Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sanity overcomes English bishops

UPDATE: Ian Paul is worth a read on these matters. AND GAFCON replies to the bishops' sanity.

ORIGINAL POST:

Possibly the sanest news item ever published on the matter of Anglican churches and homosexuality has this heading,

Church of England bishops: we agree on one thing - that we can't agree on homosexuality

Within the item are we seeing the introduction of a new Anglican phrase, "good disagreement"?

For myself I am prompted to wonder if (when all is said and done) we are (though we are scarcely aware of it) engaged with a true novelty in the life of the church:

1. a matter on which we disagree so severely that schism always lurks as a possible outcome (and, indeed, has become an outcome in some places) yet not a matter on which any rational, compassionate Christian (in the abstract position of peaceful reflection*) would wish to divide the church for fear that doing so made a scapegoat of a tiny minority;

2. a matter on which the catholicity of our church/Communion is under an unprecedented 'strain' (as we try to reconcile the universality of the church implying inclusivity with the universality of the church implying commitment to common doctrine).

Do we need a very English cup of tea?

*I include the words in parentheses because I happily acknowledge that where schism has occurred, particularly in North America, many factors apply other than simple disagreement over homosexuality, including factors of stress driven by some dominating episcopal leadership difficult to understand in Anglican places more used to (shall we say) an English-style of episcopacy.

91 comments:

carl jacobs said...

Peter

yet not a matter on which any rational, compassionate Christian ... would wish to divide the church for fear that doing so made a scapegoat of a tiny minority

I see. So anyone who would be willing to divide the church is by definition irrational and lacking compassion? According to whom? Accordign to what definition of 'rational' and 'compassionate?'

Let's ask a few pertinent questions.

1. Please define 'church.' Are you referring to an organization or a spiritual body. Those aren't the same thing. You don't necessarily divide the Church when you divide an organization.

2. Are you attempting to isolate the subject of homosexuality from the underlying issues that actually drive disagreement on the subject? These issues involve the nature of man, and the nature of revelation, and the nature of authority. You can never consider attitudes about homosexuality in isolation.

3. How would applying church discipline in regard to homosexuality create a 'scapegoat?' That formulation tacitly assumes a positive point of view regarding the moral character of homosexuality.

Homosexuality is not a little issue. It is a huge issue with staggering theological implications. That is why it has shattered so many churches.

There is no option of "Can't we just all live with our differences." Wander over to Thinking Anglicans sometime. See how often they use the word 'homophobe.' They consider my position immoral, and they will not abide it. I consider their position immoral and I will not abide it. Only one of those positions can be the officially recgnized position of the organization. Somebody has to lose and that loser isn't going to accept defeat. It's a zero-sum game where defeat isn't an option. That is obstacle that cannot be overcome.

carl

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Carl
There is a rational, compassionate position associated with having no fear of making any one or any group a scapegoat should schism occur.

Many conservatives hold that position, though in my experience many such conservatives are in churches in which they have no fear that their church will divide over homosexuality, let alone a fear of making homosexuals some kind of scapegoat in the unimaginable circumstance of schism in that church.

There are conservative Anglicans who rationally view these things in such a way that no fear of making scapegoats is involved. (I understand this to be your position).

For myself, I worry about making scapegoats. Perhaps, on reflection, I am being a bit irrational?

Zane Elliott said...

Peter,
it will be interesting to see what "good disagreement" looks like.

I hope it will mean that current Anglican Doctrine on the right ordering of relationshps will remain and those who disagree with it will let this agenda go, so that we can get on with the business of telling people about Jesus who is the Christ!

In some ways I think that was the hope of GSAFCON II which I attended in Nairobi. That those affiliated with the GFCA would stanbd strong together and make the main thing the main thing.

Is the liberal liekly to let us be content to disagree? I don't think so. We will hear the cry of "justice delayed is justice denied" from those who are determined to change the Anglican Church and it's undertsanding of human sexuality.

I don't want to make a scapegoat of that tiny minority of the Anglican Communion, but I don't know how we can really live in "good disagreement" with those who don't view Scripture as the authoritative Word of God.

Unless the liberal movement is prepared to ask the question they so often level as conservatives "why do you have to keep making such a big deal about homosexuality all the time, can't you just let it go?" I'm not at all confident there can be "good disagreement". maybe the C of E will pull it off. I'll pray for all our sake they do.

Father Ron Smith said...

"Homosexuality is not a little issue. It is a huge issue with staggering theological implications. That is why it has shattered so many churches."

I guess with some heterosexual males it is the most threatening thing in their little universe.

To everyone else, homosexuality is merely a natural phenomenon that occurs in such a small minority of human beings in the creation that they can live their lives without fear of being thought to be queer.

What DOES HAVE staggering theological implications is the fact that some people are so obsessed about the sexual lives of other people that they feel the need to scapegoat and condemn them to hell! And all because they happen to have been constituted differently - by the God whose act of creating them has caused such disdain by the 'purists'.

I guess some people will always need scape-goats. It must make them feel so superior. And, in the meantime, cruelty and injustice of really major proportions goes un-heeded by those for whom the gift of sexuality is so self-absorbing

Jesus, mercy; Mary, pray!

Andrei said...

What DOES HAVE staggering theological implications is the fact that some people are so obsessed about the sexual lives of other people that they feel the need to scapegoat and condemn them to hell!

That is actually offensive Fr Ron.

When I go to Church the only person whose sins I contemplate are my own. Whatever the failings of those who attend with me are they are not my concern, they are between that person and God alone.

In our parish there is a woman whose husband left her and after a year or so she got a boyfriend - and when he came into her life she stopped coming to church. And after a while people who care about her started dropping into to her house for a catch up and a cup of tea since they hadn't seen her in a while. Her bedtime arrangements I assume were not a matter of conversation - I couldn't say what was said or left unsaid but the upshot is that soon she was back at church and everybody is glad to see her.

And I suspect she felt some unease when she first came in, not because of the reception she might receive but the internal knowledge of her sin and how it has come between her and God.

As for her violation of one of the ten commandments, well that is still occurring and she is still working it out as far as I know. But it is between her and the Lord, with the priest, or others she might respect available to help her pastorally if she so chooses - and this, I think, is the way Church is supposed to work. A place where we can work through our relationship with God and those things that interfere with it - with the help of others who all, without exception, have their own struggles to work through

See, the first step in receiving forgiveness of our sins, and we all carry a burden of sin, is repentance and the first step in repenting sin is to acknowledge that it is within us.

We are being asked (and it is almost demanded, rather than asked) is that we sanctify something that will come between a sinner and God, stand in the way of his or her salvation and that we should not do.

Nobody should judge another, apart from the mote in your brother's eye, log in your own aspect there is also the danger that you might alienate that person from Church and that too might be something you will be held to account for on the Day of Judgement.

The caricature of hell fire and brimstone for homosexuals being preached from church pulpits is just that, a grotesque caricature that nobody has ever encountered in real life - Fred Phelps exists for sure but he so far out of mainstream Christianity that nobody takes him seriously but for a handful of sad followers,

I don't believe I've ever heard a sermon on homosexuality, ever, and I don't expect to and I bet that is true for just about everybody who doesn't go to liberal churches where it seems to be a matter of obsession from all that is written

carl jacobs said...

Peter

So there is your 'good disagreement.' My entire case has been reduced to threatened male heterosexuality, and sexual obsession. And all just to make me feel superior. What is the result? Cruelty and injustice. If FRS believes all that he has written, then he is bound by moral imperative to give my position no institutional purchase in the church. Where then is your 'good disagreement?' It is following the Titanic to the ocean floor.

A scapegoat is one who unjustly bears the burden of the sin of another. So what is the sin? Do we sin by putting the unrepentant homosexual out? Or do we sin by enforcing the idea that homosexuals need to repent? How you answer that question determines who has the potential to become a scapegoat. One thing is for sure. A man cannot be a scapegoat if he is held accountable for his own sin. And both cannot be scapegoats at the same time for opposite reasons. If so, then God would be the author of confusion.

No one has ever been able to offer a solution to this difficulty. No amount of talking has squared the circle. That is because mutually exclusive principles are in conflict and only one can be satisfied. It is a vain hope and a foolish quest to seek after that which cannot be found.

carl

Kurt said...

“What DOES HAVE staggering theological implications is the fact that some people are so obsessed about the sexual lives of other people that they feel the need to scapegoat and condemn them to hell! And all because they happen to have been constituted differently - by the God whose act of creating them has caused such disdain by the 'purists'.”—Fr. Ron

Right on, Father Ron! You hit the nail on the head! Scapegoating has always been a part of the right-wing political agenda, whether it’s scapegoating communists in the USA or Jews in Germany. The far-right always needs “the other.”

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Byron said...

"They consider my position immoral, and they will not abide it. I consider their position immoral and I will not abide it."

I disagree. If conservatives would stop imposing their views on liberals, many liberals would allow them to live and express their position.

The thing objected to advancing your opinion by compulsion, not persuasion.

You let liberals live as their conscience dictates, they'll do the same: how about it?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
I feel I can only publish the following comment by you with editorial commentary: once again you leap to judgment unwarranted by facts.

