Thinking Anglicans

from the papers

Geoffrey Rowell writes in The Times that The example of Jesus points the way to a meaningful pattern of prayer.

Also, Michael Binyon writes about York’s local hero — the first Christian emperor. ( Yorkshire Post news report here.)

In the Guardian Nicholas Buxton, a participant in the BBC’s Monastery series, now an ordinand at Cambridge, writes Face to Faith.

Also, Karen Higginbottom writes about graduates who don’t want to enter the corporate world finding their true calling in religion, in Keeping the faith.

Christopher Howse in the Telegraph writes about Archbishop Milingo in Zambian archbishop reclaims Korean bride.

This week’s Church Times has Jonathan Bartley writing that Christians are in denial on faith hate.

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Cheryl CloughDavid Rowett (= mynsterpreost)Simon SarmientoAlan MarshMerseymike Recent comment authors
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Dave
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Dave

Jonathan Bartley wrote: “in the past 12 months the GPA had recorded a 74-per-cent increase in homophobic incidents where the sole or primary motivating factor was the religious belief of the perpetrator” For those who don’t kniow, a “homophobic incident” is not a crime committed because of hatred for homosexuals. It is just expressing a negative view about anything to do with people who classify themselves as homosexual. These incidents will presumably include the couple who were reported to the police for complaining that they were not allowed to put a Christian leaflets alongside the pro-gay liberal leaflets in a… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

I think Mr. Bartley and I are probably laboring on nearby vines in pretty much near sectors of the Great Vineyard. I do not expect my ongoing curiosity about the possible hidden, and not so hidden, links – between forms of negative religious narrative about non-straight (and straight) folks – and occasions of closing doors, denying resources, and making opportunities taboo (up to and including overt status violence and/or direct physical violence) – to cease or actually slow down during the remainder of my lifetime. I suppose this is because of my Tikkun-like calling into various forms of the vocations… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

For additional investigation resources, we might see the following links. Then by all means widen the empirical and hermeneutic circles. ERIC is Education Resources Information Center, and their database is online, free. At: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ At: http://web1.msue.msu.edu/msue/imp/moddp/dp120303.html At: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/hate_crimes_book.html At: http://www.karenfranklin.com/research.html At: http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/library/search/index.html?search=violence&topic=&x=0&y=0 At: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/hate_crimes.html At: http://www.avp.org/publications/reports/reports.htm At: http://www.apa.org/releases/hate.html The research on antigay violence is ongoing, as well as our discussions. I think it rather an extreme position, however, to summarily dismiss all reports or mentions of antigay violence as mainly an exaggerated or delusional or self-aggrandizing strategy to manipulate public sentiments via suspect claims. (Well, at least in our good… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Ooops. My apologies for omitting two Matthew Shepard Foundation page links. At: http://www.hatecrime.org/subpages/hatespeech/hate.html and At: http://www.hatecrime.org/subpages/hitler/hitler.html These reference extreme Christian Right USA statements. The starting discernment question may be: When milder negative religious Christian statements are made about LGBTQ folks, do they effectively serve to reclaim the negative religious truth from its outrageous extremes? Thus, empirically having a moderating and anti-violence impact? Or, do more moderate negative Christian conservative statements innately evoke witting or unwitting resonances with the more extreme – and extremely violent – narratives which categorize LGBTQ folks as fearful, loathesome creatures? Thus, empirically having an encouraging effect,… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

The lessons don’t apply just to Christians. I give thanks that there are still honest souls who enter into dialogue. I often pray that souls of other faiths contemplate how our discussions could apply to their own faith. Denial and “which comes first the chicken or the egg?” are pertinent as much to homosexuality as to war and peace. Some say there can not be peace/freedom from sin until there is full disarmament/repentance. But then there will never be peace/purity because we can not start at the perfect point. We can agree on a vision e.g. world peace, purity, sustainable… Read more »

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

Perhaps, dan, you might like to set out some evidence that the Christian assertion that adultery is sinful leads to hate crimes against adulterers?

BTW, what does “some well-designed studies operationalizing iterations ” actually mean?

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

In response to Dave who wrote:
“For those who don’t kniow, a “homophobic incident” is not a crime committed because of hatred for homosexuals. It is just expressing a negative view about anything to do with people who classify themselves as homosexual.”

The official (ACPO) definition of “homophobic incident” as used by the British police forces, see e.g.
http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/crime-reduction/crime-victim-hate.asp
is as follows:
Homophobic Incident
Any incident which is perceived to be homophobic by the victim or any other person.

