Thursday, October 31, 2013

Not with a bang but a whimper does the Communion end (UPDATED)

PER KINDNESS OF A COMMENTER: An excellent response to Andrew Brown's column (addressed below) is made by Gavin at drgavsblog here (with a comment to it by Andrew Brown himself). Here is an excerpt:

"At the heart of the liberal revolt against this  call to surrender our right to please ourselves lies two things:
1 The first is a determination to claim as a right access to pleasure, and in particular sexual pleasure; and more, to rage against anyone who threatens this right rather like an emotionally incontinent child.
2 The second is an insensitivity to any form of spiritual conflict. There is no sense that there is a real agency of evil that sets itself against the patterns that God has laid down. There is no awareness that evil sets out to twist and deform what God has made good.
So the liberal is certain he or she is doing good by giving affirmative permission for people to do what they like, and calling this ‘love’ – while the conservative or orthodox thinks that he or she is trying to be obedient to a pattern of hierarchical holiness, in which our sacrifice and submission play a part in freeing us from the lure of self indulgent evil.
At the heart of this is a struggle for the Church; a struggle to define Christianity itself.
Who is right?"

START ORIGINAL POST: Andrew Brown kind of annoys me because he writes with what seems to me be an unveiled coat of cynicism. However even the most annoying cynic can put his finger on the truth of the matter.

As preparation for my GAFCON gaffe (2) post - draft in process - I refer you to this column of Andrew Brown, entitled "It started as a split over gay clergy. But now the Anglican Communion is dead.'

One prediction he makes is that there will not be another Lambeth Conference. I think he is wrong on that but my prediction is that the next Lambeth Conference will not amount to much more than a mostly white boys club get together to talk about nothing in particular.

Here is the decisive insight from Andrew Brown which coheres with what I want to say about GAFCON's gaffe:

"What's new is that no one any longer cares. The split has happened, and it turns out not to matter at all.


This is in part because the movement of public opinion on sexuality has completely overwhelmed that of church politicians. Congregations by and large have moved on, too. They are part of the public, too. But until very recently the conservative evangelicals in the Church of England lived in a bubble of self-importance, whose boundaries were respected by Rowan Williams. And from within the bubble, the outside world could not be clearly seen. Only, the fight about gay marriage made it apparent to the main body of the church – and to Justin Welby – that their attitudes were repulsive and immoral to the majority of people in this country.
The conservatives still don't really see this."

More soon-ish.

41 comments:

Kurt said...

Mr. Brown is quite right. Time to move on. The con-evos will do their thing, and we rad-libs will do ours. They rejoice in their numbers, we rejoice in social justice. Fine. In 50-100 years I'll bet many churches today in GAFCON will be ashamed of their bigotry against gays, lesbians and women.

In any event, enough of the huffing and puffing. I say to GAFCON: Do your thing and we will do ours. (Just don't try to steal what is not yours.)

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

carl jacobs said...

Of course no one cared what Noah was saying, either. Until the rains came. But of course the bishops will care desperately. Because there is money at stake. When the bank accounts get low people will get afraid. That is what TEC is finding out.

carl

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Carl and Kurt
If I am ever in the States, we must have a coffee together ... :)

Father Ron Smith said...

Kurt, I would love to have coffee with you - any time. I do agree with your sentiments about the Gafcon need to live in their own sanitised world. I still prefer to live in a world where institutional injustice is challenged by followers of Jesus in the Gospel. We may not specialise in dogmatic purity, but we sure do know what love is. Spring blessings from Christchurch, Godzone.

Bryden Black said...

I think Peter both Andrew Brown and the ADU commentators so far, including yourself, to this piece in the Guardian are quite simply in their own “bubble”. It’s called a western cultural bubble!

The thing thereafter is whether and to what extent these recently derived norms from contemporary western society, that see a disintegration of ‘natural’ gender roles, often in the name of “liberty” and “equality” - despite the fact that these alone are quite simply inadequate to sustain ANY form of ongoing, stable human relationships across the generations; human being is more complex than this reductionist view - will invade and overturn the cultures of the Majority World. True; technology will play its part, as too will the sheer pressure of ‘social change’, driven by economic forces as well. But the West’s own now reductionist view of anthropology, and so the human, might just find itself outmaneuvered by richer cultures yet - even as they ‘modernize’. We shall just have to wait and see - BUT viewing it also from outside the West!!

