12/03/2007

This Just In...Anglcan Communion fiddles while end of world comes.

Dave Walker, over at The Cartoon Blog, has issued this prophetic observation on a pathetic situation in three parts:

(i) Climate change, rockets and bombs will go hand in hand in hand.
(ii) This will occasion the end of the world (as we know it.)
(iii) There will still be some Anglicans (see the little church) debating gay bishops.

You can see it there, along with some commentary on a possible off putting of the end of the world. He holds out no such grace-filled possibility for the debate.

Actually, IF we were to finally stop debating gay bishops, simply had them or didn't have them, and mostly got on to paying attention to the devastation of the planet it might signal the end of the world as we know it anyway.

I can publish the cartoon here because I paid Dave HERE. You can do it too.

18 comments:

  1. good post Mark. I agree we should just all move on from the gay bishop debate and decide they are not a good idea and not to have any. No gay priests is also a good idea. Now that that's agreed any suggestions for eliminating poverty and stopping global warming?

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  2. good try...but no, I think we should just move on, you having decided they are not a good idea and I having decided they are as good an idea as any of us being priests or bishops. There will be some way that we are both church when this is finished, although we may not be the same church.

    Eliminating poverty and stopping global warning... sure. We've got to end the greed 1st world countries think of as a birth right (US among the worse)- that we are here to consume - and start with ourselves as folk in the Christian community. The second is to think of globalism in some more promising way than global capitalism. There are remarkable things going on to eliminate poverty, but they really take whole governments (and tax dollars) to do. Maybe we could stop having a war in Iraq that eats up every dollar in sight. Then again, the dollar is falling. But you've got the idea.

    The first task here, I think, is spiritual - and then it gets political.

    Re global warning...I'm working with some people here in Delaware to get the first wind farm off the coast of Delaware. I think everywhere there are things to do. The first task here too is spiritual - returning to the notion that the world is a gift and the gift should not be used up, but shared.

    Anyway, good try.

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  3. I loved the cartoon. This ongoing infighting has been long and disheartening for those of us who love the Episcopal Church.

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  4. Really?

    I thought it a rather sad and puerile try, right up there with "I know you are but what am I?"

    At least it puts the lie to the "sin not the sinner" claim from Reasserters.

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  5. christopher+4/12/07 11:57 AM

    brian f said:

    "I agree we should ... decide [gay bishops] are not a good idea and not to have any. No gay priests is also a good idea."

    Moving on, as we well should, will mean living with the fact that we disagree on some things, even while we agree on others (i.e., the true essentials of the Faith as laid out in the Quadrilateral).

    However - and this is a very big however - the virtues of a "gay-free" church - much as some places and institutions once proudly declared themselves "free of Jews" ("judenfrei"), and as brian f proposes with regard to his LGBT brethren amongst the Anglican clergy - will never, EVER be one of those things on which we agree.

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  6. I almost hope the holier*than*G-d folk get themselves set up with the Southern Coneheads. Once they have their pure, holy, perfect (white male leaders only) preserve, I expect them to be able to establish global peace in a week or two!

    Over the weekend, I was able to read a set of recent mailings from a priest who is prominent in the anti-woman and other unholy candidates for ordination wing.

    He has forbidden his lectors use of any form of the prayers of the people that recognizes that we have a presiding bishop. As we all know, the Bp. of Pittsburgh had done the same to his entire diocise.

    In the letters I read, he was explaining the difference between them.

    You see, the Bp. objects to Bp. Katherine's theology which according to this writing, does not matter because being inferior, she is not a real bishop anyway.

    Already, the cleavages are apparent. Our neighboring parish (we routinely refer to it as the New Jerusalem) is to holy to be in anything that includes Bp. Duncan!

    We are too good for any but we and thee and we are not very sure of thee!

    But, once they all can get away from us unholy folk, world peace should be a minor item!

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  7. Christopher+ - you have misunderstood me - where did I ever say that we should have a gay-free church? Please point me to where I said that. I never did, and don't believe we should ever have a church which excludes people with any particular kind of sin. We ought to be a church which welcomes in every kind of sinner. We ought to also be a discerning kind of church that looks to appoint godly, God fearing repentant sinners into positions of leadership and teaching in the church - and that means no active thieves, liars, adulterers, gossipers, slanderers, etc etc etc (and homosexuals). Note this - only into positions of leadership, not into the front door.

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  8. Sorry. This may sound cruel. But I look forward to the day when the Brian fs are gone and we can get on with mission. Go away please, fundamentalists, and let us be the church.


    Please, please, please.

