Fear is not an option: Sudan and a response.

July 22, 2008

Today there has been the lobbing of bombs at Lambeth, verbal bombs that make very big concussive noise and rattle pundits and bloggers alike. The content of a statement and reports from news conference with the Primate of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Archbishop Deng Bul have hit blog land, long before it got to the bishops attending Lambeth. (see picture to the left, Photo/Mary Frances Schjonberg, ENS).

The sum of the two bombs: Bishop Robinson should resign (Archbishop Deng speaking with the support of the Global South bishops who met yesterday) and those who took part in the consecration of Bishop Robinson should leave Lambeth (Bishop Iker of Fort Worth). Fear of these blasts is the real story, and giving in to the fear of such verbal blasts is the end of anything like the Anglican Communion.

Episcopal News Service had this report.

Here is an excerpt:

"Gene Robinson has to be away from the Anglican world and be a normal Christian,” said Deng at an afternoon news conference. "If he is, as he always says, a Christian, he should resign for the sake of the church."

Asked if he has talked to Robinson, Deng replied, "I have nothing to say to him."

He also said he cannot participate in the Anglican Communion's Listening Process because homosexuality is not "approved by the Bible" and "is not part of my culture, I cannot talk about it." Deng said there are no gay or lesbian people in Sudan."

Jackie Bruchi, over at Stand Firm, posted this report:

"We have just had a briefing with the Archbishop of the Sudan, the Most Reverend Dr. Daniel Deng Bul. He informed the press room this morning that he would come and speak with us, since the Anglican Communion News Bureau running this conference, would not schedule a time for him to address the press.

The archbishop is young – I would guess that he is in his 40's. He is very articulate and has an earned Ph.D. By his own admission, he has been an Anglican since he was a very small child.

His words are responses to questions asked. I think the questions are self-evident.

"Gene Robinson should resign for the sake of the Church and the entire Anglican Communion. We are pleading with them (the others at this conference) for the Anglican World, to not throw that away.

"We do not want to throw any people away, either. But we are here to determine how to remain united. That begins with forgiving one another for errors made. Gene Robinson is an error. The American church has not admitted they are wrong and we cannot forgive them until they do.

"I do not see a way out of these problems with the Indaba groups. The main issues have not been touched.

"300 bishops are not here because of Gene Robinson. Can he not resign to allow them to come? Why has he not done that?

"He is a human being and we are not throwing him away but the norms of the Anglican Communion have been violated. The question is not if Gene Robinson comes but what are we being challenged to do by GAFCON?"

"Let the Anglican world be united and be a normal, respected Christian body."

"We have not punished the American church yet. We are asking them to repent. I am talking about the institutional church in America, no specific bishops. I am here to speak within the House. I cannot be silent on this issue; I must speak to the House for the reality I know with my people. I should not hesitate to be here since I have been an Anglican since I was a child.

When asked what would happen to the Communion if Robinson did not resign, the archbishop continued, "I cannot predict what will happen if he will not resign."

Ruth Gledhill has the quote from Bishp Iker regarding the consecrating bishops leaving: "this has just come in from Bishop of Fort Worth Jack Iker: 'Those Bishops who stand in solidarity with Gene Robinson should withdraw themselves from further participation in the Lambeth Conference. Is this all talk, or is it backed up by action?'"

Her comment is particularly interesting. At the close of her article, Ruth says, "I wish I wasn't writing this but things here are really not looking good. The Anglican Communion seems to be falling apart in front of our eyes and it is not a pretty sight."

Into the midst of all this Susan Russell, President of Integrity, wrote this in time for the Lambeth Witness published earlier today:

"Commentary: Sudanese Primate’s Statement on Sexuality
by Susan Russell
Integrity USA

As the majority of bishops attending the Lambeth Conference settled into daily
Bible Study, Indaba groups, and conversations across differences, it was made
clear that at least a percentage of the purple shirts on the Canterbury campus
are focused on conflict rather than collegiality. After issuing statements on the
ongoing genocide in Sudan and the ongoing discussions on human sexuality in
the Anglican Communion, the Sudanese primate chose to focus on sexuality in a
briefing to the media.

