But loving *with* qualifications is precisely the position that the Archbishops and bishops of the Church of England have been so firmly teaching all these years.
Given the positions the archbishops have taken, their statement, however well intended and even heartfelt it may be, is just not enough, is it?
What a horrific event. Words fail. Today Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) Radio 2 program 'Shift' has been playing classical music by composers/arrangers from the GLBTQ communities.
A more assertive approach has been taken by one of CBC's top journalists for whom words don't fail. Neil MacDonald was formerly CBC TV's Washington corespondent, and previously Middle East corespondent. His piece is titled: After Orlando, time to recognize that anti-gay bigotry is not religious freedom. I've attached a link to his online piece on the CBC website. It should be accessible to readers outside Canada.
MacDonald writes in part:
"Islam may be more overt about its homophobia than the other major religions — anyone who's worked in the Middle East has heard some fool in high office declaring that there are no gays in Islam, and therefore no AIDS — but the fact is, conservative iterations of all the monotheistic faiths are deeply and actively and systemically anti-gay.
The sacred monotheistic texts contain prohibitions that would by just about any legal definition be considered hate speech in the modern secular world."
What utter hypocrisy from Canterbury and York.
The statement by Canterbury and York leaves me flabergasted by its inadequacy and lack of self-examination. Where were the Archbishops when Islamic extremists were throwing GLBT men off high buildings? Where were they when Anglican churches in Africa were supporting anti-gay legislation and refusing to share the Eucharist with LGBT-supportive churches? Where are they when LGBT clergy and lay need their support in their officially-sanctioned isolation?
It's well that they deplore the horrific violence in Orlando. But what real steps are they taking to fight homophobia? In fact, they seem to be passing by on the other side of the road. Kind words are cheap.
A one word reaction: 'hypocrisy'.
A few more words...
These words, no doubt sincerely felt, are akin to a segregationist denouncing lynching.
Undeniably murdering people because of their sexual orientation is homophobic persecution.
Away from the extreme of the spectrum persecution can also consist of such things as denying people employment, or marriage, or physical expression of their sexual orientation; sacking people or refusing them licenses because they are LGBT. Persecution can be bullying, or insisting people must be celibate or labelling them intrinsically disordered or unscriptural or that their marriages aren't real marriages or cannot be blessed by God.
No it's not the same thing as picking up a gun. But it's from the same source:
"You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder'; and 'whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; "
From the smallest seed.
It seems that the Archbishops believe that they are the right people to decide what is acceptable discrimination and what is not, what is persecution and what is not. And the definition seems to be 'if we do it, it isn't'
From Canterbury and York, a bit less would have been much more.
The Churches need to speak out about America's gun culture. I know good Christian folk in America who believe in carrying arms!
Truly horrific event. America's gun culture must change. As President Obama noted "America must decide what sort of country it wants to be". Prayers for all in Orlando at this sad and difficult time.
TA must have made a transcription error: the part of the archbishops' statement calling for repentance for homophobia, especially by church leaders, seems to have been deleted inadvertently.
I cannot but disagree with most of the comments above. I welcome this statement by the Archbishops and am glad that they have made it. I will not share the cynicism of other respondents and I will accept their sentiments at face value.I sincerely hope in its expressions of shock and horror that it will soon be joined by similar statements from Islamic religious leaders
I am sure we all welcome the archbishops' statement, but it is just one more voice in a chorus of similar statements, saying no more nor no less than all the others, no matter how well-meant.
Contrast this however, with some of the statements of Pope Francis which have been heard everywhere, even by unbelievers, because they are bold and new. If Canterbury or York had asked for repentance from African bishops who have promoted kill-the-gays bills, or apologized for centuries of persecution of LGBT persons, or taken concrete steps to right the injustices and exclusions that still burden LGBT clergy - THEN the world might have listened and some good might have been accomplished.
As it is, permit me to doubt that very many - beyond those of us already in the church - will have noted or taken heed of yet another well-meaning statement about this incident. We are numb with fear and and the endless succession of violence, and we need fewer well-meant words, and many more leaders of courage pointing a way out of this swamp of intolerance and violence.
@ Michael, "I sincerely hope in its expressions of shock and horror that it will soon be joined by similar statements from Islamic religious leaders."
