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Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles Elects Lesbian Bishop

Jim Burroway

December 5th, 2009

Rev. Cannon Mary GlasspoolAs a follow-up to what we first reported Thursday, it is now official: the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has elected Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, 55, as the first openly gay bishop since the national church lifted the ban on such elections. Rev. Glasspool has been in a committed relationship since 1988.

Rev. Glasspool is the first openly gay priest to be elevated to the bishopric since Rev. Gene Robinson was named bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. Rev. Robinson’s election prompted a huge outcry in the worldwide Anglican communion. In response, the American Episcopal church agreed to a temporary unofficial ban on future elections of openly gay priests as bishops. The church voted last July at its annual convention in Anaheim to re-open its top leadership to LGBT people once again.

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Lindoro Almaviva
December 5th, 2009 | LINK

Let the bloodbath begging…

Mark F.
December 5th, 2009 | LINK

Schism, time for schism!

TomTallis
December 6th, 2009 | LINK

Good for LA. From the pic, though, if she’s planning a move out here, she’d better see a fashion consultant. That jacket won’t cut it!

ApolloRick
December 6th, 2009 | LINK

So, so, so proud of the ECUSA and the Diocese of L.A.! Too bad that the conservatives just haven’t got the picture yet. ALL Baptized means ALL baptized. The conservatives just don’t get it. The conservatives are dumber than doorknobs in every conceivable way. ALL means ALL baptized are in FULL standing in the Church of Jesus Christ. All the conservative churches at this point are half-dressed. ALL baptized is the very core of it all! Also, the white American Christian exporting of animus for LGBTQ people in Uganda is unbelievable. We know who the white American proponents of the animus are. We know where they live, and we know that they have outlived their relevance in this world. They will be actively remembered and shunned. Shame on their souls. Such a waste of their theological education that they cannot understand Jesus is for everyone, and against no one. Peace and Grace, ApolloRick

Francis+
December 16th, 2009 | LINK

ApolloRick’s comment of Dec. 6th is a direct violation of the standards regarding comments on this page, specifically: “■ Defamation against entire categories of people. This includes members of religious groups and political parties.”

‘Conservatives’, needless to say, constitute a category of people– certainly ApolloRick used the term that way. His statement “The conservatives are dumber than doorknobs in every conceivable way”, is not merely offensive but childish, more appropriate to a middle school playground than a discussion of the Church. It’s interesting to note that he believes that ‘conservatives’ are “white American” Christians– perhaps he hasn’t noticed that the denominations with the most gay and lesbian clergy are all primarily white. I know of NO predominantly black denomination in North America which ordains overtly practicing homosexuals– not the the AME, not the PNBC, not COGIC, not the CME… all are historically black churches, and none ordain homosexuals, let alone make them bishops. The Korean Presbyterians (the largest Korean Christian group in the US, possibly the largest Asian Christian group in the US) doesn´t, either. If you want to find gay clergy, you have to go to the predominantly white denominations, Protestant or Catholic (not Orthodox), or to Reformed Judaism, or to groups such as Wiccans. His writing about “the white American Christian exporting of animus for LGBTQ people” shows a certain amount of ignorance regarding his topic.

As a further case in point, he opens by stating that he is “So, so, so proud of the ECUSA and the Diocese of L.A.!”. Perhaps he doesn’t know that there is no “ECUSA”– the denomination changed its name to “TEC” (The Episcopal Church) years ago, finally noticing that it is NOT the ‘Episcopal Church in the USA’, but includes Haiti, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Venezuela, the Virgin Islands, Guam and Micronesia… and the mostly-white Episcopal Church put the Spanish-speaking dioceses in their own litle “Spanish Harlem”, Province IX, despite the fact that the Dominican Republic and Haiti are on the same island and clearly in a better position to work together than the the D.R. has with, say, Colombia. [Haiti and the V.I. are stuck in with Europe’s congregations (well, Haiti was once a French colony, and the Bishop for Europe is based in Paris), and Micronesia was given to the Bishop for the Armed Services, now the Bishop for Federal Chaplaincies!] Oh, sure… they’re treated like equals. Separate, but equal.

Second, outside of those Dioceses, it continues to be a very white denomination. While I am glad that he is “so, so proud” of the Diocese of L.A., what we just saw happen, in one of the Episcopal dioceses with the largest black and Hispanic populations of any in America, two of the very few bishops of color in TEC, one black and one Hispanic, being replaced by two more white Anglo-Saxon Protestants.

And third and finally (having lived in eight different countries and been, as a white man, a minority in four of them), let me reassure ApolloRick that those evil white American Christians don’t need to export “animus for LGBTQ people in Uganda” or elsewhere in the Southern hemisphere or Asia… it’s already there, and has been since long before the first missionary landed. I’m certainly not saying that it’s a good thing– it isn’t– but it’s also not a “white American Christian” thing. A Zulu or Bantu warrior who refused to take wives and thus further his family would be lucky to be just outcast and not killed, just as (again, long before the first white man set foot in Asia) a Chinese, Korean or Japanese male who refused to marry and bear children to carry on the family name would be lucky to be merely outcast. One of the major reasons for polygamy in Africa and Asia is that both have or had indigenous religions which included ancestor worship: descendants who plan on refusing to give you grandchildren (ie., are gay) are ensuring that your soul dies perpetually. Does ApolloRick really think that led toward the acceptance of homosexuality, or is he speaking from a mix of animus towards conservatives and ignorance about the rest of the world?

Writing as he does can only damage any movement towards acceptance of gays in the Third World, and his blithe expressions of pride and joy at the elections in the Diocese of Los Angeles only underline to the many blacks and Hispanics in that Diocese just how disinterested the Episcopal Church is in any real attempt at diversity. Happily, ignorance in conquerable, by education. I hope and pray that ApolloRick will educate himself about the Church and the cultures he writes about, and then uses that education to help make ral change in the world, that we may indeed live out the Gospel of Christ Jesus.

Until then, though, what he essentially said was that “conservatives” (a group he failed to define beyond their being white and American) are all “dumb as doorknobs”, which may apparently be defined as “don’t agree with ApolloRick”. He seems to believe that what is good for the Church is what is good for that particular subset to which he apparently belongs, with no thought of any broader picture, particularly in a diocese with a very high minority population. In Los Angeles, they replaced black and Hispanic bishops with two more white Anglo-Saxons, and we’re supposed to rejoice because of what one of them does with a partner behind closed doors where no one can see her?

A black or Hispanic Bishop is a clear symbol all the time, wherever he or she is. A bishops’ color shows all the time– we can’t help but see the face under the mitre. A bishop’s choice of sexual activities is completely different: I have to see what’s under the mitre, but have no desire to see what’s under the blankets. And what I see– what the world sees– is that the most mulitethnic of Episcopal dioceses has elected two more white Anglo-Saxons.

I’m not so proud.

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