If you haven't heard, last night the PC(USA) got the 87th vote needed to ratify a constitutional change that will allow for the ordination of LGBT people. There is a lot of discussion going on around the web. I sat glued to my computer awaiting live tweets from the meeting at the Twin Cities Presbytery. I made a bunch of new "twitter friends" along the way. I felt so much more community than I normally do. It wasn't like I was only interacting with young Presbyterians either. I am not sure what it was but this forum of people rallying around the folks who were voting was just amazing. I finally felt like I fit in this world of Presbyterianism.
There were a fair share of cynics on twitter too, when do the apologies come, when will every Ordaining body have to accept LGBT folks, what about marraige? I understand that people have been deeply wounded by the church, rejected by the church and for that I am sorry. It sucks to be wounded by the church, I know, I have been there and my sexuality has never been on the chopping block. To the those tweeting cynicism, I am sorry the church has hurt you or rejected you however I really want to take a few minutes to celebrate this victory. People have worked really hard to make this kind of progress. It isn't a perfect process and we know that, there is still work that lies ahead.
Just for this moment though I want to sit back, saying I am proud to be a Presbyterian. That is not something I have felt before. Last night strange, as it was new to me, that online Presbyterian community really lifted me up. As I start seminary for the second time this fall and consider if I will seek ordination, I have often wondered if the PC(USA) is the place for me. I am a little closer to saying yes. That's a lot of growth for my relationship with the PC(USA).
I know we are Christians, I know we should be gracious "winners" and remember and hold up our brothers and sisters who are now feeling hurt and let down by their denomination. I know that this is going to shake things up in our denomination. I think that shake up is a good thing, it will help us to know that we are alive and breathing and with a mainline denomination with so much history, we need a reminder once in a while. Hopefully that makes us relevant today.
All that being said, in my joy last night at this milestone I held tension. Not because I am such a wonderful Christian that I was concerned for my fellow believers who disagree with me. I kind of felt like a five year old who wanted to yell we win we win. Maybe that is too honest, maybe it makes you think less of me but that's me, human imperfect and in need of grace. As I was following all these happy tweets I learned that the "Kill the Gays" bill is coming up for a vote this week in Uganda. So while the PC(USA) takes a huge step forward, Uganda a country which I have strong ties to its people, could potentially be taking several steps back.
So what do I do? I celebrate a "victory" here for my brothers and sisters. Do I mourn the legislation in Uganda that could potentially kill people for whom they have sex with?
What makes me even more upset is that according to many articles I have read, this law is the direct result of Christians who have brought their ideas to Africa, I am assuming after being rejected here. Are you kidding me? It makes my blood boil that any Christian, American or Ugandan would preach or teach hate. Especially violent hate.
Yet here I sit trying to be the "gracious winner". I just need to say that I am struggling with that. It's bad enough to read about this bill and on top of it read that it was fueled by Christians. My joy over the passing of the amendment here is seriously being held in check by the tension I feel because of the Ugandan legislation. I have been to Uganda and seen the beautiful people there. As I type this my mentor is back in Uganda visiting the children we help to support through our local church. Children who have faced so much adversity we can hardly wrap our American minds around it. I can't imagine them having to face anymore and it seems like the government there is failing. Not only with this bill but with some other very poor decisions in my not so humble opinion. I hope to live in Uganda for a while after my wee one is grown up quite a bit. I hope by that time things will have settled down.
The question I am left with is then what is a girl to feel? I guess I just need to feel it all and move through the day.
Today I am grateful to be a part of the Presbyterian Church.
May you be blessed with some passion for a great cause today.