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Friday, July 10, 2009


Episcopal Life Online is reporting that last night's testimony was overwhelmingly in favor of moving beyond B033.
As many as a thousand people attended the two-hour hearing which began at 8 p.m. in the Pacific Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel. A total of 51 people testified; 41 said they hoped the church could move beyond B033, a moratorium on the consecration of bishops whose manner of life presented a challenge to the wider church. Ten others indicated they wanted to retain B033.

All of that is true.

Most of the expressions were that of pain - on both sides of the issue. The pain of exclusion. The cost of inclusion for the sake of the gospel.

Mostly, there was fear in the messages of those 10 deputies who said they wanted to retain B033.

I had decided earlier in the day not to testify on this one. I'm getting tired. Lots of people are. Even well-seasoned GC deputies. In fact, I'm skipping the 6:30 AM Legislative Team session this morning to sleep in for an extra hour.

When I'm tired - especially if I'm tired and anxious - I can say things in such a way as to not clearly convey what's in my head or in my heart. You may have noticed that. I don't do it very often, but when I do, it's a humdinger.

What I didn't hear expressed last night was what I'm really feeling about B033: outrage.

I mean, we were bamboozled! We were hogtied! Arm-wrestled at the 11th damn hour of convention! Emotionally manipulated!! It was nothing less than institutional rape!

I can hear some of you, "Well, you need to get a grip. We need to move on - beyond B033. That's what everyone is saying - even the conservatives. They just want to move a bit more slowly than the rest of us. What more do you want, Elizabeth?"

Umm . . . an apology would be a good place to start. A real acknowledgment of the pain and damage done. An expression of genuine regret and a promise not to do this ever again.

And, by "this" I mean to balance a statue of the False God of Anglican Unity on the backs of LGBT or ANY other 'target' population.

Let me say that in small words so if there are any institutional types who love to keep themselves confused so they don't have to do anything, much less make a response, can understand: I want three things:

1. An apology.

2. A resolution which formally rescinds B033.

3. A promise that we, as an institutional church, will not do this again.

I know that's not going to happen.

I'm grown up enough to know that you don't always get what you want. You don't always get what you need. As a friend of mine once said to me, "You get what you get in this life, and you make the best of what you've been given."

Check, check and check.

I trust that we will, at this Convention, move "beyond" B033. And, that will be touted as a HUGE deal. In many ways, it is. No doubt.

And, when that happens, my outrage will subside.

I'm just really, really tired of always baking cakes for the institutional church, and then having to go under the table to gather up the crumbs.

Because, if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.


Mike in Texas said...

I couldn't possibly agree more, Elizabeth.

IT said...

Gene Robinson's blog is hardly encouraging on the subject.

But look at it this way: much as you want total justice in your church, realize how much more justice you do offer to people from even worse places. I'm thinking of my beloved, the suffering RC. You'll meet her tonight.

I'm certainly well aware of the feeling that the chasm between the penultimate and ultimate step seems wider than any crossed before....yet realize that even as you wrestle with your ropes and pitons to cross it, you have crossed much worse, and gathered a force to your side.

The crossing is inevitable. We CAN and SHOULD do it now, but that we will is no longer in question.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks, Mike. And, thanks, IT. You are, of course, right. Sane. Reasonable. All the things I'm not right now. See you tonight. Maybe you can talk me off the ceiling.

Joie said...

I love the analogy to the Canaanite woman! Just perfect.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

I am so much with you!

And Mike and IT ;=)

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, pray positive, think positive, be positive and stay positive. I will positively pray for you and the others at GC '09.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Whitey, I don't think being 'outraged' is a negative.

Cecilia said...

LOVE that image of baking cakes for the church, then being forced under the table to gather up the crumbs.

Thank you for your clear and loving testimony in this space.

Erp said...

Apologies for the following thought since I'm not Episcopalian.

Remember always that the opposition are also human. They fear for a multitude of reasons but not least is many think you are going against what is right. How does one remove that fear? Can one look at each one individually and see they know not what they do? The goal is full acceptance within the church, within the nation, within the world, by people individually. An apology, a formal repeal is only a fruit of that acceptance not a goal.

Perhaps a piece from the British Yearly Meeting Book of Faith and Practices
"Hold yourself and others in the Light, knowing that all are cherished by God."
(which as a good atheist I shouldn't be quoting though given the descriptions of the GC an hour or even 20 minutes of Quaker style silent worship might be appreciated [especially by the sleep deprived].)

Maggie said...

Preach it, sister. I've been outraged ever since BO 33.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, I don't think being outraged at injustice is a negative either. Essentially, I was saying "carry on." Continue marching in the light of God! And I will be praying with you.

David said...

oooh sweet sister
i am soooo with you on this

that image of baking cake and settling for crumbs literally stoped me in my tracks

and the sadest thing is those purple shirts have never even questioned their right to impose these decades of sacrifice on or tribe, or to ever wonder of the personal costs we have paid.

love and prayers continuing here, you living blessing


Lindy said...

Right on!
Makes me feel better about TEC that someone is outraged.

MarkBrunson said...

Outrage is good.

Doing something with it is better.

This is what we get for allowing mediocre people into positions of great trust and power.

Susan Hagen said...

Dear Elizabeth, Yes, you are owed an apology. The House of Deputies and with them everyone in the church except our bishops are owed an apology. I want it too but would trade it off without too much grumbling if we do indeed manage to move past B033 in some definite way. I am so afraid that the bishops will not budge and we will be stuck where we are now.

Muthah+ said...

Get the sleep you need m'dear. Then go back in there. We NEED you there. The end is coming, I know it. But keep things together to speak for those of who can't speak ourselves.