Sunday, 18 February 2007

columns roundup

Geoffrey Rowell wrote in Saturday’s edition of The Times that As we outlaw discrimination so we need discernment.

Christopher Howse wrote in the Telegraph on Saturday about liturgical language: Like, see what I’m praying?

Today, the Observer has a review by Rebecca Seal of American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (earlier review here).

Last week in the Church Times Njongonkulu Ndungane wrote about Why Anglicans must hold together.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 18 February 2007 at 2:50pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

“Recent controversy over gay adoption was in part setting a judgment about not acting against men and women because of their perceived sexual orientation, against a judgment that for human flourishing and wholeness it is good that a child has a mother and a father.”
Geoffrey Rowell is being dishonest here, or perhaps just ignorant of the facts.
While I did hear this argument around the fringes of the debate, it actually plays no part in the Catholic Adoption Agencies’ case.
Catholic agencies – like all others – have to place some children in homes where there are no men (and sometimes women) because of the specific needs of the child.
There are Catholic agencies happy to place the appropriate child with gay single people, and with gay couples if that is in the best interest of the child.
There was no problem with this until the recent change in the law when unmarried couples could then adopt jointly.
At this point Catholic agencies were in a dilemma. To process the gay couple as Co-adopters rather than as a single person in a partnership gave a public signal of the acceptance of the same-sex relationship they were not allowed to give.
There has never been any doubt in the Catholic agencies minds that same-sex couples do and have made excellent parents for children, they know because children they have placed in them have flourished. They are just unable to publicly acknowledge these as family by accepting a couple applying jointly.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Sunday, 18 February 2007 at 6:19pm GMT


Thanks for reminding us of the pragmatic adoption practices by certain agencies. It is my regret that "orphaned" children were recently used as moral hostages. It was also God's moving, as it highlighted the parallels of ultimatum theology that is not restricted to simply catholic or christian faiths.

I empathise with Ndungane's concerns about cooperation into the future. Over the last few days it has become clear that some souls are entrenched in misogynistic homophobic theology.

My contemplations are that as parents, we are responsible for ensuring that all our children are able to live and mature in relative safety. Some parenting strategies work very well for some children and not for others. Sometimes we have to allow our children to go out into the big wide world, in the hope that they will return as prodigal children, refined by their worldly experience. Sometimes we need to put down hard boundaries as some children literally try to murder or steal their siblings' inheritance. Sometimes our children can live close together and nurture and affirm each other. Sometimes it is better that they live on other sides of the planet and only see each other at weddings or funerals, if at all.

The question is whether remaining under the one communion will continue to see an edomite group of children acting as a clique to eliminate their zionistic siblings? If that is the case, then it is better that they live in two different camps, where the ettiquette of public scrutinity, law and accountabilty put boundaries on aggressive behaviour.

There is then a choice for each institution on whether they want to be contributors to the flotilla of faith and moral movements that are moving to heal this world. God does not need us all to be under the one umbrella: God's flotilla contains a huge diversity and there are many public insitutions that two or more camps may wish to contribute to e.g. World Council of Churches, the United Nations, NGO aid agencies. There is a higher calling that transcends the politics of one particular institution.

Where an institution will brutalise its own then there is a need for two institutions where one provides a haven from the victims of the other. (Yes, the sword does cut both ways, but swords are meant to be sheathed in public and eventually turned into ploughshares).

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Sunday, 18 February 2007 at 8:40pm GMT
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