Comments: letter to CEN supporting Bishop Duncan

Exceptions which prove the rule: the CofE, overwhelmingly, will stand with TEC.

Posted by JCF at Wednesday, 7 November 2007 at 11:15pm GMT

How would the General Synod react if +Michael al-Nazir took Rochester out of the CofE, including all properties, trusts and endowments? Wouldn't General Synod have a fiduciary responsibility to stop this kind of outright theft?

What makes TEC a unitarian church? There are no traces of U\unitarianism in the 1979 BCP, which, at key moments, invokes the Triune God, the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Just fancy that, members of the General Synod speading outright lies about TEC!

What makes us coercively utopian? TEC has stood up for civil rights at least since the late 1950s. Is that utopian? As far as gay rights are concerned, the U.K. is even ahead of the U.S. with its division of "blue" and "red" states, thanks to the witness of the Church of England, commencing with that of Abp. Michael Ramsey in the 1960s, who, in the House of Lords, supported the repeal of laws making homosexual conduct a criminal offense.

There is a famous hymn about "knowing Christians by their love." Sadly, there is no love for sinners among Evos, full of hatred and bigotry that they are.

Which group has departed from the "faith once delivered to the saints"? Those who treat their fellow human beings with loathing and hatred and bear false witness against their neighbors.

Posted by John Henry at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 12:09am GMT

Nice strawman argument they set up there.

"We think they're universalist unitarian utopians, so they must be."

Nice going.

And isn't "Forward" in faith a bit of a misnomer?

Unless it has a tagline, as in:

Forward in Faith, Backward in Time.

Posted by dave paisley at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 12:34am GMT

Wow, TEC "coercively utopian in social practice."

I guess we've got a gun at their heads Tex, gotta stop mak'in them more mindful of the needs of them other'ns!

Okay, there is still a British Airways flight to PIT, you all can come out here, I think I can find a railroad tunnel over in the east end of the Diocese of Quittsburgh near Gallitzin for you poor oppressed and beat down self-loathing people to worship in. You can go hide and whine and call yourself the true Anglican Church rooted in your selfish and fearful interpretation of scripture.

Even if +VGR were a miserable going to h--- sinner of a bishop, do you all think for one minute that what is happening in the AC is a Christian reaction to him?

Freaking unbelievable. Disgusting.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 2:01am GMT

Clarify for the us in the US exactly what percentage of the membership of Synod this is. Are all pretty much associated with Reform?

Posted by John Bassett at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 2:19am GMT

"appear to be unitarian and universalist in theology"

And appearances can deceive.

Posted by Pluralist at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 3:48am GMT

I just can't wait for the arrival of an African Primate in London to take under his wing the priests and others who have sent this letter. I check in here most days with eager anticipation. Who will it be? How will the Archbishop deal with it? Will the Bihsop of Fulham turn up in cappa and beretta to welcome him? It's almost as addictive as good whisky (or should that be gin and tonic?). I'm agog to see how the High Court of Justice takes to the idea - the Dean of Arches is in for a high old time!

Posted by Rodney in Melbourne at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 7:46am GMT

One of the most shocking things about this letter is that at least one of the signatories is a partnered gay priest.

The small number who have signed is an indication of how insignificant are the numbers on General Synod who wish to leave the Church of England and involve themselves with a secessionist body which will, from the start, include lesbian, gay and bisexual lay and ordained people amongst them, many of them dishonest, sexually active and partnered.

That they are doesn't worry me, unless the sexual activity and relationships are unhealthy and being conducted contrary to Biblical teaching about the quality of human relationships.

The determination of these signatories to align themselves with Bishop Bob Duncan and other realigners will self-dstruct, because dishonesty and corruption lie as much within this body of dissenters as in the Church they claim to be purifying.

