Thinking Anglicans

California Proposition Eight

The Episcopal Bishops of the six dioceses in the state of California have issued a joint statement calling for defeat of Proposition Eight, a ballot initiative approved for inclusion in the November 4 election that would amend the state constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Read the ENS report: California bishops call for defeat of proposition that would ban same-sex marriage which includes the full text of the joint statement. Here is an extract:

The group statement, signed by bishops of the dioceses of Northern California, California, El Camino Real, San Joaquin, Los Angeles and San Diego, said, “We do not believe that marriage of heterosexuals is threatened by same-sex marriage. Rather, the Christian values of monogamy, commitment, love, mutual respect and witness of monogamy are enhanced for all by providing this right to gay and straight alike. Society is strengthened when two people who love each other choose to enter into marriage, engaged in a lifetime of disciplined relationship building that serves as a witness to the importance of love and commitment.”

The bishops acknowledged that the Church is not of one mind on the blessing of same-sex unions, but said they are “adamant that justice demands that same-sex civil marriage continue in our state,” and noted that a resolution passed at the 2006 General Convention opposed any civil initiative that would make same-sex marriage unconstitutional on a state or national level.

The Los Angeles press conference is available online here. The Los Angeles Times report is here.

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john
john
13 years ago

Great stuff. Bishops who lead. Who protect their flock. Inspiring. Not many like that here in the C of E.

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

Bravo, yeah, and all that. Dems ma bish-ez. A strong, clear public statement of support – no blurring the opinion ranges, pro to con, about what the Anglican ethics and theologies of same sex blessings, ought or ought not to be. I just do not see yet, exactly why other Anglican notables – including many attending or absent this last Lambeth – cannot manage similarly clear, non-blurry preaching. How sad, it falls way beyond the ken of the rightwing Anglicans – who cannot in truth consistently conceive of queer folks as real people – with real lives, real work, real… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

I can’t wait to hear what Schofield has to say…

Father Ron Smith
13 years ago

“…the Christian values of monogamy, commitment, love, mutual respect and witness of monogamy are enhanced for all by providing this right to gay and straight alike. Society is strengthened when two people who love each other choose to enter into marriage, engaged in a lifetime of disciplined relationship building that serves as a witness to the importance of love and commitment.” TEC Bishops of California At last! The Church speaking with authority on an issue of fundamental human justice! It is so sad that the forces of exclusion have seen fit to try to overturn the State Law on the… Read more »

JCF
JCF
13 years ago

Proud to be BOTH an Episcopalian, and a native Californian! 😀

The Rev'd LJ Roberts
The Rev'd LJ Roberts
13 years ago

I really hope the anti-gay legislation is defeated. The witness of these leading minisiters can surely only help in its defeat. How very encouraging that these overseers are actually leading ! Rather than the kind of ‘oversight’ which means over-looking / neglecting !

Yes, when will Laurie Green, Bill Ind, Stephen Lowe, and others speak up in England ?

btw are bishops’ voices the only ones that count these days ?

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

drdanfee, You are right it is not over in California. With the bishops one can say the “back and forth” that the proposition anticipates on the matter is hard for people. In a confused culture, where “most anything goes,” that has lost the basis for making most moral distinctions (e.g. equating sexual expression with the issue of race etc), the only thing many people relate to is “rights” and “victimhood.” If you can play that up you may still be heard. But beyond the hype and the superficiality of the culture a deeper sense may be developing. Part of the… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
13 years ago

In a confused culture, where “most anything goes,” that has lost the basis for making most moral distinctions (e.g. equating sexual expression with the issue of race etc), the only thing many people relate to is “rights” and “victimhood.” If you can play that up you may still be heard. But beyond the hype and the superficiality of the culture a deeper sense may be developing. Ben More careless fear/hate mongering…not a specific in the mess of assumptions about “other people” and their “culture” of “anything goes”…get this, Ben W., anything doesn’t “go” except for the reckless antics of Bush/Chaney… Read more »

Steven
Steven
13 years ago

More fuel for the fire, and just as well probably. At this point, I think we will all be better off if the split settles out quickly.

