HAVING A GAY OLD TIME IN AMERICA. The Episcopal Church continues its internal battle over homosexuality. In Newport Beach, California, the St. James church withdrew from its diocese because the diocese supported the ordination of the openly practicing homosexual bishop, Gene Robinson, of New Hampshire. The Diocese is expressing its Christian love by suing the church for the property, hymnals, and prayer books.
The Reverend at St. James said the leaders of the Episcopal Church have moved from being those who upheld the historic teachings, which have been embraced for 2,000 years by all the denominations, to a church that has come to question their validity. True Enough.
The denomination appointed a commission to study and, optimistically I think, resolve the Anglican Communion's crisis over homosexual issues. The commission said it will report on Oct. 18. The chair is Irishman Robin Eames. (They call him a primate. I don’t really know what that means and assume the do not use the term as Richard Leakey would. That is one good thing about being a Baptist. There are fewer titles to learn. Really, only pastor and deacon are used, and often pejoratively.)
The Anglican Communion is an association of independent national churches. They all come from the Church of England originally, thanks to Henry VIII, who wanted a divorce the pope would not give him. But not to have a homosexual marriage. Even Henry the VIII wouldn't do that.
The current Archbishop of Canterbury, sort of the pope of Anglicans, is in a tough spot to claim neutrality, as he knowingly ordained a homosexual priest when he was a bishop.
The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles actually sued three parishes that aligned with Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, leader of Uganda's 8 million-member church, who has criticized the ordination. It wants its property back.
On the other side of the country, New England continues to prove it is more liberal than most of the rest of the country, possibly except California, as the Vermont Episcopal Diocese became the first in America develop a liturgy for homosexual marriages. I guess they won’t quote the scripture that a man shall leave his mother and cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh. The diocese brags about having the liturgy and the theological background for it. My guess is the theological background does not quote the Apostle Paul, either. Just as a footnote, the director of communications for the diocese, that is, the P.R. person, is a lesbian and a participant in one of the new marriages.
Vermont was the first state to offer legal homosexual marriages. And to think, I always thought those guys in the flannel shirts were going into the woods to hunt. (Oh, and yes I know they call them unions and not marriages, but even I am not that naïve.)
On the federal level, the Senate voted 65-33 Tuesday to give homosexuals protection under the federal hate crime law. A senator from Oregon said "When someone is being stoned in the public square, we should all come to their rescue.” I didn’t know we’d been able to do that. (I know, in Oregon, if you’re old and you’re still too long, you might get euthanized.)
Sen. Teddy Kennedy lead the fight, calling hate crimes "domestic terrorism” One news source said the senator urged the administration to swing behind the proposal. I’m not sure that was a good choice of words. But, old Ted might have slurred his words.
In good old political fashion, Kennedy attached the hate crimes bill to a $422 billion defense bill. The good news is the House will likely kill this. And that is not a hate crime.