Posted by Colin Coward at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 8:49am GMT

To those of you in the US and bewildered by this:
The signatories represent "the usual suspects" when it comes to the C of E's lunatic fringes: Rod Thomas and others from Reform; Chris Sugden and Philip Giddings (who despite appearing so, are not a gay couple), the chief stirrers up of ecclesiastical homophobia in Oxford diocese (they were the big mouths against Jeffrey John); then you have some of the Forward in Faith nutters, who have long been looking for an excuse to split the C of E because of the women issue principally, rather than the gay one.
I think this is a very good move, from my liberal point of view. The reason is, that the conservatives in the C of E will only be able to maintain the homophobic status quo by NOT having an open discussion. The moment they leap into warfare mode within England, they will lose the argument, because most English Anglicans, including even large numbers of the lay people in very Conservaive Evangelical churches, are liberal on the gay issue. The Church of England will definitely become officially liberal on the gay issue at some point, it's just a question of how long they can stave off change. Generally, the conservatives know that, and thus avoid pushing things too far towards open debate. This is a good sign, as it shows they realise they are losing, and getting desparate.

Posted by Fr Mark at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 8:51am GMT

JCF asserts "...the CofE, overwhelmingly, will stand with TEC."

Really?

If there is so much support in the CofE for the CA /Integrity/ TECUSA agenda, why did the ABC got J John to step down?

The fact is, most of the CofE does not like conflict....this has been used by people to subvert the church and is the root of "don't ask, don't tell policies". So, many are quiet....but this does not mean they support the agenda of a few who would condone behaviour "incompatible with scripture".

The actions of the ABC in the last 4 years of procrastination shows that there is no great support for TECUSA innovations in the CofE...... he would have loved to see his friend Jeffrey as a bishop but he asked him to step down....why is that JCF?

Posted by NP at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 8:55am GMT

Colin Coward: "One of the most shocking things about this letter is that at least one of the signatories is a partnered gay priest."

The hypocrisy of some in FiF is amazing, given the historical presence of so many gay clergy/laity within Anglocatholicism. They seem to want to retain the old 'don't ask / don't tell' culture. It's worth rereading Kenneth Leech's piece 'Beyond Gin and Lace: Homosexuality and the Anglo-catholic subculture' - http://www.anglocatholicsocialism.org/lovesname.html#gin

"There is no doubt that the AC movement once played a positive role in helping gay people to find a home within the Christian community. In many places this is still the case. The question now is: does ACism today make it more difficult for gay people to integrate their gayness into their Christian discipleship, and encourage a dualism of celibacy/promiscuity with no middle road? Certainly, some AC priests seem to operate on the basis of a rigid anti-gay position in what they say, combined with a very permissive attitude in what they do and in their pastoral dealings with others. The combination of public anti-gay rhetoric and private gay lifestyle is well known in some AC circles and produces curiously unpleasant manifestations from time to time...The AC subculture seems to have promoted this kind of doublespeak and dualism, and encouraged its growth. It is not a promising basis on which to build a responsible sexual ethic."

Posted by MJ at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 9:29am GMT

NP: Abp Rowan let down Jeffrey John because he was bullied. He, and Bp Richard Harries formerly of Oxford, have both said how taken aback at the visceral anti-gay feeling unleashed at them. Like most British liberals, they had always assumed that other people were as reasonable as they are, and they weren't prepared for the level of sheer nastiness that still lurks within the Church.

Posted by Fr Mark at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 9:39am GMT

General Synod has 483 members, including bishops and clergy.

An excellent numbered list, by Dr Peter Owen, who is one of the founders of Thinking Anglicans, can be examined here:

http://peterowen.org.uk/articles/gsmembers.html

Posted by badman at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 9:41am GMT

NP: and bizarrely, of course, Jeffrey John was given preferment, and is now Dean of St Albans. So, whatever it was that made him too sinful to be a bishop doesn't make him too sinful to be a dean. And an excellent dean he is too, by all accounts. Is that a just way for any employer to deal with its staff?

Posted by Fr Mark at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 9:53am GMT

not at all, Mark.....we see CofE hypocrisy in that.......... but when we do see an AC split, I hope to see him in TEC Global which will be a church not in communion with the AC and will be a church which agrees with Dean John on Lambeth 1.10


(Trouble is TECUSA, despite its inherited money, still prefers to be part of a bigger global church than to launch TEC Global and rally liberals from around the world.....TEC Global would not be big but it would have more integrity than the current situation in which we have some clergy subverting and ignoring agreed AC positions.

Posted by NP at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 10:18am GMT

I noticed that one too, Colin. of course, if they were in a body with conservative evangelicals, their cover would very soon be blown once the convenience of 'alliance' no longer mattered.

