Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Brief Essay

This is a bit of a departure for me. I'm not reporting about events from the Convention, but I'd like to share something that came to my thoughts early this morning when I was reflecting on the choices before the Episcopal Church with regard to our policies toward gay and lesbian Christians and our relationship with the Anglican Communion.

When President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights act of 1964, he prophesied that the Democratic Party was "signing away the south for 50 years."

I can imagine the voices among the Democrats at that time of decision in 1964. Do not pass this Civil Rights legislation. You will split the party. You will alienate the Southern part of our communion. You'll be thrown out of office. We have a fragile relationship with the Dixiecrats. Don't do anything to further strain those relationships.

LBJ and the Democratic Party could have backed away from the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They could have maintained the structural union within their party - but at what cost. The cost would have to be put on the backs of black people, continuing the disenfranchisement of African Americans, perpetuating their marginalization and continuing their discrimination.

Today we look back at that moment of decision in 1964, and we know that they chose right and we are proud of them. When the time of decision comes, you have to do what is right, whatever it costs: to extend freedom, equal opportunity and to defend liberty and justice for all.



At 10:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo! Let's hope the vote follows the right decision.

At 10:58 AM , Anonymous Janet said...

Amen to that and may God's peace be with you.

Janet L. Graige

At 11:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do hope the convention will deal as deliberately and forcefully on health care and funding for war making as it is on other issues.

At 12:41 PM , Anonymous Christine M. said...

Doing what is right, rather than what is expedient, expected, or short-sighted, is always hard and takes courage. May the convention have the courage to do what is right, God bless you all.

At 4:31 PM , Anonymous Ryan said...

Amen! I hope and pray that others will come to the same conclusion. What a thoughtful and truthful post.

At 5:05 PM , Blogger Doug said...

Amen, Lowell! There are a lot of progress that would have never happened if it wasn't for people who were willing to prophetically do things that were very unpopular at the time, even seen as heretical! We are all praying for all of you at GC that you have the courage and strength to do the right things.

At 6:58 PM , Blogger Lowell said...

Thanks for the comments.

To the post about health care and funding for war, we had a significant resolution supporting healthcare for all; passed the house earlier.


At 9:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for having the intestinal fortitude to lay this issue on the line. I pray God's blessing on the church as we move forward to welcome, not just accept all individuals into our communion. Further, I pray we grant them what the resolution calls for -- the opportunity to answer calls to serve at any level of the church. May we open our hearts and our arms to all of God's creation. Thanks be to God.


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