Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why I will vote for 10-A

This is my response posted today on Bruce Reyes-Chow's blog, asking people to write in why they will vote "Yes" on 10-A, the modified version of G-6.0106b. Please add your comments to his page, as well.
  1. Ray Bagnuolo, New York, NY
  2. Twitter: raybagnuolo; Facebook: Ray Bagnuolo;; 
  3. Presbytery of New York City, Minister Member; Voting Date Spring 2011
  4. Reason 1 for voting in favor of ratification: G-6.0106b should never have been inserted in the Book of Order, in the first place. This is first, about writing a wrong.
  5. Reason 2 for voting in favor of ratification: A vote for 10-A is a vote for one another, as Christians and witnesses to the world.
  6. Reason 3 for voting in favor of ratification: How could we ever accept complicity in the violence surrounding exclusion in general, and the gay community in particular, regardless of how unintentional that complicity might be. What better indications that 10-A needs to be ratified than to erase the role we have in the shunning and silence?
  7.  My greatest hopes are that we embrace one another, forgive each other for the hurt and anguish and vow to enter into a community that no longer abides by fear. I wish, also, that the leadership at the highest levels of this church speak out against this violence toward our sisters and brothers - as we do about other worldly horrors. I hope for the leadership silence to be filled, instead, with voices of support for members of the church they serve.
  8. No person in the work for including people who are LGBT, that I know of, has ever suggested that the resolution should be in forcing others out. That has been the wish, desire, effort on the part of many who oppose people who are LGBT. To suggest that we be held hostage for fear of others leaving is just that - a fear. It is also not a true condition. People leave and join all the time for different reasons. To place the burden of membership on the shoulders of a group some are trying to keep out of church leadership is just another form of violence, a political spin, which has no place in this (or any other) church.
  9. In a post-B world (already begun) we focus on healing, in full display for others to see - in and out of our church. There is no question in my mind that we as Presbyterians are called to this time to help heal this world, while opening our churches, pulpits, and personal interaction with one another to carry the Gospel in a fullness that has long been missing.
  10. As a Minister of Word and Sacrament, ordained as an openly gay man, while refusing to abide by G-6.0106b, I know the faithfulness of others, who like Jesus, set their face on Jerusalem, regardless of the risk, because it was the right, just, faithful thing to do. Scripture calls us to one another, even when we are not always comfortable with one another. This is not about comfort. It is about a change for love, which is all about Scripture.
A note on Scripture: There is no way to persuade or assure people to make a choice for welcoming LGBT solely on Scripture. We don't agree on Scripture. To force a decision on scriptural agreement is another way to postpone change and accept the violence of exclusion as a willing price for comfort or indecision. We are more than Scripture. Please, let all of you, all the ways that God informs you, bring you to welcoming all God's creation.

Summary: A vote for the ratification of 10A is a vote for one another. Perhaps the new thing God is doing in this world is giving us a chance to vote for one another in becoming a church that finally says, "Enough. We will not participate in the violence of the world, in this or any way. We will trust that God would never call us to such a place. We will take the risk that is part of the inherent call of every Christian - to love one another, without qualification."

This is personal. This is not an "issue." This is about real people and real lives being affected greatly by the decision that is before the presbyteries. This is about people you love and love you. Please, vote with me, for one another. And let us move on...