Comments: Lambeth: Too big a tent

Again the reprehensible insinuation that orthodox Christians condone in the slightest violence of any sort against homosexuals or not.

This practice should be condemned by true Christians of all varieties. For it will lead to "Christianphobia" - violence and persecution against Christians. Already we are seeing this in Western Europe. See

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Christian_discrimination

Posted by robroy at Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 6:31pm BST

Robroy:

Then why don't your fellows in the Global South condemn it? Why did Abp Jensen have to step in and speak for Abp Akinola when the question was raised to him at GAFCON? Why do Akinola and Orombi deny that homosexuals even exist in their countries? Why is Davis Mac-Illya in exile and asylum in the UK?

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 7:45pm BST

"This practice should be condemned by true Christians of all varieties"

Then why don't you? Why, at Lambeth, were African bishops unable to do so when specifically asked? Why do conservatives consistently defend the use of language that adds to the risk of violence for gay people? Why do conservatives consistently deny the fact of anti-gay violence? You can see that on these boards, robroy, conservatives here do it all the time. If you think anti-gay violence is so horrible, why do you still refuse to explain why you believe 5 years jail for gay people is a "good compromise"? Until you do that, statements like this are laughable. Frankly, all we ever get from conservatives is pious statements of "hate the sin, love the sinner" and righteous indignation when it is pointed out that your abhorrence of anti-gay violence is just so many words. Frankly, I have never heard anything from a conservative that convinces me that any of you give a cobbler's cuss about anti-gay violence. If you think it is so reprehensible, prove it! And what's with the "orthodox"? Define your "orthodoxy" please, since it seems to be defined by little more than acceptance of secxual activity solely within heterosexual marriage, and that has nothing to do with orthodoxy, as you well know. I'm saying this plainly and honestly: I am afraid of you people. Now, give me some proof that that fear is unjustified.

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 8:04pm BST

Robroy,

If you're going to make wild claims about 'violence and persecution' against Christians in Western Europe it's pretty stupid linking to an Wikipedia article that documents nothing of the sort happening. Arson against Norwegian churches and one person getting suspended from their job in the UK do not amount to persecution and to say so belittles the genuine persecution of Christians getting murdered in Indonesia and India.

Posted by magistra at Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 8:06pm BST

"Civic leaders in Liverpool today signed a book of condolence for Michael and his family at the Town Hall.

"In a letter today, Liverpool City Councillor Steve Radford, leader of the Liberal Party group, urged Liverpool church leaders to join secular leaders in signing the book.

"Councillor Radford wrote:

'May I urge you, along with other senior church leaders, take a public led challenging homophobia in the city.

'We all appreciated you public stance after the murder of other young men motivated by the colour of their skin.

'We pray you will be equally forthright condemning the violence and abuse against people who are targeted because they are gay, lesbian or transgender.

'As leader of the Anglican Community in the County of Merseyside and the Diocese of Liverpool your voice would complement the unity being shown by political leaders."

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-8676.html

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 8:07pm BST

Apparently the "hate the sin; love the sinner" theological defense to accusations of homophobia doesn't wash in the eyes of the general public. Recently a poll of young adults in the USA found that about 60% found Christian churches to be homophobic. M Is this a case of mass delusion or brainwashing? Perhaps it is simply a case of listening to what is said and witnessing the consequences. When a church's ethical views offend both common sense and common decency,it loses legitimacy.

A few years ago in Alabama a young gay man was tortured and killed. The finishing touch was that his body was found burning on a pyre of old tires at the lake where the local Southern Baptists do their baptisms. The Body of Christ, indeed!

I often wonder if the label "heterosexist" better describes the views of many Christians. I do think many have the sincere belief that God only creates straight people and thus prefers them. Anything else is thus considered a "defect" and thus renders one inferior. That this defies reality is a concept that challenges their faith.

Many parts of the church use to believe that about women and non-Caucasians. Some have gotten over that and some haven't. As far as I know women have been ordained now for 30 years in the Anglican Communion and God hasn't fallen out of God's heaven yet.

Posted by kahualoha at Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 8:10pm BST

"blessing same-sex couples is apparently a far greater offence than allying with repressive governments to hunt them down." Ouch!