Michael, you may be interested in this article from Voice of America, U.S. Islamic Leaders Strongly Condemn Florida Shooting.
See perhaps especially the remarks of Nihad Awad: “How will you stand before God and answer for your crimes against innocent people, thousands of innocent people, Muslims, Christians and other minorities? You do not speak for us, you do not represent us. You are an aberration, an outlaw.”
Notwithstanding, the editorial opinion expressed by CBC's Neil MacDonald (see my comment and that of Nathaniel Brown, both above) about anti-gay bigotry and all monotheistic religions, is worth considering.
According to a story appearing this afternoon (Monday) on the Los Angeles Times website, witnesses said they had seen the gunman in the nightclub before. One witness said he had seen the gunman there at least a dozen times -- sitting, drinking, and talking with other patrons.
Another witness said that he had exchanged messages on a gay dating and chat app with the gunman for about a year before.
There's certainly a suggestion here that the gunman was a man with same-sex attractions and a significant amount of self-hatred.
I take the concerns of the religious leaders expressed above at face value. But the drumbeat of telling people with same-sex attractions with significant mental issues and significant self-loathing that they are abominable, unnatural, intrinsically disordered, and unable to inherit the kingdom of God may have some unhappy consequences.
I note with approval that the statement describes the massacre in Orlando as "evil". This is a word to be used rarely and with extreme caution but is correctly used in this context - it is utterly horrendous what has taken place in Florida and many prayers are being offered and candles lit for the victims of this evil act, for the injured and for the many bereaved families,
The Archbishops could have remained silent but they chose rightly to speak out and issue this heartfelt and moving statement.
They have also both come out in favour of remaining within the EU. In this they are at one with the outgoing President of the USA who will be sorely missed when he leaves office. The possibility of a Trump Presidency to replace President Obama should fill us all with both terror and fear as his words following the Orlando shooting have done nothing more than to fan the flames of evil. Be afraid, be very afraid of this distinct possibility and pray that the American people may come to their senses in the forthcoming Presidential election and vote to defeat the homophobic Trump.
In the face of such an evil and horrific event, anyone - whatever their doctrinal views on sexuality - may understandably recoil with horror and feel immense sorrow for all those injured or bereaved.
Admittedly I will listen particularly to leaders of TEC who have championed the dignity of LGBT people.
But even people who don't agree with gay and lesbian sex still have hearts, still feel, still recoil from evil, still react with human emotions.
Who knows... perhaps events like this will move some people to look again at the consequences of erasure, of marginalisation, of hatred.
I prefer to take the compassion and horror of the archbishops at face value in this situation.
I don't think that should be politicised. The events are just too sad for that.
There is more time ahead to vigorously critique why marginalisation and erasure have consequences, why LGBT lives are harmed by a theology that suggests they are destined for 'destruction', and why the lives and consciences of LGBT-affirming people need to be respected and allowed inside our Church.
But right now:
Lord have mercy in the face of violation and horror.
I too had noticed the curious omission of any expression of repentance in the statement from the Archbishops. Also, I could not find a whisper of a commitment from them to spearhead at the next General Synod the movement for full equality for gay people in the Church, including equal marriage.
I greatly respect the Office held by bishops, but until their actions accord with their words I will be sparing in my respect for the office holders.
You don't get to condemn homosexuality as a sin that'll send people to burn in hell forever, then denounce hate. Your postion's inherently hateful, and you're some of the worst offenders. Your use of the P.C. "LGBTI" to mask yourselves is especially noxious.
I have far more respect for a person who owns their position, however odious: this two-faced equivocation just rubs salt in the wounds you've helped create.
Given that the Primates of the Anglican Communion agreed as one 'Walking Together' to reject homophobic injustice and violence a response a denominational wide response would seem appropriate.
"Contrast this however, with some of the statements of Pope Francis which have been heard everywhere, even by unbelievers"
If you look on Pink News you will find strong criticism of the Pope's statement too.
I pass that on as information only: at this time I personally don't wish to comment on the statements made by faith leaders.
For those harping on the American gun culture, something like 85 percent of Americans want gun control. Why don't we have it? The enormous money that the NRA and other right wing organizations have - they have bought the entire Republican Party and some Democrats. It is a dreadful and oppressive situation. Some of us have hopes in the next election, not just because Hillary supports gun violence prevention legislation, but also we'll get new members on the Supreme Court and likely a Democratic Congress. But still, the money is huge.
