2008/05/11

Lindy Responds to Episcopal Life Article

...there are reminders that the Holy Spirit is at work and that the Churches do want to provide a pastoral ministry to all people and develop a deeper understanding of an issue that often sparks more heat than light.

URL: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/80050_97023_ENG_HTM.htm

It is also true that in many dioceses of our own dear TEC the Church does not really care about providing a pastoral ministry to -- much less with -- all people; nor do they seem too interested in understanding issues which are easier to ignore.

I don't think anyone expects the Church in Sudan to drop everything to have a "listening process." There are good reasons in lots of places for homosexuality not to be on the agenda. I really do, however, expect that Texas should be able to at least acknowledge that there are gay men and lesbians who exist. Our bishop seems unable to even say the words that might lead to a listening process.

To completely ignore a population is perhaps the most pernicious hatred of all. To the best of my recollection Don Wimberley, who occupies the office of bishop, has not said anything at all about homosexuality, nothing on B033, not a single pastoral word to gay men and lesbians, not one. It's as if we don't exist. By making gay men, lesbians, and differently-gendered people invisible he has let it be known that we just don't matter. It's a subtle hatred that cuts to the bone. It is mean-spirited and unbecoming a Christian, certainly one who claims the apostle's mantle.

Texas has a much different situation than Sudan or Congo or even Japan. In Texas we have the means and the opportunity to talk about almost anything. The thing is that this diocese -- contrary to our great Anglican tradition of discussion and questioning -- they simply won't talk about any subject about which there is not already enough consensus to quash dissent. It is a sad, stupid, and unnecessary situation created by a simply incompetent clergy corps.

I don't want to push any province or diocese beyond its ability for dialog. But, I do wish we would push Texas a little bit more.

I am copying those who occupy the office of bishop in Texas in case they wish to point us to any statements that have been made which might be even mildly pastoral towards the GLBT community. At this point we may only hope for something pastoral. Maybe someday we can be so daring as to hope for something welcoming and inclusive... someday.

Linda McMillan
Austin, Texas


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