Thinking Anglicans

Making decisions

Updated

Andrew Brown has written on comment is free that Rowan Williams and the Church of England can no longer remain aloof from convulsions threatening to tear the Anglican communion apart.

Read Falling off the fence.

Jonathan Petre reports in the Daily Telegraph Dr Rowan Williams to target pro-gay bishops which is not the action that Andrew had in mind. Nor what Desmond Tutu thinks, see Williams should tackle Anglican homophobia, says Desmond Tutu on Ekklesia.

Andrew’s link to Rowan’s 1998 Address at Lambeth Plenary on making moral decisions is a useful reminder.

Update
Colin Coward asks Is the Archbishop of Canterbury proposing to withhold Lambeth invitations from English bishops?

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John B. Chilton
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In Rowan’s 1998 speech I don’t see an explicit quotation of Wittgenstein. Yet Andrew Brown cites it. What am I missing? Is Rowan drawing on some ideas of Wittgenstein? Is Brown misremembering? Or is there another speech Rowan gave at Lambeth 1998? Or am I just not seeing it?

Searching around I see that Rowan explicitly quotes or references Wittgenstein in other addresses. Or others have made something of Wittgenstein being a philosopher and a gay one, and that Rowan would bring Wittgenstein’s ideas to conservative bishops.

NP
Guest
NP

I wonder if ++Tutu has made the link that listening to what God says in the bible would have prevented HIV/AIDS being an epidemic amongst his people

Andrew Brown
Guest

Well, I was there, and I remember it is the only thing I can say. Perhaps there are other records.

I wonder if NP has ever made the link between listening to what Jesus says in the Bible about pharisees and almost everything he has ever written here.

Commentator
Guest
Commentator

Dear NP – do you mean the bit in the Bible where God expects a man to impregnate his childless widowed sister-in-law in order to beget children, as if from his brother? There are so many ‘directives’ in Holy Scripture about how to order nuclear and extended family life, aren’t there?

kieran crichton
Guest
kieran crichton

“I wonder if ++Tutu has made the link that listening to what God says in the bible would have prevented HIV/AIDS being an epidemic amongst his people”

NP, really, this is quite below the belt, even by your standards. I wonder why you haven’t made the link between what God says in the Bible about hospitality and kindness to those around you and the sort of animosity you sometimes provoke from other posters here…

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Well, I for one is not sure what you are goning on about, NP, but on the other hand I am sure you could point out the verses that forbid the mixis of the races?

Stephen Roberts
Guest
Stephen Roberts

NP – “I wonder if ++Tutu has made the link that listening to what God says in the bible would have prevented HIV/AIDS being an epidemic amongst his people”

WHAT UNMITIGATED TRIPE!

Would listening to the bible prevented the women contracting AIDS when raped, babies being born with AIDS or those who contracted AIDS through contaminated blood products and medical procedures?

Is your God really so full of vengence that babies die just so His “plague against homosexuals” can reign?

bls
Guest

“I wonder if ++Tutu has made the link that listening to what God says in the bible would have prevented HIV/AIDS being an epidemic amongst his people”

—————————————————

And what does this have to do with African homophobia?

Nothing, of course. Another red herring to avoid the unpleasant truth that the Church is again targeting innocent people merely to prop up its sad prejudices and bad theology. Two thousand years of persecution of Jews based on “what it says in the Bible” wasn’t enough, apparently.

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

You mean God wrote the Bible NP?
Picking and choosing!!!! 😛

Martin Reynolds
Guest

When Rowan was nominated to be bishop of Southwark the story goes that he was summoned to Lambeth Palace by George Carey, he was taken into a room where some of his writings on homosexuality had been laid out on tables the contents of which highlighted why Carey did not think he would make a suitable bishop in the Church of England. Rowan left the meeting and told the committee he would not accept the nomination. Now it seems that Rowan will be playing the role of Dr Carey with bishops of the Anglican Communion whom he deems may be… Read more »

Paul Davison
Guest
Paul Davison

NP: Are you raising the idea that HIV/AIDS is God’s punishment of homosexuals?

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

John B Chilton The answer is here, in the Church Times of 17 Sep 1999. http://copies.anglicansonline.org/churchtimes/990917/feat.htm “ROWAN WILLIAMS, the Bishop of Monmouth, is one of the few bishops who had an interesting failure at the Conference: he gave a keynote talk on making moral decisions. It was a lecture of considerable subtlety and some substance, which, for all the effect it had, he might as well have delivered in a motorway service station. Afterwards, he said to me: “Wittgenstein said that the most important thing a philosopher can say to another is ‘Give yourself time’. The question is whether we… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“It makes you smile doesn’t it…?”

