Mary Glasspool Consecrated in Los Angeles

Jim Burroway

May 15th, 2010

In a celebration reflecting the incredible cultural diversity of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles Diocese, the former Rev. Canon and now the Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool was consecrated as Bishop Suffragan. Bishop Glasspool’s consecration marks the second time an openly gay clergy has been consecrated as bishop in the Episcopal Church. She is also the first lesbian to be so ordained.

Also consecrated as Bishop Suffragan was the Rt. Rev. Diane Jardine Bruce. The ceremony was presided by Most Rev. Katharine Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church. The event took place before a large crowd in the Long Beach Arena.

The ceremony was briefly interrupted just following the opening prayer by two protesters who were sitting among the congregation on the floor of the arena. First a middle-aged man stood up, held up a sign that I was unable to see from my vantage point, and shouted “Repent! Homosexuality is an abomination to God!” He continued to shout anti-gay slogans as church officials calmly escorted him out of the arena.

After he was escorted out, a smaller child (he appeared to be a pre-teen boy) stood up near to where the man had been standing and shouted, “Homosexuality is an abomination to God.” He, too, was patiently escorted out, while shouting the entire time. Just as he left the arena, someone was heard to yell from the balcony, “we’re praying for you” to the gentle laughter of the congregation, and the ceremony continued.

I was very impressed with the quiet dignity with which church officials and the congregation bore the interruptions, as well as the insults heaped upon them as they entered the arena before the service.

In addition to Westboro Baptist clan who protested at an entrance to the Long Beach Convention Center complex near the arena, a pair of very noisy protesters who appear to have been unrelated to Westboro held signs and shouted anti-gay slogans right in front of the entrance of the arena.

Due to the tight configuration of buildings at the entrance, every attendee of the consecration ceremony had to walk past the protesters as a sort of anti-gay and anti-woman gauntlet. The protesters seemed equally agitated that the bishops being consecrated were women as much as the fact that one was a lesbian. One harangued the gentle crowd with demands that the women grow out their hair long and be subservient to their husbands, “as the Bible commands.” But clearly, it was Rev. Glasspool’s consecration that drew the most condemnation. “A Bishop must be a man married to his wife, not a lesbian to a woman,” he shouted to no one who listened.

Aside from the outburst following the opening prayers, the rest of the three-hour ceremony went off without incident. The Bishop of Los Angeles, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, delivered the homily in which he reflected on the diversity of the church:

We are a mixed batch, but we are stronger because we are all of those things. We are stronger because we respect the dignity of every human being, that we stand for their right to stand up and be the people of God. I doesn’t matter what their physical ability is, it doesn’t matter who they are, what race, what country they come from, what sexuality they have. It matters that they are people of God.

In a nod to the protesters, he referred to the point in the ceremony in which the the congregation is asked whether there are any objections. Bishop Bruno said,

I don’t think there was one person in the place that was more nervous than I was about objections. But we didn’t have any objections today from anybody who was an Episcopalian. [laughter] We had people outside and inside who came here because they don’t understand the inclusive nature of the Episcopal Church.

…We, as bishops of this church, are called to be exemplars of Jesus’s presence in this world. We’re called to teach people and bring them to a place of self understanding so that they don’t, out of fear or anxiety or fear of change become Ideological idolaters of the past.

Following that homily, history was made again, when Revs. Bruce and Glasspool were consecrated through the ancient practice of the laying on of hands by a multitude of consecrating bishops. They were then given the Mitre and symbols of office and presented to the congregation to roaring cheers and applause.

Grandmère Mimi

May 15th, 2010

What a powerful account, Jim. Thank you. It makes me proud to be an Episcopalian.


May 15th, 2010

The protesters were right. The Bible condemns homosexuality, and it also happens to say that women should be silent in churches and must not hold positions of authority over men.

Therefore, it is ridculous for the Episcopalian church to ordain women and homosexuals. Possibly they have confused Christianity with political correctness, a quite different religion.

Emily K

May 15th, 2010

It’s great that you got to go, Jim. I think it’s great a church like the Episcopal Church is so affirming, because it also has a large measure of tradition and ritual ingrained within it. That way gays who crave tradition and benchmark ritual can feel they have a place.

I hope the same thing can occur for the Catholic Church some day.


