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Affirming the freedom of those who disagree with us

> Indeed, and XXXXX's attempt to inflame action calls for those who do not
> share his bigotry to leave the church.  

I am one of the sodomites that XXXX rails most frequently about, and I
certainly don't want to shut him up.  If I had the same understandings
of lesbigay reality that he does, I hope I would be just as passionate
as he is in speaking out against it.

I  am much more uncomfortable in a space where all must agree with me
or keep silent than I am in a space where all are free to speak our
disagreements passionately.    I feel that way just as much about
church space as about secular space.

Aren't you pleased when you discover Peter and Paul disagreeing!?  And
today I noticed for the first time how Paul distorts the compromise of
the Council of Jerusalem when he tells the folks in Galatia what
requirements were decided for them at the Council.  Isn't Paul lucky
that the folks in Jerusalem did not have access to email about what he
was reporting!?

The church never has been a space where faithful people always agree,
and any congregation that pretends to be such a space probably has a
great many people intimidated into silence.

Be Anglican:  enjoy the diversity!  If we had to have people who agree
on most things we would not ever have had enough people to constitute
a church.

I doubt that heaven is a place where all have to agree. How utterly
boring!  That sounds much more like hell.  Instead, I imagine heaven
to be a place with just the same folks we have here, with the major
difference being we have learned to love one another's company even with 
our continuing disagreements.  It doesn't hurt to start acting like we 
are there in advance.

One of the highest privileges I have as a professor is occasionally to
be able to return to a freshman an articulate anti-gay essay
inscribed, "I disagree with most of what you wrote here, but you
earned your 'A'.  Congratulations and welcome to the University!  --
Dr. C., your very own Good Fairy"

I may still be dreadfully wrong in my convictions about human
sexuality. Obviously I don't think so, or I would change them.  But I
know for absolute certainty that I do not intend to arrive in heaven
saying, "Jesus, let me in because I was right about gay issues!"   I
expect to say, "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner."

Even Saint Paul, who was usually at no loss for words on almost any
subject theological says that we see as only through a dirty glass.
Given that grave constraint, he asserts that even right faith counts
for nothing compared to love.   Love seeks not its own.  Enjoy those
who disagree with us:  you may see Jesus.


Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., #12D, East Orange, NJ 07018-1225
http://newark.rutgers.edu/~lcrew   973-395-1068
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