Anglican ex-gay group Zacchaeus Fellowship is demanding its say when the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada meets to vote on whether to allow same-sex blessings. At last year’s Synod, a motion to include “those who identify as ex-gay or lesbian” in the 2007 debate was defeated, to which the Fellowship responded with the following plea (in a statement signed by Mario Bergner, among others):
Our voices have been silenced and not heard in the Anglican Church of Canada; you have not paid heed to us. Today, we ask that you would not betray us by passing these motions allowing for the blessing of same-sex unions within the Anglican Church of Canada without first hearing our voices and weighing our stories. We ask that you would not pass these motions and commit yourselves instead to listening to our voices before making any move as a Church. Let us all acknowledge the love and lordship of Christ who makes all things new.
In an open letter to this year’s Anglican Synod, which begins meeting today in Winnipeg, the Zacchaeus Fellowship continues to press for a hearing, this time with a frankly outrageous attempt to discredit gay voices in the debate:
But we also consider it necessary to ask if you are aware of the gay activist handbook After the Ball, published in 1989. It shamelessly describes manipulative tactics such as its Principle 6, “Give Potential Protectors a Just Cause,” which recommends “casting gays as society’s victims and inviting straights to be their protectors.” It explains, “For this to work, however, we must make it easier for responsive straights to assert and explain their new protective feelings. Few straight women, and fewer straight men, will be bold enough to defend homosexuality per se. Most would rather attach their awakened protective impulse to some principle of justice or law, some general desire for consistent and fair treatment in society” (p.187).
Just what is being implied here? Don’t trust the gays because they are simply part of a political conspiracy? The Anglican proponents of gay blessings are learning “manipulative tactics” directly from a 1989 manual? The shameless manipulation is in Zacchaeus’s attempt to malign and dehumanize gays with such tenuous links. The open letter continues:
The apostle Jude warned against “malcontents” who indulge their own lusts; “they are bombastic in speech, flattering people to their own advantage.” Many of us in the Zacchaeus Fellowship were gay activists and played that card ourselves in our unreformed lives.
Manipulative, lustful, shameless: With such slanderous attacks on Canada’s gay Anglicans, the Zacchaeus Fellowship excludes itself from the debate.