Thursday, July 03, 2014

Fascinating Stuff...

As someone who at a previous job near the end was verbally berated on a near daily basis (and bordered on being physically assaulted more than once to the point I thought I would have to call the cops on a parishioner) because I would not perform a Same Sex Marriage (or blessing or whatever the crazies my beloved former employer wanted to pass such a false sacrament off as), I have thought and thought about what I did or what went wrong in my ministry there that made my former parish basically go completely ape over a completely hypothetical situation. I label it a hypothetical situation because there were no actual homosexuals at this particular place that had requested me to actually do such a thing.

I admit that I did accidentally light the match to some of that because after the last Episcopal Church General Convention that basically gave the final okay for such things, with the local bishop's permission, I felt I had to say something in the sermon on the Sunday after that. I can literally count on one hand the number of times while wearing a clerical collar that I said *ANYTHING* about SEXUALITY because no good ever came from such a conversation. I basically simply said near the end of the sermon, of which 8 of the first 10 minutes were on the lectionary readings and not related to the denominational hoohah in any way, that what the Episcopal Church had just done was, I thought, grave moral error and that my existing policy of not allowing such things would not change.

From that 2 minute commentary on the state of the Episcopal church, one would have thought from the reaction that continued to burn like napalm until I left the parish almost a year later that I had announced that I was going to start burning crosses in people's yards and was going to start sacrificing kittens on the altar in lieu of the Eucharist on Sundays. I said what I needed to say, and never planned on speaking to the issue again, which I largely did not from the pulpit. I figured I would ruffle some feathers, being the good Troubler of Israel that I was, but that it would blow over. However, people just went into an absolute rage. They were calling the Bishop asking for my head; they were balling me out on the phone. They would come into my office and physically threaten me. It was the strangest group behavior I have ever seen. I was completely unprepared for the utter Pandora's box of vitriol that I had apparently unleashed.

The entire fiasco has never made much sense to me until I read this article today, and my time at my previous job suddenly made perfect sense. Ironically, it took a judgment from the Supreme Court to help me to realize what was going on. Liberal Protestants are their own form of black and white fundamentalists.

I could continue, but I will let you draw your own conclusions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I could never imagine that it was such a difficult period for you, even though you hinted at it once or twice before. Sad. Especially that I'm sure that lots of people received lots of graces through your ministry.
And the article linked is also very interesting. I share the feeling that they are simply unable to understand us.
All the best to you and your family!
JRM, Central Europe