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  9. Famous bit of dodging, there, brianf; "I didn't say it, whatever I may have meant!"

    And so many errors, but let's stick to the two main ones:

    We don't "appoint" God calls -- we simply say whether we recognize the call and will accept. "Appointing" opens us to the very abuse that feverish Reasserter minds have concocted -- I assure you, none of us would "appoint" an Iker, or Duncan, or Kennedy, but even liberals have to accept they were called.

    I'm afraid that, if you're waiting for no active sinners to lead, you'll be leaderless. I assure you that, while you may not recognize it, you, as much as us, have unrepentant sinners leading you. As far as homosexuality goes, simply being homosexual is nothing to repent of, even if you accept that homosexual acts are.

    Why not be a Baptist? They require very little of people like you, brianf, and no living within reality, with its notorious liberal bias.

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  10. christopher+5/12/07 9:39 AM

    brian f.

    I am afraid I understood you only too well. When you said, in effect, "no gay bishops, no gay priests, there's a good idea," you called in all clarity for an Anglican clergy purged on gays. That would be a gay free clergy - and it would, I am fairly certain, not be a big jump for you then to say things like "no Holy Communion for lesbians and gays" or "no Baptism for lesbians and gays."

    Throughout the history of Christianity churchpeople of many ilks have combed the Holy Scriptures to find "inerrant" proof of God's sure and certain will for those who differ from them. You might be amazed, for example, at the scriptural and theological underpinings of certain aspects of National Socialist ("Nazi") ideology.

    "Ah, but that is totally different," you might say! "After all, they were obviously wrong, and we are right on this particular biblical issue." Well, I am here to say it's not different in the least, but for the target of intended exclusion. Though tempted not to respond at all to your appeal to purge the clergy of gay people, this is one area in which Christians must learn from history - for once, perhaps - and speak up. Whenever the exceptionally self-righteous or deeply misguided call for a purge of "the other," the rest of us need to act.

    brian f., I have no doubt that YOU have no doubt about the certain, moral rectitude of your approach, but it is indeed a slippery slope - one the world has seen before when the Bible is used as a weapon against human beings. In a case like this, it's simply necessary to call a spade a spade.

    God grant us peace.

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  11. Mark - you are putting words in my mouth which I never said: "I didn't say it, whatever I may have meant!". Words matter, and I would appreciate if you would quote me accurately, if you are going to quote me at all. Therefore I used the word "appoint" to include variously discern, elect, ordain, induct and install - yes in the end we as human beings living in the community of the church with each other are trying to discern the will and the call of God for which he has given us ample instruction in Scripture on the basic qualifications of anyone for ministry.

    And Anonymous: you expressed a lovely inclusive thought there - how Christian of you! It is a mystery to me what your ideas of mission, the church and fundamentalism are, when you are willing to jettison someone with orthodox Biblical theology (fundamentalist only in the 19thC sense use of the word), and yet accept unrepentant active homosexuals into positons of leadership in the Anglican church.

    And good people, please note also my emphasis on "repentant" to qualify sinners for leadership, as distinct from those who refuse to recognise their behaviour as sinful and so do not have any intention of repenting - ie turning away from their sin, in accordance with their baptismal vows.

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  12. christopher+5/12/07 4:02 PM

    And thus brian f. concludes (perhaps unwittingly) that lesbian and gay people who do not become (or at least pretend to become) someone they are not - heterosexuals - or otherwise commit themselves to lifelong celibacy should not even be baptized (presumably as adults, given the context), let alone ordained. Next stop, no doubt: No Holy Communion for "practicing" - and decidedly "unrepentant" - gay people. Yes, indeed, words do matter, and this is the direction in which brian f's words lead.

    Yet, brian f., no one seeks to eject you - or anyone who happens to agree with you on whether a human being can "be" a sin - from the Church. If you are an Anglican, however, you must learn to live with the fact that many of your fellow Anglicans do not agree with the biblical hermeneutic you share with so many, a hermeneutic that, in effect, leads to the belief that it is possible to "love" gay people and yet hate their sexual orientation with no unChristian consequences. (And please do not bother to make apple-orange comparisons to murderers or others whose sinful behavior harms people.)

    Based on everything you have said here, I imagine you do not believe that gay people exist as fully integrated human beings, for you would locate their sexual orientation in the realm of behavior. On that, too, we will always disagree. But I can live with that, and I would always be ready to be with you at God's altar. If you cannot say the same of me, only then do we have a lasting ecclesiastical problem.