Anglican Church members are part of these richer cultural publics also. They are also participants in another “social project” (Milbank) altogether, the divine redemption of the human, restoring us into that Divine Image which truly reflects the triune God. Whether and to what extent Western Christians want and/or are able to participate in this ongoing plan of redemption is also a game of wait-&-see - unless we seriously shift our gaze ...

Janice said...

It must be a wonderful feeling to be so sure of one's own righteousness and the unrighteousness of those who disagree with you.

However, Jonathan Haidt would probably say that those who are forever rabbiting on about 'social justice' and 'equality' are operating on only 3 of the 6 moral foundations he has identified.

John Sandeman said...

Is this a world record? Kurt IMHO opinion agrees - at least in part - with GAFCON. There's a big part of GAFCON who simply want to move on, and in their view let the Lib Rads wither*. (Of course there's a part of GAFCON that wants to have a war.)
Kurt is sincere in his belief that it is best to move on. And so are many who have very different theological views to him.

Our host (at least sometimes) is of the let's stick together viewpoint. Without matching Andrews Brown's cynicism its likely that our point of view depends on where we live. Kurt dwells in a place where lib rads are doing well. I live in a place where the con evos are doing well. Peter lives in amixed economy situation.

* I am not sure whether one can predict who will wither and who will thrive. Are there any prophets on this blog?

And let me apologise in advance if any think I have pidgeon holed them

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bryden
Seeing as it is Halloween something about Bubble and Trouble springs to mind!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi John
There is one thing I can assure you of re this blog: there are no profits here :)

carl jacobs said...

Peter Carrell

If I am ever in the States, we must have a coffee together

I am certainly agreeable. :)

A word of warning, however. In my experience, non-Americans have no conception regarding the size of the United States. It would take five days of hard driving to traverse the distance from from one coast to the other. Brooklyn is (for example) fully two day's drive from my home.

So the selection of the Starbuck's would have to be coordinated.

carl

Peter Carrell said...

Just a shade over thirty years ago I spent three days and three nights (or was it four of one and three of the other) in a bus riding from Washington D.C. to Seattle!

Father Ron Smith said...

"One prediction he makes is that there will not be another Lambeth Conference. I think he is wrong on that but my prediction is that the next Lambeth Conference will not amount to much more than a mostly white boys club get together to talk about nothing in particular." - P.C.

I agree with you on that point, Peter. I believe there will be more Lambeth Conferences. However, they may only be held in Communion-friendly territories. And maybe there will be other than 'white boys' attending. Not every non-white person is a supporter of the 'Gafcon Primates'. I really do think though, that classification on account of skin-colour is no longer a guarantee of 'orthodoxy' - or non-orthodoxy for that matter.

And as for Bryden's 'natural-gender roles'; I'm not quite sure what he means here. Is this a purely mind-set 'theological' conjecture? Or can we be all let into the secret?

Cup of Twinings, anyone?

Father Ron Smith said...

Bryden, it might be a good thing if you did not ascribe to homosexual people the disintegration of social mores. This is so unjust!

I think heterosexual people have contributed a much larger share of behavioural change, I'm sure I don't need to point out to you the level of heterosexual divorce and promiscuity - that does far more damage to society than any loving, monogamous, faithful same-sex relationship.

But then, heterosexism is fairly rife in our society today.

MichaelA said...

"In my experience, non-Americans have no conception regarding the size of the United States."

I like that ... Australia is the same size as the continental USA!

MichaelA said...

"I say to GAFCON: Do your thing and we will do ours. (Just don't try to steal what is not yours.)"

Of course - which is exactly what Gafcon and other orthodox Anglicans say to you!

It has been good to see court decisions in the USA in the past month that have favoured departing orthodox congregations and dioceses.

What is even better is that the orthodox are fighting on principle - they don't actually need the properties in order to plant new churches or foster their existing ones. But they stand up for what is right.

MichaelA said...

Andrew Brown writes:

"All these things will no doubt happen, as they have been happening in a small way for the past 20 years."

The longer that people like Andrew Brown think that, the better. Like most CofE members, he thinks that what happened in North America with ACNA can never happen in England. And he thinks that the way things have been for the past 20 years must be the way they will continue in future. Good - let him think that.

