Thinking Anglicans

Guidance for parents of gay children

William Crawley recently mentioned on his blog the new pastoral resource published by Changing Attitude Ireland which was launched during the recent CofI General Synod by Bishop Michael Burrows.

The booklet “I think my son or daughter is gay” by Gerry Lynch is available as a PDF here.

Or as a Google document here.

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David ShepherdJohnTobias HallerGerry LynchMalcolm French+ Recent comment authors
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John
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John

Excellent booklet by Gerry Lynch. Nice also to be able to put a face to another TA commentator.

Fr Levi
Guest

The booklet takes a balanced approach and reasoned tone. changing Attitude is a small group but they are doing important work. I hope that this fairly high-profile launch will give them a boost; & I hope a lot of people in the CofI, especially clergy, with read the booklet.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Congratulations to author Gerry Lynch on his recent booklet which advises parents what to do when their son or daughter admits to them that they are Gay or Lesbian. This effort on the part of a Church of Ireland member to publicize the difficulties encountered by parents of Gay or Lesbian children, and how to deal with the ‘problem’ is a notable first attempt to come to grips with something that may be more wide-spread than religious organisations are willing to admit. The booklet take seriously the fact that homosexuality is a reality, and that the Church needs to accept… Read more »

David Shepherd
Guest

Concerning scriptural prohibitions, Gerry Lynch states ‘while it is clear that all of them condemn violent, exploitative, promiscuous and lewd sexual activity’. Paul declares in Romans 1 that the vastness, age, discernable order and enduring sustenance of the universe remain evidence of the only true God’s transcendent supremacy and providence. Whatever we know of those times, his actual description explains the outworking of universal justice upon *all* men for ingratitude, rather than a specific condemnation of particularly violent or exploitative, promiscuous or lewd sexual activity. He does use the Greek ‘phusiken chresin’ – natural function, and ‘ekkaio’ – passionate desire.… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

Question: does PFLAG [Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays] or soemthing like it exist in England? They have lots of useful publications and support networks.

Tobias Haller
Guest

Mr Shepherd, it is important when dealing with texts to be a bit more precise about what is being said. Romans 1:26 speaks of πάθη ἀτιμίας / degrading passions, and “para phusin” is used in reference to whatever the women in question were doing, or what was being done to or with them. If the latter (which is how Augustine viewed the text in question) there is no indication that this was something mutually agreeable, but rather something endured or suffered — a “pathe” because the men have abandoned the “natural use of women” and chosen to treat them in… Read more »

David Shepherd
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Mr.Halley,

Thanks for your response. While I respect your Greek erudition, in the interest of precision, I did not write ‘mutually agreeable’. By *mutually agreed*, I meant consensual sex, that Romans 1 does not merely condemn ‘violent, exploitative, promiscuous and lewd sexual activity’.

Isnt ‘pathe’ ia judgement upon the descent into idolatry, rather than relating to non-consensual activity.

I’d be interested in your take on ‘para phusin’.

MarkBrunson
Guest

It’s Haller, Mr. Shepherd, not Halley.

His “take” – as both a theologian and biblical scholar and member of a religious order – has been well-expressed in an equally-well-publicized book, mentioned several times in the Anglican blogosphere.

And, yet, it is those who are gay or gay-friendly who only “read what suits their agenda.”

You may see much of his “take” at http://reasonableandholy.blogspot.com/

clairejxx
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clairejxx

The article begins by addressing parents of LGBT children, thank God my child is not transgendered as there is nothing for me here. Such a parent would be more confused than ever.

David Shepherd
Guest

Mark,

Hopefully, Tobias Haller’s writing are more worthy of study (as ‘Thinking Anglicans’ participate in each debate by sharing the informing works of authors) than a certain ‘Hannah who I’ve never heard of, nor care to know more about’. You know who I mean, don’t you?

