Comments: letter from Peru

Nice letter, thank you David Walker.

Greeting to all from the Diocese of Guatemala in Central America (I'm not a clergy person) where I am currently exploring possible locations to live in my retirement (I lived here five years before and I love Central America and Guatemala).

When reading Davids letter/report from Peru it seemed like he was describing rural life in Guatemala.

Women here run the homes/do "business" and provide the moral/physical "strength" necessary for family continuity/survival/stability often because of rampant alcoholism active in "Dad"...simple as that. Take away alcoholism and you have hard working men who do not go off on drunken/sexual tangents/binges or abandon their families while throwing away the family money...it would be incorrect to think MEN here aren't hard working and God loving (mostly Roman Catholics with *others* like Epsicopalian/Anglicans mixed in too)...they work from dawn to dusk quite literally and earn small wages (mostly)...they are poor.

Last weekend I went into the rural, farming mountainous/volcanic countryside areas seeking a "lotte" to build a little house for myself...I visited many villages/pueblos...in the tiny villages there are many old colonial type small Catholic Churchs (usually only a priest once a week for a quickie mass I'm told) but I ALSO noticed a few little churches with "Fundamentalist" U.S. "parent denominations" popping up here and there...the folks here are "churched" people being converted by other Christian denominations.

The desperately poor/struggling with health issues are willing to be HELPED and healed by anyone it seems...doesn't seem unreasonable to me to accept help when one is needy.

Pretending Homosexuality isn't a "issue" in this part of the "third world" is simply validating more denial/fantasy and unfortunate and dangerous double standard lies.

GLBT are present at every level of society in Latin America (and everywhere else too)...being GLBT and trying to live together harmoniously with "heterosexuals" in a "church" community (pueblo or city) is NOT only a RICH GLBT persons dilemma/stuggle/challenge...GLBT are UNDERGROUND everywhere and quite often that secretive "life" and behavior twists emotions and individuals horribly.

I believe it is time for ALL OF US in our Epsicopal/Anglican church to deal with REAL character and health issues OPENLY and STOP beating drums of ignorance and hate/shame in regard to a persons "God given" sexual orientation...loving the marginalized requires a wide brush when viewing ALL reality and human sexuality. The alternative is more alcoholism, drug addiction/death, family dysfunction/destruction, spouce/child beating/abandoning, physical sickness and more ignorance and hate/guilt crimes.

Simply being a "Welcoming" Church (without recriminations/blame/shame) to EVERYONE including our GLBT friends/families is where brotherly and sisterly Christian love begins.

We are all alike, come and see.

Leonardo Ricardo

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Monday, 15 August 2005 at 6:58pm BST

Thank you for that, Leonardo. I'm glad you said what you did, and you put it so well. I too raised an eyebrow at that little line ("However any idea that the church here either could or should get itself into a position to open up a wider debate on sexuality issues is pretty far fetched") in David Walker's interesting letter. I'm not saying it should be 'debated', but what kind of 'anglicanism' is being inculcated there when certain elements of the community appear to be considered irrelevant?

Also, what does this mean: 'Moreover, if being deeply, loyally Anglican mattered less then decisions taken by provinces in the global north could be more easily shrugged off'? What's that about?

I was wondering what 'flavour' of anglicanism/christianity was being carried by the missionaries in Peru that David Walker mentions. I think Leonardo's Guatemalan perspective and aspects of David's letter hold clues as to what flavour it might be.

Hopefully, the Peruvians' difficult history with 'religions' has imbued them with a healthy scepticism and independence of thought.

Posted by matt at Tuesday, 16 August 2005 at 2:50am BST

Well, to partially answer matt's question, I know that the (in)famous Christ Church Plano (Texas), an extremely evangelical, reactionary "conservative" church* that's active in the American Anglican Council, etc..., is very involved with missionary work in Peru.

* Think of it as the "Holy Trinity, Brompton" of Dallas, TX.

Posted by Simeon at Tuesday, 16 August 2005 at 2:39pm BST
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