8/28/2007

Never Again the Burning Stake and condemnation.

A video has been produced by Peter Ould and posted on the Stand Firm website as a "powerful montage." Peter Ould said of this video, "I thought I'd let the Windsor Bishops know at this point what I'm praying for them. If you share my thoughts then feel free to use the video on your own blog / site." I have no intention of using the video on this blog. It can be accessed here.

The video is out there to be an encouragement to the bishops to accede to the requests from the Primates at Dar Es Salaam. It will mostly be played by those in the realigniment / dissenter community and I assume understood as powerful. It will no doubt be sent to bishops by some of those folk as an encouragement.

I believe it is a profoundly disturbing and spiritually dangerous video. Shame has come to the blog struggles concerning the Anglican Communion.

The text of the video is as follows:

"450 years ago two bishops believed that truth was more important than compromise. They believed some things are worth dying for. 450 years later Episcopal Bishops will decide whether the truths Latimer and Ridley died for are worth holding onto: whether the fire lit on the 16th of October 1555 was of any worth; whether scripture is authoritative, or the sinful desires of men and women. We pray you will not shirk. We pray you will make a stand whatever the cost. Better to die for truth than to live on for sin. It is time once again to be of good comfort and to Play the Man.

Keep us, O Lord, constant in faith and zealous in witness, after the examples of your servants, that we may live in your fear, die in your favor, and rest in your peace."

The text puts the issue as this: "whether scripture is authoritative, or the sinful desires of men and women." The call is this: "better to die for truth than to live on for sin."

All of this is apparently fair game in Anglican-land these days. This is an appeal to "Windsor" and perhaps "Windsor like" bishops. There are other appeals out there to other bishops.

But here is the shame:

We all know that the sin being spoken of here – the "sinful desires of men and women" – are viewed largely by the realignment / dissenter crowd as being about the sin of men and women having same sex relations, that is about gay and lesbian persons.

With that in mind, know that the VISUALS of the video are of Latimer and Ridley being burned at the stake, in graphic detail and at lenght.

The author, no doubt, want the bishops to understand that upholding the belief that "scripture is authoritative" is what is necessary, even if it costs your life – or perhaps in modern day your 'holding'. But the dreadful subtext is in the visuals with the music for "Great is Your Name." The viewer watches the immolation of the bishops in detail, with a soothing voice overlay. That subtext can mean very different things to different people.

To some, avid readers of Fox's Book of Martyrs, this is about courage to hold to belief and the encouragement to "play the Man." For these viewers the suffering at the stake, like the suffering on the cross, is something to be bourn for the faith. It can be accompanied by romantic or dramatic music. It can seem almost glorious.

For others, whose counterparts in previous generations, were burned at the stake for being homosexual, or heretics, or witches, images of burnings at the stake is a constant reminder that this end is always possible for them. And, unlike the martyrs they will not go to their deaths for what they believe alone, but for what they are perceived to be, "sinful men and women."

One hopes that the producer of this video meant no such thing. It still remains that the horror of death by fire was met out by those in authority against enemies of state and religion. No matter that this was an illustration of how bishops should stand firm for what the producer believes is the issue, namely scripture as authoritative. The vivid presence of the fire and the visuals of the burning is a reminder of the miseries and terror visited on people by state and religion at its most righteous.

The video text gets a lot wrong – simplifying the martyrdom and mistaking the choice of Episcopal Church bishops - "whether scripture is authoritative, or the sinful desires of men and women." There is no shame in error or simplification.

But the visuals are horrendous. They may be on the surface a reminder that a peculiarly horrible manner of execution was used against two reformers, but deep down they also recall us to the reality that such executions took place against others without any remorse by church leaders of several generations.

There is no word in this video that speaks out against such punishment for any reason. The video makes of death by fire a romantic and courageous thing. But in reality it is an outrageously horrible punishment that no one should suffer.

There is no word in the text, no visual in the video that suggests in any way what must be said. What needs always to be said is: "Never Again."

The shame that this video brings to the struggles we face is this: the visual romanticizing of the martyrs' death is an affront to all those who live in fear of death or the death of spirit at the hands of the state or church for what they believe, or what they are. The subliminal visual "text" is that the stake is still here, and you could be next. No one who has known of others in their group burned at the stake can forget: there is always a stake ready for the using.

I cannot and ought not speak for Gay and Lesbian folk, but as a potential heretic, traitor, a person of questionable practices of all sorts I can say that I found the video a frightening reminder about what can happen to any of us - gay, straight, left, right, orthodox or heterodox. There are those always ready to light the fire.

The shame of this video is that it does not condemn the burning, but glorifies the burned, and at the same time it condemns sinful men and women and glorifies scripture as authoritative. But I say glorify sinful men and women because that's all there is among humankind, and condemn no one, and make scripture the instrument of God's engagement with all us sinners.


116 comments:

  1. Ah, so *this* is why Karl Rove left the White House!

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  2. Worse than you had described, Mark. Appalling. These people are sick in every sense of the word. Before praying for the "Windsor Bishops", they ought to pray for themselves, hoping against hope that they not be caught utterly unawares at just who will be burned by the flames of hate that they light.

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  3. A bit of religious hysteria by frightened people looking to play the 'martyr card'.

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  4. This sort of a thing is a fair indicator that the current alliance of convenience between the evangelicals, the charismatics and the Forward in Faith ACs cannot last. Beyond a common hatred of TEC they have damn-all in common.

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  5. Have now checked the video. The execution scenes are lifted, with or without permission, from a BBC television series on Elizabeth I. Ridley and Latimer died (Ridley far more horribly than the video shows) for a very subjective, personal view of scriptural authority, certainly one that on such matters as the nature of the eucharist would not be shared by a large number of present day members of the Anglican Communion. This is the "Classics Illustrated" approach to history - one wonders if Peter Ould understands the forces that actually shaped the English Reformation?

    Then one moves from Latimer, Ridley and the unmentioned Cranmer - to me the most attractive of the three in his final days, given the uncertainties and compromises that he faced - to the modern day counterparts with whom, presumably, we are invited to equate them. For some reason, when I think of bishops Duncan, Minns and Akinola, the title of the Christopher Fry play "The Lady's Not For Burning" comes to mind.

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  7. Never again" indeed! I thought I was beyond being shocked about what went on "over there" but I was wrong.

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  8. christopher+28/8/07 10:33 AM

    To make this all somewhat more complex, the producer of the film, Peter Ould, self-identifies on the same website as "PostGay," an alternative to "ex-gay," which he explains in some detail but which nonetheless appears to mean that issues of sexuality have deeply influenced his beliefs and practices one way or another for quite some time.

    Once again, sexuality (or the response to it) is lifted up by some as THE defining issue of faith and community. This is not about whether the Bible is authoritative; throughout TEC and the Anglican Communion there is full agreement that the Holy Scriptures are authoritative. Rather, this is - once again - about picking and choosing which parts of the Holy Scriptures one chooses to define as essential (or fundamental) to faith - and, of course, identity.

    This disturbing little film is also dated September 2007 at the end. It is still August and the film has already been released and posted, so truth-telling appears to be something of a challenge for the producer, even if dramatization and perhaps martyr complex come easily.

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  9. Deacon Charlie Perrin28/8/07 10:36 AM

    From descriptions I've heard and read such "burnings" were not nearly as fiery depicted here. Such a fire would have made death too quick and therefore not punishing enough. Wet wood was often used to produce more heat and smoke than fire which would produce the far more desired result of a slow and very painful death.

    I pray for the person who produced this vile and thoroughly unchristian and inhuman thing. God help him and God help all of us.

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  10. This video is a support video for a very valid position. The position is not to compromise with the devil. It does honor those who died for the faith, and I see nothing wrong with that given such honor is a historic part of the Christian Faith.

    We all know that the sin being spoken of here – the "sinful desires of men and women" – are viewed largely by the realignment / dissenter crowd as being about the sin of men and women having same sex relations, that is about gay and lesbian persons.

    In one sense you are right, but the focus on homosexual acts is not of the conservatives doing. It is your side that is calling sin as holy. The discussion is about the authority of scripture. Scripture calls many things as sin. Homosexual acts will likely break the Anglican Communion not because it is the greatest sin, but because it is a sin, which a large group of people now wants to call holy.

    Scott+

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  11. Well, the only "Windsor bishops" I know personally, are more concerned about preserving the WWAC than they are about the "authority of Scripture," so this actually may backfire (pun not originally intended, but what the heck!)

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  12. "I cannot and ought not speak for Gay and Lesbian folk, but as a potential heretic, traitor, a person of questionable practices of all sorts I can say that I found the video a frightening reminder about what can happen to any of us - gay, straight, left, right, orthodox or heterodox. There are those always ready to light the fire..." Mark Harris

    Go ahead, speak for us, Mark. I'm authorizing YOU to speak for the tens of millions of LGBT people everywhere...some of us get "burned" at home and at work daily. Some will "get burned" soon in Nigeria/Uganda thanks to a anti-human rights hate campaign spearheaded by Akinola/Orombi and their dimly lit accomplices and some like us have been murdered already...firey stake, brutal beatings, rape...it doesn't take much in-depth "understanding" to notice this disgusting spectacle of murder is meant to ignite more fear/hate against even more Anglicans at the Body of Christ.

    A bloodbath of yet more CHRISTIAN intolerance...how charming, how romantic how dispicable!

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  13. The issue for the church and for society must start to revolve around the question of tolerance versus support. No one should be burned at the stake in any sense, but on the other hand no one should be supported in acting in a manner that is extremely hazardous to the health of themselves and those around them of similar inclinations. Marriage, for instance, has always been a form of support, which is understood very well by those demanding marital benefits.

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  14. I was not aware that any of the "orthodox" bishops in the Episcopal Church were facing the possibility of execution.

    I also find it curious that the film refers only to Latimer and Ridley. Cramner, a more usual Anglican icon, was executed in the same manner at the same time. But then, Cramner was less worthy, having (under duress) signed a recantation. The selection points to the perverse donatism of the "orthodox" on this issue.

    Finally, I was not aware that the ordination of homosexuals or the blessing of their unions was an issue for Latimer and Ridley. This is nowt but historical revisionism.

    Latimer and Ridley (and Cramner) above all else were executed for denying that a foreign prelate should govern the Church of England.

    Which would seem to be precisely the opposite of the "orthodox" position the poster of the film is taking.

