2/03/2011

What do we really know about David Kato's death?

The police have a number of theories. Episcopal Cafe is following this. Some people in the gay-rights community believe there is a connection, either directly or indirectly, between his death and anti-gay rhetoric in both the church and society. Some people in the anti-gay world deny such a link. Everyone agrees he was murdered and everyone who has made formal statements on his death deplores the murder and any possibility that his murder was motivated by hate or fear of homosexuals.

Yet there are those who believe IF there is a link between Kato's murder and his being gay, Kato shares with the murderer some of the blame for his own death and if there is not he none the less can be faulted for being out front as a gay activist. This is the worse sort of victimization.

And there are those who believe that even if David Kato was murdered for reasons having nothing to do with his being a gay activist and singled out by a Uganda newspaper, Rolling Stone, as "Homos' faces exposed,"  he none the less was working for justice and that his death is a signal event in the movement for justice and inclusion.

At the far end of the spectrum are those on the one hand who believe that David Kato's death is being shamelessly used by the "Gay Lobby," and on the other hand by those who believe David Kato's murder in the midst of the struggle is a formative moment in the movement for full inclusion of the LGBT community in the larger society.

What are we to make of all this?

My sense is we need to keep several matters in focus:

(i) David Kato was murdered. There is nothing he has done or not done that makes it any less murder. He was the victim.
(ii) His witness and activism were important to the campaign against the Anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda and are reasons for his being well known. They are not reasons that justify in any way his death.
(iii) His death provides a context in which to raise our attention again to Uganda's anti-gay stance and the general obscenity of anti-gay laws, rhetoric, hate language and hate crimes found in many countries. 

Whatever the reason for David's murder, it is a compelling moment, in which various religions and political leaders have spoken out against homophobia and hate mongering. That is entirely appropriate.

(iv)  He is a witness to the need for justice, but his death may not be directly the result of such witness or the basis of his witness. He may or not be a martyr.  The determination of that is for another day. 

(v) The report of his funeral also gives us an additional witness to the level and obscenity of hate: His funeral was the occasion for a diatribe against gay people and gay activism and the abandonment by the "official" church of care for him or his family. 

I believe it is important to stay focused: 

David was a witness by virtue of what he did in life, not by the particulars of his murder. He is a witness for justice. He may or may not be a martyr - that is he may or may not have been killed for his witness.

The Church of Uganda provided local leadership for his funeral that failed him in death.  Nothing has been heard from the Church of Uganda. Apparently he was of such insignificance to the Church of Uganda that his death did not warrant comment.

David Kato was reportedly in the forefront of the effort to keep the anti-homosexual bill from passing the Uganda legislature. Perhaps that is why the Church is silent, for while it had reservations about the death penalty in the bill it approved the general goals of the bill, to so restrict the activities of gay and lesbian Ugandans that they would not dare to gather for any purposes concerning their grievances or concerns with the government. 

When will the Church of Uganda have anything to say about all this? 

I have read several comments on conservative blogs that suggest that David Kato was murdered in a robbery or worse by someone who lived in his house and was perhaps insane, and that such facts (if they are the facts) makes his death perfectly ordinary.  Perhaps so. 

What is extraordinary is that he died convinced that the proposed anti-homosexual law was wrong and needed to be overturned, he died not having flinched from his witness by the sordid listing (with photos) of leaders among the LGBT community worthy of being hung, and that his death went officially unnoticed by the Church of Uganda but morned by many elsewhere in Anglicanland. 

He lived in witness beyond the church, he died with his church being unwilling or uncaring in its response, he is becoming a marker in the long road to full inclusion.

54 comments:

  1. Thank you Father Mark. I think that you sum up what we know and what we do not know very well, also the significance of what it represents.

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  2. I was, myself, mystified at the defensive cry of "Well, he wasn't killed because he was gay!"

    Whether true or not, the shameful behavior at his funeral, and the shameful treatment he received in life, should've been enough to take even those who object to homosexuality aback.

    Scott Lively's response, coupled with this defensiveness, is what opened my eyes to the fact that there is no hope - at least for gay Christians - in this "dialogue" with the right, because it is, in fact, about hating gays and getting rid of them. Even if I had no survival instinct of my own, I could not cooperate in furthering an agenda of destruction against other homosexuals.

