Comments: big weekend in Virginia

Hmm all the new conservative definitional/presuppositional hoo-ha continues unabated I see. Is there actually any other respected new conservative hermeneutic on the Anglican right?

Given the published media preparations, one suspects that the anticipated target audience for these activities is hardly the rest of us who remain in TEC.

Who else?

My guess for now would be: (1) other parishes whom Truro & friends may hope would soon join them in CANA, plus maybe (2) ABN Akinola/Nigeria, plus maybe (3) whomever else is funding or promising to fund CANA during its transition to becoming the Anglican Communion in North America. Andy Warhol's wry dictum that everybody gets to be world famous for fifteen minutes looks to be coming true inside the Anglican churches, too.

Don't forget the ostracism/punishment of Canada waits still in the wings, once TEC has been banished. Canada, after all, as a nation already has gay marriage as a cornerstone for gay parenting and lots else.

Then of course, dear old CoE will be pressured to be purged eventually, except that it is an established church in a British society that is showing telltale signs of wholesale progressivism on a number of fronts. The outcome of an equivalent realignment movement for brand New Puritanisms there would probably boil down to whether or not the royals would allow such a purge of their national church. Or allow Canterbury to conform to Nigerian mores.

This is sort of a church version of Desperate Housewives, sort of.

Posted by drdanfee at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 12:26am GMT

Okay, let me ask this:

Where do they get the power to do what they are planning?
Where dose a Vestry, or a parish for that matter, derive the power to separate and take property?
Am I to understand that their, specious, theological issues with Bishop Lee empower them to violate the cannons?

Posted by John Robison at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 4:28am GMT

I am a student in Scotland and a member of Truro, in fact, my Father is one of the clergy there.

The real issue which I think my parish has with Bishop Lee is this: before GC 2003 he promised to vote no on legislation allowing expoloration of same sex blessing. This was his agreement as a 'middle of the road' bishop, he may not have agreed, but would sacrifice for the sake of unity. However, when the legislation for same sex blessing was voted down, bishop Lee quickly rewrote it in a more acceptable form to the committee, and it was his form which was accepted. Now, to me and my fellow parishoners at Truro, this seems like a breaking of trust, to put it bluntly, a lie. As far as we understand the situation he broke his promise to the diocese. Obviously, this leaves the church in a situation where they have a bishop who is demonstrably not trust worthy. He has never attempted genuine and honest reconciliation, nor to my knowledge even tried to explain why he broke our trust, or explain to us why we were mistaken in what he promised. The only thing that comes our way in terms of episcopal ministry is threats.

I personally would welcome the opportunity to sit down and talk honestly, not angrily, with him, but despite any and all question times with and visits to the parish that he has had, this is the one thing which has not been allowed.

Many people are happy to simply judge Truro and wish us good riddance. I would ask for grace, and an attempt to understand rather than to simply caricature. Regardless of what it may sometimes feel like, I know personally that that is what we are striving for on our side. That is why there was a 40 days of discernment process and that is why Martyn is very keen to emphasis that we are not fighting those we disagree with in ECUSA, but very honestly needing to 'walk apart' for a time.

Posted by StAndTheolStud at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 5:13am GMT

The Bishop's letter seems perfectly reasonable. Yes to Windsor, No to gay blessings. What more does Minns want?

Posted by Alan Marsh at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 2:26pm GMT

"What more does Minns want?" Marsh

It would be hard to count the ways in which Nigerian Bishops Minns and Akinola wish to further damage/harm fellow Christians, Muslims, and *others* and U.S./Nigerian Citizens of all denominations while advancing their backward and "twisted" religious "mission" of hate against their LGBT brothers and sisters. The campaign promoting the demoralization, damnation, loathing, exclusion and jailing of/against LGBT people and/or our/their family members at the Anglican Church of Nigeria is a record of SHAME.

Akinola ought have his U.S. Visa cancelled by the Department of State along with all the other undesirable foreign extremists.