""In some ways I think that was the hope of GSAFCON II which I attended in Nairobi. That those affiliated with the GFCA would stanbd strong together and make the main thing the main thing." - Zane Elliot -

The very fact that you took the time to be present at the last GAFCON Meeting in Naoribi tells us that you are implacably opposed to any peaceful solution of the diverse opinions held on gender and sexuality matters, which have caused GAFCON to separate itself out from the rest of us in the communion on grounds of morality. [COMMENT: ATTENDANCE AT GAFCON DOES NOTHING OF THE SORT. PEOPLE WENT TO GAFCON WITH VARIOUS HOPES AND DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION. ONLY THOSE WHO WENT IMPLACABLY OPPOSED TO A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION CAN BE CALLED OUT AS OPPOSED TO A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION. CAN YOU NAME THOSE INDIVIDUALS? IF NOT, DO NOT MAKE THE CHARGE.EACH OF THE PEOPLE I HAVE TALKED TO WHO WENT TO GAFCON WOULD LIKE A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION. THEY ALL WENT TO GAFCON BECAUSE THEY LOVE THE ANGLICAN CHURCH AND WANT UNDER GOD THE BEST FOR ITS FUTURE. TO THINK OTHERWISE IS UNWORTHY.]

The mission of Jesus Christ, in the meantime, is being sadly neglected by some of the GAFCON Leaders, who are aiding and abetting their governments to enact criminal penalties upon Gays, their friends and families - all because of the innate sexual-orientation of the targetted group.[TO MAKE A POSITIVE OBSERVATION: I agree with you, Ron, that some Anglican leaders associated with GAFCON are all too keenly siding with what at best could be called a cultural preference re draconian legislation in their countries. in Germany in the 1930s such cultural preference trumping the gospel of Christ was called out by Barth, Bonhoeffer etc. We praise Barth and co for that. Where are the Nigerian Barths and Uganda Bonhoeffers today? END OF COMMENT.]

No wonder Christians are being branded homophobic; because this is what is seen to be its policy."

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Kurt,
You make an odd charge, as though a distinctive feature of "right-wing" approaches to any issue is to require "the other" and no one/wing else is guilty of this.

Best I understand "left wing" is the "other" has helped the cause immeasurably. The "other" has included Jews and homosexuals. The latter didn't do too well in Soviet Russia or Communist China. I wonder if it is good to be gay in North Korea today?

How about letting the facts stand in the way of your argument?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Carl

A couple of observations in response to your most recent comment.

1. The Fr Ron I happen to know personally is someone with whom I can live in "good disagreement." The comments made here by the same Fr Ron have a "take no prisoners" and "brook no compromise" character to them. I could not say that I could live in "good disagreement" with most of the comments made here by Fr Ron re homosexuality.

2. I tend to agree with you that the circle cannot be squared. To a degree the English bishops agree with you: "good disagreement" reflects their difficulty in squaring the circle (on which matter the Pilling Report, now seemingly consigned to the WPB, made as a good an attempt as any report to date).

Kurt said...

“You make an odd charge, as though a distinctive feature of "right-wing" approaches to any issue is to require ‘the other’ and no one/wing else is guilty of this.”—Fr. Carrell

You are, of course, correct Peter. In Stalinist Russia this was obviously quite true. Trotskyists—or, those so labeled—were particular scapegoats. In Cuba, gays and lesbians for many years served a similar purpose. Other countries—left and right—have their examples.

However, in the United States the left has never been in a position to scapegoat anyone. The scapegoating here is done by the looney right.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Ian Paul said...

Peter, I agree with you that this was a good decision…but ONLY because they appear to have decisively rejected a key recommendation of Pilling. See my comments here: http://www.psephizo.com/life-ministry/why-the-bishops-have-done-the-right-thing/

Peter Carrell said...

Another example, Kurt, of US exceptionalism?

:)

tachesterton said...

Zane, you said, 'I don't know how we can really live in "good disagreement" with those who don't view Scripture as the authoritative Word of God.'

Zane, how much interpretive latitude is a person allowed before you make this judgement about them?

Are they allowed to benefit from the lending of money at interest? Can they divorce and remarry for a reason other than unchastity (physical abuse, for instance?). Can they become a disciple of Jesus without giving up all they have? If they are women, can they come to church without a covering on their head? Can they invite their friends and neighbours to a banquet in their house, and not the poor and needy? Can they resist an evil person, or refuse to give money to a street beggar who asks them for it?

I am one who is on record as protesting against the way that homosexuality has been made 'the' issue on which faithful discipleship stands or falls. And I also want to say that i am entirely happy with this statement from the official catechism of my church, the Anglican Church of Canada:

Q: 'What does the Church teach about the Bible?' A: 'The Bible records the Word of God as it was given to Israel, and to his Church, at sundry times and in divers manners; and nothing may be taught in the Church as necessary to man's salvation unless it be concluded or proved therefrom'.

Q: 'Where then is the Word of God to be found in its fulness?' A: 'In Jesus Christ, his only Son, who was made man for us and for our salvation'.

Zane Elliott said...

Father Ron,
when you say 'The very fact that you took the time to be present at the last GAFCON Meeting in Naoribi tells us that you are implacably opposed to any peaceful solution of the diverse opinions held on gender and sexuality matters, which have caused GAFCON to separate itself out from the rest of us in the communion on grounds of morality'- you are sadly mistaken.

There was no tick box on the registration form which read 'By coming to GAFCON II I assent to, and give my full committment to denying a peaceful resolution to the current sexuality debate which is tearing the Anglican Communion apart'

In actual fact, as far as I understand why we were meeting, was to look for ways of Anglicans continuing in fellowship despite this continued agenda by revisionists who assert that something the Bible labels sin is actually blessed and fully acceptable to God. Let me be clear, the GFCA has not seperated itself from the rest of the Communion. The GFCA is wrestling with ways to maintain the status quo in terms of our doctrine and the apostolic faith. There is no moving away, we are not pursuing some new teaching, only offering a structure under which those who identify with the traditional doctrine of this Church (can I underline traditional there, as an Anglo Catholic you'll surely appreciate this)can remain Anglican together, even though their provincial Church has thrown them aside.

The kind of rocks you throw above give me little patience for trying to find any kind of ground on which conservatives and liberals can speak or relate.

Kurt said...

“There is no moving away, we are not pursuing some new teaching, only offering a structure under which those who identify with the traditional doctrine of this Church (can I underline traditional there, as an Anglo Catholic you'll surely appreciate this) can remain Anglican together, even though their provincial Church has thrown them aside.”—Zane Elliott

Let’s be clear here, Zane. The American Episcopal Church did not “throw” anyone “aside.” The minority CHOSE to walk out on TEC. Now, as I’ve written before on this site, I am one Episcopalian who is quite willing to grant groups such as ACNA associate status in the Anglican Communion structure if, at a minimum, table fellowship is maintained. Are you willing to agree to that?

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Father Ron Smith said...

"In actual fact, as far as I understand why we were meeting, was to look for ways of Anglicans continuing in fellowship despite this continued agenda by revisionists who assert that something the Bible labels sin is actually blessed and fully acceptable to God." - Zane E. -

Your use of the word 'revisionist' Zane, already tells me that you are radically opposed to those of us in the Anglican Communion who accept the differently-ordered sexual-orientation of LGBT people as part of God's created order.

I am aware, too, that your views are based on what is commonly known today as the Sola Scriptura school of theology. However, the main distinction - in the eyes of the Church and the world - of the GAFCONites is that they oppose the inclusion of LGBTQ people in God's Church.

Am I correct in this assumption, Zane, or am I not?

For your information, today the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued a statement affirming the Church's need to 'care for and be-friend' people whose sexual-orientation - though different from the majority - is, nevertheless, not a barrier to their acceptance, as they are intrinsically, by the Church.

This will tell you of the gap between GAFCON and the rest of us.

Shawn Herles said...

In response to Kurt,

The Left does good job of scapegoating a whole range of people. Conservatives. "Rednecks" (remeber your "Redneckistan" comment?) and yes, Jews. Condemnation of "money making Jews" has been a feature of the Left for close to a hundred years, and now scapegoating Israel for the propblems of the Middle East is fashionable.

Scapegoating is a human problem, not a Right or Left problem.

Zane Elliott said...

Kurt,
South Carolina.

Are you asking me to come to the table where Mary Glasspool presides? Or where John Spong ridicules Scripture? I can't do it. These people have moved too far from what we once held in common.

carl jacobs said...

Byron

You let liberals live as their conscience dictates, they'll do the same: how about it?

Conscience is not a standard of behavior. Conscience is informed by a standrad of behavior. If your conscience is telling you that good is evil and evil is good, then your conscience has been ill-formed and reflects an incorrect standard of behavior. It needs to be coerced lest you act upon its counsel and do evil. Sincerity of belief has never been a means by which wrong behavior may be justified. But you already know this. The conflict in question is not a matter of conscience but of different standards of behavior. I cannot grant leave to your conscience to do that which is evil simply for the sake of 'live and let live' and yet remain in fellowship.