In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul called
for the resignation of the Bishop of New Hampshire, declaring in the statement re-
leased ahead of the press conference that he had come to the Lambeth Conference
“to take the necessary steps to safeguard the precious unity of the Church.”
When asked about ministering to the gays and lesbians in his province, the archbishop declared that he did not think there were any homosexuals in the Sudan as “none had come forward.”

And when queried about his position on the ordination of women to the priesthood and
episcopate he said he “believed in women priests and bishops because they are human” – leaving listeners to wonder if the inference was that homosexuals are not.

The fact that there are those within the communion who think the Bishop of New Hampshire should resign is not news. There have been calls for his resignation since the day he was elected.

What is news is that the Archbishop of the Sudan helped make the case on Tuesday that the schism facing the Anglican Communion is the direct result of hard-line reactionaries who will stop of nothing short of compliance with their narrow, exclusionist agenda as their criterion for being in communion.

What is news is that a bishop in the Church of God would deny the existence of gay and lesbian members of his province despite repeated calls from every Lambeth Conference since 1978 for listening to the experience of homosexual people throughout the communion.

On Wednesday evening, Integrity USA will present a preview screening of the documentary Voices of Witness: Africa as one of the Lambeth Conference Fringe Events. Everyone is welcome – most particularly Archbishop Deng Bul. We would love to share with him the witness of gay and lesbian Africans who are not only fully human but fully loved by the God who created them. "

Earlier there had been a plea for quotations from bishops who insisted that there were no homosexuals in their dioceses or province. Well, now there is one.

Things may be breaking up, or there may simply be lots of noise. The Bishop of Fort Worth is making noise for the media. There is not a prayer in the world that the 60 will leave on the basis that he puts forward. Archbishop Deng Bul is pulling out the same phrase that has been so unfortunately used before: "'God is not making a mistake creating Adam and Eve, he said. 'He would have created two Adams if he wanted." This is a variation on the old saw, "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." This is theological commentary at its most miserable.

The Archbishop was clear that "he had decided to come to the Lambeth Conference to make the voice of the Church of Sudan heard by the West. "I am making this statement on behalf of my people." At the same time Ms. Gledhill reports, " the Archbishop of Sudan, Dr Daniel Deng, ... has the backing of more than 150 bishops and archbishops from 17 provinces in the Global South."

So while the Archbishop was making a statement on behalf of his own Province, he was also becoming a voice for other Global South Primates and bishops. The burst of this bomb was also a show of newly gained voice by the newest of the Global South Primates. Not only do we have questionable sound bite theology, we have the flexing of ecclesiastical muscle.

Archbishop Akinola will step down in two years. Archbishop Orombi is usually seen as the spokesperson apparent in the African Global South group. Is this a first hint of another contender? If so, Archbishop Deng will need more than sound bites and opinions as to what Bishop Robinson needs to do.

So the verbal bombs have gone off, and who knows, they may be only noise. Other matters - the heat in the big tent, the two weeks to go, the possibilities of other flair-ups, and even the cost of the whole thing will come into play.

I think it is too soon to see it all falling down. If it does or if it does not, the work of getting about being the Church will remain. Meanwhile, at this sort of garden party the invited guests who stay away cannot easily have people speaking on their behalf suggest that those who came leave. It is also odd, and very bad theological manners, to refuse to receive communion at the same altar with those who touched the condemned Bishop Robinson, as if somehow the contamination of that act was greater that the grace of the Holy meal.

The big bomb is that one: Those who have condemned Bishop Robinson and the 60 who laid hands on him have had their righteousness explode in their face. At the Lord's Table, it is the Lord who invites, and the meal is the Lord's. Those who stay away because of the unrighteous are in their midst are living in fear.

