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My daughter has just engaged! Cue much popping of champagne corks and excited talk of plans for the BIG day.

I could not be happier.

They make a wonderful couple and their love for each other and commitment to each other shines out of them and is completely infectious. As a parent it is the most wonderful thing to see your daughter so happy and to have found a life partner to share all her hopes and dreams and to hold her hand when life is dark.

And I could not be angrier.

I will never be allowed to walk my daughter down the aisle.  The Church that I have worked tirelessly for, for over thirty years, rejects my daughter’s love and will not bless her marriage. For all the talk of inclusion, welcome, understanding, fighting homophobia, the brutal reality, that nothing the Church says can mask, is that the Church rejects my daughter and her choice of partner, and for all its weasel words implies my daughter’s love is less, even wrong.  I simply cannot accept that in this matter the Church is reflecting the will of God.

And please do not starting quoting Scripture at me.  I know the oft quoted texts too well but none of them speaks in any way to the committed, dedicated, deep love of my daughter for her partner.  Besides the Bible is not the end of revelation and we are told the Holy Spirit will continue to lead us into all truth.  And do not insult me by saying that I cannot recognise something that is so clearly and obviously of God as the love between my daughter and her partner. Nor is there anything in the Marriage Service, which I know and love so well, that it would not be right, proper and true for them both to publicly affirm.

And if you push me and say what if, in the name of God, I am wrong I reply this:  I think often of the parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-9) who was commended by Jesus.  At Judgement Day I would rather stand before God and answer for being over generous in the name of love and too inclusive than be judged for being mean with love and exclusive in my relationship with others.

And to those who wonder why I stay with a Church that causes such unhappiness, I admit at times it is very hard.  Yet I also know myself to be a fallen individual, and I guess if the Church is made up of other fallen people then it should be no surprise that the Church itself is fallen and falls short – to reject the Church would in some sense be to deny my own fallen nature.  But there can be no denying that the attitude of the Church on this matter hurts, really hurts. It is truly a queer Church that will not bless love.

Come the BIG day, the cold-hearted Church will not be invited, but I know God will be there and will richly bless them.  And as my daughter and her partner say “I do” heaven itself will dance and sing and my heart will leap with joy.

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