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
13 years ago

Oh dear, Ben W, you still just don’t get the whole justice and human rights thing, do you?

Perhaps it all starts with empathy for people who are being/ have been oppressed. I don’t know why you don’t have any empathy at all for us, given the oppression that us gays have been suffering all this time, but I think your not having it is probably why you’re so much on a different wavelength from most of us on here.

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

Hello Ben W, I am still faily amazed, given the usual social orders, that we find ourselves in the same global Anglican Communion, no? Now, I think my basic point is rather simple: In order to really test – transparently weigh, and adequately discern in our modern Anglican ethics and Anglican theologies (note the plural global Anglican S, please?)- what is or is not going on over time, with the committed same sex relationships that real people, real believers are really pledging now among us – let’s restrict for the time being to California and Massachusetts and Canada and Spain… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Fr Mark, Please do not make this what it’s not. There is a place to speak up for the protection and rights of people in varied settings. And that might well have been part of this. From bishops I expect a nuanced Christian statement, that can at least take account of what has been historic Christian teaching. Hear what I said: “Part of the bishops’ statement may be intended to be perceived as affirming the civil rights of homosexual people. So in that setting rather than coming up with a nuanced Christian statement they do the easy thing (perhaps especially… Read more »

andrewdb
andrewdb
13 years ago

It should be noted that Prop 8 would overturn a recent case in the State Supreme Court granting equal marriage rights to gays and lesbians, so it is a change to the status quo (at least as of this summer)

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“the only thing many people relate to is “rights” and “victimhood.”” Ben, I agree with you entirely, though I’m not as sure as you are about the cause. The way I put it is that society only truly validates those who identify as victims and fight against it. This last part is vital, identifying as victim isn’t enough. One result is that such people can’t actually win. To win is to be less of a victim, and that paradoxically damages their personae, so they have to find something else to be victimized by. It is made worse when there is… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
13 years ago

“From bishops I expect a nuanced Christian statement, that can at least take account of what has been historic Christian teaching” – Ben W – What, Ben, such teaching as Jesus wants us to set forth in the Church and to the world? Like, for instance :- “Love one another, as I have loved you” – Jesus “Judge not, that you be not judged” – Jesus “Father, (I pray) that they may be one, as you and I are one; they in us, as I am in you and you are in me” – Jesus (anti-schismatic) Where, Ben, in your… Read more »

JCF
JCF
13 years ago

“More fuel for the fire”

That would be the Holy Spirit.

“and just as well probably. At this point, I think we will all be better off if the split settles out quickly. – Posted by Steven”

Lord have mercy, but leave if you must, Steven.

I don’t suppose though, while you’re “splitting” from the Episcopal Church, you could desist using the terms (in addition to “Episcopal”) “Anglican” “Christian” and “follower of Jesus Christ”?

[Well, I had to ask.]

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

In the wake of the Robinson consecration in 2003, the Vatican suspended the work of IARCUM…I think that this calls for another suspension…

Imagine the Catholic bishops campaigning for the vote and the Episcopal gainst…

Joint mission and unity..what a mockery

Father Ron Smith
13 years ago

Robert, given your recent conversion to Rome, one can’t help wondering what point you are trying to make in your recent entry (13/Sept @ 8.43am)

Steven
Steven
13 years ago

JCF:

No need for a snit, and no need for the insults. I think there are a lot of folks on both sides who would like things to settle out and be over with.

Steven

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

drdanfee,

First, my question to you was, “And who is using the language of suspicion, contempt and prejudice?”

Not the direct language about people or about evangelicals, what we have instead is contempt and put-downs. You attribute what no one on this list or I have ever said in general about homosexuals. It is embedded in your very words: “One suspects they prefer underground queer folks with party animal sex lives, so neatly fitted with their negative beliefs, even their flat earth prejudices.”

As for your “test”, that is not the issue and is beside the point.

