CANA and the Radical Inclusion of GLBT folk. Proceed with extreme caution.

The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) posts the following on their home page:

"Radical Inclusion of GLBT

Click here
to access an hour-long video guide on how the church can be more welcoming of people who struggle with sexual brokenness. In this presentation, the Rev'd Bob Ragan presents a heartfelt testimony and basic instructions for the church. Ragan is the Director of Regeneration based in the Mid-Atlantic which helps men and women wanting sexual and relational wholeness in Christ, those struggling with pornography and other sexual temptations, those struggling with homosex, and friends and family members of the sexually broken."

But don't worry, CANA is not at all involved in radical inclusion.

This is followed by a
more 'detailed' page on the matter:

"Did you know that there are things God doesn't know? For one, God doesn't know a person he doesn't love. God loves you — no matter what.

God loves the world (John 3:16). CANA is leading and building communities of faith where the radical message of Galatians 3:28 is lived out: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” CANA is a place where people of diverse backgrounds show the world that true unity is possible when we are connected by “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). CANA is committed to the Dromantine Communiqué (February 2005): “we continue unreservedly to be committed to the pastoral support and care of homosexual people. The victimization or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us.”

The radical in "radical inclusion" does not mean here the really really open inclusion of GLBT folk, it means their inclusion provided they are changed by radical fix, a sort of spiritual gay-ectomy.

CANA characterizes those it wishes to include as "men and women wanting sexual and relational wholeness in Christ, those struggling with pornography and other sexual temptations, those struggling with homosex, and friends and family members of the sexually broken." CANA assumes GLBT folk are in sin, broken, struggling with their sexual identity, and doing or tempted by nasty stuff.

After assuring us of their commitment to the Primates communique from the meeting in Dromantine in 2005, that "the victimization or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us," CANA claims to be radically inclusive of those who can and want to change from what CANA (and I suppose they) must understand as the bad life.

How this does not diminish "human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards persons of the same sex" is beyond me. I think it is fairly diminishing to have determined up front that GLBT folk are on the face of it tempted people, sexually broken and struggling with homosex, in need of radical transformation in order to be included.

CANA could do better than this, but probably won't. Hawking the Regeneration folk's remedy under the guise of radical inclusion is a sham.


  1. "Homosex?" Ungood. Doubleplusungood.

  2. This is totally consistent with posts blatantly displayed on T19. It is at its best sheer ignorance (some of the suppositions of those folk about things like bisexuality, for example, are laughable, were they not so ardently believed), at its worst, sheer hate. These people must be left to wallow in their ignorance since they are not inclined to leave it behind, not allowed to influence the ministry of the Episcopal Church.

  3. Is there no end to their self-righteousness, thievery and destructive wickedness?

  4. If it looks like an ex-gay group, sounds like an ex-gay group .... the harm that is done to not only the people that go through them, far far outweighs whatever supposed good may come out of it.

  5. " Hawking the Regeneration folk's remedy under the guise of radical inclusion is a sham."

    We were to expect anything else? This is the same bunch that wrote the "Jerusalem Decleration."



  6. Very well then, Rev. Harris: do you think it also “diminishing” to have determined up front that “folk” – human beings – indulging in porn are on the face of it tempted people, sexually broken and struggling – in need of radical transformation, even?

  7. Hmmm, sounds like just another repackaging of the same old "Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin" Spiritual Abuse that those of us in the southern US have witnessed for years.

    Especially we GLBT folk.

    The only thing "radical" about this approach of the CANA-nites is that they appear to want to "invite" GLBT folk into the sanctuary before throwing them under the bus of intolerance.

    Wolf? Sheep's clothing? Yeah, I already know that story. I'll pass.

  8. Worked for me. Previously exclusively homosexual, now happily married with child.

  9. Robert Dodd4/8/08 4:55 PM

    "How long, oh Lord?" A decade has passed since the American Psychological Association and nine other counseling and educational groups co-wrote and distributed "Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth." The pamphlet, sent to every school, counseled against reparative therapy because it is rarely successful and can be lethal.

    I don't fear homosexuals, but I'm terrified of invincible ignorance in bishops and others who have pastoral responsibilities.

  10. Just popped back in to see what I expected. This blog has lots of room for venom as long as it's directed at the orthodox majority.

    Nothing to see here. Moving back into the real world again.

  11. This kind of language from CANA (and those who would "fix" LGBT folk) reiterates the falsehood that homosexuality is a choice rather than an inborn orientation. Heaven forbid that attention should be paid to ongoing research in genetics, psychology, psychiatry and social science that would challenge their position.

    Once again "the other" is demonized, is forced to conform to someone else's standards of acceptability, is declared broken.

    As if those calling LGBT folks broken aren't themselves an example of brokenness in their self-righteousness.

    Grinding my teeth at the absurdity of it.

    Jesus weeps.

  12. Peter O -- if it worked for you, then you are bisexual.

  13. peter o wrote, "Worked for me. Previously exclusively homosexual, now happily married with child."

    Congratulations on no longer being exclusively homosexual, I guess.