Akinola wants MORE of anything that he thinks he MUST have to gain on his obsession with self-seeking/ righteousness and personal grandeur.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 3:28pm GMT

Ricardo, this is what I am talking about. I was told by the conservative leadership in the AC (not just in ECUSA) at a conference some years ago that for us, such polemics are not allowed. I was in a focus group on pluralism in the Church, and I said something like 'why do we care what they say, can't we just kick them out?' I realize now that I was wrong, and I was corrected by other in EFAC (the evangelical fellowship in the anglican communion) that such arguments are 'bad faith' arguments. In other words, to call one side hate-mongering, or the other side unchristian is an ad hominem attack, and simply not allowed in discussion within the church, it doesn't help anyone.

As the ABC has said, there is a difference between respecting a person, and approving of all of their actions, to this end, to hold that some behaviors are sinful is NOT the same as hate-mongering or intolerance.

Minns and Akinola do not have the goal of ruining the communion and harming christians. That would be ridiculous. You may disagree with their actions, but attributing bad motivations to them will not solve any crisis. Rather, both sides should treat each other with respect and acknowledge 1) that the other side are trying to live faithfully to the Gospel as they have received it and 2) the side we happen to be on might be wrong. Number 2 was also something I was told at the EFAC conference. Conservatives perhaps need to acknowledge that they might be wrong about same-sex relationships, but so to liberals.

I know for a fact that Minns is acting out of love for God and man, perhaps you and many others have trouble seeing this, but that does not make personal attacks an acceptable form of debate which with heal the rift in the communion.

Posted by StAndTheolStud at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 4:16pm GMT

Not that long ago I watched from outside the discernment process and congregational vote at Christ Church, Overland Park, Kansas, the first large congregation to receive attention in current divisions.

The vote is, I imagine, a forgone conclusion. That's not a matter of manipulation, as much as it of the fact that the stances taken by clergy and leadership at Truro Church and The Falls Church are not suddenly new. Whatever the makeup of those congregations when those leaders took their positions, since they took leadership they have followed a consistent pattern. Those who did not hear Christ in those leaders have probably voted with their feet already. Those that did hear Christ in those leaders are those who are still present to participate in discernment and to vote over the next two weekends.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 7:30pm GMT

" ... before GC 2003 he promised to vote no on legislation allowing exploration of same sex blessing. ... However, when the legislation for same sex blessing was voted down, bishop Lee quickly rewrote it in a more acceptable form to the committee, and it was his form which was accepted."

As usual from Truro, either ignorance or wilful distortion. The resolution that Bp Lee helped craft on same sex blessings simply stated that these occur in some dioceses. It was a statement of fact. It did not endorse same sex blessings. IT DID NOT ENDORSE SAME SEX BLESSINGS. Read it. I do not recall Bishop Lee making such a promise, and doubt that he would have closed out options in advance of General Convention, since our deputies, rightly I think, refuse to do so.

" ... this leaves the church in a situation where they have a bishop who is demonstrably not trust worthy. ... The only thing that comes our way in terms of episcopal ministry is threats."

This is again either ignorance or a wilful distortion. When one of Truro's staff infamously claimed that some Truro parents were 'afraid' for Bishop Lee 'to touch' their children in Confirmation because it would not be 'safe', Bishop Lee invited the retired ABC, Carey, to come and do confirmations etc.

Bishop Lee has put up with insolent and unChristian behavior from Truro and others with far more charity than he has experienced from those places.

Many of us moderates, progressives, and liberals in the diocese - that's the majority of the diocese - wish indeed that Bishop Lee had used the pointy end of his crozier earlier and more often.

This injured innocence posturing is unbecoming, and no longer fools anyone.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 7:32pm GMT

Well it would be a whole lot easier to see the nothing but good faith being lived out in Truro and other conservative Anglican or TEC places if their efforts to live their better conscience did not always result in:

(1) conservatives having to express their innate legacy call to first-rate citizenship in God's kingdom by reminding the rest of us that we are left out of that call, because we believe differently in some areas?

(2) conservatives trying to use our provincial family resources to acquire some new power over us, against us, which we are prohibited from owning as alternative believers, along with them?

