Saturday, 21 July 2007

Hereford case: some other reactions

LGCM issued a press release: Gay Christian Triumphs in Battle Against Bigoted Church.

Changing Attitude issued a press release: Diocese of Hereford loses discrimination case against gay Christian youth leader.

The National Secular Society issued Bigoted bishop gets egg on his face.

The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association said BISHOP OF HEREFORD SHOULD HANG HIS HEAD IN SHAME.

The Lawyers Christian Fellowship said (link to site currently broken now fixed):

“At first sight this judgment appears to be a serious affront to the freedom for churches to guarantee that their children and teenagers are being taught by people who are living according to the Bible’s clear teaching about sexual morality.”

“The law is shifting rapidly so that where there is a ‘competition of rights’ it is the homosexual’s right that trumps the Christian’s right. This is a situation that needs to be reversed. At the very least, our law should recognise conscience exemptions for Christians so that they can live according to their faith.”

The Christian Institute said:

In an astonishing judgment, an employment tribunal has ruled that an Anglican Bishop was wrong to refuse employment to a gay youth worker. It is not known whether the Bishop will appeal.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 21 July 2007 at 4:07pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | equality legislation
Comments

The Lawyer's Christian Fellowship says: "“At first sight this judgment appears to be a serious affront to the freedom for churches to guarantee that their children and teenagers are being taught by people who are living according to the Bible’s clear teaching about sexual morality.”

As Mr Reaney was celibate and promised to remain so, you seriously have to hope that none of these people with their shaky grasp of the law of the land and that of their own church ever represent you in a legal case!

Posted by: Erika Baker on Saturday, 21 July 2007 at 4:43pm BST

All the usual suspects !

The Christian Lawyers group try to set gays against christians, christians against gays-- but this won't work. This youth worker is a member of the CofE and a practising one -- maybe this is what they can't abide

he is a practising Christian !

THE CI seems to be just waking up from its slumbers ....

Posted by: L Roberts on Saturday, 21 July 2007 at 4:57pm BST

Anyone who wants a text version can find it here:

http://www.change.freeuk.com/learning/relthink/reaney.html

I'm not sure what, if anything, to do with it beyond keping my own copy. A .PDF file consisting of images usually has large images compressed into A4 space, and I have software to run them out, scan and get the text. Easier to read, easier to quote, and 112 kb. I may only keep it online a few days - so if you want it, feel free to take it.

Posted by: Pluralist on Sunday, 22 July 2007 at 2:45am BST

Loving gay couples are springing up everywhere, not least in Christian circles. More and more it is becoming clear that they will precede the cynical clerics into the Kingdom of Heaven, cf. Mt 21:31.

Posted by: Fr Joseph O'Leary on Sunday, 22 July 2007 at 4:50am BST

Pluralist thank you. I have taken a copy and will ensure it is permanently available online.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 22 July 2007 at 8:22am BST

LCF: "The law is shifting rapidly so that where there is a ‘competition of rights’ it is the homosexual’s right that trumps the Christian’s right."

Hyperbole and nonsense. Of course, in LCF-think, there is but one authentic Christian position, their own. And the implicitum that this is 'persecution' is a shameful self-indulgence when one looks at what proper persecution is like.

The more shrill tripe the ultracons come out with, the clearer it is to the rest of the world that they are just that.

Posted by: mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Sunday, 22 July 2007 at 12:18pm BST

Thing is, groups like the 'LCF' believe that their 'right' to discriminate should be respected. Not surprisingly, outside their own territory, it isn't.

Hasn't all this once again made the church look appalling? How many others here are going to follow me out of all organised religion?