The reason why these bombastic statements cannot be the end of the story is that if they are the Anglican Communion is through because it succumbed to fear.


  1. These planned/surprise attacks are tiresome, demented/disruptive and hurtful...but heck, it's the kind cr*p/slander that LGBT Christians/others listen to silently (mostly) everyday...everyday of our lives but not always from Archbishops from a corrupt culture that is engaged in greedrive and deadly/bloody civil war.

    I think we're vivdly seeing the depth of fear/hate, or worse, that has tainted The Anglican Communion in parts of Africa and beyond...un Christian, and unHoly actions that are directed against hundreds of thousands of oppressed and persecuted brothers and sisters at The Body of Christ.

    Now, what will Venables excuse be for hanging out and promoting the excluding and ugly actions against Bishops/others at Lambeth Conference alongside/with these emotionally damaged men who attempt to import sin and crimes of spiritual hate at Church?

    Sudaneese/Nigerian/Ugandan/Kenyan Global South junktalk against other Anglicans/Christians won't serve any of them well in Argentina (or anywhere else eventually)...Argentina is NOT an outpost for superstious ignorance or the promoting of fear and hate.

    We're talking BOLD FACED Bigots here. Bigots with pectoral crosses hanging around their necks.

    Makes the hair on my arm stand on end.

    Apparently, The Archbishop of Sudan and his accomplices at Lambeth aren't much interested in following Archbishop Rowans suggestion to find the "Bishop that make us nervous"..."pray with him/her and expose that FEAR to God!"

    Are you kidding? These guys are headhunters and NOT "love thy neighbor" seekers.

  2. It is sad that Archbishop Deng chose this time and place to make these statements. His statements on homosexuality aren't really a surprise. Those have been the positions expressed by statements from the Episcopal Church of the Sudan for some time. Indeed, Sudan has been something of a demonstration case that, contra the assertions of Orombi in Uganda, we can share in ministry and support those who publically disagree with us.

    The additional call that Bishop Robinson step down isn't new, but, again, choosing to do so now is unfortunate. Well, there's enough other news from Lambeth. Perhaps this will be seen more clearly in context.

  3. "Archbishop Akinoa will step down in two years." Believe it when I see it and not before.

  4. Brilliant, thank you.

    What i sincerely hope is that the conference (remember, they were called to listen, something apparently Archbishop of Sudan, Dr Daniel Deng is incapable of understanding, despite his Ph.D.) will just ignore this outburst and move on. This isn't about Deng. It isn't about Sudan or Africa as a continent. It is about the Anglican Communion.

    I have made this case over and over and over and over again: I will kneel and accept the Eucharist besides those that disagree with me--a straight sinner supportive of full inclusion of our lgbt brothers and sisters in TEC/Anglican Communion--but Deng will not.

    Susan Russell and Integrity members have and will kneel with those that disagree. Deng will not.

    Since WHEN has the Eucharist become a political tool?

    GRRRR. That one point, the Eucharist as a political tool, just makes my blood boil. It drives me almost over the edge of Deng's flat earth approach to God.

    I would love to ask Deng where in his missionary imperialist influence that he, Akinola and Orombi now so despise (and I ask this with criticism of Imperialism in line with those here I question) he learned from those Imperialist missionaries to use the Eucharist as such a political tool? How was that EVER conveyed?

    Did the missionaries of CoE sort their converted this way? You ... rail. You... outside. I cannot imagine a missionary having any success using this approach.

    Do the African Bishops withhold the Eucharist from those that have more than one wife? If they did, they would probably have a much smaller attendance at their rail and their adjusted converts would spiral downward.

    Should we be screaming over this, their inconsistency? Should we walk out? Should we shout from the halls "resign"?

    We haven't, and we won't, though we could. But that is not our way.

    I have to believe that their approach, in their culture, in their countries is suitable for them. It does not, however, mean their approach is suitable for others in the communion.