Posted by Merseymike at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 11:40am GMT

"Colin Coward: "One of the most shocking things about this letter is that at least one of the signatories is a partnered gay priest."

Can anyone explain to me why a sane person would sign this letter if he was in this situation? Keeping your head covered in the current Anglican climate is understandable, but this?

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 12:45pm GMT

".....we see CofE hypocrisy in that"

As I understand it, he is an intelligent man, a good theologian, and well liked and respected by those who have been his parishioners in the past. Yeah, how hypocritical to have such a man in a leadership position! But, of course, intelligence, education, and actually practicing one's Christianity mean nothing, he's a homo so he's unfit. Notice how for him celebacy wasn't enough. He still couldn't be a bishop because he wouldn't browbeat gay people into frightened submission with threats of Hellfire. Yet another example of Conservatives moving the goalposts so that, when they get what they wanted, they suddenly want something else.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 1:33pm GMT

I like seeing a Brigadier & Colonel on the list -- I can't imagine that on this side of the pond -- it seems to quaint from here.

Query -- are these gentlemen retired from active service or are they opposed to the current requirement that gays be allowed to serve (the EU forced that, IIRC) or do they have a double standard for the church & the forces?

Just curious.

Posted by Prior Aelred at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 2:47pm GMT

Let's be clear what about the actual way things are happening here. We have the continuing statements via Nigeria, and via the Global South, and the Southern Cone will oversight people where TEC will declare the diocese vacant and continue with those who do not leave. Presumably these who go along with the declarations and threats and interventions will not turn up at Lambeth next year, and will organise themselves. Well they will not be this Anglican Communion will they? The Church of England bishops (we assume - maybe one or two will change allegiance?) will turn up at Lambeth. So this will be the Anglican Communion, and whatever the others actually decide to do will end up being the Continuing Anglicans - if they actually do it after all their noise.

Posted by Pluralist at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 3:05pm GMT

"Abp Rowan let down Jeffrey John because he was bullied."

But what's your point? You say he was bullied, NP's argument always has been that +Rowan gave in to pressure from the right. These are just two different ways of saying the same thing. Thing is, you and I think it was a bad thing, NP thinks it was a good thing. And St. John Crysostom's statement that we Christians have non right to force others to our will is just "the traditions of men" I guess.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 3:48pm GMT

NP: that's fine: I'll go with the TEC global church in preference to the Church of the Last True Homophobes any day, and so will a lot if other British Anglicans.

Posted by Fr Mark at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 5:34pm GMT

" ...despite its inherited money..."

Here you go again.

What 'inherited money?'

NP, you keep darkly hinting that somewhere - the basement of 815 perhaps? - TEC has stacks and stacks of money. It doesn't. As a 501C3 entity, TEC is required by law to make public its finances. You can see the budget in the reports made each General Convention.

And, if there were any, what would be wrong with 'inherited money?'

Episcopal clergy are required, once a year, to remind their congregations to make plans for their detahs. This includes preparing a document about preferences for the burial service [what music? what lessons? etc.] and it also includes making sure insurance is taken care of and that there is a will, so that money, personal, and real property may be handed on to the next generation in an orderly way. What's wrong with that?

These sinister-sounding references to money remind me of the rhetoric of some kiind of class prejudice [which usually arises from feeling socially inferior to those one attacks] or anti-semitism.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 5:54pm GMT

So a group of CoE clergy condones Donatism and the new Duncanian Ecclesiology of self service.
The accusations of "Unitarianism" are so faded, worn and outright false to make it almost a catch phrase in a failing situation comedy. I swear you guys need to get better material. There is no bravery here, only the fearful and angry tactics of a bunch of people living in a theological cul de sack angry that the rest of the Church is moving along. I just wonder how long it will be until they figure out that all of this “forward movement” is simply wandering around in a circle. I also wonder just how long it will be until this bizarre collection of Donatists, Lollards and Docetic Gnostics will collapse under the weight of the hypocrisy and theological inconsistency.

Posted by John Robison at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 6:39pm GMT

One more thing:

In almost all of the cases where there are lawsuits involved it is the Diocese in question that is the respondant to the (specious) claims of the schismatics. The law suits would go away if the Donatistic thieves would drop their attempts as stealing the property of TEC.