"They dress up their lack of influence here in wonderful titles from abroad ..."

Of course they lack "influence" in England - didn't go to the right schools, sit on the right boards etc. But in the end, real influence comes from people who sit in your pews and listen to your sermons and attend your small groups. If there are enough of them, the limitations of the power of the establishment set rapidly become apparent.

"No one here wants to be told what to do by the Church of Nigeria"

Nor will they be. Rather, the Church of Nigeria and other churches will found congregations among you, and it is the people in those churches who will joyfully agree with the Church of Nigeria. Not out of coercion, just because they share the same values.

"Welby understands this very well, though I think it came as a shock to him. He turned up before the Gafcon meeting in Nairobi and praised the courage of the Christians there. But he did not tell them they were right, and he was not officially present for the gathering. Instead, he went to Iceland, to talk about credit unions."

Fortunately, Andrew is not smart enough to ask the money question - why was Welby there at all? He went to talk to the Gafcon Primates, at his own request (the invitation he received was to attend the main meeting a couple of days later; This meeting was sought by him).

"There will not be another Lambeth Conference."

I agree with Peter and Fr Ron - there will be more Lambeth Conferences, although they won't necessarily resemble those in the 20th century. Interestingly, Andrew doesn't state a single reason in his article why there would not be more of them.

Anonymous said...

"the next Lambeth Conference will not amount to much more than a mostly white boys club get together to talk about nothing in particular." - P.C.

What exactly is the geographical spread of Gafcon? Was anyone there from the Provinces of Japan /Korea /HK/S and N India /Melanesia/South Africa/Central Africa/Mexico/Brasil /Central America/Ghana /PNG/Philippines...and within the Gafcon world some Provinces could split if push came to shove.....I think in 2018 there would be more than white faces.....though what would result is indeed a question...
Perry ( Canterbury UK)

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Perry
I used the word "mostly" deliberately!
But if all the while skinned American, Australian, Kiwi, British Isles and Irish bishops, come to the next Lambeth along with bishops from the countries you mention, it will be a mostly white boys meeting. There are of course relatively few female bishops.

Wait, England might have some by then!

Anonymous said...

Peter, you might care to publish (and certainly read) this piece by Gavin Ashenden as someone who (1) bought 'the gay argument' for many years (certainly when I met him years ago); (2) was at Gafcon; (3) understands deeply what the Christian call to transformative holiness (for *everyone, not just the 1.5% who self-identify as homosexual) is about; (4) put his finger on why theological liberals as well as ex-Christians like Andrew Brown are so often such angry, name-calling people:
http://drgavsblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/hate-homophobia-and-holiness/

Martin

Kurt said...

“Hi Carl and Kurt. If I am ever in the States, we must have a coffee together ... :)”—Fr. Carrell

At the very least! Seriously, give me some advance notice and let me know how much time you can spend and I’ll work out a little tour of the City and environs, (e.g. Greenwich Village, South
Street Seaport, Midtown, etc.) Even arrange a day-trip Upstate along the River Hudson. (This being Halloween here, we could visit Sleepy Hollow—Headless Horseman turf—for example!

Kurt Hill
Enjoying the fall foliage
In Brooklyn, NY

Kurt said...

“Kurt, I would love to have coffee with you - any time.”—Father Ron

My offer to Peter extends to you, too, Ron! If you ever plan to travel to NYC please let me know in advance. I’d be happy to arrange a little tour for you (as well as to introduce both you and Peter to my Ascension family!)

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Kurt said...

John (Obadiah): no, you have not pigeon-holed me. You usually are quite fair that in that way. One reason, out of many, why I consider you a friend even though we sometimes disagree.

By the way, MichaelA, most court decisions thus far have favored TEC. And when it comes to the US Supreme Court, a majority of Justices are RCers. While they are generally conservative, it’s unlikely they will hand down a decision that would damage their church—there are many formally RC parishes here that would JUST LOVE to be able to leave Rome, join TEC or the Lutherans and take their property with them. It’s improbable that even conservative RC Justices would establish legal precedents that would help them do so.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Kurt!
There are no plans currently.
My next trip is across our Alps to the West Coast ...

liturgy said...

