St John’s Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane has ended an extensive engagement with the city’s “Pride” festival with their annual “Pride Evensong”. The event, typically attracting a congregation of around 40, included a sermon by Rev. Steve McMahon of St Paul’s Ipswich.
In his sermon for St Michael and All Angels, entitled “Why is celebrating Pride a Church imperative?“, McMahon directly compares the fight for the full endorsement of homosexual activity with the great cosmic battle for good against evil of Michael the Archangel against Satan. In this context he then challenges his hearers to have “No more!” passivity in their approach to the topic.
People within the LGBTQI+ community are being shamed, fired from jobs, beat up, bullied, turned away and murdered and yet we question if Pride has a place in church. And we’re scared of being branded a gay church?
Sitting comfortably in our own cocoons of privilege and loving everyone who joins us inside is not enough. Like Jesus, we are called to be visible. We are called to be present on the margins. We are called to be utterly specific about our pride. Phrases like “all are welcome” or “all have a place here” or even “all lives matter”; those phrases carry no weight.
Lives depend on specificity.
McMahon goes on to challenge those at the Evensong to “do everything in your power to make sure every marginalized and oppressed child of God knows how deeply they are loved.” Given the current context of the crisis in the Anglican Church of Australia it is hard to see this as anything other than an encouragement to continue to push the boundaries on the question of same-sex marriage.
The Cathedral and Diocese have been active across the entire Pride event. The Cathedral’s magazine, “The Eagle”, devoted its August 2019 edition to the topic, featuring stories of LGBTetc persons. A number of the articles are endorsements of same-sex marriage in direct contradiction to the official position of the Anglican Church of Australia.
The Cathedral has also had a presence at the Pride parade, even rebranding it’s distinctive eagle logo in the pride rainbow colours.