In contrast, I’ll read his full thesis, if need be, and try not to be dismissive. As Nicodemus rightly said: ‘Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?’ (John 7:51)

Tobias Haller
Guest

Mr. Shepherd, I don’t see anything in the text about “agreement.” Rather there is language of “use” and “passion” (in the sense of being under the control of an alien force, not simply “emotionally charged” — the Greek carries with it the notion of something “suffered” or what we might call a “compulsion”). Para phusin is used in this text only in reference to the women. As the word is used to refer to the sexual organs themselves in some texts, as are “use” and “vessel” — in particular in reference to women — Clement of Alexandria and Augutsine of… Read more »

David Shepherd
Guest

Once again, I appreciate your detailed response. Concerning relevance, Gerry Lynch explains that parents of LGBT children ‘may fear that their son or daughter is destined to a lonely life of exploitative relationships followed by a Christless eternity.’ (page 2) He then declares on page 7, that St. Paul’s ‘tirade'(sic) in Romans 1 can be argued in a manner that contradicts those fears. So, I’ll leave it to you to judge whether a discussion of the relevance of Romans 1 is very far off-topic, whether it should remain the preserve of clerical academia, or warrant plebiscite debate in this forum.… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

Well, Mr. Shepherd, if you really do leave it to me to judge, I do think a detailed discussion of Romans is beside the point. All Mr. Lynch has observed is that it is possible to read Romans 1 as a condemnation of “decadent, maybe orgiastic, behaviour in certain cities of the Roman empire, not to committed long-term same-sex relationships.” I do not see how your initial comment, or anything since, relates to that, except to offer a different reading of the passage. Obviously more than one reading is possible, as I have tried to make clear. Whether this orgiastic… Read more »

Rosemary Hannah
Guest

‘a certain ‘Hannah who I’ve never heard of, nor care to know more about’. You know who I mean, don’t you?’

Mark may know I don’t – or hope I don’t. But this sounds remarkable like a personal dig at somebody.

David Shepherd
Guest

@Rosemary: The reference was to Walton Hannah, an author cited on another thread dealing with Freemasonry: http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/004988.html#comments

No relation, I hope.

David Shepherd
Guest
David Shepherd

I agree that consent does not make something morally wrong acceptable. However, it establishes a closer resemblance between the behaviour Paul describes and our era than some would care to admit. 1. God’s retributive justice (that hands men over to their desires), is an active principle, even today. 2. That retributive justice continues to allow mankind to follow their wilful self-excusing abdication from normative consensual relationships to adopt a range of sexually indiscriminate behaviour, including gender-indiscriminate sexuality (even though consensual). 3. Paul charts the full moral decline. The orgiastic excesses represent the full-blown symptoms. That does not preclude same-sex relationships:… Read more »

Rosemary Hannah
Guest

Ah, no I do not know of him. My interest in Freemasonry goes as far as The Magic Flute and no further.

John
Guest
John

Since we’re talking about Irish graciousness here, perhaps we might all salute the extraordinary – and maybe now normal and normative – graciousness exhibited by the Queen even I might concede her a capital in this context) and her Irish hosts last week. They are very gracious, Irish RCs (most of them). We all need grace. We all have a duty to extend it to our ‘opponents’. I never thought I would applaud a Sinn Fein member. Yet, some years ago now, Mary McAleese, President of the Republic, attended one of the two C of I cathedrals in Dublin and… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest

curious to know why there are two CofI cathedrals in Dublin.

Gerry Lynch
Guest

John,

Mary McAleese is not a member of Sinn Féin, she is a member of Fianna Fáil. The idea that Sinn Féin could win the Irish Presidency is still risible (about as credible as UKIP supplying the next British Prime Minister).

Tobias Haller
Guest

Mr. Shepherd, you are of course free to move on, but I cannot go in the direction you chart because I think it to be entirely mistaken. The notion that Paul would have equated the “order of nature” with the “moral good” is disproved by his arguments in the rest of Romans, where “against nature” is used approvingly (and note, it is not used disapprovingly, but descriptively, in Romasns 1). For Paul, the Good is supernatural. It is difficult for moderns not to read talk of “nature” except through the lens of Rousseau — but Paul is not Rousseau. It… Read more »

John
Guest
John

Gerry,

Thanks you for your correction. Stupid of me. I stick by the rest, though.

Glad you personally found a decent C of I church St George’s) where you have evidently been well appreciated.

John.

David Shepherd
Guest

In order to set the record straight, I am not a deist. My position has neither denied the transcendence of God, nor supernatural inspiration and divine intervention in human affairs. However, it is one thing to recognise God as set apart from all His creation, His every act demonstrating infinite condescension. It is quite another to engage in a form of dualism that tampers with the created physical ‘order of nature’ as inherently unsatisfactory. It is not the work of some inferior demiurge. Paul’s preaching, as recorded in Acts, explains his insight regarding God’s testimony through nature: ‘for He did… Read more »