Friday, September 28, 2007

Dogs in the Manger

I’ve read TEC Bp’s. message to the Abp. of Canterbury and to the greater Anglican Communion in response to the Tanzania communiqué as well as several different Bps. take on the message. Likewise, I have read the positions of the GLBT community and the Joint Statement of the AAC, Forward in Faith and the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes. Finally, I’ve read what Bp. Akinola had to say.

Until recently I’ve held the position that NH Bp. V. Gene Robinson was probably the loudest of several dogs in the manger howling at the issue, to include puppies from all sides of the ponds. However, I’ve come to change my mind. I see that distinction now falling to Bp. Akinola.

If any attention has been paid to previous posts, y’all know I believe a middle way is the only way through this crisis and I’ve long held that both sides were in need of attitude adjustment. What I don’t think I’ve offered is my thought that Bp. Robinson could resolve a lot of the turmoil but for his refusal to compromise. I’m no longer sure of that, having come to believe Bp. Akinola the single most dangerous person to continued communion of the Anglican faith, becoming my new “top dog” by his utter refusal to consider anyone but himself as able to divine the will of God.

The God I’ve come to know and trust is the God of the New Testament, one of love and compassion and not one of judgment and bitterness as portrayed in parts of the Old Testament. It’s pretty clear that Bp. Akinola will settle for nothing less than total capitulation from TEC and I fervently pray that never happens. I see him as standing not just on his scriptural beliefs but coming from a position of “homophobia” and believe that his homophobia and not his faith, directs him.

Personally, for the record:
1). I support “the civil rights, safety, and dignity of all gay and lesbian persons.”
2). I do not object to the blessing of same sex unions; however, I do not support their becoming sacramentalized.
3). I feel that by taking “Holy Orders” one is held to greater standards of behavior and becomes a “role model” for the laity. Offering an example by word and deed of clean and upright living to be emulated by those to whom they minister. As I see it, this precludes presenting any challenge to their own or the wider church or providing for any further strains on our tenuous bonds of communion.

All this presents even more of a quandary to me. I’ve long held that I am Anglican first and Episcopal second and really don’t want to have to be forced to decide where exactly my allegiance lies. If you read Common Cause Partners Theological Statement it makes complete sense to me and I can accept it fully. However, I know in my heart that these are agenda driven people and their agenda is to marginalize and exclude some to whom they have no right in so doing.

So where exactly do I stand?

I wish I knew.


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