  14. I've had to live out (rather than argue) this gay matter for most of the half century I've spent on this earth. I've known who I liked since I was 12. I've been sexually active and out since I was 19. I've been half of a gay family and household for 5 years now. When I was 17, I had a friend who got shipped off, against his will, to be "cured." The only thing he came back "cured" from was his family. He left town and left them behind, and I doubt ever looked back.
    I'm not going to rehash the whole argument over whether gayness is an illness. That was settled, to the continuing satisfaction of the professionals, over 30 years ago. The idea that doctors were wasting their time trying to "cure" a natural variation goes back 60 years; over 100 if you count the work of Auguste Forel and Magnus Hirschfeld.
    I do take issue with the idea that somehow the whole argument over the legitimacy of gayness is new, that it is somehow another leftover from the hippy trippy '60s and the sexual revolution.
    People have argued for the legitimacy of same-sex attraction since at least the 12th century. There was even more such advocacy during the Renaissance, not among the humanists, but down in the streets where ecclesiastical crackdowns on "sodomites" were frequently met with resistance and even violent backlashes (just ask Savonarola). The practice of men living together as spouses and setting up households first appears in early 18th century Britain and in The Netherlands. The first political movements organized around same sex attraction appear in Imperial Germany in the 1880s in the wake of the first laws criminalizing such attractions.
    The first man to try to organize a similar movement in the United States was Henry Gerber, a First World War Veteran in Chicago in the 1920s. Gerber spent long years in jail in Joliet for promoting "obscenity."
    The first organization of and for gay men in the USA was the Veterans' Benevolent Association after the Second World War. It was primarily a mutual aid society for veterans with less than honorable discharges, almost always over homosexuality. The Magazine "One," the first to target a gay audience about gay issues, and to openly question the criminalization of homosexuality, appeared at the same time. The Mattachine Society for men and the Daughters of Bilitis for women, and "The Ladder," the first magazine for lesbians, appeared in the middle of the McCarthy witch hunts, and began to question the very idea that same sex attraction was pathological.
    Stonewall in 1969 was not a beginning, but a crucial turning point. The emancipation of lgbts took to the streets and became a popular movement, and the rest is history.

    And the struggle of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion is only 30 years long. The rest of us have been waging this fight for over a century.

  15. To all the "orthodox" who see this as a "cure" I say to you that you are treading on very dangerous spiritual ground when you start to mess with a person's heart and soul, manipulating them into denying an inherent part of who they are in order to conform to your bibliolatry. Jesus warned very clearly about leading those who seek him astray. Your very souls are at risk...

  16. The interesting implication here is that heterosexuals are, by definition, "sexually whole."

    Or, at least, "not broken." Fascinating idea, I think; all heterosexuals can pretty much breathe easy, since they have arrived, officially. No brokenness there, by golly!

    Just as the so-called "orthodox" are the Only Real Christians, I guess. If only we could all be more like them....

  17. bluemoonalto5/8/08 12:44 PM

    I have sometimes wondered how a church that espouses such a sour and condescending view of "Radical Inclusion" would actually welcome any gay people who had the temerity to set foot within their doors. It sounds like CANA claims to be ready and willing to mobilize their forces at any gay person who is troubled, depressed or in need of counseling, but what kind of welcome would they give a happy, well adjusted gay person? Or a long-term partnered couple? Would they ignore them, hope they would go away, or actively browbeat them to acknowledge their "brokenness" and accept the cure they claim to offer? If the couple had children, what kind of "Radical Inclusion" would they offer the kids?

  18. Our friend Allen reminds me again of Captain Renaud: "I am shocked, SHOCKED, to find that gambling is going on in this place!"

  19. bluemoonalto - You simply ask too many logical questions. Stop that! Everyone knows that gays are all men who long for serial annonymous sex. Famlies, you say? Children? Happy? Perhaps a few in MA or CA - but not here in Va. Why the answer is quite simple.

    Happy gays must repent of being happy. Married gays must repent of being married and children of gays must renounce and denounce their parents for saying they are happy and getting married. And so will all the other family members and friends of these happy married gay folk with children.

    That'll work, don't you think - particularly the part where the children get to renounce their parents?

  20. There is no such thing as an "ex-homosexual". There is a homosexual or bisexual person who has made a choice against their nature.

    Last time I checked, St. Paul said THAT was a sin. That is radical (read, "root", read: "orthodox") theology.

    So, either St. Paul is a liar or CANA people are not as "orthodox" as they claim.

    Hmmm . . .I've never really liked St. Paul, but next to the CANA folk he's starting to look pretty good.

  21. I have no problem at all with Peter O's testimony. If he believed he was truly homosexual and is now truly heterosexual then who am I to question that. I sincerely thank God for putting Peter on a path that has given him health and wholeness, as I do for everyone else God touches.

    I wish he'd acknowledge that our encounters with the living God brought us into health and wholeness as lesbian and gay people.

    In order to follow the path Peter seems to advocate I follow, I would have to ignore the voice of the Spirit working in my life and in those gay Christians around me. I cannot do that in good conscience.

    Perhaps some day people like Peter O will thank God for working on our lives as gay and lesbians people and instead of attempting to put God and us into his box, acknowledge the fruits of the Spirit already at work in our lives.

  22. Grrrrrrrrr!!!

    The Werewolf in me wants to tear em' apart, ...but the good part of me (which seems to bubble up all the time), says to tolerate those who would wish to silence me ... kind of an oxymoron don't cha' think??

  23. Dan, read closely. Peter O says that he was "exclusively homosexual," but that now he is "married with child." And, in his own bewildering attempt to co-opt queer theory, that he has made himself "post-gay."

    Go see. That is, if you can abide the logical convolution of his web pages, which are, in their full-frontal fruitiness,* about as post-gay as www.manhunt.net.

    *Note: this is an observation, not an insult. It'd only be an insult if I thought that fruity gayness was a problem. I don't. In fact, I sorta like it.

  24. bluemoonalto8/8/08 10:24 PM

    Well, in all fairness to Peter O., there are many "exclusively gay" people who are now happily married and raising children, thanks to forward-looking laws in such places as Canada, Massachusetts and California.


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