Comments: InclusiveChurch press release

What gospel is to be 'proclaimed afresh for a new generation'.

The Anglican communion does not at present offer a gospel that I recognise as something that I would encourage anyone I truly cared about to subscribe to.

It's Good News for institutional interdependence with a bias to puritanism.

Not Good News for people.

Posted by matthew hunt at Tuesday, 20 February 2007 at 4:24pm GMT

...so, be part of the launch of "TEC Global"

Posted by NP at Tuesday, 20 February 2007 at 5:21pm GMT

The Archbishop of Canterbury made some interesting comments at the final press conference in Tanzania, including his answer to a question concerning homosexuality: is it a gift from God or is it a sin? "The teaching of the Anglican Church remains that homosexual activity is not compatible with scripture. The homosexual condition, the homosexual desire, we don’t call conditions sinful in that sense."
www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/releases/070220.htm


Posted by Erasmus at Tuesday, 20 February 2007 at 5:30pm GMT

Just some thoughts. Of course, those who met did so in the name of the Church - or at least the Anglican Communion. Naturally many have been hurt by the nature of their declarations. People already suffering (maybe not in the West, but crtainly in most parts of Africa) are, once again, the target. "You are not wanted" may not have been the text, but it is certainly the sub-plot. So, once more, the church affirms it has no place for same-sex couples within its ranks. Nor does it want to officially recognise what so many others do - the existence of loving, fruitful, divinely blest relationships.

Musing on this I fell to wondering 'just who is the Church that has decided this?' It's not the People of God - they have not been consulted: indeed, in some areas, they have been fed falsehoods by these appointed 'shepherds of the flock'. And some are, clearly, Prince Bishops in all but name. They are not the plebs santi Dei - the holy common people of God. Most are not even elected (except, of course, those terrible Americans who've caused all these problems).

Then, after reading the staements and some of the pained comments that flowed on webs and blogs, I listened to the Reading from Ecclesiasticus at Mass this morning:

My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for testing. Set your heart right and be steadfast, and do not be impetuous in time of calamity. Cling to him and do not depart, so that your last days may be prosperous. Accept whatever befalls you, and in times of humiliation be patient. For gold is tested in the fire, and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation. Trust in him, and he will help you; make your ways straight, and hope in him.

So let the holy common people take heart! The liturgy is not the preserve of the bishops, it is the work of the people. And many have sought to create liturgy with the people they serve. We will continue to bless what God has made holy - his people. We will celebrate the fruits that come from the love between two people and, maybe, we will say to the bishops, "you may control the portals of the hierarchy, may declare who is to be accepted and who is not but we, the people, recognise who are the true shepherds who will tend the flock.

You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; do not stray, or else you may fall. You who fear the Lord, trust in him, and your reward will not be lost. You who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy. ... For the Lord is compassionate and merciful; he forgives sins and saves in time of distress.

Posted by John-Francis at Tuesday, 20 February 2007 at 5:44pm GMT

I agree with Matthew. That's why a united Anglican Communion is not a place I wish to be

Posted by Merseymike at Tuesday, 20 February 2007 at 6:12pm GMT

Writes Giles Goddard, Exec. Director of Inclusive Church:

"As the debate becomes more disconnected from the reality of everyday life of those we serve, it is increasingly clear that TEC is becoming a scapegoat. For example, the demand for TEC to forswear same sex blessings ignores the reality that across the Church of England such blessings are happening right across the country as parish priests respond to the pastoral needs of their community."

ECUSA's HoB would be foolish to sign on to the Primates' Communique, the Episcopal Church having become the "scapegoat" of the primatial circus, the new CURIA of ++Rowan Cantuar's Anglican Communion. Of course, there will be some more hectoring by +Tom Dunelm and My Lord of Winchester, who, in the eyes of American Episcopalians, come across as hypocrites, inasmuch as, in their own jurisdictions, they have faithful gay and lesbian priests who live in committed relationships. Their Lordships have become a JOKE in a country that declared its independence from the British Crown too many years ago to allow, with impunity, foreign primates to raid and alienate its church properties, as in the case of CANA under the thug and pirate of Abuja, escaping primatial censure for advocating repressive hate legislation against gays and lesbians in Nigeria.

