Friday, March 25, 2011

Why is it the Women?

It's been a few days since Amendment 10-a didn't pass on the floor of our Presbytery. I was an advocate for this amendment and the speech I read can be found here.

If you are not a Presbyterian, the above link will take you to the exact language of the amendment, but suffice to say that the rhetoric is over the removal of the only ordination standard specifically listed which is: "...the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness."

Basically, if you're gay you can come to church but you cannot be ordained as a Deacon, Elder or Minister of the Word and Sacrament. Despite the fact that all of us fall short of the glory of God, you - as a GLBT person - are a second class citizen.

I have spent a lot of time the last few days running through a variety of alternative speeches that I could have prepared. None of them would have worked. Folks showed up knowing how they were going to vote, myself included.

As my emotions have moved from blind rage to simmering anger, I've been better able to put my finger on some of the things from our 'debate' that frustrated me so (the failure of the amendment to pass being primary, of course). Of all of the things there is one thing that I cannot seem to process enough to shake.

It's the women who I know for a fact came to our denomination from other denominations that would not let them have a voice in the church and certainly not an ordained voice. The one woman who spoke most vehemently (read:irrationally) about what "bringing in the gays" would do to the church and the denomination was one that I myself welcomed into our fold. At one time she and I talked about the wonderful gift that the PC(USA) is as it holds on firmly to the reformed tradition and is inclusive to women's voices as well. This denomination has been inclusive of women for the past 150+ years (Deacon), 100+ years (Elder) and 50+ years (Minister of the Word and Sacrament).

It is truly a gift to be part of a denomination that even if not at the forefront, does continue to evolve in its inclusiveness. So how DARE she slam that open door in the face of those who would like to step through next?!

I find this unconscionable.

Don't get me wrong, there were women on the 'for' side as well and there were men on both sides. But I find particularly reprehensible the act of suppressing another human being's voice and Call from God by those who once had their own voice and Call kept from them.


Anonymous said...


Sharon said...


Songbird said...

Preach it.

Gord said...

Right On!!!

kathleen said...

I feel exactly the same way! It boggles the mind, but also makes my blood boil. Errrrr.

Rev Nancy Fitz said...

Happy to hear your rant. It hurts worse b/c we perhaps identify with her, woman to woman, even if we DONT want too. I'm not PCUSA, but worked for them 12 years and remember debates on the floor of presby when the language first passed. (sigh)

RevJen said...

Amen, my sister!

1-4 Grace said...

Well said. I am so sorry it did not pass in your presby. Our vote is not until May, but we have Joan Gray coming this Sunday to lead a discussion.
I share your same thoughts and wonder how a woman can be so against this when she is unwelcome in other denominations.
Drives me crazy. Well, along with the fact that hetero- male pastors can have an affairs and still get a call to another church. Yet, a gay person in a committed 30 yr r'ship cannot be called. So wrong.