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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jefferts Schori Condemns Ugandan Antigay Bill

Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church - the American branch of the Anglican Communion - has condemned the the proposed antihomosexual bill now pending in Uganda's parliament.  Full statement here.  Excerpt:

Glamour Magazine Hosts The 17th Annual Glamour Women Of The Year AwardsThe Episcopal Church joins many other Christians and people of faith in urging the safeguarding of human rights everywhere. We do so in the understanding that "efforts to criminalize homosexual behavior are incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ" (General Convention 2006, Resolution D005).

This has been the repeated and vehement position of Anglican bodies, including several Lambeth Conferences. The Primates' Meeting, in the midst of severe controversy over issues of homosexuality, nevertheless noted that, as Anglicans, "we assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship" (Primates' Communiqué, Dromantine, 2005).

The Episcopal Church represents multiple and varied cultural contexts (the United States and 15 other nations), and as a Church we affirm that the public scapegoating of any category of persons, in any context, is anathema. We are deeply concerned about the potential impingement on basic human rights represented by the private member's bill in the Ugandan Parliament. . . .

Finally, we note that much of the current climate of fear, rejection, and antagonism toward gay and lesbian persons in African nations has been stirred by members and former members of our own Church. We note further that attempts to export the culture wars of North America to another context represent the very worst of colonial behavior. We deeply lament this reality, and repent of any way in which we have participated in this sin.

We call on all Episcopalians to seek their own conversion toward an ability to see the image of God in the face of every neighbor, of whatever race, gender, sexual orientation, theological position, or creed. God has created us in myriad diversity, and no one sort or condition of human being can fully reflect the divine. Only the whole human race begins to be an adequate mirror of the divine.
What I say:  Thank you, Bishop Katharine.  Your history of standing up for the full human rights of gay people as beloved children of God is encouraging and a welcome contrast to the hateful speech and actions of some other church leaders I could name.

Now where are those other religious leaders?  Where, in the name of God, are all the good folks - politicians as well as ordinary citizens - who love to proclaim far and wide how proud, how very proud they are to be Christians ("love your neighbor as yourself") and Americans ("all men are created equal, with the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness")? 

When will they get around to expressing outrage and indignation, condemning this American-fundamentalist-inspired attempt at a Final Solution in Uganda?  And when will our President find the time and the courage to speak out clearly and forcefully, as Bishop Katharine has?

When indeed?  What would Jesus do, eh?


TomS said...

I have been reading a lot about this issue, much of the articles linked here. When, indeed, will our leaders raise their voices in protest? Everything seems to be linked in toxic ways, from Rick Warren and Mr. Obama to "The Family"....Discouraging, outrageous...
Thanks for following this story here.

Russ Manley said...

Yes, Tom, some very interesting connections are now coming to light, and you can see what side people are really on, can't you.

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