Thinking Anglicans

opinions for All Saints

Jonathan Sacks writes in The Times that religions tell us who we are and what we need to be.

Symon Hill writes at Ekklesia about Free speech and homophobia.

Savi Hensman writes there about Setting all God’s people free.

Riazat Butt has written for the Guardian about Stanbrook Abbey, the new eco-friendly nunnery.

At Cif belief Alan Wilson wrote about Social networking for the dead.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about Exposing the flaws of choice.

Last week, Mark Vernon wrote there about A religion of the head as well as the heart.

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Ford ElmsRev L RobertsBillyDFather Ron Smithlapsang Recent comment authors
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peterpi
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peterpi

“‘perverted sexual practices’ of ‘sodomites’ spread disease and […] caused ‘the downfall of every empire’.” – Pauline Howe, quoted by Symon Hill Thank you, Mr. Hill, for your column. You make some great points. You note that some GLBT activists decried the police investigation, supported Ms. Howe’s freedom of speech, and condemned her prejudice. You wonder why conservative Christian groups likewise didn’t condemn the prejudice. The sad fact, if you already don’t know, is that some conservative Christian groups not only do not condemn such thinking, they employ it themselves. I can’t count the number of Christian speakers I’ve heard,… Read more »

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

It is worth reiterating that outbursts like that of Pauline Howe and their defence by the so called ‘Christian’ Institute do give a respectability to the more violent manifestations of homophobia, even if these people actually wash their hands of the violence which ensues. Has there been any statement from Christian leaders about the two serious attacks in the past couple of weeks which left one man dead and another fighting for his life? Were there any Christian leaders at the demonstration in Trafalgar Square against increasing homophobic violence? No? What a surprise.

JCF
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JCF

Does Giles Fraser have a child w/ Downs Syndrome? [I’m going to go out on a limb, and assume he was never pregnant with one]

His preachy judgmentalism on this subject is unpersuasive (and frankly, I expected better of him).

lapsang
Guest
lapsang

I do have a son with Down’s Syndrome. Not only do I love him as my son, but I like him as a person. He is one of my best friends. Any suggestion that the world, that he, or I would have been better off if he hadn’t been born I find completely impossible to understand. I also find it rather sad.
I did not find Giles Fraser preachy, but feel that, with a Down’s Syndrome child of his own or not, he comes across as having a great understanding. Thank you Giles.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“The whole people of God, including the clergy, are part of a living Church present in communities throughout the world, striving to bring about God’s commonwealth of peace, justice and love. – Savi Hensman – Ekklesia article – Once again, Savi Hensman, in her community work, is able to enunciate what really is at stake in the Church of today – in the way it treats every single human being, all bearing the Imago Dei – especially those on the margins of our society. In support of her thesis, she quotes the recent statement of Bishop Peter Selby who, after… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Any suggestion that the world, that he, or I would have been better off if he hadn’t been born I find completely impossible to understand.” I certainly hope you didn’t take my critique of Rev Fraser’s piece as such a suggestion, lapsang. I would find such a misunderstanding extremely sad. Here’s what I find “completely impossible to understand”: that so many who are anti-reproductive choice, seem to *project* their own experiences—project their own children, even!—onto someone else (onto some other woman’s pregnancy, for example). It’s as if to terminate ANY pregnancy—regardless of its particular tragic situation—is to terminate EVERY pregnancy… Read more »

BillyD
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I didn’t think that Canon Fraser was being preachily judgmental, either. I thought his points were well-made. What I did not find convincing was an out-of-hand dismissal of his column.

lapsang
Guest
lapsang

JCF – I suppose the point is less to do with ‘reproductive choice’ than to do with human dignity and being equal before God. Giles was, after all, talking about a choice between different aspects of being human, rather than with a choice on whether to reproduce or not. At present, because of the available tests, one has a choice about having a child with Down’s Syndrome (and, by the by, I think this is a rather horrid choice which parents are presented with). What about choosing by sex? This does, of course, happen. The basis behind this usually being… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“… I can’t count the number of Christian speakers I’ve heard, including pastors, who routinely equate the destruction of Sodom and the downfall of every world empire with the alleged unique sinfulness of every GLBT person.”

To equate something outwardly (Society/Empire, in this case) with something inwardly (the properties of a Person) is Gnosticism.

But I fear no one has told them ;=)

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Sherwin Bailey demolished the myth of the sin of Sodom being Homosexuality some fifty years ago. Yet it is still being trotted out by those who use the Bible to condem others.

The following was posted to my Facebook page by an American friend. Now we are worse than suicide bombers. I despair.

http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2009/10/phoboquotable-anthony-apuron.html

Peter of Westminster
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Peter of Westminster

Hmmm… It doesn’t seem to me, JCF, that Giles Fraser was doing what you find completely impossible to understand. He argues that Choice has, of necessity, moral elements — doubt anyone would disagree with that. The rest of his argument is utilitarian — larger numbers of women are delaying pregnancy, there are thus larger numbers of Down’s Syndrome kids, and therefore more abortions. His implied solution is for women to get pregnant earlier, thus reducing the numbers of abortions. Can’t get a deontological argument (an argument, for instance, that on moral principles, not any pregnancy should be terminated) from his… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Well, the evo position really does fit together very nicely, doesn’t it? Defend Pauline’s Howe’s statements, refuse to condemn the vicious new Ugandan laws, and, of course, fight for the expulsion of TEC from the Anglican Communion and the recognition of ACNA in its place. Just yesterday another ACNA bishop was consecrated, and we read (artlcle quoted on TitusOneNine: “St. James became one of three conservative Southern California parishes that placed themselves under the jurisdiction of an Anglican Ugandan bishop after the Episcopal Church consecrated a gay bishop in 2003. Other Episcopal bishops began sanctioning gay marriages about the same… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
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Spirit of Vatican II