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

Rather a chilling website, Simon. It is a profoundly dangerous state of affairs when something is said to be a crime merely because someone (not even necessarily the “victim”) subjectively thinks it to be “-phobic”.

clive sweeting
Guest
clive sweeting

No reactions to the Constantinian commemmoration at York, surely the most significant event recorded in your Saturday round- up!
Can anyone enlighten me as to the identity of the sculptor of the statue outside the Minster which figured in the celebrations?

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Alan
An “incident” may or may not constitute a criminal offence, as it clearly states.
Notice also that a similar definition applies to all other categories, e.g.

Faith Related Incident
Any incident which is perceived to be based upon prejudice towards or hatred of the faith of the victim or so perceived by the victim or any other person.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

In the civil rights museum in Birmingham Alabama one room consists of large reproductions of newspaper photos from the 1950s and 60s. As you walk through, you activate recordings from news reports, newsreels, etc. Some of the voices are overtly cruel and incite violence. Some, and to me the more chilling, are quiet voices, saying things like, “The GOOD nigrahs don’t want to integrate. They want to live with their own,” “OUR colored aren’t pushy. They know their place,” and the like. The quiet voices of ‘nice’ people enable the hateful screams of lynch mobs. And no, that’s not based… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
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J. C. Fisher

“Notice also that a similar definition applies to all other categories, e.g. Faith Related Incident”

That’s very helpful, Simon. Thanks.

“a Christian leaflets alongside the pro-gay liberal leaflets”

I resent your contrasting “Christian” and “pro-gay liberal” as MUTUALLY-EXCLUSIVE, Dave. It’s perfectly possible (and perfectly *Biblical*) to be BOTH.

[Furthermore: “the lady who was reported for saying that she thought that only male-female couples were suitable to adopt children (in a radio debate)”

That’s not a criminal offense, but certainly potentially *slanderous*, if she can’t back that up w/ empirical evidence (which we both know, she can’t).]

David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)
Guest
David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)

Cynthia Gilliatt observes how ‘nice’ people can give a sort of legitimisation to nasty behaviour. This is a UK tabloid (=rightwing populist press for our colonial friends) phenomenon, where rags like the Daily Mail creat a climate where decent god-fearing folk say things like ‘well you can’t agree with them doing x, but you can understand it, can’t you’ in respect of (eg) asylum seekers being assaulted by shaven headed members of the decent white majority, etc. This creation of a climate in which there is more sympathy with the offender than with the victim is one of the most… Read more »

David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)
Guest
David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)

Alan commented
Perhaps, dan, you might like to set out some evidence that the Christian assertion that adultery is sinful leads to hate crimes against adulterers?

Not sure that constitutes a parallel, really — it is minorities who are in a vulnerable position, and libidinous straights might think it good counsel not to join in the hue and cry lest they fall victim to it. The Christian condemnation of wealth doesn’t seem to cause much mayhem after all…(cough cough).

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Simon Thankyou for the definition. drdanfee, there are so may good links that I am permalinking this thread. Thanks for putting them in one place. The issues about “what is violence/abuse” does not just apply to gays. For example in NSW, there has been lots of work done around child/domestic abuse. In only the last few weeks the legislation has been escalated to enable the police to impose AVO (Anti-Violence Orders) where they perceive there to be clear abuse but the victim is too fearful or intimidated to find the courage to take out the AVO for themselves. Gays have… Read more »

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

Simon, I followed the link you provided, which is about “HATE CRIME” and proceeds to define it according to the interpretation of the West Midlands police/ACPO. It enables the police to interview anyone alleged (even anonymously, according to the website) to have expressed a view which someone considers to be -phobic. This means that not only participants in radio shows but preachers can be reported for biblically orthodox sermons, and threatened by the police with prosecution if they fail to toe the line defined by the local police – in effect now the Thought Police. And no, it is not… Read more »

Charlotte Pressler
Guest
Charlotte Pressler

Alan Marsh might want to review George Conger’s articles in The Living Church prior to the 2006 General Convention of the Episcopal Church, and the subsequent discussion on TitusOneNine. In these articles, Conger+ speculated that there would be controversy in the Anglican Communion over the election of a twice-divorced, thrice-married man as Bishop of Northern California. No controversy ensured because, as the subsequent discussion on TitusOneNine made clear, a good many heterosexual Evangelicals have been divorced and remarried as well. In fact, the conservative newspaper columnist Cal Thomas has pointed out that conservative Evangelicals have the highest divorce rate of… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Howdy AM. Does your analogy with adulterers fall short of the point, maybe? If homosexual sex is no more or no less sinful than sex between unmarried persons, then how do we explain – that straight couples in USA motels all over the country are not fiercely attacked on general negative religious principle by outsiders armed with tire irons, knives, or guns, while Queers are? Just as I write this, I realize that real violence connected to straight sex probably does occur, at least in USA. The spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend betrayed lashes out violently against the offending partner and his… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

