Sunday, 13 July 2008

Marr interviews Robinson, McKellen

Riazat Butt writes at the Guardian that Ian McKellen accuses Anglican church of homophobia.

Watch the entire interview with Andrew Marr on the BBC website here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 13 July 2008 at 4:51pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England

When it comes to battling it out in the media, Gene Robinson has Rowan Williams at a serious disadvantage. Robinson is interesting, articulate and media savvy. Williams has the charisma of a cold wet noodle.

Posted by: Richard Lyon on Sunday, 13 July 2008 at 8:09pm BST

Western society has gotten itself into such a mess over sex the last 50 years; even generating a new global sexual plague. And yet sexual liberty and 'rights' still seem to retain almost divine status in the minds of liberals.

I wonder how bad it has to get before liberals and Gene Robinson stop this unholy campaign, and just admit that it is wrong to follow many sexual desires/attractions?

But there is, of course, no-one as blind as (s)he who does not want to see!

Posted by: davidwh on Sunday, 13 July 2008 at 8:58pm BST

Bishop Robinson heckled tonight :--

Posted by: Treebeard on Sunday, 13 July 2008 at 9:56pm BST

Sexual liberty and rights...oh, you mean the ability to form loving relationships? That's the only 'right' I heat liberals and other reasonable people talking about.

Whereas conservatives want to keep that privilege just for people like them.

And those who believe in equality will continue to talk about it until that equality is gained, because loving relationships are positive things which should be encouraged and promoted. The campaign will never, ever be stopped.

Posted by: Merseymike on Sunday, 13 July 2008 at 10:12pm BST

Davidwh: your point being....? Do you imagine that if gays went back into the closet then Britain wouldn't have such high rates of teenage pregnancy, for example, then, or that divorces would be somehow fewer?

Posted by: Fr Mark on Sunday, 13 July 2008 at 10:14pm BST

God has warned us not to call anything he created; "Unholy". I guess if you think that the homosexual is a 'deviant' and un-natural, then you have a case to disrespect all gays. If, though, you consider the possibility that most gays are intrinsically 'born that way', then you have to concede that the Church is being judgemental in its institutionalised homophobia.

Christians are not divorced from the rest of humanity - it only seems that way when we want to distance ourselves from those who are different, sexually.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 13 July 2008 at 11:10pm BST

I'm tired of hearing that the bible is the word of God. I don't worship some book but the living Creator. Don't these people get it. This compilation of text are the early Jewish and Christian communities struggle to understand the Divine working in their lives. It's like the phrase "I am the way, the true ect..." It was meant for a specific audience with a specific situation. Not as a rock to throw at people who don't believe as they do.

I find myself torn between wishing that Europe continue its abandoning the church and therefore all the hate that seems to come out of it or praying for a miracle in which people stop saying "I own God and start loving one another."

The heckler went to create a disturbance. Ah, I haven't anything good to say so I"ll just go to Putney and be meanspirited and nasty. That's being a good Christian!!!

Posted by: Bob in SW PA on Monday, 14 July 2008 at 5:45am BST

"Western society has gotten itself into such a mess over sex the last 50 years"

Been quite a while since I've heard someone hearkening back to the 1950s as a golden age. Someone doesn't know his history (or his social history)...

"Western society...generating a new global sexual plague"

AIDS generated by "Western society"? Silly rabbit -- that's nonsense.

"sexual liberty and 'rights' still seem to retain almost divine status in the minds of liberals"

Not at all. Finally, eros is unimportant. Some folks, and not only liberals, are attempting to develop a more mature sexual ethic based upon our best understanding of the facts of our natures as given by our Christian Anglican tradition and by our best science. A more mature sexual ethic will surely work to the increase of love (agape), and this is the important goal of this effort.

Anyway, who is it in the Communion who acts as if sex is more important than love? Is it liberals?

"But there is, of course, no-one as blind as (s)he who does not want to see!"

We agree on something, davidwh! But as you ignore half a century's hard won wisdom concerning ourselves and the world we live in, who is it here who does not want to see? Remember the theologians who refused to look through Galileo's telescope? You can make facts go away by averting your gaze, but this is finally not an option for the majority of people. Facts are stubborn things.

