Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 8 December 2018

Erika Baker ViaMedia.News Toxic Debates & Disagreement

Maria Evans The Episcopal Café Ambrose of Milan

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of management and theology

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John SandemanKateJanet FifeErika Bakerpeterpi - Peter Gross Recent comment authors
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Kate
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Kate

As time moves on, I no longer believe in good disagreement in terms of the marginalisation of LGBTI people. In that I disagree with Erika – sorry, Erika.

Good disagreement is possible in relation to Brexit, despite its toxicity, because both sides are equally affected. In terms of the recognition of same sex marriages and of trans women as normal women (and trans men as men) it is very different. One side is affected to the core of their lives – the other side is simply affronted. With such disparity, good disagreement becomes just another tool of oppression.

T Pott
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T Pott

Rather like the cow, the hen and the pig disagreeing about whether to have milk, eggs or bacon for breakfast.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Kate, as you said exactly what I said I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with?

Chip Chillington
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Chip Chillington

Michael Stuart Williams ‘ The Politics of Heresy in Ambrose & Milan paints a very different picture of the Christian community in 4th c Milan.

We need be careful of taking preachers then (& now) at their word when describing their opponents & their own heroic actions.

peterpi - Peter Gross
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peterpi - Peter Gross

Erika, that was incredibly well-written and you are an eloquent advocate for beliefs I’ve long held. In the political world (Brexit, as an example in the UK. “The wall” or immigration policy, as an example in the USA), all too often we see people who disagree with us as enemies and not opponents. There’s a profound difference between the two and we suffer for not recognizing it. In the religious world, I’m tired of clergy who want GLBT people in the pews as abject sinners on their knees asking for forgiveness from their “better” heterosexual fellow congregants — with arms… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

Erika, it doesn’t read that way to me and you conclude with a call to arms in support of good disagreement. “Once we commit to an attitude of Good Disagreement , we can finally create a Church that enables genuine mutual flourishing for all.” I am glad we agree! But maybe yoir piece didn’t make your position clear? I would have expected you to end with something like: “It is time to recognise that the process of good disagreement, no matter how-well intentioned its conception, has become part of the oppression of LGBTI people. We need to move beyond slogans… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Kate, I argued that Good Disagreement isn’t a status to be achieved, or a process, but a mindset for engaging with people we disagree with. And that we need full legal equality as baseline because otherwise disagreeing well is not possible. And I explained why lgbti+ people and allies can never ageee to having other people’s theology imposed on their lives.
I was expecting to be criticised for being too uncompromising, not for giving in to oppression.

Kate
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Kate

Erika, once LGBTI people are treated properly THROUGHOUT the Church there will be nothing to have good disagreement about. Indeed, there can be no “good disagreement” about the status of same sex marriages or those who have had their correct sex recognised in law. Building into church policy that some members / parishes / bishops may fail to recognise gender reassignment or same sex marriages CANNOT be part of the solution because it would perpetuate the harm for LGBTI people in those parishes and would continue to other LGBTI people. Seeing a place for good disagreement in relation to the… Read more »

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

Kate, I think you & Erika are on the same side here. She isn’t arguing that oppression of GLBTI people is OK – just the opposite.

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

Kate, I think Erika made her position clear enough. She said that good disagreement depends on all parties having equal standing, and that LGBTI people are not being given equal standing in the Church. ‘Living side by side in acceptance of difference is impossible while one side experiences genuine discrimination, in law and in every day Church life. The disenfranchised people in that unequal conversation are never going to accept that they must continue not to have genuine agency in their lives and that they must live out the consequences of other people’s theology while their own is simply dismissed.’… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

The “same rights and opportunities as everyone else” means no minister from the traditional side can decline to marry a couple because one has changed gender role or the couple are the same sex. That confidence in reception is key. Where does that leave space for good disagreement? But even that isn’t enough. Would we accommodate good disagreement with people who believed that churches should be segregated on racial lines? Would we say that they are entitled to voice a racist view? No. So why should we accommodate the expression of homophobic or transphobic views? We shouldn’t. The idea that… Read more »

John Sandeman
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John Sandeman

So Kate do you envision a conservative evangelical free zone in the CofE and the Anglican Communion? Or am I mis-reading you?