Ben W

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Ron Smith, Your question again little more than rhetoric. You ask, “Where, Ben, in your on-line statements, is there any evidence (at all) of your ‘taking account’ of historic Christian (of Christ) teaching?.” If you have not heard it till now what would lead anyone to expect you will get it now? No point in citations of evidence, they are there in the record if you want to know. You refer to teaching Jesus like, for instance : “Love one another, as I have loved you” – Jesus “Judge not, that you be not judged” – Jesus “Father, (I pray)… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Ben
“In appropriate context I AFFIRM it all!”

Where did Jesus say “Love one another but only in an appropriate context”?

Where did he say “Do not judge one another, but only after you’ve judged whether the context is appropriate”?

I’m afraid, his commands here are absolute.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“In appropriate context I AFFIRM it all!” But you don’t get to set the context, Ben. “Who is my neighbour” has a very clear answer in Scripture: everybody. Do you really think there are situations in which you are NOT required to love your neighbour? And, what does it mean to “affirm” something? I think this highlights a major issue between Evangelicals and non-Evangelicals: we don’t speak the same language, and we don’t even have the same assumptions of meaning. You have used this word many times, I cannot conceive of ever using it. It seems that a public statement… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“It is like the question “Are you saved?” For some Evangelicals, though I suspect not you, that’s a very clear, simple question, for me it’s incredibly difficult and nuanced, and I can’t conceive of asking it to anyone.”

I can’t conceive of asking it because none of us truly knows the answer. We all have faith that we are saved through baptism…but we cannot “know” it in any rational sense. God’s plan for us is unknown to us.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“I can’t conceive of asking it because none of us truly knows the answer. We all have faith that we are saved through baptism…but we cannot “know” it in any rational sense. God’s plan for us is unknown to us.” It may or may not apply to Evangelicals here, but I have run into on Evangelical websites the idea that this statement represents lack of faith. They heap scorn on the idea that to solidly affirm redemption is presumption of the grace of God. They DO know the answer in fact. And God’s plan for us IS known in the… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

To Ron Smith … I don’t call Easter Sunday , 1991 recent! As to my motive ..if any man glory …..let him do so in the Lord.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Pat and Ford I struggle with this sentence: “but we cannot “know” it in any rational sense. God’s plan for us is unknown to us.” It seems to be mixing up two concepts. What we cannot know in any rational sense is whether God exists and whether he is as Christianity portrays him. What we have is faith, not knowledge. But, once we have come to faith, and once we have decided that the Christian answers appear to us the most likely – whether because it’s our culture, because it makes intellectual sense, or because we have a religious experience… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Ford, What I see in your exposition of evangelical is largely “figments of imagination.” Now if you are interested simply in going in circles in your own imagination not much I can do about that. I suppose it should not be surprising, you said you had not heard of evangelicals in the AC until recently? You had not heard of archbishop G Carey?? First, there is always a context for commands or teaching in scripture. The Ten Commandments have the context of God having delivered the people from slavery and calling them to himself in covenant (Exod 19:3-6; 20:1-17). So… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

