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Re: fears + Andrew Sullivan



> Dear Dr. Crew,
>          The opinion below seems to validate the fears of Episcopalians who
> think there really is a "gay agenda," and who think its effect on teachings
> by the church on fidelity and related issues will be broader than simple
> societal support for monogamy among gays.  I would appreciate a comment if
> you have time. 

XXXX, I realize that your courageous stand in XXXXXXX has put
you on a line of fire to which you may not have been accustomed, and I
will keep you in my prayers.  I grieve that you are having to face the
kinds of intense scrutiny which is the daily bread of lesbians and
gays who are known to the public.

You would be wise, I think, not to take on a defense of any and all
things lesbigay.  I would certainly not undertake a defense of any and
all things heterosexual.

You need not fear a Trojan horse with a hidden gay agenda in the
actions that the Episcopal Church has taken.  The theology piece on
blessings prepared by Claiming the Blesssing was sent to all bishops
and deputies before GC.  You can find it at
http://claimingtheblessing.org/docs/CTBTheology(Final).pdf Those of us
involved in this effort have been quite clear in our focus:  we
promote faithful monogamous lifetime commitments and want to be held
accountable to that standard.

Even if some have their fingers crossed in making such commitments,
the Church has in no way endorsed other items that may be on their
agendas.  We will wear ourselves down completely if we try to prepare
against all that 'might be.'  We will have quite enough on our hands
responding to what is specifically on record.

While I spend quite a lot of time with other lesbians and gays, most
of it is with Christians and/or scholars.   I can speak more
specifically about their gifts of their time, money, and energy to
projects of the church (and the university) than I can about their sex
lives, and at almost 67, I doubt my own sex life is of interest to
others.

I would not be surprised to find that gay males in the general culture
manifest at least as much promiscuity as sailors and soldiers or the
heterosexual braggarts in high school locker rooms.  The culture
(including that of the church) has made it far easier for gays
to connect anonymously and sexually than it has made it for gays to be
open and honest about their identity at the coffee hour or in other
social settings.

One of the reasons Integrity has thrived is to be an alternative to
the bars, the only social setting where gays could congregate with any
hope of security when I founded Integrity 29 years ago.

The church has been in the duplicitous position for years of not
blessing lesbian and gay relationships and at the same time condemning
them for not living in faithful monogamous relationships.  The church
cannot have it both ways.  The church should not be too surprised when
some lbgts live down to the church's expectations.  People have
attacked me much more viciously for trying to live in a faithful
commitment for the last 30 years than they ever did earlier when they
could guess that I was gay, enjoy my gifts, and presume that I was as
promiscuous as they imagined in the dark.

I am always disappointed when I hear that some have not lived into
their vows, be they heterosexual or homosexual.  I would not stop
blessing commitments even when a couple, straight or gay, has failed
in an earlier relationship.

I hope this is helpful.

May God bless you in your important ministry.

L.




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