Wednesday, January 21, 2004

calmed down

So then I think, what is going on here?

President Bush says that this country may need to amend its constitution in order to protect the sanctity of marriage.

Does President Bush believe that gay families should never have protections? That gay Americans do not deserve equality under the law? That codified discrimination is ok as long as it is gay folk involved?

I am reminded of a New York Times Magazine article (January 17, 1971) written by Merle Miller, What it means to be a homosexual. Miller came out, in part as a reaction to an article in Harper's Magazine the previous fall written by literary critic Joseph Epstein. Epstein wrote, "If I had the power to do so, I would wish homosexuality off the face of this earth. The Miller article was later privately published as a book, and I found it a few years later in graduate school in the library, a search that countless closeted people have done of my generation and earlier, looking for some written information or understanding. Miller was angry at what liberals and the literary of the day thought was reasonable, Epstein's wishy way out of dealing with our lives.

The mainline protestant denominations within the United States have been wringing their hands for the past 30 years or so, saying among themselves what Epstein said. Why can't this problem go away? This is irregular, out of the norm, something I have no energy for facing up to or dealing with. Give us more light, they might say. Or this is just too difficult. We can leap mountains to accept straight divorce, but understanding gay people and where they fit in is hard. Go away.

I am proud of this summer's General Convention, where bishops, clergy and laity decided that God's love and redemptive power is for all his children who believe in him.

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