Greetings

Yes, Gavin’s article you point to, Peter, does make some excellent points. Thank you. But it is a curate’s egg. If the core of it, Peter, is the quote you highlight, then it merely degenerates into the sort of oversimplification it eschews and is itself “too blunt an instrument of analysis to wield as carelessly and ubiquitously as it generally is”! I cannot see how homosexuals seeking the same rights and obligations as heterosexuals in a faithful, lifelong committed relationship can be so badly misconstrued. Perhaps because heterosexuals are making such a bad mess of such relationships that Gavin (and you?) are filtering this through heterosexual sinfulness rather than the call to homosexuals to be faithful for life regardless of the temptations we all encounter on that journey.

Blessings

Bosco

Anonymous said...

"I cannot see how homosexuals seeking the same rights and obligations as heterosexuals in a faithful, lifelong committed relationship can be so badly misconstrued."

Perhaps you cannot 'see how' because here you're speaking as am modern unreflective secular person would, to whom the currency of "rights" seems to obvious as to need no explication, rather than as a biblical and catholic Christian would, to whom God's "rights" over His creation and a fortiori over His Church are paramount.
To give just one example: it is simply *wrong* to bring up a child in a homosexual environment and to misuse language, calling two women a child's "mothers" or (more rarely) two men a child's "fathers". This is a necessary entailment of the recent invention of 'same sex marriage', though it was long trailed. The fact that post-Christian western society has decided to reject this and to reconstruct nature by fiat of the human will doesn't change this fact at all.
Reflect as Canon Ashenden does, as a Christian pastor concerned to promote holiness in God's people, rather than as a modern secularist, and a different configuration of interests will appear. You evidently don't think homosexual relationships are wrong, but you haven't derived this from the NT or catholic tradition. If you did, you would be quoting chapter and verse. But you can't, so you deploy modern secular talk about 'rights and obligations'.
Martin

MichaelA said...

1. Perry writes:

"What exactly is the geographical spread of Gafcon? Was anyone there from the Provinces of Japan /Korea /HK/S and N India /Melanesia/South Africa/Central Africa/Mexico/Brasil /Central America/Ghana /PNG/Philippines..."

Good question. It illustrates the fact that we all need to know more about Gafcon. First, some context – Gafcon I in Jerusalem 2008 was attended by delegates from 19 Anglican provinces in 29 countries. Not bad for something organised in a matter of weeks! Gafcon II is said to have been attended by delegates from 29 provinces of the Anglican Communion in 40 countries. I don't know who they all were, but we can work out some of them:

Ghana – guaranteed, the Bishop of Sunyani is on the Gafcon Theological Resources Team, and the former Primate is a member of Gafcon.

Brazil – guaranteed, an entire diocese broke away from the Anglican Church in Brazil and aligned with Gafcon in 2008, and churches have been planted in other dioceses of Brazil.

India – at least one bishop, besides Canon Samuel of course. But I understand there were many more.

South Africa – guaranteed. The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (i.e. the local arm of Gafcon) in South Africa is strong. It includes many from both Anglican jurisdictions (CESA and ACSA).

Central Africa – given its strong involvement in Gafcon over the past few years, there surely must have been many delegates there. I expect these would include the Primate ++Chama.

Hong Kong – there were delegates at the first Gafcon in 2008, so reasonable to think that they were there this time.

Melanesia and PNG – Very likely. See my separate post about these provinces.

2. Perry also writes:

"and within the Gafcon world some Provinces could split if push came to shove...."

Sure. And the reverse is also true. Every province is susceptible of having the FCA (Gafcon) established there. Western liberals have so far been spectacularly unsuccessful at fomenting division among the main Gafcon provinces, but in the end if they do, so what? Gafcon can cope with division of that kind.

"I think in 2018 there would be more than white faces.....though what would result is indeed a question..."

I agree. There are clearly those who sympathise with liberal doctrines in all Anglican provinces, just as there are those who oppose them. And there are many who, whilst they may not agree with liberal doctrines, still see attendance at Lambeth as important. Note, for example, that there were many bishops in 2008 who attended both Gafcon I and Lambeth.

MichaelA said...

Perry, you queried whether any representatives from Melanesia or PNG were present at Gafcon II last week. I don't know, but I think it highly likely that they were.

There is clearly much sympathy for the goals of Gafcon in both provinces. Equally, a concerted effort has been mounted by some liberals to deny this.