In addition, this is not purely (or even primarily) a matter of conscience. It is a matter of teaching and practice. The only way that I could grant leave to your conscience is to enable you to act upon it in the church. That means the church must formally approve of your position. It must become the teaching and practice of the church. I cannot say that unrepentant homosexuality disqualifies a man from church leadership when the church in fact places such men into positions of leadership. I cannot say that homosexuality is sinful when the church provides its formal blessing to homosexual relationships. My understanding becomes a private opinion that is tacitly repudiated by the public life of the church. You understand this as well. That is why you are willing to abide it. Would you be willing to abide the contrary position where your position is rejected by the teaching and practice of the church? No, you would not. This is the nexus of the conflict. Which side is tacitly affirmed by the church's public teaching and practice? Which side is tacitly repudiated by the same?

A private opinion that cannot be acted upon is not sufficient for either side. I want the church to publicly affirm my position. I want your position relegated to the dark closet where it can be neither seen nor heard nor taught nor acted upon. You want the exact opposite. It's not about what people think in the privacy of their own minds. It's what the church presents in its public life that matters in this argument.

carl

carl jacobs said...

What the bishops did with this report is purely pragmatic. They kicked it into touch because they had no choice. The CoE is barely able to sustain the stress of women bishops at the moment. Dealing with both of these issues simultaneously would have snapped the supports straight away. For the sake of unity (read that financial stability) they had to push this problem out.

But in accepting the report and its recommendation for (useless pointless) conversation, it has accepted that the standard of measure for the question will henceforth be liberal in nature. If the issue has been delayed, the eventual outcome is now certain. Once you establish liberal understanding as the determinant, the end must be found in liberal understanding.

There is an end to this. And that end will be the end of the CoE. He who has ears, let him hear.

carl

Zane Elliott said...

Fr. Ron,
You have said :

'the main distinction - in the eyes of the Church and the world - of the GAFCONites is that they oppose the inclusion of LGBTQ people in God's Church.

Am I correct in this assumption, Zane, or am I not? '

Can I point you to www.livingout.org.uk watch the story of Rev. Vaughn Roberts. This brother was at GAFCON II. He was fully included even though he is attracted to other men. Your assumption is wrong. Our doctrine, within the ACANZP about the right ordering of relationships is clear, our doctrine about chastity is clear. I expect any ordained person, whether attrached to the opposite sex, or the same to remain chaste, just as I am called to do. I hope that helps clarify your misguided assumption.

I applaud the Archbishops of the C of E. The Church absolutely must care for, love and welcome people who identify as GLBTIX, how else can they hear the Good news of Jesus Christ and be saved from sin? How else will they find their identity in Jesus, rather than their sexual identity. I want to love the socks off every person who identifies as GLBTIX, but that doesn't mean I wnat to say that something God says is sinful, isn't. How would that be loving?

Zane Elliott said...

Tim, your qestion is a good one

'Zane, how much interpretive latitude is a person allowed before you make this judgement about them?'

I'm going to need to puzzle that one out for a bit, but I don't want you to think I'm avoiding the questions.

MichaelA said...

"The thing objected to [is] advancing your opinion by compulsion, not persuasion. You let liberals live as their conscience dictates, they'll do the same: how about it?"

Sorry, Byron, but that has been shown up as the fairy tale it is by the leadership of the Episcopal Church in the USA. Their take-no-prisoners approach over the last two decades is a salutary reminder that liberals cannot "live and let live".

Anonymous said...

I fear Roman Catholics reading this thread could only shake their heads and say, 'I told you so.' The striptease of liberal Anglicanism is ending in the naked humiliation and undoing of this now dessicated and increasingly fruitless branch of the church, where self-assertion, pride and biblical and philosophical ignorance have taken the place of a once vigorous, faithful and world-converting arm of the church.

Can people not see that the embrace of homosexuality is essentially pagan and sinful in character? - as should be obvious to anyone who knows the content and message of Plato's 'Symposium', the clearest apologia for homosexuality in the ancient world. The pagan Greeks never seriously related love to our embodiment as men and women, nor to procreation and marriage. For them it was all about narcissistic emotional attachment to a love-object, which is why homosexuality was considered 'the highest' of loves among them. This same distortion and diversion of the sex drive from its creational purpose - the bonding of man and woman in marriage (of which the pagans knew nothing, knowing nothing of creation, unlike the Jews) - has not reasserted itself in the post-Christian west, with its chorus of useful idiots.
Can those who invoke 'conscience' as the standard for action not understand that the First Duty of Conscience is *to inform that conscience according to the Word of God*? - as Thomas Aquinas makes abundantly clear.

And Tim - while I love the new, unintended moniker tachesterton, I know very well what gkchesterton would have done with those slippery weasel words about the Bible from your Canadian catechism. He would not at all have been pleased with them. Further, you still seem in thrall to Anabaptist fundamentalism, not recognising that this is explicitly repudiated by the Thirty-Nine Articles - but I guess they mean nothing in Canada either, where every day the light of Anglicanism grows dimmer.

Martin

MichaelA said...

"Let’s be clear here, Zane. The American Episcopal Church did not “throw” anyone “aside.” The minority CHOSE to walk out on TEC."

That is simply not true, Kurt. The liberal leadership of the Episcopal Church indulged in a sustained bout of throwing a large number of people aside, well before anyone left for ACNA. Conservatives did not "choose" to leave - they were chased out.

After the consecration of Gene Robinson in 2003, and BEFORE the formation of ACNA in late 2008, TEC deposed at least 120 priests and deacons who were seen as too conservative. Numerous bishops and retired bishops were also inhibited, deposed or unilaterally deemed to have renounced orders. Note that this number does not include any clergy from the four dioceses who eventually left TEC and formed ACNA – these are from other dioceses.

See http://www.fwepiscopal.org/downloads/TEC-Canonical-Abuses.pdf.

Depositions on such a scale are characteristic of a fearful totalitarian regime.

Father Ron Smith said...

" So what is the sin? Do we sin by putting the unrepentant homosexual out? Or do we sin by enforcing the idea that homosexuals need to repent?" - Carl -

Firstly, Carl, I would ask who you are to be given the authority to 'cast anyone out' - whatever their perceived sin?

Secondly, are you condemning Gay people for the fact that they happen to be intrinsically gay? If so, that is a sin - as pronounced by the bishops of the Anglican Communion at Dromontine.

Thirdly, does the Church cast our heterosexual people because they are heterosexual by nature? If so, that too would be a sin.

And Zane; because you have chosen to be celibate, you must not expect every other human being to be as sinless as your self. Other people may have a very different understanding of their gift of sexuality. If the Church were to cast our every human being who exercises their sexuality for purposes other than procreation, there would be a disastrous drop in membership of the Church, Ask any priest who hears confession.

Father Ron Smith said...

".EACH OF THE PEOPLE I HAVE TALKED TO WHO WENT TO GAFCON WOULD LIKE A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION. THEY ALL WENT TO GAFCON BECAUSE THEY LOVE THE ANGLICAN CHURCH AND WANT UNDER GOD THE BEST FOR ITS FUTURE. TO THINK OTHERWISE IS UNWORTHY." - Dr.P.C.

Peter, please forgive me if I've got you wrong here, but I really do think that those people you have met (presumably members of ACANZP) who went to GAFCON, just may not 'Love the Anglican Church' in its entirety. Otherwise they would not want to add their voices to a group of Anglicans who are declaring war on other Anglicans, simply because of their belief that homosexuals are to be accepted in the church on the very same basis as homosexuals - no more, no less.

Furthermore, the leaders of the GAFCON meeting your friends chose to attend set themselves up as a rival to the Anglican Communion by virtue of their insular 'Jerusalem Declaration', which is not a product of the A.C.C. and, indeed may be antithetical to the A.C.C. Dromantine Communique referred to in the recent Letter to Primates by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
I think you have gotten me wrong as I cannot think of anywhere in the Anglican Communion that Anglicans have declared war on other Anglicans (the Maori wars in NZ in the 19th century being a sad past exception).

carl jacobs said...

FRS

who you are to be given the authority to 'cast anyone out'

I never said I had such authority. But the elders in the church have such authority - and the responsibility to exercise it. They have that authority (and responsibility) by virtue of 1 Corinthians 5. That's a reference to a book. In the Bible. You might have heard about it.

are you condemning Gay people for the fact that they happen to be intrinsically gay?

No, I am starting that the One with the authority to condemn has in fact condemned homosexual behavior. As in 'any sexual interaction between two people of the same gender.' It would be hard for me to condemn someone for being 'intrinsically Gay' when the One who fashioned human nature has called homosexual behavior unnatural. Contrary to created purpose. It can't be a natural behavior if God calls it perversion. It can't be part of the created order if God declares it outside the created order.

does the Church cast our heterosexual people because they are heterosexual by nature?

No, but it does assertion church discipline on heterosexuals. Like couple in my personal experience that was put out for getting married over the objection of the church leaders. He was divorced, you see, and he had no biblical basis for the divorce.

carl

Kurt said...

“Are you asking me to come to the table where Mary Glasspool presides? Or where John Spong ridicules Scripture? I can't do it. These people have moved too far from what we once held in common.”— Zane Elliott

Zane,
Long Island.

You do know, don’t you Zane, that there are many Episcopalians who feel that you and your co-thinkers have “moved too far from what we once held in common” to invite you to participate—in any degree—in the operation of the Anglican Communion? If you are unable to participate in table fellowship, you are unable to participate in the Communion.