Given that the ABC and ABY have been attacking the dignity of American LGBTQI Episcopalians for a couple of decades (plus their discrimination at home), I can only see their statement as a political necessity in the UK.
Their rhetoric and actions contribute to the climate of hate. It messages that we are less than fully human children of God and therefore makes us targets of bullies and worse.
About the American situation, our LGBTQI people are more vulnerable than those in the UK. Our hate crime and discrimination laws aren't as strong as yours (in many places). When we suffer job discrimination we don't have the same economic safety net and can lose our healthcare (with sometimes devastation results). Homophobic nuts can obtain weapons of mass destruction.
You can't imagine how revolting I find the ABC and ABY right now.
I agree with James Byron, the compassion from so many sounds hollow, especially ACNA and Co: you gay folks are toast for ever, but shame someone shot you to get there. No soul searching. Not the shadow of a doubt that the gospel they preach may feed the kind of culture that leads to this. I feel a little sick.
and yes, I know the shooter was a Muslim fundie, same applies to Muslim leaders who constantly bemoan violence but never question its source. Only Bp Colton sounds genuine.
The words and actions of Canterbury and York continue to appall me, and are offensive to me.
They are not alone, but they have contributed to the problems of lgbt+ around the world, as I have cause to know, personally, and devastatingly over the past six decades.
Yes, I know Welby and Sentamu have not been in post that long, but they are successors of and participants in a long tradition of oppressing us.
I see the Foley-Beach also can't bring himself to say the words lesbian and gay or use the initials lgbti. Shame on him.
"love without qualification"
Love without qualification: permitting people to marry.
Love with qualification: campaign furiously and continuously to prevent people from marrying.
I don't think Welby wishes active harm to my LGBT friends. He doesn't wish them well, either.
And now it reveals the killer was gay and frequented the club.. I think a lot of false assumptions have been made on the site.
"I sincerely hope in its expressions of shock and horror that it will soon be joined by similar statements from Islamic religious leaders"
Vigils across the US have included Imams and Muslim leaders expressing their shock, condolences, and support for the victims, their families, and the LGBTQI community. The media might not be showing that, but my FaceBook feed does.
I am appalled at the lack of charity and even vitriol in some of the above comments - from people who would want to call themselves Christians. I would wish to say 'thank you' for and endorse the post by Michael at 11.50 pm on 13 June.
Re Barry's comment (10.04 am on 14 June) that he "could not find a whisper of a commitment from [the two archbishops] to spearhead at the next General Synod the movement for full equality for gay people in the Church, including equal marriage", he should know that no formal debate on marriage is on the agenda for the GS meeting at York next month (though this may come in 2017). Rather, synod members will be engaged over two days in 'shared conversations' on human sexuality, during which there will be, no doubt "good disagreement". Certainly, I hope and expect that the level of conversation will rise above the personal abuse infecting some of the contributors to this website.
RIW: Almost ALL self-identifying "good Christian folk" in the US are gun carriers. Christian is not synonymous with "good Christian folk", the latter typically being hard-core right-wing "folk".
Dr. Primrose: at this time, I don't believe there is any evidence that the shooter self-identified as same-sex attracted. Those who recall him from gay websites, don't recount "participation" -- just having a look.
Just a question: all the bishops whose comments are included are from the Anglican Communion, except Foley, and I wonder why TA decided to include him and not for example comments by RC bishops (I am sure there must be) or leaders of other churches .....surely TA isn't going along with ABC to include ACNA's bishop as an "Anglican Communion primate"????
Society is divided.
A growing part of society believes LGBT people are utterly innocent and suffer unfair persecution. This part of society believes in tolerance and justice.
Another part, but probably a diminishing part, is agnostic on LGBT issues or, supportive of gay rights but not trans rights.
A third group sees LGBT people as responsible for many of society's ills. They believe in judgement and segregation.
Of course there is a certain bias in how I have presented that, but it is necessary I think to make a point. I think the issue has now moved beyond the rights and wrongs of same sex sex and marriage. What matters is what part of society do we wish to hear the Good News. And whatever one feels about the archbishops' statement, there is no doubt in my mind that statements like that are making the first group stop listening.
