You can’t make this stuff up.
Even as Dr. Oz takes heat from Democratic candidate John Fetterman for holding a rally at the Stone Gables Estate, a venue unwilling to host same-sex weddings, Episcopal Bishop Elect E. Mark Stevenson continues consecration plans at The Saint Paul’s Baptist Church in Henrico, Va. The church does not permit same-sex weddings and is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention, which opposes civil rights for LGBTQ persons, inclusion in faith settings, and same-sex marriage.
Still worse is the fact that the DioVA Standing Committee sees no issue with this decision. In other words, the diocese is a hot mess and getting worse by the minute. Collectively, the diocese is utterly clueless.
Following is our press release on the issue:
LGBTQ advocates reject Episcopal decision to ordain Virginia bishop in SBC church
Alexandria, Va. — LGBTQ advocates in Virginia have rejected the decision by the Episcopal Church to consecrate Virginia bishop-elect E. Mark Stevenson in a Southern Baptist church, St. Paul’s of Henrico Virginia. They also call for LGBTQ persons and their allies to boycott the consecration and to consider resigning membership in the Episcopal Church.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) said in a 1996 “Resolution on a Christian Response to Homosexuality,” that “even a desire to engage in a homosexual relationship is always sinful, impure, degrading, shameful, unnatural, indecent and perverted.”
Similarly, in 2000 the SBC equated “homosexuality” with adultery and pornography, declaring, “In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose … all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality and pornography.”
Moreover, the SBC opposes LGBTQ equality and same-sex marriage, and supports ex-gay ministries. While each congregation has considerable autonomy, the denomination expels churches that “affirm homosexual behavior.”
“I have no kind words to say about this slap in the face to LGBTQ Episcopalians and their allies,” said openly LGBTQ Anglican Watch editor Eric Bonetti. “Even worse, bishops from all across the church are invited, making clear that the church’s hierarchy supports the decision.
“As to the diocese’s stated desire to hold the consecration in Virginia in ‘sacred space,’ let me be absolutely clear: There is nothing sacred about a space in which LGBTQ persons are unwelcome, that opposes marriage equality, and rejects equal rights for LGBTQ persons, including marriage.
“Just as a white nationalist church is not sacred simply because people pray there, a hotel, convention center, or art gallery better speaks to the sacred than a church that espouses hate.
“Regarding the fact that St. Paul’s is predominantly African-American, spare me. If someone proposed holding the consecration in a church that opposes interracial marriage, the suggestion would be immediately rejected. But holding the event in a church that rejects LGBTQ persons at every level is okay, because it’s all in the name of ‘racial reconciliation.’
“Even now, the Episcopal Church doesn’t understand that building beloved community is not accomplished by treating anyone as a second-class citizen. And Stevenson talks about ‘standing in the hard places,’ but he is showing zero willingness to do so in this situation. The same goes for Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and anyone else who supports holding the consecration at this site,” Bonetti added.
“It’s telling: In the Pennsylvania Senate race, Dr. Oz is taking heat for holding an event at a venue that does not permit same-sex marriage. But the Episcopal Church has no qualms about these issues. Just like Max Lucado preaching at the National Cathedral, yet again LGBTQ persons are being thrown under the bus,” Bonetti concluded.