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  15. And, I assume, my bishop (+Stanton) will be sending this horrendous piece of disturbing tripe all over the diocese.

    After all, their slanderous Choose This Day video had lots of current and ex-Episcopalians from Dallas in it...

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  16. Counterlight28/8/07 12:09 PM

    According to some sources, the origin of the use of "faggot" as a derogatory name for gay men goes back to the practice of binding up convicted "sodomites" like bundles of wood (faggots), and throwing them onto the execution fires of witches and heretics.
    The list of those who recently died violently (some by fire) for their same sex affections is exponentially longer than that of anyone in the USA or Western Europe who suffered for "orthodoxy".

    This video is a shameless appeal to hysteria and fanaticism. I suspect that prospective suicide bombers are treated to similar entertainment.

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  17. Mark ... I've commented on YOUR comments over at "Inch At A Time"

    But wanted to share this "anonymous" comment I just received:

    "Does the camera tilt down on Ould's video to show the gay men piled up at the bottom of the burning stake as fuel...hence the term "Faggots"?

    I didn't think so."

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  18. I found the ethos of the video grossly manipulative.

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  19. Lest anyone doubt the violence, note the very first comment posted on Ould's site, from "Sinner," who wrote this morning:
    Yep Peter you’re right. Kevlar or no Kevlar, had the objecting bishops at VGR’s consecration “played the man” (with AP ammo if necessary) then the communion wouldn’t be in the mess it is today.

    Do justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. Watch Thou for the Mutant. Burn the Heteric!

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  20. To be fair, holding up the standard of Latimer and Ridley and the cost they were willing to pay for the sake of truth, is a very Anglican reminder of our ecclesiological DNA, foundational as it is to our history.

    As to condemning sinners... I don't see it here. Perhaps you could point it out? Now in God's inspired word, one doesn't have to look that hard. (Jn 3:18). But if this new sexual ethic is sinful and we the church say it isn't, doesn't that set people up for an awful surprise? For the church then takes away the sinners chance to repent. Everyone doing right in their own eyes has ever been the way of the people of God, and that is precisely why God keeps intervening with his word of truth.

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  21. Bible-idolitry at its worst and pathologically sick. It's at moments like this that I wish there weren't a bible. OTOH, are these people willing to put themselves forward to live EXACTLY as the bible says to every jot and tittle? Sigh. There's no point in even arguing with them.

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  22. Ironically, I, too, believe truth is more important than compromise, but in my case that means that to continue to deny the humanity and faithfulness of gays and lesbians would be to live on in sin. No new point here, but Scripture was invoked in support of slavery in just the same way, picking out a few verses in support of an entire heinous industry. I truly believe the future will look back at this and think, "How could they not have known? How could they not have seen?" I would far rather be on the side of love of neighbor, and what I think is a far deeper understanding of Scripture, than on the side of a "Scriptural Authority" that stops with the words without context or compassion.

    Also ironic to me that these would be so willing to embrace being burned at the stake but seem unwilling to embrace the cost of losing a building.

    It's just painful. To incite and invoke scenes of violence, and to promote death and martyrdom--that's not a discipleship of love and fellowship. I look at this kind of thing and think, "You may have read Scripture, but you have not understood it." Or, to quote Scripture, "For the sake of your tradition, you make void the word of God."

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  23. John-Julian, OJN28/8/07 2:24 PM

    Mark, I followed the link and watched the video, and as old and experienced as I am, I was again simply appalled at what these twisted people will resort to! Every time I think I have seen all their horrors, they produce another more horrendous than the last.

    It truly has become unqualifiedly pathological. There is no other word to use! The "noble victim" stance is an absolutely identifiable symptom of the delusions of grandeur that mark paranoia.

    Such an utterly incredible paradox: "We must nobly undergo suffering because that's the only way we can assure the continuation of pain, hatred, humiliation, rejection, beatings, execution, and murder for those sub-human queers!"

    What a high and wonderfully noble motive! What great hearts they must have! What joy they must bring to that God and the saints and the angels!

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  24. Deacon Perry wrote: "I pray for the person who produced this vile and thoroughly unchristian and inhuman thing.

    God help him and God help all of us."

    Amen

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  25. Scott - Did you actually read Mark's commentary, or anyone else's here?

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  26. Thank you, Mark.
    I am always humbled and instructed by your insight and courage.
    It is difficult to fathom the fear and the hatred behind this video and all the other pieces of literature and quiet words of gossip that mirror its filth.
    I urge everyone who reads these comments to forward this blog to whatever groups you belong to.
    Tom Woodward

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  27. Homosexual acts will likely break the Anglican Communion not because it is the greatest sin, but because it is a sin, which a large group of people now wants to call holy.

    Like usury, divorce and remarriage, etc?

    What did the NT say about picking and choosing?

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  28. Mark+,

    Aside from entirely missing the point of the beautifully done video, your commenters also mistake Peter Ould's "post-gay" title for some sort of promotion of an exodus ministry. Peter may be leading a ministry of that sort...he is well qualified. But I imagine that the post-gay title reflects the fact that he has repented of his former homosexual behavior and is living within the framework of an obedient disciple of Jesus Christ. For that, I am sure, many here will despise him.

    But Peter, I am certain, is more than ready to play the man.

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  29. I watched the video and was frankly perplexed by the message. Only after watching it did I read Mark’s commentary, which, no doubt, captures what the producer had in mind.

    The graphic violence is so overpowering, however, that the words almost get lost in the emotional experience. All I could think of is that this is what certain Anglican primates will want to do to our good bishops for what they are likely to do next month.

    WWJD?

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  30. I find this video perfectly horrible, disgusting and shameful.
    Can we assume that the man who made it is willing to sacrifice himself rather than go on vacation with his wife so that all will know that he is willing "to play the man"? Or perhaps merely be hung on a fence after having been beaten half to death? Time to put up or shut up.

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  31. There is something so touchingly naive in this grotesque SF hagiagraphy--e.g. as if burning human flesh could be referenced without (inadvertently?) referring to homosexuals punished in the Holocaust for their being gay, or the connotation of "faggot."

    This part of the Anglican right has simply lost control of its discourse in spite of its deep conviction and ironclad commitment.

    Worse--one might well question whether these reformers really died for the Gospel, or for something less, something tied up with power politics or one-sided, self-defeating readngs of scripture. Are these gruesome executions sheer murder rather than genuine martyrdom?

    And if SF is in reality extolling gratuitous self-sacrifice for something less than the Gospel and less than God--and they will not let go no matter what--what should we say? What could we do?

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  32. I have notified the BBC of the copyright violation.

    Stealing is wrong, even when done to glorify God by persecuting (fellow) homosexuals.

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  33. This is truly unbelievable. It still astounds me that people react this way about a simple fact of the world - namely, that homosexual people exist, have real feelings, and desire to have normal lives like everybody else.

    I'm continually shocked at how insane this simple issue makes some people. This video is a case in point, and the "reasserter" reactions to it in these comments is another. It's perfect madness.

    At times like this I'm very, very sorry I ever got involved with the Chrisitan Church. No wonder the pews of America are emptying out. Those folks are the intelligent ones....

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  34. "There is fundamentally no difference between those who bravely witnessed of Christ right into the flames and those in the church who today, die to their sin and witness to Christ in that. To push the point even further, every time someone who struggles with their sexuality, whether that is homosexuality, paedophilia, masturbation to fantasy, any form of fetish or even just an over active libido, but then chooses to die to that, they stand in the flames on Broad Street in Oxford with Latimer and Ridley."

    Equating not masturbating "to fantasy" and rejecting "any form of fetish" (a pretty big tent you're condemning there, Mr. Ould - pause and think about it) with the sufferings of Latimer and Ridley, is garbage of a high and aggravated nature. One truly hopes that Peter Ould's sufferings are in no way comparable with those of the two bishops, and that if they are, he quickly realizes that they are entirely the product of the agenda that he currently supports. I, for one, cannot rid myself of the unkind question as to how much of what I have read today, here and elsewhere in the blog world - Mr. Ould is going great guns over at SF and on his own web page - is "martyrdom" and how much drama-queen displacement therapy.

    As to parallels with Latimer and Ridley, a brief account, partly from Foxe's "Acts & Monuments", of Ridley's end:

    "The faggots being piled too high, he screamed for his bystanders to pull off some of the wood. Misunderstanding him, his brother-in-law, added more sticks to the fire. The fire "burned clean all his nether parts, before it once touched the upper; and that made him often desire them to let the fire come unto him". He exclaimed, ‘I cannot burn!’. When he turned to his watchers, they saw a ghastly sight. "After his legs were consumed he showed that side towards us clean, shirt and all untouched with flame". Finally, a bystander pulled the faggots from the fire, and the fire flamed to his face, igniting the gunpowder. And he stirred no more."

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  35. christopher+28/8/07 7:35 PM

    The Revd Anne Kennedy seems to believe that this is a "beautifully done video." With all due respect, one hopes that the adorable child with whom Mother Kennedy is pictured here is never subjected to it!

    More to the point, Mother Kennedy misunderstands comments made here on Father Gould's "post-gay" self-identification. Indeed, the point is not that there is no difference between "ex-gay" and "post-gay" - Father Gould goes to great lengths to explain what he sees as the difference. The point, rather, is that, like many others, Father Gould lifts up sexuality as a defining issue of faith - a "fundamental" - to be equated with the Creeds of the Church. This is a dangerous error.

    And it goes without saying, doesn't it - shall I say it anyway? - that consistent, biblical fundamentalism leaves no room for women as priests. How does one reconcile support for - or participation in - women's ordination with a hard line on other cherry-picked issues like sexuality? The answer to this really would interest many people in the US and elsewhere.

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  36. christopher+28/8/07 7:37 PM

    Allow me to add for the record, echoing Father Mark and others:

    Never again!

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  37. I find the choice of Latimer curious. Latimer did all he could to combat anything that faintly resembled the Reformation. He was a bitter opponent of the Scriptures and ridiculed a colleague who expounded the Scriptures in his classroom. The debates became extremely personal and violent -- to the point that those who sought to mediate or use reason we unheard and authorities forbade some from speaking and imprisoned others. When Latimer was converted, he merely switched sides and suddenly he began preaching the pro-Reformation line as vigorously as he had preached against it before. The times are similar in some ways -- and perhaps we will see some of those currently on one side have a Latimer conversion at some point. We certainly saw lots of that with the ordination of women.