I am a bit concerned about the perception that violence only happens to homosexuals. There are numerous stories of violence being committed against adulterous women (especially young girls who are seduced and come from an extremely orthodox/conservative family – or (horror) have sex with someone of the wrong denomination/faith/ethnic group). A lot of violence against women is justified on the basis that they have not been “good enough”. Thus there are parallels between violence to women and gays. Also, by making it only a homophobic issue, it discounts the underlying issue that it is okay to act out violence –… Read more »

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

Good morning, dan.

You do live in a violent country – “tire irons, knives, guns” – perhaps that is the cause of your perceptions?

But you have, as I expected, completely missed the point. Although the OT prescribes a similar punishment for adultery as it does for homosexual sex, evangelical Christians are not accused of promoting violence against adulterers. But they do not advocate violence against homosexuals either.

Rob Hall
Guest
Rob Hall

One of the problems with the Gay Police Association’s ad – missed by Jonathan Bartley – is that the ad leaves one with the clearly intended idea that Christians are responsible for all the homophobic incidents, and that these are violent. The striking graphics dominating the ad, of a large Bible beside a large pool of blood, leave no doubt of this. It’s interesting to speculate what the reaction would have been, if the Gay Police Association had chosen to illustrate its ad with the holy book of another religion. But the ad produces no evidence that Christians are solely… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

The research I am imagining would probably have a best practices enactment of the traditional negative condemnation(s) as its independent variable. At least two independent variable conditions seem needed, one mild to moderate, and the other extreme or vigorous. Each should equivalently reference one or more of the familiar clobber passages from scripture. The dependent variable would probably be a best practices enactment of some useful measure of violence or readiness for legitimizing violence. The point of the best practice standards for both variables is – (A) that everybody can see just how something done is a reasonable effort to… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Perhaps then, Christians need to think about the effect their words have, irrespective of their intent.

Basically, evangelicals will have to come to realise that in my and many other people’s view, they follow a homophobic religion which does not fully value and accept gay people and their relationships as morally equal to those of heterosexuals.

Until evangelicals stop doing this and recognise the deficiencies of their religion, then the Gay Police Association have got it absolutely right. Evangelicalism needs to be challenged and shown for what it is.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Howdy again AM, I guess I am destined to keep missing the point. I take it, then, that your skirts are clean, and that antigay violence is so deplorable you have nothing to do with it. Never have, never will, why are we even talking about it? Your non-violence towards LGBTQ neighbors goes so far, so fast, as to find discussions of antigay violence and negative religious views suspect. Somebody among us is trying to paint conservative believers falsely, in a silly and bad light. Lacking non-verbal context in these posts, once again, it sounds like conservative believers remind us… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Dave, I have to agree with you to an extent. From what I am able to read, there seems to be a growing anti-Christian bias in England. I am also struck by the negative reaction to someone I know joining the Franciscans, and that from my own friends, lapsed Romans all, who ask why I am part of the problem because I call myself a Christian. What I think you need to realize is that these people are reacting against an image of Christianity that they see in the media, and that, for many, is the Church of their childhood.… Read more »

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

The rhetoric does not work, dan. Conservative Christianity is not the same as fundamentalism, and even fundamentalism is not the same as Phelps and Family. Your question about Leviticus is laboured and obsolete. I quite understand that in order to maintain your offensive against traditional Christianity, you need to have some kind of leverage, and therefore it suits you to portray conservative churches and Christians as homophobes, against whom it is convenient to make all kinds of assertions which are unprovable. Incidents of violent crime against homosexuals in the UK, where the perpetrator sets out, with malice aforethought, to attack… Read more »

simon dawson
Guest

Just a comment on the alleged “anti-Christian bias” in England. I don’t think there is a general, anti-Christian bias per se, although there is perhaps a lack of understanding, within an increasingly secular culture, of what Christianity is all about. However I do perceive a bias against the particularly virulent and strident condemnation of homosexuality which has come from some parts (but not all) of the Church in the UK. I am thinking of Brian Souter’s campaign on clause 28 in Scotland for example. The silent majority of UK residents have gay friends, neighbours or relatives, living in partnerships, as… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Rob Hall raised a concern about the police ad targetting Christian justification of gay violence, and failing to note the other sources of violence. That is a legitimate point. As was Dave’s a couple of threads ago that many of the recriminations being levelled against extremist Christians should apply to expremists of other doctrines or philosophies. However, one thing a predator will do is try to hide their violence (so they have access to further unsuspecting victimes), discount the impact or seriousness of their violence, or justify their violence. In this sense, they are duck-shovers par excellence. One favourite duck-shoving… Read more »