(3) conservatives intending on purpose to never rub Anglican shoulders with anyone who isn't them?

Is there anything good or right about the special conservative way of living our shared faith that does not depend on the rest of us being wrong?

Is there any non-conservative church institutional process or leader who is not, nothing but an embodiment of sheer unmitigated error, or even outright unmitigated evil?

Isn't it getting just a bit much when a believer who is as much of a blessing and a gift as PB Jefferts Schori is defined as so completely beyond the pale of God's goodness that nobody on the right can bear to have her talk about Jesus in the same rooms with them?

How is it that God cannot be trusted, apart from a realignment split campaign by conservative believers aiming to institutionally disenfranchise the rest of us believers, to judge and sort, redeem and heal, as we continue to live with our differing Anglican views?

Is - a woman priest, a queer bishop, the queer parenting family down the street, or having more than one possible way to read scripture or redact tradition - really the end of all possible new conservative good or peace on earth?

Posted by drdanfee at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 7:51pm GMT

What, pray, is ”legislation allowing exploration”?

And what is this “promise to the diocese”? How and when and in what form and circumstances was such a thing made – or was it?

Might this be just an other “protocol” claim?

And by the way StAndTheolStud, telling the truth truthfully is never an ad hominem attack.

On the contrary, being “nice” in the face of oppression is immoral (Lutheran principle of in statu confessioni).

And no, “belief” and “expression” are not the same thing, but two different categories.

If one cannot “express” ones “belief” in a civilised and lawful manner before God and one’s fellow human beings, one has a problem. And that problem may be one of personality, but it may also be that the “belief” in question is inadmissible.

It may be both. But as far as I can see, the time when silencing could be exercised through accusations is over.

“Cry wolf” doesn’t carry any longer, because the falseness and the spin and the lies and the denials and the calls for co dependency and the accusations and the blaming the innocent and the bystanders and the victims are now perceived by (nearly) all. They have been with us long to deceive – the Sheffield story is only the last in a long row.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 8:01pm GMT

People to be interviewed at Truro is to be selected by the Parish Leadership!

Propaganda Ministry.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 8:07pm GMT

This is helpful, StAndTheolStud.

But I ask you, if

"to hold that some behaviors are sinful is NOT the same as hate-mongering or intolerance."

but also

"Conservatives perhaps need to acknowledge that they might be wrong about same-sex relationships"

then why are ONLY the "behaviors" of intimacy within same-sex relationships held under such judgment? Why are the behaviors of those who dehumanize, discriminate and make schism against LGBT Christians (and their allies) NEVER held (or even feared) to be sinful?

Until we can submit ALL our behaviors to the Mercy of God (and not just those which can be conveniently separated out for opprobium . . . and ICK), we can't truly see Christ in each other.

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 8:32pm GMT

"In the spirit of openness and inclusion that are the hallmarks of The Episcopal Church, my fervent prayers this day embrace all who will bear the weight and consequences of these decisions." Bishop Lee of Virginia

There you have it folks.

Emotionally and spiritually mature Christian adults will make moral decisions today/these next days that they must also be responsible for afterward...it's time to take responsiblity for the REAL outcomes of discrimination in front of God and one another as we finish with a season of pretend...OUR LGBT brothers and sisters are not "abominations" and "outcasts" to be excluded from ALL levels of religious life at the Body of Christ...we are all the same...we are together in our quest as we cast our eyes upward toward Godly perfection.

Peace be with you

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Monday, 11 December 2006 at 3:17am GMT

In answer to J. C. Fisher's question - because the behavour you use as an example is specifically prohibited in Scripture. It is the stand of the LGBT agenda that is promoting Schism, not those who are upholding the teaching of Christ and the Apostles.

Posted by jk at Monday, 11 December 2006 at 7:01am GMT

Thanks Leonardo. The bishop has really, really bent over backwards to help all.

