Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Archbishop Deng calls on Robinson to resign

From Lambeth, Times religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill writes:
The openly gay bishop of New Hampshire must resign if the Anglican church is to be saved from schism, a senior Archbishop said today.

The Archbishop of Sudan, Dr Daniel Deng, who has the backing of more than 150 bishops and archbishops from 17 provinces in the Global South, said that if Bishop Gene Robinson was to be true to his Christian faith he had no alternative but to step down.


Read Gledhill's entire article: Sudanese Anglicans demand gay bishop Gene Robinson resigns.

UPDATE: Fr. Mark Harris has a blog entry on this, in his typical, thoughtful fashion with Fear is not an option: Sudan and a response.

37 comments:

Ann said...

Have been folowing this all afternoon - so nice of him to slam his hosts - Bonnie Perry and the church she serves in Chicago, Lisa Fox and all the hospitable gays and lesbians in Missouri. Louie Crew at his "natter" says continue our support, Kendall at T19 thinks we won't -- what do you think?

Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Hankins said...

More "Deng Bul": he also claims that there are no homosexuals in the Sudan. All one needs do is google a little to find out how untrue that statement is. Maybe he isn't wired. Or maybe he's afraid of catching something electronically. Sheesh.

PseudoPiskie said...

I hope nobody in TEC changes anything. This man and others have no clue about following Jesus. We do and should insist in continuing despite resistance - tho Jesus did say to shake the dust off...

IT said...

Um, Ann, did you check out the post below this one?

IT

james said...

I wanted to post on this but I would not muddy Fr. T's news by a post on this crap.

The Archbishop is grandstanding. There is absolutly no way anyone in the Sudan could care one freeking iota about what a church in the US is doing in regards to one gay bishop. No one has received death threats (except Robinson). Once more we have the martyr card played in an attempt to grandstand.

This was planned at the failed Jordan conference. Look for more of Minns handiwork as Lambeth proceeds. They will do all they can to shift the focus and make it appear the the Communion is buring down because of Robinson, the only thing they can use as a whipping boy and get away with it.

This is rubbish, plain and simple.

dr.primrose said...

His statement accords with the statement of the Sudanese bishops, which Thinking Anglicans has reported in its story Sudan bishops statement.

The statement says in part:

***

Out of love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we appeal to the Anglican Church in the USA and Canada, to demonstrate real commitment to the requests arising from the Windsor process. In particular:
- To refrain from ordaining practicing homosexuals as bishops or priests
- To refrain from approving rites of blessing for same-sex relationships
- To cease court actions with immediate effect;
- To comply with Resolution 1:10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference
- To respect the authority of the Bible

***

As many commentators have noted, the third item is the dead give-away. Minns has expanded his ghost-writing reach.

Ann said...

Duh - I read this post from a feed and did not check the other items.

Erp said...

I suspect he hopes that a united Anglican Communion might be better able to help his country which is riven by civil strife (Darfur and also the south). Strife that has killed many including almost certainly people he has worked with. He probably thinks that if gays and lesbians would go back into the closet that the Communion would then speak with one voice and with more power. He may also feel that a chance of relief from violence of his flock of 5 million is more important than gays/lesbians being ordained in a church of just over 2 million (and he may think that most of that 2 million also oppose ordained gays/lesbians).

He probably doesn't fully understand the US, Canada or the UK (after all the US and the UK don't really understand each other). He probably doesn't knowingly know anyone who is gay or lesbian (not surprising given the penalties they face in the Sudan if they come out). He may think Gene Robinson is being selfish and should sacrifice himself for the Communion not realizing that Robinson is also working for his diocese (gay and straight) as well as those worldwide who are gay or lesbian or see nothing wrong in being gay and would like them to have justice. Should Robinson let those who look to him down? Perhaps he should step down if it would lead to peace in Africa or solve world hunger or cure malaria or even come close to doing any of those things. However his stepping down would not feed one person, cure one case of malaria, or increase the sum total of peace (it might decrease raised voices temporarily in the Communion but increase the unhappiness of those marginalized).

james said...

Primrose, how true it is. No province outside of the US cares what is happening in property disputes in another provience. Particularly when such splits/disputes would not be able to happen in their province because their bishops have power (there's that word again) and can rule like the impotantates they are.


For about 18 months, I've been playing a game based on "Where's Waldo." I call it "Where's Marty." Every time I read any post by anyone on in Voldomort's camp, I try to spot the Minnsism. It's actually pretty easy to do, too.

he has certain turns of a phrase and pet horses that he cannot resist using. A good writeer (and he' pretty good, actually) learns to recognize his/her pet phrases and horses and to avoid using them or to rephrase them.

I should open a thread and ask everyone to supply their faviourite Minnsism.

james said...

My last post on this today. You need to go read Mark Harris's post on this subject. it's masterful.

Scott Hankins said...

erp@6:09,

I'm posting from this perspective (though not so kindly) at 12:00 AM. God bless me, and asking for you y'all's prayers.

Ann said...

Lisa tells all here.

