Thinking Anglicans

From Calvary To Lambeth

BBC Radio 4 will broadcast a programme From Calvary To Lambeth on Tuesday 27 November at 8.00 pm. Here’s the blurb:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, once labelled “a rabble-rouser for peace”, gives vent to his feelings of shame for a worldwide Church which – as he sees it – is homophobic and “obsessed” with human sexuality. This is tragic, he says “in the context of a world suffering from war, poverty and disease”. God must be weeping, he says, to see a Church with priorities so different from those of its Founder who first and foremost loved, welcomed and embraced all humanity.

His critics – including former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, MP Ann Widdecombe, and the US conservative Bishop, Robert Duncan – stand up for a Church working worldwide on behalf of the poor and deprived, and accuse Desmond Tutu of engaging in caricature, special pleading and false theology. Michael Buerk reports.

News reports so far:

BBC Tutu chides Church stance on gays

Sunday Telegraph Jonathan Wynne-Jones Carey and Tutu wade into conflict over gays

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Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

One gathers that George Carey’s approach to divorce, a topic on which Jesus left strong, unambiguous statements, are rather more flexible than his opinions on homosexuality, about which Our Lord seems to have expressed no opinion whatever. Wynne-Jones insults Archbishop Tutu when he groups him as “two of the Church’s most respected figures” with the man who hawked the marital confidences of the late Princess of Wales to add news-worthiness to a dull autobiography and who looses no opportunity to undermine his successor at Canterbury, widening the fast-developing rift in the Anglican Communion every time he does so. “I respect… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

”Seriously unhelpful” or not, I for one, believe that Dr Carey’s credibility – as a theologian – would be much boosted if he left late Modern anti Modern Social Politics and all the Propaganda about “defence of marriage” & c. out of this, and stuck to the “biblical” claim (not that it is true): that the Bible is “clearly unequivocal” pronouncing on categories and definitions its authors hadn’t heard of… For either it’s in the Bible – or it isn’t. If it is, no Political propaganda is required, but only undermines his claims (and those of late Modern translators from… Read more »

ash
Guest
ash

I like that the Telegraph devotes almost the whole article to Carey, and hardly mentions Tutu at all. Since Carey is probably the least-respected archbishop of canterbury in anyone’s living memory, a man who acheived nothing of worth in office and has, since then, bitched about his successor in the cruelest terms, and in all ways devoid of Christian charity… I think it is safe to say the man is jealous that Williams is actually going to be remembered.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Given that at least one of Carey’s offspring is divorced, that’s hardly surprising – but then, I expect no better from someone who really wasn’t up to the job.

Hopefully, when the split comes, he will be on the other side of the wall.

MJ
Guest
MJ

There’s an article worth reading in the Tennessean – “Does the Bible always tell us so?” – on a new documentary by Daniel Karslake – “For the Bible Tells Me So” http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071118/NEWS06/711180382/1023/NEWS Karslake received the following note from a gay teenager in Iowa: “Last week I bought the gun, yesterday I wrote the note, last night I happened to see your show on PBS. Just knowing that someday, somewhere, I might be able to go back into a church with my head held high, I dropped the gun in the river. My mom never has to know.” That’s the reality… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

“I respect homosexuals, their right to exist” the Daily Telegraph quotes Carey.

That’s all right then, respecting their right to exist.

John Omani
Guest
John Omani

Carey seems to be taking inspiration from the approach of his patron, Margaret Thatcher, spending his retirement ungracefully meddling in politics long after he ought to have left such matters behind. I can well understand the poster above who considers him to have been the worst ABC in living memory: while he does possess qualities, leadership, grace, and good judgement are not among them. We ought not to forget that as ABC Carey blocked Rowan Williams appointment as Bishop of Southwark: the grace with which Williams has since treated Carey should be a lesson to the older man. For what… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Problem with reading Lord Carey’s Telegraph interview remarks, is simply that in the larger light his respect is frankly unbelievable. He has not taken anybody in the so-called Anglican Global South very seriously to Anglican gospel task for their support of citizen abridgements of just these human rights he now claims so automatically to respect. Why not? How is it that, when it comes to evaluating queer folks sexual behaviors, no matter of the heart’s inner motives (nor of a modern biopsychosocial understanding of embodiment?) can be allowed to deflect us from utter condemnation based on religious revelation; but that,… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

MJ That was a beautiful posting and heartens me that this work is not being done in vain. That is one child’s soul who has been comforted, their faith in God restored and their hope for a loving communal church has been revived. Love Desmond Tutu, always have, ever since I heard him in a Perth Cathedral back in the 1980s. He’s like a good wine or cheese, he just keeps getting better as he ages. I am still bemused that some souls think that allowing other souls to enter into a long-term committed relationship with someone else somehow diminishes… Read more »

L Roberts
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L Roberts

I respect heterosexuals, their right to exist …

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

I am so pleased that Lord Carey ackowledges my right to exist.