    Tacitly, what they are saying is that it's perfectly acceptable that a gay man was murdered, and we should be ashamed for being angry about it.

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  3. Apparently, the Ugandan police are changing their story again:

    http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1100686/-/c5a2fcz/-/

    It looks like they are going to run with a "gay panic" argument, the old saw about the homo making a pass at the murderer that invites the violence. Defense attorneys (and sometimes police and district attorneys) used that line of defense for decades in this country defending the murderers of gays (or as an excuse for not pursuing them or for prosecuting them on lesser charges). Attorneys only stopped using that line of arguing when juries no longer believed that it was sufficient cause for murdering anyone.

    Here is a sample of Scott Lively's comments:
    "These revolutionists of Sodom, who march triumphantly through all the major cities of the western world to flaunt their defeat of moral law, and who hold both Hollywood and the heart of America’s president in their iron grip: These very same zealots have fixed their malevolent gaze on Christian Uganda. [snip] There is indeed evil in Uganda today, but it is not the reaction of Christian and Moslem citizens to the rape of their culture. It is the pink-gloved hand of western powers that are cutting the throat of Africa’s most God-fearing country, and one of the world‘s most promising Christian democracies."

    He's every bit as violent and inflammatory, as Fred Phelps and only slightly less unhinged.
    Speaking of Scott Lively, there is the considerable involvement of American right wing evangelicals in Uganda's anti-gay campaign with copious funding from American far right groups, especially from "The Family" in Washington DC.

    David Kato had the temerity to publicly and aggressively challenge this hateful and even violent rhetoric. He dared to be unpopular and to contradict majority opinion in his native country. I can't believe that people really imagine that with so much ferocious rhetoric in the air, that nothing could or would happen to someone who challenged the conventional wisdom so fearlessly as Kato did.

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  4. I am very sad to say this, but I wondered if there would be any remorse over saying this was a Gay hate crime. I was correct. It appears this was a tragic murder of a man by someone he knew. May he rest in God's peace. Joe

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  5. I hear Lady Macbeth desperately trying to wash her hands.

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  6. Joe, we will unlikely ever know if it was a gay hate crime.

    The fact that David was murdered by someone he knew does not mean that the crime was not a result of hatred of gay people. It does not prove that the malicious and vicious lies regarding GLBT folks that are currently told in Uganda did not influence the murder and convince the assassin that the life of a gay man is worth less and that he will not be missed because it is the elimination of a worthless animal, a Sodomite.

    The "Gay panic" defense is founded on homophobia. And it is most effective when there is a toxic environment steeped in lies regarding GLBT people and their lives.

    To whom do you wish an apology? To folks like Henry Orombi and Scott Lively who are deeply responsible for the environment of hate that is present in Uganda today against GLBT folks? To you personally? Joe, I am sorry that in our shock and grief we perhaps jumped the gun about the full story. I am sorry that we jumped to conclusions about what may have happened because we are all to aware of the current situation of vile hatred against GLBT folks in Uganda, and the very public life lived by David fighting this hatred. I am sorry that we may not completely understand what happened to him or why in this life.

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  7. It takes a brave man to apologize, David. in Christ

    Joe

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  8. I'm waiting for Scott Lively's and Archbishop Orombi's apology.

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  9. Is the Anglican Church in Uganda in favour of the death penalty for Gays? Or, do you want +Orombi to apologise for being faithful to the teaching held by most Christians?

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  10. Is the Anglican Church in Uganda in favour of the death penalty for Gays?

    I am unaware of the Anglican church or Orombi opposing the "Kill the Gays" legislation. Orombi & Co have done nothing that I know about to oppose the bill or even distance the Church from the bill.

    Orombi is the stated on record spiritual advisor and "mentor" of the legislation who has proposed the "Kill the Gays" bill in the Ugandan legislature. A bill that the Ugandan human rights agency has stated would be unconstitutional.

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  11. Anonymous,
    when ++Orombi finally realises that "his faithfulness to the teaching held by most Christians" was a desperate, un-Christian error, I do indeed expect him and all those who believe like him to apologise.

    Make no mistake, it may not happen in this life, but happen it will.