Posted by John Robison at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 6:48pm GMT

Prior Aelred: I would think it most likely that the army officers are retired. Here, they keep their rank after retirement; and the irascible dyed in the wool retired army officer is as much a traditional feature of British village life as the liberal Vicar!

Posted by Fr Mark at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 7:28pm GMT

prior aelred, it is a tradition in england that officers of the rank of major and above may keep the title in a honorary sense after leaving the forces. most don't bother. you can draw your own conclusions about the those who do.

Posted by poppy tupper at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 7:38pm GMT

I liked John Henry's comment "Which group has departed from the "faith once delivered to the saints"? Those who treat their fellow human beings with loathing and hatred and bear false witness against their neighbors."

It was so much fun yesterday to go back to the bible passages they'd thrown at us (Joel 3 and Jude 1). The thing in both instances is that they used one sentence in each passage against us. Yet both sentences were out of context, in both circumstances the consequence was for those who would cast out God's children, refusing to acknowledge them as members of their family and denying them the privileges that come with being part of a holy community.

I think Daniel 7 is appropriate, the Ancient of Days comes to pronounce favour to the saints and restore the everlasting covenant of peace; which intrinsically includes mercy and grace. The false judge who would destroy the earth and condemn all its occupants was stripped of the glamour that it touted as "holiness" and the corrupt priests and their cruel puppets are now exposed.

Just as in Jesus and Pharoahs' days, some souls hearts have been hardened and some sickened in order that all humanity might learn a lesson http://www.torah.org/learning/spiritual-excellence/classes/8ch8-9.html As with Lazarus, many in these times have been made sick not to end in their death and condemnation, but so that God's merciful justice and glory may be revealed to all sentient witnesses (John 11:4).

NP wrote "The fact is, most of the CofE does not like conflict....this has been used by people to subvert the church and is the root of "don't ask, don't tell policies". So, many are quiet....but this does not mean they support the agenda of a few who would condone behaviour "incompatible with scripture"."

That is so true, it was this very culture that made some people think that they could subvert and hijack Anglicanism into some authoritative cudgel. Some saw Anglicanism gentleness as souls who were wimps with no backbone or principles. Anglicanism in many parts of the world is bound together by Christians who hate brashness, aggression, too prescriptive or simplistic arguments, or humans purporting to be divine gate keepers.

These are the peace maker souls, who prefer to heal rather than wound. The aggressive made two fundamental errors: they confused don't with can't, and they ignored God’s zeal for peace.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 8:10pm GMT

Well said, Cheryl. It is good that you take on the Conservative Evangelicals on biblical interpretation, because they often accuse the rest of us of not being biblical enough, preferring the claim exclusive ownership of the texts themselves. It is very important to keep reminding them that there are many ways to interpret the Bible, and that no-one has a monopoly on it. In fact, I had always understood it to be a key feature of Protestant doctrine that each person has the right to interpret Scripture for her/himself - a doctrine that, weirdly, the Con Evangelicals don't seem to apply when it comes to the gay issue. Then they suddenly say that only one interpretation is valid!

Posted by Fr Mark at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 8:22am GMT

Cynthia...you still think TECUSA has no money, no endowments?

You may have heard of Trinitiy Wall St?

How do you think a church which gets 0.9m and falling on a Sunday finances itself? (it ain't all from the shrinking TEC churches, you know)

TECUSA and the CofE (amongst others) have inherited money....from people who did not imagine some of the things that go on today in the clergy.

Posted by NP at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 8:26am GMT

NP: is this paragon church of yours Holy Trinity Brompton?
If so, it is a church which caters to the wealthiest social set in London, situated as it is just across the road from Harrods. Ministry to the upper middle class is fine by me, but don't then go telling all the charming people on TA that such a church could possibly be a universal paradigm.

Posted by Fr Mark at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 8:54am GMT

NP: "some of the things that go on today in the clergy" - I am afraid you are very naive indeed if you imagine they haven't always "gone on" in the clergy. The only difference is that today we articulate what before was hidden, and therefore became the cause of blackmail, suicide, etc. I suppose those would be the good old days you'd like to bring back?