As usual, Shawn, you don’t know what you are talking about. The left in the USA has never been in power (unless one considers the immediate post-Revolutionary and post-Civil War periods) to scapegoat anyone—rednecks included.

Oh, Martin, give it a rest! If a priest, deacon or bishop abandons the communion of the Church, of course they are deposed.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Kurt,
I would like to point out your "of course" in your last sentence is a peculiarly TECian "of course."

I cannot for one moment imagine that a clergyperson in my church (or the Australian Anglican church) would be "deposed" for abandoning the communion of the church.

Regretfully waved farewell, yes; deposed, no. Fondly hoped that said clergyperson might soon return from a dalliance with Presbyterianism, Romanism or agnosticism, even "other forms of Anglicanism": Yes; deposed, no.

From a long way away (acknowledged), deposition seems a peculiarly draconian way to treat clergy who have abandoned the communion of the church.

Kurt said...

I understand, Peter, how you and others can feel the way you do. There are some Episcopalians who also question the helpfulness of the current abandonment of communion canon. Nevertheless, provinces have the right to organize their discipline in the manner which they feel is best for them. Currently when a clergyperson is judged to have abandoned the communion of TEC, the practice is generally to depose them.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

Hmm, Kurt, let's try an analagous argument:

"I understand, Peter, how you and others can feel the way you do. There are some Nigerians and Ugandans who also question the helpfulness of the current legislative proposals re homosexuality. Nevertheless, countries have the right to organize their discipline in the manner which they feel is best for them. Currently when a gayperson is judged to have infracted the law of the land against holding hands with another gay (or "worse"), the practice is generally to punish them."

There, in a nutshell, we have the connection between global morality and Anglican communion theology: in theory sovereign countries and sovereign churches is a good idea. In practice sovereign entities make decisions others think are bad ...

Kurt said...

Well, Peter, if abandonment of communion here resulted in the arrests of those deposed, and jail terms of up to 14 years, (as in Nigeria for gay men and lesbians, for example) your analogy would make some sense. However, deposition from the ministry of TEC does not even result in the loss of vested pension rights.

Byron said...

carl jacobs: Official teaching is the problem, rooted as it is in the authority fallacy. How about the church takes no official position?

MichaelA: The document you linked refers to "abuse" of abandonment canons. I.e., those who seceded got what they wanted. Has a single priest or bishop who wanted to stay in ECUSA, and offered no allegiance to another body, been thrown out?

Zane Elliott said...

Fr. Ron,

I am a married man, I am not celibate, but I strive to be chaste. I know that my sexuality is marred by sin. Can we really not expect every Christian to practice chastity? I thought it was one of the demands of following Jesus.... When you say 'Other people may have a very different understanding of their gift of sexuality' are you suggesting that the Christian can engage in any sexual practice that takes their whim?

Hear what St. Paul saith 'What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free[b] from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

So that we don't keep arguing, can you please suggest a way that we might live in good disagreement when you advocate for sexual freedom, and I advocate for chastity and self control?

Father Ron Smith said...

"No, I am starting (sic) that the One with the authority to condemn has in fact condemned homosexual behavior. As in 'any sexual interaction between two people of the same gender.' It would be hard for me to condemn someone for being 'intrinsically Gay' when the One who fashioned human nature has called homosexual behavior unnatural. Contrary to created purpose. It can't be a natural behavior if God calls it perversion. It can't be part of the created order if God declares it outside the created order -

- carl Jacobs -

I ask you where, in scripture, does 'God' call a homosexual person 'disordered'?

"It can't be part of the created order if God declares it outside the created order - "

Where does God actually declare homosexuality as 'outside of the created order'? Jesus, who is God, never said a word about it.

Someone of His followers may have been bold enough to reiterate the current understanding of Jews that same-sex behaviour was 'sinful', but Jesus Himself never said a word about it. If not, why not? = Perhaps because, for Jesus, who kicked out some of the shibboleths of Judaism, homosexuality was a non-issue.

For people in the modern world who do know about biology and sociology would disagree with you on this issue completely.

Women, for instance, are no longer expected to undergo ritual purification for the 'impurity' of conception and childbirth. And that's just one of the old rituals that the present-day Church has been able to reject.

Even many present-day Jewish people no longer have the same ritual constraints as were common in the time of the publication of the New Testament. Move on! Move out of your cocoon and smell the roses, Carl. God give you insight!

carl jacobs said...

Byron

Official teaching is the problem, rooted as it is in the authority fallacy.

So it is gratifying when my opponents confirm the truth of my argument. In my very first post on this thread, I said:

Are you attempting to isolate the subject of homosexuality from the underlying issues that actually drive disagreement on the subject? These issues involve the nature of man, and the nature of revelation, and the nature of authority.

The contentious nature of this argument has never been driven by sex.

How about the church takes no official position?

The church can't avoid taking an official position. What it morally permits, it tacitly approves.

carl

carl jacobs said...

And now here comes FRS to confirm the other part of what I said.

Are you attempting to isolate the subject of homosexuality from the underlying issues that actually drive disagreement on the subject? These issues involve the nature of man, and the nature of revelation, and the nature of authority.

FRS

where, in scripture, does 'God' call a homosexual person 'disordered'?

Who used the word 'disordered?' I used words like 'unnatural' and 'perverse.' The answer to your question regarding the words I actually used would be Romans 1. God's direct description of homosexual behavior was 'abomination.' That would be found in the Law. And by tradition the Law was given by the Second Person of the Trinity. But it doesn't really matter since there is no division in the Godhead.

But wait! The Law has been set aside. And Romans isn't really authoritative. Paul was just some guy after all. Jesus didn't say anything at all about homosexuality. But then He didn't say anything about a man screwing his own daughter either. Or about burning children as sacrifices. Perhaps because those weren't contentious issues among the Jewish people at the time. Or perhaps you could count the fact that Jesus affirmed the whole of the moral law - including the laws about sex. Or perhaps you could count the fact that He affirmed the created order of Genesis.

But you won't. See my comment above about the nature of man and the nature of revelation. You have your neo-"Sufi mystical experience cum Holy Communion" and I have Scripture. That is why we cannot communicate.

carl

Shawn Herles said...

Kurt,

Please... the Left is in power now in the US. Hence Obama's scapegoating of Israel, conservatives, "fundamentalists" and "rednecks" and other left wing bogeymen.

But you don't have to be in power to scapegoat others, and I repeat my charge that the Left uses various groups to scapegoat, and does so through the Liberal mainstream media.

Shawn Herles said...

"I guess some people will always need scape-goats. It must make them feel so superior."

Yes Ron, it must make liberals feel very superior to scapegoat GAFCON, conservatives, Evangelicals, Sola Scriptura, "heterosexual males", and anyone or anything else who wants to obey Jesus teaching on marriage.

Father Ron Smith said...

" But then He didn't say anything about a man screwing his own daughter either." - Mr. Jacobs -

I don't feel inclined to discuss serious theology with a person who uses this sort of language on a 'Christian blog". Perhaps is marks out the depths to which your conversation on this issue descends.

As my grandmother would have said: "Wash your mouth out."

MichaelA said...

"MichaelA: The document you linked refers to "abuse" of abandonment canons. I.e., those who seceded got what they wanted. Has a single priest or bishop who wanted to stay in ECUSA, and offered no allegiance to another body, been thrown out?"

Byron, I suggest not reading only a couple of pages of a document.

As I wrote above, numerous bishops, priests and deacons were deposed by leadership of TEC between 2004 and 2008, i.e. before ACNA was formed. Over 100 are listed in that document, but they weren't the only ones.

And I am not referring to those who moved to CANA or other jurisdictions prior to 2008.

Successive presiding bishops Frank Griswold and Katherine Schori steadily purged their opponents. That is the reality of liberalism in the church and that will be the reality in any other church where they are allowed to take the reins of power.

Hence why Kurt's protests about liberals not having power to scapegoat anyone are mere fantasy. They have been given that power in USA and the whole world can see what they have done with it.

tachesterton said...

This is more than a little discouraging.

Am I the only one who feels that everything that could possibly be said on this subject has been said? Our arguments obviously sound convincing to us and to those who agree with us, but not to the people we're arguing with. Some want to be part of a church that is unified about being gay-friendly. Some want to be part of a church that is unified about seeing homosexual behaviour as a sin. And some (like myself) have an opinion on the subject, but don't see it as a subject big enough to divide the church over.

I think we're at a stalemate. If this conversation is to continue, we've got to stop repeating tyne same arguments over and over again.

Tim Chesterton

carl jacobs said...

OK, Peter.

RE: "I don't feel inclined to discuss serious theology with a person who uses this sort of language"

My first inclination was to mock FRS mercilessly for this inanity. Something along the lines of "Well, no wonder you have trouble with the Apostle Paul."

But then I thought "Perhaps this is a language thing." There is nothing excessively vulgar about 'screw' in American English. It conveys a shoddy cheap act of sexual intercourse - which is why I chose to use that particular word. For example, one does not "have relations" with a prostitute, and one does not "make love" to one's daughter. The word is intended to strip any moral standing from the act of sexual intercourse in view. That was the point.