Posted by: Peter of Westminster on Monday, 14 July 2008 at 12:01pm BST

Hi Fr Mark-

David Wh's point is presumably partly that there are various immediate consequences of a society changing its position (or, rather, since there has been no debate nor supporting arguments, its practice) on whether or not sex and marriage go together like a horse and carriage.

Among these are rising unmarried and young sexual involvement, rising divorce, and increase in the instance of homosexual practice. These are full siblings of a common parent.

As for whether the parent is a 'single parent', don't ask! - that would be to push the metaphor. What one can ask is whether even a single one of the many siblings is a healthy child. Or even if one or two were healthy, why are they so outnumbered by the unhealthy? One looks for a genetic disorder traceable to root, ie to the parent.

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Monday, 14 July 2008 at 12:27pm BST

Gene Robinson and Sir Ian excelled themselves on the BBC interview. What cut to the quick was Gene Robinson's closing remark about a group of youths, only one of whom was a Christian, but all of whom could quote Leviticus on "abomination", thanks to the Christian propaganda of preachers like this:

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Monday, 14 July 2008 at 3:33pm BST

For Davidwh:
"Western society has gotten itself into such a mess over sex the last 50 years; even generating a new global sexual plague. And yet sexual liberty and 'rights' still seem to retain almost divine status in the minds of liberals."

"A global sexual plague"? Is this not rather like referring to pneumonia or SARS as "a global breathing plague"? No doubt if we all stopped breathing the global respiratory plagues would end. I assume David is referring to AIDS, which is hardly "Western" in its "generation". Indeed, AIDS originated among heterosexuals, in Africa, not homosexuals in the West. As a medical professional, as well as a priest, I would prefer that some religionists just leave science alone. Much of our craziness about homosexuality and the Bible comes from ignorance about the science of sexuality, as well as the fundamental category mistake of reading science into the Bible. The Scriptures are not science textbooks. They do not teach us the science of how the universe originated, or the orientation of our solar system. They do not teach us about the "nature" of sexuality either. Rather, the scriptures go to the transcendent meaning of our living and loving and the moral duties that we have to each other. Reading some form of normative monogamous heterosexual coupling into Genesis, or other Bible texts is junk science and junk history. If anything, most biblical passages glorify extravagant polygamy. How many wives did David have, who was God's beloved? For us, as Christians, the scriptures reveal a person, Jesus, in whom we discover the inner nature of God, and of God's unbounded love and compassion for us. We discover God's call to respond to that love by loving him and one another in the same way. Interestingly, among the intensely loving relationships portrayed in the scriptures are those between David and Jonathan, Naomi and Ruth, and Jesus and John. This is not to say that we know that any of these relationships were sexual. They are portrayed as ideals of love and faithfulness, between persons of the same sex.In the case of Jesus and John, according to the last chapter of the Gospel of John, theirs was a relationship that transcended death. That relationship serves in the scriptures as a model for the relationship of Jesus with all of his disciples. In this vein, Would it be too much to ask that we state our differences in a Christian fashion, and leave off slandering gay people, and attributing plagues and the downfall of civilization to them, what to speak of the "splitting" of the Anglican Communion?

Posted by: karen macqueen+ on Monday, 14 July 2008 at 6:47pm BST

davidwh, Of course, that's what it all comes down to, isn't it ? All theology, all Biblical interpretation, *everything* subsumed under some conservative's unhealthy, or even prurient, interest in somebody else's sex life.

It's enough to make one wish for the continued secularization of the West... :/

Posted by: David H. on Monday, 14 July 2008 at 9:52pm BST

A local preacher just after the 2004 SE Asian Tsunami took to the pulpit to brag about how many more souls had died as a result of wars and the transfer of soldiers, and the plagues that followed.

Probably the foremost and most effective spread of AIDS has come through the placement of troops offshore. Exacerbated by disintergraing families so that the husbands live in the cities and their wives back in their rural homes. The lack of irreverence for a family life and home are consistent with a lack of respect for the occupants of this planet and the planet itself.

The bringers of plagues are those who demand that the only Jesus they will recognise is a world slayer, and that the problems of this world are irrelevant as they are amongst the elite who will be taken to Jesus' mansion whilst the rest of us are expunged or smoulder in hell.

Force and "success" by by any means is hardly in keeping with a covenant of peace.

Better to be a secularist who cares for the "least of these" than a "puritan" who reeks of hypocrisy and ignorance.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. on Tuesday, 15 July 2008 at 9:28am BST
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