Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Real life consequences for petty politics

As I listened to the coverage of the Episcopal meeting in Ohio over the last couple of weeks, I admit to listening in a somewhat detached way, "Oh, will you look at what they're doing now? Don't you think we have better things to worry about in the world today than whether a woman can lead a church, or whether gay people should be ordained? Tsk." and went about my daily business. Tonight, I saw the situation through a friend's eyes, and finally saw how dangerous this divisiveness really is.

R. was truly upset, having finally found a religious home in the Episcopal church for many years. She has been deeply involved in the daily life of her parish, helping with dinners, choir, organizational details, and programs such as a weekly mission to feed people without resources in downtown. She works diligently for the church, and feels that outsiders are trying to steal her spiritual home. She worries that they are trying to make the church less welcoming to gays, women, and possibly even just ordinary Episcopalians. Tonight, she was deeply emotional, worrying about the impact that not splitting the church would have, just as much as the impact of splitting. She wanted to know why gay people going to church in America was more of a problem than violence against women in Africa. At times, she spoke in anger, and yet even then, her worry for the wellbeing of the spiritual center not only of her own parish, but of the worldwide Anglican communion, shone through.

I truly wish that some of the people funding this misery could know my friend, whom I am so honored to know and to call friend. I wish they could know the heartbreak they are causing by sowing strife in their spiritual community, and repent of it.


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