Friday, July 03, 2009
So there's this new Anglican entity in the US, ACNA, schismed off the "apostate" Episcopal Church for the usual unholy trinity of reasons -- biblical inerrancy, misogyny and homophobia. One of its clerical supporters, in interview, has uttered a mind boggling and illuminating bit of theologizing.
Per reporter Julia Duin, via Episcopal Cafe, Integrity and others:
I asked (Bishop Wantland) if he wanted the ACNA to eventually outlaw ordaining women entirely.
"Of course. That's our mission," he said. "Christ is the bridegroom and the church is the bride. The priest at the altar is an icon of Christ. What image is that if the person at the altar is a woman? It's a lesbian relationship."
So, then, I am moved to ask: why not lesbian Jesus ?
If "in Christ," as Paul states in Galatians, there is no slave or free, no Jew or Greek, no male or female, then how can we apply a more literal, anthropomorphic reading to the Holy Trinity itself, which is, after all, a complex sign and metaphor for the inexpressibly mysterious Ground of Being ?
It's enough to make this Trinitarian Universalist into a Unitarian Universalist. Or a Zen Buddhist.
If Christ's malehood remains paramount, operational and unsubsumed within the Trinity, if Christ is not emblem and event of the ongoing colloquoy of divine and human but simply some guy-in-the-sky still dressed in his earthly particulars and accidents, then I am in the wrong pew.
But I don't think I am.
Christ is where divinity and humanity intersect. Christ happened -- scandalously and particularly -- to be a man. He might just as well have been incarnated as a lesbian, the particularity of the event would still be scandalous, and the ultimate salvific implication and apotheosis just as radical and profound.
Some days I just want to seize folks by their lapels and shake them, crying
For the love of God, man, be more apophatic !
Christ's humanity includes and transcends the whole marvelous, God-given, light-infused spectrum of gender -- and race, and ability, and class, and ethnicity.
Bishop Wantland, oddly enough, has charged us with a most excellent koan --
To your zafus, brothers and sisters in Christ !