Although many may not agree - I am usually pretty laid back about things. There are a few issues about which my passion and enthusiasm show. Evangelism is one of them but that is fairly recent. Justice has always been something I have been passionate about. It is a passion that is a gift from my parents who believe/believed strongly in a world of Shalom.
I also care deeply about the Anglican Church. I remember leading a seminar at college that was about Anglicanism in other parts of the world. I researched with dismay growing each time I read about the growing influence of the Global South provinces and where their theology lay. I could see even then the impact they would have on the Anglican Communion and nearly wept for the way I knew we would change. It is not that I don't believe they shouldn't have a voice. It is that I believe they are where we were about 40 years ago. I firmly believe that in time all will come to realize that God is fully inclusive and that human sexuality is diverse and part of how we are created. I honestly feel that this will not be a huge issue in 20 years. We will have moved on to something else just a challenging to us as a Communion. Because we live in very different contexts there will never be a "common mind." To expect that we could ever have such a thing is ridiculous. We are far too diverse.
As much as I love the Anglican Church and its historical ties I cannot support the sacrificing of justice for the idol of unity. The ABC recently did a video for the Global South Conference.
It is interesting the connection I feel with Canterbury. I have long believed that more than just physical traits are passed through our DNA. I believe that some of our spiritual ones are as well. I am a direct descendant of Queen Bertha of Kent whose husband gifted with St. Martins for Augustine. This makes Canterbury a special place for me. But, as much as it is special, I cannot continue to feel the necessity to continue to hold to it as a centre of unity at the sacrifice of justice.
As a child and teen-ager I was often in trouble with authority figures. I didn't realize until I had a daughter of my own that shared my attitude problem just what it was that caused the trouble. As an adult, dealing with that daughter's teachers, I realized that what I saw as issues of justice (and therefore I would not back down and was often taken to task for speaking back) were considered discipline issues to the teachers because I was challenging their authority. I never could back down from what I believed to be right. I still can't. I firmly believe that full inclusion of GLBTTs is what is right - that it is a matter of justice and that God is about justice. As a result if the ACC and TEC have to face consequences for their stance on this issue - so be it. I would rather see that than to see us uphold a very false unity.
And that is what it would be - a false unity based on the sacrifice of people and justice. How can it be a true unity with one group calling the shots and another having to sacrifice what it truly believes is the will of God? How can it be a true unity when it cannot embrace the diverseness that exists within it - when groups of it are not able to have integrity with their firmly held beliefs?
And as to consequences for ACC and TEC on a Communion level - what about Wales and Scotland and New Zealand? What about the voices in the C of E calling out for justice and full inclusion. If it is a matter of ACC and Tec facing consequences, what about those who share that passion and attitude for the same things? The reality is that we are just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe others are being relatively quiet right now but start to infringe on their sense of justice and their sense of integrity and we may see that the current sacrificing of justice for the idol of false unity will have more far-reaching consequences than Lambeth ever envisioned. We may see that they to have an attitude problem.
Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie +