Monday, May 10, 2010
Gearing up for herstory
There are several historical significances of the election of these two women in that diocese at this time in the history of The Episcopal Church.
There are several generations of women living in that diocese today - young, professional women, some now ordained - who remember not being able to serve at the altar because of their gender.
No, I'm not talking about The Roman Catholic Church.
Yes, I'm talking about The Episcopal Church.
For two women to be elected -- and, on Saturday, consecrated to the episcopacy -- is an event of enormous significance for men and women of equality everywhere.
It's also pretty amazing that two women were elected to the episcopacy in the same diocese at the same time. That's not happened in The Episcopal Church prior to this election.
And, of course, the fact that one of those women is a lesbian will, unfortunately, take center stage and overshadow all of the historical significances of the day.
Indeed, some of the Right Wing Nuts in the Chicken Little School of Theology are already crying that The Anglican Sky Is Falling.
To hear some of 'teh orthodox' tell it, the hole in the ozone layer was clearly caused by 'revisionist' Episcopalians.
Some of these folks have been telling us since the ordination of the Philadelphia Eleven in 1974 that "the final crisis is upon us."
Then, when Barbara Harris was elected bishop in 1989, THAT was "the final crisis".
Oh, but wait . . . when Gene Robinson, once known as "the most dangerous man in The Anglican Communion" was elected bishop in 2003, THAT was "the final crisis."
No, no, no. . . wait, wait, wait . . . there were a couple other events - a few reports that got elevated to Canon Law - a coupla ultimatums issued by a few outraged Primates from the Global South that certainly were "the final crisis," weren't they?
But this weekend - Ah, THIS weekend - will be "the final crisis" when a "self avowed lesbian" is consecrated bishop suffragan.
It's all a bit silly, isn't it? I mean, after a while, these folk just start to become an embarrassment to themselves and the church they purport to love.
The ancient Chinese proverb, "Women hold up half the sky," has long been more aspiration than fact.
When women are finally allowed to hold up their half of the sky, I suppose it can feel like the sky is falling.
It's not, of course.
It's really just herstory being made.
I can hardly wait.