May 15th, 2010


Your remarks about the Episcopalian church are sin, unless you want to be abused and attacked in public. I doubt you do, so please, repent.

Remember that the law Jesus gave “love God with your entire self and love your neighbor as yourself” does not allow male clergy to deny women the ability to serve if God calls them, or even to second guess whether God called them, nor does it give you that right. And it does not allow any person who wishes to experience love and intimacy in an honest relationship to vilify GLBTQ people.

You have voiced prejudice, but prejudice absolutely is a violation of the law Christ gave, in short, sin.

Emily K

May 15th, 2010



May 15th, 2010

“The Bible condemns homosexuality”

No, it doesn’t. If you have a Bible w/ the word “homosexuality” (or “homosexual”) in it, you’re reading a mistranslation. Throw it out! NONE of the so-called “Clobber Verses” pertain to consensual sexual relations between loving&faithful same-sex adults.

Possibly they have confused Christianity with political correctness, a quite different religion.

You, Quo, have confused Christianity w/ ignorance (something that too many Christians do, sad to say). Jesus’s call was extended to, and inclusive of, ALL of those who Love God and Love Neighbor. If that sounds like “Political Correctness” to you . . . take it up w/ Jesus!


May 15th, 2010

Hey Quo– the bible also says that the sun revolves around the earth. You somehow forgot to mention that in your recitation of stoneage myths.

Possibly you have confused the modern world with one in which savages banged rocks together to make the sun come back after ann eclipse.

Richard W. Fitch

May 15th, 2010

I envy those who were able to attend this historic event. These two women have already proven themselves as shepherds. May their good work continue to unfold bountifully.

Lynn David

May 16th, 2010

The guys with the oversized signs (evidently compensating for something else) are the people from It’s run by someone who calls himself Reuben Israel. They also don’t like women in the pulpit. I think they call some male preachers feminine lions.

I think the guy who used to frequent Indiana State is/was a member of that group. Everything out of their mouth isn’t worth repeating. There were times when I was in college that I wanted to knock his head off.


May 16th, 2010


Whether people should love each other, and God too, has nothing to do with the issue of whether women should be priests. It’s quite possible to love people without thinking that they should be allowed to be priests.

Emily K,

I think that, if you look carefully, you’ll see that David is the one who is trolling. I didn’t call anyone’s comments sin, but he called my comments sin.


The Bible condemns what we now call homosexual behavior, even though it doesn’t use that specific term.


May 16th, 2010

The thing I find most distasteful about this isn’t the disruptive behavior of the protesters (although I don’t condone it), but the reaction of the congregation.

Christians are supposed to believe that everyone is a sinner. Nothing could be further from that belief than smug self-congratulation – yet smug self-congratulation is exactly what their reaction to being told that the protesters are praying for them (“gentle laughter”) suggests.


May 16th, 2010

One wonders, Quo, what you’re trying to achieve. You’re operating on premises that few on here would accept; you’re not going to get anywhere, and it seems unlikely that you’ll change your mind on any issue either. To me, it looks like you’re only trying to get people pissed off with your smug self-righteousness. Have at it.

As for the boy that shouted out, it’s unfortunate that he’s been indoctrinated. I’m sure a few of the protesters will manage to portray him, and others, as martyrs of some kind.


May 16th, 2010

The Bible condemns many things Christians today accept and accepts many things that Christians today condemn. Our relationship with God and neighbour isn’t based on lists of do’s and don’t. Christ, who violated the letter of the law repeatedly, made that clear.

It’s sad that some “Christians” don’t get that even today, but it’s safer, easier though rather intellectually and morally lazy to follow lists of rules by rote, than struggle with the greys of living in responsible freedom and agape love for all.

Regan DuCasse

May 16th, 2010

She deserves to be the Grand Marshall at the CSW Parade.
She’s exactly the kind of role model that should be honored and given as much visibility and support as possible.

Historically, how women have been represented and engaged in the power hierarchy of any religious group speaks for itself.

But it’s women and gays who are representative of the fluidity of gender and the power that, when balanced properly in what the human race can accomplish…moves us to a greater future.

Regan DuCasse

May 16th, 2010

I was raised Episcopalian and I remember asking Father Williams, when I was ten years old why there were no women running things in the Bible. Why no women were priests like he was and no women bishops.
My father told me if it took Father Williams longer than 20 seconds to answer me, I didn’t have to ever go to church again.

