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Louie Crew
377 S. Harrison Street, 12D
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Louie & Ernest Clay-Crew
Married February 2, 1974


12/21/1974
 
8/17/2006



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Re: [HoB/D] Only in a dead religion does "orthodoxy" trump prophecy



XXXXX, thank you for gently wrestling with me in my impatience with
arguments.  More often than not I reach decisions first with my head,
sometimes long ahead of my heart; so I know the importance of good
arguments.

Because of bad arguments in the cuture into which I was born, I adamantly
refused to accept the verdict of my body chemistry until I was 28 years old,
living in fear and deep denial of what my body indesputably told me.  At age
20, between my junior and senior year in college, I took a hobo trip of
Europe with my former prep school roommate, in the summer of 1957.  The
night before boat sailed for Holland, we got cheap seats for a production of
GUYS & DOLLS at the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village.  After the
play was over, we went to a bar nextdoor, and to my shock I saw men dancing
with men, and men holding hands with men around the bar.

What for my straight roommate was a brief and interesting advanture into
another culture was for me a horrible nightmare.  I slipped into the alley
and vomited.  I was haunted for months by the experience.

I understand taboo.  I understand phobia.  I have been afflicted myself, and
scarred.

In 1964, seven years later, still deeply in denial to myself, and working as
a schoolmaster, I was hired at St. Andrew's School in Delaware because the
headmaster wanted a white southerner who supported integration to counter
the influence of several revered white southernners on the faculty who
opposed it.  While there, I developed a friendship with a teacher at the
local black high school in Middletown.  We met through membership in the
NAACP, and collaborated to integrate the local movie theater.

In the spring of 1964, George Wallace, who had been my governor in Alabama,
made a trip to the DelMarVa peninsula in his bid for the presidency, in
Cambridge, Maryland. My black friend and I went for the full day of rallies
by the black community.  Governor Tawes (whose son was in my class at St.
Andrew's) called in General Gerstin to prevent a riot, policing only the
black population, not those rallied around Wallace.

At one point a tank with armed troopers wearing gas masks surprised us
peaceful marchers from behind with great noise, trying to disperse us. On
each of my arms clutched at least 3-5 small children under 8, as we
approached the intersection of Race Street and Alabama Avenue.

That was the most dramatic, but not the The most moving part of that day for
me personally.  More important was a quieter moment earlier, about noon,
during the long and sometimes dull wait.  My friend and I were both hungry,
and no food was available near the place where our demonstration was being
organized.  My friend reached into a paper sack he had brought and pulled
out quart can of peaches, and one spoon.  Each looked long at the peaches,
long at the spoon, and then met eye to eye.

Did you know God can turn peaches into Eucharist?

The Anglican Communion is sorely in need of intentional Eucharist with gays
and lesbians.

I do not want the Anglican Communion to fall apart any more than Paul Tarsus
wanted Judiasm to disintegrate when he prophesized to the Council of
Jerusalem on behalf of the uncircumcised.  The day is coming soon when
almost everyone will be as embarrassed that we had to argue God's inclusion
of lesbians and gays as we are embarrassed today by all the hang-ups
Scripture reports regarding circumcision.

Nor do I believe the Anglican Communion on its own would self-destruct over
the 'homosexual question' if free from the pressure of some very vocal
primates.

I have been blessed to travel as an out gay Christian in much of the
Communion, especially in Africa, and even to work in China, Hong Kong, and
England.  I have found persons in the pews far more open to dialogue and
sharing than are their episcopal overseers.  Hundreds of Africans flocked to
the break-out sessions gays and lesbians organized at the 1998 assembly of
the World Council of Churches in Harare in December 1998.  I was expecting a
spiritual lynch mob like that of the Lambeth Conference earlier in the
summer, but at the WCC lay people came, priests came, women came.  The
primates meeting alone too easily pool their igorance of the spiritual
reality from which they willfully isolate themeselves. Primates now are wise
to fear what might happen if they live into their promises to listen.
They're like me vomiting outside the Cherry Lane Theater.

Jesus had his first successes in building up the kingdom in Samaria, not by
arguing about whether it is better to worship in Jerusalem or on the
Samaritan's holy mountain, not by condemning the low caste Samaritans, but
by quenching our thirst.

The time is coming and now is to proclaim that God is a spirit, and those
that worship God must do so in spirit and in truth.

XXXXX, you have a good mind, and you use it well to shape cogent
arguments.  I am an academic; I am not anti-intellectual, but using my mind
I perceive that it is far easier to change a heart by enountering Christ in
a person than it is by encountering Christ in an argument. Jesus made the
case for the Samaritans by showing them in routine acts of kindness and
mercy.   All my arguments for integration could not light a candle to the
experience of sharing the spoon for those peaches.

You get to go into forums where lsebians and gays are never invited to go.
What are you doing to take us there with you? Where are the stories of the
"good queers" in your arguments?  In what ways are you inviting people to
love their gay and lesbian neighbors as they love themselves?

The best arguments, like those opposing slavery, are those we make with
hindsight, having already encourterd Christ in those whom we took to be the
least among us.

Louie





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