    How in the world we EVER got to a point where the understanding of truth is defined, absolutely, by what one believes is true, I don't know. It is a dangerous, dangerous road to walk, especially for Anglicans.

    Which begs the question, if they honor the literal interpretation of
    the Bible so much, what is it about the history of the Anglican Church and its grand tradition that they just SO don't understand?

  5. Another splendid post, Mark! I do hope that lots of other folks are actually reading it, even though no one else has commented yet!

    Yes, we're all delighted to see Terry's new blog, Louie's comments on next Sunday's readings, and another fine essay from Simon. (You all out there are reading these things, aren't you??!!)


  6. Thank you for your comprehensive and fair report. I pray that others at Lambeth are not willing to fall into reactions to Iker or to Sudan's bishop. We live in an age when the press coverage goes to the one who make the statement that startles, whether or not it is thoughtful or fair or has integrity.

    Because one time, a long time ago, I made comments on the Stand Firm site, I received a synopsis from them of these happenings in my email. What a different take on all this they had. It's all about perception.

    More prayers for our church.

  7. You said it, Mark: "fear is not an option" . . . because perfect love casts it out!

    To the AC Bishops: you need LESS fear, and MORE perfect love (AND more +Gene Robinson. God bless, protect, and uplift you, +Gene: this week, and ALWAYS!)

  8. jim of michigan23/7/08 8:11 AM

    leonardo says:

    "Are you kidding? These guys are headhunters and NOT "love thy neighbor" seekers."

    Hopefully not a racist comment lobbed at Africans. If this was said by a conservative in American they would be attending sensitivity classes that next day.

    Jesus did not say: "vilify your enemies."

    Maybe, just maybe, if you considered the difficulty mission field of Sudan and how the "inclusive" gospel plays out among his Muslim rivals you might cut the guy a little slack. Your gospel in his country causes murder and slaughter among his people.

    Jim of Michigan

  9. I agree, the real schism and scandal is not the disagreements or the conflicts, but the refusal of fellowship at the Lord's Table. You are absolutely right. By staying away, the bishops are saying that their fear of "contamination" is greater than the God's Grace in the Eucharist.

  10. One of Abp. Deng's "bullet points" on what he thinks TEC needs to do is to suspend all lawsuits it has against breakaway groups (e.g. Falls Church in VA).

    Methinks I, once again, see the ghost-writing hand of Martyn Minns. :P

  11. Mark - Two slight corrections: in the first paragraph, Deng is trying to "rattle pundits" not "pundents." And, toward the end of the article, "Archbishop Akinoa" should be...well, you know.

    Thanks for the excellent commentary!

  12. It's truly disappointing that Deng has behaved in such a manner. I hope our Church hits back hard in the media in support of Bishop Robinson!

  13. Maybe, just maybe, if you considered the difficulty mission field of Sudan and how the "inclusive" gospel plays out among his Muslim rivals you might cut the guy a little slack.

    Let's try this a different way...

    Maybe, just maybe, if you considered the difficult mission field of the United States and how the "exclusive" gospel plays out among a growing number of Americans who are dumping God and religion entirely because of it, you might cut TEC (and +VGR) some slack...

    Cuts both ways, Jim.

    And now Jim Naughton has revealed that +Deng Bul used the courts (legal fees paid by members of TEC, by the way) to get his own property back when renegade "orthodox" tried to run off with it.

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry...


  14. Jim of Michigan23/7/08 1:42 PM

    Comparing the mission field in America to the mission field in the Sudan is like comparing a high school football game to the War in Afghanistan.

    Secondly, if the American bishops who are crying about Bp. Robinson's exclusion had the fortitude of the Global South bishops staying away in part over support of their excluded bishops, they would pack up and leave.

    But, hey, who wants to miss tea with the Queen?

    Also, I find it troubling that some of the American bishops booked hotel rooms in Canterbury because they were too good to sleep in the Spartan quarters offered by Canterbury.

    What a bunch of wimps.

