As someone living with Chronic Fatigue I understand the gifts in moving slowly. Taking time and care to make sure what I plan to do fits with my capacity. Only setting off down a path once I am confident I can make it there – and back. Carrying only what I need with me and leaving any encumbrances behind. My affinity with Aesop’s tortoise, when I am a natural hare, keeps growing.
Yet this can go too far. If I don’t move at all, my muscles will suffer, along with my mental health. If one is overcautious, one can find oneself in a position of stasis, where nothing can change for fear of it being the wrong change. One of the (very few) gifts Long Covid has given me is the recognition there may not be a right or wrong decision. You just have to choose a path and go with it.
The Church of England has done exactly this today, in voting to introduce a suite of Blessings for Same Sex Marriages into its offering. Not equal marriage, not yet. I am one of the many who wish it had gone further, but recognise the need to pace in light of the conflicting opinions. However, I watched most of the 8-hour long debate via livestream with fascination, and the outcome was by no means a given.
I’ve heard some persuasive and passionate points made across a broad spectrum of issues, some I had not considered, and all which speak to the complexity of the situation. Doing the right thing is not always easy, especially when there are a myriad of opinions about what the right thing is. Even the LGBTQIA+ community themselves shared a number of different perspectives; those who feel called to celibacy feeling this move is not a positive one, and those who believe the time for Equal Marriage is long overdue expressing the same concern yet for different reasons.
If I had my way, Equal Marriage would be introduced right now. I didn’t always think this way, it is only in the last few years my deconstruction has empowered me to fully understand the injustice and discrimination inherent in the current position. To find Queer Theology and Bible scholarship which presents an affirming position with integrity. I rejoice in this.
So today we nudge a little closer to justice. Perhaps we can start speeding up a little more now? As much as I love my chilled-out animals, social justice work needs momentum. Now is the time.
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