In its "Pastoral Letter to the Church, from the House of Bishops" (October, 1977) the Episcopal Church mad*
some statements dealing with some rather sensitive subjects. Among these
were reinterpretation of Christian
dogma that deals with the ordination
of both women and "... anyone who advocates and/cr willingly practices
homosexuality1', and upon whom a nuptial blessing is to be conferred.
In the statement on the ordination
of women, the church accepts everyone, regardless of their feeling on
the subject. That is, even though
many were "...gladdened and encouraged. . -because of the General Convention's action concerning the ordination of women...", one is not a disloyal Episcopalian if he or she abstains from supporting the decision,
or continues to be convinced that it
was an error. This attitude reflects
the concept that the Church should
be flexible enough to accept everyone, and appears to be a policy of
transition to give extra time to
die-hard sexist traditionalists.
In dealing with homosexuality in
marriage and ordination, the House of
Bishops was less than consistent, and
The bishops said that the sexual
union of man and woman is God's will.
With an inane logic, they therefore
limit its nuptial blessing to "...the
union of male and female." They fail
tc say that a union of man and woman
is God's only desire or that same-sex
unions are not God's desire. (God
could not be reached for comment.)
NO GAY GRDINANDS
As if this wasn't enough, they went
on further to say, "...the bishops ...
deny ordination to an advocating and/
or practicing homosexual person." All
this is done on the grounds that each
ordinand must fashion his or her life
after Christ as an example to the faithful. If such were actually the case,
a strong argument for celibacy would
be present in the Episcopal Church.
The House of Bishops sought to redeem themselves by evoking the old
"we are all brothers and sisters in
Christ" routine. While support of homosexuals is indeed welcome and commendable, after their statements on
marriage and ordination, the rest is
mere pablum. They say that we "...as
children of God have full and equal
claim with all and other persons upon
the love, acceptance, concern, and
pastoral care of the church." They
call upon our society to see that equ
al protection under the law is provided. This all is little more than contradictory in the attitude conveyed
in their statements on the marriage
and ordination of gay men and lesbians.
The bishops were middle of the
road, at best in their entire Pastoral
Letter. They said little more than: cf
course homosexuals are entitled to ail
the civil rights of respectable folks,
we just don't want to deal with them.
Granted, their statements are more
than the statement from the Vatican,
but not much better.
Those Daemn Queers....
jace is a p
to come for infor-
and for meeting otl
pe. Telephone 472
Homophobia is nothing new. But new
cases pop up all the time. Here are
some recent examples of homophobia:
JtJHtSome psychiatrists still give
clients infections of paralyzing
drugs to 'help' them abolish homosexual tendencies. Despite the declaration of the American Psychiatric
Association that homosexuality is
Oct a sickness, many psychotherapists
are still trying tc convert gay clients tc heterosexuality or helping
then adjust to their 'handicap.'
-—lesbians leaving a Syracuse,
New ":crk bar at closing time were
severely beaten up by a group cf
fraternity men from the nearby university. Some of the women suffered
broken limbs and concussions.
***Many parents disown or institutionalize children who they discover to be homosexual.
***0n the newsstands of Paris,
you can buy a cartoon postcard showing two soldiers in the barracks
locking at a third who is dressed in
a pink nightgown and black mesh sto-
:-tings. It is captioned 'la folia du
regiment' 'the queer of the regiment).
—-Cn a Los Angeles television
program, comedian Mort Sahl recently
advocated the killing of homosexuals.
He was net making a joke, but talking seriously. Immediately after the
program, the L.A. Gay Community Services Center received several bomb
**#a proposed housing ordinance
in Austin, Texas including equal
protection for homosexuals, aroused
such hostility that the city's news-
tauers were filled with anti-homose
xual letters even weeks after the
ordinance passed, its sexual preference section deleted.
***A study paper on homosexuality
commissioned by the Presbyterian
Church, U.S. (Southern) was circulated among member churches for discussion. Several congregations pulled
out of the denomination, even though
the paper did not advocate homosexuality as such.
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