Saturday, 1 November 2008

opinions gathered

Judith Maltby writes in the Guardian that Barack Obama may be able to repair the damage done by the US Christian right, in Face to Faith.

The Times Literary Supplement has a book review titled Soulgasms of the Christian Right by Thomas Laqueur.

The New Yorker has an article titled Red Sex, Blue Sex by Margaret Talbot.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about GAFCON: A garment that will tear apart.

Last week, Peter Selby wrote in the Church Times about immigration policies: This means more pain for the poor.

Theo Hobson writes in The Times that Milton’s vision for Church and State is our answer.

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph that Bomber Command’s bombing of Second World War civilians was wilful murder.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 1 November 2008 at 1:25pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

I wish I could share Judith Maltby's optimism about wresting the word "Christian" back from the right. I fear it is like the term "liberal"...once a proud description, now little more than an epithet, such that those of us to the left of center in US politics are forced to resort to "progressive" to describe ourselves (exactly as Maltby does in her column).

The problem is that the right has poisoned the word for an entire generation of Americans...the generation that includes my two college-age sons. They are each practicing Episcopalians, but I suspect they'd have difficulty calling themselves "Christians" to others without constant explanation.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Saturday, 1 November 2008 at 3:54pm GMT

There is a new irritating expression at present, which is "behind the curve". Theo Hobson is behind several. The form of religious meeting that is in liberty was given by Ernst Troeltsch as 'Mysticism' - the free gathering of individuals who make their faith. It has also been tried. The English Presbyterians decided to follow no creeds and articles but only the Bible, and the result was they eventually became Unitarian, which is that free gathering...

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 1 November 2008 at 3:56pm GMT

I think the best opinion piece was Giles Fraser in the Church Times. He shows the dishonest spurious nature of the Reform-FIF alliance. Unfortunately he makes a faux pas.. the article of religion he refers to condems the invocation of Saints and not "icons"!

Posted by: Robert Ian williams on Sunday, 2 November 2008 at 7:25am GMT


22nd article:

The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.


Posted by: Giles Fraser on Sunday, 2 November 2008 at 7:58am GMT

Giles Fraser, in his Church Times article, says:

"Many traditional Catholics are feeling unloved by the C of E. I wish it were not so. But to believe that Ca­tholic sacramental theology is safe with GAFCON is a self-deception."

And so do many of us, Giles, 'wish it were not so' - in the Anglican Communion around the world, who are in any way catholic in spirituality and orientation.

On this weekend, when most of us are celebrating our co-inherence with the Saints and the Departed, on the Feast of All Saints and All Souls; the Diocese of Sydney, for instance, will sadly find this contrary to their fundamentalist religious piety.

Many of the prospective partners in GAFCON would consider F.i.F.'s (and our) prayers for the Saints and Departed Loved Ones to be a dastarly alliance with the 'Scarlet Woman' and therefore completely unacceptable to their particular religious point of view. So what hope is there for these unlikely partners 'in Faith' to be joined in one Church, one Faith, one Lord?

Acceptance of our diversities is our only hope!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 2 November 2008 at 9:33am GMT

Giles I still think it was brilliant and it complemented my letter so perfectly. I bet there are some who think we were hand and glove!

But just listen to the latest, Forward in faith has asked Sydney not to allow this innovation.

Ironic, when most of the ritual and doctrines of Forward in faith were introduced " illegally " from the Roman Catholic Church in the nineteenth century.

What about a future column where you comment on how Reform , who claim the Bible is clear on moral issues have deliberately avoided divorce and re-marriage in their Covenant. Furthermore how David Holloway condemns re-marriage after divorce as adultery and Richard Bewes in his book the Hundred Top questions believes it is biblical!

So the very people condemning homosexuality cannot agree what heterosexual immorality is!
You will also see it is not in the Covenant signed by all those Evangelical groups and instigated by Chris Sugden...and GAFCON also hedges on the issue. It refers to marriage as a creation ordinance but has nothing to say about Our lord's teaching.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Sunday, 2 November 2008 at 11:38am GMT

Dr. Maltby has written an intelligent, wonderful article that is absolutely right on. This should be mandatory reading for the American press who has been lead around by the nose by the Christian right for years.

Posted by: Dallas Bob on Sunday, 2 November 2008 at 6:58pm GMT

In the wake of what has happened over the last couple of days in the U.S., Judith Maltby's insightful article on the defeat of the 'religious right' in America, may yet beoome a reality. America, under President Barack Obama, may just wrest the banner of Christianity from those conservative, bigoted and puritanical believers who, hitherto, have claimed the moral high ground in that country.

Who knows, it may even effect a policy of peaceful co-existence with other religious entities in the United States and around the world - to the extent that the former countries, declared by President Bush to be partners of the 'Axis of Evil', might actually become friends of the U.S. (and of one another).

This really could spell the end of religious bigotry among the nations, leading to a time of reassessment of religious. spiritual and cultural equivalences in the Free World. Christ, after all, was welcomed into the Temple as 'The Light to enlighten the Nations'. Perhaps America could now be at the forefront of those nations wanting to 'be' the Gospel - not just a 'preacher' to others of the benefits of puritanical religion,

God Bless America, and its new President!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 6 November 2008 at 10:49pm GMT
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