David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)
Guest
David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)

duck-shover

Help! Do we have an English-American lexicon available?? Or is duck-shoving, its legitimation (or otherwise) in scripture and its place within the Anglican tradition, something the next Lambeth (subject to its existence) is going to have to debate?

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Well, in USA we used to have cow-tipping? Is that a cross the pond equivalent? I guess there is just no getting conservative believers to actually spell out their hermeneutic in sufficient detail to permit careful, sustained scrutiny. It is always referenced as such a foregone conclusion that only a willful liberal, snotty ninny like me doesn’t get it. I cannot completely account for the possible differences between conservative believers in USA and those in U.K. I doubt they are actually clones. But that said, nobody who has bothered to listen much to the Christian rightwing in USA can doubt… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Sorry. Duck-shover lexicon.

Duck for ducking responsibility, shover for trying to shove responsibility off onto someone else. A comedy scene would be the drill officer starts yelling “who’s responsible for this mess!” and none of the recruits can be found (or the ones that didn’t hide fast enough say “it wasn’t me”).

A Life of Brian moment: “You’re all a bunch of conformists!” “No we’re not, no we’re not”, replies the crowd. “I am” admits a quiet little voice.

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

The USA sounds like an alien world, dan.

So does this:

http://www.article8.org/docs/news_events/parker/main.htm

Cheryl Clough
Guest

I spent the early evening contemplating that there really should be a scriptural link to duck-shoving. Well, there’s a few avoidance of responsibility/passing the buck examples in the bible with God’s comments: Isaiah 1:14-25, Hosea 11:12, one of my favourites: Hosea 13:12 where God rebukes Ephraim for lacking the sense to come to the opening of the womb when it is time. Actually the latter one led me into a contemplation of the who me/us God wants me/us to do this thing??? Early example: the Israelites marrying God under Mt Sinai. Modern example: God wants THIS generation to be the… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Alan, If your point is that liberals can be just as extreme as conservatives, you are pontificating the obvious. That doesn’t justify persecution. If someone decided that he wanted to kill me, he could, then claim I had made homosexual advances “against” him and likely get away with it, or at least get a lesser sentence than if he had killed a “real” person. It happens all the time. How does the dictatorial behaviour of a bunch of left wing lawmakers in the US justify this? I can see myself in the man in the article you posted. It’s not… Read more »

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

Ford, the point is that the kind of world which, in the name of sexual equality, prohibits Christians from expressing biblical teaching, is profoundly totalitarian. It is beginning to happen in the UK as well, but not quite yet on a Massachusetts scale. It is a direct interference with freedom of belief and speech whether the attempt is made to silence Christian speakers and writers, or more ominously to require our children to undergo “education” of a kind which no child should receive. It is all too reminiscent of Mao’s China and its treatment of dissidents. dan’s thesis, that somehow… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Too much bundling. It allows the predators to weave their ways through the ranks causing dissention to distract attention away from them. There are extremists and martyrs at both ends of the spectrums. The scriptures can be used for both good and bad. Bad people use the scriptures to do bad things e.g. justifying homophobic attacks, sex without boundaries (Jesus replaced laws of OT), unethical wars or racism or misogymy, non-accountabilty or irresponsiblity (all is forgiven). A foolish person denies that the scriptures can be misused e.g. by facists or homophobics. A really foolish person then tries to argue that… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I think that evangelical Christians can be blamed for gay bashing – because they help to create a negative culture in which such things can be excused.

Homophobia takes many different forms.

I think I would be a bit more convinced if just for once, evangelicals would support without reservation, equality legislation – but they don’t. Indeed, they have been at the forefront of opposition to every legal change.

