Saturday, 8 October 2011

opinion

Laura Brosnan asks in The Guardian How can it be fair to say I can’t be saved by God if I’m gay?
“Christian friends rejected me when I came out to them, citing Leviticus. But my faith comes from the love of God, not the Bible.”

Riazat Butt writes in The Guardian about UK chaplains in Afghanistan: ordinary priests with an extraordinary flock.
“With their camouflage Bibles and combat crosses, the forces’ 278 chaplains are outsiders in the church and the military.”

Martin L Smith writes for the Daily Episcopalian about Money, might and the name of God.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 8 October 2011 at 11:00am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion
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The link to the Daily Episcopalian article doesn't work--perhaps because the URL it directs to is actually on thinkinganglicans.org


ED NOTE: Now fixed, apologies.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Saturday, 8 October 2011 at 12:02pm BST

What would it be like? appalling but nobody I know is saying anything remotely like that. A lame attempt to discredit by putting words into the mouths of others I fear!!

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Saturday, 8 October 2011 at 12:17pm BST

Ed,
lots of people I know are saying it like that. It is not scaremongering, it is the lived reality of many of us. As group contact for Changing Attitude I can vouch for that.

In fact, only a few days ago a very moderate friend of mine who is trying to grapple with homosexuality said there was a debate in her church whether gay people could be Christian. She thought they "probably" could be!

And if you believe that only Christians are "saved", then it's not a large step to realise that a very large number of people believes that gay people are placing themselves outside God's reach.
The only answer is to avoid those churches and those people.

I'm glad you find this as appalling as I do.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Saturday, 8 October 2011 at 7:51pm BST

"...nobody I know is saying anything remotely like that. A lame attempt to discredit by putting words into the mouths of others I fear" Ed Tomlinson

So, because *you* don't know anyone who says it, it can't be happening anywhere? Events do happen in the world unrelated to you, Ed.

Posted by: Laurence C. on Sunday, 9 October 2011 at 11:19am BST

A very moving article by Laura Brosnan in the Guardian. I'm glad the Guardian has printed this article. It may help a number of young people in the Church - especially those conservative anti-gay churches - who are afraid to admit their true identity as gay or lesbian for fear of ridicule, or worse, brain-washing. Clergy need to be trained specifically for the task of helping young people to be welcomed into the fellowship of the Church - without prejudice, with a view to helping them adjust to their innate sexual identity with grace.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 9 October 2011 at 11:51am BST

The distortion here is in making the debate sound as if simply being gay could put you out of the realm of the divine. When in fact the real debate is about sexual licence.

Whilst the Catholic church would argue that a gay person must be chaste they would also demand that of the single heterosexual and the married as well.

That changes the whole debate significantly. It stops being anti gay and becomes a position arguing against sex outside of any procreative and blessed union. A whole different kettle of fish.

And so, as I said, unfair and deliberately misrepresentative

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Sunday, 9 October 2011 at 9:18pm BST

"That changes the whole debate significantly. " FrEd

Not really - it's a distinction without a difference, since you've jerry-rigged the alternatives in such a way that the gay person doesn't have the option of chastity. The single heterosexual does not have to be one, but the single homosexual does. "You can have any colour you want as long as it's black."

Defining it in terms of "sexual licence" just extends the double standard: heterosexual couples have the opportunity to sanctify their conjugal lives.

"The distortion here is in making the debate sound as if simply being gay could put you out of the realm of the divine."

It's hard to get away from that implication of what you're saying. Merely asserting that it's a "distortion" won't do.

"arguing against sex outside of any procreative and blessed union. "

Except that not all non-procreative marriages are condemned, only those of gays. Unless the position has shifted since I swam the Tiber, but in my day they didn't hand out annulments upon menopause. It would at least have the virtue of consistency.

Posted by: Geoff on Sunday, 9 October 2011 at 11:44pm BST

"That changes the whole debate significantly. It stops being anti gay and becomes a position arguing against sex outside of any procreative and blessed union."

SO disingenuous. Everyone knows that NO faith tradition I'm aware of, has ever DEMANDED procreativity as an absolute REQUIREMENT for marriage.

The bottomline, is you're insisting upon one sexual ethic for heterosexuals ("Marry, and It's OK"), and ***a completely separate, blanket PROHIBITION*** for homosexuals. It's discriminatory, unfair, NOT in the Bible, and not in keeping w the best pastoral traditions of the church, either.

Physician, quit misrepresenting thyself!

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 9 October 2011 at 11:59pm BST

A married couple must respect God's law as regards contraception and keep their marriage bed undefiled.

They must always be open to God's gift of life. Even natural family planning is a sin, if there is a deliberate plan to thwart God's gift of life, and no serious reason to avoid conception.

It is because it can never be open to the possibility of the gift of life that homosexual sexual activity can never be right in the Catholic understanding.

