Kathrynzj at Volume II writes this week about the path of Amendment 10-A in her Presbytery, her participation in that process and vote, and her observations thereafter. Whether of that denomination or not, many of us have followed with interest the process of this amendment.
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.
Have you written about this situation and amendment on your own blog, or would you like to share your thoughts now? Please do so in the comments. You can add a link to your post using this formulation: <a href="the url of your blog post goes here">what you want the link to say goes here</a> For a complete how-to, click here.