Friday, September 05, 2008
I'm proud of The Episcopal Church
Well, there is abundant evidence that the Evangelical base in The Episcopal Church has been "energized" by Lady Palin's nomination as VEEP.
It's already started on HOB/D - the House of Bishops/Deputies listserv.
One of our esteemed members wrote that she was "ashamed" of the Episcopal Church's stand on abortion and our decision to continue supporting our membership in the National Coalition of Religious Choice.
She pulled my last nerve. Actually, she signed her name, adding that she was, "a sinner" - which really pulled my absolute last nerve.
Which means, I wrote this:
As a Christian who is privileged to be an Episcopal priest and equally privileged to be President of the New Jersey chapter of the Religious Coalition of Religious Choice, I couldn't be more proud of my church for its compassionate, pro-life stand.
Yes, I said PRO-LIFE. Even a quick read of the official position of TEC will leave no doubt that we, as a church, are supportive of the life of the embryo / fetus, the life of the mother, and the life of the family.
I am proud of my church that it, like I, and like many, many Episcopalians abhor abortion as a method of birth control - which is crystal clear after reading our position on abortion and our decision to fund the RCRC (let those who have ears, hear . . . and intellect, think).
I am proud of my church that we have resisted the emotionally manipulative pictures of abortion and pre-term abortion which are tragically necessitated by the harsh realities of those involved.
I am proud that my church does not use equally horrific pictures of heart or other organ transplant procedures, coronary artery by-pass, or gruesome laser eye surgery to deter decisions about these life-saving and life-giving surgical measures.
I am proud of my church that, in an age that continues to devalue the life of a woman, where even as I write this, some women in developing nations are undergoing. . . hmm.... what is is the term our brother ***'s used . . . ah, yes . . ."gruesome" . . . female genital mutilation so that she will remain "faithful" to her emotionally insecure and socially and spiritually immature husband because she will no longer be able to "enjoy" intimate, sexual relationship with him and therefore will not be unfaithful (as he will, undoubtedly be - but, that is blessed as socially-sanctioned and economically necessary polygamy), respects the dignity of every woman to make a choice about - and, control over - what is happening in her own body - including the embryonic life therein.
I am proud of my church that every woman - yes, including the life of a woman who is a priest, married or not, - can make the painful, awful, life-determining decision about whether or not she can make a commitment to the embryonic life she carries in her body, depending on the opinion of her physician and pediatrician, her assessment, based on the opinion of the probability of the support of the father of her potential child, and the ability of her family and community to support her decision.
I am proud of my church which understands that issues of grinding poverty and poor access to quality health care and education for women, coupled with the debilitating effects of racism, sexism and heterosexism. supports the . . . what was the term our brother *** used . . . ah, yes . . . "inhumane" . . . decision of a woman to determine the direction of her own life.
I am proud of my church which understands that the advance of diagnostic procedures still falls far behind the information needed to make a timely decision about the lifelong commitment to a new life, necessitating the "pre-term" (aka "partial abortion"), which, at this point in time, is perfectly legal and, therefore, cannot be called "murder" - any more than the execution of a profoundly retarded person who has committed murder.
I am proud that I, like so many, many LGBT people and our straight allies, have chosen to be foster parents to - or adoptive parents of - the live, full term, delivered human lives of those "defective" children which our heterosexual brothers and sisters have chosen not to abort, but not to take responsibility for, except to depend on the fiscal generosity of "the State" and "the kindness and generosity of strangers."
I am proud of those adoptive parents who have made the life-time commitment to "someone else's child" which includes, as we have just gone through (in August, while I was at Lambeth), serious surgery to reattach the retina of our beloved Katie who was 'slugged' by another profoundly handicapped (male) adult child because she resisted his sexual advancement and is now permanently blind in that eye. We adopted her at age 4. She's now 30. She is, and forever will be, our child, even though she was birthed, but not aborted, by another women and her husband.
I am proud that The Episcopal Church supports the sex education which is championed by NCRC to avoid pregnancy in the first place, including the choices of abstinence, birth control, and, if tragically necessary, abortion.
I am proud that The Episcopal Church respects the "dignity of every human being" in our baptism covenant and prays, during that baptism, that the child receives "the gift of wonder of all of God's creation."
I am proud of The Episcopal Church and our baptismal covenant, which is not replicated throughout the World Wide Anglican Communion and, perhaps, ought to be.
What greatly distresses me is that there are those who would triumph the simplicity of their own state of sin so that others might feel guilty about the difficulty and complexity of the reality of their own morality.
Here's the real reason I wrote what I wrote.
Thank God we live in a democracy, and not a theocracy.