As I am sure many have heard by now, the General Synod’s electronic voting mechanism malfunctioned, resulting in that single clergy vote not being registered. As a result, it is with great joy that I say that the amendment to the marriage canon has successfully passed its first reading.
Of course, this does not change much in the scheme of things. Two successful readings are required before a canon is officially changed, and as I understand it the second reading will be brought forward at the 2019 Synod. So, despite being a highly publicized incident, there is still more time to have discussions and debates about the future of the marriage rite among the Anglican Church of Canada.
As has been noted, I am gay myself, and therefore it was with a personal interest that I watched the proceedings for the amendment. However, there is a discussion that I wish we would have, and I wish we would have it with an open heart and open mind. The fact of the matter is that not everyone is for the amendment to the canon, and these people have their own personal reasons why this may be. I wish we were not so quick to denounce everyone as hateful and bigoted. Certainly it is true that some are, but I think we would get further by simply listening to the other side. Their arguments are still valid, and their opinions matter. They are as part of this Christian family as you or I. We may not agree, but we can disagree with compassion.
This is not a war to be won. This is not something that can only end when we have “crushed” the opposing side. This is not a charitable attitude to have. As humans, we are flawed, which is why we need our salvation through Christ. It is why we ask Mary to intercede for us, and why we beg God for forgiveness when we sin. However, flawed though we may be, I truly believe that if we took a step back, took a deep breath, and re-entered the debate with an eye towards seeing things from another’s perspective, we would reap such a rich discussion on the subject.
As I said, I am not impartial. It is a deep wish of mine to marry my beloved in a church whose teachings I believe in so much, and to receive this sacrament just like my heterosexual brothers and sisters do. This is a dream of mine. But I acknowledge that not everyone will understand or agree with that dream, and I believe Anglicanism is such a big tent that there is room for both of these things – the dream, and the disagreement. The key is our mutual love for the church, for Christ, and for God, and I believe that love will win out.