If you’re a regular of this site, you’ve no doubt noticed the bizarre rift that has emerged in the Canadian Anglican community over gay parishioners. Churches have split, priests have been fired, bishops have fled, discussions have amounted to meaningless decrees, and everything is generally all going to hell in a hand basket—and all because the church just can’t decide whether or not God would bless gay couples.
What’s a hierarchy to do?
To an observer, the church looks completely fatigued of this issue and, perhaps amusingly, is now resorting to the sort of tactics typical of high school dramas. Just recently, a British Columbian congregation had its locks changed and dissenting worshipers were locked out. This week, a bishop who fled in disgust over gay blessings is ignoring warnings to stay out of Canada. It’s all very, very strange.
I don’t have any solutions; If history has taught me anything, it’s that people will argue forever over what they think their God thinks. But I do find it strange that it’s the blessing of gay parishioners that’s causing all this ruckus. The Anglican church will bless, upon request, heterosexual couples, births, homes, boats, and even pets.
It’s weird, really. Surely treating gay people as sinners who require punishment in the form of blessing withholdings so that they’ll turn straight hasn’t really worked out, and now it not only contradicts scientific understanding of homosexuality, but also the church’s own declaration that blessing gay parishioners is compatible with core church doctrine. The childishness can’t really be necessary, right?
Then again, I’m not Anglican.
- Archibishop against gay unions ignores plea to stay out of Canada [Vancouver Sun]
- Anglicans lock rebel clergy out of parish [Times Colonist]