Well, I’ve read the reflections on our General Convention from the Archbishop of Canterbury.  And I have to say it’s a thoughtful reflection.  The main problem I have with it is that he see’s sexual orientation as a lifestyle choice.  I think he’s wrong.  And I think this has grave consequences.

For me (these are my thoughts reading him, not his) that’s like saying being born African American is a lifestyle choice.  Or it’s like saying breathing is a lifestyle choice.  Yes, discrimination against you is wrong (and the church has been guilty of such discrimination).  But because you choose to be gay (or lesbian, or transgendered, or bisexual or indeterminately sexed), it isn’t really a matter of fundamental justice that you have the same rights other people have.  Because you choose to be African American, it isn’t a given that you should have a right to be married.  Because you choose to breath, it isn’t your right to breathe air that doesn’t make you sick.  These are lifestyle choices you make.  And the rest of us do not have to accept your choices.  Your choices have consequences.

For me, going to church every Sunday is a lifestyle church.  Picking up dates in bars is a lifestyle choice.  The sexual orientation God gave you is not a choice.  It’s a gift from God.

And so something that to me is clear cut, that all people should have equal rights, becomes a matter of debate.  Maybe some people should not have the same rights other people have as a matter of course.  And so something that I see as a matter of fundamental human dignity, and living into our baptismal covenant, becomes something unnecessary – not a pressing concern, not really a matter of justice.

Now, I recognize that, globally speaking, my understanding is a minority position.  But that doesn’t automatically make me wrong.  And if I’m right, that puts our communion in a position of supporting injustice and bigotry.  And for me that’s a big deal.  Seeing the damage we are doing in people’s lives on the congregational level makes this, for me, not a matter for balanced discussion with change a distant possibility in the far away by and by.  It makes it a matter of urgency.

I do recognize that our decisions in this country have consequences in the lives of people around the world.  What we do here can make life more difficult for our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world.  But it can also make life better for our GLTBI brothers and sisters around the world.  And I have to believe that working to end injustice is what God wants us to do.  And I also believe that creating a more just society, ultimately, benefits us all.

For all its balance of presentation, for me, the Archbishop’s analysis is flawed, and fails God’s call to us in a fundamental way.

Advertisements