Erika: I think you may be misunderstanding me. To me, “knowing” is a rational thing. I know that if I drop something, it will fall to the ground…because I have experienced it again and again and I understand the theory of gravity. But “faith” is not rational, it does not depend on experience or understanding of natural phenomena. I have faith that I am redeemed through baptism, but I do not “know” that I am. It cannot be proven in any rational manner. And I cannot know God’s plan for me, or for anyone else, because God’s mind is unknowable… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“What we have is faith, not knowledge.” This is what I’m saying. Faith is not knowledge, faith is faith. We cannot prove that we are saved. It is all faith. What I can’t, and won’t say, is that I will go with the sheep when the time comes. I can only say that I trust in the mercy of God and put my fate in His hands. I know some have problems, for instance, with the Prayer of Humble Access, all that presuming and all. Well, I’m sorry, but it is pretty presumptious for a finite, fallen creation to stand… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Ben “So the call to love the neighbor has its context. It does not simply excuse sin in the name of love for example, e.g. the woman taken in adultery (John 8:1-11), it is “you have sinned and out of love you can be forgiven.” Not,”I love you and so we ignore this;” rather, “go and sin no more.” Actually, there are two linear conversations going on in the story of the woman taken in adultery. One is between Jesus and the accusers. The other is between Jesus and the woman. There is no conversation at all between the woman… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Pat, Thank you for your explanation. Ford, I suppose my theology is slightly different from yours. I do not believe that there will be a sorting into sheep and goats depending on whether we’ve been good boys and girls. If anyone ends up on the goat trail (and I don’t believe that anyone will), it will be of his own choosing. A Roman Catholic view I have translated recently says: And “hell”? Unlike Heaven God does not assign people to hell (as punishment). Of himself God only communicates himself, but only as love that desires nothing but salvation for everyone.… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“figments of imagination.” Strange way of describing things I have been told by selfproclaimed Evangelicals or read on Evangelical websites. And yes, I have heard of Carey, but I never knew he was Evo till a few years ago. “So the call to love the neighbor has its context. It does not simply excuse sin in the name of love for example” It isn’t for you to reject, excuse, or punish sin, Ben. It’s for you to love unconditionally and let God do the judging. “the parable is not about loving everybody in general but loving people that have been… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Ford, The statement is telling, “I have heard of Carey, but I never knew he was Evo till a few years ago.” G Carey was only the +++bishop of Canturbury for about a dozen years before R Williams! And what about all the other evangelicals long ago or recently(Wilberforce, John and Charles Wesley, N T Wright etc etc that you do not know, but you are sure you can pronounce with complete finality on evangelicals!)? By referencing scripture I am judging?! Meanwhile you say, “It isn’t for you to reject, excuse, or punish sin, Ben. It’s for you to love… Read more »

Ren Aguila
Ren Aguila
13 years ago

Ford said: “The whole mystical aspect of the Incarnation, the whole Creation transformation aspect is lost, since the whole purpose of the Incarnation, it seems, was to provide an innocent victim to suffer for our crimes so that God’s righteous anger at us could be satisfied somehow and He will let us get away with what we have done.” The final triumph of Puritanism, I suppose. Remember that they abolished the liturgical calendar, even Christmas, so we won’t have to remember the whole point of the story. And Erika, I think that one you were citing on 15 Sept. was… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Ben “that you do not know, but you are sure you can pronounce with complete finality on evangelicals!?” Ford has not pronounced with finality on evangelicals, but he has repeatedly told you of his understanding of them and asked you detailed questions in order to discover whether his judgment is right or not. Sadly, you appear to take his (and my) questions as rhetorical or judgmental and have so far not replied to a single one. Maybe you’d like to consider that we’re not out to get you but that we really would like to understand you better? Take this… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Ren
It’s possible!
I got the quote from: Medard Kehl SJ in: W. Fürst & J. Werbick (Hg.), Katholische Glaubensfibel. Freiburg: Herder, 2004, p. 87 ff

but I didn’t check their cross references.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

Erika:

A conversation requires that both sides think the other has something important to contribute to the discussion. Ben W doesn’t want a conversation; he wants to make pronouncements about the (lack of) faith of others and the greater orthodoxy of his own faith. He doesn’t realize it, but he is the Pharisee observing the publican in the temple, and declaring his pride in not being like that.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Pat
At least he should be willing to explain the orthodoxies of his faith to those like Ford, who ask with genuine interest.

I completely fail to understand why he doesn’t reply constructively to genuine questions about his faith.

And after asking what we can affirm and getting a constructive reply, why not engage with that and inform us what, within the framework of his own faith, might be possible?

Even if you only want to show that your own view is superior, isn’t there an incentive to explain that view?

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

Erika:

Oh, I quite agree with you. But, based on what he posts here, Ben W doesn’t really have an explanation for his faith; it just “is”. He affirms things because he has been convinced they are necessary to prove he is a Christian.

