by Trey Rentz, Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:27:17 PM EST
Rev. Gene Robinson, an Episcopal bishop in New Hampshire - and a pioneer of LGBT rights in the church , has been picked by the Obama team to deliver the invocation at the Sunday Inauguration kickoff event.
As a relative of someone who worked hard to have gay priests and men and women of the cloth - included and recognized in the modern church, I wanted to share my perspective.
First, I'm against so called gay marriage. Why? If I have helped to revolutionize the church (in my own way) and I've contributed to the cause of gay people - why am I against gay marriage. The answer is simple: its because those who were leading the charge were working for social change with no real or tangible benefit to the vast majority of American citizens. And the people of America had other things on their minds - the activists knew this. And ignored it. It was simply the wrong time.
The gay community is productive, creative, generally higher income and by and large a nice thing to happen to your neighborhood if you're lucky enough to have it happen to you.
I have friends who are orthodox catholic, liberal, conservative, and queer. I recognize and respect each for who they are, and not whose shirt they wear. Social integration such as this, is inevitable.
That integration begins with men like the Rev. Gene Robinson, in the capable execution of his office, showing that the church's recognition of gay men in the holy work of the church - has not been misplaced. Marriage is a church matter, that the church alone must be free to decide without hindrance of the toxic combination of church and state that such proposals as proposition eight - in its drive to re-define what we as a society should see as a holy union of two individuals - actually tries to do.
Obama's surprising appointment of an openly gay Episcopal Priest has to me, all the beginnings of a strong tenure as a president who understands and shapes the forces of our (heterosexual, and homosexual - why separate them?) community. For in our community, Gay men and women will one day affirm their vows in the light of the Church - and society will acknowledge and affirm those bonds. We mate for life.
Politics, like empire. Is impermanent. Bush got elected governor of Texas with the help of Karl Rove spreading gay porno on the windshields of the church parking lot - scaring people into "condition red" dangers of having gay people around and basically playing on the brokeback mountain latent homosexual tendencies of white conservative males. And now Bush is out.
And already, the mists of time have absorbed that type of political strategy. Rove no longer understands the forces that shape the electorate. McCain's loss proves this. Some would argue he never did. But none would argue his plan to revitalize the republican party, in this way - was an epic failure.
The GOP went from being the party of ideas to the party of ideology.
And now a new era dawns, and with it, recognition of a man of the cloth whose work persists beyond either the tactics of Proposition eight, or the similiarly failed policies of the Bush Republicans.
The schism in the Episcopal church - with all the so called "conservative" and "anglican" individuals will play out under the new social order - as it should - in the church and wholly without the need for expensive litigation in the supreme court or otherwise. The Anglican communion, however, has been stern in their treatment of breakaway churches who attempted no different a form of activism in their refusal to recognize men like Robinson - by not recognizing them within the Episcopal church. Its humorous to hear them talk about it "We're an independent Church, we used to be an Episcopal church .. but we left because of certain disagreements... wink wink nod nod " and a firm hearty handshake. You're one of us. You're against them.
And oh by the way, I also happen to know you're just big giant nonprofit organization. Wink wink. nod nod. How about you join the church again?
People tend to forget how hard the Episcopal church has been working to try to resolve this issue. It means alot to me, personally that not only the Episcopal church and the Anglican Communion (the worldwide organization) have recognized the work of men like Father Robinson, but also how irrelevant those factions of the church who chose to break away - in protest - actually are.
One thing is certain: Obama chose the first invocation of the events leading to his inauguration, no so much to be void of symbol as it was simple. I am not a priest.
I am simply someone in the congregation. I see my job as simply recognizing he is a good priest. Its ok if I quietly question the conflict and division that seems to have been caused by his work - and to ask which loud and proud faction trumpets chaos - on either side.
But gay marriage is first, a marriage. An eternal covenant. And one in which we must listen to our Priests and Ministers before Politicians and "Self Help" Authors and other operators of large community day care centers.
I say: score this one as something beautiful for God.