Thinking Anglicans

opinion

Sean Doherty writes for Fulcrum about Gay Partnerships and Christian Discipleship.

Andrew Brown writes in The Guardian that The church’s wars over sexuality are coming to an end.

Mark Meynell writes in The Guardian that I’m a Christian who won’t label sexuality.

Giles Fraser writes in The Guardian that Before we decide to write off the Occupy movement, let’s consider the legacy of the Chartists.

Stephen Bates writes for the Financial Times about An archbishop to calm a warring flock.

Marilyn McCord Adams writes for the Episcopal Café about Strange exorcists.

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GR
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GR

To compare the occupy protestors with the Chartists (Giles Fraser) is grossly unfair on the latter. As I recall from history lessons at school, the Chartists came up with a clear programme of reforms, all but one of which (annual general elections) were eventually adopted. The protestors at St Paul’s engineered a platform for themselves and then failed to use it. More like Gordon Brown elbowing his way to leadership of the labour movement and then refusing to communicate with the people. The archbishop’s response to the question put to him was, sadly. very apt.

Giles Fraser
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Giles Fraser

GR, you are retro fitting Chartism with the idea that their six points were the main thing. Most modern historians wouldn’t agree. They were not the be all and end off of Chartism. That is a schoolboy view. Chartism was a very diverse movement. Which is why they were so condemned at the time for being confused and directionless.

JCF
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JCF

So Fulcrum’s idea of “engaging with the ongoing discussion” ranges from [Disclaimer: No Spin!] “Hates Gays” to “Self-Hates Gays”?! Spare me.

John
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John

Great piece by Andrew Brown. Its conclusion is irrefutable. Truth will out. Reality will prevail. Yet another reason, of course, why Jones of Liverpool, way ahead of the Evangelical pack in this respect, as he was even more ahead of the episcopal pack in respect of the so-called Anglican Covenant, is head and shoulders above all other contenders for Canterbury’s crown.

Father Ron Smith
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“We must promote and uphold celibacy as a positive, authentic choice for single people instead of contributing to the damaging widespread assumption that everyone needs a partner if they are to be truly fulfilled, as I have argued here, in the article already cited.” – Sean Doherty – Sean Doherty – a happily married heterosexual man – is happy to affirm the need of celibacy for single people – especially, one suspects from his arguments here, LGBT people. What he fails to recognise that he allows for heterosexual people to have a free choice – between celibacy and a monogamous… Read more »

Stephen Bates
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Stephen Bates

Giles: I am afraid you are the one who is somewhat out. I am currently writing a book about 1846 and so have had to revisit Chartism 35 years after last studying it. The six points were central and coherent even if the movement was diverse and had a different character in different towns. It was mainly a movement of the working artisan class, not the dispossessed. The Chartists generally accepted current political norms and the movement dwindled as the Peel administration’s economic reforms and prosperity returned after 1848. Not quite sure what this is doing on a religious blog,… Read more »

Susannah
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Susannah

As a participant in the Occupy encampment on the steps of St Pauls, I found myself in the initial kettling tactic as it began to unfold on the first afternoon. I watched as the police line formed at the top of the steps. And I saw the police withdraw after Giles’s intervention. It is to his huge credit, otherwise that demonstration would not have lasted a day. In the following months I peacefully helped out in the first aid tent. I was moved by the spirit and the idealism among people who gathered, capturing a national spirit of the day,… Read more »

Susannah
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Susannah

(contd from above) In contrast, the City of London authorities portrayed the protestors (who had *not* racked up billions of pounds of bad debt or diminished the life of the nation) as some kind of social infection, complaining that homeless people were being drawn to the campsite for shelter etc. As if giving shelter to homeless people was a bad thing. It happened before in Bethlehem, after all. And it seemed to me that the Church’s responses were pretty craven: first claiming that the peaceful protest in some way ‘endangered’ people from walking up the steps and going through the… Read more »

Susannah
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Susannah

(contd again from above) I believe Occupy succeeded as much as it reasonably could, and went beyond expectations. I think St Pauls (including the Bishop of London) came out of it unconvincingly. The protest was primarily a ‘problem’ to be dealt with, and there seemed insufficient recognition that the ‘problem’ was not the protestors. But their symbolic, culturally challenging action, has left an imprint in the national consciousness. It was an expression of protest and resistance, and we cannot yet be sure, historically, where that resistance will end – but I’m pretty sure it’s an indictment of our church life… Read more »

Susannah
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Susannah

(concluding) If St Pauls made an initial misjudgment, and Giles was right after all, to stop the steps being cleared… why wasn’t Giles reinstated and invited to lead the arrangements with the protestors, after his very honorable resignation? In my opinion, that would have shown sincerity on the part of the Cathedral, that they had badly got things wrong. But really, they were always going to clear the steps. And today, it is business as usual. And refined religiosity still seems to me to be the language of a Heritage site-style operation, and niceties, and souvenirs. In those winter months… Read more »

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Quite frankly I couldn’t be bothered to do more than skim Sean Doherty’s article. I am getting fed up with people like him telling me what to do about my sexual orientation and whether or not I should express it in sexual activity. For a start it’s none of his business. Secondly I don’t agree with his stance on what the Bible says as being prescriptive in this matter. Thirdly he has nothing new to say. Fourthly he is, anyway, preaching to those who agree with him. His arguments are tired, irrelevant, outdated and plain wrong. If some tortured soul… Read more »

GR
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GR

I had not realised before reading Susannah’s piece that challenging the Church was an objective of the protest. I had understood that the west end of St Paul’s was occupied almost by chance – because the Stock Exchange and other potential sites had been closed off. The Church was made to look unprepared for the challenge, divided and indecisive. That is not much of an achievement as it is what most of the media is only too ready to portray, whatever the truth. But the opportunity to make the C of E look foolish did give the protestors a level… Read more »

John
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John

Great postings from Susannah and Richard. On the latter topic, I don’t think Vaughan Roberts’ ‘self-outing’ lacks heroism (I’m absolutely sure some Evangelicals will turn away from him), though of course, like Richard, I do also think he’s wrong on the consequences.

Susannah
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Susannah

GR – challenging the Church was NOT an objective of the protest, but in the initial attempt to occupy Paternoster Square, the way was blocked, and then the police formed cordons around the protestors, de facto hemming them in, around the steps of the Cathedral. I was there. We were kettled. You couldn’t get out. So the police themselves determined the location of the protestors in those early hours. The protestors themselves had little ‘take’ on the Church, referring to Giles as ‘the bishop’ and the Church was not the focus of the protest – the banks quite rightly were.… Read more »