Thinking Anglicans

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Readers may find this useful: A prayer before connecting to the internet by Fr John Zuhlsdorf. Translations into about 40 languages are provided.

Gavin Ashenden has written on his blog about Hate, homophobia and holiness.
In response Colin Coward has written The Christian neurosis.

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, gave this speech this week: Law, Morality and Religion in the Family Courts.
Sir James’s speech, and the reaction to it, has prompted Frank Cranmer of Law & Religion UK to write: The President of the Family Division on family law, morality and religion.

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Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

The Munby speech and reactions deserve a prominent position. It is a significant contribution to the debate.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

Ashenden writes: “So we have two cultures set against each other. One secular and self indulgent, already experiencing the spasm of its own incontinent death throes; and one transformative and with the experience of being always renewed and capable of capturing whole cultures and civilisations with its empowered sacrificial love.” But only one of these “cultures” thinks that beating gay man to death and gang-raping lesbians to “cure them” is a good thing. And if I have to pick my friends, I tend to assume that the killers and the rapists are bad people. Ashenden obviously disagrees. You can tell… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

Gavin Ashenden says

“I accept repulsion against criminalising sexual behaviour, pace Uganda – but I have had just as much experience of English bishops acting as bullies and thugs!”

My response: You’ve experienced, from English bishops, corrective rape? Locked in prison for years? Castration? Being set upon w/ hammers or machetes? Being “necklaced” w/ a gasoline-filled tire, and set on fire? Do tell.

Otherwise, please desist this OBSCENE hyperbole.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Mr Ashenden – Gore Vidal didn’t ‘invent’ the use of the word gay even if he tried to claim he did. It has been around for about two centuries describing deviant sexual behaviour and for the best part of a century as relating to homosexuals. See the relevant Wikipedia article.

Father Ron Smith
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Sir James Munby does point up the problems that would occur with the imposition of a theocratic state. In a poly-cultural society, there surely is no room for imposing the values of one particular religious culture over another?

Joe
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Joe

Here is what I posted to Gavin: Gavin, we know each other, and I presume you know that I disagree (or that I might disagree) with you on the presenting issue (though not entirely: I think I’m probably with Rowan on this one). I thought we knew each other well enough to presume that neither of us would ever resort to describing the other’s position in such terms as ‘There is very little power of the Holy Spirit in this vapid self indulgent spirituality’; but that’s what you’re doing, and not just to me. The real challenge is to see… Read more »

J Drever
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J Drever

Munby P refers at length to the DPP v Shaw as the last hurrah for the old morality. It should be recalled that, even at the time, it provoked a good deal of criticism – and not merely amongst H. L. A. Hart and his school. It also played some part in convincing many lawyers in Australia, for example (where there was never any offence of a conspiracy to corrupt public morals) that the House of Lords (i.e., the Privy Council) was perhaps not an ideal court of final appeal. Munby refers to Simonds’ speech. Even by the standards of… Read more »

etseq
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etseq

Ashenden has some nerve telling gay people that they don’t really exist and that they have been tricked into believing their identities are stable (fluidity doesn’t mean what he thinks it means) while at the same time boasting about Christians basing their ENTIRE identity on a religious myth that requires blind faith. If any identity is less stable and more fluid, it has to be one based on religion. People convert and deconvert all the time from many religions but besides a few deluded christian “ex-gays” sexuality is a very stable category for most heteros, homos and bis.

Joe
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Joe

Gavin has posted a wonderful and generous reply on his blog, one that opens doors that could lead in time to our identifying what’s underneath all these impassioned shots across the bow.

Flora Alexander
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Flora Alexander

Re Ashenden: why would it be ‘contradicting the Gospels’ if Pilling legitimises same sex blessings? I’m not aware of anything in the Gospels that can reasonably be taken this way.

Nathaniel Brown
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Nathaniel Brown

“So we have two cultures set against each other. One secular and self indulgent, already experiencing the spasm of its own incontinent death throes; and one transformative and with the experience of being always renewed and capable of capturing whole cultures and civilisations with its empowered sacrificial love.” Among my friends, several of the same-sex marriages and relationships are the most stable, and noneof my gay friends has had a divorce. in fact, I have seen tremendous devotion, sacrifice and growth. And this is “self indulgent, already experiencing the spasm of its own incontinent death “? As for “transformative and… Read more »

Pam
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Pam

Thanks for Father Z’s prayer resource. Desperately needed by all in these days of debate.