Posted by laurence at Monday, 11 December 2006 at 11:36am GMT

I have recommended this page to my orthodox friends. After 40 years of this kind abuse from the left, we are finally moving into safer waters, thaks be to God.

My purpose in the recommendations is to remind other orthodox Anglicans of the futility of raprochement with the Loon Left. One reading of the vituperative postings above ought to do it. They have all of the grace and gentleness of a Bengal Tiger selecting a peasant for tea. Not to share it. To be it.

None the less, we will continue pray for their conversion to Christianity. Talk about your miracle.

Screwtape lives.

Posted by mteddymak at Monday, 11 December 2006 at 1:51pm GMT

"My purpose in the recommendations is to remind other orthodox Anglicans of the futility of raprochement with the Loon Left." mteddymak

What "orthodox Anglicans" are you speaking of? All you wrote was a puritianical rant and invitation for more meanspirited anger/hate that you spewed against other Christians.

Your Tea ain't so hot or soothing either and as a matter of fact, it's bitter, cold and stale!

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Monday, 11 December 2006 at 5:11pm GMT

"Loon Left" - not exactly conciliating language, is it? And it excludes the possibility that - as I believe is the case - a great many Anglicans and Episcopalians occupy the center, and are not persuaded by the claims of the very conservative voices of Truro etc.

Of course, to some, truthtelling is seen as attacking, just as the young person from Truro could only see threats in Bishop Lee's communication pointing out the possible consequences for Truro and The Falls Church should they attempt to take property which is not theirs if they vote to leave TEC.

I have just finished teaching a Milton course, and once again have marveled that university students, who are perfectly happy to understand that smoking or drinking too much or eating too much fatty food results in negative physical consequences, cannot see that Adam and Eve's eating the fruit has negative moral consequences.

Like Satan, and like the fallen Eve, they tend to see God as 'the Threatener.'

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Monday, 11 December 2006 at 6:03pm GMT

"the Loon Left"

Rather than rise to this bait, one should remember that in "the land of liberty", an equitable health care system is denigrated and referred to as 'socialist medicine'.

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Monday, 11 December 2006 at 7:26pm GMT

"None the less, we will continue pray for their conversion to Christianity."

Back atcha, mteddymak. I pray that, in God's Good Time, you finally "see Christ in the least of" your brothers and sisters.

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Monday, 11 December 2006 at 8:31pm GMT

I really must respond to Cynthia Gilliatt's claiming that I associate truth telling and attacking. This is not so simplistic.

The reason I see threats in Bishop Lee's letter is that they are threats. This is not some impersonal machinery which will take the property which is, after all, only used by Truro chuch, and for most of the four hundred years of it's history did in fact belong to the parish, it is Bishop Lee who will set these things in motion, and he is not compelled to. He has approved the procedure set forward by a special committee of the Diocese for parishes wishing to leave the church, to then suggest that after Truro has followed proper procedure as outlined it will still not just have the use of this property under threat but ALSO, this is the important bit, will possibly have legislation brought against individuals by the diocese is undoubtedly a threat.

Further, Lee's letter constitutes a threat because of the manor in which it was put, not a private recommendation, a helpful reminder in a private letter, but an immediately public one.

There are truths and consequences which are not threats, I understand this. But my parish has received little in the way of Truth from Bishop Lee. Rather, he has inspired us to greater understanding that God, far from being a threatener, is a defender, and a comforter in times of trouble. This is the understanding I have also gotten from my Theology degree, surprisingly my friends who get their theology from English classes, even at the university level, don't seem to get such a clear understanding.

On Akinola, when I heard about the legislation he is supporting, I was worried, so I called by Dad, an associate rector at Truro. He explained to me that in Akinola's context, the legislation he is pulling for is a lighter sentance. Under Sharia law, homosexuality is punished by death, Akinola supports legislation imprisoning homosexuals not because the alternative is that they go about free living their lives, but because the alternative is death. He supports the resolution out of support for Lambeth 1.10. Of course it is a compromise, in an Islamic country there is little else he can do when the alternative is not freedom, but death.

