Proud Anglicans of the Week

Here’s a roundup of some great Anglican “via media” blogs I’ve discovered this month. All of these folks are thoughtful Christians determined to hold together the compassionate, progressive, dynamic spirit of the church’s liberals and the respect for tradition, truth and theological sophistication of the conservatives. They give me hope that the current fundamentalist-secularist impasse won’t last forever.

Christopher at Betwixt and Between offers a spirited and GLBT-friendly exposition of the Incarnation in his wonderfully titled post A Shitting God. (Hint: If this offends you, you’re exactly the person who needs to read it.)

We don’t want our God to come to us as flesh and blood, bone and sinew. But he did, not deeming equality with God something to be grasped at as did our first parents, but rather relishing simply to be an earthen one–“a shitting god” as one rabbi put it, became truly one of us in all of our comical glory, with our orifices and pleasurable bits, going out of himself to be with us as one of us. To become human is learning to be comfortable in our own skin, the very place God chooses to work, rather than think to escape into the ethosphere and shed off this mutable, vulnerable, carcass, as if we could so easily divide our body and soul leaping from distinction to separation.

The danger to Christianity isn’t homosexuality. The danger lies in certain tendencies in “orthodox” defenses against homosexuality that end with corruptions of our core doctrines or dogma as the case may be. In the end, we near a docetic Christ or a hieros gamos deity, and no more so than the god presented to gay people by the defenders. The fire for another is not our great error, nor harnessing and bridling that fire that love might deepen and move outward; our error is to stamp out that fire and somehow think we can find it all in ourselves without another or others. To do so is to negate the hook in us, as Gregory of Nyssa put it, which is God’s very gift to us for connectivity and intimacy, that lets us be pulled outward toward others, toward God. Another might enter us, and we would rather be self-contained–this is the deepest reality to which an imposition of celibacy for gay people leads. A Manichaean outlook cannot help but attain. That so many would reject such a god is to their credit. God would ravish us, and we would rather bliss out in perfect composure. Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, once quipped that “Christianity is the most materialistic of religions.” But only when we take the Incarnation seriously enough that our God took a shit, could see the potential for love in a hard on.

Now that I’ve got your attention…Huw at +Z’ev: Lectionary Midrash posts about how gay people of faith often find themselves doubly shunned by conservative churches and by other gays who are bitter about religious homophobia. This post both comforted me and challenged my impulse to retreat into an enclave of like-minded people (most of whom are my imaginary friends) instead of withstanding the shame of being the token holy-roller in the Episcopal parish and the token P-Flag Girl in the evangelical one. If God is for us, who can be against us? But Lord, it’s so much work…poor little me…waah…

MadPriest at Of Course, I Could Be Wrong is an unrepentantly snarky extreme liberal, but his visual gags are to die for. I especially liked this one. Hat tip to MadPriest also for the link to this video from Episcopalooza.

Finally, Rev. Barbara Cawthorne Crafton at the group blog The Episcopal Majority takes a swat at the misuse of 1 Corinthians 8:9 (“take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak”) to silence gays in the church.

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