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  12. Erika--is your point that the Church of Uganda's teaching on sexual conduct (Christian marriage) is un-Christian as such?

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  13. I was unaware that heterosexuality was a central tenet of the Christian Faith up there on the same level as (or apparently in many cases above) belief in the Incarnation and the Resurrection.
    I always thought that the divinely sanctioned heterosexism of so many Christian churches was something along the lines of the Ptolemaic cosmos, something long ago proven to be mistaken by scientific evidence, by medical evidence, and by the evidence of so much experience by so many people (both hetero- and homosexual).
    Unless we feel compelled to accept Genesis as a science textbook, that the world was created literally as the story describes, then I think it's time to set aside a Bronze Age legalism that no longer agrees with the evidence or speaks to experience after 2000 years.

    Yes, I believe ++Orombi and Lively do owe an apology to Kato's friends and family, and to the hard pressed gays and lesbians of Uganda and Central Africa, for killing the spirit of the Law in the name of its letter; for putting legalism before Love; and for laying upon others burdens that they themselves can't and won't bear. They broke that most basic commandment to love others as He loved us. Instead, they sacrificed others before themselves.

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  14. Christian marriage = heterosexist? You must be confusing Christian marriage with the sexual thinking of the world.
    Genesis a scientific rule book? Of course not. Not held to be so by any premodern reader, not Irenaeus, not Origen, not Augustine, Aquinas or Calvin.
    If Genesis is 'outmoded' I supposed Jesus' reference to it in the Gospels is as well? And the entire Christian tradition?
    Medical science a) has proven something like homosexuality? and b) is now the authority?
    And this is Christianity?

    Kurt

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  15. John Sandeman4/2/11 5:38 PM

    The Church of Uganda has issued a statement that
    1) Supports the aim of the the legislation to make campaigning forgay rights and forming gay lobby groups an offense illegal.
    2) Believes that these new offenses should be added to existing legislation which imposes draconian punishments on gays including lengthy prison sentences.
    3) Not supporting a new legislation has the effect of removing the death penalty from these offenses.

    This means that the Church of Uganda supports quite extreme punishment for people campaigning for gay rights in Uganda.

    Can I place on record my abhorance at violence against gays. If the "gay panic" defense is ifact used in the David Kato case it will mean that his sexual orientation did play a part in his murder.

    I have campaigned in the past for increased rights for gays in my country, for example moving anti-discrimination motions at university council when I was a student.

    And as regular readers here are aware I am an evangelical christian.

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  16. "Medical science a) has proven something like homosexuality?"

    Not sure what you mean. The consensus of biological, medical, and psychological professional opinion is that same-sex attraction is a natural variation and neither crime nor pathology. This has been the consensus of the psychiatric profession in the USA since 1972. The scientific work on this subject goes back at least to the work of Auguste Forel in the late 19th century. As a consequence, laws criminalizing same sex activity have been gradually repealed throughout the West, and in parts beyond.
    It makes no more sense to cling to a position so contrary to the evidence than it does to cling to Ptolemy's cosmos in the age of satellites and space travel.

    "and b) is now the authority?
    And this is Christianity?"

    Christianity is the The Good News of Christ's unconditional love for ALL of humanity, a love that is stronger than death. If the news that is proclaimed by the Church is not understood as good by the hearer, then it is not the Gospel.
    Christianity is a Faith, a faith in a Person, not in yet another law code among so many.

    If you really feel so threatened by the idea of sexual minorities being fully equal to you as baptized Christians, if you feel that your faith is imperiled by that possibility, then maybe the problem is not with your gay and lesbian neighbors, but with your faith.

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  17. I'll say it again:

    Yes, I believe ++Orombi and Lively do owe an apology to Kato's friends and family, and to the hard pressed gays and lesbians of Uganda and Central Africa, for killing the spirit of the Law in the name of its letter; for putting legalism before Love; and for laying upon others burdens that they themselves can't and won't bear. They broke that most basic commandment to love others as He loved us. Instead, they sacrificed others before themselves.

