Monday, August 04, 2008

Gays Running Amok at Lambeth?

Wetzel Debunked

Yesterday, Cherie Wetzel posted a bit of clap-trap about Anglican and Episcopalian gay/lesbian Christians running amok and "Peddling the Gay Lifestyle." It sounded remarkably like Archbishop Mouneer Anis' hysteria (when he was interviewed the previous day) about queers overrunning the Lambeth Conference. To hear them tell it, the gay men and lesbians are overwhelming the bunny-rabbits at the University of Kent.

Unfortunately, some people mistook Wetzel for a journalist. She is a partisan commentator, not a journalist.

Since Wetzel's and Anis' statements have been so widely reported, it seems only fair to give the report from Katie Sherrod, an honest-to-God journalist who was at Lambeth. She has written the following, sent quickly before she flies home to the U.S., which I post with her permission.

From Katie Sherrod:

I am at Lambeth. I am the editor of The Lambeth Witness. It is being published by the Inclusive Church Network, which is a coalition of progressive groups from the UK, Canada, Africa, and the USA. It does include LGBT groups, but also WATCH [Women and the Church], Modern Churchpeoples Union, and many more. You can read the publication online at the Lambeth portal.

We have – with the permission and at the direction of the conference organizers – placed our newspapers at the entrances to the buildings here. The bishops, spouses, staff and volunteers are welcome to pick one up or not as they choose. We have stationed volunteers to watch the stands – as they have been regularly vandalized – but they are instructed NOT to offer a paper to anyone. They do, of course, talk with anyone who wants to talk with them.

It's the same at the Marketplace stalls. I never have heard anyone shouting at anyone else to take a rainbow ribbon. They offered them to people walking by, just as people at other stalls are offering things. It's not unlike the exhibit hall at General Convention. Volunteers at the Integrity/Changing Attitude booth did indeed engage people – including bishops – in conversations --- it's all part of the listening process. Remember that? It's been called for by every Lambeth Conference since 1978. They were not rude about this. Indeed, if someone clearly did not want to talk, they didn't grab them by their lapels! Please. These are Anglicans. :)

The exact same thing was happening at the right-to-life booth right next to the Integrity/Changing Attitude stall. I notice Mrs. Wetzel did not complain about that.

The demonstration she talks about was put on by Peter Tatchell [sp?] of Outrage, a group in the UK not aligned with any Christian church. None of the groups in the Inclusive Church Network are part of his group, and we have no control over what he chooses to do. Just as we used the public spaces of the university to place our newspaper stands, so he chose to use a public space to spread out his large banner. I did not see it, nor did I see any "demonstration" so I can't comment on it directly.

Most of our group was living in student housing down the hill from the university. A few of us shared hotel rooms. We worked out of a parish hall of a local church. Several members of our coalition had press credentials. I'm not sure what is wrong with that, or how that indicates something sinister.

It was irritating not to get called on in the press conferences, as the same members of the British press were called on every day, as were many members of the press considered conservative in the US. We have the same desire to ask questions as do they. Again, what does this signify?

We were indeed there trying to get the voices and viewpoints of LGBT Anglicans entered into the mix. With the exclusion of Gene Robinson, their voices were totally absent from the bishops' proceedings – leaving them once more to be talked about, not talked with. And since it is their lives, relationships, and vocations that are being offered up as sacrifices for the "unity of the Communion" it seems important that they be heard.

Offering yourself up for sacrifice is one thing. Offering someone else up for sacrifice on your behalf is something else indeed, and it raises a whole raft of moral and theological issues that the bishops are not facing up to.

I am sorry Mrs. Wetzel was distressed by this.

You are free to share this note with anyone you choose. We are completely transparent in what we are doing here.

Your sister in Christ,
Katie Sherrod


Blogger David G. said...

Didn't our parents hear this Tripe in the late 60's, about Blacks?!?

It's just a NOT~so Merry go round!!

8/04/2008 1:15 AM  
Blogger BillyD said...

From Wetzel's piece, quoting the supposed views of "homosexual activists": 'It is also clear that countries that repress homosexual activity, especially Moslem countries, are uneducated, unsophisticated and barbaric. They assure you that homosexuality is coming to all of these countries within the next decade.'

Well, it's not fashionable to say so, but I've never considered myself much of a cultural relativist, so I'll grant Ms. Wetzel that I consider places where human rights are routinely denied as uneducated and unsophisticated. 'Barbaric' is a judgment call, though. So sue me. (Whatever did conservatives and fundagelicals ever do before they discovered the handy bludgeon of political correctness, though?)

I take issue, however, with her assertion that gay people are certain that "homosexuality is coming to all these countries within the next decade." Homosexuality, Ms. Wetzel, is already there. If it weren't there would be no reason for the anti-gay hysteria and lying that we see in those countries' educated, sophisticated Anglican primates.

8/04/2008 2:41 PM  
Blogger WilliamK said...

I'd really just like for Ms. Wetzel to read one verse of the Bible to which she claims such deep devotion: Exodus 20:16.

8/05/2008 10:01 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

You sent me scurrying to my Bible, WilliamK, but I found it. Exodus 20:16: "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour."

Not incidentally, I was amused today to read a HoBD poster say Lambeth was "spent bickering about homosexuality in an environment dominated by swarms of homosexuals ..." SWARMS! BEWARE! The Evil Menace of Homosexuality is an Envading Swarm!

I wouldn't be surprised to see that as a headline at the Washington Post soon.

Good Lord, deliver us.

8/05/2008 10:47 PM  
Blogger WilliamK said...

You sent me scurrying to my Bible, WilliamK....

That was the idea! ;-)

In any event....
The attitude being expressing by folks on the "right" to the LGBT Anglicans and allies who were at Lambeth seeking to get some LGBT voices heard is very much like the attitude once expressed about "uppity you-know-whats" during the Civil Rights era. I imagine it wouldn't take much effort to find some Proud White Southerner who referred to "swarms" of "agitators" coming and causing trouble in nice, quiet, peaceful southern towns where "all our colors are happy"!

Good Lord, deliver us, indeed!

8/06/2008 10:30 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Amen, WilliamK. I had a similar recollection about the "hordes of agitators."

8/07/2008 1:03 AM  

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