So a committee in the Church of England was assigned a task to recommend church policies about gays and marriage and the whole thing. They came back and recommended that the C of E should adopt a "fresh tone and culture of welcome and support" (whatever that means. Let's face it, if the C of E gets more gay friendly it'll be hanging out at rest stops on the Jersey Turnpike.) But to be clear, the committee did say that the church should not change its opposition to same-sex marriage.
Whatever you want to say, that's actually pretty gutsy for C of E. To go against the editorial pages and even somewhat adhering to a traditionally Christian view is like a profile in courage nowadays.
But then this happened. The Church of England's General Synod voted to reject what they deemed a "controversial" report.
Here's one synod member explaining her thinking.
Lucy Gorman, an activist and representative from York, said as a member of the church in her 20s she was part of a "dying breed".Yet. She's not asking for same-sex marriage in churches...YET. But why else fight the stance against same-sex marriage?
"Trust me, outside of these walls we have been heard as lacking in love," she said. "Most people have a friend or family member who sits somewhere on the gender sexuality spectrum - and why would they become part of an organisation which is seemingly homophobic, even if we don't intend it."
In an emotional plea for the Synod not to take note of the report, Ms Gorman said: "I'm a dying breed because my friends are dying over this."
She referred to the words of her friend, Helen, who took her life in April last year.
Ms Gorman said: "She said to me, 'I love my local church and my faith but I feel conflicted about the Church of England.
"'It makes me sad and angry that it can waste so much energy in being inward-looking, that it misrepresents God's generous love, Christ's teachings and as an established Church can be exempt from equality legislation'."
Ms Gorman concluded: "I'm not asking for same-sex marriage in churches, a girl can but dream, but I plead with you not to take not of this report because we can and we need to be better."
This is what they do. they say ridiculous things like "I'm not saying the C of E should perform same-sex marriages, I'm just saying that the C of E shouldn't be against them." What the what? That's just a slow walk folks. Remember the boiling frog? It's a slow burn. And it's the best way to irrelevance for the Church of England that I could think of.
If your religion agrees with the culture every step of the way, well you don't really need the faith anymore, do you? The thing about faith is that it CALLS you out of yourself and your situation. It must offer hope, salvation. A faith must offer things that the world doesn't. If it doesn't, it's redundant. I mean, sheesh, just from a marketing perspective, it must be different. Why should people join a "faith community" (which is what the kids call it nowadays) if it's just like every other community, except with folk music from the 60's?
I commend those who made the effort to issue this "controversial" report. But I think the Church of England is just too far gone.
As a Catholic, I'm appreciative of the Church of England because I look at them and say hey, we've got lots and lots of problems but at least we're not the C of E.