Comments: opinion

The article by Lilico states that discriminating against homosexuals by refusing them a room for the night is not merely permissible, but required behaviour by Anglicans. Discuss.

Posted by Interested Observer at Saturday, 8 June 2013 at 1:39pm BST

Frank Cranmer is essentially correct in the "Tentative Conclusion" to his excellent article. So, can Christian theology enjoy integration with the notion of human rights? I think there is an ethical imperative to do so; what's more there is a basis for doing so.

The Christian tradition is dynamic, capable of transcending foundational texts ( like the NT) from the classical era. Bernard Lonergan's work on the pluralistic nature of culture, and John Courtney Murray's work on religious liberty are just two relevant examples.

Note as well the Declaration of Religious Freedom from Vatican II, " ...this sacred synod intends to develop the doctrine of recent popes on the inviolable rights of the human person and on the constitutional order of society." Courtney Murray's noted "In no other conciliar document is it so explicitly stated that the intention of the Council is to 'develop' Catholic doctrine"(Religious Liberty:An end an a Beginning).Scripture tradition and reason provide Anglicans with an even better way forward.

Classic texts transcend originating limitations. The Declaration of Independence (see F.Cranmer) lives and breathes long after its author and subsequent generations of readers have gone. Rights are "self-evident". One of the implications of this insight is that they are not grounded in special revelation. The latter notion does not remove from theology the responsibility nor the ability to advance human rights.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 8 June 2013 at 3:16pm BST

I would be more sympathetic to Andrew Brown's commentary on duty if we didn't live in a world full of highly paid public moral scolds thoroughly insulated from realities that most people have to face. In this age of alleged affluence and self-indulgence, most people labor under a host of economic and legal constraints. Many of us worry every month about the funds in the bank to clear the rent check. Many are just one illness or lay-off away from destitution. If we have high credit card debt, maybe it's because wages are too low and cash is always short. Banks and insurance companies always change the rules and the laws to their advantage and make life even harder and more punitive for the rest of us.

For a lot of people around the world who are even worse off, words like "Liberty" and "Equality" just die on the lips.

I'd feel better about sermons for us all to be more selfless and to pull together for the common good if I saw something reciprocal from the folks who own and run the whole show. Instead, they get the most indulgent tax breaks and government policies (including subsidies out of my tax money) while I have students who work full time jobs, care for families, and study full time. And meanwhile, I go through monthly panic attacks over covering all of the bills.

Maybe the crowns and coronets of Our Betters would shine a little more brightly if they remembered how much they depend on the labors of the Little People to make their power and glory, and that the wheel of Fortune does indeed turn.

Posted by FD Blanchard at Saturday, 8 June 2013 at 3:52pm BST

Re Justin Welby's "inner tory", you would think that the American, French, Quiet, and sexual revolutions had never taken place.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Sunday, 9 June 2013 at 12:43am BST

'So, can Christian theology enjoy integration with the notion of human rights? I think there is an ethical imperative to do so; what's more there is a basis for doing so.'

You do it if you want. I can see little point in it now - we've all waited long enough. It's way too little, too late.

But if churchmen wish to do this kind of intellectual exercise feel free, but the public (will) neither know nor care. I incluyde myself as it is all too late.

The only thing that would interest or impress me would be *marriage equality by next summer; and rigorous application of lgbt rights. If the bishops and Synods will not do this for us, then no end of academic stuff will wash with me / with many.

*But I like many others would not feel free to avail myself of it. Have no wish to. It'd be like trying to put an oxygen mask on my corpse...

Posted by Laurence at Sunday, 9 June 2013 at 6:43pm BST

@ Laurence, well its pretty difficult to argue with that kind of stance, although I feel the pain of your apparent impatience and frustration. You may well be right that it is "way too late". Sure feels that way most days.

Notwithstanding, The integration of human rights with theology is not merely an academic exercise.

Every change in policy, social,political, religious, is based on a conceptual frame-work. even when the drivers are largely practical.As long as the church(es) continue to cloister themselves with a special pleading that rationalizes an exemption from basic human rights they will not be able to participate in a social justice consensus. The issues include, but go far beyond, issues of human sexuality.

The crucified Christ died a victim of what we would now recognize as human rights abuse, i.e. torture and death as a dissident by the religio-political establishment. His death is an act of solidarity with the human family. Should not the people of God act in solidarity with the human family by standing up for basic human rights, rather than opting to weasel out of the same in order to protect male clerical privilege?

Posted by Rod Gillis at Monday, 10 June 2013 at 12:56am BST
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