Comments: faith and politics

It would be wise for Cameron indeed to distance himself from the endorsements of the Roman Catholic Church and its morality. He surely doesn't want to lose what thinning lead he retains.

Posted by Pluralist at Sunday, 28 February 2010 at 8:03pm GMT

"To be frank, CRANMER is rather irritated by this, not least because Mr Cameron appears to be completely ignorant (as Mrs Geldhill points out) of the 'endless debates, committees, reports, schisms and not-quite-schisms that have played out in the Anglican Communion over the last decade and more on this issue' " - Cranmer art. -

Obviously, 'Cranmer' is irritated, not only by Ruth Gledhill's argument that Mr Cameron knows nothing about what is going on in the Anglican Communion on the issue of homophobia, but that anyone, least of all Mr Cameron, should ever be bold enouigh to encourage the Church of England to positively renounce it's endemic culture of homophobia.

That journalist Ruth Gledhill is probably quite wrong about Mr Cameron's ignorance on the issues within the Church should not be too surprising - given Ruth's so-often biassed reporting on these matters. However, surely she is not so silly as to think that the Conservative Party Leader has no right to comment on this important matter of human rights and Christian charity that touches the lives of so many within the Church and the world in which we live today.

It is just a pity that the likes of 'Cranmer' and other Evangelical publications should try to muddy the waters on the real problem at the heart of Anglican Communion dialogue going on at the moment. It is quite proper for a political leader to comment on matters of faith and morality, when these issues are addressed from the point of view of a practising Christian, who actually declares his own beliefs and is prepared to go to the polls openly and without hyposcrisy.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 28 February 2010 at 8:31pm GMT

Good God! I don't believe it!!!

Posted by Richard Ashby at Sunday, 28 February 2010 at 9:09pm GMT

Cameron's words seem very encouraging if correctly reported and if he intends to stand by them and follow them up over time (years).

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Sunday, 28 February 2010 at 9:15pm GMT

Looking into this further I too have my doubts like Pluralist and Ron.

'IV The mystery

Is Cameron's reinvention convincing, in the flesh, and in the end? He is a former corporate PR man, so you would expect him to be able to deliver a convincing sales pitch – and he does. He does have some real progress to sell: he talks about getting the Tory conference to applaud gay marriage, and the selection of gay candidates, with passion. His defence of gay refugees and opposition to the blood donation ban went further than he has to politically. Yet there was enough evasion and dissembling in his answers to sow doubts. He didn't tell the truth about his own voting record, and he made ludicrously false statements about his anti-gay European allies. On the biggest obstacles facing gay people – the real, on-going violence – he had little to offer beyond words of condemnation.

David Cameron is a hazy cloud of charm and platitudes: no matter how hard you peer into him, you cannot find anything solid to focus on for long. There are flickers of apparently real pro-gay feeling, but they are soon followed by excuse-making for some of the most anti-gay politicians in Europe. Which is the real Cameron? On this issue, I suspect even he does n't know..'

The Cameron-thing really isnt going to fly is it ? And not only on lesbian and gay issues either.

Here's to a (well) hung Parliament...

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Sunday, 28 February 2010 at 9:25pm GMT

"We need to believe in hope and positive engagement. Civic responsibility, and service to the people through elected office, are massive responsibilities which no-one should take lightly." - Abp. John Sentamu, Times on line -

At least, the Archbishop of York is right on this one. Perhaps his openness to the political system will encourage more people to vote for a positive policy on the sort of openness to the LGBT community being espoused by David Cameron. Here we have a committed church-going Christian who is not afraid the let his viewsd on inclusivity be known - before the election!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 28 February 2010 at 9:40pm GMT

I very strongly suspect that the Church's views on stem cell research, on abortion, on civil partnerships, on adoption, were not at all IGNORED. They were simply OVERRULED. The distinction is important; what is astonishing is that so few religious leaders seem able to grasp it.