JCF
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JCF

Joe, I went looking for that “wonderful and generous reply” on Gavin’s blog you spoke of . . . but the entire blog seems to have gone missing! O_o

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Thank you, Nathaniel, for your moving testimony. It is from such as your comments that faith is renewed in those among us who have known the great love of God in a human same-sex relationship. Faithfulness is surely the key here – whether heterosexual or other relationships. God is Love, and wherever true love is found, there is God!

FD Blanchard
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FD Blanchard

I’m still amazed that the religious right defines this issue in terms of permission and self-indulgence, that all this gay business is just so much willful and selfish disobedience of benevolent Sky-Daddy. Stack up the lists of anti-gay activists and gay activists together and compare how many have lost livelihoods, suffered injuries, and been killed for their beliefs and actions, and then tell me which one is really the more self-indulgent. Scott Lively and his lawsuit problems are small potatoes compared to Fanny Ann Eddy’s death by gang-rape and machete, or Harvey Milk shot dead in his office in San… Read more »

Anne2
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Anne2

Has Gavin Ashenden taken his blog down – it now seems to be completely empty? http://drgavsblog.wordpress.com/

Daniel Lamont
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Daniel Lamont

In fact Gavin Ashenden’s post has been reposted here http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=18209#.UnexYRDlOGU but it doesn’t include the comments that others here have referred to. I have to say that I find it very shocking that the holder of a doctorate and, one who, until recently, was a university lecturer could write such an incoherent and confused piece. Moreover, it is almost wholly lacking in Christian charity. I can only assume that Dr Ashenden wrote the piece in a frenzy and pressed the send button before he’d re-read it. Where to begin? The most egregious error is in the characterisation of liberalism. I… Read more »

Nathaniel Brown
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Nathaniel Brown

“Stack up the lists of anti-gay activists and gay activists together and compare how many have lost livelihoods, suffered injuries, and been killed for their beliefs and actions, and then tell me which one is really the more self-indulgent.”

It would be interesting as well to compare the sides in terms of who is making the most money. Lively, Brian Brown, Pat Robertson… Hate pays, fear raises money… But neither seems very Christ-like.

Laurie Roberts
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Laurie Roberts

Nathaniel Brown and FD Blanchard’s posts express my sense of things, and are move and encourage me.

Being in my sixties, I well remember my childhood and teens in the bad old days. Indeed it has taken Britain a very long time to recognise the civil rights of lgbt., let alone begin to give recognition to our needs and what may lead to our flourishing.

I recognize the terrible treatment of states and public around the world.

I find the words and deeds of anti-gay church members hard to take.

James
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James

I write to add my voice to those appalled by Gavin Ashenden’s violent, demeaning, and ill-founded vitriol, but, especially, also, to thank FD Blanchard and Nathaniel Brown for their edifying contributions. I’m ashamed to be part of any body, let alone one that would attain to the status of the Body of Christ, of which Mr Ashenden is part, and hugely moved, and glad, to be part of that fabric of which FD Blanchard and Nathaniel Brown are fellow threads.

peter kettle
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Not sure whether this is of any interest or relevance, but Gavin Ashenden was preaching at the Chapel Royal, St James Palace this last Sunday morning; which suggests he has the ear of at least some part of the Establishment….

AndrewT
Guest

Daniel Lamont: exactly. Perfect summary of everything that is wrong with Ashenden’s post, and I’m glad that it has been reposted somewhere for posterity. Before he took the blog down, I posted a comment to the following effect: calling the love in gay relationships “evil”, or mere “doing what we want” is to try and escape the central difficulty of the issues by pretending gay relationships to be something they’re not (and those words and phrases appearing in both Ashenden’s and Ould’s recent offerings). It’s hard to see how gay Christians who try to live a life of love and… Read more »

iain mclean
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iain mclean

The Chapel Royal? Where the greatest music of Byrd and Purcell was first heard? Now that is REALLY offensive (as well as all the other points made above)

Nigel LLoyd
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Nigel LLoyd

‘Gavin Ashenden was preaching at the Chapel Royal, St James Palace this last Sunday morning; which suggests he has the ear of at least some part of the Establishment….’

No, it means that in 2008 someone suggested his name as a Queen’s Chaplain. Wearing a red cassock, attending a Royal Garden Party and preaching once a year in the Chapel Royal is what is expected in return. There is no suggestion that any ears are involved or that anyone is listening.

