There’s been a lot of talk about “fasting” since the release of the Primates communique. To use the Presiding Bishop’s metaphor, we’ve been called to “fast” from pushing our commitment to the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the life and ministries of our Church.

Some, like Susan Russell, have suggested that if we are going to fast from blessing gay relationships, and consecrating gay bishops, we should also fast from blessing heterosexual relationships and consecrating heterosexual bishops as well. Such a strategy spreads the burdens of abstinence equally, and avoids turning gay Christians into our “designated fasters.”

I think I’ve got a better idea. Our arguments about homosexuality have revealed deep disagreements about the nature and purpose of physical intimacy. Until these disagreements can be sorted out, I believe that all Anglicans should abstain from sexual contact. This would bind the Communion together in shared sacrifice. It would also give heterosexuals a deeper appreciation of the celibacy that they are urging upon gay Christians, and I think it would bring our crisis to a speedy conclusion.

Such a fast would require strict policing, so I was encouraged to learn that the American Anglican Council is setting up a Compliance Office to monitor the Episcopal Church’s response to the communique. I think without too much persuasion they would be willing to accept the job.

Past Posts