Posted by StAndTheolStud at Monday, 11 December 2006 at 11:42pm GMT

"it is Bishop Lee who will set these things in motion, and he is not compelled to."

In fact he is obeying the canons of the church. Fact.

"He has approved the procedure set forward by a special committee of the Diocese "
Again, that report was received by the Standing Committee and the Executive Board, not approved. Fact.

"Further, Lee's letter constitutes a threat because of the manor in which it was put, not a private recommendation, a helpful reminder in a private letter, but an immediately public one"
And Truro and the Falls Church have NOT made this a public issue? Give me a break.

As for Akinola, you should read the law in question for yourself. Among other things, it will jail people for discussing sexuality, for being public about their sexuality. Jail IS is better than death, although in Nigeria maybe not so much. What a great guy.

Guess he won't be pinning a pink triangle to his vestments in solidarity with those persecuted. That would be another choice, wouldn't it? Like the Christian Danes who donned yellow stars of David in the face of Nazi persecution of Jews. Like the Christian college women college students who wore veils as a sign of compassin and solidarity with Muslim women in the wake of 9/11.

If I had to choose a role model for responding to bigotry and hatred, I know who I hope I would follow.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Tuesday, 12 December 2006 at 1:51am GMT

StAndTheolStud:

Thank you for your clarification of ++Akinola's advocating a lesser punishment of homosexuality than death. He must have got it from Christ's teaching of "sorta" love one another. If this is the Christian Gospel, then I really am a lousy Christian--here I've been preaching the unconditional loving of one another when I should follow ++Akinola's modifying the example of the love of Christ on the Cross and only love one another to a point.

Posted by Shawn+ at Tuesday, 12 December 2006 at 2:10am GMT

StAndTheolStud wrote: ”He [Bishop Lee] has approved the procedure set forward by a special committee of the Diocese for parishes wishing to leave the church, to then suggest that after Truro has followed proper procedure as outlined it will still not just have the use of this property under threat but ALSO, this is the important bit, will possibly have legislation brought against individuals by the diocese is undoubtedly a threat.”

Here we have this “Protocol” thing again… I dare say, that if there is indeed such a piece of protocol, a “proper procedure” approved by both parties – the Diocese as well as the break aways – then it would be most “helpful”, not to say of great urgency, for all in the Anglican Communion to be able to study it.

But, as no one seems to be able to produce it – not even those who claim it exist – this is very probably simply not true. Just the usual Spin from the usual suspects.

StAndTheolStud wrote: ”On Akinola, when I heard about the legislation he is supporting, I was worried, so I called by Dad, an associate rector at Truro. He explained to me that in Akinola's context, the legislation he is pulling for is a lighter sentence. Under Sharia law, homosexuality is punished by death, Akinola supports legislation imprisoning homosexuals not because the alternative is that they go about free living their lives, but because the alternative is death. He supports the resolution out of support for Lambeth 1.10. Of course it is a compromise, in an Islamic country there is little else he can do when the alternative is not freedom, but death.”

Now, this is indeed Spin.

Nigeria is perhaps 1/3 traditional (that is pre Islam and pre Christian), 1/3 Islamic and 1/3 Christian. Most people live in the non Islamic southern half of the country.

No Sharia there.

Reports suggest on the contrary that this legislation (which, not unsurprisingly, has met with difficulties in Parliament) in not only officially supported (through signed statements) and promoted (by pressuring MPs) by AB Akinola himself, but was in fact proposed by the Primate’s Office, no less.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Tuesday, 12 December 2006 at 7:32am GMT

StAndTheolStud - you should read the lead item about Nigeria and the proposed legislation that heads Thinking Anglicans. A better source on the law and its implications than you have cited. I guess it IS better than lining up all gays and lesbians and shooting them, so, very worthy of ++Akinola's support, eh? And I suppose +Martyn's. Disgusting.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Thursday, 14 December 2006 at 1:25am GMT

Excuse me, I am looking for the Thinking Anglicans as advertised in the URL?

Posted by Julie at Friday, 15 December 2006 at 10:39pm GMT
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