Posted by John Henry at Tuesday, 20 February 2007 at 6:43pm GMT

The whirl of angry, disappointed comments here and elsewhere leads me to wonder: do liberals actually believe in the listening process they continually advocate? I don't mean the "success" defined listening process many seem to bark about--i.e., if you don't agree with our position you weren't listening. I mean the simple idea that sincerely listening to the experiences of lbgt folks will lead to change throughout the communion. If so, why not buck up and get on with things?

From one standpoint, all that is really happening here is a rejection of a process of piecemeal change in favor of a requirement for systemic change. And, yes, this alternative is certainly going to be more difficult to implement than the divide and conquer strategy. However, the divide and conquer strategy has been leading to, and would inevitably result in, the dissolution of the communion. The loss of the communion means, among other things, the loss of whatever moderating affect the communion might have in places such as Nigeria.

I have made no bones about the fact that I am a reasserter. However, hard-headed as I am, I still find myself asking whether God is trying to tell me something after I have run into a brick wall. I have to wonder why the many liberals I have read don't at least spend some time thinking about the same question.

Steven

Posted by Steven at Tuesday, 20 February 2007 at 7:40pm GMT

From another Blog: "Many African nations where the Anglican Church is active, in fact, legally prohibit homosexual activity, and accompany conviction of such crimes with a range of sanctions that are often quite severe by Western standards. It seems not only odd, but scandalously irresponsible, that these political and humanitarian realities have not been confronted openly in the course of the present debates, despite pleas from many that this happen."

How can ++Rowan Cantuar, in good conscience, claim the right to condemn TEC for having departed from Christian morality, when he, as chair of the Primates' Meeting, is silent in the face of anti-gay hate-mongering by Anglican primates. Silence makes him complicit.

Daniel J Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (1996) describes the German churches' silence during the 19th century when antisemitism escalated to the point that large sections of the German (Christian) population demanded hate-legislation against the Jews who were being blamed for subverting Christian moral values. The silence led to the Holocaust 50-60 years later.

Will the Nigerian action lead to another Holocaust against gays? If so, ++Rowan Cantuar will be complicit due to his failure to reprimand the hate-monger of Abuja at the Primates' Meeting.

It is time for TEC to distance itself from the "Primatial Circus" and ++Rowan Cantuar.

Posted by John Henry at Tuesday, 20 February 2007 at 9:10pm GMT

And they STILL don't get it--the House of Bishops of TEC is not the only governing body of the province. There is also a House of Deputies, and their combined voice has been heard, may change or may not, and will be heard again. In the meantime, ultimatums from foreign princes will not go over well with the Federalists on this side of the Atlantic.

Posted by Shawn+ at Tuesday, 20 February 2007 at 9:34pm GMT

Thank you John-Francis for those lovely and assuring words. If the need were to arise are you available for alternative primatial oversight? Although, there are so many to choose from here. (Currently safe in the Diocese of Maryland, but one never knows...)[Hope this isn't too lite for this heady blog.]

Posted by Eddo at Tuesday, 20 February 2007 at 9:40pm GMT

"Why then are parts of the church so obsessed by the single issue of homosexuality?"

And as an organisation defined solely with reference to that single issue, we at 'Inclusive Church' are going to lead by example, drop our obsession with homosexuality and disband so that 'Integrity' and 'Changing Attitude' will follow suit.

Posted by Neil Barber at Tuesday, 20 February 2007 at 10:56pm GMT

But, Steven, I think the communion should disband - or, at least an alternative be available to it for those of us who simply don't believe in conservative Christianity.

Its up to TEC now. Do they have the guts to say - enough is enough, and we are going our own way.There are plenty of us waiting for them to do so.

I am glad that I am no longer an Anglican. Whether I ever become one again depends on whether there is a version of Anglicanism worth being affiliated to.