For example, you may recall that in July 2012, the Global South Primates Meeting in Bangkok issued a communique. One of its provisions was to "note with sadness" that the Episcopal Church of the USA (TEC) had promulgated a liturgy for blessing same sex unions. It expressed solidarity with those in TEC who dissented, and stated:

"We also appreciate and support all the faithful in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) as well as those in the Anglican Church in Canada who remain true to our biblical and historic faith."

Primates passing the resolution included the primates of Melanesia and of Papua New Guinea.

Later that month, a bishop of Melanesia claimed that the primate of Melanesia, ++Vunagi, didn't know about this resolution. He insinuated that ++Vunagi wasn't in agreement with it. This canard was repeated on a number of liberal blogs including Thinking Anglicans and Episcopal Café.

In August 2012, the Global South secretariat released this comment:

"A clarification released by the GS Secretariat:
There have been misleading comments and speculations that Archbishop David Vunagi, Primate of Melanesia, was not consulted about the Global South Primates’ Communiqué released in Bangkok. As a matter of fact, every issue was discussed in the Global South Primates Meeting that took place from 18-20 July before the Communiqué was drafted and adopted. The Primates were presented with copies of the Communiqué for vetting in Bangkok before it was officially released. Archbishop Vunagi (of Melanesia) has also confirmed in writing that supporting the Communiqué “is not an issue”." See http://www.globalsouthanglican.org/index.php/blog/comments/communique_of_the_global_south_primates_bangkok_thailand_20_july_2012.

It may well be that ++Vunagi didn't see the final draft of the resolution as he had already caught his flight home. However it is equally clear that he and the other primates (including PNG) fully discussed the issue in the preceding days, and that he and they in fact agreed with the final form of the Communique.

Now that of course does not mean that anyone from those provinces was at Gafcon II, but I would be very surprised if there weren't.

mike greenslade said...

Kia ora Peter,

"Perhaps you cannot 'see how' because here you're speaking as am modern unreflective secular person would, to whom the currency of "rights" seems to obvious as to need no explication, rather than as a biblical and catholic Christian would, to whom God's "rights" over His creation and a fortiori over His Church are paramount." (Martin)

This type of polarity is unhelpful. The appropriation of 'biblical' authority often used as a trump card to dismiss the perspective of someone we disagree with. Quoting chapter and verse as a means to confirm the validity of a position is simplistic and often manipulative. There is more than one way to read and understand scripture. As fellow Christians, it serves us well to consider that we all take scripture seriously, even when we understand it differently.

Father Ron Smith said...

Does it not strike you as sad that the primary motivation of a 'Christian' organiosation is based on "Thou Shalt Not" - rather than:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength - and your neighbour as yourself", or , with Jesus" "A New Commandment I give to you; that you love one another as I have loved you"

We are not saved by our own righteousness, but by the righteousness of God. This doesn't seem to have sunk in with the No-Noers!

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison!

Father Faber, the great English hymn-writer, changed from Calvinism to the fullness of faith in pure catholic devotion and spirituality.

I'm all for Father Faber's lovely evangelical hymn:

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
Like the wideness of the sea;
There’s a kindness in His justice,
Which is more than liberty.

There is welcome for the sinner,
And more graces for the good;
There is mercy with the Savior;
There is healing in His blood.

There is grace enough for thousands
Of new worlds as great as this;
There is room for fresh creations
In that upper home of bliss.

For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of our mind;
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.

There is plentiful redemption
In the blood that has been shed;
There is joy for all the members
In the sorrows of the Head.

’Tis not all we owe to Jesus;
It is something more than all;
Greater good because of evil,
Larger mercy through the fall.

If our love were but more simple,
We should take Him at His word;
And our lives would be all sunshine
In the sweetness of our Lord.

Souls of men! why will ye scatter
Like a crowd of frightened sheep?
Foolish hearts! why will ye wander
From a love so true and deep?

It is God: His love looks mighty,
But is mightier than it seems;
’Tis our Father: and His fondness
Goes far out beyond our dreams.

But we make His love too narrow
By false limits of our own;
And we magnify His strictness
With a zeal He will not own.

Was there ever kinder shepherd
Half so gentle, half so sweet,
As the Savior who would have us
Come and gather at His feet?

