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February 26, 2014


BUMPED For Obvious Reasons [Email] Practical Consequences of the Transgender Canonical Changes

I sent out an email to some friends of mine and am also posting it, very slightly edited, here; it makes a good summary to send to others:

Resolution D019 [emphasis added], modifying the canons of The Episcopal Church, has passed the House of Bishops:
“Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That Title I, Canon 17, Sec. 5 of the Canons of The Episcopal Church be hereby amended to read as follows: No one shall be denied rights, status or access to an equal place in the life, worship, and governance of this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or and expression, disabilities or age, except as otherwise specified by Canons.”

D002 [emphasis added], modifying the canons of The Episcopal Church, has also passed in the HOB:
“Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That Title III, Canon 1, Sec. 2 of the Canons of the Episcopal Church be hereby amended to read as follows: No person shall be denied access to the discernment process for any ministry, lay or ordained, in this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disabilities or age, except as otherwise provided by these Canons. No right to licensing, ordination, or election is hereby established.
EXPLANATION [from the resolution]
Title III, Canon 1, Sec. 2 of the Canons of the Episcopal Church states “No person shall be denied access to the discernment process for any ministry, lay or ordained, in this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities or age, except as otherwise provided by these Canons. No right to licensing, ordination, or election is hereby established.” This resolution would revise this canon by adding “gender identity and expression” to this list of protected categories of access, but not of right. As we continue to grow in our understanding and embrace of all human beings, it is important for us to be specific in our naming of difference. This proposed revision is based upon our increased understanding and practice to respect the human dignity of transgender people - transsexuals, and others who differ from majority societal gender norms. Gender identity (one’s inner sense of being male or female) and expression (the way in which one manifests that gender identity in the world) should not be bases for exclusion, in and of themselves, from consideration for participation in the ministries of the Church.”

You can find all the General Convention resolutions here.

[Commentary] What does this mean, practically?

Parishes who are in search processes, and who are looking for a good priest, cannot “not consider” those who “differ from majority societal gender norms” simply because of that disorder.  To name two examples: those men with perfectly good xy chromosomes but who imagine that they are really women, and then undergo surgery and take hormones in order to further foster their beliefs or who simply cross-dress or otherwise “differ from majority societal gender norms” cannot be “not considered” because of that disorder in gender identity. The words “gender identity and expression” are extraordinarily broad and vague—and they are meant to encompass a variety of “expressions.”

Of course, CDO profiles that parishes receive for search processes do not have marked on them “transsexual” or “transgender.”  So your search processes will receive CDO profiles and resumes of these men and women who experience serious disorders without search committees being aware of those disorders.

It also means that if a layperson with perfectly good xy chromosomes [male] or with perfectly good xx chromosomes [female] but who imagine themselves as the opposite sex, and then undergo surgery and take hormones in order to further foster their personal beliefs about themselves or who simply cross-dress or otherwise “differ from majority societal gender norms” cannot not “be considered” as a nursery volunteer or vestry member or any other part of the local parish’s leadership for which they may wish to volunteer. 

Their disordered actions, something that is a pathology, barring a chromosomal or other physical disorder, cannot be a part of any decision to exclude them from consideration in any part of church leadership, whether clergy or laity.  This perfectly parallels the theology and foundational worldview of those who have driven the acceptance of non-celibate, same-sex relationships as well.

It has been clear for some years now that the people leading us at the national level—90% of bishops, lay and clergy deputies to General Convention, and those serving on national commissions and committees—are not competent, healthy, or ordered in their theology or foundational worldview.  It is one thing to love sinners [as we all are], and to love those with mental illness [as many of us have]. It is another thing to re-name pathologies as “good and healthy”, to enshrine those with such pathologies as leaders of a church, and to force others to pretend as if disordered affections or gender identities are functional and wholesome.

Every foolish and dysfunctional decision our leaders make at the national level has a huge effect on parishes and dioceses at the local level.  Average Sunday Attendance [ASA] has plunged 23% over the past decade in The Episcopal Church and 16% just in the past five years—view the trends of the past five years here.

