Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Anglicans Need To Take A Good Long Look In The Mirror

Finally, someone in the media is paying attention to the situation in Nigeria which has brought such pain and danger to our lgbt brothers and sisters in Christ--and not. FINALLY. It is time everyone in the Anglican Communion do likewise. It is time for a moral self-assessment.

While many in the Anglican Communion--with 670 of its Bishops at Lambeth Palace for its once-a-decade pow wow--are busy denouncing the American and Canadian churches and wending their way through methods to keep the communion together on the shoulders of its lgbt brothers and sisters, nary a word has been written or said about the violence perpetrated on lgbt people in Nigeria, Uganda and elsewhere on the African continent both verbally and physically. It is a shameful and immoral silence.

That Archbishop Rowan Williams has repeatedly said that he is sorry that many of these verbal advocates of such violence are "missed" at the conference they themselves chose to boycott--including the fiery Archbishop Akinola (Nigerian Church) and Archbishop Orombi (Ugandan Church) who have forbade any bishops to attend from these countries--speaks volumes about their real concern for the dignity and safety of their fellow human beings. Williams and most of the communion Bishops have remained strangely silent about the issue apparently content to let the "whips" fall where they may.

Worse, in the communion's several-point plan to try to hold itself together, not one word addresses this injustice. Not one.

There is, quite literally, a moral vacuum sucking the life out of the Anglican Communion. And while the Lambeth conference is alleged to be a time of listening and contemplation, Sudan's Archbishop Bul, for instance, has indicated he has NO intention of meeting, speaking to or otherwise listening to American Bishop Gene Robinson. So much for listening. Perhaps, instead, they would rather listen to the anguished cries of those being physically attacked because of who they are. Might THAT get your undivided attention?

Laws in Nigera, Uganda and many other continent nations almost assure death in their zeal to imprison those who are lgbt. This assumes that these folks survive long enough to be imprisoned. And least the American Bishops feel proud about their stance, there are plenty of pewsitters and clergy across its church that are happy not only to work with these fire-breathers, but who willingly acquiesce to their positions. To hell with human rights and human dignity. To hell with human life.

I am angry. I am angry at the communion which includes my beloved Episcopal Church. I am deeply sorrowful that NO apology has been issued to the very people who bare the brunt of the communion's willful silence and demonstrable segregation because of gender identity. I for one will apologize.

I am ashamed and sorry that some members and clergy in my church are blind to your beautiful humanness and are silent and unresponsive to your needs. I am sorry that they have and may chose to continue to relegate you to the back of the communion's "spiritual bus". I am sorry for the danger that their silence continues to put you in and for the angry words that help to perpetrate violence in thought and deed upon each of you. I am sorry for any violence that has befallen you because of their actions, words or silence. I am truly sorry for the words and actions that have beaten you instead of lifting you up. I beg your forgiveness and I will continue to pray for your physical, emotional and spiritual health and healing and for God's blessing of understanding on those that would harm you and for myself, as well, that I may not withhold love and prayer to those I cannot respect.

Lord, hear my prayer.

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