Bryden Black said...

Martin @ October 31, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Your link to http://drgavsblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/hate-homophobia-and-holiness/

was powerful and delightful and glorious: thank you very much.

Money line amidst much:

There was something deeply dignified about people who had become Christians as something more than a pose of accessorized spirituality, but who were engaged in a life or death struggle with themselves – with militant Islam – with the scorn of self indulgent secularism – and who were serious about their appetites and surrendering them; and not making a special case to exempt homosexual appetite from the call of God to be freed, transformed and blessed.

liturgy said...

“it is simply *wrong* to bring up a child in a homosexual environment and to misuse language, calling two women a child's "mothers" or (more rarely) two men a child's "fathers".”

The technology is there for that quote to soon feel as out-of-touch as Martin Van Buren’s “ ‘railroad’ carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by ‘engines’ which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed.” “ and Dionysys Larder’s “Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”

Whilst many Christians continue speaking about little else but opposing allowing homosexuals to commit, I see very little being done about rapidly developing ethical questions such as the one Martin so easily brushes off.

Of course I’m not quoting chapter and verse, the first time anyone even used the word “homosexual” in an English Bible translation was in 1946! It’s just not a biblical concept – and once the concept arose it was regarded as a mental illness until relatively recently. I similarly cannot quote chapter and verse for the ethics of train travel or other speeds faster than 15 miles per hour, let alone IVF or Martin’s combining of genetic material from two persons of the same gender.

Blessings

Bosco

Ps. I wonder if some others here had used Martin’s blatant ad hominem language whether they would have been edited? Not a complaint – just an observation.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Martin/Bosco

Bosco has a point, Martin. I should have applied the 'ad hominem' standard to your comment above in which you make the attack on the person of Bosco (speaking as a secular person etc) and not on the argument and its content.

Anonymous said...

No, Peter, that wasn't an attack on his character (which is what ad hominem means) but on the nature of his *argument* which is manifestly secular in its language and assumptions about 'rights'. I never called him 'mean-spirited, bigoted, lacking in love' etc which has been common currency until not so long ago of one of your correspondents.

But as well as being an insensitive brute, I have a thick hide and I thoroughly enjoyed his equally secular-minded reply with its delightful reference to Martin van Buren (the first US president, BTW, not to be born a British subject). Each time I read Bosco's wonderful Italian name, I am reminded of my stay many years ago in the Salesian seminary in Krakow with its great posters of 'Don Bosco' averting to his work among poverty-stricken Italian boys. What would Don Bosco think of 'Giuseppe has two fathers' and other enlightened literature of the modern age?
Let me assure Bosco that I am *entirely aware* of modern genetic work and embryo experimentation, including the implantation of genetic material across species to produce hybrids. A Brave New World indeed - or to quote Leonard Cohen, 'I've seen the future, baby, and it's murder.' A great number of things are indeed possible today thanks to genetic developments. We could, for example, grow living organ banks to be harvested as required.... No, if Bosco reads carefully what I actually wrote, he will see:
1. I was saying nothing at all about genetic science, I was describing in fact modern legal fictions about parenthood.
2. I didn't say these developments were 'impossible' - anything is 'possible' in the minds of lawyers - I said they were *morally wrong.
So please address this (very real and present) existential question: is it morally right to bring up a child in a homosexual household? This is what his talk above about 'rights and obligations' amounts to at its most personal. How two adults choose to run a joint household is neither here nor there; children are a different matter.

Bosco, tell me plainly what *you think: a good or bad development? I know what I, as a Christian priest and parent, thin of this modern secular development. What do YOU think?
They exist already, as a legal extension of the concept of 'family', which for centuries at least in the Christian world had a relatively stable meaning. In a post-Christian world all that has gone out the window.

Don Bosco, go back and read what I *wrote, not what you *think I was saying.

As for Bosco's last paragraph, the confusion and non sequiturs run so deep, I don't know where to begin. As a sometime teacher of Greek and Latin literature, I wasn't aware that same-sex desire and same-sex erotic relationships began in 1946. (Note to Peter: that's irony, not ad hominem.)

Martin van Buren (well, sooner he than Paul van Buren!)

