Posted by Christopher Johnson | Sunday, May 24th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 34 Comments
Listening – when an Episcopalian tells you what to think and you keep your stupid, ignorant, bigoted opinion to yourself. As illustrated by Ms. Susan Gage of Tallahassee, Florida:
I think listening is a good thing. Whether or not anyone is actually hearing is quite another matter. There’s been so much talk, talk, talk, talk, talk… and we’ve listened, listened, and listened again. But I’m not convinced that anyone is really hearing the bottom line: God is calling God’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people back into the church. If there are bishops in the world who don’t know how to minister to LGBT people, then it would seem some help is needed there. And if there are LGBT people whom God is calling to become leaders, then who are we… or they… to stand in the way of God?
Along with Terry Milner of New York City:
So long as church leaders such as Bishop Mouneer insist on reminding us that they will never change their minds on the ultimate question of full inclusion, why would any gay or lesbian person in his region think it will ever be “safe” to participate in the process?
That said, I learned a lot from Bishop Mouneer’s comments on the difficulty of carrying out the listening process in regions where same-gender relationships are still proscribed socially, legally and morally. I could just as easily have been reading about the American South. Those of us who were raised in that environment rejected any involvement with organized Christianity until the Episcopal Church began welcoming us back into the church, and gave us a safe place to speak about our experience as gay men and lesbians, and how we reconcile it with our faith. I urge those planning the next phase of the “listening process” to consider our experience and consult those who share it.
It seems to me that many of those fearful of coming forward in their own countries could be provided with the technological means to record their experiences anonymously, using cell phone or internet tools where they are available. And Canon Groves’ group could work to create “safe spaces” where this listening could be safely carried out, either in person or by using those technologies. That would be an excellent use of the funds the group has received, and could create a compelling record of experiences for those of good will on both sides to consider.
And confirmed by the Rev. Robert W. Walden of Kaneohe, Hawaii.
I have been listening very closely and I am not encouraged by what I am hearing. I hear a lot of anger and not much of a desire to listen from the homosexuals. Most seem to be only interested in their own views and no one else’s. They come across very militant and unforgiving and vengeful. Listening for those supporting the homosexuals seems to mean that they do not need to listen to the opposition because if you do not agree with me then it is because you are not listening to me. This does not reflect Jesus’ love and forgiveness.