on Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 9.23 am by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as General Synod
TitusOneNine has an unofficial transcript of the speech made by the Bishop of Durham in Sunday’s debate. The link to that transcript is here.
Lots of laughs, but the basic premiss – let’s not have any homosexuals in the house because some people don’t like them – seems to me, somehow, not at all funny. No women? No Jews? No blacks? No Jesus? No Mary Magdelen? Let’s keep it conventional, respectable, and in accordance with the sensibilities of the most conservative so everyone is happy – except the people who are excluded of course. But they are not mentioned. They are equivalent to the fag ends and other unpleasantness in his analogy. A frivolous speech on a serious subject. Shame on those who laughed… Read more »
Tom Wright’s paper shows an ignorance of shared accommodation in practice.
In theory, his paper sounds fine.
In the real world, we all know that whoever has their name on the lease papers rules the roost.
If you don’t like their rules and conduct, you leave.
“Shame on those who laughed and clapped”
I must confess I was one. This was an impressive stand-up comedy sketch and it lifted the sullen atmosphere.
Though I noticed other non-covenanters were not amused by the crass analogies.
Let’s see: the Scripture “containeth all things necessary to salvation”. Evangelicals would claim it is the only source of authority for the Church. The Scriptures lay out quite plainly how we Christians are to behave towards one another. Why, then, do we need another covenant? Why is My Lord of Durham insisting on a New New Covenant instead of insisting on adherence to the Old New Covenant? If the answer is that the Americans haven’t obeyed it, why does he think they will obey a new one? Or is that the point?
Shame on Tom Wright
Isn’t this typical of the old boys ethos of the C of E
I can’t take this outfit seriously (I’m one of millions)
The analogy of anti-social behaviour in a student house and theological differences and inclusion in the Anglican Churches is really stretching it. And the Church has been this way before. It developed a wide toleration of different beliefs and practices. The Oxford Movement (that inspiration of Satan, according to the Anglican Mainstream speaker) ended up in all sorts of legal battles, and was simply the wrong approach to innovate practices that have assisted and enriched spirituality ever since. Differences allow insight and new growth. Working with proposals is not the same as agreeing to them, especially if they don’t work… Read more »
Let me get this straight: I’m to be tossed out of the Anglican Communion because I give +Gomez the willies.
I’m going to remove NT Wright’s books from my library, anyone who can make so stupid and mean a statement must have a fundamental flaw in his intellect that renders all of his work suspect.
‘Oh we have to live with difference, some people like the smell of cigarettes when they are cooking and others don’t so get used to it’
I’ve been called a lot of things by all sorts of people. Now I can add ‘the smell of cigarettes in the kitchen’ by a bishop to the list.
Why doesn’t he just say he doesn’t like fags? Oh, you Brits, I see he did.
Yes, I’m afraid that I read a sly, false (but quite traditionalistic) witness that seeps around and through all the bishop’s surface good humor. In brief, the bishop is making a very familiar claim. He stands on familiar ground. He’s arguing – yet again in this modern age, of all things – that privileged straight religious people have a basic unbridgeable right to be protected from having Out or Partnered or Parenting queer folks rubbing shoulders with them in their churches. It is the queer folks who are being dirty, uncouth, and unfriendly towards the conservative believers who so deeply… Read more »
Did the Bishop of Durham actually address the Synod as “guys”?!
Sorry, but that was an absurd analysis of a good speech. The analogy was apt, or at least as apt as any such analogy is liable to be.
“Living in this house matters enormously to millions of Christians far more vulnerable than us.”
Who is omore vulnerable than a gay Nigerian?
And if the issue had been full inclusion of people of color, would the bishop have taken this frivolous tone?
I used to think this man was a serious scholar. He appears instead to be a less than mediocre stand-up comic.
I realize “fag” means something different in the U.K., but the Bishop of Durham has been in the U.S. enough times to know the offensive nature of his double entendre. Never mind the basic weakness of his argument. I find it shocking that someone who is considered a respectable scholar should stoop to such hateful rhetoric.