There is good reason for that plunge.  Parishioners, clergy, parishes, and entire dioceses have left The Episcopal Church as a direct result of these unrelenting, escalatingly foolish and destructive decisions.  In return, the national church has spent some $21 million to sue to recover parish property, much of which property was titled directly to the vestries of the parishes—find details of those expenditures here.

The Episcopal Church is asking for nineteen percent of the average total diocesan budget to go to this national organization—The Episcopal Church—with these leaders making these kinds of decisions.  In 2012, $323,881 was budgeted to send to the national church from the Diocese of Upper South Carolina—that’s 13% of pledge income that came to the diocese from parish pledge money—view the 2012 and draft 2013 budget here.

To continue to fund this disordered, incompetent, and unhealthy agenda is to continue to fund and promote a truly ridiculous, and non-life-giving agenda that will ultimately kill our churches.  There is a very very very very very very small market for the kind of “product” that the national Episcopal Church offers and that is publicized around the country as the “Episcopal Church”—and most Christians and seekers want no part of this.

For further information:
The current leaders of The Episcopal Church articulate the transgender ideology in this video [caution].

Discuss these issues at T19 or StandFirm.


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25 comments

Somewhere between 50-75% of those LEFT in the Episcopal Churches in my area would be concerned with this development at GC, but I am sure there will not be a peep about it in any pulpit or parish hall this morning (or any other morning). Most will not know until a transgendered priest shows up or a transgendered lay person is serving at the altar (like most had no clue how coordinated was the program to have a gay clergy person in every parish.) 

No one will dare to speak against The Policy for fear of recrimination.

But many, many parishioners will leave when the inevitable happens, as it will in every parish to demonstrate just how “right” it is to have a “healthy variety” of sexual preferences represented in leadership. Very few will feel self-conscious about leaving once the exodus begins.

This is the nail in the coffin for TEO and it both saddens me and makes me glad that Those Who Decide have precipitated organizational death.

[1] Posted by cityonahill on 7-8-2012 at 07:50 AM · [top]

Since when did it become ‘inclusive’ to encourage other people’s self-hatred of themselves?

[2] Posted by All-Is-True on 7-8-2012 at 07:50 AM · [top]

RE: “Somewhere between 50-75% of those LEFT in the Episcopal Churches in my area would be concerned with this development at GC, but I am sure there will not be a peep about it in any pulpit or parish hall this morning (or any other morning).”

Don’t underestimate the power of informing any remaining Episcopal friends, though, cityonahill.  Email would be good!  ; > )

[3] Posted by Sarah on 7-8-2012 at 08:12 AM · [top]

Sarah,
I am confused here. Why were there two HOB resolutions dealing with the same thing.
I am also confused that D019 leaves off the phrase, ” No right to licensing, ordination, or election is hereby established.” Does this also leave the door open for discrimination lawsuits of parishes that reject transgendered/transexual persons as clergy?

[4] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-8-2012 at 08:16 AM · [top]

It’s like this, Sarah. What this resolution says is that you can’t flat-out tell a person with a gender identity or expression issue that they can’t go forward in the ordination process because of that. You have to give another reason which doesn’t refer to the obvious. Easily done. Just like I couldn’t tell a lesbian applicant for a clergy job that I wouldn’t be hiring her for the reason she’s a lesbian with a non-Christian girlfriend. In every case, a non-hire has multiple reasons for being turned down. You just can’t mention their gender identity or sexuality as specific reasons for your refusal.

[5] Posted by A Senior Priest on 7-8-2012 at 08:48 AM · [top]

Probably not a civil lawsuit, Fr. Dale, but it will allow for anonymous persons to file charges against you with the diocesan or national intake officer.  It would also allow a bishop to appoint a “priest in charge” over the objections of the parish.  And if you reject a candidate for rector who comes in bearded, wearing a skirt and high heels, you had better have a “good” reason.  Or one who confesses to you in the interview that now he is a man, but before the operation last year, was a woman.