Posted by Fr Mark at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 10:16am GMT

Mark says "such a church could possibly be a universal paradigm"

Never said it was, Mark
YOu been there???? Bet you ain't but you feel free to stereotype the congregation.

The "universal paradigm" I would advocate would be one in which the CofE does only allow behaviour compatible with scripture - because it is God's word

Posted by NP at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 10:54am GMT

NP: of course, the good old sexually repressive days of the 1950s were also the ones when your chums at Holy Trinity Brompton's grandparents were governing places like... Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, etc.

Posted by Fr Mark at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 11:05am GMT

NP:

Yes, it is true that Trinity Church has a large endowment---but that endowment, like most such funds, is restricted in its use for specific purposes. Further, of course, that money does not belong to TEC at large, but to Trinity parish, and--should Trinity somehow cease to exist or separate itself from the diocese--to the Diocese of New York. There is no way--under canon or civil law--that the national church can lay any claim to it.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 11:29am GMT

Fr. Mark,
I think you'll find that wealth is one of the marks of being among the Elect. There have always been some who took the attitude "I'm rich because God loves me, if God loved you, you'd be rich too." Since Calvin, they have had theological validation.
NP's assertions that HTB is growing by leaps and bounds because of God's blessing on their righteousness is on that path, though I get the feeling he considers it more 'reward' than some natural state willed by God.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 12:50pm GMT

I like seeing a Brigadier & Colonel on the list -- I can't imagine that on this side of the pond -- it seems to quaint from here.

You'd be surprised how quaint it seems form here as well.

Kennedy

Posted by Kennedy at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 2:52pm GMT

Hey, NP! I'm on my way to Trinity Wall Street, right now, for a spirit-filled Eucharist, where all are welcome.

Which is what differentiates TEC from the Akinolistas.

Posted by Anglocat at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 4:55pm GMT

The irony of anyone in the Church of England yipping at the rest of the Communion over endowments. Delicious.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 4:59pm GMT

I just love the way that same gender unions are always vilified -- whereas one-nite stands pass without commment. While I have no problem with the latter, I would have thought the conseratives would have felt they should be more of a priority than 'stable' relationships, that is those that continue over (longer) time.

I suppose **the unions can't be hidden from view, whereas the non-unions are invisible --unless the conservative bishops are going to institute Clinton-Lewinky style DNA testing of clothing etc ?!

** Their superficiality, shallowness and dishonesty never fails to surprise me. I am not a bit surprised that 'at least one' of the General Synod ( minority) informal letter signatories, is a partnered gay person, according to Colin Coward, who knows the Church rather well.
I have found all my life that sexually active ( & sometimes abusive) clergy regularly speak out against "homosexuals". As a teen, apart from trying to fight one or two off, I was *staggered by their dishonesty.

* No special meaning to be read into this term !

Posted by L Roberts at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 7:00pm GMT

Laurence,

I would love to know what it is that makes people like that.
No-one becomes a Christian, having experienced the amazing love of Christ, thinking "I shall spend my future life lying about myself and persuing ideas that punish those like me. I shall live a life of double standards, of hatred and fear. All in the name of Christ's saving love".

I mean - how does one end up at such a place?

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 10:52am GMT

Erika yours is a good question, and compassionate.

The people who spend their lives 'lying about themselves' do I think, need to be seen in the context of the first 'group' I mentioned.

The former attack 'gay unions' as they call them, ignoring the fact that most of the states do not offer such an institution. But these unions spring not from law but from the hearts, love and relationality of countless lesbian & gay couples. Couples who have formed and kept going for decades with little of the support Church or society lavish on opposite gender couples.

These couples are attacked because they are visible and can't really be hidden for ever -- it is over 30 years since I have(had) to pretend my hubby is my lodger, PA or cook-housekeeper !

they do not attack one nite stands (etc) as these are invisible to the naked eye, AND also because the conservatives are secretly in favour of anything that is secretive, guilt-ridden and temporary. I do not wish to imply, of course, that all short term, casual or recreational sex encounters are characterised by secrecy or guilt. The conservatives hope they are and do their best to ensure that church members of all stripe feel bad about sex and about themselves.

