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Monday, November 21, 2011

St. Mary's, Glasgow

Visited What's in Kelvin's Head today - an interesting post on the Scottish Episcopal Church and same-sex marriage. What a difference between Kelvin's church and mine, where the US Bishops are gearing up to crush same-sex marriage in the name of religious liberty,. Here's a bit of the post from St. Mary's Cathedral blog ....

Diocesan Discussions

[...] Anyway, we were there this afternoon to talk about the possibility of allowing Civil Partnerships in religious premises and the possibility of allowing same-sex couples to enter into marriage in some form or another. It was an excellent discussion – really helpful all round .... Of those who spoke, a couple of people were against opening up marriage to same-sex couples. Most who spoke seemed to be broadly in favour. Some were passionately so. Some remained in thoughtful silence listening to what was going on and clearly still in a place where their minds were not made up .......

I found myself feeling quite moved by the discussion. Firstly that it was happening at all and that it happened so well. We had a great meeting listening to one another, respectful of one another and caring about one another. Secondly that I was hearing members of the church, not activists or policy-wonks or politicians or attention seekers like me, but ordinary church members, arguing passionately for same-sex marriage.

When you grow up never hearing any positive word ever spoken in church (or anywhere, come to think about it) about being gay and have a suspicion that it might affect you, it does something to you that is hard to describe to other people. It can lead to barrenness of expectation. It leads many people never to grow in grace or faith or hope or love. Similarly I struggle to explain what it feels like now on odd occasions when people whose voices have not previously been heard begin to speak with authority and passion about their own sons, daughters, brothers and sisters and their relationships. I find it hard to put into language. Indeed, it moves me beyond words to realise that it isn’t me who is out on a limb arguing for something that people don’t understand and don’t believe I’ll never see. It is real and round the corner and supported by people whom I should never underestimate.

I can’t really describe what that feels like to sit amongst all that but along with others I can taste something in the air. It is the sweet taste of longed-for change that is coming more quickly than most people ever thought possible.


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