Next, I suppose, will be the sado-masochistic mass (that would seem to be covered under sexual and gender expression, after all).  CJ will have to open up a whole new blogsite for leather vestments.

[6] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-8-2012 at 08:54 AM · [top]

Good point, Sarah.  Will share the bad news with everyone I can smile

[7] Posted by cityonahill on 7-8-2012 at 09:06 AM · [top]

ASP~

Vestries and clergies making hiring decisions will be told by bishops and other leadership at the diocesan level that they cannot consider a candidate’s sexual “identity” in those processes, and many good people will fall into line with this because it seems to be the secular reality, or what is “right.”  However, even in the secular world right now, religious institutions still have the freedom to hire using broad theological criteria (which include belief and behavior.) There were several legal precedents set this year that reinforce rights in the hiring process for religious schools, and by extension, churches. The effect of the TEO resolutions is to give LESS religious freedom within its organization and force parishes to fall into line with the elite GLTBXYZ agenda.  It’s how they roll.

If it’s such a popular, charismatic idea to hire cross-dressers for Sunday school directors, I’m not sure why forceful tactics are necessary. Just saying…..

[8] Posted by cityonahill on 7-8-2012 at 09:23 AM · [top]

The passage of these two resolutions is a desirable outcome because:

1.  It was inevitable.
2.  TEC did it openly and unambiguously.

This GC is the beginning of the post-revolutionary church.  TEC has become the herd of swine possessed by demons.  They race towards the cliff, and who will fail to see the end of it?

carl

[9] Posted by carl on 7-8-2012 at 09:41 AM · [top]

Heaven help me, I watched the video.  It was an act of pernicious cruelty on the part of Integrity to put that thing together.

Now that I’ve had a chance to lie down for awhile, it occurs to me that the proponents of D019 and D002 are putting the cart before the horse by focusing on the discernment process for ordination instead of getting this sorted out at baptism, at least to the extent that our ability to do so will allow.

Perhaps the bishops and the deputies will have a chance to vote on the proposition that “God doesn’t make mistakes,” coupled with a humble admission that we sometimes do.  Then the Standing Liturgical Commission can go to work.

A modest proposal for a change in the baptismal rite:

Name this child, but before you do that, please indicate which gender assignment is being made on his or her behalf at the present time, subject to revision at a later date, of course.

Fear not!  If you make a mistake, Bishop Robinson has assured us, as only he can, that the spirit will one day lead us into all truth.  Hopefully, that will have happened by the time the child reaches puberty.  And may your own process of discernment be as wide open as the policies of this Church.

[10] Posted by episcopalienated on 7-8-2012 at 10:00 AM · [top]

RE: “Why were there two HOB resolutions dealing with the same thing.”

One dealt with ordinations, another dealt with *laity* doing volunteer and leadership stuff.

RE: “What this resolution says is that you can’t flat-out tell a person with a gender identity or expression issue that they can’t go forward in the ordination process because of that. You have to give another reason which doesn’t refer to the obvious. Easily done.”

That’s fine, ASP, but . . . as has been demonstrated in my diocese in the past, when a parish rejects a priest that The Diocese Really Really Really Really Wanted you to accept then they inform you that you may very well be a Parish In Distress.

And you know what that means.

No—the kind of pressure that a small parish in a search process will undergo when they finally get to the interview stage and the three candidates they selected are gay, trans, or a straight raving revisionist will be *immense*.  We have had similar circumstances unceasingly here in this diocese.  One parish just kept constantly putting on hold their search process—it took them *three years* to finally be allowed to call a good priest.

Some parishes—especially the small ones—simply don’t have the kind of willful, determined, desperate, strategic leadership for that kind of effort.

[11] Posted by Sarah on 7-8-2012 at 11:12 AM · [top]

This adds an interesting wrinkle to the issue of women’s ordination, doesn’t it?

