The question of allowing openly gay (or lesbian) bishops in the Episcopal Church (the US branch of the Anglican Communion) has been put to a sort of rest this week as the measure to allow these men and woman the chance to be bishops passed with an overwhelming majority of the needed votes.
You might remember that three years ago an openly gay bishop Gene Robinson made the news and the Episcopal Church was flooded with responses. Many positive, many negative. They announced at the time that they wouldn’t allow any further gay bishops with a time line of three years to decide upon future precedent. Three years later we have this decision that provides the option to be a bishop has now been extended to include openly gay (and lesbian) ordained ministers.
The news was met with mixed reviews as you can imagine.
Many people applaud the US branch’s initiative and liken it to Revolutionary War ideology. Many worry how the move will impact the recent decline in church attendance. A few warn that this schism with the Anglican Communion won’t be tolerated. A new subset has risen promoting traditional values. Apparently their departure is seen as unfortunate but unlikely to cause a reversal of general opinion. In fact, the overall vibe seems to be that the new and improved Church is beter off without them.
My blog, my take: In my opinion, religion (no matter which sort) should evolve with the times and the society it is attempting to reach. The US Episcopal Church is doing this… they started the trend with allowing women clergy and they are continuing to buck conventional traditional models because they see no harm in doing so.
For this, I hope you join me in applauding them.
What will the long term affects of the schism be? I know some people hope that this group (like all religious groups) will fragment past the point of reconciliation thus paving the way for a world without religion.
That is not my hope. I continue to believe that there are certain good aspects of the concept of religion…. I continue to hope that these groups can evolve… I have faith that science and skeptical thought can merge with some of the good parts of religion and that someday these sorts of things won’t be issues at all.
Again, my blog, my take, and my optimistic fuzzy thoughts for the future.