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Oxygen Smells Delicious

[Appeared first at
http://www.frii.com/~colorado/cgi-bin/wwwboard/messages/1124.html --
the electronic Forum of the Diocese of Colorado -- in response to a
posting there of Integrity's leader in that diocese, Jack Finlaw]

Posted by Louie Crew on October 20, 1999 at 06:06:52:

In Reply to: Integrity in Colorado posted by Jack Finlaw on October
18, 1999 at 12:19:56:


What a joy to read your witness in this forum! Oxygen smells
delicious. Thank you for being willing to take risks for the faith.

I must confess that Colorado scares me as a gay Christian. It was in
Colorado in 1979 that the only negative resolution about lesbigays was
ever put forward and passed by General Convention. That resolution
made ministry to lesbigays much more difficult for at dozen years
thereafter. It was as if the Council of Jerusalem had decided that
Paul could not accept Gentile converts without first circumcizing all
who had previously converted on his journeys, and requiring all future
converts to be circumsized until such time as the circumcision party
had either died off or changed their minds.

Requiring of lesbigays either heterosexuality or abstinence
essentially denies that God can work in lesbigays as lesbigays God's
mighty work of salvation. There is no good news in that, and it is
understandable that many lesbians and gays won't go near an
institution that places so little value on their wholeness. For while
sexual orientation does not define a person and takes a minimal amount
of our time in life, it is integral to one's physical, emotional, and
spiritual health. 

The gospel that we declare is not that gay is good, but that God is
good, and God's mercy endures for ever.

I take sexual orientation to be morally neutral, but we all know a
great number of folks, heterosexual as well as homosexual, who manage
to abuse it, as well as many more for whom relationships are sacred
and faithful.

Our Church needs to get on with many more urgent matters. You and I
need to spend much more of our time spreading good news to other
lesbigays who have not heard it, and especially to those who have
heard it but not believed it because of the ways the Church has
responded to lesbigay Christians.

For many, you and I are the canary in the coal mine. Millions of
straights don't feel loved or worthy of God's love either. The church
can work itself out of breath telling them that they don't have to
deserve God's love, that Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners;
and yet these folks observe how the church treats you and me, who are
more obviously thought 'not to be worthy' and make their decisions
about whether they God would welcome them by looking at the welcome we
receive from those who claim to know God. When lesbigays appear openly
as such in any Episcopal parish, we help define how toxic the
atmosphere is in that place, or whether it is a safe space for other
sinners to come and enjoy redemption!

We could pack every Episcopal Church if each would become a safe space
for sinners. Jesus said all that needs to be said about the religion
of Respectability at Calvary. 

May God bless you in your ministry.

Joy to absolutely everybody!

Lutibelle/Louie, Founder of Integrity
Chair of the Newark Deputation to General Convention

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