Monday, April 17, 2017

In Memoriam: Fred Borsch (1935-2017)

Another holy death this past week-- a friend of ours who had been the bishop of Los Angeles in the Episcopal Church and quite a pioneer for LGBTQ rights, Fred Borsch.  He was like Letha Dawson Scanzoni, a straight advocate for gay rights early on.

He and my friend Kathleen Mirante were saints, or as close as I'll come to knowing saints, both in their spiritual life and their activism.  I include Virginia Ramey Mollenkott and Letha Dawson Scanzoni in that category. 

Here's the LA Times obituary about him:

The New York Times obituary:

The church where we met him is St. Augustine by-the Sea Episcopal Church in Santa Monica.  He and his wife Barbara attended this church when they were in Los Angeles, but he was often away traveling on Sundays.

There was one moment, however, when Fred betrayed Jesus and women.

My three daughters were going to be baptized on Pentecost Sunday, 1994.  I asked him if he could use inclusive language in that ritual--something other than "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

Words like "in the name of the Creator, the Savior, and the Holy Spirit"...?

No, he refused.  He said he was on the national committee for inclusive language, and people reported back on what he said and did, even videotaped him.  

"If I went ahead and did that on my own, it might impede progress in the committee's movement toward more inclusive language."

So they were baptized in the name of two male parts of the Divinity and the gender-ambiguous Holy Spirit.

Oh well, so it goes.

Anyway, Jesus is risen!  And these two (Fred and Kathleen) are in God's fuller presence, so I'm rejoicing.

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