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 8:28pm BST

"This practice should be condemned by true Christians of all varieties. For it will lead to "Christianphobia" - violence and persecution against Christians."

And this is the Christian justification for opposing violence against gays and lesbians?

Posted by Robert at Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 9:11pm BST

If those who call themselves "Christian" get back what they've dished out to us LGBT's robroy, then let the chickens come home to roost. What was that about reaping what you've sowed?

Want to stop hate, then stop engaging in hateful behavior. And don't go giving me that nonsense about "saving" me, there are enough kids out on the street tonight that have been "shunned" from their parents who didn't think they were saved. All of this coming from the "loving" leadership of "Christianity".

Rubbish.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 9:30pm BST

Again the repugnant conflation of "orthodoxy" with heterosexism.

Posted by Geoff McLarney at Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 9:36pm BST

"This practice should be condemned by true Christians of all varieties."

I had to re-read this twice, to be sure what RR was saying. NOT the sane, or MORAL contention: to condemn anti-LGBT violence.

No, you mean the practice OF "condemning anti-LGBT violence" should be condemned---that the homophobes are the victims!

Un-frickin-believable.

Lord have mercy!

Posted by JCF at Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 10:05pm BST

"Again the reprehensible insinuation that orthodox Christians condone in the slightest violence of any sort against homosexuals or not." Rob Roy (a drink that makes one drunken if consumed in multiples)

What insinuation? Oh you mean "God Hates Fags" or would that be Akinola's famous "Hooligan Children" of LGBT people? When are the destructionists in our Anglican Communion going to start taking responsible for their vile actions agains other Anglicans/others?

Let us stop with the praying of all-holy PRETEND!

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 10:10pm BST

I am involved with police liaison work and the reaction of the city and its LGBT community to the recent murder.

We feel that the religious leaders need to take a stand and make it clear that part of the creation of homophobia is the culture from which it stems. the Church needs to confess to its part in the creation of that culture. Every time they oppose equality, make an anti-gay comment - they share the blame.

Posted by Merseymike at Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 10:36pm BST

So many of my gay friends are seekers, looking for spiritual meaning for their lives. Yet they will not go into a church, even if I am preaching.

Why?

Because of all the hate- and fear-filled rhetoric of the right wing. Please tell me how talk of hating the "sin" while pretending to love the "sinner" would make anyone want to come hear the Gospel?

Is it so-called (or rather, self-called) "Orthodox" Christians, or the more progresive that drive these people away?

When we are asked when we visited the outcast, what will the "Orthodox" be able to say?

Nat

Posted by Nat at Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 11:47pm BST

Robroy

Going down these columns of comment, on Savitri Hensman's article, I find that you are the one of the more vociferously evangelistic homophobe, and a good example of what she is saying.. I guess this is the sort of undisicplined bigotry that occasions the burden of the story.

One of your theses is that every word in the Bible has some priority over the words and action of Jesus - the Word-made-flesh in the Gospels. Christians are those who follow Christ in his redemptive love of all humankind - irrespective of race, class, gender or sexual orientation (St. Paul: "In Christ there is neither male nor female, Greek nor Jew, slave nor master") .

One of the problems our Church faces at this present time is that the Victorian mores, which encouraged missionaries to Africa ot insist on women covering their bosoms, and which dictated the moral precepts of the 19th century onto practising Christians at the time; are still being promoted by some of the Primates of the African and other parts of the Church. This is one reason why women and gays are generally put down by the male of the species (included those of the Church) in those places.

The Bible, as far as I can see, does not quote one single instruction from Jesus about the behaviour of homosexuals - except, perhaps, that in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 19, verse 12, he speaks of 'eunuchs who are born that way from their mother's womb'. Could they include homosexuals, I wonder? Most gays are not heterophobes. In fact, many of them have good relationships to families - as I well know.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 12:06am BST

So, I suppose, every church that considers adultery wrong shares the blame whenever a jealous husband kills someone?

Posted by rick allen at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 1:26am BST

Ouch Hensman pokes right at the modern sore point.

If conservative believers care so much and so deeply, what self-giving kenotic sacrifices are they able to make to stop the antigay, anti-queer folks violence all around the planet?

