on Saturday, 7 January 2023 at 12.25 pm by Peter Owen
categorised as Opinion
Charlie Bell ViaMedia.News Time to Step Up and Take the Heat: Allyship or Cowardice?
“Rhetoric and words mean very little, if we’re not willing to see them through. The test is coming for those who profess to be true friends of LGBTQI people.” The elephant in the room is: why don’t the church communities that claim to be inclusive defy the hierarchy and insist on public support, affirmation, and celebration of the intimate lives of LGBT+ people? If the outcome of LLF does not allow local churches to decide for themselves whether to publicly celebrate these lives – blessing of marriages, quasi-weddings, clear statements on websites, service sheets, and social media – will the… Read more »
Absolutely. As a liberal, it pains me to agree that many of us lack the courage of our convictions. Why? At root, I suspect that we’re temperamentally unsuited to conflict, but when the price is paid by others, that’s not good enough.
As strongly as I disagree with traditionalists, I respect that they say plainly what they believe, fight their corner, and would never dream of abandoning their allies when the going gets tough.
I don’t have issue with traditionalists being opposed to gay sexual intimacy. I really don’t. That’s a position of integrity to their faith and their God if they believe the inspired scripture (which they believe they should obey) says it’s wrong. In fact, I can respect that fidelity. What will disappoint me is if ‘inclusive’ churches loudly complain about the traditionalists and the Church’s failure to act, and sign petitions etc (what a sacrifice!!) but themselves just let the harm carry on in their own churches, and fail to take a stand themselves. Vocal posturing is not enough, if in… Read more »
Hopefully the bishops will force through the right of churches to follow their consciences
Unfortunately a church, being a group of people, does not have a single conscience. The likelihood is that most churches, in the sense of parishes, or congregations, contain people with all shades of conscientious opinion on these matters. What does the conscience of such a group even mean? And what about the consciences of those individuals who differ from whatever the group conscience is deemed to be?
No church community will have a complete uniformity of beliefs. However, local church communities can explore for themselves… communally, and through PCC… the direction they believe in good conscience their church should follow. It is clear that many local churches involved with ‘Inclusive Church’ have a very different ‘centre of gravity’ to many conservative evangelical churches. Can a community develop a collective conscience on these matters? Yes, I believe so. Or you could call it the dominant conscience. That doesn’t mean there won’t be individuals with divergent views. But I believe it is intolerable for a local church to bow… Read more »
These issues already exist in relation to the stance taken by individual parishes over their acceptance of women as priests or bishops.The Parochial Church Council has the power to determine, after consultation, what the parish will do. Many parishes contain regular attenders whose personal views are at variance with whatever decision the PCC has made.
I agree almost entirely with Charlie Bell but I think rather than just setting it as a challenge to others we all – well I at least – need to also reflect on the extent that it applies to us too. For instance, I think that the Gospels require us to believe in free migration, including economic migration, but because that viewpoint is unpopular I don’t voice it as often as I should.
There was a lovely interview with Will Young last night on C4 news about the figures revealed by the latest census in England and Wales about those identifying as LGBTQI. He said that young people were ambivalent about labels; straight, gay or bi. From observation, that’s the experience of my godchildren and their peers. They’re untroubled about being intimate emotionally or sexually with members of their own sex or the opposite sex. Any permutations of those possibilities are equally valid and hardly worthy of comment for them. That religious people get into a tizzy about these things is a cause… Read more »
In a fully accepting society, I suspect that most people would be bisexual.
How ironic – that type of discrimination would surely be illegal in any organisation other than the CofE. Will someone in Parliament please do something about correcting such a blatant anomaly?
Problem with the CoE’s establishment is that it’s a state church in name only: Parliament offloaded its responsibilities to Synod when (to lawmakers’ supreme indifference) it repealed a number of ancient laws in the ’70s.
Result’s the worst of all worlds, with the CoE enjoying all the prestige of establishment while paying none of the costs, and all England made complicit in the whims of ecclesiastical politics.
I am an Anglican priest, now married to my husband thanks to the Episcopal Church in Scotland. Attached to the Exeter Diocese but without a licence. Two Archdeacons have told me they are on the side of love and sanity and both have asked me not to repeat that. Bless them but it’s astonishing, it feels like it is being left to LGBTI Christians to save the church for future generations. When I think of the courage that Gay Christians displayed in the past “coming out” I wonder why it is so difficult for some people to voice their support… Read more »
“Two Archdeacons have told me they are on the side of love and sanity and both have asked me not to repeat that.”
The second clause being … somewhat at odds with the first!
I can just picture the handwringing archdeacons with their ‘not me guv’ responses. This is the reality of the Shared Conversations and LLF that you’re facing as a married gay priest – they’re all fur and no drawers.