I wonder if Canada’s “disappointing” (to some of us) votes on the blessing of same gender unions is not actually a great gift, allowing us to see where many (even “progresssive” Christians) actually “are” on this issue.
1. Many of us believe that, while this is a matter of “doctrine” (teaching), it is not “core” — not creedal, not in violation of what is essential to be a Christian and to be in communion with other Christians.
2. But many of us — while continuing to believe that gay and lesbian Christians are full members of the Body of Christ and, as such, are entitled to exercize any ministry within that Body to which they are called and otherwise qualified — know that we who are in a distinct “minority” within the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion, and certainly within worldwide Christianity MUST hear those voices and take them seriously.
We have not done our work on this issue yet (to our shame) and, until we do, we should not be surprised when votes like those in Canada continue to frustrate our efforts.
The Episcopal Church — in my opinion — needs to pay attention to this development, be humble enough to “pause” ( in the words of our Presiding Bishop) for a season on the “official” sanctioning of same gender union blessings and (even…as painful as this is) consenting to episcopal elections of those in same gender unions.
Otherwise, we run the risk of winning the battle but losing the war in our fight to assure that the Church lives up to its promise to “respect the dignity of every human being” — in the Church as well as in the world!