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  18. Sam F (from another thread) puts it as I would:

    A Gospel that categorises people as created ‘Gay’ or ‘Straight’ or ‘Bi’ and then seeks to affirm a ‘state of nature’ will for the vast majority of Christians consititute no Gospel at all, but a losing of compass points. There is nothing about us in a natural state that Christ has come to ‘affirm.’ He is making us new creations! Our lives are hid with God in Christ. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither ‘Gay’ nor ‘Straight,’ but a New Creation.

    It is for this reason that so many 'conservatives' halt and say, ‘we cannot go there.’ It disorients in a direction away from the Gospel and its power in Christ. ‘Conservative Christians’ don’t have any secret wisdom about some special impropriety of ‘Gay sexual behavior.’ We are all sinful and live by the faithfulness of Christ Jesus, which is the Righteousness of God.

    The new progressive view is that such Christians loathe and hate ‘Gays’ and are homophobic and so on. They come to bring pain and cause brother David to cry. No, most Christians are sensitive to their own sins and failings and do not have an special view regarding Gay sexual conduct; it is for them of a piece with God’s redeeming work on all sin.

    But when the Gospel as expressed by Paul – or Christ himself, or James, or Hebrews, or whatever – is recalibrated to speak of ‘affirmation’ and ‘created states’ and ‘Christ as moral change agent’ they see a Gospel without a Cross and a dismissal of the compass points that Jesus Christ holds up for us all. Behold I make all things new. Come unto me, all that are weary and heavy laden.

    Erika is correct at one point. This is NOT about a single issue (God’s intention for sexual relations). It is about the character of the Gospel itself. Christians who halt over the affirmation message do so because they fear it robs the Gospel of its truth and its power. Until this is grasped, calling such Christians homophobic and so forth will simply miss the issue that is central to their confession of faith in Christ.

    This is about the character of the Gospel Christ came to bring. It is not about figuring out who is in the most pain or distress. That road leads to nowhere.

    The King of Love hung on a Cross and there all pain was redeemed and made a victory. His Cross has the power he has promised.

    Sam F.

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  19. It's not a King of Love you preach, Sam F.

    If that's the Gospel - enslaved to another set of rules for salvation - it's no Good News.

    Just go to your own enclave and leave us to be whatever religion you think we are. We don't want your witness - it's death.

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  20. Our enclave: The church of Jesus Christ, St Paul, St Peter, St James, the holy fathers, Hilary, Basil, Gregory, Augustine, Cassiodorus, Jerome, Aquinas, et al.

    They are all wrong. You are right. The gospel they preached and died for, nonsense. Their gospel, 'death.'

    My modest hunch is, I'll side with them and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It sides with you, too. It sides with everyone, because of the Savior at its heart, whose Gospel it is.

    Sam F.

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  21. Most Christians . . . do not have an special view regarding Gay sexual conduct. --Sam F.

    But this is the special view, that Gay is only about sexual conduct. Gay people explain to their critics over and over that their experience is about orientation and relationship, and they get the same smug incomprehension back: You're just seeking special privileges to indulge in illicit, disgusting SEX.

    "There is nothing about us in a natural state that Christ has come to ‘affirm.’ He is making us new creations!"

    This sounds very faithful, but that way lies despair and sometimes suicide for gay kids -- for they pray, and agonize, and try to change, and nothing avails. Yes, they can repress their feelings, even marry, but they don't change. Has God deserted them, or are their counselors preaching what they read in books and not what experience demonstrates? Promising results that rarely happen is cruel.

    Traditionalists assume not only that the Bible's supposed condemnation of same-sex activity is applicable in the present-day, but that the implied description of gays is also accurate. That's the Ptolemy angle -- it isn't. Gay men don't lie with other men as with women -- they lie with them as men, not as a substitute for women. And gay men haven't turned from the natural use; for them, gay is the natural use. Traditionalists ignore great swaths of the Bible; they must learn to ignore the interpretations of the passages quoted to stigmatize gays. When you preach that Christ makes us "new creations," do not presume to dictate what that new creation must be for another.

    Traditionalists like to think that they represent the original faith, but theirs is an interpretation dating back a couple of hundred years. The scriptures were largely interpreted symbolically (though believed as history) until the rise of science -- then an effort was made to read the scriptures as the same sort of fact as science. They aren't. The actual authors and circumstances are unknown; they're a story that people have lived by, and can live by still -- if they see them as living interpretations, not dead letters.