Posted by Merseymike at Tuesday, 20 February 2007 at 11:11pm GMT

John Henry wrote: "Will the Nigerian action lead to another Holocaust against gays? If so, ++Rowan Cantuar will be complicit due to his failure to reprimand the hate-monger of Abuja at the Primates' Meeting."

Dear John Henry, There is a huge distance between moral disapproval of something, and rounding up and executing people who's beliefs and behaviours you disapprove of; I hope... or is that the way you would like to treat people who you disapprove of ? - In which case I better watch out!?

Posted by Dave at Wednesday, 21 February 2007 at 12:49am GMT

Then ABofC said "The homosexual condition, the homosexual desire, we don’t call conditions sinful in that sense."

I think the key words are "conditions" and "in that sense". I don't think that many conservative TAs would see it as sinful to *experience having* any sexual (or other) desire, tendency or orientation. But that doesn't mean that the desire, tendency or orientation isn't sinful!

I'd like to remind people that everyone agrees that many sexual desires *are* sinful (eg exploitative, unequal, abusive, unfaithful etc). All the recent liberal campaigning is just about "de-sinning" one small subgroup of sexualities (ie consentual faithful same-sex). These were seen as sinful for the first 2000 years of Christianity but changes in the way Western society perceives the rights and wrongs of sex mean that they are no longer seen as 'wrong'.

Posted by Dave at Wednesday, 21 February 2007 at 1:11am GMT

"Why then are parts of the church so obsessed by the single issue of homosexuality?"

Because LGBT people are murdered because of loveless and exclusionary preaching...because this could be the biggest "missionary" challenge ever...because, bigots can not be allowed to continue to pray on innocents.

Obsessed or repressed?

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Wednesday, 21 February 2007 at 1:27am GMT

The PB has gone the way of most liberal anglican leaders, including Williams -- but this must be in record time!... I am appalled. She seemed so promising as well. Seems like she was just another churchman after all.....

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Wednesday, 21 February 2007 at 2:27am GMT

Anglicanism is a joke. Maybe some day I'll darken the door of an Anglican communion church again. But not any time soon. See ya.

Posted by Curtis at Wednesday, 21 February 2007 at 3:03am GMT

No Steven, you haven't been listening, you haven't even been "listening".

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 21 February 2007 at 6:03am GMT

"huge complexity", "congratulate", "achievement", "united communiqué"

This needs to be sent back and rewritten.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 21 February 2007 at 6:04am GMT

"I don't think that many conservative TAs would see it as sinful to *experience having* any sexual (or other) desire, tendency or orientation. But that doesn't mean that the desire, tendency or orientation isn't sinful!"

The heterosexual and homosexual desire, tendency or orientation are both equally given, equally natural (as a glance at the animal kingdom also confirms); to say that the latter is sinful savours of the manichean heresy. Indeed, it is only a small step from saying homosexual affectivity is sinful to saying that sexual feeling as such is a taint.

The panic, hysteria and fixatedness of the anti-gay debate within Anglicanism has shown how deeply disturbed our relationship with sexuality still is.

Posted by Fr Joseph O'Leary at Wednesday, 21 February 2007 at 9:21am GMT

Fr Joseph

Thank you for saying what I wanted to say. The next logical step is to say that all sexual feelings are sinful. When we look at the edicts that the only reverential reason for marriage is the raising of children, then it sure looks that way.

As a recent contemplation, I sometimes wonder if what happened to Adam and Eve in the garden was puberty. You know, boy and girl discover they have "little bits" and that if they play with each other's "little bits", they feel rather nice.

Then God knows this has happened and comes along to talk to Adam and Eve about the "birds and the bees" and Adam and Eve are all embarassed and try to hide their "little bits".

Okay, says God, you're not ready to acknowledge or deal with your sexuality? Go out and play for a while. Once you've got past the blushing hiding stage, you can come back and we'll try to have a sensible conversation.

It makes sense that Eve went first, girls mature before boys...