The only concerted efforts I see and hear so far are efforts to loudly preach to queer folks: (A) you are innately disordered, defective, compared to straight folks, plus (B) we use awful religious and secular talk to describe you - see Abomination, see .... take your pick, it is a large nasty lexicon? ... because that is the admittedly odious and nasty truth about you, plus (C) any capability or good you manage does not count, because your everday goods or competencies are trumped by our sacred preachments, plus (D)if you want to stop the violence against queer folks, it is so simple - just stop being honest about not being straight.

Pretending and lying in social and church life are thus the royal ethical road to physical safety? This is the essential gospel that traditionalistic believers offer to us, and then daring to tag it love and truth and holiness?

Gee, no thanks. If I wanted to live lies, I would not bother with following Jesus of Nazareth - so far as I understand and am able to do so. The spiritual path or discipleship that cannot start, continue, and finish with simple everyday truths is dubious, and probably not so high a calling as it often proclaims itself to innately be.

As too many posted comments on every available conservative religious blog or forum amply demonstrate - the connect between conservative religion and violence is too real to be talked and redefined away by people whose hands are so carefully washed of that violence as they stand aside while brash men put into heinous action what they only deign to preach, unbridled and unashamed. Alas. Lord have mercy.

Posted by drdanfee at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 2:27am BST

Christians actually get it easy in the west. But that does not mean that there is not some gross, gross anti-Christian discrimination. One incredible example: Google accepts all kinds of pop-up adverts for husbands cheating on their wives and vice-versa, witchcraft, pornography and what have you. But offer them 'Abortion news and views from the Christian Institute' and they throw a fit. This is simultaneously calling good bad and bad good - quite a double whammy.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 2:33am BST

"Every time they oppose equality, make an anti-gay comment - they share the blame."

Precisely the attitude that needs to be condemned by all true Christians. I have read of many accounts of hooligans beating up alcoholic bums "for the fun of it." Am I responsible for these hooligans because I condemn drinking to excess and support programs to help them change their ways? Hardly.

I am not saying that the practice of blaming orthodox for anti-homosexual violence isn't good political strategy for those wanting to advance their political cause, but the cause of the Gospel is hurt. No many here value the advancement of homosexuality over the Gospel (magistra for many other examples of Christianophobia see www.christianophobia.eu), but I would hope there are those that value the Gospel more and would condemn the maligning of their Christian brothers and sisters.

Posted by robroy at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 4:28am BST

We are not alone in 'struggling' with this whole issue, and considering this might lead to some respite through contextuality: with the usual caveat about Wikipedia, I thought I'd look at where Judaism itself is on the question of faith and LGBT people (given the constant referencing of Leviticus by conservatives to justify themselves, for example):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_views_on_homosexuality

The range of views is remarkably similar, which may or may not come as a surprise. I take it as a sign of hope that those who are not able theologically to draw on such as Romans 7:6, are through reason and conscience abandoning 'orthodox' positions, and proclaiming progressive ones.

Posted by orfanum at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 4:29am BST

Robroy doesn't get it.

He doesn't actually want gay and lesbian people to have social equality. he thinks it is acceptable to discriminate against them and that is part of his 'gospel'

Naturally, his approach helps to create a culture which is negative in its attitude towards gay and lesbian people
In such a climate, they become expendable - they are not to be regarded as equal nor afforded legal recognition for their relationships
This is a climate which encourages poor treatment and creates the sort of culture where homophobia in all its forms can be excused.

When I start hearing conservative religionists accept that gay and lesbian people should be recognised in law and treated equally with regard to their sexuality and their relationships, then I shall start taking their pleas seriously. Till then - they need to be exposed for the effect their words have.

Posted by Merseymike at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 9:29am BST

Christopher:

Perhaps the problem is the WAY that some "Christians" promote their anti-abortion views. Just like the problem is frequently the WAY they talk about gays.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 11:21am BST

"We feel that the religious leaders need to take a stand and make it clear that part of the creation of homophobia is the culture from which it stems. the Church needs to confess to its part in the creation of that culture. Every time they oppose equality, make an anti-gay comment - they share the blame."