However, I know (because I have encountered this before) that different forms of English treat the same word in very different ways. So tell me if I crossed a line, here.

carl

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Carl
Acknowledging differences in English around the globe, I would say (from at least a Kiwienglish perspective) that 'screwed' is vulgar. 'To have sex with' would be non-vulgar, accurately descriptive without straying into unhelpful euphemistic or metaphorical language.

Thus Ron has a point.

But to Ron I say: the substantive point of what Carl said is that omission of a topic in the discourse of Jesus is no guide to its importance or unimportance, or to Jesus' view on the topic.

Would you agree?

carl jacobs said...

Peter

Fair enough.

FRS, I apologize for offending you.

carl

Father Ron Smith said...

"But to Ron I say: the substantive point of what Carl said is that omission of a topic in the discourse of Jesus is no guide to its importance or unimportance, or to Jesus' view on the topic." - P.C.

Conversely, Peter: as Jesus DID say something about divorce; which was considered by Jesus to be a moral failure needing correction; do you not think Jesus would have said something about intrinsic homosexuality; which seems to some puritans in the Church to be even more of a moral failing?

OR, are we seeing that Jesus did not think homosexuality to be of the same order of morality as the problem of divorce.

As I have said on this blog before, a thoughtful reading of Matthew 19:10-12, Jesus DID mention the fact that there are 'eunuchs, born that way from their mother's womb' Who are these people? Could they not be, by their very nature, homosexual?
Many modern interpreters of Scripture accept this possibility.

is such a
thorn in the flesh to moralists today?

topic is so obviously not that important to many who vilify homosexuals

Kurt said...

“Please... the Left is in power now in the US. Hence Obama's scapegoating of Israel, conservatives, ‘fundamentalists’ and ‘rednecks’ and other left wing bogeymen.”— Shawn

Are you out of your mind, Shawn? Maybe to listeners of the Rush Limbaugh Show Obama is a Kenyan Marxist, but to the diminutive American left (most of whom didn’t even vote for the President the first time around, let alone the second time) the man is arguably to the right of Richard Nixon on many questions. When I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, Obama would have been considered a moderate Republican. That’s how far off kilter the looney right has brought this country in the past 40 years.

Listen, Shawn, one can only scapegoat someone if one has real political power. The peripheral American left saying nasty things about right-wing fundamentalists and rednecks is not scapegoating. Name-calling, perhaps, but not scapegoating. To do that one has to have real political power like the Republican Party had during the 1950s “witch hunts.”

***

Your sleight of hand is noticeable to those who care to look for the facts, MichaelA. Of course there were deposed clergy before the formation of ACNA, CANA, etc. Do you think that TEC malcontents only began to jump ship over the “Gay Question”? The ordination of women to the priesthood, as well as the consecration of women bishops also lead to abandonment of communion by some clergy. As did the ruckus around the adoption of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. And before that, desegregation issues. Get real, dude.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
It seems reasonable to presume that Jesus said something about divorce because it was a presenting societal issue; also because his restatement of the importance of marriage conforming to 'creational' order required a challenge to divorce with its implication that marriage according to creational order was not for life.

It does not seem reasonable to presume some kind of certain conclusion from Jesus' silence on any issue. Did silence on homosexuality mean it was not a societal issue? Possibly, but then Jesus was silent on the treatment of widows and orphans which (presumably) was a societal issue. Did silence on homosexuality mean that Jesus wished to deny Jewish law on the matter? Possibly, but then Jesus was also silent on the use of two kinds of thread in clothing: would we wish to draw a conclusion from the latter silence?

What we do have to guide us is that Jesus generally endorsed the law (moral) and dispensed with it (ceremonial). One can connect the dots ...

On Matthew 19 and eunuchs, indeed, there is something there to explore hermeneutically. But in relationship to homosexuality there is a certain amount of obscurity to deal with. Was there a connection between 'eunuch' and 'homosexual'? If so, was Jesus implying that connection in what he said? If so, can we draw a line from what Jesus said to modern questions about homosexuality? One can only wish you well on your hermeneutical quest!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Kurt
The rest of the world sees a kind of madness has descended on the US body politic. It has been a long illness with many debilitating effects.

We can only wish the body gets well very soon!

Father Ron Smith said...

" can we draw a line from what Jesus said to modern questions about homosexuality? One can only wish you well on your hermeneutical quest!"

- Dr. Peter Carrell -

Not just 'my quest', Peter, but the hermeneutical suggestion of reputable scholars in this area.

When one considers that Jesus made these remarks in the context of a homily on Marriage, one might easily imagine that he was relating his remark to the sexual component of human procreation, which intrinsically homosexual persons are not disposed towards - thus rendering them as eunuchs - 'from their mothers' wombs', as opposed to those 'made eunuchs' by other people for their purposes.

Presumably these natal eunuchs are not prevented from procreation because of any outside human manipulation, but by their essential nature - Maybe Gay!

Shawn Herles said...

"Not just 'my quest', Peter, but the hermeneutical suggestion of reputable scholars in this area."

A minority of Liberal scholars you mean. Most Biblical scholars not motivated by Liberal politics have rightly shown this claim to be bogus.

LIberal does not = "reputable"

"I don't feel inclined to discuss serious theology with a person who uses this sort of language"

I don't feel inclined to discuss serious theology with someone who throws serious theology out the window and resorts to abusive accusation of "homophobia", hatred, and having psychological problems.

But so long as our host insists on posting your theology-free insults we have little choice but to deal with you.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
I am going tomoderate your comment slightly, particularly removing the word "bigotry" which tends to be an unhelpful word on a blog ...

"Kurt,

your complaint that Obama is not extreme enough does not change the fact that he is on the Left, and many of his policies are proof of that.

But that is beside the point. You do NOT have to have political power to scapegoat others. Thats just a convenient way to absolve yourself and your fellow travelers from your own [...] sins.

The Socialist Roots of Modern Anti-Semitism: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/the-socialist-roots-of-modern-anti-semitism

"Auschwitz meant that six million Jews were killed, and thrown on the waste-heap of Europe, for what they were considered: money-Jews. Finance capital and the banks, the hard core of the system of imperialism and capitalism, had turned the hatred of men against money and exploitation, and against the Jews. Antisemitism is really a hatred of capitalism."

—Ulrike Meinhof, left-wing German terrorist of the 1970s


Remember the Jew haters who blamed Zionism for the banking crisis????

[The left needs to] Look to your own sins first.
"

Shawn Herles said...

Hi Peter,

Then at what point will you stop posting the same accusations from Ron and Kurt? If the rest of us have to put up with you posting their accusations of bigotry, scapegoating, homophobia, heterosexual male fear, and so forth, then it should be a level playing field, right? You moderate, thus you read their posts, and yet continue to post such accusations by them.

So why them and not me?

Right now, you post the same accusations from both suspects with seemingly no concern for what is "unhelpful" and you do so despite a years worth of pleas to stop.

Either stop posting accusations of hatred, scapegoating, homophobia and so forth from Ron and Kurt, or stop moderating those of defending ourselves and pointing out the hypocrisy.

You cannot have it both ways. Either the rules apply to Ron and Kurt (and right now they clearly don't) or they don't apply to anyone.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
"Bigot(ry)" is a particularly difficult word which I would like to rule out. (I apologise if I have been inconsistent about this).

I am wary, because of past discussions about 'homophobia'. Nevertheless, in the context of discussing draconian legislation in Nigeria and Uganda I think it worth discussing whether some kind of fear/phobia is driving this legislative pathway along.

'Scapegoat' is new to this blog (at least as I recall) and you are rightly alerting me to the need to be vigilant re its unwarranted use.

You might observe that I did not moderate you re your own contribution re scapegoating and discussion thereof. The thrust of my moderation was that you were making it more personal to one person than to the 'group' (i.e. the left) ... but there are fine distinctions involved and I may not have moderated some recent contributions by others as I ought.

To be clear: no one gets singled out here and no one from any particular "side" of the debate.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
I am not even going to redact the comment just submitted: it does nothing to carry the conversation constructively forward.

Other contributions above may be similarly adjudged but there is a point where I need to say: no more!

Issues, issues, issues. Let's stick to the issues.

MichaelA said...

"Of course there were deposed clergy before the formation of ACNA, CANA, etc. Do you think that TEC malcontents only began to jump ship over the “Gay Question”?"

No, and as Peter correctly points out in his article, that isn’t the sole or even primary reason for the issues now. The "gay question" is symptomatic of something far deeper.

But respectfully, you are trying to obfuscate the issue. I specifically made clear that I was not referring to anyone trying to "jump ship" about the gay question or any other question. The wholesale depositions were of clergy who did not want to leave, but who were forced out by the liberal leadership of TEC because they did not agree with liberalism and wanted to remain faithful to historic Christian doctrine.

"The ordination of women to the priesthood, as well as the consecration of women bishops also lead to abandonment of communion by some clergy."

Oh please – that was more than 30 years ago. I was talking about the hundreds of clergy who were forced out of TEC under Frank Griswold and Katherine Schori, in the period after the consecration of Gene Robinson in 2003 and before the formation of ACNA in 2009.

This was a purge by liberals, as simple as that.