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  38. Anne,
    Please do get thee back to gestating, dear. no...really.
    Sincerely,
    Ann

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  39. Anne: "But Peter, I am certain, is more than ready to play the man"

    He can "play" whatever it is he likes to "play", who cares?...meanwhile, you Anne, gush and romanticize a sick and overly graphic twisted horror video meant to demoralize others at The Body of Christ.

    Tawdry comes to mind.

    Harming others is not a game.

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  40. Anne: "But Peter, I am certain, is more than ready to play the man"

    He can "play" whatever it is he likes to "play", who cares?...meanwhile, you Anne, gush and romanticize a sick and overly graphic twisted horror video meant to demoralize others at The Body of Christ.

    Tawdry comes to mind.

    Harming others is not a game.

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  41. For that, I am sure, many here will despise him.

    Many of us are capable of a greater range of feelings toward him or his agenda than this. That may be difficult to understand, however.

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  42. Counterlight28/8/07 10:02 PM

    Speaking of lines drawn in the sand, and things for which we would willingly die, the Dominionism advocated by this video and its fans will succeed only over my dead body.

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  43. Of all the things that are horrible about this video, opening up the possibility that an unstable viewer may move from a metaphor to a frightened "they want to do this to us" to "let's burn--or kill--them first" after seeing it over and over worries me the most. This is reckless incitement to violence, not the way of Christians.

    How long will it take before this is on YouTube? How many people watching it will be confirmed in their opinions that Christians are very sick people?

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  44. That poor Peter Ould is "post-gay" goes a long way toward explaining this odd and very telling fascination with torment, torture and death. He would certainly compare a stand against homosexuality to martyrdom, because he has already experienced it as such. In pursuit of purity, he has had to kill off a part of himself. This suicide of the psyche is encouraged and lauded by his peer group at places like SF. At the risk of repeating myself, I would recommend here, as I have at Fr. Jake's, that anyone interested in the deeper motivations of the religious right read Walter A. Davis' brilliant and penetrating Counterpunch essay, The Psychology of Religious Fundamentalism. I would add one caveat that Davis is generaly anti-religionist.

    One could quote half the long essay in support of the above, but here's a bit from the conclusion:

    Sexuality has been transformed into the festering wound out of which resentment is born. For every time desire rises up one experiences again one's powerlessness to break the strangle-hold the super-ego has over one's sexuality. A jaundiced eye then casts its gaze on all who have succeeded where one failed. Envy rises up, offering one the only exit from inner conflict--hatred of the sexual and an unending war upon it. That war has become one's deepest necessity. Envy begets hatred begets rage. The only way to relieve that rage is by projecting it onto the world. That act has an added charm: it is the way one achieves identification with that super-ego that has never stopped assaulting one from within. As avenging angel damning a sinful world one reclaims as resentment what one has had to sacrifice as desire. The transformation is complete. One is no longer a child tortured into submission by a punitive super-ego. One has become an adult projecting that destructiveness upon the world. For a psyche so bound to hatred requires a constant supply of fresh objects and occasions on which to vent itself. It is wedded to the search for a sublime fulfillment of the rage that defines it. And because everything within the psyche opposed to this project has been killed there is no way to halt it. Death has become absolute and craves that total unbinding that can come only with a totalizing Apocalyptic projection.

    Please read the essay, if you haven't done so. It explains so much about our "reasserter" brethren.

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  46. I don't know which is more disgusting and vile: the work of Ould himself, or supposedly intelligent, compassionate and ordained people who are responsible for tending souls defending it.

    I'm truly hurt and devastated.
    I feel less than human for having seen it and heard it defended by such people, who I still had some lingering belief might at least in a general way care about me and other liberals and gays.

    This is just monstrous.

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  47. Mr Ould is a very junior curate in the diocese of St Alban's. I trust that his bishop (bishop@stalbans.anglican.org)
    has been alerted to this monstrous and hateful distortion

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  48. How ironic that one who purports to speak for orthodoxy so nakedly succumbs to the malaise of modern culture, namely that this video is "beautifully done." Commentary only on its production, not on its comment; only the surface, the superficial, is seen, not the (self-)loathing that produces such violence. Whatever it is, it *isn't* representative of anything orthodox or Christian. I pray God's Holy Spirit convict Ould, and Anne, and Scott, and all others who see value in this video to repent and give their hearts to Jesus.

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  49. "This disturbing little film is also dated September 2007 at the end. It is still August and the film has already been released and posted, so truth-telling appears to be something of a challenge for the producer"

    A comment like this is simply increasing the hate-level in the debate. It's really not uncommon for a film/presentation to be titled with the date of the event to which it pertains, rather than the actual date on which edditing was performed... this just strikes me as such a non-issue in this debate, and shows the commenter (Christopher+) stirring unnecessarily, rather than focussing on the core issues being debated.

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  50. Mr Ould published this piece, "Post-Gay: the Transforming Power of the Cross" on Anglican Mainstream in March of this year.

    http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/?p=1347

    Mr Ould was active on Anglican Mainstream opposing the appointment of Jeffrey John as Dean of St. Albans

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  51. What is amazing to me is that you have taken a truly glorious martydom of two courageous Reformers, something for which all Christians ought to be grateful and an example all Christians ought to emulate and transformed it into some bisarre attack against gay people. What myopic selfishness.

    The purpose of the video was obviously to encourage Christians to be willing to stand for the very principles these men died for...yes, biblical authority.

    I definitely want my people to know that men died for the Christian faith. This is a glorious and wonderful thing.

    As for the odd quote from Walter Davis, his premise is based on the fevered leftist stereotype that all orthodox harbor some deep self-hatred bourn of sexual guilt. Of course this is nonsense. WE love sex. It is one of the best gifts God has given us...which is precisely why we do not and will not accept the twisting and counterfeiting of it.

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  53. christopher+29/8/07 10:09 AM

    Anne Kennedy said:

    1) "What myopic selfishness."

    2) "...[A]ll orthodox...love sex....[W]e do not and will not accept the twisting and counterfeiting of it.

    ...thus inadvertently redirecting her first point - "what myopic selfishness" - back on herself.

    Mother Kennedy, I bear you absolutely no ill will. You are a sister in Christ and a fellow priest. (Please forgive my assuming you are an Episcopal priest, if indeed you are not.)

    Nonetheless, you equate acceptance of biblical authority with viewpoints on select issues of sexuality, while simultaneously showing no interest whatsoever as a female clergy person in those rather clear biblical pronouncements on the role of women in the church. This rejection of biblical conservatism on your part baffles me and surely others as well. For you are obviously a thinking and concerned person.

    But don't just rely on this one quote from Walter Davis in rejecting his ideas out of hand; do read the whole essay. It is about more than sex. It is also about child-rearing, for example.

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  54. "...which is precisely why we do not and will not accept the twisting and counterfeiting of it." Anne

    But, my dear, you DO counterfeit *it* as you attempt to contaminate *it* with your pompus silliness!

    You actively degrade others with your personal/lofty "selective Scriputural" intolerant ideals...the ones that you "demand" intimate things "ought be"...you continue to attempt to harm those of us at The Anglican Communion with your "soiled" notions of heterosexual exclusivity...and then there is your selfrighteous smear campaign against LGBT and heterosexual women at all levels of Churchlife.

    You stand on a heap of smoldering and burned-out murderous puritanical hate/fear-mongering thinking...the puritanical "thinking" that champions the projecting of loathsome lies against humanity that YOU try and shape into being Gods "will" for all.

    Nonsense.

    You are responsible for continously trying to perpetuate the
    deadly outcasting of fellow Christians with your blatant and snide/bitter ignorance...the kind of thinking/preaching that encourages hate crimes.

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  55. I just want to pick lapinbizarre up on two thing. The Anglican Mainstream piece was a copy of my post-gay piece from my own blog. I did not publish it on the AM site - AM published it as a link to my original.

    Also, I did not personally oppose the appointment of Jeffrey John as Dean of St Albans. I would like lapinb to either demonstrate that I did or withdraw the remark.

    Facts my friends are important.

    Obviously, as to all the other stuff on here about my being a hate-mongering homophobic bigot, well you seem to have already made up your minds without speaking to me so I won't bother correcting you.

    Peter+

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  56. Christopher+,

    No, I was dealing with two separate assertions in my previous post. The first was that somehow this video represents an attack on gay people. I responded that the suggestion betrays a myopic self-focus.

    The second assertion was that reasserters reject homosexual behavior because we have a phycological antipathy toward sex. I simply responded that we do not. That, in fact, it is partly the love of the gift of sex that brings us to defend it.

    The two points in my response are in no way related and I am not sure how you draw the parallel that you do.

    As to WO, I have written fairly extensively about it. As you may know there are varying opinions about the possibility of WO within orthodox circles...especially evangelical circles. Evangelicals are not tied to the sacramentalist objections to WO offered by Anglo-Catholics. The question for us is whether the bible forbids women in the prebyterate. Some say this is forbidden by 1 Cor 14 and 1 Tim 2:1. Others say that reading those texts in that absolutist/universal way places them in tension with sections of the NT wherein women do prophesy (with their head covered...1 Cor 11) and do teach men (Acts 19...Aquilla and Priscilla teaching Appollos). I have written extensively about this on my own blog and my husband has written about it on SF. In any case, my position is called Limited WO. Women can be ordained to the presbyterate so long as they serve under the authority of a male rector. They may not be bishops.

    However, I do not consider this an essential issue and if the unity of orthodox Anglicanism requires it, I will not exercise my ministry.

    But this is somewhat off the subject isn't it?

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  57. It is Peter Ould, Anne Kennedy, not a poster to this page, who produced the preposterous statement that "every time someone who struggles with their sexuality ... but then chooses to die to that, they stand in the flames .... with Latimer and Ridley".

    It is Ould who took "a truly glorious martydom of two courageous Reformers ..... and transformed it" into something bizarre, by directly equating the agony of resisting indulence in self-abuse with that of being burnt alive at the stake.

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  58. What is amazing to me is that this video and your support of it has taken the courageous martyrdom of these reformers and cheapened their sacrifice for a slick promotional advertisement intended to evoke an emotional response for political, not theological, ends.

    What biblical authority do you refer to that would justify violence against *anyone*, even that implied in the video for those who support your "glorious cause." What possesses you to equate the childish temper tantrums of Duncan and Iker and Schofield on anything even remotely resembling the level of martydom of these reformers. You mock them and cheapen their sacrifice!