Of course, I had not known that decision was up to him.

He seems to have too much idle time on his hands. I think he should take up a hobby of some kind that will engage whatever marbles he’s got left rattling away in there … prefereably after he moves to Pitcairn Island.

Hugh of Lincoln
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Hugh of Lincoln

I’m not homophobic, but…

Malcolm+
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Malcolm+

The Telegraph article refers to two respected Anglican leaders. Tutu is one. Who’s the other?

Joseph O'Leary
Guest

The comment from Carey is truncated — he also says he respects gays’ rights to set up home, etc. So he is far more liberal than any RC bishop could be. I am sure he and Tutu can discuss amicably and in a civilised style. I was surprised to discover in Hans-Joachim Schoep’s collected essays one on homosexuality, in 1963, containing some very well thought out arguments. He points out that the Leviticus stuff about lying with men as a thing to be shunned is about the temple prostitutes found throughout the Orient for centuries. Though Schoeps knew the Bible… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

2 retired archbishops comment on AC matters………

One is treated with appropriate respect but the other is vilified for his views…..not very liberal (let alone convincing)

On TA, only one of them gets comments like this,
“Carey seems to be taking inspiration from the approach of his patron, Margaret Thatcher, spending his retirement ungracefully meddling in politics long after he ought to have left such matters behind.”

I wonder why the other archbishop is not called upon not to meddle and leave AC “matters behind”?
Oh, because he supports the revisionists of TECUSA and elsewehere?

Boringly predictable attacks on ++Carey here….

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

RE Dr Carey’s claim to respect gays’ rights to set up home, & c., I would suggest we take it as hyperbolä in the exitation of the moment.

Somehow, I am sure he did not support HM’s Government’s Civil Partnership legislation, or plead for it in any way…

We would have heard of it, wouldn’t we?

;=)

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Joseph O’Leary wrote about a certain Hans-Joachim Schoep: “He points out that the Leviticus stuff about lying with men as a thing to be shunned is about the temple prostitutes found throughout the Orient for centuries.”

Quite a few deny there ever were such a thing in Jerusalem – and some say Herodotos (from whom this story semms to come) was mis-taken altogether.

Inquiring minds want to know…

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

NP:

Perhaps the difference is that one treats homosexuals as a class of people who require his forbearance…”I do not deny their right to exist”…while the other treats them as people as fully deserving of God’s love and ours without reservation.

Which attitude, to your mind, is Christian?

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Tutu is not the former head of the Anglican Communion, NP; Carey is – with power and position comes responsibility, NP, something that has not always been Carey’s strong suit, in or out of office. Praising Tutu (still a sore spot with you, I gather) while holding Carey to account is completely liberal, NP – it’s Carey who isn’t. “Extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue”, in the words of the late Senator Goldwater. Remember the verse attributed to A.P Herbert, addressed to a former ABC in the wake… Read more »

Christopher Shell
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Christopher Shell

Are these false dichotomies deliberate or gratuitous? Surely everyone knows that, of those Christians working worldwide to combat poverty and disease, a high proportion are orthodox.

Stephen Roberts
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Stephen Roberts

Merseymike: “Given that at least one of Carey’s offspring is divorced, that’s hardly surprising – but then, I expect no better from someone who really wasn’t up to the job.”

That comment is ad hominem and thoroughly out of order. Whilst I may not agree with George Carey’s position on homosexuality, nor his current interventions, bringing his children into the argument is nothing short of scandalous.

ford Elms
Guest
ford Elms

“bringing his children into the argument is nothing short of scandalous.” His children aren’t being brought into the argument. The point being made is that it is not at all unexpected that a person would be lenient on some things when his life has been impacted by it. He well knows the pain associated with divorce, and has compassion on those going through it. Gay people have had little impact on his life, most likely, so he sees no need for compassion. It’s hard to fell compassionate for the faceless other, which is why the Right needs for us to… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Stephen Roberts – thank you for introducing some even-handedness to this thread

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Stephen,
I can understand that you find it unfair that Carey’s private life is brought into the discussion. But it does rather point to the fact that experience and close listening can influence a person’s views (as they should do!).

And that’s why this is not an ad hominem attack but a valid point to be made.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Not entirely scandalous, Stephen, since it raises the valid question of if, had the archbishop’s son been gay, rather than divorced, the circumstance would have softened his stand on homosexuality.

jamescrocker
Guest
jamescrocker

An ad hominem attack posted on TA? I am shocked.