Scott Hankins said...

ann,

Lisa tells a helpful lot (thanks, Lisa), but I believe there is a geopolitical root to Sudan's statement that folks may or may not be "getting" (although Lisa and Dr. Primrose rub up against it). News at 12.

Ann said...

Thanks for the tip to Mark

Mark said...

This is disgusting, this terrible little man.

I hear oh so much about the suffering of Christians in Sudan, however, in the case of their church leaders, it seems to have borne little fruit, especially in the way of compassion.

Scott Hankins said...

mark,

yes. what you said.

it's up now.

god bless.

JCF said...

Let's not add too much vituperation to Archbishop Deng Bul?

As Bob Dylan sang so long ago (then, about racist "Po' White Trash"), Deng Bul "is only a pawn in their game."

[The game of Minns & Co: from the safety of the North America they are ostensibly condemning, through Deng Bul's mouth. Let's see Minns (and Duncan, and Iker---and Ahmanson!) go to Darfur, and live (exist) amongst the starved, raped and murdered masses there! >:-0]

Doorman-Priest said...

After all, it is so important that we have our ethics dictated by our concern about how Islam might view things.

I don't think many of us are willing to have Deng stand in judgement about what a real Christian should do.

cmsigler said...

mark posted:

"This is disgusting, this terrible little man.

"I hear oh so much about the suffering of Christians in Sudan, however, in the case of their church leaders, it seems to have borne little fruit, especially in the way of compassion."

Oh, goodness. To be sure, LGBT Episcopalians in the US are suffering. As I understand it, however, the suffering for Christians in the Sudan includes real and immanent death threats daily from those who will kill others to stop the message of Christ Jesus from spreading. I think it's important to keep this in mind when considering the whole issue of the ECoS. I'm not sure it's fair to label him as a "terrible little man."

David said...

I'm with cmsigler to a point. The Archbishop is certainly misguided, lacks charity & compassion in this case, and may quite possibly be manipulated by outside "conservative" influences like Marty Minns (to say nothing of the fact that +Robinson & his role in TEC is simply none of his damn business - how would he like it if we tried to decide who would be an appropriate bishop in his church ?)

But the man has legitimate problems of his own to face, so perhaps we should show a bit of charity & compassion towards him ?

OTOH, I would remind cmsigler that LGBT people in this country & elsewhere in the "enlightened" West (to say nothing of the rest of the World) most certainly do face threats of immanent harm & death as well. Thankfully here in the U.S. it's not as often as Christians may face in the awful mess in the Sudan - but never forget it still happens here.

dr.primrose said...

Episcopal Cafe has posted an interesting note concerning Sudan's demand that TEC stop all litigation - Live: Sudan, an ironic sidelight:

"Yesterday, the Episcopal Church of Sudan urged the Episcopal Church to suspend all litigation against breakaway churches attempting to leave the denomination but maintain possession of the parish property. Their call has an ironic twist, as is evident in the latest newsletter of the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan. (See pages 10-11.)

"In brief, the Episcopal Church of Sudan lost control of its guesthouse to the Reformed Episcopal Church of the Sudan. The RECS said that it broke from the ECS because the ECS condoned homosexuality. The guesthouse was then sold to a Sudanese corporation. The Episcopal Church of Sudan sued. In March, it won. An Episcopal church in Virginia, and members of American Friends of the Church of Sudan helped pay for the lawsuit."

Kurt said...

I’ve just finished sending this e-mail to the board members of the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan:

23 July 2008

Dear AFRECS Board Member:

I am writing to you to express my profound distress and disgust with the statement issued by the Primate of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, the Most Rev. Daniel Deng at the Lambeth Conference the other day. In this statement he called on the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson to resign to preserve the “unity” of the Anglican Communion. Deng said Robinson’s resignation would allow the bishops who are not at the Lambeth Conference to reconcile with the Communion. He claimed to speak for 150 bishops from 17 provinces who had held a meeting during the conference.

This statement is unacceptable! Why should any gay Episcopalian (indeed, any progressive Episcopalian) send their hard-earned money to bigots like Deng, when there are plenty of deserving recipients in the Third World and elsewhere?

As a member of the Board of the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, please let the Sudanese know that in the future, with all funds that I send to ERD I will include the stipulation that none of those monies be directed to projects in the Sudan.

They can be accessed here:
http://www.afrecs.org/Board%20Members.htm

seithman said...

My issue with the idea that Dr. Deng is more concerned with the imminant dangers that face Christians in his neck of the woods has nothing to do with who's more persecuted, who suffers more, or who's in more danger. My issue is that Dr. Deng is basically saying, "there are more pressing issues that we could handle better as a Communion if we were united, so you should put down your weapons and capitulate to us." That's not concern for more pressing issues, that's using "more pressing issues" as a way to try and beat those you disagree with into submission.

In my opinion, those who are sincerely concerned about "more serious issues" would demonstate those principles with far more credibility if they were to say, "You know what? There are people dying in some parts of this world. So let's focus on that and let God worry about the gay bishop in New Hampshire for the moment. We can come back to this question when there aren't other, more immediate needs."