    Jim of Michigan

  15. Hay Jim, How about YOU reading up on your silly prejudiced thoughts instead of instigating rumors about others? You can find some factoids here about headhunters and incest...two worlds you'd probably prefer to know less REAL facts about while accusing other Christians of "indulging" in prejudice:


  16. Hang-over alert?

    Does it surprise anyone that Bishop Buls anti-LGBT slurs turned Press Conference followed the "drinks party" for select "buddies" that Jack Iker hosted the night before?

    Who knows? I wasn't invited, beside I don't drink anymore.

  17. Your gospel in his country causes murder and slaughter among his people.

    Jim-in-MI, his gospel in our countries causes murder and slaughter among my (GLBT) people.

    Doxy, the irony is that it was not only TEC, but the Dio Virginia from which the money for his lawsuit came.

  18. The ECS statement decries "homosexual practice," not homosexuals. It calls on TEC and Anglican Church of Canada to refrain from ordaining practicing homosexuals, but then goes on to oppose rights of blessings for same-sex relationships. Thus they appear to be responding to two different theories of sexuality, the one that claims homosexuality is strictly behavioral and the other that it's structural. Decent ploy in legal briefs, but not very good theology.

    When asked if he'd met +Gene, ++Daniel said, "I have nothing to say to him". For me, that's the tipoff that he should definitely meet +Gene and listen, not speak.

  19. Comparing the mission field in America to the mission field in the Sudan is like comparing a high school football game to the War in Afghanistan.

    Jim---please read what I wrote. My point is that we all evangelize in our own cultural contexts. Why is that so hard for people to grasp?!?!

    No, I am not likely to face death here on earth for living my faith in the United States. But if you believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life---as I do---then what does it say that you are willing to write off people in our own culture, who have decided that Christianity is a religion for haters?!

    We aren't losing people to Islam, Jim. We're losing them to Starbucks and the Sunday NY Times. They think Christians are what's wrong with this country because they see us as mean-spirited, judgmental, and fixated on sex.

    And, really, who can blame them?

    I guess in your world, you're willing to cut them loose because they won't embrace your particular interpretation of scripture. For me, I want them to experience that mercy, grace, and love of God that I have experienced in my own life.

    Secondly, if the American bishops who are crying about Bp. Robinson's exclusion had the fortitude of the Global South bishops staying away in part over support of their excluded bishops, they would pack up and leave.

    Some of us don't consider that "fortitude." The GS bishops remind me of my children when they were toddlers---throwing hissy fits when they didn't get their way, and willing to cut their noses off to spite their faces. I don't think that picking up your toys and storming out of the sandbox is particularly admirable.

    What a bunch of wimps.

    Wimps are people who run away when the going gets tough.

    Who ran away from this conference, Jim?

  20. I hate to contradict His Grace, Bishop Deng, but take a look at this.
    It's a blog by Ali who is Sudanese and gay.

  21. Jim of Michigan23/7/08 9:07 PM

    Wormwood's doxy says: "I guess in your world, you're willing to cut them loose because they won't embrace your particular interpretation of scripture. For me, I want them to experience that mercy, grace, and love of God that I have experienced in my own life."

    On this we have some narrow agreement. The only difference is that I believe that to achieve the mercy, grace and love, one should be encouraged to repent from sin and move into the light.

    All of us are sinners and have fallen short (Romans 3:23). I am as sinful as Bp. Robinson. But when I sin, I ask for forgiveness not the church's blessing of the sin.

    There's the rub. I believe the loving and Christian thing is to embrace and welcome homosexuals and any other manner of sinner, of which I am also one, and then work and hold each other accountable as we work towards a more Christlike existence.

    But because the divide is so wide (and getting wider) it is time for me to permanently depart this toxic site and toxic argument and simply do the work that Christ wants me to do. I know he really doesn't want me here.

    You folks keep saying we should stay at the table, but when we do you treat us like children, you treat African primates with real PHds as children and talk down to them as primitives and then wonder why we leave?

