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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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Bonds of Law vs. Bonds of Affection

  • To: HoB/D <bishopsdeputies@hobd.org>
  • Subject: Bonds of Law vs. Bonds of Affection
  • From: Louie Crew <>
  • Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2010 10:25:13 -0400

My friend Father ****** seems to indict TEC for liking some of the advice
> from Lambeth Conferences so much that we agree to be bound by it and
disliking other advice  and refusing to be bound by it.

Isn't that the way everyone is supposed to respond to advice that has no
prior-agreed-upon binding authority?   Advice, however formidable is just
advice, not law.

Obviously the vote on Resolution 1.10 at Lambeth 98 was an impressive vote,
so impressive that many wore cloisonné pins with the vote count.  It is not
surprising that those in the majority have used that vote to pressure those
in the minority to change our views.   Is there anything unusual or wrong
about their doing so?  I think not.

What seems to me out of bounds is to give curial authority to votes made by
a body that never had curial authority before.

If votes have only the authority which people willingly and freely give to
them, I think it counter-productive to proceed as if to enforce such votes.
Witness the Archbishop's letter at Pentecost.  Witness Mitregate......

If I want to persuade people to agree with me, I never start off by telling
them all that I don't like about them.    I try to find and praise actions
they have already taken that resemble the action that I would like for them
to take.   That is, I try to work within bonds of affection wherever I can
find them or create them.

That is not what +++Rowan did when he visited us in Anaheim.  That is not
what Canon Kearon did when he visited Executive Council.  That is not how
the primates have reacted to TEC in any of their meetings.

I sense in much of the reaction against TEC a lot of unpacked excess
baggage, by which we become convenient surrogates on whom to dump
frustration and anger that is less against TEC and TEC's support of lgbts
and more against the United States of America generally.  In the case of the
Global South, surely much of the animus is emotion long pent up against
egregious colonial injustice.  The lgbt "issue" becomes a convenient way to
expose a colonial power caught in the act of violating a widespread cultural
taboo. Never mind the fact that in supporting lgbts TEC is taking sides
with  the most vulnerable, the humble and the meek, not the rich and the
powerful.   Given their past experience of the United States, it takes very
good Christian lens to mark that distinction , especially since it requires
the one who sees it to risk also becoming a victim to the global scorn.  "I
don't even know any of these people, and you expect me to upset the whole
Communion by asking us to take another look?  No way!"

Many of us Episcopalians as loyal citizens of the U.S. are also often
frustrated and angry against policies of our government or practices of our
citizens.   Often we air those frustrations here on this list -- as in our
recent back-and-forth about Arizona's new law regarding undocumented
citizens.   We pass many resolutions at all of our General Conventions to go
on record as critics of our government.

It seems to me +++Rowan and Canon Kearon have missed marvelous opportunities
to build bonds of affection in common cause.

It seems to me that we in TEC have erred in presuming that those common
bonds of affection were already in place merely because we said so.   Too
often we have sent money rather than people.   Too often we have ministered
TO but not WITH.  Too often we have acted as if we are the only ones with
substantive gifts to give, paying at best only lip service to the enormous
spiritual gifts our 'benefactors' have to give us.   "We have not loved our
neighbors as we have loved ourselves.'    We have not behaved as blood kin.
The blood we consume at Eucharist is not just theatre blood:  it is
life-giving .   "May we become one with the one we receive."

I was a member of the small group of out gay deputies that met with ++Rowan
at Anaheim.  Each had only 90 seconds to speak, and we did our best to
discern and strengthen bonds of affection.  I was especially impressed by my
colleagues' willingness to be clear and vulnerable about God's presence in
our lives.  At the end, +++Rowan's did not respond to what we had said,  but
instead gave  a defense of his having sacked Jeffrey John and having shunned
+Gene Robinson.  It seemed he had come prepared for us to attack him for
those actions.  We did not.

Louie, lay deputy from Newark

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