Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Post Hack: Church in the 21st Century

It has been some time since I have blogged.  I was badly hacked in early June.  Of course I changed my password, and was hacked again.  I changed password again and was hacked again. This happened so many times that I couldn't keep up with my passwords.

 Not only was my FB account hacked but my Google and Blogspot accounts as well.  And I even had some evidence that my email account was entered.    I was unable to access my Facebook account.  My own paranoia not withstanding, I finally got the feeling that the attacks were not just phishing that might get some business more accounts to send their Viagra ads to.  This just seemed too personal and targeted.

I took my computer to a fixit shop and even the geeks couldn't figure out what was going on.  A friend who has spent his career in the NSA (it is nice to have friends in devious places) suggested I contact law enforcement as this kind of hacking is not only illegal but can be dangerous.  So today I am off to visit my local PD to see if that is what is going on.

I have never felt that I had anything to hide.  I don't own much for people to steal; I don't say things that are untrue if I can help it.  If I do, I print a retraction and offer my apology as soon as I find out.  I admit to being a bit snarky but it isn't prosecutable---that is until I found an humorous Facebook meme show up in an accusation that I was a bully and not what a priest should be.  I have not only been stunned by this act, it has brought on several severe health issues for me.  (Dang, getting old is a pain!)

What has our church come to?  What kind of powers are so afraid of a funny exchange on fb that
would silence the kind of discussion that this blog has always engendered?  What kind of fear do those in power have that the truth that I speak, is so fearsome that they must silence it?  If the position of the Church is so precarious that it cannot support the airing of different opinions, are we really Christ's Church? 

My readership has been fairly large since my I started blogging in 2003.  It has brought people together from around the world to discuss the meaning of Church, not just Episcopalians or Anglicans, but those who embrace faith in the God who loves. Some are not Christian and some are not even believers. There are several members of both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies that follow this column.  Sometimes they disagree with me and that is exactly the purpose of writing--that the conversations go on and that we grow by sharing and critiquing the stuff I air here.

I have always felt that the Church should be a place where we can discuss and share the meaning of what it means to love God and be loved in the Christian community called Church.  Over the years I have critiqued the Church not because I wish to pull her down, but because I love her and long for her to be the Barque of Christ that has carried me all these years.  Such critique has always been that which strengthened us rather than undermined those who serve Christ within her boundaries.  Truth, that so difficult element of God to be defined, cannot ever hurt the Church of God.  Truth can only free us from the tyranny of ignorance,  arrogated power and fear.

All those years that I stayed closeted to keep others comfortable in not knowing I was lesbian made me aware of just how 'bent' I had become trying to deny the Truth of myself.  It had nothing to do with what was going on in my bedroom because nothing was.  But the fear kept me from knowing the freedom that Christ's love blessed me with. As I began to
'straighten' when I came out, I knew that I could only stand tall and stand for the giftedness that I and all other gay people know in their faithful relationships with Christ.  No longer am I willing to stay silent in the face of oppression.  I have known too much in my body and soul to ignore the voice of those who choose to live free in faith. 

 The same thing goes for the Church.  When we as Church function behind closed doors, when we become cliquish, when we have to remain quiet for fear of others pointing to our freedom calling it license, then we are not living into the love God has heaped upon us. When we try to make Church 'comfortable' and appealing to those who wish to ignore the rights of others, we are betraying our Baptismal vows.

The Christian life is not meant to be easy.  It isn't meant to be peaceful.  It is meant to be truthful; it is meant to be holy;  it is meant to be self-emptying.