Jesus was surrounded by prostitutes and tax collectors, fishermen and slaves, centurions and housewives. He welcomed all without judgement. He delivered his message to people of good conscience with open minds and hearts. His interaction with those with narrow-minded moralities was noticeably colder and more distant.
If the Church wants my first group to hear the Good News then it needs to start talking to that group and not to the third group. Despite his outrageously radical message Jesus managed it; the Church needs to do too.
Orlando was a terrible tragedy. S lay next to me in tears at the news. Heartbroken. We can only grieve and pray for the victims and their families. But if the Church's reaction to the event pushes people further from Christ rather than bringing them.closer, that will be an even greater tragedy.
"And now it reveals the killer was gay and frequented the club.. I think a lot of false assumptions have been made on the site."
Apart from being an entirely untrue statement, perhaps you would like to explain what if this was true, these 'false assumptions' might be?
"A growing part of society believes LGBT people are utterly innocent and suffer unfair persecution....Another part, but probably a diminishing part, is agnostic on LGBT issues...A third group sees LGBT people as responsible for many of society's ills"
Which category would you put (a) the Archbishop of Canterbury (b) the Archbishop of York and (c) the Archbishop of Nigeria? I'd assert 2, 3 and 3, respectively.
I have no objection to Foley Beach of ACNA using a prayer from the American Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer (1979). The prayer is found in the office of The Burial of the Dead: Rite II. In fact, since it was taken specifically from the very touching section, At the Burial of a Child, may we infer Abp. Beach to say that lesbians and gay men (and other gender/sexual minorities) are all Children of God---a loving God “whose wisdom is beyond our understanding” in making us all who we are? If so, many of us would appreciate it being more explicitly stated. Perhaps Dr. Beach feels constrained by his constituents. If so, that is very sad indeed…
"I am appalled at the lack of charity and even vitriol in some of the above comments - from people who would want to call themselves Christians."
David, people were speaking out in sorrow and fear. Fear is a big part of it. If one is laughed at or abused most days on the street - and that is the reality for some of us - there is a constant fear that it may turn from sniggering, rude gestures and abuse to a knife or a gun. If you haven't lived with that - have you? - it is hard to appreciate how corrosive it is, how the sense of insecurity builds over time, and therefore the psychological effect of events like those in Orlando.
I won't draw specific comparisons but if a group is being persecuted the most important thing for anybody commenting is to recognise the persecution, explicitly preferably but certainly clearly. Any comment which doesn't do that tends to be seen as a denial of the persecution and cause significant offence.
I am still not going to judge the archbishops' statement, but in my opinion their press officers really ought to have been able to predict how some would react to the wording and advise the archbishops accordingly. I suspect that didn't happen.
I think GS needs to change the agenda for York because, as I explained earlier, I think a failure to understand how to communicate effectively with LGBT people, our allies and our supporters, has become an impediment to mission which needs to be on the mission agenda and addressed with urgency.
David, thank you for your comment (June 14th: 11.45.) I hope that my remarks did not come under your proper concern about the tone of some messages on this site.
Given the extent to which the Christian Church has been and is complicit in inflicting suffering and injustice on gay people, I persist in thinking that some token of repentance for that from Their Graces would have been welcome. And if words of sympathy are to have any credibility they must be accompanied by actions, so a commitment from our leaders to push for equal treatment for all Church members does not seem too much to ask for, irrespective of the "shared conversations".
As for those conversations, such evidence as I have heard suggests that for the most part people have left them in pretty much the same positions with which they arrived. Does that bode well for Synod discussion? Also, when a priest known to me who was asked to participate in the discussions requested an assurance that they would be a secure environment, in which he could be frank about himself, the Church authorities refused to give him that assurance. Can this make for honest discussion in Synod or anywhere else?
I join you in hoping that the Synod "conversations" will be constructive and courteous, but in the end it is people's lives and loves which are at stake here. A decision on these issues cannot be deferred indefinitely. The Church of Scotland has managed to shift its position. I would like to believe that the C of E can do the same.
Once again, my thanks for your comment, and for clarifying where the matter of equal marriage stands on the Synod timetable.
"I am appalled at the lack of charity and even vitriol in some of the above comments - from people who would want to call themselves Christians."