Father Williams DID take too long. And I didn’t stop going until after I was confirmed.
But the changes in Judaism and seeing women rabbis as well as Episcopal priests as I was coming up was the greatest thing I ever saw.

I was SUCH an impertinent kid asking difficult questions and getting adults annoyed with me.

But when God is used as a means of abusing other human beings, especially women and gays…it’s never going to be right.
And no amount of Bible quoting, or religious scholarship that condones it, or denies that’s what it is will be either.

Timothy Kincaid

May 16th, 2010


If I haven’t said it before, you had a very wise father

Ben in Oakland

May 16th, 2010

BTW, Quo. that letter where Paul says women should not have authority over men?

Probably not actually written by Paul.

Ben in Oakland

May 16th, 2010

Justsearching: what is quo trying to achieve?

It’s always been very obvious. Fill in the blank.

_____________ loves ocmpany.


May 16th, 2010

Actually I thought it was someone from the congregation saying they were praying for the protesters, that’s what brought the laughter, not the other way around.

Could Jim clarify?

John in the Bay Area

May 16th, 2010

It sounds like these protesters need to be prayed for, especially the kid that got up with the sign. I shudder to think what kind of home life this poor kid has lived that his parents would use him in this way. Shades of Westboro and the abusive way those children were raised comes to mind.


May 16th, 2010

Thank you Ben in Oakland, you made the point I was about to make. The letter that is often quoted to keep Women out of leadership positions does not have the same language style of Paul’s earlier letters, and many theologians believe it was written after his death by a follower. If I’m right the verse comes from either 1st or 2nd Timothy. In fact, one of my favorite women in the Bible is Deborah, a female judge or wise woman in the new testament (I’m writing from my memory hear, I may be wrong about the specifics, correct me if I am!)


May 16th, 2010

My dear Quo, I think you’ll find that what appears to be smug self-congratulation to you may in fact be joyous celebration of the victory of Christ in this issue to them. Forgive me, but, your bias is showing.

Peace, joy and love, my brother.

Jim Burroway

May 16th, 2010

Burr, thati is correct. It sounded like an older lady’s voice, but it was actually hard to tell. She actually didn’t say it that loudly, but with the accoustics of the arena, it really seemed to carry.

Ben in Oakland

May 16th, 2010

Piper– Debotrah was an OT judge. They didn’t have them in the NT– misogyny and patriarchy had won out. It is arguable that Mary Magdalene, always presented in the red of a high priestess, may have repesented the last of the breed of priestesses. (In Cyprus, looking at ancient icons of Mary, I saw also in a red stole over her usual blue dress. Mariam, Moses’s wife also a priestess. Same name.)


May 16th, 2010


“Whether people should love each other, and God too, has nothing to do with the issue of whether women should be priests. ”

Your dismissal is predicated on a dishonest paraphrase. The law Christ gave is more than just ‘love your neighbor’ – it states ‘love your neighbor as yourself’.

Which means, as if it needs to be plainer, treat your neighbor as you want to be treated. It is re-statement of ‘do onto others as you would have others do onto you’.

Any man who wishes to be minister cannot deny women that role as well; if he does, he is not treating women the way he wants to be treated.

“I didn’t call anyone’s comments sin, but he called my comments sin.”

You also didn’t demonstrate that your comments are not sin, while I argued that they were. You also dismissed the spiritual beliefs of Episcopalians as “ridculous” (sic), even though Jesus warns us against calling our brother “Fool”

Matthew 5:22 (New International Version)

22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother[a]will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,[b]’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

And you attack their spirituality by labeling it “political correctness”, again without a shred of accurate evidence for the charge.

“David is the one who is trolling.”

Unless you want to be called a troll yourself, and your attempt to redirect Emily’s remark onto me indicates that you do not, then your quote above is also a sin against me as a person, a violation of Christ’s law. Please repent and give me the opportunity to forgive you. And then you can ask Emily to repent for dismissing you as a troll.

Your repeated false claims about the Bible are sin, missing the mark, in two ways – first in libeling the Holy Spirit by asserting that God is malevolent and unjust. And second by libeling GLBTQ people, asserting that our capacity for love and intimacy is worthy of death and damnation.

Now the following statement of yours is absurd, I’m sorry to say: “The Bible condemns what we now call homosexual behavior, even though it doesn’t use that specific term.”