This is where the second 'group' come in.
The Church makes it hard for clergy and others devoted to it, to develop freely, find themselves & and live fully AS THEMSELVES. Thus it is fear, anxiety & guilt that lead people to hide from their sexuality, possibly feeling they must embrace celibacy ( as I once did myself, and yet then finding that celibacy 'braking down'. The traditional anglo-catholic line in the Confessional, was, in my experience, "nothing has broken down". "Confess the slip & continue. You are still celibate." I think traditionalist RCs would go this way too.
tbc

Posted by L Roberts at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 1:48pm GMT

Continued from above.

So before you know where are, many years of 'Celibacy' have passed, and your sex life is seen as non-existent. Or rather your sex life is not seen at all. It doesn't count. The people involved are very sincere. Unfortunately, this approach seems dishonest and empty to those outside -- and those within it perhaps in their moments of self possession. HA Williams is wonderfully honest & moving on all this, of course. 'Some Day I'll Find You' (autobiog)

I think many of us came to refuse to live like this, realising it was not good for us. I think the decline in 'going to Confession' in *both Churches is a part of this. Once we accept our sexuality, our sex lives, our selves, whats left to confess ? It was such a trivializing process, wasnt it ? Conscientious spiritual people can pursue an 'examined life' in many other creative, coherent and self respectful ways.

* an RC friend who happens to be a priest, tells me "no-one comes to confession". He doesnt require it of children at First Communion. He resists their parents protests by asking, "When did you lst go to confession?!" He himself no longer goes to confession but has weekly analysis.

So I think much of the answer, Erika, is about the terrible context in which christians and in particular ministers are filled with dread, and driven to hide from attack. None of us would want to go through what Jeffrey John had to endure, let alone Bishop Robinson.

I think Carl Jung too has written and said much that can be helpful in this context. Especially, perhaps, his 'autobiography' 'Memories, Dreams & Reflections'.

Also Phalos: Sacred Mystery of the Masculine by Episcopal priest Eugene Monicke.
And Myths & Mysteries of Same-Sex Love by Cnristine Downing.

I have noted that the very things that could lead to self discovery or healing are often scorned in church circles. Including the neglect and demise of Patoral Care & counselling programmes & groups in some dioceses, which were a source of salvation-healing for some of us. Myself included.

Posted by L Roberts at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 2:12pm GMT

The only other thing I would add, Erika, is that people have very different experience(s). Many I think, might well not have such vivid experiences of Christ in their initial spirituality, as you mention. Or ever necessarily.

So this more gradual or 'level' spirituality will evoke different images, symbols and perhaps need a different approach. It seems very English to me. Quaite staid. A spiriual director / guide or therapist could help a lot with that kind of spiritual journey.

Of course vivid experiences (if I may so put it, for shorthand) may come at any time, over a person's life.

i sometimes think the C of E prides itself on not exposing people to such vivid or mind blowing archetypal encounters --whether focussed around the archetypes of Christ, God,the Holy Spirit, Our Lady or the Saints, the Eucharist etc.......

What do you reckon ?


Posted by L Roberts at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 2:23pm GMT

Laurence,
thanks for your comprehensive and fascinating reply!
Yes, I think you've probably hit the nail on the head.

The doubt remains - all your comments apply to people living a hidden sexual life largely made up of one night stands and "slip ups". I can even see how long term partnered relationships can come under that heading.

I'm not sure how they alone can explain that additional step of vilifying other gay people from the pulpit and signing a FiF petition against people like yourself.
Not coming out, even self-deception, are one thing. Active vilification and extreme public denunciation of what you do in private (with a long term partner!) are quite another.

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 4:44pm GMT

Thanks Erica. Hard to get my head round that. Or rather my heart.

I think it's based on a complex psychological mechanism, which may best be elucidated in the well-known 'kicking the cat' phinomenon; which often receives recognition in jocular spirit !

In a living system, such as a family household (or firm, place of work, church or society etc),
father gets at mother, who shouts at Billy, who is real mean to Jilly, who slaps Laurie -- who kicks the cat, who ...

It is noticable how minorites find a groups or person 'lower' than themselves in the (societal) pecking order, to denigrate, in order to raise their own self esteem.