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Wednesday, 21 February 2007 at 10:21am GMT

Joseph O'Leary wrote: "The heterosexual and homosexual desire, tendency or orientation are both equally given, equally natural (as a glance at the animal kingdom also confirms); to say that the latter is sinful savours of the manichean heresy. Indeed, it is only a small step from saying homosexual affectivity is sinful to saying that sexual feeling as such is a taint."

Dear Joseph, It could also be argued that it is only a small step from saying that homosexual affectivity is not sinful to saying that NO sexual affectivity is sinful - even those that are abusive, unfaithful etc! It depends on the principles you use to decide..

And the "heterosexual and homosexual desire, tendency or orientation" are most certainly not equally natural. Physiologically, human sex organs are designed by nature for male-female sex; biologically same-sex sex cannot achieve reproduction - one of the main roles of sex (and of being a human being); and sociologically same-sex relationships are not as complete - as they only involve one gender.

I think what you mean is that people experience their sexual desires as completely natural to them.. but that is not the same as being *objectively* natural! Neither is occassional aberant sexual behaviour in animals, which has also been observed to change due to changes in circumstances or environment.

Posted by Dave at Wednesday, 21 February 2007 at 2:13pm GMT

Merseymike:

I don't necessarily disagree, I am merely surprised that there are no liberal voices looking for a deeper and more providential meaning and opportunity in all of this.

Steven

Posted by Steven at Wednesday, 21 February 2007 at 3:04pm GMT

"John Henry wrote: "Will the Nigerian action lead to another Holocaust against gays? If so, ++Rowan Cantuar will be complicit due to his failure to reprimand the hate-monger of Abuja at the Primates' Meeting."

Dave objected to this. Now I would very much like to hear Dave specify his objection(s) to this statement (so that I could listen and understand his view).

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 21 February 2007 at 5:03pm GMT

"...I am merely surprised that there are no liberal voices looking for a deeper and more providential meaning and opportunity in all of this."

We will give it a go.

But will we become complacent and stop forming our post-abuse support networks? No. Not any more. We've watched what "trusting and waiting" can do.

It has been over 2000 years and there is still no repentance on the mistreatment and slandering of women. People are as vehement today as they were before Jesus' incarnation that women are filthy and unworthy and unreliable. People are as vicious now as they were then in how they talk about and treat women.

Waiting patiently has done nothing to resolve the problems of abuse of women. It has been over 2000 years.

If we are going to fix the problem for women, then we will fix why it became a problem for women. If that means we have to fix the problem for GLBTs so the precedent does not exist to justify it being reintroduced for women, then so be it.

I think 2000 years is more than enough patience, don't you?

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Wednesday, 21 February 2007 at 9:13pm GMT

Dear Göran, sorry, I used a lot of English idiom in that post.

I wanted to question the assertion in the post by John Henry (20 February 2007 at 9:10pm) that expressing moral disapproval is the first step towards mass murder.

I also wanted to know whether this meant that John Henry's disapproval of MY beliefs etc would mean that he wants to murder me ?!

Posted by Dave at Wednesday, 21 February 2007 at 10:01pm GMT

Ah Dave, are you always as disingenuous as you are when you post here on TA?

Fact is, the legacy negatives are a whole huge world away from simply being morally disapproving. Homosexuality, and same sex acts have historically been viewed more deeply and more negatively, than, say telling what folk lore calls a white lie. (I tell the axe murderer that I do not know where my mother is, because even though I do know where my mother is, I also know the axe murderer is looking to chop her good.)

There are wells of disgust and creepiness which our legacy heritages have instructed us to understand and feel about not being straight. There are large claims, an outdated one of which is something about oral sex causing stillborn cattle or blight on the crops, and an updated one of which might be that accepting gays will end up with us accepting everything sexual because Anything Goes.

There are multiple legacy punishments, ranging from social disapproval and shunning to firing people from jobs to denying them housing or healthcare to making them pay fines or bribes to locking them in the stocks in the public square to whippings, beatings, piercings, brandings, starvings, and of course the unequivocal death penalty revealed as God's command in Leviticus (for males only?).