No. Weep.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I wonder if ++Tutu has made the link that listening to what God says in the bible would have prevented HIV/AIDS being an epidemic amongst his people” NP, how would you enforce the kind of behaviour you are advocating? I agree, if everybody were monogamous, then there would be no way for HIV to spread. Not everybody is going to obey the Church. People will do what people will do. So, either the Church makes Her teachings into law, which would mandate criminal punishment of the promiscuous, or we can acknowledge that not everybody is a Christian, that even Christians… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

All of you who criticise NP’s post, don’t you know he is referring to the well known bible verse “thou shalt use condomns”.

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

Sayeth NP: “I wonder if ++Tutu has made the link that listening to what God says in the bible would have prevented HIV/AIDS being an epidemic amongst his people”

Uh, NP, you *do* realize that HIV/AIDS in Africa — including in South Africa — is overwhelmingly an epidemic among *hetero*sexuals, don’t you? Rather up-ends your pious (and gleeful?) pointing out of God’s vengeance on those nasty unclean homosexuals, doesn’t it?

Andrew Carey
Guest
Andrew Carey

Martin Reynolds: ‘The story goes…’.

++Rowan himself said that such accounts are urban myth on his Desert Island Discs appearance. There’s been so much uncharitable and frankly malicious rubbish written in the comments of Thinking Anglicans recently (not by Martin, I hasten to add).

Just for the sake of fairness now. NP, was your comment on Tutu and the Aids pandemic really justified, necessary and truthful?

Tobias Haller
Guest

Petre’s article strikes me as a spin on the ABC’s bare words. JP cites only the rejection of Robinson, not of Minns. Might it not be equally likely the ABC is referring to bishops who violate the border crossing aspects of the Windsor Report, doing things he as referred to as “unhelpful”?

Personally, I think he should practice Jesus policy on invitations: invite all, allow those who are offended by the other guests to withdraw, and meet to celebrate — not to legislate.

BrantinLA
Guest
BrantinLA

Why anyone would respond to a posting by NP is quite beyond me. Doing so only encourages more of the same and makes us deserve what we get, endless rubbish. May I suggest simply ignoring him/her for a time? Please?

Rae Fletcher
Guest

Getting back to the real issue that should be of concern is the effect that dis-inviting “pro-gay” bishops from attenting Lambeth will have and the message that it will send. It will send a message that “pro-gay” bishops simply want what they want and that they are not operating out of an awareness of what they ought to be doing from both a theological and spiritual foundation. Does Rowan think that these bishops (and the synods that support them in North America) have not done their theological homework and prayed about this at great length? The effect that it will… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Hello Andrew Carey…. yes, I think it was a justified comment…..if I see an Archbishop opposing the teaching of his own church (let alone the bible) on a particular subject and then saying we should be concerned more with human suffering like HIV, I think it is worth pointing out that various people rejecting the bible’s teaching is a huge part of the problem…..so, maybe the Archbishop would do more good by teaching people to follow the bible rather than to reject certain parts of it…. Ford – obviously we cannot enforce anything but it ain’t such a radical position… Read more »

paigeb
Guest
paigeb

“I agree, if everybody were monogamous, then there would be no way for HIV to spread.”

Unfortunately, that is not true. HIV is spread primarily sexually, but it is also spread through unsanitary medical procedures (like reusing needles–a common practice in parts of the world where medical supplies are limited) and blood products.

HIV is a virus–quite possibly the most ruthlessly efficient virus humankind has ever encountered. It doesn’t care how it is transmitted—it exists solely to take over and destroy your immune system. Even a completely sexually pure society would have been at risk for HIV—sex just helps it spread faster.

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

Well, Andrew, NP’s comment was neither justified nor necessary and it was certainly not truthful. It was malicious, bigotted and dishonest.

AIDS in Africa has little or nothing to do with homosexuals. It is almost universally a straight disease.

The literature and statistics on this are not the least ambiguous.

Those who argue that the spread of AIDS in Africa or elsewhere in the two-thirds world has to do with homosexuality are spreading lies – and bigotted lies at that.

Thomas+
Guest
Thomas+

NP-

“He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.” (Proverbs 10:18).

Isn’t it fun how much the Bible has to say beyond sex?