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
13 years ago

Ben W: As for your insistent whinning about also being on the receiving end of others’ rage at injustice, my reaction is that if you dish it out, you ought to be able to take it as well. It’s disingenuous at best. And for your claims on “context” per the Ten Commandments et. al., I’m sure you can apply this logic to Paul’s Letters to Romans and Levitical code as well. “You attribute what no one on this list or I have ever said in general about homosexuals.” That’s an accusation that hides a lie, all your diatribe is precisely… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“I completely fail to understand why he doesn’t reply constructively to genuine questions about his faith.” Is it possible that this reveals sometihng basic? Look at it this way: I have a knee jerk nasty reaction to fundamentalists/evangelicals. I have given in to it many times. I see “Bible believing” and I immediately have an image of someone and what they believe. It doesn’t help that many people feed that bigotry, but it is still MY issue, not Ben’s or anyone else’s. I’m the one embarrassed when it is pointed out to me, not someone else. I see Ben in… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Ford, again, you are being far too hard on yourself. Yes, you fly off the handle against consevos, but you always reign yourself in afterwards, you always return to constructive conversation, and you always apologise to anyone you feel you might have upset. I suspect that Pat has a strong point. If your faith is fairly unreflected it is probably impossible to explain e.g. what “accepting Jesus as Lord” means precisely, other than by resorting to equally rigid and unreflected statements. Having said that, I would like to say that I do have a number of evangelical friends who manage… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

I have moved on, checking back I find the “surmising” and “imaginary scenarios” all a bit strange! I said to Erika about a week ago after her upset, “I think I will make this my last post to you on this.” Then Simon S posted to say that we were some way off topic and he would not accept further unrelated matter from us I turned back to the subject of the thread and tried to sum it up. Areyou now surprised that i have moved on? I sent to Ford saying I will not respond to blanket charges or… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“to prove he is a Christian” To whom? And why is it necessary? God surely knows, and isn’t He the one who counts? “it’s a laughing stock on this website” This is a bit harsh, I think. Frustrating, yes, but laughing stock? His determined mischaracterization of the scientific method is frustrating, and at times makes him look bad, but not laughable, to my mind anyway. I do believe he wants serious dialogue, it’s just that his persecution complex gets in the way. He talks the talk, but finds it hard to walk the walk. So do I. We do much… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Ben That’s not quite true. You did say you would not talk to me any longer, that’s true. But it was not on the thread Simon later closed to comment, but on a subsequent one. I then posted again, asking you not to dismiss as rethoric what is meant to be genuine questioning. And I then took your question about what we can affirm seriously and gave an answer. I have no idea why you did not respond. You have previously asked whether we can affirm that Jesus is Lord. In reply, Ford has repeatedly asked you on several threads… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
13 years ago

Calling one of the contributors a “laughing stock” might indeed be harsh Ford, and in retrospect I could honestly call myself highly prejudiced against many, if not most that call themselves “evangelicals”, as it brings visions of half-hysterical people waving hands in their worship services, being roiled up by a charismatic leader that is spending more time encouraging the participants to engage in urging legislators to bring laws to control others and to outright limit freedoms. To me they’ve gone from being sect of distasteful worship practices to the powerhouse that they surely are in the U.S. today. But it… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“I have already answered, often more than once!” Ben, you may feel that way, but I really can’t say that I have received any answer at all to what it means to “affirm” anything other than to simply make a public claim that could easily be nothing more than talk, nor as to why that should have any bearing at all on what one’s faith actually is, nor have I received any answer to what it means to say that “Jesus is Lord”, nor why such a statement is meaningful to you, since, as I say, every rapper that ever… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“Calling one of the contributors a “laughing stock” might indeed be harsh Ford, and in retrospect I could honestly call myself highly prejudiced against many, if not most that call themselves “evangelicals”, as it brings visions of half-hysterical people waving hands in their worship services, being roiled up by a charismatic leader that is spending more time encouraging the participants to engage in urging legislators to bring laws to control others and to outright limit freedoms. To me they’ve gone from being sect of distasteful worship practices to the powerhouse that they surely are in the U.S. today.” Refer to… Read more »

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