    (In my school days, left-handed kids were being punished for "trying to be different," or "showing off." Since most people are right-handed, people wired differently were obviously just causing trouble. What would happen to society if some people were different?)

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  22. There is no love in your "gospel," Sam.

    And, like Christ, I'll stand against all the Tradition out of love, even if it kills me - and allows others to live.

    You can keep your "gospel" - it's nothing to do with me, or God. You can keep all your dead men.

    I'll take the living Christ.

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  23. You are entitled to your opinions, as Moynahan said, but not to your facts. This is just gobbledy-goop:
    "The scriptures were largely interpreted symbolically (though believed as history) until the rise of science" -- you will search in vain in the commentary, homily, and other writings of the church east and west for a symbolical reading of same-sex practice in the Bible. What is becoming scary is not only this or that modern opinion about homosexuality, but also the vacuous character of the grasp of church history and the exegesis of the Fathers. Just save yourself the trouble and say they were wrong (and that includes the great moralists in Greek and Latin -- Seneca, et al) and were wrong about same-sex behavior. There is no golden period when one goes back 100 years. It is seamless on this matter. It is wrong all the way across time. Kurt

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  24. Yes, let's have the 'living christ' unfiltered. Strip away the church's teaching and the contributions of its great saints. O, wait a minute, that is the cry of gnostics and anabaptists! Give me the NT (or parts of it)! Jesus without any churchiness!

    This is precisely why your replications of gnosticism and anabaptism will attract only the like-minded.

    Kurt

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  25. There is no golden period when one goes back 100 years. It is seamless on this matter. It is wrong all the way across time.

    Not according the late respected historian John Boswell's research. He exposed that lie. The homophobia of the "traditionalists" was indeed new. It rose with the same wave of heterosexism and misogyny that appeared during the 15th Century.

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  26. Balony. I knew Boswell. Tragic guy. Died of Aids. Widely discredited even by sympathisers. History as self-justification.

    Kurt

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  27. I have read both of his books regarding the Church, homosexuality and rituals. I have read them extensively. I have also read many of the works attempting to discredit his work. They are not convincing at all.

    Pray tell Kurt, what does the fact that John was one of the victims of AIDS have to do with the accuracy of his scholarship?

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  28. Not one thing. It was how he died. It was a sad and tragic death.

    Have you ever read the Greco-Roman literature regarding homosexual practice? Pretty chilling stuff. And, more than 500 years ago!

    Boswell made up some idea of same-sex blessings in monastic life...grafitti so small and so obscure one would wonder if it didn't establish the opposite conclusion. If it weren't in addition totally discredited.

    Kurt

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  29. And while we're on the topic of revisionism, here is the relevant US Supreme Court ruling on hierarchy -- which you have held forth on in the past. It would be good if we kept the facts straight:

    The US Supreme Court has held that a state “may” apply neutral principles of law to property and trust issues even if a denomination is hierarchical, deferring only on issues of doctrine. See Jones v. Wolf 443 U.S. 595, 603-604 (U.S. 1979):
    ——
    “The primary advantages of the neutral-principles approach are that it is completely secular in operation, and yet flexible enough to accommodate all forms of religious organization and polity. The method relies exclusively on objective, well-established concepts of trust and property law familiar to lawyers and judges. It thereby promises to free civil courts completely from entanglement in questions of religious doctrine, polity, and practice. Furthermore, the neutral-principles analysis shares the peculiar genius of private-law systems in general-flexibility in ordering private rights and obligations to reflect the intentions of the parties. Through appropriate reversionary clauses and trust provisions, religious societies can specify what is to happen to church property in the event of a particular contingency, or what religious body will determine the ownership in the event of a schism or doctrinal controversy. In this manner, a religious organization can ensure that a dispute over the ownership of church property will be resolved in accord with the desires of the members.”

    And that's no grafitti.

    Kurt

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  30. Have you ever read the Greco-Roman literature regarding homosexual practice? Pretty chilling stuff. And, more than 500 years ago!