[12] Posted by Doug A on 7-8-2012 at 11:24 AM · [top]

Sarah,
Thanks for the clarification.” Gender identity (one’s inner sense of being male or female) and [removed]the way in which one manifests that gender identity in the world) should not be bases for exclusion, in and of themselves, from consideration for participation in the ministries of the Church.” Isn’t this giving a free pass to any sexual expression, no matter how perverse or pathological it may be?

[13] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-8-2012 at 11:24 AM · [top]

Fr. Dale, why do you assume there is such a thing as a perverse sexual expression?  There are only sexual expressions that are not yet accepted by society because those expressions are outside the social norms.  Social norms that are only valid because we choose to allow those norms to strait jacket us in terms of acceptable sexual expressions.  But if we want everyone to live into there authentic self we must accept that self by their definitions and not ours being careful not to construct boundaries that keep them from true freedom.

How’d I do?

[14] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 7-8-2012 at 01:37 PM · [top]

Just put this on my FB wall!

[15] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-8-2012 at 03:19 PM · [top]

[comment deleted—off topic and in flagrant violation of commenting policy; this is a final warning; LuxRex will not be warned again on this blog]

[16] Posted by banned4Life on 7-8-2012 at 11:16 PM · [top]

LuxRex, When it comes to sin and social clubs,  Episcopalians have simply traded brands.

As Bonnie Anderson said, we were previously “the institutional church of power and privilege” - The First Social Church of Mammon and St. Blueblood - but somewhere along the line the Holy Spirit broke in and we chucked all that in favor of following Jesus, and started welcoming everybody, thus becoming known as the INCLUSIVE church.

Of course our numbers started to fall - when we started welcoming people of every race and every income level, being Episcopalian wasn’t much fun for the snob set anymore, but there for awhile, we started becoming an honest-to-goodness CHRIST-LED church.

Now, the Devil couldn’t let that happen, so he used our new-found virtue of inclusiveness against us, by selling TEC on the popular Worldly notion that sexual deviance is normal and that homosexuality is just one more human variation, and that the SIN OF HOMOSEXUALITY ITSELF - and not just the sinner - was a “gift from the Creator” and ought therefore be welcomed into the church with open arms. ECUSA fell for it hook, line, and stinker, and hence we have Robinson and Schori and Ragsdale and all of our present mess, rendered all the more devilish by the fact that the Anglican Right - the only faction of Anglicanism which still stands against sexual perversion in the church - is also still the bailiwick of all of those disaffected snobs and socialites who long for the good old days when God was an Englishman and they were His Frozen Chosen.

[17] Posted by Cynthia Gee(AKA CJ/goldndog) on 7-9-2012 at 09:09 AM · [top]

The Holy Spirit is completely capable of moving transgendered people. That said, transgendered individuals (from my very limited experience with them) face enormous challenges. “Pathology” is perhaps not too strong a word. I think there is a game of “let’s pretend” going on that is dangerous.

[18] Posted by Don+ on 7-9-2012 at 09:59 AM · [top]

Cynthia Gee:  ACNA Churches are hardly “bailiwick of all of those disaffected snobs and socialites who long for the good old days when God was an Englishman and they were His Frozen Chosen.”  It’s hard to be snobbish when setting up chairs in a YMCA gym, or having to worship Sunday afternoon in a borrowed/rented hall.  We are likely close to 20% of active Anglicans in the USA too.  As to the numbers declining in TEC because of (real) inclusiveness—due to the charisma of the ‘70s?  Hogwash!

Bishop Pike was a ‘60s apostate, and heretic Spong a ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s anti-Christian, accepted with open arms by liberal inclusiveness, a cheap knock-off of Holy Spirit led love.

My point is the spores of the current rot go way back, even to the early parts of the 20th Century, when higher-critical academics were allowed and even hailed in Episcopal seminaries, raising up generations of spiritually impotent pastors, who then allowed—in the most courteous, genteel and tolerant way—the current crop of anti-Christ bishops to take power, while the laity were too comfortable—and biblically ignorant—to notice.