And there is every reason to suspect it will be repeated if the liberals get into power in any other church. That may be one reason why the English bishops are displaying sanity – they can see what happened in North America.

Father Ron Smith said...

"This was a purge by liberals, as simple as that.' - MichaelA -

May have been less 'painful' than the purge of homosexuals in the GAFCON countries, assisted by the Con/Evo Churches there. At least, there was no threat of incarceration.

Anyway, by the sound of Archbishop Wabakula's response to the message of the C.of E. Primates, the GAFCON Churches sound like they are about to leave the Communion of their own volition, being unable to 'suffer' the inclusion of homosexuals. The ACC will not kick them out, they will secede - along with ACNA and various other assorted Puritans, who think they have a lien on the Gospel.

MichaelA said...

"...the GAFCON Churches sound like they are about to leave the Communion of their own volition..."

You wish!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn,
You have subnitted the following comment:

"In actual fact Ron, GAFCON is not about to leave the Communion. GAFCON intends saving it from a Liberal minority of Cultural Marxist puritans who think they have a lien on the Gospel "

What am I to do?
The Anglican Communion is in trouble because of (among other things) a Liberal minority, some of whom (as with some of GAFCON including ACNA) who deservedly are called 'puritans' because they see themselves as purer than as others. Certainly there is an element in the statement being responded to, as with the Jerusalem Declaration etc which implies having a 'lien' on the gospel which others do not have.

But your comment goes further than this: it speaks of a 'Liberal minority of Cultural Marxist puritans who think they have a lien on the gospel".
1. is this true? I have no idea how many Cultural Marxists are involved in the Communion! Enough to cause trouble? Or ...
2. Is this a thesis that all Liberals in the Communion are Cultural Marxists? If so, is that true? It almost certainly isn't true. Would it therefore be an ad hominem to post the comment?
3. Could I get away with offending no one with this comment in the hope that Liberals who do not Cultural Marxists do not object to being labelled as such?

Here is what I suggest would make my life as a moderator easier, Shawn. If only you had offered: "In actual fact Ron, GAFCON is not about to leave the Communion. GAFCON intends saving it from a Liberal minority of puritans who think they have a lien on the Gospel".

I think that a better equivalent, non ad hominem riposte to Ron, because it matches his assertions of the trouble to Communion unity being made by GAFCON, ACNA etc who are prepared to offer a spirited approach to what the COmmunion mind should be on the basis of a lien on the gospel, because, indeed, trouble to Communion unity is being caused by Liberal puritans whose own lien on the gospel leads them to reject one assertion of the mind of the Communion in favour of their own.

But it would be so much easier to have simply posted your comment as submitted, with the Cultural Marxist identification left in it. Indeed, all too often I have posted such comments without redaction ... but eventually it gets back to me that I shouldn't have!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn You make a good and fiar point about my inadequacy as a moderator in the following comment. I am, however, redacting it slightly, in order to remove the singling out of specific commenters: I do not have time to go back through previous comments in order to be sure that it is 100% fair to them before I publish it.

"Hi Peter,

I am not accusing you of bias or favouring any side. I am contending that you have been on the "centre" for so long that the abusive rhetoric of the liberal wing does not register as abuse anymore. You have to some degree (as all of us have to varying degrees) become use to it.

But I disagree that this is a slippery problem. It is in fact very easy and simple. Any comment which focuses its critique on a person or persons, accusing them of of some personal defect, is ad hominem. Any comment which focuses on the ideas (theology/politics/worldview) of a group or person, is not ad hominem.

About 95% of [some commenters here] rhetoric is an attack on people, not their views, theology or politics.

"You believe that because you're a conservative/liberal" is not ad hominem.

"You believe that because you hate others and want to scapegoat them out of fear" is ad hominem.

It is very easy to distinguish the two.

Any comment which makes an attack on another person's character, [] is ad hominem.

Any comment which makes an attack on another person's ideas or beliefs, BY CRITIQUING THE IDEAS NOT THE PERSON, is not ad hominem.

Very simple.
"

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
Again, I am not going to post a comment in toto which focuses on individuals. Thus:

"Hi Peter,

In answer to your questions:

"1. is this true? I have no idea how many Cultural Marxists are involved in the Communion! Enough to cause trouble?

All modern post-50's Progressive Liberal theology is a form of Cultural Marxism. It is founded on the same worldview, it is committed to the same political principles, and it uses hermeneutics (particularly the "hermeneutic of suspicion") that apply Cultural Marxist principles to Biblical interpretation.

"2. Is this a thesis that all Liberals in the Communion are Cultural Marxists?"

Yes. It is impossible to be one without the other, and in fact in both political and theological worlds the terms are interchangeable.

"It almost certainly isn't true."

Evidence?

"Would it therefore be an ad hominem to post the comment?"

No, because it simply identifies a worldview. It does not attack the character of the people holding it by saying they are psychologically defective or bad people.

"Could I get away with offending no one with this comment in the hope that Liberals who do not Cultural Marxists do not object to being labelled as such?"

Offense is not determinative of what is or is not ad hominem.

Again, and it really is simple:

Ad hominem is an attack on the character of a specific person. It is essentially saying that a person who holds a certain view does so because they are bad in some way.

Attacking an idea, or pinpointing a particular worldview in a persons ideology, is not ad hominem.

I think your trying to obfuscate the issue to cover your ongoing enabling of [some commenters] personal attacks, and not publishing their names when you know perfectly well that the vast majority of extreme ad hominem comes from them, is laughable. You know who is doing it, you know, because you read them and publish them. Take serious responsibility for that for a change, instead of feigning ignorance of ad hominem or ignorance about who is responsible. Thats just trying to sweep things under the carpet, again.

But that all from me. I have explained this so many times I no longer believe anything you say. I don't think you care what [some commenters] say to others. I think your "short tether" and "I'm about to act" claims you have repeated for the last year were lies. You had zero intention of doing anything, because taking on a fellow [] priest and blogger would be too messy and create too much controversy.

So long as your going to play dishonest games with me and continue to post ... extreme personal insults, I don't want to participate in the circus.

Goodbye.
"

Shawn: two things:

1. I think a bit more teaching about Cultural Marxism is required before equations are drawn between "Liberals" (Anglican/Christian) and Cultural Marxists because there would be more than a few Anglicans/Christians who proudly identify themselves as Liberal who would highly resent being also charged as Cultural Marxists.

As a matter of fact, I am learning more about cultural Marxism from you. But I am yet to be convinced that the equation is as straightforward as you argue.

2. I simply disagree with you about your assessment of my moderation. You are not taking into account the comments I do not publish nor the comments I publish after redaction.

That I have let you down I accept. That I am unwilling to take on a fellow priest and blogger [several, by the way, for those reading here, could be identified as such], I do not accept.

All I say is that I do my best (poor though that is) to moderate ad hominem comments whoever makes them. Without fear or favour.

Zane Elliott said...

Fr. Ron,

I can not help but notice you still haven't suggested a way we can live in "good disagreement" as per my request.

Can you please show me a way we can hold together which isn't a rehash of 'conservatives need to change the teaching of the Bible, and Doctrine of the Church by allowing same-sex blessing and ordination of those in same-sex relationships'?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
I am deleting part of your comment because it is simply offensive. No one here defending sola scriptura is defending homophobia. Don't make false accusations. Thank you.

"Zane, I never promised that I would accept your challenge as to how you and I (or Sola Scriptura v liberal) could ever live in 'good agreement' on the issues you mention.

As a matter of fact, with your - and the S.S. - professed statements here and in other fora, I don't think it will ever happen. We are too far apart. That's the reason I feel impelled to post as I do. The resultant effects of continuance of the S.S. biblical [approach to homosexuality] is just a step too far for me and for many Anglicans.
"

PS Ron: "SS" is a bit ambiguous in this context! Same Sex or Sola Scriptura???

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
To show I am not against being given a bit of stick for my inadequacies and failings I am prepared to publish the following comment (minus specific reference to another commenter, for I do not see how that constructively helps conversation). I object to you saying I am not prepared to take issue with other commenters here: I have done and am doing. I don't mind, however, being called to account for failing to spot what is blindingly obvious to others here. I have my faults ... But I can assure you that it is simply not the case that "something else [is] going on [here on this blog]." Not at all.

"Hi Peter,

Let me deal with the CM issue first. I accept that not all Liberals would identify as such, but the problem, as both myself and Bryden have pointed out, is that we are all swimming in it. It is so pervasive that everything in the West, socially and politically, is affected by it. Since the 60's it has been the determinative driving force behind all forms of Left wing Liberalism, so much so that it is virtually impossible to be a left-liberal and not also be, even if unknowingly, a Cultural Marxist.

In terms of Christian theology, it manifests in various hermeneutic approaches to Scripture, especially the "hermeneutic of suspicion", and these hermeneutics are pervasive in Liberal theology and thus in Liberal theological articles, and in campaigns for Liberal causes in the Church, such as same-sex blessings.

Now it may be that there are Christian Liberals whose definition of Liberalism excludes CM, but I have never seen or heard such a definition.

However, all of that is really not relevant.