    No, I am not fixated on the sexual practice of the past, or most contemporary others for that matter. There is pretty chilling material regarding heterosexual practice in the history of humanity as well. GLBT folks did not invent anything Kurt, you lot outnumber us at least 10 to 1. Everything you find about GLBT folks you will find ten times as much or more about you lot.

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  31. "There is pretty chilling material regarding heterosexual practice in the history of humanity" -- you are darn right! Which is why the ethic of marriage in Judaism was regarded as so special in antiquity, and why it is so robustly defended by Christ and his apostles. It set the Christian faithful apart.

    Kurt

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  32. Perhaps Kurt you should actually read the entire document!

    Under the neutral principles approach, the outcome of a church property dispute is not foreordained. At any time before the dispute erupts, the parties can ensure, if they so desire, that the faction loyal to the hierarchical church will retain the church property. They can modify the deeds or the corporate charter to include a right of reversion or trust in favor of the general church. Alternatively, the constitution of the general church can be made to recite an express trust in favor of the denominational church. The burden involved in taking such steps will be minimal. And the civil courts will be bound to give effect to the result indicated by the parties, provided it is embodied in some legally cognizable form.
    Emphasis mine.

    It was this section in the US Supreme Court's decision Kurt which prompted the Episcopal Church to follow the Supreme Court's behest and enact the Denis Canon, which embodies in TEC's canon law just such an express trust in favor of the denominational church.

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  33. And that would be the same Denis Canon that the SC Supreme Court ruled did not do the job?

    Your 'revisionism' entailed the claim that the US Supreme Court had declared TEC 'hierarchial' -- a claim as silly as Boswell's idea of a golden era were 'gays' were out and proud.

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  34. I realize that the situation is settled as far as the Pawley's Island case is concerned, but that is because Dio SC is in the hands of leadership that purposely has let the SC Supreme Court decision stand. Although the likes of Iker pursued property in the past, it would not behove Dio SC to assist in the demise of their confederates stealing of TEC property too quickly by appealing Pawley's Island to the USSC.

    We shall see what the US Supreme Court says regarding SCSC's decision about the Denis Canon when one of the other cases is indeed appealed to that body. And you can be sure that one will!

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  35. a claim as silly as Boswell's idea of a golden era were 'gays' were out and proud.

    That is not a Boswell claim. That is your continued mischaracterization of the research in your further feeble attempts to discredit the work.

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  36. I am not discrediting the work; that has been undertaken by others more successfully already.

    My statement had to do with the implications of YOUR comment, not Boswell's -- as I said, he was relying on grafitti, not Billboards.

    The idea being put forth was that homosexuality practice took on odious opposition latterly, but prior to that, we had a calm period of acceptance (the idea is barking, so perhaps I have not captured it well). That is simply not true. If anything, late antiquity wins the award for the most sustained resistance -- probably because it was more prevalent.

    It is one thing to make the case for Gay is Good, God made Gays, etc. But not at the cost of projecting such views onto the historical record. That serves no good purpose as it is easily defeated.

    Kurt

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  37. Anon
    "is your point that the Church of Uganda's teaching on sexual conduct (Christian marriage) is un-Christian as such?"

    No, of course not. What is un-Christian is not to permit same sex couples to marry.

    And what's even more un-Christian is the passion with which people dislike the supposed sinner, vilify him, condemn him, don't even consider that he might be their equal.

    Of all of that they will repent. Sooner or later.
    Of that I have not a shred of doubt.
    That you don't see it now doesn't mean it's not going to happen.

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  38. You will accept of course that the Christian teaching which you oppose and the Christians who espouse it are equally likely to use the confident assertions about repentence and judgment about those who depart from it in the name of blessing sin. This is the character of our impasse. You sure they will be judged; they sure you will be. Of course we all will be judged -- what is then our appeal? The righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. For one side, he endorses these blessings, where before he opposed them. For the other, he remains merciful in his opposition to same sex practice -- as with manifold other sins that beset the human heart.

    But you are correct. Judgment will come.

    Kurt

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  39. Which is why the ethic of marriage in Judaism was regarded as so special in antiquity

    So, how long did you work for the ugly daughter before your cousin gave you the pretty one, Kurt?

    How many wives and concubines do you have?

    Marriage in Judaism was not particularly special after all.

