Friday, July 6, 2007

The Start of a Long Rant Series

You would think that with all the ranting I've done and am going to do, I would be a miserable guy. But no! I'm actually a pretty happy fellow. It's just that there are things in this world that need addressing, and this is a way to do it.

The long rant I'm going to start today is all about the church and its "gay problem." What that boils down to is that our church (the Episcopal Church) ordained a gay bishop (the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson), and a lot of folks are upset about it. Mind you, before there was ever mention of gays, a lot of folks were upset with the Episcopal Church for being too "liberal," whatever that means. A gay bishop is simply an excuse to do what these folks have wanted to do for a long time.

First let's start with little history of controversies. Just in the past thirty years, we have had our share. It started in the 60's when the church joined in on the civil rights movement. That upset a lot of folks. Then, in the 70's two big things happened. First, we started work on updating the prayer book. This spawned hate mail, cries of the end of the church as we know it, the end of the world, the end of capitalism… But let's face it, the "old" prayer book had only been around since 1928 – the new version actually reintroduced some ancient liturgies (look at Eucharistic prayer D). But some people left the church, and others stayed mad. There's even a Prayer Book Society devoted to the 1928. Go figure.

The second thing that happened was – horrors! – we ordained women as priests. Never mind that in China a woman was ordained in the 1940's. Never mind that the word "apostle" is applied to at least two women in the new testament, and women are noted as judges in the old testament. But again, it was the end of the world. Of course a century before that there was conflict over ordaining blacks, but that's the old days, you know.

So, you can see already that we are prone to conflict because, "We've never done it that way!" which is a classic line for those who don't want anything to change. That's the background. Next you can look for the biblical arguments for and against gays being okay in the church, the argument that the church has abandoned the faith by ordaining gays, the suggestion that this is all about power and not about faith, and my personal thoughts on Bishop Robinson as well as the Nigerian Bishop Peter Akinola who is behind trying to kick the Episcopal Church out of the Anglican Communion. Enough for ya?