    The video may, on some miniscule and distorted level, been intended to encourage Christians to stand on biblical principle, but only the incredibly self-serving could fail to have considered how horrendously this video would be seen by others who may differ from you, but whose lives nonetheless have been given to the *good* news of Jesus Christ. Myopic selfishness, indeed! There is no biblical principle that justifies the production of a video like this.

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  59. Matt Kennedy has been known to post comments under his wife's userid. This may be the case with the comments above.

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  60. Peter O: You said, "Obviously, as to all the other stuff on here about my being a hate-mongering homophobic bigot, well you seem to have already made up your minds without speaking to me so I won't bother correcting you."

    Friends - this posting has gathered lots of comments, but some of them do indeed castigate as well as criticize. Having seen the range of hateful things said about me over on Stand Firm, and some of the things that get said here and elsewhere, I am saddened.

    Peter produced what I gather he believed to be an encouraging piece. The text, even if I think it wrong, exhorts bishops to act with courage. I too hope they act with courage, but obviously think the courageous thing to do lies elsewhere than in acceding to the requests from Dar Es Salaam.

    My critique of the video was that, no matter his intentions, it introduces again unimaginable suffering as good for the saint and good for the sinner. Further, it provides the visual cues for those who see the fire as just the right thing for all us malcontents, miserable offenders, etc.

    But none of this makes Peter a "hate-mongering homophobic bigot." He has to take his lumps just as you and I do, for excess and in the rough and tumble world of the blogsphere names will be called. (I got called theologically stupid by someone on another blog...ah well, EDS and ETS had two attempts at making me better...)

    But can I encourage us to try to keep the critique a little less about personal attacks? Peter and Anne and Susan and Scott and the Prior and Juan and David and Lisa, and on and on, are family.

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  61. Mark,

    Even a cursory reading of this thread shows that comment after comment is derisory and abusive. Now, I'm a grown man so I can handle that. But in honesty the kind of stuff that has appeared here in the past 48 hours does the revisionist camp no credit at all.

    As for your allegation that the video provides visual cues for the treatment of those who have a different perspective from me, well that strikes me as trying to have your cake and eat it. Either the video is an over-hyped sentimentalised glorification of martyrdom ("I want my friends to feel pain - it's good for them") or it is a vehicle for subtext of antipathy towards those I disagree with ("I want my enemies to feel pain - they deserve it"). The fact that folks on this thread have interpreted it in every single possible way that implies some form of psychological instability, is just childish. One might almost think some of the people on this thread went out of their way to find something that could offend them, however small or convoluted.

    Finally, I find it quite reprehensible that folks on this thread would ascribe such malicious intent to me (wanting to burn homosexuals) without knowing anything about me or my pastoral ministry. Let's not try to hide behind weasel words of "well I meant that someone might have watched the video and been encouraged to do harm to homosexuals, but of course I didn't really think that Peter felt that way". To state that the video has a subtext of harm to homosexuals is to imply that I have a desire to inflict or encourage such harm, otherwise the sub-text would not have been there. To manufacture and will such motives in another without any evidence is quite a base thing.

    Yes, I can easily see how comparing those in TEC who oppose the revisionist agenda as martyrs might offend some here. After all if they are martyrs then who is martyring them? But to jump from that to finding hidden subtexts of murderous intent? Pathetic and imho indicative more of the state of mind of the viewer rather then the producer of the video.

    It is possible you know to love your enemies. I might not agree with some of you here, but that doesn't mean I wish you harm. From the remarks of some here today I'm afraid I cannot say that I would expect the same from some of you. The fact that your initial reaction was to assume that I intended you to suffer, to have pain inflicted on you, is saddening. Truly saddening.

    That's it. You can continue now.

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  62. Deacon Charlie Perrin29/8/07 12:11 PM

    "Speaking of lines drawn in the sand, and things for which we would willingly die, the Dominionism advocated by this video and its fans will succeed only over my dead body."

    And I'm certain counterlight there are many "christians" out there who would be more than happy to oblige you.

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  63. christopher+29/8/07 12:49 PM

    Anne,

    First, let me thank you for a clear and concise statement on your understanding of biblical authority as it relates to what you abbreviated as WO (handy - I'll use it, too). We Anglicans could use much more of this sort of constructive discussion across internal, "cultural" boundaries as a means of better understanding and living into our own God-given diversity - if indeed it turns out everyone can truly live with diversity of thought and practice.

    The heart of your point on WO and biblical authority seems to be this:

    "The question for us [Evangelicals] is whether the bible forbids women in the prebyterate. Some say this is forbidden by 1 Cor 14 and 1 Tim 2:1. Others say that reading those texts in that absolutist/universal way places them in tension with sections of the NT wherein women do prophesy..."

    Your own position is: "limited WO...Women can be ordained to the presbyterate so long as they serve under the authority of a male rector. They may not be bishops."

    So, effectively, you reject an "absolutist/universal" reading of selected, isolated biblical texts in favor of allowing differing - diverse - approaches to the same biblical texts. This leads to different outcomes; some accept WO (conditionally or not), others reject it entirely.

    This is PRECISELY how those in favor of the ordination and blessing of GLBT Christians and their unions approach other selected biblical texts that are related to (or appear to be related to) same-sex acts, and, for example, those that allow no distinctions among Christ's followers (Jew, Greek, slave, free etc.) or that subordinate all law to love of God and neighbor. You share with your "leftist" brethren a very similar biblical hermeneutic.

    In this sense, we are indeed very much on topic, rather than, as you posited, possibly "off the subject."

    As for not being sure how I was drawing a parallel based on your other observations, I was simply making the point that myopic selfishness is as myopic selfishness does.

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  64. I was directed to the Anglican Mainstream posting of "Post Gay" from the GadgetVicar site. The wording of the link led me to assume that AM was the original site of its publication. The piece is posted on AM in full text version and not, as you state above, as a link to your own site, which is neither noted not linked:

    http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/?p=1347


    Clearly I jumped to a conclusion on your position on Jeffrey John when I read the posted AM prayer request "Please pray for us in the St Albans Diocese as we respond to the approving by the Bishop of St Albans of Canon Jeffrey John as the next Dean of St Albans." It did not occur to me that the request to post the prayer might have come from one supporting Dr. John or neutral on his appointment, but it does not, in fact, actively oppose Dr. John. Apparently you did not oppose the John appointment on AM and I withdraw the suggestion that you did, with apology.

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  65. As objectionable as I found the little video to be, at no point did I interpret it as advocating or condoning violence against homosexuals. (Though I did find it disturbing that none of the posters on Fr. Ould's blog seemed concerned by the initial comment there, which suggested that the use of violence would have been appropriate to prevent the consecration of +VGR.)

    Issues of aesthetics and copyright aside, my objection had to do with the equating of the martyrdom of Latimer and Ridley with the situation of the "orthodox" within the Episcopal Church.

    This oft repeated claim of liberal oppression against the "orthodox" is simply over the top. No priest has been inhibited for being "conservative" n this issue. No parish has been compelled to accept an openly gay rector. No bishop has been compelled to authorize same sex blessings.

    The situation of Episcopal conservatives does not compare in any meaningful way with the experience of Latimer and Ridley (or the absent Cramner). Heck, it doesn't even compare to the plight of Anglo-Catholic Ritualists under the Public Worship Regulation Act in the 1870s.

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  66. Christopher+,

    "So, effectively, you reject an "absolutist/universal" reading of selected, isolated biblical texts in favor of allowing differing - diverse - approaches to the same biblical texts."

    No. The problem is that evangelicals believe that the bible does not contradict itself. The argument for limited WO does not say, hey you're reading the bible in a narrow way so lets broaden things out. It says, the passages in question, if read in an absolute sense...women can never speak in church and never teach a man...would create a contradiction with those texts like 1 Cor 11 and Acts 19 wherein women are assumed to be speaking in church and a woman does teach a man. If 1 Cor 11 adn Acts 19 did not exist I think WO would be out of the question.

    So, it doesn't quite compare to the argument over ssbs and +VGR. There is no text directly relating to homosexuality that causes any tension if those texts that condemn the behavior read in an absolute/universal way as there is with regard to WO. The case for homosexual behavior being a sin is as clear as the case for feeding the poor but the case against women serving in a limited capacity is not at all clear given the biblical record.

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  67. christopher+29/8/07 3:52 PM

    Peter O said:

    "I can easily see how comparing those in TEC who oppose the revisionist agenda as martyrs might offend some here. After all if they are martyrs then who is martyring them?"

    So, after all this, Peter Ould does see some Episcopalians as [potential] martyrs akin to Latimer and Ridley?

    Have I missed something, or has someone threatened to burn - or, for that matter, inflict bodily harm of any kind on - "reasserters" in TEC, thus meriting a direct comparison with the unspeakably brutal executions of [Cranmer,] Latimer and Ridley?

    A comparison of those killed for their beliefs with clergy or lay people who might feel compelled to leave TEC or the Anglican Communion for reasons of conscience belittles the horrific deaths by fire of Latimer, Ridley and so many others. There's nothing "small or convoluted" about that, I'm afraid.

    Quite simply, there are other - much more appropriate and responsible - ways of communicating that one should stand up for one's beliefs.

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  68. Too, the only bishop in our Church that I'm aware of who has had death threats levelled against him and so rightly felt compelled to wear a bullet proof vest, is the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson. Those threats did not come from anyone of reasonable mind, in whichever direction, but from the likes of rightwing extremists represented by those who think this video harmless.

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  69. christopher+29/8/07 6:37 PM

    Anne,

    You said that "there is no text directly relating to homosexuality that causes any tension if those texts that condemn the behavior read in an absolute/universal way as there is with regard to WO."

    On this, we must disagree, I'm afraid, because it is entirely unlikely that any text in the Holy Scriptures relates to homosexuality at all, as this concept - the idea of sexual orientation - was unknown until the modern era. At most, the biblical texts in question refer to (some) same-gender sexual acts (though the exact context of these is also debated among biblical scholars, as I am sure you know). And if the Summary of the Law is true - I trust you would not say it isn't - then this text and many others beg extreme caution in judging (and harming, i.e., not really loving) others.

    I am afraid we thus disagree on this as well:

    "The case for homosexual behavior being a sin is as clear as the case for feeding the poor but the case against women serving in a limited capacity is not at all clear given the biblical record."