This all cannot simply be minimized and shorthanded as if all that modern conservatives like yourself were claiming about people who are not straight is, Well those silly queer people shouldn't outstay their paid parking meter times so often.

Either we are correct or we are not in each and every legacy negative claim.

Test one: Is not being straight defective so far as we can tell through our best hypothesis testing methods?

No, not a whit.

In fact, upon taking a new, close look, we discovered that animal behaviors offer us as many analogues for humans being gay or lesbian as animal behaviors offer us analogues for people being straight. Surprisingly, this includes animal analogues like pairbonding (for a mating season and/or for a lifetime), and effective parenting of the young.

No claim of innate defect has so far stood the careful test of double-blind research designs. That tells us lots, because if you exclude the experimenter and subject biases which otherwise would often occur in simple-minded investigations, you should get clearer, more accurate tests of your hypotheses.

Posted by drdanfee at Thursday, 22 February 2007 at 4:27am GMT

"John Henry wrote: "Will the Nigerian action lead to another Holocaust against gays? If so, ++Rowan Cantuar will be complicit due to his failure to reprimand the hate-monger of Abuja at the Primates' Meeting."

Dave objected to this. “Dear John Henry, There is a huge distance between moral disapproval of something, and rounding up and executing people who's beliefs and behaviours you disapprove of; I hope... or is that the way you would like to treat people who you disapprove of ? – In which case I better watch out!?”

I asked Dave for a clarification, he explained: “I wanted to question the assertion in the post by John Henry (20 February 2007 at 9:10pm) that expressing moral disapproval is the first step towards mass murder.

I also wanted to know whether this meant that John Henry's disapproval of MY beliefs etc would mean that he wants to murder me ?!“

You wrote that in your next post, dear Dave. “There is a huge distance between moral disapproval of something, and rounding up and executing people whose beliefs and behaviours you disapprove of; I hope...”

The answer is that there may be “a huge distance between” them in the best of cases, but that in the event of sociopathy or co-dependency, times of duress or great change (such as the 11th – 12th centuries, the 16th – 17th centuries, 19th – 20th centuries) the first invariably leads to the second.

Every historian can point you to numerous examples in different parts of the globe, and tell you that “beliefs and behaviours” have precious little to do with it – its power play and politics in that order.

You need to read, learn and inwardly digest this, Dave, because you keep mixing your prejudice with your religion, and your Neo Platonism with the Bible.

The answer to you second post is that John Henry does not want to murder you. You know this for a fact.

But then, your question has no bearing on the previous. It’s Spin. Propaganda technique. Ad hominem attack. Dismissing the person to avoid facing the facts. De-humanizing the person as a method to control the debate. Rounding up and executing the person who's beliefs, standing or outlook you disapprove of. Killing the person to kill the argument.

And there we go full circle.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 22 February 2007 at 7:57pm GMT

John Henry’s observation is correct: “If so, ++Rowan Cantuar will be complicit due to his failure to reprimand the hate-monger of Abuja…”

If not before, it is clear from what happened at The White Sands (the parallel meeting at The Beachcomber, the refusal to partake of the Body of Christ, the threats to leave the Communion and the meeting, the desperate last minute tantrum to kill the drafts of the intended and unanimous Communiqué and proposals), that the development in Nigeria towards “rounding up and executing people . you disapprove of “ and the pending legislation to that effect – moved by the Nigerian Primate and his office – has nothing to do with “moral disapproval” but has personal and psychiatric causes.

You’re in bed with the wrong people, Dave.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 22 February 2007 at 7:57pm GMT

Goran, old chap, stop worrying about the Anglican Communion - your own Lutheran church needs your help, not the Anglican Communion. Bring the gospel to the Swedish people, most of whom never darken the door of your state church. Does this trouble you? Or doesn't it matter?

Posted by Steve Watson. at Friday, 23 February 2007 at 5:49pm GMT

Don't you thou me, Watson!

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Saturday, 24 February 2007 at 2:13pm GMT
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