    It is important to say, however, that when you and the many who share your views cling to the belief that you can promulgate such "doctrine" without contributing - whether or not intentionally - to an atmosphere in which many believe (and act as though) it is acceptable to marginalize, exclude and perpetrate other forms of emotional and physical violence against GLBT Christians (and non-Christians for that matter) because they are ostensibly "disordered," you are gravely - gravely - mistaken. You are indeed contributing directly to that atmosphere, and the results can be found regularly in the newspapers.

    By their fruits you shall know them, Jesus said. It is high time for the Anglican Communion to bear better witness to our Lord and Savior - and to bear better fruit on His behalf, especially in terms of living peaceably with diversity of thought and practice and, of course, with "otherness."

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  13. "....thieves, liars, adulterers, gossipers, slanderers, etc etc etc (and homosexuals)...."

    Ah, the usual litany, repeated unquestioned and unexamined.

    Any chance you might wish to explain what the last item on the list has in common with the first 8 (including all the "etc."s, which I assume are like unto the first 5)?

    Any chance you might consider the possible results of grouping innocent people - people who simply want to be left to love the people they love, in peace - in with those others who do demonstrable harm to other people?

    Speaking of "lies and slander"....

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  14. brianf,

    I didn't quote you in any other aspect than your use of "appoint", but I did explain what I believe you're trying to do. Indeed, your transparent attempt to wriggle out of using the word appoint demonstrates to me that I was correct.

    And, if the church is a hospital for sinners, then it makes sense to jettison people of your view, just as any other hospital would jettison a doctor who treats based on an imbalance of humors using blood-letting. You are dangerous. Your comparison of the simple fact of homosexuality to thieving, adultery, etc. is ample proof of that.

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  15. Mark - I am only doing what the apostle Paul did - was he dangerous? I suppose light is dangerous to darkness.

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  16. christopher+6/12/07 9:44 AM

    Mark,

    brian f. and those who agree with him should not be jettisoned from the Church - in spite of the violence they continually perpetrate against their fellow human beings who happen to be gay.

    Rather, they should be called to repentance, just as any of us should be when we fail to love God and neighbor, as Jesus Christ Himself commanded us to do.

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  17. brianf,


    There's no light in anything you've preached here. Just darkness and hate. It's there, but you don't see it because it is such a part of you now.

    +Christopher,

    I can't stop you from taking the like into your parish and your life, but don't inflict the Reasserters on the rest of us because of a misguided notion that Truth or Goodness is possible from them. Their teaching kills, and we have to be rid of it.

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  18. I don't speak for brianf, of course. I suppose he and I may think much alike. I don't really know.

    My own position is that, as far as the state is concerned, gays and lesbians should and indeed must be given full and equal rights and protection under the law -- housing, employment, health care, and even recognition of their familial arrangements (including some sort of civil union or even marriage). I think this is important, and this is how I vote. This may make me unique among "reasserters".

    As far as the Christian religion is concerned, however -- well, let's just say that I far prefer Christianity classic, with its basis in scripture and tradition, its understanding of sexual morality and the need for repentance, faith, and discipleship, and especially its (His!) power to atone and redeem. Its position on sexual morality is indeed difficult, including on myself since my spouse is chronically ill. (Perhaps it is more difficult for gays and lesbians.) But Christian discipleship and the life of faith was never meant to be easy, or it would have never included a cross.

    So, good Father Christopher, I indeed do not believe that "gay people exist as fully integrated human beings," or that I myself exist as such. I believe that they as well as I are continually in process of integration, hampered as we are by the existence of sin in our lives (my particulars no doubt different from theirs, though probably not less serious), continually in need of confession, repentance, forgiveness.

    I certainly do welcome them as fellow-worshippers; they are welcome to a different opinion. But to change Christian teaching by allowing same-sex blessings, dedicating non-celibate gay bishops, etc.? I just don't find the new diet Christianity an acceptable alternative to Christianity classic. The new diet "all you need is love" Christianity of unconditional inclusion being promulgated today in its eagerness to include everyone seems to have lost its power to save or redeem anyone, because it has forgotten salvation and redemption is what we all need, or dangerously assumes we already have it, or has forgotten the way there.

    And mark (not Harris+, of course, who wouldn't say such a thing), if you think truth and goodness is impossible from me, you're welcome. I'm not willing, however, to return the thought, and believe truth and goodness are possible from you, though we disagree on this issue.

    One other thing: by handing out these scraps of symbolic "rights" (same-sex blessings, a few token gay bishops) while betraying our own faith and tradition, I think you offer the homosexual community very little at an immeasurably great cost. And yes, still we argue about these things, while the world burns.

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