I gather from Wright’s remarks that the purpose of the Anglican covenant is “no fag ends in the kitchen.” I agree — that pretty much sums it up.
We live in a house together and we need house rules. Anyone who has lived in a house together with others knows that there are public areas like kitchens and bathrooms and private areas like bedrooms. So, what happened in 2003 was that TEC took some gays up to its room and invited them sleep over without asking everyone’s permission. They didn’t use the bathroom, they didn’t leave their “fags” in the kitchen, but their mere presence in the house means now we have to have rules, not for the public areas, because the house supervisor has always dictated those… Read more »
Well, in the Prince Bishop’s analogy EVERYBODY in the house compromised a bit to keep things pleasant. But what exactly have +Abuja or his evangelical supporters in the C of E been willing to give up or change? Absolutely nothing as far as I can see.
As an American who’s lived in England, fag is used often enough that the Synod would in no way associate it with the derogatory term it is in the US. The term “hateful rhetoric” isn’t shocking, but your attempt to stir the pot transparent.
As long as we’re into Public School metaphors, isn’t putting these “guys” in charge of the Anglican Communion very much like giving over Hogwarts to Dolores Umbridge: no tolerance of diversity, no listening, insisting that lies are truth, and a rather nasty focus on punishment?
I found drdanfee’s posting very moving and have been musing over it most of this morning. One of the things that was glossed over in choosing the New Testament texts was what to do when there was abuse in a household. Paul exhorts us to do our best, but is not good in telling us what to do about fixing our worst. Particularly when it comes to the mistreatment of women or the marginalised. But then what can you expect when both Paul and Jesus seemed oblivious to the concept of soul mates? e.g. Matthew 22:30 Pity for them if… Read more »
“anyone who can make so stupid and mean a statement must have a fundamental flaw in his intellect that renders all of his work suspect.”
His work is full of flaws, because is it always up to some special pleading and lacks the serenity to consider the evidence with scholarly calm. In his book The Resurrection of the Son of God, he actually refers to Edward Schillebeeckx as “mocking God”.
Timing is everything for a comedian – you had to be there to appreciate the humour. In the tradition of British comedy it just about kept within the bounds of acceptability. For sure, the fag gags would have gone down like a lead balloon at San Francisco Pride – where they would have been more keenly felt. But the bishop was preaching to the choir. Or two-thirds of it.
The unstoppable Gay Expulsion Plan may be politically expedient in the short term, but with adverse consequences closer to home where it verges on illegality.
Posted by: Chris on Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 2:02am BST
Having been born and bred in the UK I do not agree. Everyone in Britain knows that fag means a gay man, and not simple a cigarette butt (sic)
Give me Edward Schillebeeckx any day.
My Lord of Durham’s jest about Bishops of Durham, thunderstorms and York Minster led me to an interesting thought.
How is it that Anglicanism can survive the fifth most senior prelate in England describing the resurrection as “a conjuring trick with bones,” but it cannot survive a relatively obscure bishop in New England (for surely he would be otherwise) who happens to like other boys?
That is not what Bishop Jenkins said. He said it was NOT just a conjuring trick with bones.
The point is he said it was not JUST a conjuring trick with bones, in other words it included the conjuring trick…
All this talk of houses, rooms, people not living together. What is the symbolism of me, presently alone for two months, with two double bedrooms, one double bedroom turned study, a large kitchen, three living rooms, and two gardens? Is this the ultimate pluralist schism?
Chris wrote: “but your attempt to stir the pot transparent.” I hope not just transparent, but effective. Mostly I believe in letting things pass, bounce and roll off. I also enjoy a good joke at my expense. But sometimes I believe one needs to speak up — and yes stir the pot. As one who has had great respect for Bishop Wright, I believe he is too smart to be ignorant of the meaning of his words. Perhaps you are right that Synod did not perceive the word as derogatory and hence their laughter is understandable. Please forgive me, however,… Read more »
“Is this the ultimate pluralist schism?”
