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Louie Crew
377 S. Harrison Street, 12D
East Orange, NJ 07018

Phone: 973-395-1068 h


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Louie & Ernest Clay-Crew
Married February 2, 1974


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Re: [HoB/D] No Anglican consensus

  • To: bishopsdeputies@hobd.org
  • Subject: Re: [HoB/D] No Anglican consensus
  • From: Louie Crew <>
  • Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2010 09:34:46 -0400

> The idolization of democratic processes strikes me as a peculiarly
> American affectation, and one with which the rest of the Anglican 
> world is not overly impressed.
The idolization of undemocratic, top-down processes strikes me as an
affectation of Anglican leaders and other potentates -- an affectation which
people in the pews of the Communion have never been given an opportunity to
ratify or dispute.

I have been privileged to represent the Episcopal Church on trips to Uganda,
Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.   Lay people and clergy received me
cordially and hospitably as an out gay person.  I have spoken at several
venues on those journeys.   People  welcomed the opportunity to learn more
> from me about lgbt Christian reality.

When I was an overnight guest in the home of the Bishop of Mozambique, I
asked him whether he had ever heard the witness of a gay Christian.   He
acknowledged that he had not and agreed to listen to mine.   Mind you, the
summer before, he had voted for the Lambeth 98 resolution about gay people
on the basis of no known contact with us!

When I met with leading bishops and provincial leaders in Uganda, I asked
what they had done to live into the Lambeth promise to listen to lesbians
and gays.   They said they had not done anything and threw the question back
to our commission, asking what we had done.  We were a diverse group,
including a priest from Truro Church; yet all of my colleagues spoke about
how important it is to engage in candid conversations.

The lively discussion prompted the vice-chancellor of Uganda Christian
University to invite the commission to dinner to continue it.   But later,
at the demands of the Archbishop Livingstone Nkoyoyo that invitation was
withdrawn.  Apparently the archbishop feared the interest our conversations
had prompted.  Later, at the Archbishop's palace, in the presence of most
bishops of the Sudan and Uganda, the Archbishop mocked me and excoriated me.
for over five minutes, while I remained silent.   At one point he became so
angry that he dropped his notes for this screed.  I tried to stay focused on
the other figure with me in that fiery furnace.  I imagined that I heard
angels' wings.

Archbishop Nkoyoyo was most un-African in his inhospitality.  My presence
had not caught him by surprise.  An arch-conservative working in Uganda at
the time later apologized to me for shunning me after the excoriation. "They
had talked much about you the week before your arrival, wondering what they
would do with you," he said, adding, "I am so embarrassed."

In 1989, his predecessor, Archbishop Okoth, told me over dinner in the home
of Christine Barney (at the time the fiance of +Jack Spong) that I was the
only gay person he had ever met.  He also told me that there was no AIDS in
Uganda.   Fortunately he later repented of his wilful ignorance about AIDS,
which was already devastating his country.

In November 2004 I flew home to Alabama to hear Archbishop Luke Orombi speak
at Ascension in Montgomery.  He spoke to me cordially, knowing who I am. A
Ugandan Methodist minister in New Jersey sought me out to let me know that
Orombi had been very kind to one of his own gay priests, getting him an
assignment in England, when Orombi was Bishop of Nebbi, not yet the
archbishop.   As archbishop he has made gays a major scapegoat and cut all
of Uganda off from communion with the Episcopal Church.

In "At Axis of Episcopal Split, an Anti-Gay Nigerian " (New York Times
December 25, 2006) Lydia Polgreen and Laurie  Goodstein quoted Archbishop
Peter Akinola describing  his 'wonder and horror' upon meeting Ernest and me
at a reception in the home of Bishop Sisk.   The occasion was Akinola's
enthronement at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, at which the dean had
invited me to be a reader.

The idolization of undemocratic, top-down processes is decidedly unbiblical:

God has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
     he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
     but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
     but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
     remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
     even as he said to our fathers."

That is not an American affectation.  That is Gospel Truth.

Louie, queer!  for Christ's sake!

Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., 12D, East Orange, NJ 07018 973-395-1068
http://queereye4lectionary.blogspot.com/  Queer Eye for the Lectionary

  Now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian,
  except on HoBD and in several other Anglican venues.