Friday, March 23, 2007

Episcopalians Stand Up! (Dis)Unite!

You may remember that a while back I told you about how the Episcopal Church is going through a bit of a crisis, and how the group of international bishops that runs the Anglican Communion had basically given the American branch an ultimatum: stop with the gays or else. Well, today, reports are out that the Episcopal Church of the United States has drawn its own line in the sand. The US bishops have rejected the Anglican Communion's call to install a council of international overseers to police the Episcopal branch of the church, and respond to the concerns of more conservative members who want nothing to do with the gays either.

Without being too crass, this is a bit like the Episcopal Church flipping the bird to its non-US brethren--and god bless them for it. How profound is it to see a religious body standing up for the rights of gays and lesbians to be included, rather than shutting the door on them as so many others do? And the Episcopalians had an out: because this move means that there will very likely be a cutting of ties between the Anglican Communion and the Episcopals, they could have very easily ducked out under cover of "The bonds of our community are too important to sacrifice over this issue." But they didn't. They haven't. They're standing up and fighting, saying instead, "Respecting the humanity of all of God's people is too important to sacrifice." What a radical concept. Once they're done fighting this war, it might be worth them having a conversation with some folks at the Vatican.

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