    Like murdering people because they didn't follow your tribal god, really - the same as everyone else.

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  40. Where the saints conflict with Reason, I will throw them out! Don't try the name-calling garbage with me, Kurt. I don't care if you want to yell "heretic," because it's the cry of someone who's already lost.

    And here's your "Church Fathers'" great contribution - murder, torture, war, the Inquisition, ignorance, starvation, MORE war. Christ came almost 2,000 years ago, laid a framework no human could undo, yet still, still! you people, the church lawyers, terrified of freedom, unable to curb your own unhealthy appetites and so smashing your fists into everyone else's stomachs, all you people still found a way to keep the world from being much better! How amazingly busy you've been.

    Curl up in your coffins with your saints - they were just men, no more or less "connected" to God than I, or Mark Harris, or Dah-veed, or Mimi, or MadPriest.

    You're quick to bow to the men and their words when they echo your own prejudices. That is why I have neither respect nor patience for your terribly convenient "faith.".

    Go - be some backward enclave squatting in the dark, but leave us alone. But, then, you do so enjoy brutalizing us, don't you? You're not Paul preaching to the gentiles, you're Saul, holding the coats and approving.

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  41. Kurt - seems you are in line with what Rowan Williams calls "the mind of the Communion"...

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  42. Kurt
    I do not believe that Christians used to cosider the kind of loving stable relationship we are debating these days a sin because this kind of relationship was completely unknown.
    I believe this is a thoroughly modern problem.
    It is therefore important to look at the character of relationships Jesus encourages and to assess whether a loving life-long committment by a gay couple fulfils those requirements.

    So ancient teaching has very little to contribute here.
    And you can only sin once you're aware of a moral dilemma, so this will be a thoroughly contemporary judgement.

    As it happens, I don't even believe that God will sit there judging and punishing, but that we will suddenly be aware of his absolute love and the truth that implies. We will all become aware of our shortcomings and that will be bearable only because we shall be held in His love.

    But how those who are nothing but stumbling stones to people now will feel when they realise just what they've done I have no idea.
    They shall find out when they come to judge themselves in the light of visible love and truth.

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  43. Mr Brunson--medication exists for helping people cope in an adult way with the fact the world does not revolve around them. It helps keep them from spouting off the kind of nonsense you do, when you are obviously unable to control yourself.

    Erika--I know you believe this is a completely new behavior and that it has no analogies. Many of us simply don't agree with that view, including many who have left behind the notion that being 'Gay' is a created state and one that God somehow intended for them.


    Kurt

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  44. Many of us simply don't agree with that view,

    And that is OK Kurt.

    However, when the view that you do hold becomes manifest in your behavior and becomes dangerous to the lives of Mark, Counterlight, Leonardo Ricardo, Erika, Murdock, IT, me and so many other GLBT folks who comment here on Father Mark's blog, or is seen to be dangerous to us by the many non-LGBT folks who comment here, do not be surprised when we respond vocally and perhaps aggressively to counter and defend ourselves and our friends and families from the danger that we feel. We are no longer afraid to fight back. And we are unwilling to cede the ground we have hard fought won. Retreat is not an option.

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  45. I'm curious, David, does TEC have room for dioceses like TN, Dallas, Albany, Springfield, SC, CFL, ND should they decide in convention that Christian Marriage will not extend to SS couples? If not, how will they enforce the new teaching?

    Kurt

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  46. Kurt, you need to ask a member of TEC that question. I have not been a member of TEC since 1995 when we here in Mexico became the autonomous province of the Anglican Church of Mexico. I believe that there is room here in Mexico for folks who are conservative in their beliefs about marriage. But there is only civil marriage in Mexico. There is nothing legal about a church wedding here. You need to have been legally married in a civil ceremony before a civil authority before you have a religious ceremony here. I know of no churches that would offer a religious ceremony to anyone who has not previously entered into a civil marriage.

    Currently here in Mexico we have only two jurisdictions that offer legal civil partnerships for same sex couples. The northern state of Coahuila has civil unions and the Federal District has civil marriages. However, the federal supreme court (11 to 2) has ruled that a same sex marriage performed in the Federal District is to be legally recognized and binding in every state of the Mexican union.