The mad archbishop in Guam has issued a quasi-apology. You can express your consternation by writing to the archdiocesan website:

http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dagan.html

Counterlight
Guest
Counterlight

As the consecration of +Gene Robinson became cause for breaking apart the Anglican Communion and for considering the expulsion or demotion of one of its founding churches, perhaps we should make response to the Ugandan legislation a similar litmus test. Do we really want to remain associated with anyone who gives even implicit consent to this draconian (and potentially murderous) legislation? What would that say about us if we did not disassociate ourselves from such consent? I’m tempted to agree with Charlotte that the folks who remain publicly silent on this matter would love to see similar legislation in their… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

JCF, I’m on two minds about abortion. On the one hand, I can see numerous situations where bringing a life into the world would mean devastation for both the child and the mother. In those instances, I can see it, though a human being still dies, however you look at it. That causes me a great deal of turmoil. But an Incarnational faith calls me to see all human life as valuable simply because it is human life. So, I was pretty shocked by your argument. It’s one thing to feel an abortion to be the lesser of two evils… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“It is quite another to support abortion on the grounds that some humans are so unlike the rest of us/deformed/unproductive or whatever as to be disposable. Why does Down’s Syndrome come to your mind as a disposable class of human being? How many other such classes would you identify?” – Posted by Ford Elms WTF?!?! How can you possibly TWIST my words into your warped accusation above? {Sigh} I guess I should know better, than to try to make a rational (and compassionate) comment/have a compassionate (and rational) conversation, on *this subject*—even at Thinking Anglicans. Lord have mercy! God bless… Read more »

lapsang
Guest
lapsang

JCF, I think you are misunderstanding what I and Ford Elms are getting at. You say you can’t have a rational conversation about *this subject*, by which I assume you mean abortion. However, I (and I think Ford Elms) were not talking about abortion and reproductive choice per se, but about how all humans are of equal value before God. Also, I am not trying to comment in any way on the difficult decisions that many pregnant women do have to take. However, there is a great deal of pressure (I am talking from experience here) to have the tests… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“How can you possibly TWIST my words into your warped accusation above?” You were the one who suggested that Giles’ opinion that the abortion of children with Down’s Syndrome presents a significant moral issue might be based on his never having had such a child, and that he is “preachy” in pointing out the moral quandry. I don’t think it’s too much of a leap to assume you think that aborting a Down’s Syndrome child is appropriate in and of itsself. I don’t see that as particularly compassionate to people with Down’s Syndrome. Supposing someone suggested your life might be… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“What does this say about society’s attitude to disablity in general and Down’s Syndrome in particular? I belong to Inclusive Church, Affirmimg Catholicism and Changing Attitude because I am convinced that we are all equal before God and this MUST include the disabled.” Amen! JCF referred to “compassion”. There are situations where killing someone is compassionate. I have argued in the past in favour of euthanasia in some circumstances. It is I think different to mercifully end a life when the medical facts show that death is inevitable anyway and the person whose life we are ending agrees that sooner… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“So which is the worse moral scandal; consecrating a bishop in a relationship with a man, or the criminalization, imprisonment, and possible extermination of an entire class of people? For me the answer to that question is easy and obvious. I doubt that I could trust anyone who had to think about it.” – Counterlight – This argument, to me, sounds pretty convincing, but will it, as Charlotte has suggested, be enough to challenge the ACC (or the Primates of the Anglican Communion) to take action against Uganda – and all other Churches which agree with the criminalisation of LGBTs… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“I don’t think it’s too much of a leap to assume you think that aborting a Down’s Syndrome child is appropriate in and of itsself.” I read JCF’s post as an affirmation of abortion on demand for any reason, not as specifically singling out Down’s Syndrome. JCF, if they identified the gay gene tomorrow, and women started aborting fetuses based on whether or not they carried the gene, would that be okay with you? The increased use of prenatal screening to weed out “undesirables,” whether using ultrasound to cull female fetuses in India or amniocentesis to identify and destroy Downs… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

However the evos try to disguise it, isn’t their real position sufficiently clear?

Posted by: Charlotte on Sunday, 1 November 2009 at 1:50pm GMT

Well, they don’t actually have faith in G-d. Like so much of official and other church structures — you have have to walk the streets and markets and £ shops of say, east London, to see faith day by day — and see the heroic way people live creatively in sometimes adverse personal circumstances

to see faith

not just beliefs …

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“they don’t actually have faith in G-d” Well, it certainly looks like their faith in law and obedience are a good deal stronger than any faith they have in God, I’ll give you that. The public image they give of God is of a treacherous, vindictive, and untrustworthy entity who is just ready to torture people for infractions of the law that He Himself has told us we are outside of. The way they portray God to the world, He’s pretty abusive. I wonder how many of them have that kind of experience with an earthly parent, so that’s all… Read more »