Yesterday, the local newspaper out here, the Easton Express-Times, carried such a story about an Episcopalian pastor and a church organist, whom the paper reported will be united in a civil union that will coincide with the couple's 35th anniversary of being together.
Today's paper has a letter to the editor from Patricia Moe, who seems to have more journalistic instincts (not to mention better math skills) than the reporter who wrote the story. Here's some parts of her letter:
I am flatly nonplussed by the "Rev." Emory Byrum. According to Monday's Express-Times' article, Byrum was married when his relationship with Mr. Harrell began. He disregarded his most sacred personal vows to achieve personal happiness.
The Express-Times gives the current ages of Byrum and Harrell as 73 and 51, respectively. The article mentions several times that their civil union will mark their 35 years together. Doesn't that mean their respective ages were 38 and 16 when the relationship began? Of course "... they had to keep their relationship secret for years." Byrum was a married Southern Baptist minister and Harrell is 22 years younger than him.
What the article fails to mention is that Harrell was a minor child during the first years of the relationship!
Poor Catholics! It never fails that when reporters do articles about us, we manage to get the ones that got good grades in arithmetic!
Yes, I know. In the end, many will say "live and let live", and go on with their lives content with the fact that "the couple is happy". But they're not alone in their happiness; because there's other happy people.
- The municipalities are happy because, as more and more heterosexual couples opt for living together rather than marriage, the number of marriage licenses has dropped significantly, resulting in a loss of revenue in these license fees.
- Same-sex unions will also inevitably result in same-sex divorces, and to divorce lawyers everywhere, this is the equivalent of opening up the Alaskan frontier to oil drilling.
So lots of people are happy over this, but evidently there's also a few who are not.
Today's New York Times has an article about the looming game of "chicken" that is being played between the worldwide Anglican Communion and the Anglican Church in the United States (better known as the Episcopal Church). In short, the US Episcopalians are the child with eyes on the cookie jar. The worldwide Anglican Communion is the parent saying, "I told you, no cookies!" But the child keeps inching ever so slightly towards the cookie jar with the Cheshire Cat grin, all the time getting closer and closer, right in front of the parent. Eventually the parent has got 2 choices:
- Give the child the cookie, thus avoiding a fight (but at the same time letting the child come to the realization that the parent has no authority over them).
- Draw the line in the sand and let them know that "no" means "no."
But the article also gives another interesting point. In trying to keep the "conservatives" (meaning those who actually believe what the rest of the Anglican communion believes) happy, they suggest that "the Episcopal Church establish new positions of authority, a council and a 'primatial vicar'..." Hmmm, "primatial" means "first" or "of the highest rank". "Vicar" means "earthly representative of God or Christ". You mean like a "bridge-builder" (which can also be called a "pontiff")? Someone who can bring the whole flock together; a "fatherly figure" (a "papa")? I think I've heard of that somewhere else before...