Posted by John Thorp at Monday, 1 March 2010 at 12:51am GMT

I very strongly suspect that the Church's views on stem cell research, on abortion, on civil partnerships, on adoption, were not at all IGNORED. They were simply OVERRULED. The distinction is important; what is astonishing is that so few religious leaders seem able to grasp it.

Posted by: John Thorp on Monday, 1 March 2010 at 12:51am GMT

Yes, indeed and soon assisted suicide may join your list.

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Monday, 1 March 2010 at 5:08pm GMT

And "Wot John Thorp said", vis-a-vis TEC and Rowan Cantuar.

(+) Mary Glasspool is very close to receiving consents, to be consecrated (Suffragan) Bishop of Los Angeles.

When she does---God willing!---and TEC proceeds w/ her consecration, I've no doubt that TEC will be accused of "ignoring the Wider Communion" (and the ABC in particular).

We're not ignoring them at all.

The "Moratorium" views (1. No partnered gay bishops, 2. No blessing same-sex couples...and that frequently and lustily ignored 3. No episcopal border-crossings) are well-known, well-understood and---by TEC re 1&2---well-REFUTED.

The "Wider Communion" (so-called: it's really just a wide plurality, perhaps majority, of AC bishops) has been OVERRULED, by faithful Episcopalians. Deal with it---as shall we. Come, Lord Christ!

Posted by JCF at Monday, 1 March 2010 at 8:02pm GMT

I am so grateful to Thinking Anglicans and Episcopal Cafe for the opportunity to hear from and respond to posts from throughout the Communion and beyond. Here in Canada, nationally, all we have is a kind of one party state medium thatincreasingly operates on a public relations model for the agenda of the national structure. -Rod

Posted by Rod Gillis at Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 12:15am GMT

With respect, Rod, that part of the situation is no different in the US or England. The official communications organs of the institution support the narrative and perspective of the institutions themselves.

Thinking Anglicans and Episcopal Café are not official communications organs of the national Church and are therefore free to reflect a different narrative and perspective, largeely shaped (and this is not a criticism) by their founders / editors. But in that respect, the same applies to Virtue Online and Stand Firm.

The benefit of having divergent voices is that all can be heard. The disadvantage, of course, is that one can completely avoid honest encounter with differing perspectives.

That said, Rod, what interest do you think there is in building a community of progressive, online, Canadian Anglicans? Is that a project you are interested in?

Posted by Malcolm+ at Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 5:17pm GMT

In reply to Malcolm+, I’m well aware of the non-official status of both Episcopal Café and Thinking Anglicans. I’m also aware that an official “house organ” reflects the house in which it is an organ. The point I was making is that the house organ in Canada is pretty much all there is (unless you include free lance websites on the right). I read most of the Diocesan Papers in print monthly. They tend to that “raspberry cordial” kind of feel, although there are pleasant surprises periodically. There is also “Ministry Matters” which seems to be in the human-interest niche. They do a good job of that, but its not really hard news. The Anglican Journal claims an independent editorial policy. This policy has (obviously) been given expression by the various editors that have worked the paper over time. I’ve been reading “The Journal” and its predecessor publication “The Anglican Churchman” since the early seventies. I find it less of a news hound kind of paper than it sometimes has been in the past. There is also no option for readers to post online in response to content—which deprives both readers and publication staff of valuable feedback.What is it you write about avoiding honest encounters with differing perspectives? Perhaps money is the problem. As you are aware, the National structure of the Canadian church is in crisis mode from a financial perspective. I noticed the byline on the story about the two reps from Rowan Williams to the Canadian House of Bishops was changed by The Journal. The original byline was "We wish it would all just go away". The current byline is "Will Canada show the world wide Anglican Communion the way forward?" Anyway, I think it worth checking around the country here to see if there is interest in a progressive market niche.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 7:25pm GMT

I repeat the traditional Lutheran adage that the mixis of Church and State does violence to both!

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 8:20pm GMT
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