On +++Carey and the right to exist, I thought that was a power granted to the ABC. He thinks, we are.

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

You have to go back to 1987 to recall the last time gays were blamed for HIV/Aids, to the then Greater Manchester Chief Constable, James Anderton, an evangelical Christian, who accused gays of “swirling around in a human cesspit of their own making”. I hadn’t realised this point of view was still prevalent. More recently, environmental catastrophe has been blamed on us, and now we are at fault for undermining the institution of marriage: a terrible burden to bear when we are simply asking for the Church’s affirmation of us and our loved ones. I’m grateful to Archbishop Tutu for… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I hadn’t realised this point of view was still prevalent.”

There’s lots of this kind of stuff. Some believe we are pedophiles, some believe our lifespans are 30 years shorter than “normal” people’s. Indeed, some actually fabricate propaganda and call it science just to “prove” the point. Bishops in Africa have been quite clear that they think us “inhuman”. This, for some reason, is believed to spur us to repentance. Go figure!

JPM
Guest
JPM

>>>More recently, environmental catastrophe has been blamed on us

I’m not entirely clear on whether Dow believes that we ourselves are to blame for floods, or if it’s our rectal demons who are at fault.

John Omani
Guest
John Omani

There is plenty of reasoned criticism of Carey on this thread, NP, and rightly so of a man who has repeatedly attempted to undermine his successor, and in the process has done great damage the unity of the church. To say that discrimination against homosexuals is not a matter of injustice or human rights is an absolute disgrace. In so doing, he is a hypocrite for ignoring the clauses of Lambeth 1.10 which require clerics to minister sensitively to those of that orientation. After your shocking ad hominem attack on ++Tutu in the subsequent threat NP, suggesting that he is… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

John Omani says “After your shocking ad hominem attack on ++Tutu in the subsequent threat NP, suggesting that he is somehow responsible for the HIV epidemic in South Africa…”

What tosh – do read what I wrote. It is not what you said. Maybe Ford’s explanation of the point on the other thread will help you….

Joseph O'Leary
Guest

I haven’t got Schoeps to hand right now; he does not say there were temple prostitutes in Jerusalem, but claims they were common in regions around Israel over centuries and that Leviticus is very much on guard against them — which he links with the centuries long battle against pagan cults that we find in the OT. Schoeps was a very great scholar (notably of Judeo-Christianity and Paul, and a historic figure in Jewish-Christian dialogue (his book on Israel and the Church, first ed. 1937, is available in English; both parents died in concentration camps).

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

To Goeran and others on Carey and equality legislation: I remember well Abp Carey’s interventions in the gay rights debates during his archiepiscopate. He spoke against every liberalising of the law for gay people, and voted against them in the House of Lords. He was not an “innocent bystander” at all, but attempted to be a major block to the development of equal rights. I received a long letter from him once, explaining why lowering the age of consent for gay people from 21 to 18 would be the end of family life, see an increase in child abuse and… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

And the other thing is they are again inconsistent in their application.

They say that GLBTs should not act on their sexuality because it risks shortening their lifespans; but then exhort that women should submit to sexual activities and conception, with no regard to how it might shorten their lifespans.

They tout scriptural authority going back 2000 years and seem oblivious that makes them collusive in thwarting God’s promised everlasting covenant of peace.

To paraphrase Jesus at Luke 11:48, by their own testimony they approve of what their teachers have done and that they also have no desire for peace.

NP
Guest
NP

Mark says “His repeated public interventions since his “retirement” have been unbecoming (do we ever hear anything similar from Abp David Hope, for example?) “

– but you do not mind interventions from ++Tutu??

You criticise ++Carey…..but I do not see Rowan the Undecided taking Lambeth 1.10 on to revise it …. in fact, I see him strenthening it with his support for TWR …… so, unles you think very badly of ++Rowan, maybe ++Carey was not such a devil?

Joseph O'Leary
Guest

I discover that Schoeps at age 20 was recognized by Max Brod as the only other person who understood Kafka (Brod did not know his age until they met; he had already offered him the job of collaborating on Kafka’s Nachlass) and that in addition to his theological research Schoeps authored a five-volume “Deutsche Geistesgeschichte der Neuzeit” (1977-1980).

