Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 16 May 2018

Craig D’Alton humane catholic An alternate statement on marriage equality, which could have been made by the Anglican bishops of Australia, but wasn’t …

Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau New directions for the church 1: whose kingdom come?

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Bishops as Managers – Empathy begins to die

David Walker ViaMedia.News Lost in Translation – Speaking in Differing Tongues

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Flora AlexanderDavid RuncornBrian RalphKateFather Ron Smith Recent comment authors
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John Wallace
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John Wallace

Tessa Jowell RIP. A great politician who signified the best in Labour politics. The Guardian obituary mentions that ‘unusually, she was confirmed as an adult in 1996.’ She was nearly 50. She epitomised what is best about the involvement of Christianity and Political Action.

Father Ron Smith
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Fr.Craig d’Alton’s ‘Alternative Statement’ that might/ought to have been issued by the Australian Anglican House of Bishops reflects a situation which looks probable for my Church in New Zealand (ACANZP). Those in our General Synod who hope for an eirenic outcome from the debate on ‘Motion 29’ – which took place recently in New Plymouth – are awaiting a decision on how the passage of the new legislation will be worked out in practice in NZ. Australia’s actual negative outlook for same-sex blessings will not, we hope, affect New Zealand’s hope for the blessing of same-sex civil marriages and civil… Read more »

John Bunyan
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John Bunyan

The Australian bishops have a “positive outlook” regarding marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Those who support them in that view are not all necessarily “homophobic”, the kind of language that does not help, nor all “guilty of anti-gay prejudice”, and they do not necessarily oppose the recognition or even blessing of same sex unions. The Constitution of the Church of Australia would not allow the bishops to make the changes suggested by the Revd.Craig D’Alton. I presume that would need a Canon of General Synod which would come into effect in any particular Diocese when… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

‘Those who support them in that view are not all necessarily “homophobic”,’ My position is very simple. Those who feel that way about same sex marriages are entitled to that view but anyone who does something contrary to Yogyakarta + 10 is homophobic / transphobic. I understand YK+10 is directed to states but it still sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms of LGBTI people. In denying gay people the right to form a family in accordance with *their* religious views, the bishops are being homophobic. The Australian bishops and those who support them have a right to their views… Read more »

Jo
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Jo

I rather think that homophobic is as homophobic does. Treating gay people abysmally and then complaining when you get called homophobic is absurd.

Peter S
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Peter S

John Bunyan – it’s not as cut and dried as that in Australia. On the one hand the Church Law Commission is due to report to the Standing Committee of General Synod on the implications of the marriage equality legislation for the church and it remains to be seen whether a Canon would be necessary. On the other hand there’s an argument to be made that the Fundamental Declarations of the Constitution would prevent change depending on how one reads the 1662 Book of Common Prayer to which they refer. There is a much simpler pastoral and theological solution that… Read more »

Brian Ralph
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Brian Ralph

I am a refugee from Sydney Diocese who regrets my long years growing up there. The Sydney mob (I went to university with the Jensens) are homophobes and they spread their bile overseas. The local archdeacon of Dunedin who is vicar of the most evangelical church here has resigned, with immediate effect, from the role of archdeacon. Our bishop did not give the reasons but I can guess, knowing his outspoken views and within a week of the decision by the Aotearoa New Zealand Synod to allow blessings of same-sex marriages. I once joked on my blog that I saw… Read more »

David Runcorn
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We know all too well that name calling has made a long, highly toxic and often violent contribution to this debate. So I wonder what we hope to achieve by paying back in kind and labelling people ‘homophobic’. What do we hope to achieve? Being called a name does not generally dispose me to re-examine my own convictions so I do not expect it change anyone else’s mind either.
I also note that where a person’s questions or convictions are centred around theology and biblical interpretation that is where they need to be met.

John Bunyan
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John Bunyan

It does not help anyone by making wild generalisations about Sydney Diocese even about its clergy who are still not completely monochrome,let alone the laity of this vast Diocese. I grew up in Sydney Diocese and have served in it, mainly as a rector in a lower middle-class parish, from 1978 to 2001 when I retired from parish ministry. As ancient (82), agnostic, unitarian, and C.of E., I deeply regret the radical and neo-puritan character of many parish clergy, their lack of Anglican liturgy, their ignoring of many of the canons, the diocesan invasion of other dioceses, the intolerance of… Read more »

Laurie Roberts
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Laurie Roberts

Keep on insisting on hetero-normative language, in addition to the many other ways gay people are discriminated against in Church and State, today — keep kocking us down !