Thomas+

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

After slogging through all the detail, nuance, and five-handed threadwork in the tapestry of the Rowan Williams talk to Lambeth, I remain a bit puzzled. The bottom line is that he seems quite dedicated to community and to a slow-wise transparency and to critical thinking in discernment. He proclaims himself in quite a well-read, modern way, as a serious son of the Elizabethan Settlement. Yet he seems not to have much of a clue about how to identify and confront all the most virulently destructive and malicious aspects of our conservative realignment campaign, with its self-serving spin of holiness, righteousness,… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Andrew, I grew up with a father in the public limelight and I know how hurtful it is when public exposure results in uncharitable criticism. On the other hand, please understand that what for you and the majority of Christians is a mere theological issue, is for us a deeply personal conversation about our lives, our morals and our loves. We have a much greater stake in the conversation and cannot shrug off the bile directed at us as easily as Christian detachment might call for. Forgive us if we are not as charitable at times as we might be.… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

drdanfee – I can agree with you up to a point…. “he seems not to have much of a clue about how to identify and confront all the most virulently destructive and malicious aspects of….” our liberal campaign for individual rights in the AC. He and ALL the primates did ask TECUSA not to tear the fabric of the communion…he did ask nicely – but he got a clear reply and has just got another in the TEC HOB NO statement. He has no idea how to keep everyone at the table but is determined to do so….I just fear… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

Thank you Andrew, I fully agree with you about the malicious rubbish masquerading here as fair comment – it is a shame.

As to the story about your father and Rowan, isn’t this the same account your father gives in his autobiography “Know the Truth “ – this was not my primary source but it makes for good confirmation!

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Why anyone would respond to a posting by NP is quite beyond me.” Because I’m not a Calvinist, no-one is beyond redemption. Some of us (me) like to use as a cover for what I really get out of it, if I am honest with myself, a chance to go aboard of a stereotypical Conservative Evangelical. It also keeps me from acknowledging the fact that such people are, actually, relatively rare, and how would I hold on to my bigotries then? “it is also spread through unsanitary medical procedures” You are indeed right. Which, of course, I know, being a… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Malcolm – in your rush to attack me, you do not even notice that I did not once mention any particular group…..

I know some here give more authority and respect to ++Tutu than to Lambeth resolutions and TWR but ……. it is obviously true that following what the bible says would have massively reduced HIV in Africa and the rest of the world…..and, sorry, it is radical I know, but I would like to see clergy teaching people what the bible says.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“Hello Andrew Carey… yes, I think it was a justified comment…”

You see? NP is never wrong.

Pluralist
Guest

The Daily Telegraph story is a non-story. Here is the important phrase: ‘seek assurances that they can abide by the broad principles of the Windsor Report’ That was the case before, and ‘broad’ implies a nod at this stage. Andrew Brown should realise that whereas one (narrowed) group call the other “religious liberals” who are part of “virtually another religion” (Nazir-Ali) the same discourtesy is not given the other way around. Tutu on Ekklesia: ‘Tutu says: “Why doesn’t he demonstrate a particular attribute of God’s which is that God is a welcoming God?”‘ Indeed – answer because the imagined structure… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

Why do so many of you insist on responding to such obvious trolling? You people are like Pavlov’s dogs–NP rings his tinny, worn-out bell for the 10,000th time and you all drool on command. It’s just silly.

Martin Reynolds
Guest

Dr Danfee’s recent contribution is very interesting.

I am particularly grateful to him, he offers me some fresh thinking.

John B. Chilton
Guest

Simon,

Thanks for the clearing up the mystery. The author of the Church Times piece of 1999 is Andrew Brown. What I did not understand from the Guardian piece of the other day is that Rowan’s quote of Wittgenstein was made privately to Brown after Rowan had made his address.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

A major vector for the spread of AIDS has been the US Armed Forces, for in every port call they bring friendship and leave a legacy of their intimacy. The first graduate from my high school to catch AIDS was married to a husband who, unbeknownst to her, made soldiers welcome. Perhaps if there had been less devotion to standing armies, partners would have been at home with their mates. Petre’s article is based on conjecture. We should all remember that there are some conservatives who have already proved they are prepared to overstate the case and to claim their… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“Why do so many of you insist on responding to such obvious trolling?” I said only a couple of days ago that for me the main reason is not to engage with NP, which I know is impossible, but to challenge or reassure lurkers on this site that there are indeed credible answers to the tosh he keeps posting. I believe this to be important because his views are widely shared by a large number of consevos. If he was an isolated occurrence I wouldn’t reply. But you’re right, it has got a bit much lately and I will try… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“in your rush to attack me, you do not even notice that I did not once mention any particular group”

Malcolm might or might not have gotten your point, NP, but I did: a Biblical sexual ethic protects us from sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. It’s a good point, though not an absolute one, since HIV isn’t only transmitted sexually. In your rush to be the valiant little True Believer fighting agaist the EHBLs, you seem to have missed my point: what is the appropriate Christian response to those who do not follow a Biblical sexual ethic and get HIV?

