Memorial Day weekend roundup … Pee hee!

30 05 2007

Last weekend was awesome! SIR and i went to see a couple of movies, had a really nice bike ride, saw a couple of performances (the ballet/theatre … get your minds out of the gutter!), caught up with some friends of ours, cemented some new friendships that have been forming, and all in all just had a great time ūüėÄ

Oh, and we did our part to raise a bit of mischief on Saturday ūüėČ Part of the best way to spend a long weekend is in bed or a sling. ūüėÄ

So now, since SIR’s travels quite a bit, he’ll be away most of the summer. He left this morning. I miss him already! ūüė¶ We’ve known each other for about a year now (been collared since October), and we’ve had a great deal of fun. For my part, I feel that I’ve grown some in the past 10 months and have become not only a better boy, but a better man in the process. He’s also made sure I’ve kept good care of myself, such as encouraging me to do renovations for my bedroom, practicing the piano regularly, making sure i keep up with my workout schedule at the gym, etc. etc. I hope I’ve been able to help him out too in my own way with the weekly laundry, keeping his boots in good shape, and in general making his life easier.

It’s a really great thing, I think, when two people look out for each other.

SIR is very proud of his boy, and I for one feel I couldn’t be a luckier guy! or happier!

Sometimes people who are part of the “tribe” of the gay community or the ever-so-quirky BDSM community will wonder how my being a boy squares with being an Episcopal priest …

My usual response is something like “anything involving a life of service and a collar is beautiful thing!” ūüėČ

pee hee!





You know you’re an Episcopalian when ….

26 05 2007

Just so we don’t get too serious here at teaheepeehee, I thought I would post the following, which was sent ot me on a listerv I subscribe to:

Episcopalians believe in prayer, but would practically die if asked to pray out loud.

Episcopalians like to sing, except when confronted with a new hymn or a hymn with more than four stanzas.

Episcopalians believe their rectors will visit them in the hospital, even if they don’t notify them that they are there.

Episcopalians usually follow the official liturgy and will feel it is their way of suffering for their sins.

Episcopalians believe in miracles and even expect miracles, especially during their stewardship visitation programs or when passing the plate.

Episcopalians feel that applauding for their children’s choirs will not make the kids too proud and conceited.

Episcopalians think that the Bible forbids them from crossing the aisle while passing the peace.

Episcopalians drink tea as if it were the Third Sacrament.

Episcopalians feel guilty for not staying to clean up after their own wedding reception in the Fellowship Hall.

Episcopalians are willing to pay up to one dollar for a meal at church.

Episcopalians still serve Jell-O in the proper liturgical color of the season and

Episcopalians believe that it is OK to poke fun at themselves and
never take themselves too seriously.

And finally, you know you are a Episcopalian when:

-It’s 100 degrees, with 90% humidity, and you still have coffee after the service.

-You hear something really funny during the sermon and smile as loudly as you can.

-Donuts are a line item in the church budget, just like coffee.

(and my personal favorite)

When you watch a Star Wars movie and they say, “May the Force be with
you,” and you respond, “and also with you.”

If anyone has any others, please share them in the comment section below ūüôā¬† Tea hee!





A Gay Man Critiques Integrity

24 05 2007

Integrity, the advocacy group for us GLBT folks in the Episcopal Church, has unsurprisingly made a¬†statement¬†earlier this week, which may be read here.¬† Its President, the Reverend Susan Russell, has made her own opinion on¬†Integrity’s blog, which may be read here.

¬†Some snippet’s from both:

 Integrity:

“Integrity calls on all the bishops and the leadership of the Episcopal Church to think long and hard about whether they are willing to participate in the continued scapegoating of the gay and lesbian faithful as the price for going to the Lambeth Conference. It is purported to be a conference representing bishops from the whole Anglican Communion. That can‚Äôt happen when Rowan Williams aligns himself with those in the Communion such as Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria who violate human rights while explicitly excluding gay and lesbian voices from their midst,” Russell said. “Our bishops must ask themselves this question: ‘Is complicity in discrimination a price they are willing to pay for a two-week trip to Canterbury?'”

Susan:

It is sad that the once proud-of-its-diversity Anglican Communion has allowed itself to be blackmailed into bigotry by those unwilling to accept into their midst a duly elected brother bishop solely because of his sexual orientation. And it is clear that Rowan Williams’ failure to exercise differentiated leadership has enabled the Communion he leads to continue to spin out of control.

<whew!  And I thought I was being visceral!>

First of all, I will say that I am very happy an organization like Integrity exists within the Episcopal Church.¬† I also realize that it is, in part, because of Integrity’s work over the past decades, I am able to be who I am as a¬†gay man and live out my calling without fear of recrimination, shame, apology or explanation.¬† I desire and welcome and long for the full inclusion of everyone who calls themself Christian¬† within the Body of Christ.¬†

That being said, I do not believe that statements like these help our cause at all.  I do not see how they are any better than the screed that gets thrown our way on occasion by the loud voices on the right.  In fact, I would dare go so far as to say that we have forgotten where we have come from in our journey to liberation and inclusion.  It is a beautiful and wondrous gift that God has given us at this time to be his witnesses within the Church and to show that 2,000 years of church teaching should be amended, and if we are not careful we will blow it.  Until that teaching actually changes, the burden of proof will be upon us and our allies (those allies to whom Integrity has basically delivered a threat) to show that people need to rethink those 6 or 7 verses in Scripture people keep pointing to and quoting at us (Leviticus, Romans, etc.).