But they don't do that. They want "the other guy" (in this case, that's us) to surrender instead. So what's really more important to them?

JCF said...

Kurt, I disagree w/ the above line

"all funds that I send to ERD I will include the stipulation that none of those monies be directed to projects in the Sudan"

It's one thing to deny funds to Deng Bul, or even the Episcopal Church of the Sudan (or their control).

It's another to deny funds merely for being "projects IN the Sudan."

ERD *could* direct the funds to purely secular relief agencies (or, God-willing, LGBT-affirming Anglicans serving IN Sudan).

Deng Bul is NOT the entire (suffering) Sudanese people, okay?

*****

Off-topic: I HOPE this board will continue, despite Fr. Terry's return. He has a focus that is different (though still, to me, interesting), than the more broad concerns we can discuss HERE. :-)

Kurt said...

Sorry JCF, but if these people think that I’m worthy of death, why should I lift a finger, so to speak, to help them? Sorry, but I’m not much of a supporter of the “turn the other cheek” school.

David said...

JCF, RE: Your "off-topic"

That was a big part of why I helped get this blog started.

If there wasn't a Fr. Jake, we'd have to invent him, eh ? :)

seithman said...

Sorry JCF, but if these people think that I’m worthy of death, why should I lift a finger, so to speak, to help them?

Of course, that begs the question. Do the people you're helping actually think you're worthy of death? Quite frankly, if they're in need of relief, they're probably too busy to even think about it. Thinking someone else is worthy of death is usually the luxury of those who aren't busy trying to keep their own skin intact.

IT said...

JCF, I agree with David. I think the different blogs that are descendants of Jake's Place are slowly finding their unique voices and given the quite different focus of Fr Terry's new site, I think we will remain.

For example, I am always interested in opportunities to examine the interplay between faith, intelligence, and humanist values, with a bit of quirkiness thrown in. I don't think I will have much to contribute to FrTerry's new site, which seems more "churchy" than that, though I will read it.

I wish he would answer his email, though....



IT

IT said...

I agree with seithman.

IT

BruceChris said...

The traditionalists say that "homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching", yet clearly homosexuality is not incompatible with the teachings of Christ. Clearly, the traditionalists have some explaining to do.

Ann said...

IT - try Fr. T's Episco-mail --- tmartin@episcopalchurch.org

Anglocat said...

I'm too angry to comment in a charitable way regarding this mean-spirited, ambush attack. Folks, I'm a het male, comfortably ensconced in privilege--and Bishop Deng has me incandescent at the treatment of my brothers and sisters. I can't imagine the pain those who are the targets of this pseudo-christian's broadside.

Right now, I want us to respond by breaking ties--but, as noted theologian J.T. Kirk put it, "how does history get past people like me?"

Mark said...

Oh, goodness. To be sure, LGBT Episcopalians in the US are suffering. As I understand it, however, the suffering for Christians in the Sudan includes real and immanent death threats daily from those who will kill others to stop the message of Christ Jesus from spreading. I think it's important to keep this in mind when considering the whole issue of the ECoS. I'm not sure it's fair to label him as a "terrible little man."

Allright, I regret the "terrible little man" comment. Lousy bishop, bad Christian, but not a terrible little man.

The rest of your post doesn't work for several reasons:

1) The fact is suffering is suffering. Next time you lose a job, lose a family member, or what have you, get someone to tell you about Sudan. See if it really helps or just makes you feel pissed off that someone is being so glib with you.

2) The suffering in the Sudan is terrible, and the Lambeth Conference could be a valuable platform to the media for that, to garner aid, to seek outside pressure to alleviate that suffering, to bring attention to the ravages of Islamic fundamentalism and even to point up the stupidity of people who think Sharia law is just "a cultural thing."

Deng Bul did none of that. He wasted the precious opportunity to help his people so that he could obsess with Gene Robinson. Honestly, all these "conservatives" who talk about media-hungry Gene must not pay attention to who's always going on about him!

3) The whole statement is clearly driven by another agenda, namely, that of white conservatives in the First World who could - just as clearly - give two figs for Sudan and its suffering.

4) The attempt to blame this violence and death and war on a gay bishop, or even gays in general, is childish. Simply childish. The responsibility lies with the Islamic fundamentalists and Islamic fundamentalism in general.

5) The man is a bishop first, Sudanese second. If he can't be that, he should never have become a priest, let alone bishop.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

"homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching"

Not at all.

Rather "homosexuality is incompatible with "traditional" Academic theology (from Alexandria) and its FAKED late modern translations"

David said...

I am always interested in opportunities to examine the interplay between faith, intelligence, and humanist values...

Yes! Please!

IMHO, if religion is to survive long-term, it needs to make peace with intelligence and humanist values.

And my lovely Episcopalian friends aside, its Christian version is doing a p*ss poor job of that so far...

JCF said...

Here's another moving response to this verkackte kerfuffle (on Lisa's My Manner of Life, whom has been doing such a great job in general, on this topic): http://my-manner-of-life.blogspot.com/2008/07/anne-writes.html