Posted by: Merseymike on Sunday, 22 July 2007 at 6:42pm BST

"How many others here are going to follow me out of all organised religion"

Not me. I value the means the Church gives me to practice my faith. I wouldn't be able to do that outside the Church. And the issues that so inflame you do not inflame me. Sorry, Merseymike, but I'm just not as angry at the Church as you are.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 23 July 2007 at 1:19pm BST

If the Bishop of Hereford was applying the same standards to straight employees as this potential gay one, he may have had a case. So he needs to check that none of his staff ever have any sexual actions (including masturbation in the case of males without imagination) and while he is about it, check that they go to church every Sunday and say their prayers every day. That would be quite impractical (although I would be very happy to see Sunday attendance regarded as essential) so as far as I can make out, it is discriminatory to investigate a gay applicant in a way that he would not do so with others.

Posted by: Jon Blanchard on Monday, 23 July 2007 at 1:24pm BST

"a shameful self-indulgence when one looks at what proper persecution is like."

Shameful, but sadly common.

"The more shrill tripe the ultracons come out with, the clearer it is to the rest of the world that they are just that."

That's it exactly. I keep trying to make the point that for someone like me, the only arbiter in this is which position is espoused by those who most behave in accordance with the Gospel they claim to represent. It is not a difficult thing to assess. The funny thing is how "they" simply ignore anyone who suggests to them that their Christianity is showing and it is a pretty ugly thing. It's a noxious combination of fear, self-righteousness, judgementalism, and self delusion, not exactly what Jesus was preaching about, and certainly not what he showed in his actions. Thus, whatever my misgivings on whether or not I can get married to my partner, I am convinced the Right is off the mark. It's an odd message "Do the right thing with your naughty bits and we'll allow you to be just as horrible as we are."

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 23 July 2007 at 2:19pm BST

No Ford - the point is that we are all agreed on the falleness of ALL.....but we are against any teaching which contradicts the bible and seeks to justify any particular sin.

Nobody on the "Right" as you call it is justifying the bad behaviour you say you see (and I agree with you that we do behave badly sometimes because we are sinners - and we need to repent of that!)

It is the attempted justification of any sin which is the sticking point.....English conservatives would be just as much against any African who wanted to justify polygamy or any American who wanted to justify greed.

Saying we are sinners too is not news to us. The point is that we are not willing to rewrite the bible to please people like VGR and KJS - they do not have the authority to ask us to do that

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 24 July 2007 at 9:15am BST

Song for you NP for your travels:

Sin, sin along
Sin out proud
Sin out strong
Sin of bad things not good
Sin not water but mud.

Sin, sin along
Makes it ever to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to bear
Just sin, sin along.

Sin, sin along
Lets the world sin along
Sin but love there could be
Sin gets you and gets me.

Sin, stop the wrong
Read your Bible to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
scary enough for anyone
Else to care
Just read, read along.

Apologies to Joe Raposo and The Carpenters (1973).

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 24 July 2007 at 3:27pm BST

NP,
"Saying we are sinners too is not news to us. The point is that we are not willing to rewrite the bible to please people like VGR and KJS - they do not have the authority to ask us to do that"

So in light of your comments on a previous threat, that you would be happy to stay in Communion with Ford because he is a true Anglican who has no "rights based" views, are you saying that as long as gays accept that we're sinners it's ok for us to be in stable relationships and still remain in your church?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Tuesday, 24 July 2007 at 4:56pm BST

"we are against any teaching which contradicts the bible and seeks to justify any particular sin."
It has been demonstrated innumerable times how untrue this statement is, you always ignore it. The capacity of self examination is important in the mature Christian, we develop it at times like Lent and Advent. You need to start observing these seasons. Merely paying lip service, saying when called upon, "Oh I know I'm a sinner too" is not enough, NP. Neither is claiming to hate the sin and love the sinner. You are called to hate the sin IN YOURSELF, NP, and love other sinners regardless. Your statement elsewhere that "false teachers are not my neighbours" has been on my mind all weekend. If this is what your Evangelical pastors teach you, you clearly have no problem with false teachers. To claim that there is anyone in all of humanity that you are not called, as a Christian, to love, which is the meaning of what you said, is perhaps one of the most unChristian things you could say.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 24 July 2007 at 5:05pm BST

"So in light of your comments on a previous threat"

Freudian slip - sorry!