I still am very disappointed that as of this date, +Gene Robinson is not receiving and invitation to the Lambeth Confernece.  It is made all the more disappointing when +Cantuar acknowledges that +Gene is the legitimate Bishop of New Hampshire.  This struggle is painful. On further reflection from my intitial knee jerk reactions posted  below, however, the situation we find ourselves in could not possibly be better.  +Gene Robinson is most likely going to Lambeth (unless The Episcopal Church blows it) as the guest of the +Rowan Williams.  The other nine bishops who will not be receiving invitations will not even have a chance to go as a visitor or observer! 

We must continue to be patient with those who are troubled by our open presence in the Church.  The past few days have reminded me what the road to integrating your orientation with your faith is like:  a struggle.  If it was a struggle for me and for others to do so individually, how much more of a struggle will it be for the Church? 

The Communion is still struggling with the full inclusion of women, and we must recognize that our struggle will be just as difficult, if not more so. 

My own patience with our detractors (which grows thin quite often!) stems from the fact that I once thought as they did.¬† While I never bought into the idea of¬†reparative therapy (if therapy is the right word for such a travesty), I, too, once believed that the only option to live as a gay man in faithful service to God was chastity.¬† It took the Grace of God and total trust in Christ’s work on the Cross to get past those verses and to accept the explanations of why they were not valid and did not apply.¬†

It will take that same work of Grace in the hearts and minds of our detractors. We currently are making very little room for that work to happen.

It is time that changed.





Lambeth Tea Party Update

22 05 2007

Update #2 …

It appears that some folks think that +Gene being invited as a guest may not be the worst thing in the world, especially in light of the AMiA and CANA bishops here in North America are not being given an invitation at all.¬† This is basically saying that¬†AMiA and CANA¬†are not part of the Anglican Communion, even though they are operating under the auspices of two African provinces (aka “wholly owned subsidiaries”). The Bishop of Pittsburgh (and most likely the Anglican Communion Network)¬†is basically taking his marbles and going home.¬†

As usual, I am grateful to Andrew Plus and The Anglican Centrist for their injection of reality into what otherwise would be a very hot-headed discussion. 

At the risk of being cheeky, I can only hope when I throw a party that there’ll be this much drama over the guest list. ūüėČ





+Gene Robinson not invited to Lambeth ’08

22 05 2007

I am very very disappointed. 

Read it here

Note that +Martyn Minns, bishop of CANA, is not going either. 

The text of the invitations sent out from Lambeth today is here

More to come I’m sure as the day unfolds.

Update:  +Gene wrote a response which says (quoting from Walking With Integrity)

It is with great disappointment that I receive word from the Archbishop of Canterbury that I will not be included in the invitation list for the Lambeth Conference, 2008. At a time when the Anglican Communion is calling for a ‚Äúlistening process‚ÄĚ on the issue of homosexuality, how does it make sense to exclude gay and lesbian people from the discussion? Isn‚Äôt it time that the Bishops of the Church stop talking about us and start talking with us?!

While I appreciate the acknowledgement that I am a duly elected and consecrated Bishop of the Church, the refusal to include me among all the other duly elected and consecrated Bishops of the Church is an affront to the entire Episcopal Church. This is not about Gene Robinson, nor the Diocese of New Hampshire. It is about the American Church. It is for The Episcopal Church to respond to this divide-and-conquer challenge to our polity, and in due time, I assume we will do so. In the meantime, I will pray for Archbishop Rowan and our beloved Anglican Communion.

Apparently before he comments further, he wants to speak w/ +Katherine Jefferts-Schori, our Presiding Bishop.

My Gut reactions at this point…

¬†… and I am totally acknowledging this may be a bit visceral, but hey, if you can’t be visceral on your own blog, where can you?

In George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm, the pigs created a poster at the end which said, “All are created equal but some are more equal than others.” ¬†That is clearly what +Rowan is saying here.

I admit up to this point I was hopeful.  However, I guess the real +Rowan Williams has stood up after all.

Apparently¬†among the bishops invited to Lambeth are those¬†who could be said to have: cooperated with a corrupt government, participated in flagrant misogyny, have a direct hand in fomenting schism in provinces and the global Communion, and collaborating with deep-pocketed fascists in North America … and they have done this all in the name of othodoxy.

The one bishop in the US who has not been invited is someone who has done nothing except be true to who God has called him to be.  Once again, gay people are being talked about and spoken to, but not spoken with.  Once again, we are not part of the conversation.

I sincerely hope I am proven wrong and made to repent of my harsh words.





When the Religious Right blinks … wrestling with Principalities and Powers

21 05 2007

Blink. 

In the staring contest between conservative and liberal Christianity in this country, the conservative side appears to have blinked. 

