The online ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington (DC) is manipulating an undocumented quote to accuse Springfield, IL bishop-elect Dan Martins of goading homosexuals to commit suicide:
The Lead (*I have pasted the text below, in the form in which it appeared on the blog when I first read it. Just in case it suddenly disappears or is reworded).
If you go to the link, you will see that the Episcopal communicators give no link of their own to Fr. Martin's words from General Convention 2009, which adopted a series of resolutions to implement the blessing of same-sex relationships. Martins, an elected deputy from the Episcopal Diocese of Indiana, argued that by adopting the resolutions, the members of Convention would break promises made to other Anglican Provinces and would be "covering ourselves in shame." But the DC blog, which claims backing from a national Episcopal entity as well, claims that Martins deliberately aimed the word "shame" as a psychological assualt on LGBT people.
Fortunately, there is a video of Martins himself at the General Convention, making clear that the "shame" is about betraying agreements and representations made to other Christians around the world. The "shame" of which he speaks is all about denominational political process, not about sexuality:
The fact that the Diocese of Washington blog would engage in further duplicity to poison consent for Martins' consecration shows that the organization is, indeed, "covered in shame." DC's blog, the Diocese of Washington and possibly the national church owe Fr. Martins an apology and should make sure that any communication of false accusations against him are publicly rebutted.
h/t blog commenter jaybird
* "Resolution C056, which charges the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music with "collect[ing] and develop[ing] theological and liturgical resources, and report[ing] to the 77th General Convention" and authorizes bishops "particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, [to] provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church." You can read it here.
In the debate over this resolution, the Rev. Dan Martins, who was elected on Saturday as Bishop of Springfield, said that if the convention passed C056, members would be "covering ourselves in shame." He did not say he had a principled disagreement with the resolution, which would have been unobjectionable. He did not say the theological reasoning was weak, which is an opinion to which he is entitled. He did not say he could not accept the morality to committed gay and lesbian relationships, which, again, would not have troubled most Episcopalians who are accustomed to a diversity of views on this issue within their church.
Instead, he used the word "shame", the word that LGBT people have had thrown in their faces for most of their lives, the word that has rung in the ears of LGBT teens who have ended their own lives prematurely. It is a word meant to intimidate and to wound, a word meant to set one's self above and apart from those one is describing.
There is room in the church for bishops who do not believe that it is right to bless same-sex relationships. There is not room in the church for bishops who stigmatize LGBT people to score debating points or in self-indulgent dramatization of their own distress. Bishop-elect Martins will have LGBT people in his flock--although if they are familiar with his rhetoric, they may not be eager to introduce themselves. It seems fair for the bishops and standing committees that need to consent to his election to ask whether he is capable of speaking about these people with respect and whether he is capable of ministering them."