A couple of days ago, Jim Naughton posted an essay on The Lead from Bishop Chris Epting’s blog about the covenant. Epting’s essay elicited quite a number of comments. I was particularly struck by a comment from Jeffrey L. Shy, M.D. He wrote, in part
It [B-033] was coercive and counter to our sense of right from the very beginning, but we adopted it to keep the peace, which end it accomplished not at all. To me, this [the covenant/covenant process] seems just like another big B033, a way of extorting a promise of altered behavior from us. Do we really intend to “stop” doing everything that might upset someone in the Anglican Communion? Is that how we see Jesus command to us? “Verily, verily I say to you, don’t do anything to cause a controversy, but always do whatever keeps everyone from getting upset, no matter whether you believe it to be really right or wrong.” If Paul had taken that choice little piece of advice, I don’t think that the gentile Christian church would even exist today.If anyone had any doubts about which way our church is headed, no matter what happens in the Anglican Communion, the consecration of Mary Glasspool should have put those doubts to rest. Dr. Shy has asked the right question here: “Do we really intend to ‘stop’ doing everything that might upset someone in the Anglican Communion?” Clearly, the answer to that question is “no.”
Deputies to the 2012 General Convention should follow their consciences, give the covenant a thumbs down, and let the chips fall where they may. We should not even sugar-coat a resolution with statements of how much affection we have for our fellow Anglicans and how much it pains us to cause them distress. They have caused us infinitely more distress. It is time for The Episcopal Church to say, “We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore!”
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