Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Stupid and Outrageous

With a million details of actual youth minisry to take care of (like Junior High camp next week and my presentation on Confirmation) I still feel the need to address the results of GC. The current prompt comes from two news stories. The first in London reports a Kenyan bishop being physically assaulted by two C of E clergy (!) who were outraged that he defended the Kenyan church's stand on homosexuality. They reportedly grabbed him, yelled at him and threatened to beat him up before bystanders seperated them. Bishop Simon Oketch was on his way to a church conference when this happened.
The second story comes from the little town of Graham Texas. The Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit was hit by vandals who trashed the church and hall, started a fire in the office and scrawled "God and Jesus Love Homosexuals" on a wall. The pastor (who also pastors two other mission congregations) had taken a traditional stand on the issue and sees this as a reaction to that. I'm afraid that I'd have to agree.
Wherever we stand on this issue I believe we must all agree that this kind of reaction from either side is repugnant, stupid, outrageous and completely outside of the traditions of Christianity and Anglicanism. I do presume to tell any of you what you should be teaching your young people, that is appropriately decided by your own faith and the direction of your home congregations. But we must teach that such a reaction will not and must not receive the blessing of the church. Even if we believe that "the other side" (who ever that may be from where you stand) is profoundly, fundamentally WRONG we are called to deal with them from a foundation of Christ's love.
I will make my public pledge that I will not tolerate, support or permit any such attacks, physical or verbal, in my presence. I hope that we all will be willing to do the same.

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