Friday, August 8, 2008

Anglican Gay Church Row Heats Up

That's the headline in Time Magazine reporting on the row over the letters.
In itself, the revelation comes as no surprise to either liberal or conservative camps within the Anglican church.

That's an interesting point. I mean, didn't everyone know he was friendly? So at some level, is this news at all? Perhaps what IS news that he phrased it so very positively.
The realization that Williams would prioritize unity over change came when he balked at appointing as bishop the openly gay priest Jeffrey John. In this, Williams aimed to assuage the protests of a number of more traditional bishops. In a painful meeting, Williams persuaded John to withdraw his candidacy - an act that many liberals in the church saw not only as a capitulation but also as a missed opportunity to plant a flag for his true convictions."Had he gone through with it," a gay vicar in Wales and a friend of Williams told TIME over 18 months ago, "We would not be where we're at. It would either have nailed the problem or it would have caused a split very quickly. He's delaying the inevitable."

The article really nails Williams for the conflict between his theological views and his willingness to ignore them.
...the logic of his position unravels when [Williams] notes that the church has "shifted its stance on several matters, notably the rightness of lending money at interest and the moral admissibility of contraception, so I am bound to ask if [homosexuality]is another such issue." Change can be slow, but it is never won by sitting on high, uncomfortable fences.

At some level, the fall is harder from here, isn't it? Because everyone is more entrenched and has more to lose. If he had just rolled through with it at the beginning, that is with Jeffrey John, do you suppose that it would have magnified to this extent? Would the rift have been quite so dramatic without all those years to prepare for it?

11 comments:

James said...

IT, I think the rift would have been just as dramatic. The rift started decades ago and as we all know, has nothign to do with homosexuality.

I really do feel sorry for Rowan. That is an honest statement.

I hope that I am never in position where my personal convictions must be sacrificed for a job.

And, I am writing to all my friends askign them to burn all correspondence I've ever had with them! :)

Leonardo Ricardo said...

This is becoming the ugly and convulted SAGA that we knew it could become when the Archbishop of Canterbury first started ignoring the discrimination and persecution of LGBT Anglican-Christians/others within the Anglican Communion...trying to "understand" the position(s) of deadly fear/hate-mongering destructive puritan Biggoted Bishop extremists isn't the same as saying NO to the basic WRONG of ignoring the selfrighteous abusers of others at Church.

However, the REAL "Good News" is the "Church" is a place where many cowards and thugs can be transformed into spiritually/emotionally healthier human beings and admit wrong done/repent...it's always been that way.

Thanks be to God

fear not said...

James said:
"I hope that I am never in position where my personal convictions must be sacrificed for a job."


Never, ever, sacrifice personal convictions, particularly those relating to the welfare of others, for a job. To resign a job for ethical reasons is something to be proud of. To lose your self-respect is something that gains you nothing. (to gain the world... and lose your soul... seems to me I've heard that somewhere...)

It's very hard when life puts you in such a position. But it feels so good when you get yourself out of it!

dr.primrose said...

The L.A. Times's editorial page formally opposed Prop. 8 today -- Reneging on a right -- ENDORSEMENTS 2008: By banning same-sex marriages, Prop. 8 would create second-class citizens.

The editorial concludes:

***

Proposition 8 supporters are right that domestic partnerships come exceedingly close to guaranteeing the same rights as marriage, as the state's high court recognized. Still, there are differences. Some are statutory -- domestic partners must share a residence, while married couples can live separately -- and others are pragmatic -- studies have found that domestic partners do not receive the same treatment or recognition from hospital staff, employers and the public as spouses do.

But it was Ronald M. George, chief justice of the California Supreme Court, who cut through to the essence of the issue in the May 15 opinion he wrote: "[A]ffording same-sex couples only a separate and differently named family relationship will, as a realistic matter, impose appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children, because denying such couples access to the familiar and highly favored designation of marriage is likely to cast doubt on whether the official family relationship of same-sex couples enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples."

In other words, the very act of denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry -- traditionally the highest legal and societal recognition of a loving commitment -- by definition relegates them and their relationships to second-class status, separate and not all that equal.

To be sure, the court overturned Proposition 22, a vote of the people. That is the court's duty when a law is unconstitutional, even if it is exceedingly popular. Civil rights are commonly hard-won, and not the result of widespread consensus. Whites in the South vehemently rejected the 1954 Supreme Court decision to . For that matter, Californians have accused the state Supreme Court of obstructing the people's will on marriage before -- in 1948, when it struck down a ban on interracial marriages.

Fundamental rights are exactly that. They should neither wait for popular acceptance, nor be revoked because it is lacking.

***

The Times's position is not surprising. But it's important that it's said -- and well said, I think

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Powerful voice the L.A. Times...do they have a opinion on The Episcopal Church Properties being snatched/poached upon that is NOW before the high court? When is that decision expected and would it make any difference what the "motive" for the snatching really IS?

IT said...

Argh, it won'd even let me post!

The point is Leonardo that the courts do not generally tell the churches what to do and no more should the churches tell the ourts what to do.

My civil rights should not be dictated by another's religious beliefs that I do not share.
.

Huzzah to the times.

IT

Grandmère Mimi said...

The pot was beginning to boil even before Bishop Gene was consecrated. Some in TEC were still angry about women priests and fomenting trouble over that.

When the ABC asked his friend to withdraw, he lost his stride and has never regained it. Had he gone through with accepting Jeffery John as a bishop, he would have gained a good deal of respect for having the courage of his convictions, perhaps even from some on the other side of the issue.

The crisis may have come sooner, but it would not have made much of a difference in the long run. It was coming.

The LA Times editorial is excellent.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

I'm with Grandmère.

(One cannot please who will not be pleased ;-)

IT said...

Off topic, slightly. In our perambulations around Southern California this weekend we walked past an Episcopal Church that had the usual metal sign out front (you know, the one about 18 x 24" that says "The Episcopal Church welcomes you" with the shield, etc). Only below it was attached a much newer sign, about 18" x 6", that said "member of the worldwide Anglican Communion".

Whzzup with that?

Jim said...

In 2001 and 2002, well before +Gene was elected, the conversations between the various evangelical holy people was about how to begin the schism. They were positively gleeful when New Hampshire voted because they had found a 'wedge issue.' This, with its attendant appeal to the homophobic was what they needed to "awaken the pew lumps."

This is not a fight about gays, they are the victims this generation's pharisees are sacrificing to their god of exclusion and male privilege. These are people who only want to be in any association or group if others are excluded. For all the talk, all ++Nigeria et al want is a 'no girls allowed' sigh on the door.

FWIW
jimB

JCF said...

below it was attached a much newer sign, about 18" x 6", that said "member of the worldwide Anglican Communion". Whzzup with that?

Might mean sumthin' (bad), might mean nuthin'.

My parish, on our service leaflets and such, says "Anglican/Episcopal": I've never asked Fr. Ed why it says that. It just does.

Our parish doesn't consider itself anything OTHER than 100% faithful to TEC. (Or else they'd have to answer to ME about it!!! ;-p)