rant: anglican qualifiers

“may i ask what age group you fall into? ok, thanks. do you work for a marketing company? no? good. and your household income? thank you. last question, what postal code do you live in? oh, V5W? i’m sorry, we already have the quota for people with your profile filled.”

i’m sure you’ve all heard that spiel before. it’s something that market research companies do very openly but it’s the same thing that most salespeople are asked to do more discreetly.

it’s called “qualifying.”

it always feels a little strange when it turns out that you don’t qualify, even if you don’t want to qualify (did you really want to spend 20 minutes answering inane questions about your tooth brushing habits?) it feels strange and uncomfortable because you’re excluded.

now the anglican church, perhaps a bit more important than market researchers, has voted to continue in favour of qualifying. are you the right customer for them? if you’re straight and not too radical, you’re fine. if you’re gay, well, tant pis. well, maybe if you sit quietly in the back they’re going to accept you.

but if you want to get married, nay, not even married – if you’re gay and anglican and you just want to have your union blessed, you’re out of luck. you don’t qualify. in the anglican church in canada, christ’s/god’s love is not that unconditional.

yes, yes, i know. these things take time. maybe next time, they’ll vote in favour. people have their sensibilities. etc. etc.

i’m sorry, that just doesn’t wash. the people who voted against same sex blessing want to have a right not only to be homophobic but also to let their homophobia dictate an extremely important part of other people’s lives.

you know what, if you don’t like queer people, then here’s something you can do: don’t watch brokeback mountain, don’t go downtown when the gay pride parade is on, use the remote when the L word comes on, hey, you don’t even have to go to a church that’s gay friendly! but don’t tell others, who you obviously don’t even know and like, what to do and not do! is that so hard to understand?

i don’t let my dog poop on your sidewalk, i don’t throw rotten eggs on your windshield. when i know you’re really sensitive to non-christian religions, i even hide my pentagram pendant from your precious eyes.

i even defend you guys – i get into hot water when i tell my pagan, buddhist and atheist friends that there is such a thing as progressive, liberal christian churches and the anglican church tends to be one of them!

all i’m asking you, stay out of other people’s business, don’t thwart their happiness and read the bible: “whoever comes to me i will never drive away“. and don’t tell me that accepting gays and lesbians in your pews but not blessing their unions is not driving them away.

geesh, you guys! get your act together!

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

p.s. just found out that today is the 10th anniversary of a U.S. supreme court enshrining freedom of speech on the internet. as tris points out, without that, blogs as we know them may not even be possibe. i’m grateful.

2 thoughts on “rant: anglican qualifiers

  1. Nancy

    ok … can I just gently introduce a nuance into this, as someone who is anglican and torn to bits over The Issue, as we call it? Here’s the tension: Angicans in Canada have 2 deep values: 1. the (d’uh) social justice value which says YES, marry same-sex couples and 2. we are part of a global communion, which is so very, very fragile right now, and frankly, probably not going to make it. The Anglican Church of Canada has been repeatedly and formally asked to let the decision come from the wider communion, and hold off until then. Most of us think that will never happen – and hence are voting to go ahead in the face of global opposition. Some bishops, though, still value being part of the larger, global communion – an entirely wonderful value – and prefer to keep holding back until the wider body can come to some kind of concensus. Consensus models can be stultifying, as is the case here. We probably won’t end up being able to hold together.
    When Canada as a country made its own decisions in the matter, it didn’t really have to give deep, serious regard to the positions of Africa and other global-south nations. We do. It sucks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *