"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them" (Gen.1:27)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Schism Begins

My best friend is Episcopalian. He's also gay. Last night I was privileged to accompany him to a meeting at his church to hear the parish rector speak about the Episcopal Church's recent General Convention in Columbus. The rector -- male, heterosexual, and African American -- had served as a deputy at the convention, which is held every three years.

In addition to electing a woman as presiding bishop (i.e primate) of the Episcopal Church in America, the convention also voted on resolutions in response to the Windsor Report of the worldwide Anglican Communion. That report had asked the Americans to "repent" from their action in 2003 of assenting to the episcopal consecration of an openly gay and partnered priest, Canon V. Gene Robinson. As the rector pointed out, the convention deputies chose not to express "repentance" for the 2003 action, as this would indicate that they now believe what they did then was wrong. Nonethelss, out of a desires to hear the voices of their fellow Anglicans around the globe, to be respectful of their wishes, and to remain in dialogue over difficult issues, the convention deputies approved a resolution expressing their "regret" for the pain their 2003 action has caused.

Now, however, it seems that some Anglicans both around the world and even closer to home aren't willing to accept this statement of regret and continue the dialogue with their co-religionists. Led by the power-hungry and fundamentalist Peter Akinola, Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria, these folks sadly are not willing to give to others even a small measure of what they had so strongly demanded for themselves.

It is sad that the prayer of Jesus himself (see John 17:8-26) calling for unity among his followers seems so far from the minds and actions of some shepherds entrusted with pastoral care for a part of God's flock.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

No Freedom of Speech at BYU

Brigham Young University professor Jeffrey Nielsen will lose his job because he chose to express an opinion that questions official Mormon support for the so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment."

Perhaps the leaders of BYU should actually read the Constitution they support amending. The First Amendment's guarantee of free speech might come as a surprise to those whose own views are not able to stand even the slightest challenge or questioning.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Colorado Allows Children to Marry

The logic of American politics and system of jurisprudence will never cease to amaze me!

While 15 year old girls in Colorado can legally wed, millions of gay men and women are denied this fundamental right not only in Colorado, but in almost every other state in the Union.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Dear Mr. President

June 5, 2006

President George W. Bush.
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Mr. President,

I write simply to share with you my deepest disappointment in your decision to support enshrining discrimination in the U.S. Constitution by advocating the so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment" (MPA).

Like its misnamed legislative cousin, the "Defense of Marriage Act," the MPA would do absolutely no good and would do much evil. It would protect no one, and would continue to harm countless American families. It would not support existing marriages between men and women; it would not enhance the family life of households with a married mother and father; and it would not provide greater resources for children from these or any other families.

It would, however, deny millions of good, decent, hard-working gay and lesbian Americans the same rights that their parents, siblings, neighbors and co-workers so often take for granted.

This amendment is mean-spirited and below the dignity of someone who calls himself a Christian. While there are many issues on which people of good will can disagree, this is not one of them. At its heart, this amendment seeks to undercut the very humanity of millions of gay and lesbian Americans, telling them that they are somehow "less than" their heterosexual fellow citizens.

I raise my voice with those who have called upon you to be the President for ALL Americans, not just the vocal minority of biblical fundamentalists who would want to see America become a theocracy created in their own image. On the day of judgment when the Lord separates the sheep from the goats, (cf. Matthew 25:31-46) I have no doubt that at least some of these "leaders of the religious right" will find themselves dumbfounded, saying with those who have been excluded from God's Kingdom, ".. 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'" I pray that you, Mr. President, will learn the true lesson of this passage, seeing the Divine Image in the dignity of every human person, and heeding God's call to include rather than exclude -- including those whom God created as homosexual.

Mr. President, please do the right thing; the good thing. Have the courage to withdraw your support from this bad, discriminatory proposal.

Wishing God's Peace to you and all those you love.

Timothy MacGeorge
Washington, DC