The October issue of Grace Notes recently came out, and to put it bluntly, Jason Roberson’s article is both clueless and offensive. In it, Jason talks about the church’s journey to address social prejudice and injustice as it works to become the beloved community, including sexism, racism, and homophobia.
But talk is cheap, and repentance is nothing more than cheap grace and an exercise in feel-good theology when it doesn’t involve giving anything up.
Consider: Jason talks about racism. But there are only a handful of African-American families at Grace, no Asian-Americans that I know of, and no meaningful effort to address these issues. The whole thing smacks of the sixties, and the “I guess they just want to be with their own kind,” routine.
As to sexism, it is alive and well in TEC. Just look at the number of so-called cardinal rector positions controlled by women. Indeed, gender-based pay disparity in the denomination is worse overall than in the private sector. And if you’re simply wringing your hands over the issue and saying you’re sorry, that doesn’t really do anyone any good.
Same for homophobia. Grace has yet to welcome a cross-dresser, a transgender, or a non-gender binary. And I know perjuring priest Bob Malm and others in the church well enough to know that someone in these categories would, at best, get a mixed reception. As to gays and lesbians, TEC only did anything meaningful about the issue once the train in society as a whole had left the station. It’s easy to jump aboard a train as it pulls away.
As to general social justice and prejudice, the church still refuses to examine, let alone tell the truth, about Bob Malm’s perjury and other misconduct. Indeed, Bob appears to have attended the parish’s virtual Shrine Mont—hardly appropriate during an interim period. But the upshot is that people don’t want to examine the reality that Bob Malm is a perjuring, narcissistic POS, because they still consider themselves to be on friendly terms with the perjurer in chief. So it couldn’t possibly, conceivably, remotely, in any way, be true that Bob Malm is a perjurer. Thus, we’re not going to look at the evidence, and with no evidence to support the claim that Bob Malm is a perjurer, we’re certainly not going to call him that. (How’s that for circular reasoning?)
In other words, Jason and the parish are nothing but hypocritical purveyors of cheap grace and feel-good theology. They lack the moral courage and integrity to step up, be counted, and speak out against injustice and oppression.
Grace Episcopal Alexandria will finally start to become the beloved community when it has the courage to tell the truth in the here and now. That includes admitting that Bob Malm is a perjurer, and that the parish, the vestry, and the diocese have consistently supported his misconduct. Same for Sugarland Chiow, Kelly Motormouth Gable, and the rest of the #fakecristians at Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish.
Until then, and until the church stops with the cheap grace routine and feel-good theology, I can’t breathe.