Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The "Average Anglican"

For a while now, we have been hearing that the "average Anglican" is black, female and in her late teens or early twenties. A woman of great faith and a life of great hardship - yes, a woman who deserves our respect (and she probably deserves my two-bedroom condo for her family). After shaking off my annoyance with the terrible practice of "averaging" race and gender, I always come back to one thought.

When I was a young woman, the world was my oyster. Raised in the Washington, DC suburbs at the end of the Baby Boomer generation, I was well-educated, attractive, and knew which fork to use without thinking about it. Should I go back to grad school? When will I marry, how many children? I was traveling all over the country, learning new things, different music and food to experience...I think you get the picture.

Yes, I my ego might have been a wee bit big, but I quickly picked up that I had a lot to learn - and to enjoy the process. But one thing is certain: even though I was "average" for a woman raised Episcopalian on the East coast (there were many just like me), the Bishop of Washington and the Presiding Bishop didn't think the church should revolve around me, and certainly not the path of the entire Anglican communion. And there I was, living just a few miles away from the National Cathedral!

Yes, our "average Anglican" deserves our respect - and a decent place to live, a future for her children, and a place to worship without fear. Are Peter Akinola and Henry Orombi looking out for their future and their faith when they condemn my LGBT friends and neighbors? Is this hatred feeding, housing and educating their children? I wonder if Christian love and a giving attitude toward the home flock might be just the impetus needed to "compete" with Islam, and perhaps they should stay home and give it a try. And allow us the same respect for our societal concerns and norms that they purport to want for theirs.

Just some mid-week thoughts.

(p.s. does anyone want to organize a fund-raising BBQ for the Lambeth deficit? I make great sides but need someone to work the grill).


Cany said...

Yeppers, Lynn. You got it!

I am still on pause about the Lambeth debt. After we were slapped in the face, it is generous Christianity that would help pay the bill. I am leaning toward that, but not quite yet:)

Were I in your neck of the woods, I would love to help just to work with your marvelous food mind, though.

Oooo. Foood.

fear not said...

Hmmm... will they start averaging the gospel next? do it by polling?

Was Jesus your average guy in guy in his day? Was his message the one that would be found in a poll?

Is average what we should all aim for? I thought Jesus wanted us to aim higher than that.

But what do I know?

I like the point you're making!

Anglican = Average... doesn't sound like a slogan to me!

James said...

A very good post, Lynn

I'm sorry to say that I do not belive that the archbishops yu mentioned are looking out for the future of Anglicanism. I think they are looking out for themselves and only themselves.

Scott Hankins said...

I'd love to come for the BBQ, but I'd probably lobby for another "charity." Maybe we could invite bishops Williams, Akinola and Orombi and send the money back with them to support microenterprise ministries for the women of East Congo or sumpin'. (Not that the $$s would end up there, but it's a thought.)

And thinkin' that I probably should try to be a little more "christian" about it...

Incidentally, it is exactly by first paying attention to the basic needs of women and children that organizations like Hamas gain a hearing, voice and power. Maybe Anglicans elsewhere could take a page from their book.


scotte said...

Good post. This Average Anglican argument reminds me of some of the most clumsy early attempts at something like "diversity in the workplace", succeeding at nothing so much as offending everyone.

I'm torn on the notion of bailing out Lambeth but I am in the Diocese of Washington and grill a mean mess of chicken. Could be fun.