    Would not those who accept the inerrant authority of the texts you mentioned earlier re: WO (1 Cor 14 and 1 Tim 2:1) argue that these texts on their own make WO impossible? Didn't you say some Evangelicals hold this view? Yet, you disagree with them and are a priest - a valid choice made possible by diversity of thought and practice within the same Church.

    I understand the idea that (at least some) Evangelicals can make room for something that is not believed to be contradicted elsewhere in the Holy Scriptures, like "limited WO." However, I still perceive that this hermeneutic is applied rather selectively by many - and in some cases, as with issues of sexuality, with predetermined outcomes (for whatever reason).

    Nonetheless, I truly appreciate your willingness to discuss - with me and with others - your views on these issues in the life of the Church we both call home. Don't you agree this is the way it should be? Seems to me we can be part of the same Church and yet agree to disagree on non-core issues of doctrine and discipline, even as we continue in loving dialogue and fellowship.

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  70. Marc, the bishop of our diocese received phone threats after voting for +VGR's consecration.

    Add to that the thousands of gay people who have been beaten and killed by homophobic straights.

    Then add in all the "reasserters" who call "reappraisers" heretics, knowing full well the church's history of burning heretics.

    And what emerges is a group with an established and well-documented history of violence or threatened violence against gays and gay sympathizers, and a near-hysterical attitude of witch-hunting toward those they consider "heretics." When a member of such a group creates a video showing a church burning two of its members, along with an anti-gay message, it's not terribly surprising that those who have reason to fear such violence might find the video disturbing.

    It is therefore disingenuous bordering on ludicrous that the video producer and his anti-gay cohorts have the effrontery to a) claim not to understand what all the fuss is about, and b) envision themselves in the position of Latimer and Ridley. They should be blushing, but their self-righteousness would never permit it.

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  71. Anne Kennedy, your comments here have been an education to me. So. Women can serve as priests, but only under the supervision of male priests.

    The Bible cannot contradict itself. The sermon on the mount and the sermon on the plain come to mind, but I have a sense that you will say that somehow that won't count as a contradiction. What a corner you paint yourself into. And the passages in 1 Cor. and Acts don't contradict each other. I can't follow your line of thinking on that one. You just say it's not a contradiction and that makes it true.

    And what, exactly, does "play the man" mean?

    I'm stunned, truly. No sarcasm here with that statement. I had no clue that your sort of ideas were floating around.

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  72. obadiahslope29/8/07 9:15 PM

    Malcolm + commented
    "Though I did find it disturbing that none of the posters on Fr. Ould's blog seemed concerned by the initial comment there, which suggested that the use of violence would have been appropriate to prevent the consecration of +VGR.)"
    Regular visitors to conservative anglican blogs would have recognised the poster "sinner" on Peter Ould's site as a person who insincerely puts out an exaggerated point of view. It s a "reductio ad absursdum" parody.

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  73. I stand corrected, fs. I always appreciate your reminders/insight, here and elsewhere. Pax.

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  74. What I meant to say in my comment is that 1 Cor 14 and 1 Tim 2:1 seem to contradict Acts 18 - Priscilla - and 1 Cor. 11. I'm not much into proof-texting, and I got a little mixed up there.

    Anne, do you cover your head in church?

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  75. The idea that the self-annointed orthordox fundypisopals are being persecuted is a classic case of the big lie. Tell it often enough, loud enough and claim it is the truth, and you can fool the gullable.

    ;;sigh;;

    FWIW
    jimB

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  76. As for the odd quote from Walter Davis, his premise is based on the fevered leftist stereotype that all orthodox harbor some deep self-hatred bourn of sexual guilt. Of course this is nonsense. WE love sex. It is one of the best gifts God has given us...which is precisely why we do not and will not accept the twisting and counterfeiting of it.

    Hmmm. Weren't you just chastising people here for their "myopic selfishness"? Truly remarkable. I'm more amazed every day at the things some religionists say.

    And I'm more and more grateful every day for the goodness, kindness, decency, and empathy of most Episcopalians, in such direct contrast to the quote above.

    FYI, Ms. Kennedy: our love is not under your jurisdiction, and your opinions about it are, truly, irrelevant. In the words of the immortal Billie Burke: You have no power here. Begone.

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  77. fs wrote:"It is therefore disingenuous bordering on ludicrous that the video producer and his anti-gay cohorts have the effrontery to a) claim not to understand what all the fuss is about, and b) envision themselves in the position of Latimer and Ridley."

    -- Well of course its not the same position as Latimer and Ridley. No one is being killed or physically harmed, much less burned at the stake. At other times in Church history we might have been killing one another not blogging arguments against one another -- so things have seemed to have improved.

    But you have to admit that the only people being inhibited, the only people having their Church buildings taken away from them are the conservatives. Many of the priests I love the most, who have been instrumental in my Christian formation, have been inhibited by their bishops. By holding to what we believe is the truth (and I might add for the sake of our gay brothers and sisters - we believe it is their eternal destiny that is at stake here not ours), we are losing position in our Church councils, we are losing buildings our grandparents were baptized in, we are losing pension benefits. Some of the more traditionalist minded are compromising their beliefs because they don't want to make these sacrifices. Others of us in friendly dioceses are waiting wondering how in the world we are going to be faithful and stay Episcopalian. Peter's video reminds us that things like pension benefits and buildings are really little inconsequential things after all. It is a timely reminder.

    But the persecution of those who hold a traditional biblical understanding that those like me hold dear is real. About 2/3rds of my classmates at seminary came without diocesan support, without a bishop and after being raked over the coals by anything but open minded, broad church, "there is room for all of us" under this tent (but you!) "liberal" COMs.

    I think the vitriol of the comments on this blog is so intense because Peter pointed out you aren't the victims but the oppressors.

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  78. Grandmère asked: "And what, exactly, does "play the man" mean?"

    I saw today in a place not to be named for shame, that "play the man" is part of the - Apocryphal to be sure - exchages on the stake of the burning bishops in 1555, according to Hagiography.

    It uses "man" in the pre Modern sense of "senior", "mature", "perfected human being" and so on, as opposed to "junior", "immature", "imperfected", "childish" & c., not in the Modern (19th century onwards) sexualized and gendered one of "opposite to woman".

    But of course these people doesn't know and doesn't want to know.

    (the same shameful place made much use of "play the man" in a denigrating homo-sexualized way with reference to Mr Old, giving the impression that they think this piece of anti TEC propaganda to be his status-raiser to (almost) hetero-sexual "man")

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  79. "Play the man", Mimi, is a quote from the comforting statement that Latimer, his fellow-martyr, made to Ridley at the stake: "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle. By God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out." The quote is also central to Fr. Ould's video. Very likely not hagiography by the way, Göran - Foxe was a far more reliable historian than many have given him credit for.

    As used by Latimer, it simple means "be brave". There was a time when these words were drummed into every protestant English schoolboy with a sense of pride. One more thing missed on account of that papist childhood of yours (though my mouth waters at the though of all the that good eating on pre-Vatican II Fridays!)

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  80. Beating or killing gay or lesbian people is evil -- whether it is done by "homphobic" straights or by other homosexuals, including the partners of the beaten and killed. As I understand the statistics, gay men are far more likely to be beaten or killed by their partners than by a homophobic straight. Lesbian women are far more likely to be beaten or killed by their partners than by homophobic straights. We live in a violent culture and we all need to work to change that. Gay on gay violence is no less lethal than violence perpetrated out of hate. So, is Peter Akinola to blame for that evil also?

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  81. Göran Koch-Swahne, thanks for the info on "play the man".

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  82. christopher+30/8/07 9:33 AM

    Anonymous said:

    "...you have to admit that the only people being inhibited, the only people having their Church buildings taken away from them are the conservatives."

    Isn't this - honest question - only true of "conservatives" who try to remove/take properties from the Episcopal Church in whose trust they are maintained? Does the writer mean to say that some clergy are actually being inhibited simply because they disagree with their (ostensibly "liberal") bishop(s) on a few issues?

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  83. christopher+30/8/07 9:39 AM

    fs said:

    "Add to that the thousands of gay people who have been beaten and killed by homophobic straights."

    Not to be forgotten here, those who have probably been attacked or killed by repressed gay or bisexual people violently projecting self-hatred onto others. No particular case meant.

    Anonymous said:

    "As I understand the statistics, gay men are far more likely to be beaten or killed by their partners than by a homophobic straight. Lesbian women are far more likely to be beaten or killed by their partners than by homophobic straights."

    The precise source of these statistics please?

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  84. In March of 2004 I offered to Bishop Dave Bena (then Bishop Suffragan of Albany; now no longer an Episcopalian) to come to Albany and let him execute me as Leviticus demands. I asked only that the press and the sheriff be present. (see http://rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/natter2004/msg00032.html)

    I repeat that offer to standfirm.

    Why do those throwing the book at lgbts exercise so little moral courage or conviction in obeying the book themselves? Apparently for some the struggles are merely rhetorical. Not so for those of us who witness to God's love of absolutely everybody.

    Louie Crew

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  85. "...is +Akinola to blame for that too?" Anonymous

    Please don't change the subject..or if you must, please include the stats for ABUSE in heterosexual relationships...I read in the newspapers everyday about homocides of "family issues"...my own partner was hit with a claw hammer in the back of the next at nine years old...thanks to a drunk dad..who habitually harmed all five kids and always beat mom.

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  86. Counterlight30/8/07 10:16 AM

    "As I understand the statistics, gay men are far more likely to be beaten or killed by their partners than by a homophobic straight."

    This reminds me of the claims of "black on black" violence made by white apologists for the Apartheid regime in South Africa in its dying days, and similar comments made by Southern whites in the last days of segregation.
    While there is domestic violence in gay relationships, in the same proportions as in heterosexual relationships, I don't see how this should preclude legal enfrachisment of gays any more than any more than domestic violence argues against the enfrachisement of black folk.

    And those of you rightwingers so eager to play the martyr and to compile a martyrology of those "orthodox" killed by godless liberal percverts, take a look at this particular death by fire.

    http://www.gayworld.net/memorial/

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  87. Right, Christopher. Anonymous at 12:50 (care to use a name, dude?), you are making the same talking-point mistake over and over again. If the clergy you are referring to are being inhibited (hear this well anonymous dude), it is because *they have violated their ordination vows,* not because they are "orthodox." Repeat the last sentance.

    And "the only people having their Church buildings taken away from them" are those who wish to remain in their Episcopal Church for which they and their grandparents also have contributed their time, talent, and treasure and been baptized, married, and buried in - taken away from them by so-called "conservatives" (a malignment of what word.)