    I have not heard any news of the instructions to priests one way or the other regarding a generous pastoral response to folks with legal unions or marriages, even with Coahuila part of our Diocese of the North.

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  47. I think the zeal/hysteria answers the question for you. When people start using the language of purging and no retreat, it is a reasonable conjecture that they will broke no 'diversity' on an issue like this. All will have to come to heel. No diocese will be exempt, for it would be unjust for the GLBT cause. The only two questions are timing and implementation.

    If the GS decides it wishes to maintain the status quo ante regarding Communion life, one could hope that they would let dioceses which want to maintain that with them do so.

    So maybe the question is now: why not quit trying to mae sure only your position is the way forward, and let those who wish to remain as formerly--Christians, Anglicans, Episcopalians--do so.

    Kurt

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  48. I believe that you are mistaken Kurt. It is wild supposition on your part, and there is no evidence to back the claim.

    Not one bishop has been forced to ordain women against their conscience. Not one parish that does not want a woman priest has had a woman priest forced upon it. The General Convention has stated that it is time that bishops who do not wish to ordain women to provide options for them to seek ordination without having to move to another diocese. The General Convention has said that bishops should not stand in the way of a parish that wants women clergy. But in the end there is not enforcement mechanism. To claim otherwise is false.

    Progressives feel the same way regarding SSBs. We are not going to violate someone's conscience and force them to do anything. You have us mistaken for conservatives. They have a history of forcing folks to violate conscience.

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  49. That's great, David, and reassuring. Dioceses like the dozen or so that I named will be able to continue with their worship rites and not have to live with new BCPs which give warrant theologically for SSBs (like the one used in Boston). TEC will not force these Bishops and their dioceses to go this route and all will be well. That is reassuring.

    Kurt

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  50. Kurt I am not sure what you are saying here.

    I think that at some point in the future there will be a new TEC prayer book. It will likely undergo a process of development as the TEC prayerbooks have in the past. That is a process that may not occur for some time. But I think that at some future date there will be a TEC prayerbook that includes liturgies appropriate for use of the blessing/solemnizing the union/marriage of a same sex couple.

    Prior to that there may be General Convention authorized trial liturgies external to the authorized prayerbook.

    There may also be a number of other types of liturgies; ritual recognizing a divorce, ritual recognizing the termination of extraordinary life support, etc.

    But the presence of the liturgy does not force anyone to officiate at such a liturgy. That has always been an option of conscience for TEC clergy from the founding of the church.

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  51. 'Common Prayer' not 'loose-leaf binder'. 'Common' as in, agreed to by all and catholic in its grasp of scripture's sense.

    So, a diocese would not be able to use such a book, because it does not subscribe to loose-leaf binder = BCP (and no book in anglicanism has been thought of as optional services, some theologically approved by all, others not in the least).

    So, would those dioceses that could not receive the new book be allowed to continue with the BCP? I suspect they would be forbidden this. What is left for them then?

    Title IV will be of great use as an enforcer. It is unclear who else wants it and what value it has. Bishop Howe in CFL said it gave him powers vis-a-vis his clergy he did not want to have.

    God bless him.

    Kurt

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  52. I am not following what you mean by loose leaf binder. A prayerbook is a prayerbook. There is nothing loose-leaf about it. But there are many priestly ministries which never necessarily require or call upon the priest to use every liturgy in the book. Priests have never been required to solemnize marriages in TEC, it has always been a matter left to the conscience of the priest. This has not changed just because who may wed has changed.

    Usually at sometime after the propagation of a prayerbook there comes a point that it is the only authorized liturgy of a province and any previous prayerbooks may become unauthorized.

    Just about every time there is a new prayerbook, there are likely those who leave over it. It happened regarding the 1979 BCP and the 1928 BCP.

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  53. These dioceses will not accept such PBs.

    Do you understand? They believe a PB in the Anglican Tradition is our lex credendi.

    The question need not be further sharpened or intellectualised.

    Will these dioceses be able to hold on to the theological consensus of former books, or be forced to accept a new Coomon Prayer and a new idea about what it means? If No, fine.

    But the point--to come back to it-is the same. This will not be allowed.

    Do you get this?

    grace and peace

    Kurt

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