Joseph O'Leary
Guest

I see there’s a shadow side: Schoeps (1909-1980) was unpopular as an antidemocratic lifelong monarchist (for the Prussian monarchy); he wanted to divide German from Un-German Jews and organized a Jews for Hitler group (before reality caught up on him); after the war he came back to teach in Germany, which remained his spiritual homeland. Enc. Judaica says: “Schoeps’ relationship to the Jewish community has been a clouded one. Beginning in the early 1930s, Schoeps was a prolific writer, who adopted a radical dialectical Jewish theology which excluded all nomistic as well as nationalistic-cultural elements, bringing Judaism very close to… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Well, there we go – if Anglican ‘Mainstream’ disagree with tutu, then he must be getting it right!

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Well, that’s very interesting, but the issue was sacral prostitution.

Did it exist at all or is Herodotos wrong?

If so, did it exist in Jerusalem?

The idea that the background to Leviticus 18 is sacral prostitution depends on there being any.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

NP: if Abp Tutu were making comments to undermine his successor at Cape Town, that would be unbecoming, but he is not doing that, as far as I understand. I think he is also on a different plane from My Lord Carey when it comes to being a credible voice for reaching out to a wider audience than our usual dull and uninspiring leadership. Abp Carey trumpeted the re-evangelisation of England during his archiepiscopate, and nothing at all happened. Meanwhile, Tutu was getting on with the business of being a real Christian leader, one who stood with the marginalised and… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Maybe Ford’s explanation of the point on the other thread will help you….”

Don’t use me as a weapon. I think your attitude towards AIDS in Africa is self delusory and contradictory. You claim education is required, yet you defend someone who actively stands in the way of educating a sizable chunk of the at risk population. And why do I think the only kind of education you will accept is “God says don’t do that.”?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“moral authority “

I don’t think NP understands the concept of moral authority as distinct from being able to cite isolated verses from the Bible to demand people behave in a certain fashion.

Joseph O'Leary
Guest

Male prostitutes attached to shrines are mentions in Dt 23.18, 1 Kgs 14.24 and 15.12, 2 Kgs 23.7. Mary Douglas in Leviticus as Literature insists that “abomination” is a wrong translation and we should translate instead “something to be shunned”. I wonder at Jacob Neusner’s editorial judgment in confiding the essay on Homosexuality in Judaism (Encyclopedia of Judaism second ed., 2005) to the notoriously homophobic Norman Lamm, who writes something that could be described as hate literature, praising JONAH, the Jewish branch of NARTH, and denouncing the film “Trembling before G-D” (2000) for its failure to mention JONAH and to… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“Male prostitutes attached to shrines are mentions in Dt 23.18, 1 Kgs 14.24 and 15.12, 2 Kgs 23.7. “

I know, but is it factual?

(and the contradicting Claim that Herodotos was wrong is based on what)?

NP
Guest
NP

Ford says “I don’t think NP understands the concept of moral authority as distinct from being able to cite isolated verses from the Bible to demand people behave in a certain fashion. “

What I do understand, Ford, is that some in the AC are desperate to justify behaviour “incompatiable with scripture” …… and, yes, I find it hard to see their “moral authority” or integrity in doing that…..especially if we are supposed to be saved by grace (Rom 6:1, Eph 5:1-21)

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“some in the AC are desperate to justify behaviour “incompatiable with scripture” …… and, yes, I find it hard to see their “moral authority” “ The problem, NP, is the lack of credibility in those in whom you do see moral authority. That you can actually think that someone who seeks the jailing of those who work for the reduction of human misery, or who constructs elaborate persecution scenarios, a la +Harvey in Canada, (and which to me shows a profound weakness of faith, actually) have any authority to speak on the Gospel is beyond me. Do you seriously believe… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Ford says “The problem, NP, is the lack of credibility in those in whom you do see moral authority.”

Back to this old red herring….
No, Ford….the only moral authority I see is not in any person or leader but in God and his word….this is why I cannot condone behaviour our Anglican bishops consistently say is “incompatible with scripture”

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

NP posted: “I cannot condone behaviour our Anglican bishops consistently say is “incompatible with scripture” That must, of course, be corrected to read: “I cannot condone behaviour our Anglican bishops consistently say is “incompatible with my (NP’s) own interpretation of scripture” How long will it take NP to understand that straightforward difference between him/her and most of the posters to this site? Unlike the Calvinist approach that NP prefers, and which is not part of the historical Anglican Communion, most of us are willing to continue the diversity of the Anglican Communion, where differing interpretations of non-core elements of scripture… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

NP: . . . our Anglican bishops consistently say is “incompatible with scripture”

MF+ observes: Shouldn’t that really say ‘. . . a majority of Anglican bishops at a particular meeting, after a lot of manipulation of the agenda and an agressive floor fight and following a series of amendments which softened the first draft of the resolution, voted on a split decision to say is “incompatible with scripture”.’?