December 7, 2009
Memo to Rick Warren
The Episcopal Church joins many other Christians and people of faith in urging the safeguarding of human rights everywhere. We do so in the understanding that “efforts to criminalize homosexual behavior are incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ” (General Convention 2006, Resolution D005).
This has been the repeated and vehement position of Anglican bodies, including several Lambeth Conferences. The Primates’ Meeting, in the midst of severe controversy over issues of homosexuality, nevertheless noted that, as Anglicans, “we assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship” (Primates’ Communiqué, Dromantine, 2005).
The Episcopal Church represents multiple and varied cultural contexts (the United States and 15 other nations), and as a Church we affirm that the public scapegoating of any category of persons, in any context, is anathema. We are deeply concerned about the potential impingement on basic human rights represented by the private member’s bill in the Ugandan Parliament.
It goes on from there, too. Doesn’t seem so hard, does it? Nor does it seem to contradict your Christian values. Now, you know and I know that your refusal to condemn the anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda has much more to do with connections and politics than with any actual issues of faith, but when a person of faith is in the public eye as much as you are, couldn’t you at least pretend to care about other people’s suffering? (Aside from the ostensible 146,000 Christian martyrs, that is. Also, what do you suppose the odds are that none of those ostensible 146,000 Christians were gay? Welcome to the idea of overlapping oppressions!)
Meh. I don’t even know why I care what Rick Warren thinks or says, particularly, except that he has such a large platform to speak from, and his church is nearly in my hometown…
At any rate, though, kudos to the Episcopal church! I don’t at all believe that you have to be a person of faith in order to work toward “the safeguarding of human rights everywhere,” but it’s always nice to see people of faith choose to do so.