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Well, NP, the liberal or progressive believer campaigns are not so much about abstracted notions of individual rights as they are about corrected and improved notions of community, neighborhoods and neighbors, work teams, and church life networks. We both know that what drives realignment campaign believers screaming from the larger and more diverse Anglican premises is the notion that any orthodox believer should have occasion inside church life (or outside in social life?) for rubbing shoulders with any of the targeted out-groups. That is, a queer person, a highly educated woman who knows more than you or I might know… Read more »

Michael J Lewis
Guest

I find Tutu’s remarks timely. I have to be honest and state I have been lurking on this blog for sometime. I must say up front I am gay and am an active lay person in my parish here in the Diocese of Chicago. I have read with increasing dismay at the responses to NP and his(surely) ilk. NP statements remind me of a quote from RWE (Emerson)and I paraphrase: a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds: beloved by philosophers, politicians, and divines. Tutu is loved by most until their own agendas are challenged by his statements; as… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Ford says “…a Biblical sexual ethic protects us from sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. It’s a good point…” Thank you, Ford….exactly my point but better put….maybe others will get it now. The appropriate response to HIV is to give education to prevent it as far as possible and healthcare to those who have it but also to tell ALL people ALL of what God has said for our own good. drdanfee says “Conservative believers cannot succeed in blaming modernity on us…” This really is taking playing the victim too far! Take blame never attributed to you and then attack those… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Michael – I respect ++Tutu’s bravery in fighting apartheid…..but when he contradicts John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 or says the church must condone behaviour most of our own Anglican bishops consistently say is “incompatible with scripture”, I cannot agree with him. If that means fitting with what you say (” I paraphrase: a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds: beloved by philosophers, politicians, and divines”), so be it…..but the Church of England and the AC have not changed their position and I believe that Lambeth 1.10 is right in its interpretation of scripture whatever insults you may wish… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

NP wrote: ”John 14:6 and Acts 4:12”

Acts 4:12 is the Gospel rejection of Legalism and the Works ethic based “salvation” of all Heathen Philosophies, John 14:6 is the Gospel promise: Through me!

Tell me NP, you say that AB Tutu has contradicted them – When? Where? How? Why?

Quotes, please, not evasions.

NP
Guest
NP

very interesting content re the ABC’s thinking from Andrew Goddard….

http://anglicantheologyethics.blogspot.com/2007/11/rowan-williams-decision-making.html

Stephen Roberts
Guest
Stephen Roberts

NP – “he contradicts John 14:6 and Acts 4:12” and “says the church must condone behaviour most of our own Anglican bishops consistently say is “incompatible with scripture”” Not what I read from the interview:- +Tutu “God must be weeping looking at some of the atrocities that we commit against one another. In the face of all of that, our Church, especially the Anglican Church, at this time is almost obsessed with questions of human sexuality.” He says there’s more important stuff to worry about, and he’s absolutely right. I suggest that in the absence of any real substance to… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“The appropriate response to HIV is to give education to prevent it as far as possible and healthcare to those who have it” Education to prevent HIV/AIDS requires frank sex education. We have seen conservatives on this very board claim that sex education is a bad thing! AIDS doesn’t only affect gay people, but we are one segment of the at risk population. How can anyone educate this population if they will be cast in jail when they come to receive information, and when you will be cast in jail as well for frankly discussing unsafe sexual practices with them?… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

It is obviously the case that sticking to biblical standards on sexual behaviour is an extremely good and obvious way of avoiding STDs. What is controversial about that?

John Robison
Guest
John Robison

The responses to NP tend to be less about him/her/it/them, per se, as the constant attempts to make sure that the constant repetitions of the Big Lies of the Donatist/Fundagelicals do not go unanswered. The simple facts remain that Lord Carey pulled a fats one and saddled the communion with the awful Lambeth 1.10 in order to keep some of the Africans, operating at least in part in concert with wealthy First Worlders, happy. As for tearing the fabric f the communion, that was done with the creation of the AMiA which happened at a time when most of us… Read more »

Ann Marie
Guest

NP: One of the problems with consistently saying the bishops say that same-sex relationships is incompatible with scripture is that one is then making them infalible. Mistakes in interpretation have been made in the past. Actually when you use the phrase “incompatible with scripture” the one thing I can say with certainty is that I don’t believe they are. If one takes the scriptures as a whole rather than just the few isolated verses, same-sex relationships are not incompatible. As a matter of fact, there are a number of relationships that I have observed that are very compatible with scripture… Read more »

MRG
Guest
MRG

NP – I was staring at the letters TWR for a full five minutes before I figured out what you were referring to. Could you possibly refrain from your madcap use of TLAs (Three-Letter Acronyms)?