Thinking Anglicans

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Ian Paul Is ‘discipleship’ Anglican?

John Armstrong Episcopal News Service Canon David Porter shares lessons learned about reconciliation

Christopher Howse The Telegraph The trouble with swearing an oath on a holy book

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Father Ron SmithErika BakerSimon DawsonPluralistPam Recent comment authors
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Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

I found the article on David Porter fascinating but wish it had gone into a little more detail. What does it mean to say that history matters? What did David mean by that?
And what does it mean for him to say that reconciliation may not mean justice? How did he explain his thinking in that respect?
I’d like to be able to engage with his thoughts but it’s difficult without any context.

Pam
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Pam

David Porter makes all the right points about reconciliation. The difficulty can sometimes be tremendous. Here in Australia we are still working through the best way to amend our Constitution to recognise Indigenous Australians and have it accepted overwhelmingly by all Australians. Our Prime Minister, known for his hard work in engaging with Aboriginal Australia, has made a few gaffes lately (or more accurately not just lately!). However, we press on.

Pluralist
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During a court case when I was a witness, over a land-access dispute, I was the “religious one” (an Anglican at the time) and the only person of our group and indeed anyone who asked to give an oath in a secular fashion and not over the Bible, because of course the Bible did not represent giving consistent truth.

Simon Dawson
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Simon Dawson

Erika, you asked “And what does it mean for him to say that reconciliation may not mean justice? How did he explain his thinking in that respect?” I can’t speak for David, but in my own understanding of the situation – if you have an abuser and an abused (for whatever abusive offence), justice might require that the abuser goes through a formal judicial process and is punished. Reconciliation might require that the abused person forgives the abuser before that process starts. So reconciliation might replace justice. If the abused person chooses to forgive the abuser of his or her… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Simon,
thank you. That’s what I was thinking. But if there was a change in the situation for lgbt people in the church, that would be justice. I don’t think anyone is expecting retrospective justice?
In debate like this, reconciliation IS justice.
I don’t really understand how the two differ here?

Simon Dawson
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Simon Dawson

Erika, Thank you. I admit to not being sure about this myself. I think my posts here are a process of thinking aloud so that, in dialogue and with the feedback of others, I can clarify my own thoughts. You said “I don’t think anyone is expecting retrospective justice?”. Perhaps – perhaps not. But I note that in the secular world restrospective justice is very much to the fore, with talk of pardoning/cancelling past prosecutions of gay people, and a Governmental apology for the past appalling treatment of Alan Turing. So is there any reason why a church acknowledgement/apology for… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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” Will the drive to achieve reconciliation between various factions within the church win out over the need to provide justice for LGBT people? – Simon – I believe, Simon, that you focused on the real problem at the heart of the proposed ‘conversations’ mode of engagement, on matters of human sexuality. In the urge to find some sort of consensus among the parties, will there be a tendency towards injustice – being done to people like Alan Turing? To my mind, reconciliation should be based on justice being done – and seen to be done. Any other basis must… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Simon, thank you. You see, for me, it’s basically about an imbalance of power. At present, the conservative view of my life counts more than my own and curtails me in a way that conservatives themselves are not curtailed. If Good Disagreement results in a church where gay people can marry and where no office is barred to married gay people, justice will have been done because others will no longer be judge and jury of my life. At that point, what others think of me becomes less important, it will be their problem, not mine. If we ended up… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Well, Jesus did say this: “He who would be my disciple should take up his (own) cross and follow me” I think that’s what most of us try to do and be.