This Salon article, by a young Episcopal priestess educated at Yale Divinity School, helps fill in the background to the Gene Robinson affair: So A Priest Walks Into A Bar. She’s coy and she tries to be cute, but she presents an attitude rather clearly:
But of course these men don’t want to know if I can have sex within a the confines of matrimony. What they really want to know is whether I can have sex now. And that’s a lot, um, stickier. While young Christians have recently started questioning the theology and practicality of blanket prohibitions on premarital sex, we young clerics are usually bound by traditional mores a lot longer than our lay brothers and sisters. I happen to be a traditionalist on this score (right, what else is she going to say in an article her parishioners might read?), but I would also support any priest who pushed the envelope a bit …
My present strategy, then, is ambiguity … Yet, on second thought, does the church’s current failure to act really have to mean no action for me?
On the view the Reverend Astrid Storm presents the priesthood is like any other job, being a social worker for example, and the authority of current standards, including self-fulfillment as the highest good, is taken for granted. The point is making things as satisfying as possible for everyone involved, just as they are right now. What else is possible on the current therapeutic view that puts everything on the same level and takes the self-defined experience and needs of the individual as fundamental? Once that view is granted, though, a man who leaves his wife and children, the better to “live into” the homosexual lifestyle, truly becomes a prophetic model for us all. Which is what the Episcopalians just decided in Minneapolis.