    The vestry and the congregation do not own the church; they are stewards of the church. So when you decide to leave you don't get to keep what doesn't belong to you, even if you're a majority. To attempt to keep what doesn't belong to you (the church) is called *theft,* something Jesus spoke a bit about. Anonymous dude, you really ought to check out Holy Scripture now and again. It's amazing what you might learn.

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  88. christopher+30/8/07 12:16 PM

    Marc,

    "Anonymous...you really ought to check out Holy Scripture now and again. It's amazing what you might learn."

    A constructive, friendly observation, if I may: I think this last sentence goes too far, even if the rest of your observations are on point.

    Anonymous - yes, a unique name/designation would be helpful - would no doubt disagree with many fellow Episcopalians on many things, based on what s/he has said here. I imagine, however, that this person's "traditional biblical understanding," as this person put it, is simply based on particular biblical-interpretive methods and outcomes, rather than on not reading the Bible at all.

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  89. Marc, it is a matter of genuine debate (at least among the orthodox) as to what constitutes staying faithful to ordination vows and what doesn't. Those priests who leave are doing so as a matter of conscience in order to remain faithful to their ordination vows. Those bishops who inhibit rather than transferring a priest’s papers are making choices as well.

    And yes, the priests are having to choose between obeying their bishop and obeying Jesus’ commands – both part of the ordination vows. Those on the left characterize their departures as homophobic or other such banalities, but the truth of the matter is that they are making great sacrifices, as are their congregations -- as a point of faithful conscience. No priest desires to disobey his bishop, but the recent actions of our house of bishops are forcing those wishing to stay loyal to Jesus to choose. “Choose this day” is not just a catchy slogan of the Network. Joshua 1 comes to mind in prayer for many of us as we try to figure out what faithfulness looks like in the midst of such open rebellion to Jesus by our General Convention.

    Choosing Jesus by realigning with a healthier branch of the Anglican body has frequently resulted in losing their house of worship, their place in the councils, pension benefits and I should add, legal expenses. It really could be a much more amicable separation but the open-minded “liberal” there-is-room-for-all-of-us crocodile-tear types, clearly prefer the law courts over negotiation, Virginia being a case in point.

    I won’t bother to argue the semantics of who is stealing what from whom. No doubt, you know both sides of the argument already and choose to ignore ours.

    In short, the attempt of the Network to have an amicable separation has not worked. God is not allowing such a realignment without great financial cost. In the long run, it may well prove to do us good and we will wonder why we fought so hard against losing everything for him. Again, whatever sacrifice God is calling us to make seem incidental to that of Fathers Ridley and Latimer.

    And, dude, the name is Rob+. (Everything came up Asian characters on my home computer last night and I didn’t know how to leave a name. I did not leave the other anonymous posts.)

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  90. The sources for my observation include the following:
    · A study in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence examined conflict and violence in lesbian relationships. The researchers found that 90 percent of the lesbians surveyed had been recipients of one or more acts of verbal aggression from their intimate partners during the year prior to this study, with 31 percent reporting one or more incidents of physical abuse.[46]

    · In a survey of 1,099 lesbians, the Journal of Social Service Research found that slightly more than half of the lesbians reported that they had been abused by a female lover/partner. The researchers found that "the most frequently indicated forms of abuse were verbal/emotional/psychological abuse and combined physical-psychological abuse."[47]

    · A study of lesbian couples reported in the Handbook of Family Development and Intervention "indicates that 54 percent had experienced 10 or more abusive incidents, 74 percent had experienced six or more incidents, 60 percent reported a pattern to the abuse, and 71 percent said it grew worse over time."[48]

    · In their book Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence, Island and Letellier postulate that "the incidence of domestic violence among gay men is nearly double that in the heterosexual population."[49]

    Gay and lesbian vs. other opposite-sex intimate partner relationships

    Surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice confirm that homosexual and lesbian relationships had a far greater incidence of domestic partner violence than opposite-sex relationships including cohabitation or marriage.

    · The National Violence against Women Survey, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, found that "same-sex cohabitants reported significantly more intimate partner violence than did opposite-sex cohabitants. Thirty-nine percent of the same-sex cohabitants reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a marital/cohabitating partner at some time in their lifetimes, compared to 21.7 percent of the opposite-sex cohabitants. Among men, the comparable figures are 23.1 percent and 7.4 percent."[50]

    Source: "Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence," U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs, 30.

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  91. anonymous - you know...you who posted Thursday at 143PM. You are I believe the anonymous who on every occasion possible, and whatever the issue, pulls out lists and quotations on just how awful and dangerous gay sex is.

    Perhaps you are not. But how do I know? You don't ever sign off with a distinct name.

    I posted your comment only because it was a legitimate response to a question asked about where you got your information from. But I am against publishing comments from anonymous and wish blogger would not allow that.

    So either give a name - any name that doesn't deliberately set out to confuse...or I will have to delete your comments. I will anyway if I feel you are simply running your own blog on comments here.

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  92. Curiously, even this offensive video was historically inaccurate!

    Latimer and Ridley were not next to each other, but both were chained to the same post back-to-back -- so Latimer could make his famous "Play the man..." statement over his shoulder to his fellow-martyr.

    And a bag of gunpowder was hung around each man's neck so he would mercifully die sooner -- it worked for Latimer, but in the case of poor Ridley, the flames didn't reach the gunpowder until he had suffered horribly.

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  93. Doug in Virginia30/8/07 6:16 PM

    Keep leaning comfortably in your chairs with wisened pronouncements. When TEC is reduced to an insignificant but wealthy microChurch because of its slavery to counter-culturalism, what will be the "cause celebre" to complain of? The so-called bigots, ill-educated, and intolerant will have left to join the 70+ million in the Communion. The remaining 500,000 in TEC can live on in bliss and chuckle.

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  94. OK, Christopher, I accept your constructive criticism. I probably should chill a bit; apologies.

    Rob - good to know you. However, the point remains. It's a false dichotomy to set up choosing between the bishop and Jesus. It isn't the part of the ordination vows of staying faithful Jesus for which a priest is inhibited (the "orthodox" claim.) It is the failure to remain faithful to the other parts, parts which are not in conflict with faithfulness to Jesus. If you can't do that you (generic 'you') are free to resign your orders and do something else. But you can't, with any integrity, do what, say, Don Armstrong, did and cut and run without going through the proper channels. He, and others in similar situations, are not inhibited for their faith (as the "orthodox" claim), but for clear violation of vows. Thing is, you seem smart enough to know this, but (as you accuse me), "you know both sides of the argument already and choose to ignore ours."

    Interesting: I have said all along that, until General Convention declares someone other than Jesus as Lord and Savior, I am going to be a priest in the Episcopal Church. If I was being unfaithful to my vows in any way, but chose not to resign or transfer, my (former Network) bishop would have been duty-bound to inhibit me. He did not because there is no conflict between being faithful to our vows as priests, being faithful to the bishop, and being faithful to Jesus, except for the conflict you choose to make.

    And again, if a priest is going to have any integrity and remain faithful to the vows to uphold the discipline of the church, then to make any move whatsoever to retain property that you (generic 'you') were once a steward of (not an owner), is not only illegal, it is immoral. Check the canons regarding property that a priest has promised to be loyal to. You can't legitimately claim that the bishop didn't want to negotiate when your (generic 'your') terms of negotiation are absolute and untenable. Even if the bishop chooses not to negotiate, that still does not give the congregation the right to retain property that does not belong to it. Retaining property under those circumstances has no canonical, legal, or moral ground. I can only repeat what I said above: You seem smart enough to know this, but (as you accuse me), "you know both sides of the argument already and choose to ignore ours."

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  95. Rob+: "Those bishops who inhibit rather than transferring a priest’s papers are making choices as well."

    If those priests were proposing to transfer themselves to some place where those "orthodox" bishops actually had jurisdiction - say Nigeria or Rwanda or Uganda or Kenya - then I have no doubt their American bishops would happily provide letters dismissory.

    But that's not what they are doing, is it?

    Instead they are proposing to live a fiction. (I will leave a side a more concise but more pejorative word.) They will by physically resident in the US, but claim canonical residence on the other side of the world. And a goodly number propose to take the buildings with them into this bizarre alternate universe where bits of Virgina are now in Africa.

    Despite the histrionics, no one is forcing them to leave the Episcopal Church. They are doing so of their own volition.

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  96. Mrs. Kennedy's argument for "limited women's ordination" makes no sense. Priests are priests; they're equal to each other. We don't have separate ordinations for lesser (female) priests and greater (male supervisory) priests. Everyone gets the same ordination she did and her husband did.

    This is mere casuistry, because "the Bible doesn't contradict itself," yet anothing plank in "conservative" ideology. Jesus is recorded to have said "those who aren't for you are against you" and "those aren't against you are for you." Huh, Lord, come again?

    Then there is "rob+," who describes homophobic bias as "banalities," when in fact it's the fuel that fires the entire industry of schism.

    Then comes obadiahslope to excuse "sinner" for posting reductio ad absurdum "parodies," when true parody always contains cues for laughter, which "sinner's" vile post did not.

    Plus we have "anonymous" citing journals based on (drum roll here) self-reports. One might equally posit that Lesbians are much more aware of domestic violence than cowed Straight women are; and that some of this Lesbian awareness also has reached Gay men. However, verbal/emotional/psychological abuse isn't the same thing as getting beaten up.

    Heterosexual supremacists like "anonymous" have a big need to tell Gay people they're trying to save our souls. That's mighty white of you, "anonymous," but no thanks. Those of us who are baptized have no need of your Bad News, and no one who's not baptized will listen.

    Most of all I pity the heterosexual men who constantly harangue each other to "man up." Without homophobic taunting apparently no man would measure up. They're the ones most oppressed by this, but church ain't a football game. Church is about love, which the heterosexual supremacists have thrown out in favor of law. I suppose we should pray for their souls.

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  97. christopher+30/8/07 7:25 PM

    Rob+,

    "...but the recent actions of our house of bishops are forcing those wishing to stay loyal to Jesus to choose."

    "...yes, the priests are having to choose between obeying their bishop and obeying Jesus’ commands..."