Posted by: Erika Baker on Tuesday, 24 July 2007 at 10:05pm BST

yes, I ignore the agenda-driven assertions, Ford - Lambeth 1.10 still stands as far as I am aware

Posted by: NP on Wednesday, 25 July 2007 at 4:11pm BST

Ford - where am I called to agree with ordaining people who undermine the teaching of the bible ....or, if you prefer, the teaching of the church eg Lambeth 1.10?

Posted by: NP on Wednesday, 25 July 2007 at 5:04pm BST

NP, the issue is not what you are called to agree with or not. I am telling you that you cannot accuse others of ignoring the parts of Scripture they don't like when you do it yourself. I have always tried to make this point and you ignore it. A question, stay with me:

The Church always taught divorce was wrong. We allowed a king to do it, but even he needed a trumped up charge of adultery. Then this century we changed our minds. Now, you claim to have some difficulty with it, but you clearly don't consider divorced remarried clergy as something worth breaking the communion over. Such clergy are not your "direct leaders". Well, isn't changing our minds on homosexuality the same thing? If not, why not? There is "clear" Scriptural prohibition of both, there was, and is, huge disagreement over it, and, like the ordained divorcees, Gene Robinson is not your "direct leader". Scripture says the same things about both, so why are you willing to break the Church over one and not the other?

And where am I called to give the Bible authority over the Spirit Who inspired it?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 25 July 2007 at 7:48pm BST

NP
Where does it say that you have any role in discerning who should be ordained?
I expect all of us not involved to rely on those who are and to accept their discernment.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 25 July 2007 at 9:30pm BST

On a related matter of law, I am delighted to see that the
ASA has Upheld Complaints Against Full Page Advert By Evangelical Christians

The ruling released today on 18 July, by by the Advertising Standards Agency against a full page advertisement in The Times by Coherent and Cohesive Voice seeking to raise alarm about the Sexual Orientation equality legislation being debated in Parliament earlier this year.

Religiously based anti-gay activites would seem to have had their day !


Posted by: L Roberts on Thursday, 26 July 2007 at 6:22pm BST

Ford - 2 wrongs do not make a right. As you say, divorce is not wrong in all circumstances according to the bible.....so, there is more flexibilty on that issue. There is no flexibility in scripture to make a strong case for ditching Lambeth 1.10 (even the liberal ABC says so)

Erika asks "Where does it say that you have any role in discerning who should be ordained?"
Erika.....you know that it is the CofE and AC (NOT ME!) which has clearly stated what is required of ordained people in this church! Some, lacking integrity, flagrantly ignore those requirements even though the make vows to stand by them

Posted by: NP on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 10:54am BST

Just curious, NP, what is the strong biblical case for justifying divorce and remarriage after centuries of claiming it was wrong? My harping on this does not imply disapproval of divorce, merely that claiming Jesus seems to allow it only in the case of adultery, and curiously not in case of abuse, seems like what you, if were about something that you might not have to avail of one day, would call a "fudge".

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 5:10pm BST

Ford - it is not that difficult....Eph 5, a husband is called to love his wife in a self-sacrificial way - if he is abusing her, he is clearly failing in that so help and protection has to be given to the wife. Then, abuse in itself is of course a sin and a person's safety has to be considered.....because of (amongst other reasons) this Biblical principle: Luke 14:5 "And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son[1] or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?”

So, no, it is not a fudge.....and does not justify fudging any other issues.

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 8:39am BST

NP,
In the thread "Hereford: more from the Church Times" I talk about Ephesians 5. I am no theologian, no doubt those who are will find all kinds of fault with it, but it is none the less an engaging with Scripture from a "faithless liberal". When you regain consciousness, my last statement surely having made you faint, I suggest you read it.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 5:14pm BST
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