“The real question we have had to face in the Episcopal Church,” Minns asked, “is how do we separate the values that are worth fighting for from those that are mere cultural preferences? And to what immutable standards do we appeal to make these decisions? These are not just questions for Episcopalians, or Anglicans in the rest of the world, but for all Christians everywhere.”
Minns said that “Holy Scripture” should be that immutable standard, which is why arguments over abortion, homosexuality, and other cultural and political issues must be argued from “first principles.”
I suppose this all means that Bishop Minns believes that abortion rights and rights for homosexual persons are "mere cultural preferences."
Other cultural preferences in other cultures, or even our own in the good ol days, were to require that abortion be criminalized, making both the woman and the doctors and any who advised her criminals. Or to make homosexual sexual acts illegal and those who acted criminals subject to imprisonment and perhaps death. But never mind, these are "mere cultural preferences."
Bishop Minns oddly says, "we have to face (these issues) in the Episcopal Church." He has either forgot that he is not a bishop in the Episcopal Church, or he really doesn't think of himself as having left. But he has. It is just as well. In the article he has very little good to say about the Episcopal Church. Still, he can't quite avoid the temptation to speak from within it.
The "Values Voter Summit" is sponsored by FRC Action, the legislative action arm of the Family Research Council, and James C. Dobson's Focus on the Family Action, and others. Their spiffy website for the September 12-14 meeting in Washington posted as "invited" speakers all sorts of people, including the candidates for President. Bishop Minns was not so listed. When linked to the actual "speakers" list, there he is, one among a great list of speakers, neither candidate for President among them. They are still listed at the bottom of the page as "invited." Interestingly enough McCain, Obama and Palin were invited, but not Biden.
Bishop Minns needs to revisit the "mere cultural preferences" business. After a while all sorts of seemingly important concepts, not even well formed in America, will be lost. Is the equal pay for equal work notion a "mere cultural preference." Are civil rights for everyone?
Bishop Minns is playing to the crowd and what a crowd it is.