Depends on whether you have uncouth smoking visitors or whether you keep the place clean.
hi Simon & Pluralist: Re ‘conjuring trick with bones’: It is true that he said that the resurrection was ‘not *just* a conjuring trick with bones’ – but this does not imply that the conjuring trick was included. Proof: Bp Jenkins in fact did not believe that it was included. When one says ‘I don’t want just porridge every day’ one is not implying that what one really wants is porridge plus something else. One might more likely be implying that one does not want porridge at all, but a replacement. Bp Jenkins’s picture was inapposite in the first place.… Read more »
My point was not to re-open what the former Bishop of Durham may or may not have said / believed regarding the resurrection, but to point out a particular contrast. We have had a senior prelate from England speak of the resurrection – the central truth of our faith – in ways which, at least for some, have been scandalous. Yet that was not a crisis. However, when an obscure prelate from New England is gay – which, even if sinful, is hardly as central or significant as the resurrection – the whole fabric of the Communion is supposedly unravelling.… Read more »
c.b.’s post from Wednesday gets at the detailed flaws in the Bishop’s analogy: Dunelm+ compares an action of TEC that does not have a direct ecclesiastical effect on other provinces to behavior in shared living spaces which does have an effect on the other persons in the home (n.b. that even if Bp. Robinson _is_ morally unsuitable, his episcopal and presbyteral acts are valid; whereas if TEC and others are wrong about ordination of women, we are creating illusory clergy celebrating illusory sacraments–‘absolutely null and utterly void,’ as someone once said). The bigger problem with the analogy is that its… Read more »
“The main reason for people not believing in God is the behaviour of people who do believe in God.”
This is a far more meaningful statement from Bishop Jenkins in my book. The usual quote in my circle is “Lord I love you, save me from your followers.” That, or the metaphoric “It’s not the band I hate, it’s their fans.”
No – the problem of resurrection is right at the start. We have Paul confronting the eschatological language of resurrection but having a spiritual experience. So may be not rather like I might talk about a square circle he talks about a spiritual body. Language to these ancients was rather more tangible than our understanding of symbolism, in the sense that they could tell a story and make it real. Plus, this spiritual body is lined up to an eschatological event of the resurrection, and therefore something that had started. Later on we have the reaction against the gnostic direction… Read more »
“…matter (the physical) is totally reducible to energy (the spiritual)” But this is incorrect, Christopher. Energy and matter are both physical. Indeed, matter IS energy. Also, an Orthodox Christian would probably disagree with your attitude that the physical is more “real” than the spiritual. All physical, created things will end. “Heaven and earth shall pass away”. The only enduring reality is to be found in the “things eternal”. St. Ignatius said that one of the signs of the heterodox is that they treat the things of this world (the created realm, as I understand it, not merely this planet or… Read more »
A couple of points: 1. ‘…and do you know, the historical point yes, Hooker and Travis…’ should surely read ‘…Hooker and Travers…’ 2. it may be worth correcting the misquote from Stephen Bates in his article in The Guardian, 9 July 2007, which mentioned Tom Wright’s speech. Stephen Bates wrote: “Our present framework simply isn’t working. We need a framework to enable us to live in the house together. We are not being asked to sign a blank cheque. It is a commitment to a way of working together. It simply will not do to live with differences.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,,2121890,00.html Compare… Read more »
While we are dealing with spelling errors in the transcript, surely Cousin should be Cosin. John Cosin (1594 – 1672) became Bishop of Durham after the Restoration in 1661.
The relationship between Richard Hooker and Walter Travers was raised in the earlier speech from Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, who is Chaplain and Solway Fellow of University College, Durham. Travers was Hooker’s Puritan colleague at the Temple Church during 1581-1586 (after which he was forbidden to preach by Abp Whitgift).
Well, in that case we agree. You say: Matter is energy. I say: matter is reducible to (boils down to) energy. Isn’t that much the same thing? Yes, reality is physical; but it is more than physical. That is why ‘energy’ is a more all-encompassing category than ‘matter’. If everything were purely physical, then ‘matter’ would be the most all-encompassing category.
The Guardian on Tom Wright doesn’t surprise me. They turned Turnbull’s text (Wycliffe) about non-Christians “facing hell” (which can suggest a maybe) into “will burn in hell” (a definite, and the introduction of “hellfire” not present in his original speech.
