By Donna Joy
Last month an article was published in the Rupert’s Land News outlining the process that St Peter’s followed in preparing to make a decision on the blessing of same-sex unions. The title when it was submitted was, “Blessing of same sex unions: Respectfully making an informed decision.” The process involved significant education and discussion and the opportunity for all voices to be heard. Throughout the planning stages, it was decided that the word ‘debate’ would be avoided for the following reasons. One definition of the word debate is ‘a contention by words or arguments’. The word contention suggests anger and disagreement, rather than respectful discussion. Debate also indicates defined arguments from opposing sides. This model, by creating “arguments” and “sides” often leads to division.
The words we use are important as they have the potential to both define and shape the way we live in relationship as the Body of Christ.
Therefore, upon receiving the April issue of the RL News it was disappointing to discover that the title had been changed to include the word debate. While I understand the need to reword the title in order to make it more succinct, the inclusion of that particular word, unfortunately, contradicted the process described in the article. The words we use are important as they have the potential to both define and shape the way we live in relationship as the Body of Christ.
Please note: In the online edition, the above mentioned article has been corrected from “Respectful debate, informed decision on same-sex blessings” to Joy’s original title “Blessing of same sex unions: Respectfully making an informed decision“.