What you are really arguing is that in your opinion, the Bible can be made to condemn anything you want – IF you ignore the actual language, words, terms, concepts that appear in it. One could take your argument and declare ‘The Bible really does condemn heterosexuality, even though it doesn’t use that specific term”. After all, there are hundreds more verses condemning specific circumstances and expressions of heterosexual love-making for every one of the verses used to vilify GLBTQ people. The very first curse on humans in the Bible, in Genesis 3, is specifically aimed at one of the functions of heterosexual intercourse – pregnancy and childbirth.

The verses used to construct “homosexuality is sin” are not about homosexuality. Most address expressions of idolatry – sex with priests and priestesses of fertility gods/goddesses, and the other has been fraudulently translated. Even though Paul had at his disposal two common, ordinary, used in graffiti ordinary, greek words for men who have sex with men, Paul did not use either in his letters.

Think about it. Paul did not use either of the words that his readers would have understood as ‘men who have sex with men’ – not in Romans 1, not in 1st Corinthians, not in any of his letters. Paul did not use the words that would communicate ‘homosexuals’.

Besides, if the standard you embrace is “read whatever concept you want into the text instead of the actual concepts used”

why even bother citing Scripture?

You might consider whether your willingness to sacrifice Christ command to love your neighbor as yourself on an altar of prejudice to “homosexuality is sin” is not a case of idolatry in the form of biblioatry.

“belief than smug self-congratulation – yet smug self-congratulation is exactly what their reaction to being told that the protesters are praying for them (“gentle laughter”) suggests.”

One could find “smug self-congratulation” in your posts, if one was going to be judgmental. But more importantly, your judgment is derogatory and abusive, an attack on the character, emotions and motivations of people you know very little, if anything about. Unless you want people to malign your motives, you’ve again violated ‘love your neighbor as yourself’.


May 16th, 2010

As for Paul’s remarks about women,

who, in Christian theology, is the Son of God, Jesus or Paul?

In a society that was deeply misogynistic, Jesus treated women with the same respect and patience he showed men. Whenever this prejudice about the role of women in church comes up, I think of Luke 10:

“38As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41″Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42but only one thing is needed.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” ”

Martha bustles about fulfilling the “role” of women at that time as hostess and servant, subordinate to men. Her sister took a place with the men as student, as an equal.

I also remember that Mary was the first to see Jesus after the resurrection, as told in John 20:
“10Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15″Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

17Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”

18Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.”

Now, if Mary had done as Paul writes, she could not have obeyed Jesus by telling the others what she had seen. She’d have had to go to her father or brother, tell him privately, and have him tell the other disciples.

But Jesus told her directly to go and tell – the very same call that clergy experience – go and tell.

When God tells a woman to go and tell, no man should stand in her way, just as he would not want anyone to stand in his way, if God calls him to serve, to go and tell.


May 16th, 2010


This statement is beyond stupid and ridiculous. I honestly can’t decide whether I find it irritating or just plain funny.


May 16th, 2010

Ben in Oakland
I ran it by my dad and I realized you were right, She is from OT. Thank’s for correcting me, It’s been a few years since my college religion classes, and I fear I have been slacking in my personal study. But I have to say I have noticed several women in passing in the book of Acts’ who sound pretty strong.


May 17th, 2010

I also recall a Baptist minister’s study stating that St. Paul’s plea for women to remain silent was purely geographical, since in the area he was in, only paramours/mistresses/concubines ever spoke in public. His wish for women to remain silent was so that the Temple was to not be confused with a brothel.

On the other hand, the moment he stepped out and found himself an area where the women were all self-sufficient, independent, and strong-willed, he was overjoyed. In fact, when he heard a woman preaching, he was so moved that he had no qualms calling her a deacon.

The suppression of women seems to me just another way to hold a ‘boys only’ sign in front of the tree house.

Ben in Oakland

May 17th, 2010

I didn’t finish what I wanted to say, Piper.

I’m pretty sure (though many authors do not address it) that the iconagraphy is actually fairly important. I believe that there were so many Mary’s in the NT becuase they were all priestesses. JC himself was supposed to be the priest king, later transformed into the myth of Prester John. It is why Mary’s descent from David was so important. Jesus’s death was a political death, hence the crucifixion. King of the Jews, remember? And yet he was also a priest.

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