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the Religious Right, Christian Fundamentalists, right-wing Evangelicals, as well as the future of these movements.¬† Needless to say, there has been a bit of a shift of the pendulum back towards the center over the past few months.¬†¬†There is an article in the New York Times¬†(front page, top of the fold, no less)today that about talks this shift among the Evangelical movement.¬† It is quite heartening to see that those who claim to speak for¬†Evangelicals are¬†moving away from a language of fear and hatred and taking a interest in the wider world around them.¬†

One of the weaknesses of religious Fundamentalism and its secular counterpart, fascism, is that it relies heavily on very skillful oration and cults of personality with a great deal of financial backing.¬† I’m referring specifically to entities such as Pat Robertson’s outfit, James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, and the late Jerry Falwell (may he rest in peace), along with networks like TBN.¬† Over the past 20 years or so, it has been very difficult to make the distinction between these guys and the larger evangelical movement which, while not as liberal as the mainline churches tend to be, is definitely more towards the center than their fundamentalist counterparts.¬† They are¬†becoming more interested in things such as the environment, AIDS and poverty than those further to the right, who seem to only be concerned with personal piety and waiting for a very unbiblical and unscriptural phenomenon known as the Rapture.¬†The first is not necessarily bad in and of itself, but the second leads to an escapist and fatalist point-of-view where the primary concern of faith is getting to heaven.¬† This is what I would call in very scientific and theological terms, “missing the point.”

Now, while Evangelicals are concerned with these things as well and many hold to a pre-millenial dispensationalist view of the parousia (aka the return of Christ), we are seeing a marked increase, especially in the younger folks, in interest about social issues which usually were the provenance of the Christian and secular left.  Some issues, however, such as abortion and the full inclusion of GLBT folks in the body of Christ are still non-starters.  Still, 20 years ago the idea of interracial marriage and an interracial church were largely non-starters. To a large extent that has gone away, though there is still much reconciliation to be done.

So, at first glance at least, there are all sorts of reasons to be optimistic about the Church.¬† However, if you’re like me, you might beleive¬†the ramifications of the involvement of the religious right in American politics will continue to affect us for quite some time.¬† The good news with this shift in power towards the center among conservatives means that there is an opportunity to engage them and work together with them on things such as the environment, AIDS and poverty.¬† The bad news is, even as the cults of personality go away in some form or another whether through their own gaffes (e.g. Pat Robertson) or otherwise, there still remains a very important thought in these circles … the idea that Christian religious doctrine should determine public and foriegn policy for the nation.¬† And this idea, I fear, is starting to be used to a greater extent by the left.

The main reason why I have a huge problem with this is because the more and more our faith is tangled up with secular politics, the more we are in danger of setting up an idol.  Put too much emphasis on Scripture and you run the risk of making the Bible an idol.  Put too much emphasis on adapting your faith to culture, and you soon become a slave to culture, no different than pop icons of the day.  In both instances, your faith becomes irrelevant.  Too much emphasis on personal piety, and you ignore the basic mandates of the Gospel regarding the poor and so on.  Too much emphasis on the social aspects, and you miss the wondrous gift of an Incarnational God.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ was never meant to be politicized.¬† That’s part of the reason I believe why Jesus told Pilate “My Kingdom is not of this world.” By¬†mixing our faith¬†with the powers of this world (namely, politics and the institutions of government), we run the risk of succumbing to the same temptation which the Devil offered to Jesus during his sojourn in the wilderness. Satan takes¬†Jesus to a very high place, shows him the world¬†and says “I’ll give all of this to you if you only fall down and worship me.”¬† The power brokers on the religious right have done just that, I fear, and it is a lesson that those on the left should heed as well.¬†¬†As Andrew Sullivan so succinctly put it in his recent article in Time, the last thing we need in the country is a “religious left.”¬†

Neither we nor the Gospel are meant to be beholden to the ideologies of our age.  Conservatives run the risk of being little more than fascists in ecclesial trappings, just as liberals run the risk of being humanists at a fancy dress party.  In either case, regardless of whether the effects are benign or malignant, the Gospel is neutered.





Jerry Falwell has died

16 05 2007

As most of us know by now, Jerry Falwell died yesterday. 

The religious right is in mourning (understandably so), and there is an anti-memorial being staged in San Francisco (understandably so, though I hope no one from the church … any church … is there).¬† We who are¬†GLBT will unfortunately remember him as a man who promoted hatred instead of love and building bridges.¬†

However, I cannot bring myself to¬†be¬†happy about the death of anyone, even one such as him.¬† At the same time I am glad no one is asking me to do the eulogy or write an obituary¬†because (aside from the fact I didn’t know him personally) I would have nothing to say that is positive.

I can only pray for his soul’s repose and that he is drawn into the nearer presence of the Lord.¬†

Celebrating death, even the death of Jerry or Saddam Hussein or even Adolf Hitler, is our base human desires for revenge and power rearing theirugly heads.  By rejoicing in the death of another, are we any better than someone who blows themselves up for the promise of an eternal reward?

BUT….

I will admit that a big part of me wants to see him seated at the great wedding banquet of heaven between +Gene Robinson and a Penetecostal lesbian ūüėÄ