However when a church has sanctioned contraception.. homosexuality is the next logical development.That is where Anglicanism went wrong in 1930.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Monday, 10 October 2011 at 12:36am BST

The two Catholic people commenting here with such certainty should read some of the pro-gay theology from their own church.
I recommend James Alison's "The Fulcrum of Discovery" http://www.jamesalison.co.uk/pdf/eng59.pdf for a starter.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Monday, 10 October 2011 at 8:53am BST

RIW:

Is the lack of means to support another child a "serious reason to avoid conception" or should the couple's attitude be "Oh well, God will provide"?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Monday, 10 October 2011 at 12:39pm BST

The theology is not FROM THE church but from people who happen to be Catholic. Which is a VERY diffent thing in the eyes of any Catholic. For everything written negates the Catechism.

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Monday, 10 October 2011 at 4:40pm BST

Yes, but were a woman of my age to marry, as some do, her marriage would be acceptable to the church - an the chances of her having a child absolutely nil.

Posted by: Rosemary Hannah on Monday, 10 October 2011 at 9:40pm BST

The only real theology that counts in the Catholic Church is the magisterium. Of course legitimate theological discussion is allowed in areas which have not been defined or closed. The gay issue and women's ordination are off the agenda.

As for serious reasons for avoiding a child..they must never be financial. God will provide and I think Pat really means standard of living. By his thinking no poor people should have children.

How utterly elitist. Not surprising though as contraception was pionered by elitists like Margaret Sanger.

Even an older person is open to the gift of life should Lord deem it...so an older woman who marries or a couple with fertility problems are doing nothing to thwart the will of God.

Posted by: robert ian wlliams on Tuesday, 11 October 2011 at 7:26am BST

RIW:

So, under Roman Catholic doctrine, it is OK to bring a child into the world, KNOWING that you cannot possibly support it?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Tuesday, 11 October 2011 at 11:34am BST

Again you seem to equate provision with standard of living.

God is the author of all life and he will provide.

Posted by: Robert ian Williams on Tuesday, 11 October 2011 at 11:14pm BST

What I find in Catholics like Robert and Orthodox like Frederica Mathews-Greene(sic) is that they argue that we must multiply because there are not enough people in the world - what comes out when cornered with population statistics *worldwide* is a veiled admission that they feel there are not enough people of the right nationality/religion in the world and far too many of the wrong nationality/religion.

Yet it's we liberals who are "elitist."

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 at 4:55am BST

RIW
and the standard of living is not important? When we have massive child poverty in this country, children already so disadvantaged by the time they start school that their failure is already a certainty? When we don't seem to have enough money or political will to catch neglected children in time and help them effectively?

It's easy enough to wax lyrically about the beauty of children and of God providing. The reality is that people who know they cannot cope with more children are the responsible ones.

God is the author of all life but he has given us free will. That is how the human story in the bible starts. With the clear statement that we each have free will and that we must live with the consequences.

We are, each of us individually, responsible for how we live our lives, for the environment we create, for the societies we shape.
There is no-one miraculously dripping manna from heaven.

And much as some people prefer to abandon their free will and look for salvation in certainty, none of us will eventually be able to stand before God and say "they made me think it/ believe it/ do it".

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 at 9:26am BST

RIW:

What do you see as the difference between "provision" and "standard of living"? If a couple is earning, say, $20K a year (or whatever that comes to in pounds) and is struggling to provide for themselves, what sense does it make for them to bring a child into the world? Especially since the need for caring for the child will likely REDUCE their income, as one or both reduced the amount of work they can do?

It's very fine to say "God will provide"...but one of the first things I learned about prayer is that sometimes the answer is "no".

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 at 11:24am BST

'It stops being anti gay and becomes a position arguing against sex outside of any procreative and blessed union. A whole different kettle of fish.'
Revd Ed Tomlinson

No Ed- a kettle of total tosh !

Like so many official RC ideas on sex -largely ignored by the RC punters in practice and many of their ministers too as we have cause to know.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 at 3:54pm BST

Soon, maybe even Roman Catholics will have to come face to face with the fact that - in the not too distant future, the only choice could be contraception or extinction - for everyone, because of no more room or resources on the planet.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 13 October 2011 at 1:33am BST

"Soon, maybe even Roman Catholics will have to come face to face with the fact that . . . "

I needed a laugh in this gloomy weather, Fr. Ron. Thank you!

The RCC facing reality rather than sacrificing the whole human race to its ideology! LOL!!!

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Thursday, 13 October 2011 at 9:22am BST

'It stops being anti gay and becomes a position arguing against sex outside of any procreative and blessed union. A whole different kettle of fish.'

It would indeed be a different kettle of fish if straight and gay had the same access to blessed union. As we haven't, this is just verbiage aimed at hiding the fact that there are different rules for different people.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 13 October 2011 at 10:38am BST
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