    Be honest for once and admit the truth of it, there is no room at your table for those who don't embrace, accept and agree with your new definition of Christianity and Scripture.


    Jim of Michigan (gone for good)

  22. Guess the ABC's complex, subtle program for enabling very different people to meet and heal themselves along side each other must have been working, so somebody had to throw a bomb and break up the impending reconciliation.

    Happens all the time outside the Church. Why not within?

  23. Wormwood' says "Who ran away from this conference, Jim?"

    What a great point! (not)

    Note how GAFCON had 300 bishops which represented nealy 3/4 of the Anglicans in the world....and really did not miss tiny, shrinking TEC, Ireland or Scotland etc.....but you are obviously bothered by the GAFCON absence at Lambeth....

    YOu are right, it does matter that Lambeth has lost the bishops of the majority of Angicans because its organisers have tried to avoid discipline and therefore are steering the AC to deviate from 2000 years and most of today's Christian biblical interpretation.

    The tactics of fait accomplis has not worked.....agree not to do someting to stay in the club (eg Dromantine)...then do it anyway.....then argue that it cannot be undone but you are still part of the club and contraditions must be accepted.....fait accompli! Trouble is people have seen through this and it has only brought division....and the theological arguments against Lambeth 1.10 have not convinced many.

  24. "Also, I find it troubling that some of the American bishops booked hotel rooms in Canterbury because they were too good to sleep in the Spartan quarters offered by Canterbury. What a bunch of wimps."

    The "Spartan quarters" at the University of Kent provide only a single bed to each room. No married quarters. Three weeks of separation. Spousal cohabitation now a no-no, Jim of Michigan? "Wimpy", I guess?

    A list of these "extramural" bishops would be interesting. Knowledgeable as you are, perhaps you can oblige? Wonder where Pittsburgh and Ft Worth are hanging out.

  25. Be honest for once and admit the truth of it, there is no room at your table for those who don't embrace, accept and agree with your new definition of Christianity and Scripture.

    If you are still reading, Jim...

    I will kneel at the altar and share in the Eucharist with you, any time, any place.

    There is nothing in the liturgy that requires us to agree on anything, Jim. All we are asked to do is to come together, in the name of Christ, and encounter the holy and living God.

    I can do that with you, no matter what you believe about homosexuality, the ordination of women, or world politics.

    How about you meet me there, and we can trust to God to sort out all the rest?


  26. Wonder where Pittsburgh and Ft Worth are hanging out.

    Wherever Minns is staying, no doubt.

    Does anyone really doubt that the Sudanese announcement was part of a coordinated effort to derail Lambeth? The demand to drop the lawsuits was a dead giveaway.

    I think we should expect more of these bombshells in coming days--that is how our angry fundamentalist brethren work.

  27. Jim in MI wrote, I am as sinful as Bp. Robinson. But when I sin, I ask for forgiveness not the church's blessing of the sin.

    Well bless your heart, how nice of you to deign to appear here with the grubby hoi polloi.

    I feel uplifted already ;->

  28. I fail to see what "fortitude" is involved in preaching hatred. +Deng is wrong. +Deng is preaching evil. +Deng may or may not himself be evil--that I do not presume to know--but he is lending his mouth and his mind and his authority to the work of evil in the world, and it's especially repugnant given the anguish of his country--TEC and Gene Robinson are what he is choosing to speak to the world about? This is right up there with Jerry Falwell and Pat Buchannan blaming hurricanes on gay people in Miami. And Hitler blaming Germany's troubles on the Jews. And so forth, and so on. There's no "fortitude" involved at all. Just yet another Stupid Human Trick that leaves us weeping. Would that Ph.D.s were actually immunizations against stupidity and evil...

  29. Just to note, though, Devon - as much as one might or might not agree with Pat Buchannan's politics, I'm pretty sure you are referring to Pat ROBERTSON as one of the idiots who blamed the hurricane on gays.

