessings that the Rainbow Presence can give us: the ability to dream, to fantasize, to hope.

I will have my own quandary that day, as I'm scheduled to be a Eucharist Minister. So I'll be vested in my black cassock and white surplice. A rainbow boa would certainly be most unseemly. But I'll think of something ….

So I am grateful for the Rainbow Presence initiative, and I repent of my earlier hesitation. I'm grateful that someone is trying to answer the question that I could not: How can our allies make their support clear and visible? And I will definitely tell my friends D & A about this possibility.

Update (03.09.07): Friend and reader Ann sends me this news tonight:

Well, well, well. It seems our friends over at StandFirm are not amused by the Rainbow Presence. They've taken a page from the Roman Catholic heirarchy's response to the Rainbow Sash Movement and are proposing that anyone wearing a rainbow "sash or insignia" be denied communion. You can read the whole proposal, and comments [warning: don your asbestos gear] here.

Upon Hearing from Executive Council

I've read all the posts that ENS issued this evening from the Executive Council meeting. I've read the major post and all the various "spins" of it -- which I suppose are supposed to be comforting to folks like me.

To me, they read like very thin gruel to the gay men and lesbians who have remained in this church despite all the onslaughts that have been hurled against us.

But the photos of our Presiding Bishop sure do look earnest and compassionate, don't they? Are we feeling comforted yet?

I'll confess it: Photos like this do still move me. I still want to put great confidence in her. I think I know what she believed. But once -- just once -- I would like to hear her say, "You can't beat-up my gay friends in this church any more than you can beat up the conservatives!" I'm waiting ... I'm dying to hear her say that.

I hope that some members of the Executive Council will give us some more optimistic way to read this thin gruel in the next couple of days. For I sure can't find it there myself.

Instead, all I find is this message. [I must offer a hat-tip to MadPriest for creating the graphic ... which I can no longer find on his site ... but which I nicked in the nick of time.]

Like MadPriest, I'm forebearing and hating it!

Archiving Responses to the Communiqué

Louie Crew -- God bless 'im! -- is capturing various responses to ("some of") the primates' Tanzania communiqué on his site. Go there if you need to read them, or if there's one you want to reflect (or blog) upon.

Louie ... How can any of us say adequate thanks for all you do?

Sunday, March 04, 2007


It's late and I'm tired, and I probably should not post tonight. But I am sick unto death.

I learned today that my diocese's Standing Committee has consented to the consecration of Father Mark Lawrence to be bishop of South Carolina. Those of you who follow these matters as compulsively as I do are familiar with Lawrence. He's the guy who thinks the Episcopal Church is apostate and heretical, and who says (clearly enough for my ears) he will honor his private conscience if he has to choose between remaining in the Episcopal Church and having tea with the Queen and Archbishop. When I saw Kendall Harmon's report that my diocese's Standing Committee has voted to consent to Lawrence's consecration, I could not believe it! But I have now confirmed it with members of our Standing Committee.

I recognize my bishop is already prepared to sell out all the gay men and lesbians in the aftermath of Tanzania. His letter -- posted here for now -- makes it pretty clear to me.

I hear our Presiding Bishop telling us we just need to "forebear" a while on our baptismal covenant.

Now that I learn that our own Standing Committee really did consent to Lawrence ... I really do have to ask myself yet again: Why not just leave? If a man who hates the Episcopal Church can become a bishop in our church while gay men and lesbians are told to remain second-class citizens in it ... then why bother? Why the hell bother to put all the energy, devotion, and resources that we queers have been contributing?

There are just two little words that I would like to say to my diocese's Standing Committee. Unfortunately, my baptismal covenant draws me back and prevents me from saying them.

Addendum: The Admiral of Morality has done a much better job than I of explaining why consent to Lawrence as a bishop in our church is a travesty. Go there. Read that.

Friday, March 02, 2007

A Dream Deferred

Ever since the dastardly communiqué was issued by the primates from Tanzania, I've been slavishly reading news sites and the blogs of Episcopalians and Anglicans. I can recognize there is some logic in what our Presiding Bishop is counseling: that we "pause," that we "fast for a season." I also get very, very angry about that request sometimes. And sometimes I am very, very far beyond sad that she would ask this of us.

In all of this, I recently recalled this most marvelous poem.

Dream Deferred (Langston Hughes)

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

I hear echoes of that question in the writings of gay men and lesbians in our church, and in my own conflicted reaction. We have many options as we hear this dream of welcome may be deferred. And especially in hearing the request for deferral come from Bishop Katharine--someone we thought we could trust.

I'm still trying to figure out my own response.

A Rainbow???

I am really not sure I'm pleased with this. On the other hand, maybe it explains my rainbow flag, rainbow license frame, etc.

You Are a Rainbow

Breathtaking and rare
You are totally enchanting and intriguing
But you usually don't stick around long!

You are best known for: your beauty

Your dominant state: seducing

It's MadPriest's Fault!

As Yeats wrote: "Speech after long silence -- it is right . . . ."

I'm making no promises. But I may be back to blogging.

But you know ... it's absolutely, positively, and entirely MadPriest's fault that I've been silent. For the past six weeks or so, he's said just about everything I would have said (along with a lot that I'd never have had the nerve to say!), and said it better, with more passion and wit than I could ever aspire to do.

We shall see whether this urge to find my voice again endures beyond tonight.

And many thanks to those of you who have contacted me to see if things are ok. They are mostly.