Laurie Roberts
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Laurie Roberts

Yes, I wonder how those in the straight establishment in church and state manage to read the Book of the displaced, deported and marginalised. What sense can those who are at ease in Zion make of the lives of lgbtq people lived out in the shadow of Babylon – exiles to anti-gay words and actions ? No coincidence that we hear nothing of Jesus’ message of the realm of god from the establishment, that killed him and goes on attacking his poor body wherever they come across it. And I ‘m not talking about mainstream churches as his body… May… Read more »

Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

Ashenden’s comments are of course very annoying because they don’t bear much relationship to the truth in any way shape or form (it also saddens me that his blog is again accessible). It is a very sad indictment of religious thinking. Of course so much gets amalgamated that it’s difficult to unpick. I think the starting point is his liking of GAFCON and desire to put them in the right and defend them against people like Andrew Brown. In addition is the curious phrase “God spoke to me about the practice of homosexuality”. Now that he is receiving personal revelations… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Craig, it’s not an indictment of religious thinking, it’s an indictment of what happens when you can only make your point by distorting the truth and setting up a straw man because there IS no coherent other point to be made. It’s a fact that people are born gay, it’s a fact that many many have tried to be cured only to end up as broken people or suicides. Any genuine theology will have to take the very real failure to cure people who were desperate to conform to traditional morality into account. And the only possible answer to gay… Read more »

Peter Owen
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Dr Ashenden’s blog post “Hate, homophobia and holiness”, and the comments on it, have re-appeared.

John
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John

‘What all this thrashing really proves is that civilised society and civilised church have won the argument and that it is only a matter of time until the anti-gay stance of the church changes.’

I think that’s true.

Nathaniel Brown
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Nathaniel Brown

Laurie Roberts: I was unaware of the Queer Bible Commentary until you mentioned it – thanks. But I find that even the Kindle version in $67!!!!

Why this should be, I have no idea.

Laurie Roberts
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Laurie Roberts

ah yes, Nathaniel, that’s steep ! I got mine (hb book)in a SCM reduction a year or two back. I hope it’s still available, as I think you would enjoy it. It has brought me back to the Bible I must say.

Also Take Back The Word is real good (must check names of Editors etc., as senior moment !).

Also : In Memory of Her great feminist work which I still read and reread from time to time.

I do hope you manage to get it.

Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

Thank you Erika for your needful corrective. Of course not all religious thinking is equally indicted. What I meant though as that only in religious circles is it normal to expect this kind of speech and find it completely normal – even normative in many cases.

Dr Ashendon is just kicking sand in our eys. Probably because he can. Possibly to get a reaction.

Nathaniel Brown
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Nathaniel Brown

Laurie- Thanks! I’ve just ordered Take Back the Word (Bass & West, ed.) for $5.00. The cheapest Queer Bible I could find was $49, second hand. I found some of Bishop Spong’s books helpful, and for anyone interested, the following were of great comfort and use – from a reading list I’ve handed out at church from time to time when I’ve preached (thus creating an onerous precedent for our rector!): Daniel A. Helminiak, What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality, Alamo Square Press, 1994 – Examination of Biblical texts. Richard Holloway, Dancing on the Edge, Fount/Harper Collins (UK), 1997… Read more »

cseitz
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cseitz

“The cheapest Queer Bible I could find was $49, second hand.”

I wonder if this is the first time in history these same words have been strung together in a sentence.

Geoff
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Geoff

“I wonder if this is the first time in history these same words have been strung together in a sentence.”

Certainly not, much as it may come as a shock in those purported academic institutions which have tuned out any and all of the literature on the subject since circa 1962.

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

Andrew Brown who stirred Ashenden to opine so disturbingly inaccurately in the name of Holy truth has an interesting report on the Munby speech here:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2013/nov/05/judges-religion-morality-speech-sir-james-munby-christian-values

Laurie Roberts
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Laurie Roberts

Nathaniel thanks !

Yes, that’s the one.

I got my Queer Bible Commentary via the post from London for £95 – I must have been lucky. It is invaluable.

But so is Take Back The Word – glad you obtained it.

Chris Glaser’s books of devotions for lgbt are also very good, I find.

Laurie Roberts
Guest
Laurie Roberts

Correction ! C My typo I guess !

My QBC was reduced to £9.95 !!

The decimal point means (almost!) everything !!