The idea that the godly inclusiveness of the Holy Spirit—primarily a ‘70s & ‘80s movement—ushered in the bible scoffers, just is not accurate. (If anything, that movement frustrated & slowed down the ongoing revisionist project.) Have the Schori’s & Spongs of the Church USED the language of Holy Spirit inclusiveness?  Of course, the devil always imitates & deceives, that’s all he knows how to do. 

None-the-less the source of all this was abandoning biblical (which is actually apostolic) authority—which in the case of the current leadership, I do not think they ever held to—for the pottage of this world.  That abandonment has been going on for a very long time…only now the rot of the culture is so putrid, its stench fills the church too, as the biblical standard is so far removed from the cultural “standards,” which are the only “standards” of TEC.

[19] Posted by banned4Life on 7-9-2012 at 09:59 AM · [top]

Lux, I never mentioned ACNA, and I never said that the the Anglican Right was made up solely or even largely of disaffected snobs; rather, I said that that’s where most of them went, along with a lot of genuine, orthodox-believing, non-snobbish folk, when ECUSA went off the deep end and shifted from the Godly inclusiveness of the 70’s and 80’s to the welcome-the-sin-along-with-the-sinner attitude that has prevailed in the church since the 1990s.
Also, I never said that the genuine inclusiveness of the Holy Spirit was what ushered in the Bible scoffers. As you pointed out, apostates like Spong have existed withing the church for decades, and what I am saying is that the Devil used men like Spong, Pike, etc to SUBVERT the Godly inclusiveness of the 70s and 80s and turn it into something else entirely, in much the same way as various political entities co*opted the Tea Party movement in the secular world, and turned it into something its founders never intended it to be.

[20] Posted by Cynthia Gee(AKA CJ/goldndog) on 7-9-2012 at 01:36 PM · [top]

You’re right Cynthia, and I apologize for taking offense, when none was given.  Your point that real Spirit led inclusiveness was imitated and co-opted into excusing sexual perversion and other heresies is right on point.

As to the reality of the imitation-inclusiveness, Spong’s comment of African Christians being “barely out of the trees” comes to mind…

[21] Posted by banned4Life on 7-9-2012 at 02:19 PM · [top]

I think most of the Episcopal ‘snobs’ are still in TEC, and will remain there until they are dust in the ground. Snobbery doesn’t care about theology…only about being someone better than and distinct from the great mass of humanity…i.e., ‘you.’

[22] Posted by All-Is-True on 7-9-2012 at 02:23 PM · [top]

I’ll say it again - those that say they are “following where the Spirit (meaning HOLY SPIRIT) leads them” are horribly deceived or liars (likely both). 

The Holy Spirit CANNOT do anything that is against God’s Holy Word.  Heretical.

[23] Posted by B. Hunter on 2-26-2014 at 01:50 PM · [top]

While it is true that snobbery, along with pride, arrogance, indifference, were once the defining sins of bygone Episcopalians, those lovely people never acted out of malice.
They came to church to worship God, and see their friends.  They assumed that people not like them were similarly happy in churches of their own choice.  They never acted less than gracious with those who were different, but they didn’t feel obliged to make
friends with them.  They were ladies and gentlemen.  Is it now proscribed to act like them in the company of one’s fellow parishioners?  Granted, we are a vanishing species.  But it was nice, once.  In our mid-eighties, my wife and I seek out and befriend new parishioners who are of the same vintage and also remember how nice it was.

[24] Posted by profpk on 2-26-2014 at 03:53 PM · [top]

Hope this is not off-topic. When I read #23 post by B. Hunter, Matthew 12:31 instantly came to mind. Would this be a rather rare application of the unforgivable sin? Serious stuff.

[25] Posted by JuliaInVa on 2-26-2014 at 04:26 PM · [top]

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