Thinking Anglicans

opinion

Jemima Thackray The Telegraph Women bishops first anniversary: Why the Church needs ‘gobby’ women more than ever

Ruth Gledhill and Carey Lodge Christian Today Women Bishops one year on: The women who have broken the stained glass ceiling

St Hilda’s Church, Marden with Preston Grange Eight impossible things the C of E will never do

Mark Greaves The Spectator God’s management consultants: the Church of England turns to bankers for salvation

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written this article for The Times Archbishop of Canterbury on religious freedom.
[The article on The Times website is titled “Faith must be strong enough to take offence”.]

Barnabas Piper Christianity Today 10 Social Media Posts Only the Best Pastors Send

Andrew Brown The Guardian Does the Bible really say that global warming will make the Earth ‘vomit us out’?

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Susannah Clark
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Our religious beliefs (the Archbishop says) are “a core part of what it is to be human” – and the freedom to practice them must be protected here and abroad… “we must never compel or manipulate people”… “the church’s record of compelling obedience… is a cause for humility and shame.” “To take away a person’s freedom of belief or non-belief is to violate the core of their humanity.” So when a local Anglican church, and its members, and its PCC, and its priest, collectively have a strong belief in affirming gay and lesbian relationships and marriages in their own local… Read more »

Simon
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Simon

I wouldn’t go as far as that Susannah. To me it means that they have the right to worship at and belong to a church (or other religious group) that shares those belief. That to me is religious freedom. The internal battles within a group are something different.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Susannah makes some very pertinent points here – about the ABC’s statement on the need for religious freedom. Each of us is an individually created Image of the Divine, with special gifts and personality traits, one of which is our God-given capacity to love. If our natural pre-disposition is to set up house with a person of the same gender, then our religion needs to take proper and responsible account of this important factor in the lives of so many people who have a legitimate belief in the God of Love, exemplified in our religious faith system. After all, was… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“a debate on religious freedom and belief in the House of Lords today. … urges the UK and international community to give greater priority to upholding this hard-won freedom.”

The ABC was talking about believers of God BrandX murdering believers of God BrandY, yet why do I have the feeling that the above “debate” will boil down to believers of God [any brand] not having to *rent a room* (take pictures, create flower arrangements, etc) to same-sex couples?

Susannah Clark
Guest

JCF and Simon, greetings and good will to you in Jesus Christ! Religious freedom encompasses internal religious freedom of conscience within a faith, as well as external religious freedom to be a Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Agnostic etc. I don’t accept that there is a hierarchy of freedoms, or that Christians and Muslims murdering each other means that religious freedom should not relate, as well, to the diminution of people’s lives because of prejudice and discrimination. That is more than a ‘flower arranging’ problem. Of course the Archbishop was referring primarily to inter-faith tolerance, but when he talks about the evils… Read more »

James Byron
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James Byron

Susannah, I couldn’t agree more, but Welby is driven not by consistency, but by realpolitik. Like Williams before him, he’s terrified of schism. That being so, only an argument framed in realpolitik terms is likely to shift his position.

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Regarding the Andrew Brown article, Brown asks a good question; but provides a less than adequate answer. “It turns out that the disconnection of theology from the real world is not a bug, but the feature from which it derives all its power to change the world around us.” Obviously, the bible knows nothing of climate change. Brown writes, “Yet by the rules of theological debate, it seemed quite approved to twist [God’s] disapproval through 180 degrees …The speech left me wondering … whether there is substance at all to theology, or why it is that highly intelligent and well-educated… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

Susannah, I confess I have trouble following you (I am an Ignorant Yank: this may be a large source of the problem). “I don’t accept that there is a hierarchy of freedoms, or that Christians and Muslims murdering each other means that religious freedom should not relate, as well, to the diminution of people’s lives because of prejudice and discrimination. That is more than a ‘flower arranging’ problem.” I honestly can’t tell if you’re agreeing or disagreeing (somewhere in-between) w/ me here. “when it comes to gay and lesbian sex, the conscience of local churches and individual priests can be… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

Hi JCF,

I admit that after I posted my reply to you, I re-read your comment and wondered if I had completely misunderstood you!

So I guess we may both be misunderstanding each other, and to compound that, I don’t understand your last post either.

Communication problems!

Anyway, my bottom line is that I believe local church communities should be given the freedom of conscience to welcome, bless, and celebrate gay and lesbian relationships if – for those churches – it is a justice and conscience issue.

Sorry if I have been rubbish at understanding your position, but please trust my goodwill.

Susannah

John
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John

I agree entirely with Susannah’s position on individual church freedom nor do I remotely accept the propositions that such freedom destroys ‘the faith once delivered’ (etc.) and the Church (in the first instance the C of E, but then all Christian churches) as a unified body.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re Climate change, evolving theology, and possibly an evolving church, there is an interesting article in today’s New York Times. New York mayor Bill de Blasio is described as warming up to The Catholic Church as a result of Francis and his policies, including climate change. de Blasio, ” …is experiencing a new warmth toward the Catholic Church itself, saying the institution was ‘caught its own contradictions’ by electing a leader who, he said, has been intent on an ‘egalitarian, grounded approach to faith.'”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/23/nyregion/de-blasio-inspired-by-francis-describes-an-evolving-relationship-with-faith.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&

Sam Roberts
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Sam Roberts

Very interesting piece by St Hilda’s Church Marsden with Preston Grange. Bravo for putting the idea of the C of E downsizing and leaving the buildings to the government ‘out there’ and working out the details of how it could be done.

I know it won’t happen – just yet – but who knows what the future may bring…?