Saturday, June 28, 2008

ENOUGH! Shrill voices from the Anglican Communion ditch God and lead in hate

I am a Christian by baptism. The sign of the cross was oiled on my forehead as a wee baby sealing me to Christ at the font.

I am an Episcopalian, the U.S. church which is a part of the world-wide Anglican Communion. We're a diverse bunch.

Over almost four decades, God stuck with me through atheism and agnosticism. I was terrified of Christianity which appeared to me to beguile science, revel in hatred for those not "in step" with their thinking, blame horrible natural disasters and human-caused disasters on certain "segments" of the human population, relegate anyone and everyone to a supposed fiery hell for the slightest error, and, in general, seemed to hate God by eliminating those created by God they did not agree with. Some thinking. Some ego.

Why in the world would I want to be a Christian unless I was so self-loathing that I actually believed I deserved this kind of treatment under God? Talk about hell on earth!

And if God created junk--me--why would such a God be worthy of my praise?

This guilt thinking--the thinking of blame, the thinking of hate and non-redemption--and these kinds of words are more appropriate to politicians in an election year than the words of any kind of clergy that claims to understand God and the love of Christ.

I am an Episcopalian because this thinking, and these kinds of words are not representative of my belief or my church.

Make no mistake, these kinds of words are weapons. They kill the love of God in the heart of man, woman and child and drive them into the desert of no return, the guilt of clergy on their heads. They drive them away from mercy, deprive them of salvation, and hold them hostage in real and literal limbo.

This is what is happening, and has been happening, in the Anglican Communion, specifically through a few individuals that, for one reason or another, believe that the winnowing 'down' of Christ's love, and God's forgiveness, is balanced on their individual understanding of God and that this understanding is true and final. As a Communion, and most certainly as Episcopalians, we are not called nor are we required to understand God as they do. That is not what I, as an Episcopalian, or perhaps an Anglican does nor does it allege to Anglicanism at all.

I cannot and will not dance on the head of that pin.

I was created by God, I live in God, I am sustained by God. My very existence and continuum defies their position.

My love of God demands that I speak against this thinking, but pray for them.

To those of you who step aside from Lambeth, stand before the world press in condemnation of the church and your sisters and brothers in Christ unable or unwilling to defend the least in your own nations, in fact supporting laws which are internationally categorized as human rights violations, I say ENOUGH.

You are setting God and God's creations aside for personal vanity. You have supported the jailing of human beings rather than protecting and shielding them from harm because you disagree with who those children of God "are". You pretend not to know, but you do know. In the face of physical conflict, you walk away from peace and consultation and threaten more violence in the way of the shadow. While alleging to save millions of people, you outright condemn millions more to hell.


If you cannot walk the path of Christ's love, then perhaps it is not Christ's path you walk at all.

It is one thing to disagree. It is wholly another to take the Anglican Christian message into the territory of hate.