Comments: opinions at Rogationtide

Regarding Giles Fraser’s piece in Church Times I notice this morning (reading an un-mentionable place) that it did not fall in good earth there but on a hard rock – they even refused to quote from it!

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Saturday, 26 April 2008 at 11:56am BST

The news about Jonathan Petre and the end of another religious correspondent's position is shocking, and as Andrew Brown correctly reports, a sad reflection on our broadsheet media. The Church should indeed be concerned that the only time it merits news these days is when the story can be spun into a 'clash of civilisations' or 'disintigrating church' narrative.

More positively, this may all be part of a shift towards new media outlets - I use blogs as much as newspapers to check on news of interest to me these days, since they often cover issues in more detail and with greater enthusiasm. At such places, including here, the quality of discussion is often much much higher than in the newspapers' comment boxes.

But the Church and churchpeople should beware that this fragmentation of the media can develop into self-enclosed communities, lackng the outreach of the traditional media bodies.

Posted by John Omani at Saturday, 26 April 2008 at 2:10pm BST

Needed to be said again, as by Giles Fraser.

Posted by Pluralist at Saturday, 26 April 2008 at 2:44pm BST

I thought Jonathan Petre well informed and as Andrew Brown says well connected. In the last year I rang a couple of times just to congratulate him on a scoop - even if I remonstrated that the angle was somewhat skewed to the "conservative" side, he just said that was where his paper was coming from ... and I suppose he was right.

He kept confidences and didn't play games with you - he was happy to say what he knew while respecting his sources. I wish him well

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Saturday, 26 April 2008 at 3:41pm BST

Many thanks to Giles Fraser yet again, for so briefly and clearly summarizing our subtle yet powerful sense of the possibly vigorous and dynamic connections between the nastiest ways that traditional believers talk about their fav target trash talk target of homosexual sin, and the violence that runs through, sometimes erupting as in Jamaica or Nigeria or Togo, sometimes near enough to the surface to be heard and felt and weighed, and sometimes running silent and deep in closeted, straights only believer or secular venues.

Nigeria is now outing itself as one fount of misunderstandings, and indeed offers us fine examples of some the most traditional trash talk which is our spiritual, ethical, and theological legacy. Such uncovering is difficult, yet may be a necessary step towards enlarging and further blessing the implicit humanity across our differences, alternative to the blunted conversations we actually have despite saying we are committed to human rights for queer folks as secular citizens, based and welcomed in broad church global Anglicanisms.

There is yet great opportunity if also great danger in all this traditionalistic trash talk. It exposes, sometimes better than non-sexual doctrinal presuppositions, the limits of the bottomless hunger for power and for obligation to demean and diminish others so targeted. The real new Great Reformation of the churches is just this, our heightened struggle with our own legacies of meanness, bearing consistent false witness against neighbors based in dubious presuppositional readings of the scriptures, and always tilted to be narrower and more authoritarian in our church lives.

In such a global spiritual struggle, historic Anglicanisms which are intentionally generous, peacefully disarmed in doctrines across believer differences, and capable of bedrock complexities so mystical - what gifts and Anglican weapons of spiritual warfare. Thank goodness, Thank God.

Posted by drdanfee at Saturday, 26 April 2008 at 5:45pm BST

Posted by Andrew at Sunday, 27 April 2008 at 10:33pm BST
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