So sometimes black groups may unconscuously seek groups who are darker still, either literally or in some other way. Gay men are still men and may knock lesbians back, who suffer with all women in our society a lesser status. Both groups may look down on transgener etc. I say 'may' as it is not inevitable, I don't think; and a (relatively) healthy grouping or individual will need to carry out this unconscious process less, as health implies higher levels of self-esteem, libido (in Jung's sense) and sheer creative exuberance, relsih and joy in life. Including a lot of love & empathy for others.

And also, the less secure I am in my identity and self-esttem the less secure I will feel in 'passing (myself off as) straight', & so denunciation of others becomes psychologicallt necesssary ro avoid some kind of break-down --or shhouls that be break-through ?! (Could go either way, a risky business). The vital thin is that in attacking the gayness or promiscuity or fecklessness of others, I am seeking to split off
my own gayness etc; and it is projecting into others and safely attacked THERE, lodged in its new home at a distance from myself.

Anti-semitism and misogyny wwork in the same way, psichologically. Except in this case somthing I am not and which is seen as so different i.e. Jewishness or femininity is use as a hook or valency on to which to load my own insecurites. And yet,on the other hand, men of course, may fear their own feminine side and attack it in others (women largely; or perhaps 'camp' men).

Obviously, these things are unconscious and rely on an impaired sense of self -or repression of the offening parts of the Self. Pobablt patchy sense of self, I guess.

Where does this go wrong ? (or is useful)


Posted by L Roberts at Sunday, 11 November 2007 at 8:39am GMT

Laurence,
thanks for that.
I'm not sure I follow completely. Kicking the cat is kicking someone lower than yourself, as are many of the other examples you provide.
Kicking people quite like yourself takes the pathology to new levels.

How wise the one who told us not to judge - because ultimately, we truly do not understand what we're judging!

Posted by Erika Baker at Sunday, 11 November 2007 at 4:50pm GMT

L Roberts says "I just love the way that same gender unions are always vilified -- whereas one-nite stands pass without commment"

Nonsense.....if clergy are teaching people what the bible says, there will be no such double standard (for anybody, regardless of orientation)

Posted by NP at Monday, 12 November 2007 at 2:05pm GMT

You certaily have remained uncharacteristically silent on this sublect "NP" !

Until you pop in to pronounce "Nonsense" upon me.

Posted by L Roberts at Monday, 12 November 2007 at 5:13pm GMT

NP: if clergy are "just teaching what the Bible says", then they will be going out and stoning gay couples to death, of course.

Posted by Fr Mark at Monday, 12 November 2007 at 5:42pm GMT

Laurence,
thanks for that.
I'm not sure I follow completely. Kicking the cat is kicking someone lower than yourself, as are many of the other examples you provide.
Kicking people quite like yourself takes the pathology to new levels.

How wise the one who told us not to judge - because ultimately, we truly do not understand what we're judging!

Posted by: Erika Baker on Sunday, 11 November 2007 at 4:50pm GMT

Wise words Erika.
Infact their is an up-down differential, I'd say--

Gay men who pass for straight, kick gays. The passer feels 'above' the gays. And in a sense, socially, is within the Church and in many societies.

In fact, it has just struck me, that the act of 'kicking' helps to instrumenatalise this stratification. (Sorry bout the lingo!. So it is invaluable to do, but needs repeating regularly, to maintian the uo-down position. I think.


Posted by L Roberts at Tuesday, 13 November 2007 at 1:22pm GMT

Erika and Laurence

You will be pleased to know that the last couple of Out In Scripture studies have also been contemplating along these lines http://www.hrc.org/scripture/

They are asking the important question of looking to change the dynamics, not looking to be part of either the victim or the kicker camps.

The vision is for a covenant of peace where there is neither oppressed nor oppressor. As Tutu wrote in his book "God has a dream", being either oppressed or an oppressor makes one a slave, one becomes a slave to paradigms that tyranny is inevitable, which cuts one off from the liberating gospel message that is the cornerstone of peace and redolent throughout the bible.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Tuesday, 13 November 2007 at 7:44pm GMT

Thanks for this Cheryl, only just found my way back to this thread and your message, just now.

Very good points spiritually...

Posted by L Roberts at Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 12:28pm GMT

'An honest encounter between our lives and the bible' :--

http://www.hrc.org/scripture/

NP and Christoher will love this ....