The Christian Churches have been the main agents of the vicious persecution of gays for two millennia. No Christian Church has yet come anywhere near making an apology for this. John Paul II's gestures of repentence and "purification of memory" in 2000 made no reference to gays. The Church now has the onus of being to the forefront in overcoming the poisons of homophobia, as a small atonement for the mistakes of the past 2000 years. Instead one sees timidity all round (too many closeted bishops), broken only by the homophobic insinuations or fulminations of the bishops who make the headlines. The churches have painted themselves as monumentally homophobic for centuries. They cannot complain if that is how they are perceived. They are no longer perceived as antisemitic, and they may redeem their homophobic image in time as well.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 11:34am BST

"The Christian Churches have been the main agents of the vicious persecution of gays for two millennia."

In fact, Christian strictures have been largely consistent with taboos on this kind of behavior found in most societies.

There have been exceptions, of course, most notably attitudes in the late Hellenistic culture in which Christianity was born. But even there our pagan forebears were clear-eyed enough to see that homoerotic relations had nothing to do with marriage.

Posted by rick allen at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 12:34pm BST

Hi Pat-

So let's get this straight. The advocates of cheating on one's spouse, witchcraft and pornography are so polite, gentlemanly and refined that one cannot but grant their request. Whereas the Christian Institute proposed ad on abortion news and views - which seems from christian.org to have unimpeachable and nondogmatic content - falls foul of the old and untenable excuse that style is *more* important than substance. (Of course style is important - but more important than substance? Intrinsically, as opposed to in the way people are - rather lazily - inclined to view things?)The medium is the message? It is convenient for some people that it should be.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 2:08pm BST

robroy, you have been told repeatedly that it is NOT conservative statements of the belief that the Gospel prohibits homosexuality that is the problem, it the language used to make that claim, yet you persist in falsely claiming you are somehow persecuted or maligned when someone points out to you that calling for the jailing of people you insinuate are subhuman adds to the risk of violence to them! Then there is the conservative's avid rejection of any kind of science that even hints that your belief that gay people are either sinful rebels or sick is simply wrong. The there is the idea that Evangelical Western Protestants can in any way be called "orthodox". You can't even understand why the GAFCON declaration from Jerusalem shows quite clearly why they cannot be called that. For you, obedience to authority, and requiring that we understand the Bible as clearly laying out that authority when it does no such thing, are the definers of orthodoxy, when the word has never meant that. You truly do live in a fantasy world. And what are we to make of your continued refusal to address the issue of anti-gay violence? You do a fine job of getting huffy that anyone could accuse you of such things, yet you steadfastly refuse to confront any conservative whose actions contribute to that violence. Indeed, you claim that YOU are the one being oppressed since conservatives are merely stating their beliefs. But, robroy, one of the major funders of GAFCON has publically stated that he would be in favour of stoning homosexuals! That is not a mere statement of faith, that is publically suggesting that violence against gay people is acceptable in the eyes of God! Conservatives are not being falsely accused here. Most interesting is that I asked you in my first post to give me some proof that my fear of conservatives is unjustified and, rather than do that, you have remained huffy and indignant that anyone could possibly think such things about poor persecuted you. Well, I do, robroy, and your continued refusal to give me any evidence to the contrary merely makes me more sure that I am right. If you want me to stop confronting this, then show me how conservatives do anything, anything at all, to oppose anti-gay violence. One thing. That's all. Just one.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 2:15pm BST

"...but I would hope there are those that value the Gospel more and would condemn the maligning of their Christian brothers and sisters."

No robroy, we just hate the sin, not the sinner. The street goes both ways buddy.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 2:22pm BST

What an interesting world conservatives live in, one in which words have no consequences. They must think the Holocaust sprang, fully formed, from nothing. Centuries of disparaging comments about jews had nothing to do with it at all, and those who helped propagate such comments are as pure as the driven snow.

If I end up having to spend an eternity around people like "robroy", I'll know I'm in hell.

Posted by John at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 3:22pm BST

Love the fundamentalist, hate the fundamentalism!

Posted by JPM at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 4:23pm BST

Christopher:

Yes, in a world of diverse opinions and cultures, style can trump substance...

Oh, and about this "witchcraft"? Do you mean people promoting the practice of the religion known as Wicca? Because if you do, they have as much right to practice and promote their beliefs as we Anglicans do. OTOH, if you truly have seen ads for witchcraft in the sense of casting spells and putting curses on people, there are laws against that, including the ones against frauds and terroristic threats.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 7:16pm BST

"So, I suppose, every church that considers adultery wrong shares the blame whenever a jealous husband kills someone?" Posted by rick allen

Sigh.

