RELATIONSHIPS and BLESSINGS

DIRECTORY

WHAT DOORS DOES LEGISLATION OPEN?

I know what it is to hold a minority theological stance in ECUSA. I am a strong pacifist in a church that officially subscribes to the Just War Theory. My church blesses battleships and allows its clergy to be military chaplains. While this theology is not my theology, it does not prevent me from being faithful to my own conscience. As a priest, I am not forced to bless implements of war, nor serve in positions that would require me to violate my own beliefs. I know that my sisters and brothers understand scripture differently than I do on these matters, and I'm glad we are in a faith community that makes room for our differences while allowing each of us the space to walk the path we understand God to be calling us to walk.

It seems to me that the actions of GC2003 put opponents of same- gender relationships in the same position. They hold a theological stance separate from that of the actions of Convention, but they aren't forced to act contrary to their consciences. No one has to bless any union they feel is immoral, nor enter into such a union.

Interesting, the proposed moratorium on the blessing of unions does place my conscience in a bind. I am forced to deny one of the sacraments to a group of God's children simply because they are gay. I find that goes counter to my vow to respect the dignity of all persons. I hope that bishops and deputies will keep in mind that permissive resolutions simply open doors for those who hear God's call to walk through them. They do not force anyone to go where they feel they are forbidden to walk.

--Alma Beck

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