  30. And right on cue, another "Hey Everybody!!! LOOK AT ME!!!!!!!!!!" moment from the Duncanites!

    So predictable.

    We should expect a similar bit of drama out of these people every two or three days for the rest of the conference. It's how they work: nobody does carefully choreographed poutrage like Duncan and Iker. Honestly, those two have a flair for melodrama that would make Norma Desmond envious.

    As for real Ph.D.s, Jim, I have one, and if you ever hear me saying something as boneheaded as the old Adam & Steve cliché, you have every right to call me on it.

  31. I would just like someone to explain to me what a "normal Christian" is. I'm pretty sure I'm not one either and that has nothing to do with sexuality!

  32. Nom de Plume24/7/08 7:49 PM

    Pfalz Prophet correctly notes that Archbishop Deng has called for a moratorium on ordination of practicing gays, not all gays in general. So, with that in mind, perhaps there ought equally to be a moratorium on the ordination of practicing heterosexuals, as well. Let GaffeCon agree!

    Equal requirements.

    But then, it seems to me that a few people were burned at the stake in the 16th century in part to defend the elimination of celibacy as a requirement for ordination....

  33. Hhhmmm, so no gay or lesbian has come forward to bring their existence to ++Deng's attention. Now, why would that be? Maybe, just maybe, it's the death penalty that's in place for gay people (although they cut lesbians slack and only give them 100 lashes for the first three offenses).

  34. I should hope no one has "treated you like children", Jim.

    While children are (naturally, developmentally) lacking in knowledge, they are learning all the time.

    You, on the other hand, are willfully ignorant, repudiating opportunities to learn---say, of the blessedness of +Gene Robinson's covenant with Mark Andrew---at every turn. You presume to know God's Mind on sin---having none other the same Scripture and Tradition as does the democratic-majority of TEC---and then presume God's Judgment on your brothers and sisters. Year, after sorry year, after sorry year.

    That's *nothing* like what a child would do, thank God.

    Go in peace, Jim. Believe in the Gospel, and be saved. Quit fighting the Reign of God, and oh---get off my Michigan neck, w/ your same-sex marriage ban? Thanks!

  35. The guy has not said anything that +Durham or +Duncan or +Rochester on the theological issues.......I know people want to avoid the issue and bring in emotion etc but the fact is that TEC won't succeed in getting its innovations accepted while not convincing many that what Lambeth 1.10 calls "incompatible with scripture" is in fact HOLY

    (Dr Deng earned his pHD in theology (unlike some in TEC)....please don't patronise him because he is an African)

  36. "The ECS statement decries "homosexual practice," not homosexuals."

    So who over there in Right Wing Land going to volunteer to do underwear inspection to make sure the homos aren't practicing?

    ...just part of the campaign for a purer better policed Christendom, ma'am.

  37. reailst, Deng does not have an earned doctorate.

    He has an honorary one, given to him by his friends in Virginia whom he just knifed in the back.

    But even if Deng did have an earned doctorate, that does not necessarily make him infallible. Let's not fall into the fallacy of credentialism: plenty of fools have advanced degrees and plenty of fine people never went to college at all.

  38. I have met the archbishop. Our diocise (Chicago) has a sister relationship with his former diocise of Renk and our parish has a sister relationship with one of its parishes (St. John Malut.) He has eaten my food at the parish and shared coffee with me at a diocian convention.

    ABp Daniel is amazingly charismatic. He does not enter a room, he commands it. He is a very bright, very educated man and if anything, his wife may be a bit more impressive. She is a tough, committed and charming woman.

    ABp Daniel's story is his to tell, not mine, but he has walked the tough road in Sudan. He is not someone to be dismissed lightly.

    All of that said, I suggest we all should realize what he and the Sudanesse bishops said. It is nothing more than a distelate of the Windsor fiction without the British doubletalk. Read what Bp. Wright said about the Americans being at the event, and then read what ABp. Daniel said. The archbishop is saying exactly the same things: straight out.