Again w/ the FALSE analogies.

No, Rick, the proper analogy is that of the "coincidence" of POGROMS breaking out right after Good Friday "perfidious Jews" liturgies. [Which isn't ancient history: I had a Jewish acqaintance who, as boy in the 1930s (in the US), experienced such a regular Good Friday "Christ-Killer!" pounding]

Lord have mercy!

Posted by JCF at Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 8:02pm BST

Let's see, we have, the statement that I am of the most vociferously evangelistic homophobe (Ron Smith), and that I have insinuated that homosexuals are subhuman (Ford Elms). Great examples of slurs and maligning of the orthodox that should be condemned by those who are Christians first and homosexual or heterosexual second (or 27th).

Jesus showed that homosexuals and heterosexuals are of inestimable value by sacrificing Himself. The poor unfortunate victim most likely died in a state of sin and most likely surrounded by those who denied his need for repentance. A horrific tragedy.

Ford states that I can espouse traditional views denouncing homosexuality as sinful without being responsible for anti-homosexuality violence. (How?) Merseymike apparently believes if I simply assert what Christians have always asserted that marriage is for men and women and sexual relations is reserved for marriage then I am guilty as the hoodlums who carried out these atrocious acts.

Posted by robroy at Thursday, 14 August 2008 at 2:43am BST

"Christian strictures have been largely consistent with taboos on this kind of behavior found in most societies."

I doubt if most societies consider gay sex a capital offence.

"There have been exceptions, of course, most notably attitudes in the late Hellenistic culture in which Christianity was born. But even there our pagan forebears were clear-eyed enough to see that homoerotic relations had nothing to do with marriage."

Marriage is not a major theme in Greek philosophy, but the discussion of homoerotic love in the Symposium and Phaedrus would bear out the correctness of R Williams' insight that such love has many of the qualities we prize in Christian marriage.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Thursday, 14 August 2008 at 9:47am BST

"... that should be condemned by those who are Christians first and homosexual or heterosexual second (or 27th)."

Well? Do we or don't we?

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 14 August 2008 at 9:58am BST

robroy, leaders of the anti-gay movement within the Church insinuate that we are subhuman. You have consistently defended your right to do so. I am not surprised that you are not aware of having done this, because of this statement:

"Ford states that I can espouse traditional views denouncing homosexuality as sinful without being responsible for anti-homosexuality violence. (How?)"

It is alarming that you cannot conceive of saying:

"I believe the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin" without going on to insinuate, for instance, that gay people and their supporters are faithless pagans who are out to destroy the Church in the interests of political correctness. By your support for those conservative leaders who DO contribute to anti-gay violence, and you know who and what I am talking about, you support their position. By your steadfast defence of these people's right to say the most hatefilled and untrue things about us, you support the spreading of that hatred and untruth. By claiming that 5 years in jail is a "good compromise" for us, you insinuate that we deserve greater punishment, and your refusal to state what you think that punishment must be looks duplicitous. What other sinners do you advocate jailing for 5 years? What ones do you not support jail time for at all? I imagine usurers get off easy in your books. But then again, for you sin equals crime, and spreading the Gospel is all about saving souls from eternal Hellfire, since if anyone reaches the dealine: death without having accepted the "get out of Hell free" card of Christianity, they shall surely be roasted for all eternity, right? That's what redemption means for you? Fear of punishment is a poor reason to be a Christian, robroy, look at what it has done to you. By claiming not to understand how to state your belief that homosexuality is sinful without contributing to this situation, you not only show colossal ignorance, you confirm something I have long suspected: Evangelicals do not know how to spread the Gospel without condemning those they believe do not follow it. That speaks volumes about your understanding of salvation, human nature, and what you consider the practice of religion to be. It also says some pretty disturbing things about your theology. But it explains why you can't preach celebacy for homosexuals without insulting us. Of course, you'd rather feel persecuted than examine the ways your "witness" to the Gospel is counterproductive.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 14 August 2008 at 11:55am BST

I am closing this thread to further comments as it is apparent that it is degenerating into name calling.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Thursday, 14 August 2008 at 12:05pm BST