I have nearly 70 years of this ! I know you and others think I am inferior -yes, it is that personal and real.

Talk about getting real !

Kate
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Kate

If a white supremacist Christian believes, on the basis of how they read the Bible, that only white people should be married in church, are we seriously saying they are not racist? I am pretty certain most people would recognise that as racism and would want it described quite vocally as racism. But it is exactly the same as telling same sex couples they can’t marry in church. Neither is more or less acceptable than the other.

The harm isn’t in calling people homophobic but in normalising their discrimination by failing to do so.

Brian Ralph
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Brian Ralph

You are not alone, Mr Bunyan in caring for the aged. Although not a priest mainly because I saw my rector in a suburb of Sydney in the 1960’s suffer several nervous breakdowns despite the wonderful youth work he carried out in the parish. In those days I only had a vague understanding that he had the same conflicts due to sexual feelings as I did,. Eventually he left parish work, became an administrator for CMS but finally committed suicide. Each Sunday I take 2 ladies over 90 years old to church. Some mornings I have to finish dressing them… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Dear John Bunyan, I entirely agree that the Anglican Diocese of Sydney – though predominantly conservatively Evangelical – is not entirely of that ethos. However I do beleve that, written within it’s Evangelically-aligned constitution, there still remains a rubric that no ‘minister’ (priest) may wear the chasuble for celebration of the Holy Communion. This is why, in certain parishes with an Anglo-Catholic tradition – like St. James, King Street and Christchurch St. Laurence, the priest wears a cope to celebrate the Mass. It does seem that Sydney is dominated by what has been called the ethos of ‘Jensenism’, by virtue… Read more »

David Runcorn
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Kate You are comparing a noun with an adjective. Racism is behaviour based upon a belief in the inferiority of another community or race, founded upon a philosophy, theology or ideology. A phobic response is based on emotional fear, dread or disgust. It is not rational. It can be involuntary. I know people who theologically support the full inclusion of people in same sex relationship and marriage but whose life-long social experience has left them with deep emotional/anxious responses that you can call ‘phobic’. I have also journeyed with many folk among whom I do not detect phobic anxiety about… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

David, I think your grammatical pedantry misses the point. If a minister refuses to marry a couple because they are black it is irrelevant to the couple what beliefs the minister holds: they were turned away because they were black. Similarly, if a minister refuses to marry a same sex couple it is irrelevant to the couple what beliefs the minister holds: they were turned away because they were a same sex couple. You are falling into the trap of looking at it from the minister’s viewpoint rather than the couple’s. It really doesn’t matter whether the minister hates gay… Read more »

Brian Ralph
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Brian Ralph

David, my initial degree was in economics and education so not strong on grammar, however my post graduate degree was in information science so I have done some research. Yes, a phobia does imply an emotional fear and may not be what we want to describe although I wonder about those who immediately give up their positions in the church just because the church now allows some to have their same sex marriages blessed in that church. Apparently the better terms are heterosexist which is better applied to institutions or sexually prejudiced. I feel that if I told a person… Read more »

David Runcorn
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Kate My contribution to this discussion was to urge care in the use of names and labels when engaging with folk who disagree with us on these issues. Ironically you have responded by calling me a name! I am not missing your point. I am not sure you have engaged with mine actually. Instead you keep discussing marriage. I may be misunderstanding you. If so I am sorry. May I ask you to consider you may be misunderstanding me. But I suspect we significantly disagree about the appropriate use and meaning of the term ‘homophobic’.

Flora Alexander
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Flora Alexander

We have to accept the reality that language changes and the meanings of words often vary from the original significance of their roots. Also, words mean what people use them to mean. I would prefer to say ‘heteronormative’, but ‘homophobic’ has become the standard word for anyone who wants to discriminate against LGBTQI people on grounds of sexuality. There is little to be gained by protesting about ‘name-calling’. It would be more constructive if those who wish to deny rights to LGBTQI people were to reflect on the inconsistency that some churches will accept remarriage after divorce, and sexual activity… Read more »