    This goes way too far. You are accusing TEC's house of bishops - and all those of us who agree with them - of being disloyal and disobedient to Jesus. These bishops, no doubt like you, are fully committed to Jesus Christ and to discerning God's will for the Church. Just because someone disagrees with you about how best to love and serve God and neighbor does not make that person (or group) disloyal to Jesus. That's way too facile, and I imagine you know that. In the same way, "biblical traditionalism" does not make someone necessarily homophobic or sexually repressed.

    You also said this:

    "Those bishops who inhibit rather than transferring a priest’s papers are making choices as well."

    This raises an interesting question for general consideration. Assuming an Episcopal clergy person is not attempting to alienate property or otherwise violate the Canons of TEC, but feels s/he must leave TEC for reasons of conscience, could a bishop simply transfer the bishop/priest/deacon to another ecclesiastical jurisdiction, presumably another Anglican-identified province or communion, as a loving gesture of peace?

    Thoughts? Canonical insights?

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  98. Anon-amuck,

    The links?

    The certifications?

    The endorsements?

    Blah, blah, blah

    Meanwhile, more heterosexual(?) fear/hatedriven thugs hit the streets to hit the homos or beat their wifes at home (doesn't make the survey's does it?) in drunken/drugged rages...come and visit the 3" scar on the back/base of the neck of my loved one who was 9 when his "straight" Daddy clobbered him with a claw hammer (the claw part)...he's just now 32 and stillflies around in a attack mode if you come quietly up behind him...how do you sleep at night knowing the company you keep of a person who demeans and attempts to demoralize/slander fellow human beings?

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  99. Marc, I certainly did not intend to "correct" you -- just meant to provide some more information. My bishop didn't advertise the death threats, and I would never have known about them had I not been present during a conversation among a few people. But I wouldn't be surprised if other bishops who voted for +VGR's consecration were similarly threatened and equally circumspect about it. And I appreciate your kind words.

    Not to be forgotten here, those who have probably been attacked or killed by repressed gay or bisexual people violently projecting self-hatred onto others. No particular case meant.

    Christopher+, I think virtually all virulent homophobes are severely repressed gays or bisexuals. If there's no internal conflict over it, then it just isn't such a big deal.

    Anonymous wrote, I think the vitriol of the comments on this blog is so intense because Peter pointed out you aren't the victims but the oppressors.

    "Anonymous," all the bashing, all the beatings, all the murdering, and all the excluding come from the homophobes. The gays simply want to live their lives with those they love. Who among us has the right to deny them that?

    And as for "vitriol," well, obviously you've never visited SF or VO. Wise choice on your part, I might add.

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  100. Counterlight30/8/07 9:58 PM

    The toughest men I ever knew wore dresses in public.
    I watched one beat the bloody crap out of a palooka who tried to mug her. As she was beating him senseless with a stiletto heel shoe, she said, "Be sure to tell you mama, your family, and all your friends that a faggot beat you up!"
    I've seen others walk right up into the faces of the most frightening thugs; and the thugs backed down.
    They'd be more than a match for any pack of Savonarola wannabees.

    Play the man indeed!

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  101. "This goes way too far. You are accusing TEC's house of bishops - and all those of us who agree with them - of being disloyal and disobedient to Jesus." -- Yes that is true. But "accusing" really isn't the right word. If I were alone in my private assessment it would be accusing. "Reporting" is a more accurate word, because it is based on the assessment of the higher councils of our Church. The Windsor Report and the Dar Es Salaam Communiqué make that clear. Elevating a partnered non-celibate homosexual to the office of Bishop is sin, blessing same sex unions is sin. It is against the will of God, the natural order he built into his creation and the clear witness of scripture. It is being disobedient to Christ. (That doesn't mean we aren't compassionate towards are friends, loved ones, brothers and sisters in Christ whose sexuality is so 'dis'- ordered.) The rest of the Communion has made it clear that holiness of life in regard to our sexuality does not include any forms of expression outside traditional marriage. When we take actions in direct contradiction to this we are being disobedient to Christ. That is why the bishops squealed like stuck pigs at Camp Allen, because after Dar Es Salaam there was no more pretending that our brothers and sisters of the Communion were saying anything else. (Granted there were other "sacred" canonical buttons pushed as well.)

    What really distresses me is that fellow Christians, people whom I know otherwise love Jesus, are committed to him, recognize him as Lord and Savior are all so blind to this heresy of approving of homosexual relationships. Personally, I don't blame Bp. Robinson near as much as I do heterosexual bishops who do not have the same excuse for their blindness. Even so, blame isn't the right word. Corporate spiritual blindness is the result of corporate entrenched sin. Our approval of a gay partnered bishop is the *result* not the cause of our blindness. I don't buy the explanation that we are allowing the culture to lead us. We are heralding it. And the whole "prophetic thing" is simply false teaching. So if our collective sin has made us so blind that we accept this false teaching, then what has caused our blindness? A slow building pride where we decide we know better than God's word, so we disobey it and teach others to disobey it till we are clearly above scripture and it now says what we want? Perhaps. Romans 1 does come to mind. The people of God have always fallen away like this until God in his faithfulness moves to call us back.

    The concern of we traditionalists is that if we compromise our faith and our understanding that scripture is foundational and authoritative, standing over us not us over it, then we too will find ourselves becoming spiritually blind and unable to discern true from false. And it won't stop at a relatively simple matter of same sex partnerships, but the very nature of our salvation and the name of God, a la Bp. Spong.

    So bringing all this back to topic, we traditionalists will not follow TEC down the path it is going. And clearly it ain't turning back. What will that cost we traditionalists and are we willing to pay the price? Will we "play the man" when push comes to shove and if the national church is successful in her law suits against us, leave our buildings and crosses and head stones with our great grandfather's names on them? I wish it were not the case. But if it is, I hope we will. To help us stand firm in our faith, we probably need to watch Peter's video that the people on this blog disparage so. It says a lot that we see it so differently. It is inspires us much like the disciples who were encouraged to proclaim the gospel even more boldly because Paul was in chains in prison. (Phil. 1:14)

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  102. Regarding the charge that bishops in TEC have not provided transfers for those clergy in TEC choosing now to serve other provinces here in the U.S., my guess is that those clergy have not asked for letters dimissory, since they have jumped ship from TEC in part because they do not recognize the authority of their TEC bishops, and therefore no letter dimissory is needed, I imagine, from their point of view. At any rate, a letter dimissory is not provided unless requested. When I transferred dioceses, I was not automatically transferred by bishop 1 to bishop 2. I had to request bishop 1 to transfer me to bishop 2.
    Lois Keen

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  103. A friend who happily belongs to a liberal Episcopal parish read these ideas of mine and declared my statement non-clobbering so here goes:

    As somebody rooted in traditional Anglo-Catholicism who effectively lost my church home some years ago, I see this...

    Looking at the Episcopal row I, and I should think any reasonable outsider, would say, ‘Look, either comply with Windsor and stay in, or if you really can’t stand these people’s (the Global South’s) views — you think they’re homophobic — or that ++Cantuar betrayed you or what have you, fine, then leave’.

    Let’s look at the worst-case scenario for you: the conservative Episcopal bishops and the new arrangements in America under overseas bishops — who agree with most Anglicans around the world, the Global South — ‘win’ and replace the Episcopal Church as the Anglican church in America. You’d still be the Episcopal Church but no longer Anglicans.

    Putting it bluntly, so what?

    You’d still be the Episcopalians with the nice Gothic pile in the city centre with Lessons and Carols every Christmas. (Yes, really Advent but that distinction is lost on most people.) Most Americans have never heard of the Anglican Communion or vaguely associate it with Prince Charles or something.

    (Most Americans aren’t Episcopalians.)

    Your own leadership and its spokespeople have said only a tiny minority of conservatives want to leave. If that’s true then don’t bully them — let them go. Leave them in peace and treat them in a Christian manner, Golden Rule and all that. Legally you can sue them out of their churches but shouldn’t.

    That also would hold true if you win the Anglican row BTW.

    Only a few congregations would split with substantial losing minorities on either side having to leave their buildings and start over, as happened to your remnant at the Falls Church in Virginia. Sad when it happens to either side.

    Other than losing that little minority who leave and keep their churches if you don’t sue, you’d keep most of your property and your buildings.

    And you wouldn’t lose money really.

    AFAIK you’re not subsidised by the Church of England (IIRC that ended sometime in the late 1700s) or any other church or institution in the Anglican Communion.

    Your denomination wouldn’t be ripped apart — you’d lose a splinter.

    I think that for 99 per cent of Episcopalians ‘losing’ this row wouldn’t make a bit of difference in their church lives and spiritual health.

    Their bishops wouldn’t go on a special trip to England every ten years any more. (‘What? I didn’t know they did that.’) That’s it!

    It’d be business as usual: services, fellowship, charities, seminary studies, Church School, youth camps, jumble sales, potlucks, godawful parish politics (such as vestry meetings) and all.

    Some perspective please. For Christ’s sake, literally.

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  104. christopher+31/8/07 9:54 AM

    Rob+,

    Me: You are accusing TEC's house of bishops - and all those of us who agree with them - of being disloyal and disobedient to Jesus."

    You: "Yes that is true. But "accusing" really isn't the right word. If I were alone in my private assessment it would be accusing. "Reporting" is a more accurate word, because it is based on the assessment of the higher councils of our Church."

    This, Rob+, is "what really distresses me." With all due respect and Christian charity, you are unable or unwilling to accept that fellow Episcopalians and Anglicans ("the rest of the Communion" is more diverse in its views than you seem to know) can have a different, biblically based understanding of loyalty to Jesus and to the Gospel than you (and those who share your views) do.

    Nonetheless, the majority of your fellow Episcopalians believe that we can be in full and joyful communion with you, even if we wholeheartedly disagree with your pronouncements on cherry-picked issues of enforced biblical authority - whatever the reason for your fixating on these issues.

    If, however, you believe the Episcopal Church, the majority of her people and her clergy to be fundamentally disloyal to Jesus Christ - as you assert in such a painfully clear way - I do not see how you can stand not to renounce your orders and leave TEC at once.

    Or at least immediately - with no further hesitation - ask your bishop to issue letters dimissory and release you to an Anglican or Anglican-identified province of your choice, assuming a bishop will receive you there. Revlois makes clear in her comment how simple this would likely be for you - unless you have something apart from simply leaving TEC on your mind and agenda. Just know that no one wishes you to go. You are a brother in Christ and we are all family.

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  105. Rob+,

    Elevating a partnered non-celibate homosexual to the office of Bishop is sin, blessing same sex unions is sin. It is against the will of God, the natural order he built into his creation and the clear witness of scripture. It is being disobedient to Christ.