My concern is that you have repeatedly said that accusations of homophobia, hatred, or psychological defects, such as the claim that the only people opposing same sex marriage are heterosexual males who are motivated by fear, are not acceptable, and for good reason. They are PUBLIC attacks on people's character, not attacks on people's theology or worldview.

Yet, we are only just a over a month into the new year and those claims are flying fast, even on threads which are not even related to same-sex marriage.

WHY?

Moderation does not have to be perfect to be effective in weeding out such attacks. Other blogs I have been on do it. It is not difficult. The posts containing such attacks are blindingly obvious.

So I am left with the conclusion that there is something else going on, and that you have no intentions of reining in [] attacks on people's character. And while I would like to participate on this blog, I'm not willing to have my name dragged into the mud and my character attacked every few threads because, for whatever reason, you will not stand up to [another commenter].

Using the excuse that much worse does not get published does not wash. Personal attacks on people's character should not get through at all, and there really is no excuse for it. It is very serious. Calling people who have lives in the Anglican Church, whether as ministers or laity, haters and homphobes is both unacceptable to any degree, and more importantly for you, at times legally actionable.

But I have said all this before, and I now think I'm wasting my time doing so. I see no evidence that anything is going to change, and as my wife has to live and work in the AC in New Zealand, I'm not going to make myself a target for [] attacks, as long as you will not stand up to him.
"

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Commenters,

I think Shawn is right and I have permitted unwarranted and uncalled for attacks on other Christians to be published here. I apologise for my part in any offence caused you.

Let me restate, for the umpteenth time, that it is not appropriate here to call other Christians, including commenters here 'fearful', 'phobic' etc re homosexuality. The issues in such discussions are ethical and theological, not psychological. The discussion should be about the merits of ideas, not about the psychology of proponents of ideas.

In particular I expect proponents of marriage being only between a man and a woman to be respected as honourable Christians in the grand catholic and apostolic tradition of the church which in its catholic and apostolic modes has always taught thus about marriage.

tachesterton said...

Hi Peter.

Personally, I think if people are going to wade in, over and over again, making exactly the same arguments as they did last time, on the most divisive topic in world Anglicanism today, they can expect that the debate will be intense and at times personal.

As I said a little further up on this thread, I really can't see much point to it myself. Everything that could possibly be said on the subject has been said, and we still don't find each other's arguments convincing. I don't see what good repeating the same arguments will do. Wouldn't it be wiser (for those whose minds are already made up) to move on? But if people choose not to move on, it's natural that some will want to turn up the volume, and so the language will get a little more intense. I think everyone should take responsibility for ensuring that their language is respectful, rather than expecting you - a busy man, I believe, for whom this blog is not your full time job - to rescue us from our own hotheadedness over and over again.

Finally, part of the problem is that we are working with words for which multiple definitions are obviously in play. Some understand 'homophobia' to have a strictly limited definition - fear of homosexuality - while others are very obviously working with a much wider definition. As for 'cultural Marxism', I haven't the first idea what that means - especially when it is applied to Barack Obama, who, in the last U.S. election, campaigned somewhere to the right of the Conservative Party of Canada - and, I suspect, most conservative parties in the western world.

Perhaps an understanding of the definitions we're using for some of these terms might help?

Tim Chesterton

Kurt said...

“The wholesale depositions were of clergy who did not want to leave, but who were forced out by the liberal leadership of TEC because they did not agree with liberalism and wanted to remain faithful to historic.”—MichaelA

Talk about “obfuscation,” Michael…Name some names, give some dates for these “wholesale depositions” of those clergy who were “forced out” by the nasty TEC libbruuuuls.

The reason that you can’t do that, Michael, is because—thanks to the internet—those who want to check your “facts” can do so for themselves. What you really mean by “forced out” is that con evos (and reactionary Anglo Catholics) who didn’t get their way on a whole range of issues during the past half century ended up feeling marginalized—as indeed they were. And because of that, they became embittered and left. It’s as simple as that. There was no “purge” wholesale or otherwise.

No one who theologically opposed Prayer Book revision, women clergy, gay inclusion—or, even desegregation, for that matter—was deposed from the ministry of the American Episcopal Church. In TEC clergy are deposed for ACTIONS that violate the canons of our Church, not for BELIEFS.

In 1995 the liberal bishop Walter Righter faced a presentment and trial—not for any belief about the suitability of gay people for the ministry—but for the action of ordaining an openly gay man living in a committed same-sex relationship. Likewise, conservative clergy are not “forced out” for their unpopular beliefs, but they are certainly held accountable for their actions.
***
Look, Shawn, if you want to believe that offensive name-calling by liberals of right-wing fundamentalists and rednecks is “scapegoating” these people, then I guess there is nothing I can write that will change your mind. (I could cite sociological and cultural anthropological papers on the subject, but I doubt that it would be a profitable use of my time since your mind appears to be already made up.)

The only people who still believe that the Obama administration represents anything “left-wing” are the denizens of the far-right. Obama’s recent State of the Union Address attracted fewer than 34 million viewers, an all-time low for the president and the second-lowest rated since the Nielsen ratings began recording viewership in 1993. As one (genuine) leftist commentator noted:

“Apparently, Americans would rather spend their time watching Simpsons reruns or fiddling with their iPhones than listening to the pompous pronouncements of the Dissembler in Chief. And good for them. It goes to show that no one really believes that a junior senator with a pedigree in community organizing is setting policy for the world’s only superpower. The idea is ridiculous. Obama is merely the mask that conceals the ruthless machinery of Empire.”.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Tim for good points. Nevertheless if we can improve the respectfulness of our language here, maybe it will help each of us in our personal speech at (say) Synods.

THanks Kurt. I like that last quote: some kind of 'real' left voicing critique of the American juggernaut!

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Ron,
Once gain your words stray from the issue to the person, from comment/reply to commenter. Thus redaction occurs:

""PS Ron: "SS" is a bit ambiguous in this context! Same Sex or Sola Scriptura???" - Dr.Peter Carrell -

You seemed to have understood what I was referring to in context, Peter, in the first paragraph of your posted response.

[]

[]
"

Reply: Ron, My ability as Chief Hermeneut of your Comments does not blind me to the fact that others might not be so perspicuous and could find some of what you say ambiguous!!

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Ron,
The following comment also requires redaction. Here is a clue as to why I am redacting it: the omitted words appear to mean you have not paid any attention to the argument mounted for the influence of cultural Marxism on the thought world of liberal theology. Whether the argument is correct or not, it has been made and could be replied to, rather than dismissed.

""Dear Commenters,
I think Shawn is right and I have permitted unwarranted and uncalled for attacks on other Christians to be published here. I apologise for my part in any offence caused you."

- Dr. Peter Carrell -

Thank you, Peter for your apology. []

Moderation, surely ,if anything, means 'being fair', no? []
"

I agree, Ron. I am trying to be fair.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Martin
Your [redacted by me re focus on one person] point below is well taken. We seem to run along quite well for a while and then things turn to custard. I might invoke Chinese help in making 2014 the Year of Not Turning Civil Conversation to Custard.

"Peter, it wearies me (for the 20th time) to note that Shawn is right and that you created a rod for your own back [].
Kurt disagrees with orthodox evangelicals but is not (usually) disagreeable (when he is not disdaining his fellow Americans in South Carolina).
Tim can take issue but never takes umbrage.
[].
As a result, your blog - which should be the liveliest watering hole for orthodox Anglican thought in NZ - is increasingly a turn-off.
I'm sorry, Peter, but this is an own goal.
Martin
"

carl jacobs said...

Tim Chesterton

Wouldn't it be wiser (for those whose minds are already made up) to move on?

But what does that mean? Just drop the issue? That's impossible so long as the teaching and practice of the church are at stake. Should one side just surrender? That isn't going to happen. Does it then mean "Leave." Well, that is what is happening. One side has departed and the other now makes for itself a second career out of screaming "Schismatics!"

FRS revealed the basic conflict when he said:

I never promised that I would accept your challenge as to how you and I (or Sola Scriptura v liberal) could ever live in 'good agreement' on the issues you mention

It is not just about sex or even primarily about sex. It is about theology. It is about Scripture, revelation, and authority. That's why there is no way to move on from it. All of those issues touch non-negotiable essentials for both sides. They directly impact what we both mean when we say "Christian.' This isn't a disagreement. It's a war over the fundamentals of the faith. It's a war between two very different and very mutually exclusive religions that both claim the title "Christian" and the spiritual heritage that attends. That's not a very pleasant metaphor, but it's true.

No church can remain half-liberal and half-orthodox over time. It must become all one or all the other. What we are witnessing is the outworking of that fundamental reality. Everyone who remains will eventually have to swear loyalty to the doctrines of the victorious regime. There won't be any middle ground. There won't be any compromise.

carl

Zane Elliott said...

Fr. Ron,
Does your Diocesan bishop know how you feel regarding the doctrine of the ACANZP when it comes to what this Church (and the Anglican Communion based on Lambeth 1.10) accepts as the right ordering of relationships, and chastity?

With regards to our somehoe living in good disagreement you have said 'As a matter of fact, with your - and the S.S. - professed statements here and in other fora, I don't think it will ever happen. We are too far apart.'

Does this in actual fact make you a schismatist? You claim we can not live in good disagreement, so what happens next? Who leaves? Who stays? HOW do we get along?

