Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Anglican Schism


At last it seems to have happened. The Anglican Communion is split over homosexuality.

Anglican church schism declared over homosexuality - Telegraph
Hardline church leaders have formally declared the end of the worldwide Anglican communion, saying they could no longer be associated with liberals who ...

What should I feel?

I was raised an ‘anglican’, though in Uganda, they are called ‘protestants’. I had a serious crush on religion, and fell in love for a while, even declaring for Pentecostals. Now, well, now I am seated on the fence, not willing to commit to any religion, proud of my stance. I have no religion.

It has been a tough journey.

Once, (documented on this blog), I used to show a bitterness to Christianity. Unmet expectations. Ideals that seemed hollow to me. I was embittered by rejection of my self, as I saw it. Supposed religious leaders constantly harping about and demonizing me because of my sexuality.

Sigh. It has been a long journey.

So, now that the Anglican fellowship is split. (The signs were there, from way back. They would not sit and eat with others from across the waters. That was a potent one.) And they have rejected us. Us as in homosexuals.

About a week ago, there was a talk show on WBS. One of the local TV stations. Topic was homosexuality, and the Church of Uganda’s response. I listened, in part because my lover wanted to listen to it. He is a Catholic, and very religious- (or he was, until the bitterness from his church drove him to my uncertain side.) A Bishop, and another. Discussing the evils of homosexuality. And how the Church of Uganda has responded.

‘What about homosexual Ugandans?’ the presenter had the audacity to ask. ‘Where do they go after you have rejected them like that?’

‘No, we are not chasing homosexuals out of the church.’ The bishop answered quickly.

‘Homosexuals are also welcome in church. They are also children of God’

Yeah, I thought. We are also children of God. But you will not eat with us. You will not care about us. You will hold demonstrations and form the ‘Inter-faith Rainbow Coalition against Homosexuality’. Just in response to our declaring that we are human and we are alive. And you will break from your family, because they have the love to accept us.

Now, now, now. I am becoming bitter.

Cant help it. Sometimes I feel as loved as when Kimbowa says, ‘I love you, you homosexual.’ I feel very loved. Once I asked a church mate of his, Stanislaus, to show his love by not calling me homosexual. After all, I am black, but to call me a nigger is an insult. Stanislaus could not stoop to calling me gay. So, he disappeared from the blog!

Why am I wandering?

Its my lover. He is very religious. And he has been hurt by all this, though he is a Catholic. He has actually taken some months without going to Mass.

Yesterday, someone sent us a book about Gay Catholics. How can one be both gay and Catholic?? One of the books chapter headings!
My lover, it was love at first sight. He is serious with his religion. But, for me, I am empty of that, and I have no idea how to fill that gap in him.

It has been a long journey. Still going on.

Wish I could help him more. But then, how can one who admits to no religion help someone who believes? My lack of faith does not hurt me. I have learnt that it does not hurt me. He is experiencing rejection from the faith that he had considered, and brought to think of as the bedrock of all faith.

I cannot help him, except by holding him in my arms.

There is still a long way to go.


Anne said...

Hi, I thought you might like this article.

It’s about Love, Stupid!

A word about Religion & Gay Marriage from a theologian

Dr. Matthew Fox

When I read churches pontificate about what God says against homosexuals my stomach

gets knots in it. The “God says” argument doesn’t hold water because the Bible is filled

with “God says” items that do not cut the mustard any longer. Consider for example the

following admonitions from the Bible: Ex 35.2 says a person working on the Sabbath

should be put to death. Leviticus 11:10 says eating shellfish is an “abomination” (just like

homosexuality). Leviticus 25.44 says you may buy slaves from the nations that are around

us. Do you think Canadians would mind? Or Mexicans?

Like anything else in life, one has to use the brains God gave us to determine priorities even

and especially when reading Scriptures. Which of the priority teachings might apply to gay

marriage in the Bible? I would propose three.

One is the admonition that “God is Love.” That is quite startling and still, after centuries

and centuries, quite fresh. God is Love. Where we give love and receive love there is God.

Love is the better part of ourselves as human beings. And it is God showing through our

giving and receiving in good times and bad, in sickness and in health.


My Bible does not say “God is heterosexual love.” (Does yours?) But that God is love.

Marriage is supposed to build on love, develop it, nurture it and celebrate it. A good

argument for gay marriage. Marriage celebrates and protects love. Of whatever stripe.

The second Biblical teaching that honors gay marriage is Jesus’ teaching to put justice first,

to support the anawim, those without a voice, the outcasts, the oppressed ones. Gay and

lesbian people have clearly been oppressed. Some were arrested, some were put in mental

hospitals and given lobotomies, some were beat up, some were murdered (such as the late

Matthew Shepherd), most have had to hide and pretend. Clearly, then, Jesus’ teaching to

stand by the oppressed applies to a sexual minority as it does to any other minorities.

Lastly, the religious rhetoric against gay love is always buttressed by the famous line, “it’s

not natural. It’s against nature.” But Science, whose job it is to explore nature, has found

just the opposite. That there are gay couples among at least 464 other species ranging from

dolphins to birds, from dogs to seals. So it is natural…. for a minority. (It is not natural

for a heterosexual but neither is heterosexuality natural for a homosexual.)

Religious people have to study creation as well as Bibles, just as St. Thomas Aquinas

wrote in the thirteenth century when he said: “A mistake about creation results in a mistake

about God.” (He did not have the scientific evidence at that time that we have today about

the naturalness of homosexuality for 8 to 10 % of a given human population.)

Homophobia makes a very big mistake about God, the author of nature’s immense

diversity. Including sexual diversity. God is author of nature and that means that God is

author…yes, of gay as well as straight passions.

The love that is celebrated in gay marriage is society’s love, not just that of man to man or

woman to woman. We all profit from faithful love whether such joy be lived out in

heterosexual or homosexual contexts. So let us all rejoice that notions of God is Love and

Justice Matters and Nature is God’s Doing are happening in a fresh way in the state of

California. And let us move on to other topics of genuine moral concern such as the fate of

the Earth.

Matthew Fox is an Episcopal priest and author of 28 books on spirituality and culture

including Original Blessing and One River, Many Wells. See

gayuganda said...

Thanks Anne


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