It is very Christian to speak truth to power. The truth is that the actions of ABC and ABY have been extremely harmful to LGBTQI people in the UK and the US.
It is not particularly "Christian" to give leaders a pass on injustice. The people needing the compassion here are the victims, families, friends and loved ones of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, with strong sensitivities to the LGBTQI community. Given that ABC and ABY are participants in the hate rhetoric, enablers of bullies everywhere, and active discriminators in their own church, they need to be called to account. It needs to be perfectly clear to them how unacceptable their actions have been and that pretty words in time of enormous pain just isn't good enough.
Tone policing is "a thing." When someone is uncomfortable with strong emotions or an awkward topic, they make it about the tone. What happened in Orlando provokes a range of emotions, including extreme frustration and people like ABC and ABY who contribute to the climate that denigrates LGBTQI people. It is entirely inappropriate to police the tone of the victims and LGBTQI people. What happened hurts and needs expression. Deal with it.
"And now it reveals the killer was gay and frequented the club.. I think a lot of false assumptions have been made on the site."
The target was a gay club, whatever the reason. And it is a horror.
I agree that the situation with the shooter is very complex. He got married twice and was charge with domestic violence with both of them. This was not a man who was comfortable with a gay identity. He was not particularly religious, according to an ex-wife and some friends. He claimed, to co-workers, that he was a card carry member of both Hezbollah and ISIS, which is impossible, they are hated enemies...
Why did he do it? All of the above, most likely.
It must be nice to be so insulated from the concerns and lives of a group, that you can afford to disdain and denigrate their righteous anger and reproof at murder and the complicity of the church to the society that created it.
There is a BBC news item about internalised homophobia. It is a theory which would add weight to the view expressed by some that negative attitudes about LGBT people expressed by faith leaders can have disastrous consequences.
Whether the Orlando murderer was "just casing the joint" (Pulse nightclub), or gay (w/ issues) or ANYWHERE in-between those two poles, is not clear. It's known he pledged himself, and his terrorist act, to ISIS (an Islamist sub-cult which includes horrific violence to LGBT people as an intrinsic agenda).
It's also clear that the Orlando murderer committed his terrorist atrocity in a State, Florida, in which LGBT people are officially second-class citizens (they have no legal employment/accomodations protections). And that this second-class status of LGBT people is due, overwhelmingly, to the contempt of ***Christians*** for them. Kyrie eleison.
May the holy departed of Orlando rest in peace. NEVER AGAIN!!!
[And yes, gun law reform. Separately, but related/required!]
If you oppose same sex marriage it does not necessarily mean that you are homophobic. The vast majority of Christendom, and mainstream denominations do not agree with same sex marriage. As do some gay people.
However my Church for instance teaches that we should love and treat with respect persons with same sex attraction, and discrimination is only allowed in legitimate areas like marriage. Under no circumstances would the Catholic Church ever condone a massacre of persons as occurred at Orlando....As I pointed out the circumstances here are complex and I think people here should be careful in their judgements.
I write as a Roman Catholic.
I believe it is widely understood today, that historically, and right up to our lifetime the RC church and its hierarchies and religious orders has presided over, connived in, or actively caused deaths too many to be numbered, as well as other human rights abuses.
In Ireland alone, the bodies of babies have been found in and under convents, and Magdalen Laundries (and other church institutions ) where unmarried mothers were effectively held in slave labour, and their infants, died apparently, of neglect, malnutrition and the with-holding of medical treatment of the most basic kind.
"my Church for instance teaches that we should love and treat with respect persons with same sex attraction, and discrimination is only allowed in legitimate areas like marriage."
You need to know, Robert, that the phrase "same sex attraction" is HIGHLY offensive. The science and our self knowledge are in sync here; we gay people are created as we are. I would say by our very own Creator in our Creator's Image.
Of course, I would say that marriage is not a legitimate area of discrimination. But I'm not too concerned with Rome, just Anglicans, as we believe in continuing revelation and that we can experience it for ourselves rather than from a pope.
Cynthia.....Thanks for telling me that the term "same sex attraction" is offensive.. I will remember that in future.
You're welcome, Robert. The language thing can get gnarly. It's Respect 101 to refer to people by their preferred language. Having said that, it isn't always monolithic and clear, but "same sex attracted" tends to signal bad vibes, like it's a medical pathology rather than a state of being.
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