Posted by L Roberts at Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 12:32pm GMT

L Roberts,
The only acceptable thing is a Bible verse that states baldly "I accept and love homosexuals, as defined 2000 years from now in places yet to be discovered". Anything else will be condemned as fudge. The only verses of Scripture not to be taken literally are those dealing with the nature of the Eucharist, usury, and the taking of a human life after said human has been born. And divorce. And judgementalism. And those inconvenient Beatitudes that speak of love, mercy, meekness, and touchy feely stuff like that. Etc. The Greek words Paul actually used and which have been translated as homosexual clearly must mean homosexual, despite the fact that in non-Scriptural sources one of them clearly does not, and the other clearly refers to pagan religious practices. It's simple really. If one can believe that a book that is clearly internally self-contradictory is in fact perfectly clear and self-explanatory, what hope do you have of making an argument such a person could find convincing?

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 1:44pm GMT

L Roberts - not new or surprising to see things like your link

2 Timothy 4:1-5
"I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."

Posted by NP at Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 2:30pm GMT

NP dear,

Do you realize that this anti Gnosticist language of "reprove", "rebuke, and "exhort", "myths", "false teachers", "genealogies" and so on, contrasted with "sound teaching" & cetera is in contradiction of the 4 gospels (and consequently of the Gospel), Romans, and so on, and ONLY found in the Pastorals and some Alexandrian Letters (which were greatly contested/rejected in many parts of the Church in the first 4 centuries, for example in the Patriarchate of Antioch)?

No?

;=)

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 16 November 2007 at 9:26am GMT

NP,
I am really amused by the way you can find Biblical justification for your behaviour. You seriously believe that your behaviour here constitutes obedience to a command to "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort"? You really need to get a dictionary if you think those words mean "revile, dehumanize, and slander". When I say you strengthen all my anti-evangelical bigotries, this is what I mean. You seriously think insult and derision are valid forms of evangelism.

"For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths."

Which of course is an exact description of you.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 16 November 2007 at 11:29am GMT

Ford - you really need to think about what I say....most of the time, I am asking people to look at verses or the teaching of our own AC bishops on scripture when they are pushing contradictory views...

....if this is to "revile, dehumanize, and slander", then so be it......as you and I agree, God will judge.

Why do you find it so offensive to be reminded of your "clobber verses" or Lambeth 1.10?


Posted by NP at Friday, 16 November 2007 at 12:30pm GMT

"Why do you find it so offensive to be reminded of your "clobber verses" or Lambeth 1.10?"

Is this supposed to be a genuine question?
I mean, have you genuinely had months worth of conversations with Ford and still don't know how he feels and what he finds offensive and why?
Please tell me this isn't true!

Posted by Erika Baker at Friday, 16 November 2007 at 1:26pm GMT

Erika, thanks for the support. I answered his post, but in retrospect, it was another righteous indignation leading to reviling, and Simon doesn't seem to have approved it, for which I am grateful.

NP,
Do you know no other way to spread the Good News than mocking and deriding other people? Are scorn and insult the only ways you can think of to preach the Gospel? Do you actually believe I am offended by a citation of Scripture? After all this time arguing with me, you still don't know what I find offensive about your style of Christianity? Am I being obscure? Are you being difficult? Or are you actually as thick as two short planks? If you don't know by now, I have no idea how to explain it to you.

Posted by ford Elms at Friday, 16 November 2007 at 9:23pm GMT

Colin Coward is right. I recognise three gay men on this list. Talk about odd bedfellows. I once sat through dinner with Mrs. Duncan as she held forth about homosexuals. Poor dear didn't realise that, out of the nine other people at her table, seven were gay. The Bishop is so obviously full of the milk of human kindness and Christ-like love it's a wonder he hasn't singlehandedly saved the world.

Posted by Felmersham at Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 10:13pm GMT

Felmersham
I have this dream that one day we stop colluding with this and that all of us simply stand up and are counted. Literally counted. Those of us who are bishops and priests, lay readers, choirmasters, people in the pews.
It would end the whole issue over night.

Posted by Erika Baker at Friday, 30 November 2007 at 9:21am GMT
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