Dear Conservative Episcopalians,
I wish there was some other way.
I wish there was a way that we could truly honor and respect our differing theologies. It pains me to hear your quiet voices echoing the word ‘no’ in the House of Deputies. It used to be because I didn’t like what you believed, and hated that everyone didn’t agree with what I was sure was right. But now I hear it and I’m sad. I’m sad because I know that you know that you are standing alone in a sea of people with whom you disagree. I hear you speak at the podium and it’s no longer anger. It’s a plea. “Please don’t do this. You don’t know what it means to me.”
As an Episcopalian I hold high the idea that all of us can carry our own personal theology as we walk the same path. So often we are able to settle our disputes by simply voicing our opinions, agreeing to disagree, and going back to our respective homes. But this time, we cannot. And I wish there was another way.
The problem is that if homosexuality is not a sin, then the people in these unions are not sinners. There is nothing wrong with them. Which makes denying them the ability to bind themselves together in fidelity an injustice. I am called to fight against injustice where ever I see it, and I see it in this.
The Blessing of Same-Sex Unions has no place in your theology, but it is essential to mine. And this is where the real problem lies. We cannot have both be true in the church at the same time. For a long time we did it your way, and that caused pain to our LGBT brothers and sisters. Now we are doing it different, and it causes pain for you.
So I wish there was some other way.
I am honored by your presence. You are the faithful remnant. When others gave up, you stayed. I do not envy your position, and I can’t imagine what it’s like to walk into that room knowing you are the minority and will not win the vote. And now that we have passed this resolution, you have to go back to your diocese and explain why you couldn’t stop it. Explain that you did all you could. Explain the small victories you were able to accomplish. And I’m sorry.
I used to worry that honoring your opinions was some how giving in to them. Sometimes these talks about sexuality remind me of the civil rights movement, and I used to wonder if trying to look out for you and your needs was like trying to accomodate racists. So I asked someone who would know. She is black, American, and old enough to have first hand knowledge of the civil rights movement. And she told me no. No, what is happening in this church is nothing like that. She told me the difference was that we’re talking about it. We’re willing to talk and we’re able to talk. When she was fighting for her rights in the 1960s, the people she fought against had no interest in talking.
You are still here. You re still talking. Thank you so much.