    I actually agree that TEC should leave the conference. Not as some sort of penance but because we need to follow the Spirit where we think it is leading us, and if other provinces see that same light, share the road with them. The Anglican Communion was an interesting idea but it is time to move on I think.

    We can offer to maintain sister relationships with diocese and provinces that wish them. But to allow ourselves to be drawn into the net of the fifth instrument of unity is simply the wrong thing to do.


  39. Lisa at My Manner of Life has written so movingly about all this: her relationship to Archbp. Deng and the people of the Sudan, and feelings of betrayal at the former's condemnation.

    As she says, "Women are CHATTEL in the Sudan" (while visiting Episcopalians like herself held their tongues), yet the Archbishop would lecture TEC???

  40. I can't help but notice the comment from the Archbishop of Sudan that you do not address:

    This issue of homosexuality in the Anglican Communion has a very serious effect in my country. We are called ‘infidels’ by the Moslems. That means that they will do whatever they can against us to keep us from damaging the people of our country. They challenge our people to convert to Islam and leave the infidel Anglican Church. When our people refuse, sometimes they are killed. These people are very evil and mutilate and harm our people. I am begging the Communion on this issue so no more of my people will be killed.

    I think this would be sufficient motivation for the Archbishop's remarks, and you can stop speculating about power-grabbing and the usual nasty things you assume about archbishops and primates that don't agree with you.

    You seem to ask a lot from the rest of the Anglican Communion so you can affirm the clergy status and sexual unions of American homosexuals. It is certainly interesting as well that you seem to think that by affirming the clergy status and sexual unions of American homosexuals, you are somehow helping homosexuals in Africa. I find that most unlikely.

    Exactly how many Sudanese Anglicans should die for Gene Robinson? It's one thing to call people to sacrifice their lives for something they believe. It's another matter altogether to do so for something they don't believe in.

    Fear may not be an option. But it's not your lives that are on the line.

  41. "Exactly how many Sudanese Anglicans should die for Gene Robinson? It's one thing to call people to sacrifice their lives for something they believe. It's another matter altogether to do so for something they don't believe in.
    Fear may not be an option. But it's not your lives that are on the line."

    How many Matthew Shepards must die to accomodate Sudanese prejudices? Our lives are very much on the line.
    Don't believe me? Try this little experiment that I always suggest. Find a friend of the same gender as yourself, and walk down any street of your town while holding his/her hand and see what happens.

    That one out-and-proud Sudanese gay man whose blog I linked to above seems very much alive and quite fearless.

  42. rb, do you honestly believe that radical Islamists would suddenly cease to be violent if Gene Robinson resigned?

  43. Anne Fontaine, reporting on bishops' blogs at Episcopal Café, says of Bishop Iker "He is on sabbatical and he and his wife have their grandchildren along". Looks like Jack Iker is one of your "Wimps", Jim of Michigan. Any info on the sleeping arrangements of the evidently easily-bored Bishop of Pittsburgh before he decamped early once again for easier surroundings?

  44. Counterlight: What happened to Matthew Shepard was horrible, terrible, and tragic. By ignoring other horrible, terrible, and tragic acts toward Sudanese Anglicans, however, you show no honor to his memory. Not at all. Furthermore, Matthew Shepard would not have been helped by the knowledge that his priest was gay; nor would a protest that he was legally married have benefited him.

    Yes, no doubt, if you held hands with another man walking down the street, you would encounter odd looks, be called nasty names, and maybe even get beat up. And that's bad, and I'm not saying it isn't. I'm all for the equal protection of gays and lesbians under law. But if you think that's the same as what's happening to Christians in Sudan, you are woefully uninformed.

    nlnh: Frankly, I don't know any radical Islamists, and don't know if that's what they are in Sudan. Do you? If the Sudanese feel our position on sexuality is contributing to their problem, I think that has to be seriously reckoned with, not dismissed. Maybe they're wrong. But how can we assume that?

    If these attitudes are common in TEC, the global South really is better off without us.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.