“You say: Matter is energy.” I’m flattered,Christopher, but it wasn’t me who said this, it was Einstein. I’m also confused that you seemed to be saying that the physical is real, now you seem to be saying something different. And, pluralist, I’m not trying to separate myself from you as Christian. I don’t have any business telling the Master who He is allowed to invite to His table when I’m a guest at that table myself. For me, I just don’t get what is the attraction of Christianity reduced to some moral/ethical message. If it’s about coming to some kind… Read more »
4May1535 said: “If it would be “schismatic” for TEC—an independent national church which helped to create the AC—to leave it (not that I think it should), then was it not “schismatic” for the Ecclesia Anglicana (which claimed, whether validly as a matter of history or not, to be independent) to leave the Roman communion? “ Of course, Ecclesia Anglicana didn’t leave “the Roman Communion.” She exercised the autonomy she claimed and asserted that foreign prelates had to right to gainsay them – and as a consequence they were turfed by Rome. So if the process currently in train results in… Read more »
Thank you,Malcolm+! I have issues with the idea of “national Church”, but I agree totally with your comparison. Henry VIII was the son of a usurper, anxious for a smooth transition of power to a male heir, as are all who usurp thrones. He was also a whoremonger who found a convenient excuse for this in his search for an heir. He was allowed a divorce centuries before the same was allowed to common folk, and the Church ignored his judicial murdering of more than one wife,not to mention aforesaid whoremongering. This, I think, makes it a trifle hypocritical to… Read more »
Speaking of Henries and usurpations . . . Today is the 200th anniversary of the death of the last Royal Stuart – Henry Benedict Cardinal Stuart, called Duke of York, sometime titular Archbishop of Corinth, sometime Bishop of Frascati, and at his death, Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals and Archbishop of Ostia and Velletri. The grandson of James II and VII and the younger brother of “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” he was the last Jacobite claimant to make any public declaration of his rights. To any loyal Jacobite, he was Henry IX. Coincidentally, the Cardinal King happens to be… Read more »
One further interruption.
Today is the 74th birthday of the said Francis II.
I promise I’ll stop now.
Malcolm – we AGREE…..the old heretical bishop of Durham should have received a stronger response….but people were too tolerant and this tolerance has been abused to a point in which a few people are now willing to see the AC split and decimated to please a particular agenda of a particular minority. Ford says :The Scriptures lay out quite plainly how we Christians are to behave towards one another. Why, then, do we need another covenant? —yep – this is the point and exactly why we need a covenant…because Lambeth 1.10 is based on our scriptues about how we are… Read more »
“Lambeth 1.10” NP, the “verse” you continually quote is but one part of a much larger statement, as you know, whole swaths of which have been scrupulously ignored by those you claim as leaders. If you can’t keep the Convenant God gave us, how will you be able to keep one drawn up by Drexel Gomez? Your hypocrisy in accusing others of the sins “your side” is equally guilty of is one of the ways we fail. Do you seriously think no-one sees this? Do you not realize it undermines your Christian witness, as does your gloating over the “Anglican… Read more »
Welcome to Canada, NP.
If you care to broaden your experience of the Church – and perhaps even meet people with different perspectives – I can doubtless recommend a range of parishes for you to visit in almost any diocese in the country.
Ford – …what “the hostility to world has for Christians” are you talking about??
– the problem with your argument is that I have seen year on year many new unchurched people come to faith in our church in London…..just as the “believe what you like and be nice people” message has shrunk churches round the corner from us and all over England, the US and Canada.
NP, You talk about it yourself, NP, when you complain the government is somehow eroding your rioghts in England. Why do you think that is? The secular world, that pushes the things you think are oppressive, is only fighting back against the hypocrisy and oppression the Church has been guilty of. Have you never talked to people who hate the church about WHY they hate the Church? Or are you afraid of confronting the things in your brand of Christianity that make them feel that way? It’s easier to blame it all on the liberals and convince yourself that, since… Read more »