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Martin
Two notes.
1. It is an attack on a fellow human being to describe them in ways which are unfair. That can include speculative descriptions about people which are more to do with what we hypothesise the person is like than the reality of the person. (I am not saying you yourself are doing all this, but I am explaining my conception of ad hominem. It is not just about using a word like 'bigot').
2. I am with you wholeheartedly and thus potentially in disagreement with Bosco in thinking it wrong for two people of the same gender to bring a child into the world who from the beginning will be deprived of the possibility of having a parent of the opposite gender. I cannot conceive of any bio-tech development which changes this ethical judgment.

Anonymous said...

Peter, my words which I imagine Bosco took exception to were: "here you're speaking as am modern unreflective secular person would, to whom the currency of "rights" seems so obvious as to need no explication, rather than as a biblical and catholic Christian would, to whom God's "rights" over His creation and a fortiori over His Church are paramount'. I was describing his argument and ideas, insofar as I can discern them - something on which Bosco always remains very unclear in his written comments. (To wit, he always raises questions - usually about the complexity of life or the inconsistency of the Anglican Church or the insuperable problems of using the Bible today - but rarely stays to answer any of them.) There was nothing about his character at all. My impression of Bosco's character from reading his website is entirely positive - the thoughtful and conscientious kind of person I would enjoy having a beer with.
Cheers for All Saints,
Martin

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Martin
as moderator of the blog I am unhappy about the way you have worded the above citation because it blurs Bosco's identity as a Christian person with a secular person and that is not fair on Bosco.

Your concern would be fairer and devoid of ad hominem if it went something like this, 'I find Bosco's argument difficult to distinguish from a secular argument ... By contrast a catholic and biblical argument would (should) ...' The focus is then on the content of the argument and not on the character of the commenter (however unintentionally you have arrived at the latter focus).

Anonymous said...

At the risk (nay, certainty) of pedantry, an 'argumentum ad hominem' is in fact a logical fallacy that wrongly rejects an argument on the grounds of a perceived moral or intellectual flaw in the person proposing it: 'You can't believe x because Martin is a reprobate.' It is not the same as an insult or reprimand. On this blog I've been called mean-spirited, bigoted, unloving etc. All of these charges may be true (and all very mild compared to the truly great insults of Dr Martin Luther), in which case I should take it on the chin, but none of them relates to the substance of the argument. I'm reminded of the famous concluding exchange to 'Some Like It Hot' between Joe E. Brown and Jack Lemon (in drag):
'You can't marry me - I smoke.'
'I don't mind.'
'But I've lived 3 years with a saxophone player.'
'I forgive you.'
'I can never have children.'
'We can adopt.'
'No really, you can't marry me (removes wig) - I'm a man.'
'Well, nobody's perfect.'

Hmm, that last line doesn't work any more ...

Martin Nichomachos

Peter Carrell said...

It is pedantry, Martin, because your definition of ad hominem does not allow for change in language usage!

'Ad hominem' now also includes 'playing the man and not the ball of the argument.'

Excellent conversation at the end of your comment: love it! Does nay one write comedy like that anymore?

Anonymous said...

As a sometime teacher of Latin I am delighted to learn that the dead language is in fact alive and is undergoing shifts in semantic range.
(re vera me luget loquellam Ciceronis hodie non intellegi - o tempora! o mores!)
This link should give the ending of 'Some Like It Hot' - or 'Aliqui id calidum amant' as I prefer to call it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYUfPTeE0DM

Martinus Pedanticus

MichaelA said...

Fr Ron wrote:

"Does it not strike you as sad that the primary motivation of a 'Christian' organiosation is based on "Thou Shalt Not" - rather than:
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength - and your neighbour as yourself", or , with Jesus" "A New Commandment I give to you; that you love one another as I have loved you"."

Sure Father Ron. But why don't you mention all the times that Christ said "Thou shalt not"?

Are you afraid of admitting that they exist?

"We are not saved by our own righteousness, but by the righteousness of God. This doesn't seem to have sunk in with the No-Noers!"

Since Christ himself is the ultimate No-Noer, don't you think its a little presumptious on your part to be saying what has or has not sunk in with Him?

Father Ron Smith said...

Yes, Michael, but have you noticed the category of people he more readily said his "No-No" to? - like "You generation of vipers". - The 'self-righteous' of Jesus day really did get it in the neck from him because of their presumption that they were really 'holier than thou'.