    Bull. Stop worshiping sex, Rob+. Disobedient to Christ? What did Christ tell you to do with your precious, all-important, communion-breaking sexuality? Virtually nothing, because he did not come here to talk about sex. Sorry. Christ had precious little to say on the subject of sex and nothing whatsoever on gender, and what little he did say concerning sex was in response to questions from others. It wasn't his message. It wasn't what God sent him here to talk about. You are avoiding his message.

    So please take those genitals off the altar and open your eyes to the whole person -- the mind, the heart, the soul.

    Jesus had MUCH to say about judging others, and he said it repeatedly, both directly, and through parables. It is *central* to his teaching. Why do you avoid it?

    A slow building pride where we decide we know better than God's word, so we disobey it and teach others to disobey it till we are clearly above scripture and it now says what we want.

    Indeed, that is precisely what you are doing. It is YOU who are sinning and leading others to sin, Rob+. Wake up to that fact before it's too late. I pray for your soul.

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  106. christopher+31/8/07 10:36 AM

    the young fogey:

    "Some perspective please. For Christ’s sake, literally."

    The case you make is, of course, very logical and, I imagine, well grounded in your own experience of moving on, as it were, after losing your "church home."

    There are, however, a good number of us Episcopalians who would experience it as a tremendous loss if our "traditionalist" or "conservative" brethren were to leave or otherwise dissociate themselves formally from us, fellow members of the Body of Christ.

    This is all about much more than winning/losing, or numbers, or money, or about property, though there are, of course, issues of stewardship and canon law that make things complex in that latter area. And I imagine, too, that people like Rob+ would indeed see it as a tremendous loss if he and others were to have to "leave...buildings and crosses and head stones with [their] great grandfather's names on them."

    In terms of perspective - and one is always right to call for this - the Anglican Communion will truly do well to move on from its fixation on sexual issues. We Anglicans learned to live with hermeneutical diversity with regard to women's ordination; we will learn to live with hermeneutical diversity in this area, too. After all, both issues are about biblical authority and the tradition of the church.

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  107. Rob, Rob, Rob - What part of subversion and coercion and blatant misrepresentation (in a word, a lie) and dehumanization and support for abuse of human rights, on and on and on and on, that so characterizes the Network and their ilk do you see as being faithful to ordination vows and to the authority of the Holy Scriptures and ultimately to Jesus?

    Young Fogey - Your friend is right; your comments are non-clobbering; thank you. However, I think you might just as well answer those questions for yourself. Even if you think Gene Robinson (or WO or PB revision or whatever is claimed as the flash point) is the worst thing to happen in a generation, the way the Network/GS has gone about reacting (see above) in no way reflects Christian values or Anglican traditions. If you (generic 'you') don't want to be part of something that has, since its beginning, been broad enough to hold disparate perspectives in tension, why not just leave? If you don't want to be part of something that intentionally does not have a centralized authority, why not leave instead of working to restore us to a quasi-papacy? If you don't want to be part of something honors Jesus by welcoming *all* the faithful to his Table, why not just leave? I could go on and on and on, but you're obviously smart enough to get my point (even if you don't agree with it.)

    We stay with it because classical Anglicanism (as opposed to what is claimed from some quarters as Anglicanism in this current season) is utterly a part of our identity, even if most folks in the pews don't understand the connection. We stay with it because of our commitment to local, national, and international mission. We stay with it because of our commitment to be in communion even with those with whom we disagree because their (your) perspectives are necessary for us live more fully into the fullness of Christ (unlike the understanding shared by too many of on your side that we are too impure to even be in the same room, much less at the same Table.) We stay with it because our beloved Anglican tradition offers something unique to Christendom and we do not want to see it devolved into something that it has never been or intended to be.

    I don't think framing the conversation in terms of winning and losing is helpful or faithful. Better that we do as Jesus taught (in last week's Gospel) to come together in unity (by virtue of being baptized into the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord), and leave off with a demand of uniformity (which is not unity) or worse, imposed conformity (which also is not unity, certainly the unity Jesus calls for in Luke's Gospel.)

    Not a question, but an invitation: Join me at the Table that OUR Lord invites us to, my borther.

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  108. (George)
    For what it is worth, Mark, I have never posted anything on your blog that addresses the health issues associated with anyone's sexual practices. I was responding to the blather that predominates that violence against gay and lesbian persons is the product of homophobic heterosexuals or is encouraged by them. ANY violence against gay or lesbian pesons is reprehensible, whether perpetrated by hatemongers or by those with whom they are in committed relationships.

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  109. George...Thanks. Then you are not the anonymous who has dumped loads of off the subject stuff on the blog. Thanks for clarifying. Please use this or some name in the future. Thanks.

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  110. christopher+31/8/07 12:53 PM

    George,

    If you click "Other" under "Choose an identity" - instead of "Anonymous" - and enter a user name in the space provided, your user name will appear directly, and you won't have to add your name in parentheses.

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  111. In a general way, I would agree with much of what young fogey has to say.

    It matters little, in the great scheme of things, what happens come September 30 of this year or the summer of next. In the little parish I'm looking after, the holy sacrifice will continue to be offered week after week. People will continue to care for each other. There will still be little bits and pieces of strife. The bulletins will be printed and the average person in the pew will wonder what all the fuss was about.

    But I must dispute one particular part of yf's comments.

    He said: "‘Look, either comply with Windsor and stay in, or if you really can’t stand these people’s (the Global South’s) views — you think they’re homophobic — or that ++Cantuar betrayed you or what have you, fine, then leave’."

    I think he was really making an effort to approach the issue fairly, without misrepresenting, without triumphalism, without clobbering. But here he has presented a false distinction, however unintentionally.

    Even accepting that the Americans (and Canadians) are not 'Windsor compliant," it is a misrepresentation to claim that the other voices in this dispute are.

    Indeed, yesterday's events in Kenya and the anticipated festivities in Uganda come Sunday are proof positive that the so-called Global South primates (who don't really speak for the whole of the Global South) are trampling all over Windsor and glorying in the trample.

    Perhaps we might offer this as a balance to yf's (I really believe unintentional) misrepresentation:

    "‘Look, either comply with Windsor and stay in, or if you really can’t stand these people’s (the North Americans') views — you think they’re apostate — or that ++Cantuar betrayed you or what have you, fine, then leave’."

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  112. Hmmmm. That's funny. From the very same document cited above about "same-sex violence" I found this, in the Executive Summary:

    "Women living with female intimate partners experience less intimate partner violence than women living with male intimate partners. Slightly more than 11
    percent of the women who had lived with a woman as part of a couple
    reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a female cohabitant, but 21.7 percent of the women who had married or lived with a man as part of a couple reported such violence by a husband or male cohabitant. These findings suggest that lesbian couples experience less intimate
    partner violence than do heterosexual couples; however, more research is needed to support or refute this conclusion.
    "

    Less violence than that found in heterosexual couples, not more.

    Contrariwise, the same executive summary found that "Men living with male intimate partners experience more intimate partner violence than do men who live with female intimate partners."

    Gee, what could that possibly mean? (Here's a hint: it's the "men" part. So please: if we're going to be smearing anybody, let's smear the people who really deserve it. And BTW: wouldn't this be an excellent argument against the ordination of men?)

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  113. Thanks for your replies.

    Fr Malcolm, it was indeed an oversight; I didn’t intend to misrepresent anyone.

    Now that you remind me of it, as I wrote to Fr Marshall Scott IIRC a few months ago I understand your side’s objection to the new arrangements in America under overseas bishops as long as you and those bishops remain in the Anglican Communion.

    So keeping that in mind, you seem to be saying Windsor is irrelevant: neither side complies.

    If so — you do what you want; the Global South and the splinter of Americans under those bishops do what they want — there probably will be a split with only one side (can’t predict which) remaining in the Anglican Communion.

    A few congregations, both in Episcopal and departing dioceses, will split (a few others will leave just about unanimously, both ways I reckon) and the proportionally large losing factions on either side will get hurt as they lose their buildings and have to start over.

    Again, as Dr Jefferts-Schori said the conservatives considering leaving are a tiny minority — one per cent? — in all these possible parish splits we’re talking about only a fraction of one per cent of current Episcopalians.

    I know it still hurts. Just like the remnant from Falls Church. Just like the Anglo-Catholics who were told years ago that unity with the larger church didn’t matter.

    Reminds me of a few lines of a ’70s song:

    Somebody’s gonna hurt someone
    Before the night is through.
    Somebody’s gonna hurt someone
    There’s nothing we can do.


    Well, without hauling the other side into court there is something you and the other side can do: again, keep things in perspective and remember the Golden Rule.

    And pray.

    Oremus pro invicem.

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  114. christopher+1/9/07 9:28 AM

    the young fogey:

    "...Just like the Anglo-Catholics who were told years ago that unity with the larger church didn’t matter."

    This seems to be the same mistake many "traditionalists" are now making. No one is saying unity does not matter; what people are saying is that unity is not defined by uniformity of thought and practice. There can be unity in diversity for all who are willing to live with diversity (obviously within certain parameters, i.e. for Anglicans, those established in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral). Indeed, unity in diversity is one of the most traditional - and compelling, if occasionally frustrating - aspects of Anglicanism.

    ReplyDelete
  115. obadiahslope2/9/07 10:03 AM

    Josh,
    Please let me make it clear. I do not support or excuse "sinners" comments. I am horrified that anyone would think i support the things that "sinner" often says.
    The intent of my earlier post was to point out that "sinner" is only pretending to believe the view put on his/her posts.
    There are probably enough arguments put by genuine conservatives that you would/should respond to, rather than worrying about those put by fake conservatives.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Marc and Fr Christopher,

    I appreciate your intentions; thank you. Although all good old-fashioned Anglicans can agree on 'unity in essentials, liberty in everything else', (Anglo-)Catholics and you differ on just what those essentials are/where those parameters are.

    (As indeed you and conservative low churchmen do on sexuality.)

    It's great that at least most (or all?) of us here believe the creeds!

    But the faith can't be reduced to that.

    Catholicism can't be reduced to an option amongst 'pluriform' contradictory claims to truth - 'fine, you go ahead and believe that as long as you let us do our thing, no matter what the church historically taught or the repercussions of our beliefs and actions on unity with the larger Catholic world' - or reduced to merely a liturgical style one may affect.

    ReplyDelete

OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
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