Matthew Hunt
Guest
Matthew Hunt

May I ask those Christians commenting here who say that Christians do not contribute to a societal atmosphere that leads to violent or otherwise oppression of homosexual persons, to answer the following simple question: In your honest opinion, do gay people have the right to walk down the street holding each others hand and to give each other an occasional kiss in exactly the same way as heterosexual people do – in front of your children and when you are eating lunch and things? (I’m not speaking of any deliberately provocative or lascivious displays – just normal, casual expressions of… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Alan said:

“Repugnance against homosexuality is widespread in the wider secular society in the UK, among people who have no practical knowledge or acquaintance with the Christian faith,…”

Widespread? That is not my experience at all. Perhaps the Home Counties are not typical.

Can you offer any evidence for this claim?

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Matthew I would expect the same level of modesty and decorum from homosexuals that I would demand from heterosexuals. I would prefer they took a life-long mate and did not commit adultery. I would not approve of immodest dress or overt public displays of affection, but tolerate them with the same sufferance I do with other souls bare who too much midriff or cleavage. (God knows that part of creating peace is tolerating difference and youthful exhuberance – including in oldies who don’t grow up). The alternative is to build a repressive prohibition culture that doesn’t stop the problem. Yet… Read more »

Rob Hall
Guest
Rob Hall

I suspect that there may be several sets of misunderstandings, which make discussion more confused than it need be. 1. The question of whether or not violent attacks or hate-filled speech provably leading to violent attacks against homosexual persons is permissable is not one on which there can be any room for disagreement amongst Christians. It is compleletly unacceptable, full stop. To my personal knowledge, many evangelical Christians genuinely think and act on that, and are filled with horror by the antics of the likes of Archbishop Akinola. 2. Churches are not the same as society as a whole. Therefore… Read more »

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

Simon, Widespread in my experience of conversation with a wide range of people, both Christian and non-Christian, both north and south. The general attitude is that adopted following decriminalisation in the late 1960s: tolerance as long as sexual activity is confined to the privacy of the home. But if pressed just a little, non-believers will say that they consider homosexuality to be unnatural/unhealthy, while Christians if asked will quote the New Testament to the effect that it is sinful (and add that it is finally for the judgement of God). We live in a tolerant and mostly peaceful society in… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I think you must mix with a lot of people who share your outlook, Alan. Certainly amongst younger people with whom I work, its hardly an issue for them any more

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

I’m not young, and my experience when I was working in the UK software industry (until five years ago) was the same as Merseymike’s now. I simply didn’t ever hear non-religious people express such views. I did hear plenty of criticism of religion though.

I also have never heard anybody say they were afraid of the police.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Alan’s comments don’t reflect my personal experience: including in my bible study last year when members breathed a sigh of relief that they could be kind to their friend who had come out of the closet, and another that it was okay for their homosexual brother-in-law to be at their son’s communion service. I particularly liked Rob Hall’s posting of 2 August 12.00pm BST. It parallels very closely the South African position, which also separates the identity of the State from the identity of the faith communities within the state. My one additional observation is that the conservatives move to… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

The other comment for Alan is that what a lot of fundamentalists (this does not necessarily mean you Alan) do not realise, is that souls recognise the glazed eyes of someone with a religious pitch to be made. Prudent souls have learnt to not make waves in front of such souls, to give lip service to shut them up. We also tip each other off about one of them when we know they are going to be at a forthcoming social function, and either stay out of their way or do our best to keep the conversation off controversial subjects.… Read more »

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

It could also be, Cheryl, that people are either cautious of expressing such views in the presence of someone they don’t know, in case that person is homosexual; or that they are actually afraid of being labelled or denounced as homophobic/racist/disablist or whatever – take your pick from the West Midlands police list.

And I hear the strongest views expressed by people much younger than I am, contrary to merseymike. Perhaps those around him have been made well aware of his own circumstances, as he has described them here.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“men cruising or cottaging” Comment and 2 questions. Comment: Isn’t it interesting that most of the focus in this thread has assumed that anti-gay violence is aimed primarily at men? Question 1: In the US cruising is giving a good look over to others of the same gender [guess what? women do it too] as a prelude to flirting. Hardly an aggresive thing, I’d think. The way to avert being cruised is to ignore the person. No need for violence. Is that not what cruising means in UK? Question 2: “cottaging?” What does that mean? It’s not current slang where… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

No, Alan, I simply find that the average young person simply is not bothered about the issue – they have gay friends, have always known gay people. They are just part of the furniture! I think it more likely to be the case that people with affirming views would not choose someone with your outlook as friend or acquaintance and would not particularly wish to discuss matters with someone with your views. I think if you asked yourself what the average British person thinks about conservative religion, on the other hand, you may not like the answer. I spent four… Read more »