It looks like your position leaves you at odds with the Holy Orders you have taken, and the committment you have made to uphold the Doctrine of this Church.

How will you remain within an organisation which you disagree with on such a fundamental basis?

I am not asking to goad or upset, and I hope my comments are not taken that way. I am striving to see a way forward, where I don't think there is one.

Father Ron Smith said...

"As a result, your blog - which should be the liveliest watering hole for orthodox Anglican thought in NZ - is increasingly a turn-off."

- Martin -

This is yet another instance of offensive inference, that in some way, I, and others who think like me, are unorthodox. I resent that remark as being not only untrue but deeply divisive - a remark made by someone who obviously does not want dialogue, but monologue to be the mark of ADU.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
It is only offensive if the inference is taken.

I suggest another reading of Martin's remark which goes like this: 'Although ADU could become the liveliest Anglican orthodox blog aroundabouts it is becoming a turn off because of the unorthodox comments its blogmeister permits such as unorthodoxly calling other commenters homophobic.'

Putting this another way, Ron: I do not believe it is your orthodoxy which is in general being questioned here* but your style of put downs of fellow commenters.

*I say 'in general' because it is the point of a blog to raises questions about particular points of orthodoxy. Thus I hope you are free to question whether (say) sola scriptura is part of orthodox Christian belief, just as others should be free to question whether a commitment to gay marriage is consistent with orthodox belief.

As best I can tell there are Nicene Creed saying Christians committed to Sola Scriptura and those who are not ... etc.

Orthodoxy is not whatever I make it out to be. But a community owned understanding of orthodoxy being worked out via blog discussion should be free of side distractions about moderation of comments.

tachesterton said...

Carl, when I said 'move on', I was actually thinking of a much smaller stage than you. I was thinking of this blog. It is clear to me that every possible argument on all sides of this issue has already been made by the contributors here. I can't see the point of repeating them again at higher volume. Yes, we all know that Ron thinks traditional Christians are homophobic. Yes, we all know that Shawn thinks that quite a few of us are cultural Marxists. Yes, you all know that I think a pacifist interpretation of the New Testament is the most faithful one, and I know that Martin thinks that makes me an Anabaptist fundamentalist. I can't see why we have to keep jumping in on the same points over and over again, the same people making the same predictable arguments and using exactly the same terms to describe each other. Quite frankly, every time Peter posts something I hardly need to read the comments; I know what everyone is going to say already.

That's what has me discouraged. I can't help feeling that there are more pressing things the Lord may be calling us to. I know that I am starting to ask searching questions about why I feel compelled to continue to jump in and engage in blog arguments that rarely seem to resolve anything. But hey, maybe it's just me.

Tim Chesterton

carl jacobs said...

Tim Chesterton

No, its not just you. I stopped posting on Liberal weblogs long ago. It's pretty pointless. If you look through my posts on this thread you will see that my dominant theme has been:

"There is no way to resolve this argument, so stop trying. Face the reality of division and deal with it."

It's really an argument made to Peter and others like him who do not want to accept that this is true. They keep insisting that El Dorado is just over the next hill if only we keep moving. But there is no El Dorado. The quest is futile.

I only got onto the homosexual apologetic because FRS directly confronted me on it. There are issues I would like to have out with FRS. They involve his understanding of Truth and revelation. But he will have none if it. I have asked (and others have asked) him repeatedly about this subject, but he never responds. That's an important issue because it is the genesis of the conflict.

carl

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Carl
It may be futile (I am not so confident of El Dorado as to dismiss your point).

But it may be possible to live with this particular disagreement (because we have as Anglicans lived with other disagreements, including an ongoing disagreement about truth and revelation). I think on that particular point Tim and I may be in agreement.

However part of what keeps this blog going is that in some Anglican churches such as my own, we are in uncharted territory (therefore worth continuing to explore). In time the charts might prove that, so to speak, we are in TECland; or in CofEland (which I think is proving to be an eternal muddle, but I acknowledge that others such as yourself see it also turning out to be like TECland); or (because on certain matters our history has done this) in new Anglican territory.

tachesterton said...

Peter - yes, I believe that if we Anglicans can continue to worship together and be in communion with each other while (a) believing different things about whether it is OK for Christians to kill other Christians when their country tells them to do so (pacifism has never been an official Anglican position, but there are Anglican Pacifist fellowships and no one has said that their members are unfaithful Anglicans), and (b) having such widely diverse views on the Eucharist that some think that veneration of the consecrated elements is not only good but mandatory, while others think it is idolatry, and (c) holding widely divergent views on the scripture/tradition issue (which, as Carl highlights, is fundamental to everything else), and (d) being so diverse politically that some of us find it hard to believe that a person can be a (conservative/liberal/socialist/capitalist/cultural Marxist etc. etc.) and be a Christian...

...well, if we can manage those disagreements, I think we can manage this one too. I am a fairly traditional evangelical in many ways, but I have colleagues with whom I disagree over homosexuality but agree with over just about everything else - and vice versa. As usual, deciding who is 'conservative' and who is 'liberal' is not as easy as people think!

Kurt said...

“Yes, you all know that I think a pacifist interpretation of the New Testament is the most faithful one…”—Tim Chesterton

Actually, Tim, I agree with you. But, I’m afraid I’m not strong enough to do the pacifist thing. I’m a semi-pacifist in practice, however.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Kurt (Tim)
I cannot wholly go in the pacifist direction.
But if I did, in the back of my mind I would always be thinking that if some nation invaded NZ I would hope the US had our back covered!! (Cf WW2 and Japanese expansionism in the Pacific. We had no hope save that the US entered that war zone. Praise God the US did).

Kurt said...

If I had been graduated from college in 1942 rather than in 1972, I could see myself as an ensign in the US Naval Reserve.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

carl jacobs said...

Kurt Hill

"Semi-pacifist?" Isn't that like being "mostly dead?"

carl

Shawn Herles said...

Hi Tim,

The problem with living with disagreement over this issue is that, unlike pacifism, it involves a sacrament/ordinance, that of marriage. That is why "living with disagreement" is not possible. IF same-sex marriage was taken off the table, then much of my concern would also go, and what how individual parishes deal with the issue would not worry me. I have said, many times that this issue for me is not what adults choose to do in private, thats between them and God, but the sacramental definition of marriage, the ONLY definition of marriage, given to us by God; one man and one women for life.

Because the Inclusive Church Movement insists on putting the sacrament of marriage (within the Church) on the table, we cannot live with disagreement. If ICM and other Christian gay-rights advocates take the sacrament of marriage out of the argument, problem solved as far as I am concerned and I would be happy to live and let live. And ironically, that could be described as a "small l" liberal position!

I am in total agreement with you about moving on from this. What has been said has been said, and nothing constructive will come of more arguments. I want to discuss other theological issues. But we have a problem, in that one individual insists on highjacking almost every single thread, no matter the topic, to aggressively push the issue. Just look at the start of the ARCIC thread. That could have been a very interesting discussion re Roman and Anglican theology.

Perhaps Peter could restrict the discussion of that topic (homosexuality) only to threads specifically dealing with it. That would give us space to develop other discussions.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
Your last suggestion is a very good one.

I am choosing not to redact a word or two above, because your essential point re hi-jacking is true: a number of posts in which I had not intention that discussion about them turned to homosexuality have found themselves turned to that topic.

I also agree with you re marriage on this point: our church's discussion likely would proceed more smoothly to a satisfactory conclusion if change to marriage was not on the table.

Father Ron Smith said...

It's just so lovely when everyone agrees on everything. But what would be the point of blogging?

MichaelA said...

"Talk about “obfuscation,” Michael…Name some names, give some dates for these “wholesale depositions” of those clergy who were “forced out” by the nasty TEC libbruuuuls."

Yes, Kurt, obfuscation is exactly what you are doing. Because I did post names, dates and details, didn't I?

Please read my posts above before responding in future.

The names of hundreds of clergy who were forced out of TEC simply because they were not sufficiently liberal.

You can be sure that the same thing will happen in any other church that is so unwise as to permit the liberals to take the reins of power.

"The reason that you can’t do that, Michael, is because—thanks to the internet—those who want to check your “facts” can do so for themselves."

The reason I can do that, Kurt (and have done so) is precisely because of the internet. And I do invite anyone interested to check the facts for themselves.

"What you really mean by “forced out” is that con evos (and reactionary Anglo Catholics) who didn’t get their way on a whole range of issues during the past half century ended up feeling marginalized—as indeed they were. And because of that, they became embittered and left. It’s as simple as that."

No, what I really mean by "forced out" is that those who disagreed with liberalism were forced out. Because that is what liberals do once they get power. Its as simple as that.

"There was no “purge” wholesale or otherwise."

There was indeed a wholesale purge by liberals. And now apparently some of them are ashamed of that and trying to deny it. As well they might.

"No one who theologically opposed Prayer Book revision, women clergy, gay inclusion—or, even desegregation, for that matter—was deposed from the ministry of the American Episcopal Church. In TEC clergy are deposed for ACTIONS that violate the canons of our Church, not for BELIEFS."

That is completely untrue Kurt. You can keep denying it, but that doesn't change the truth.

"In 1995 the liberal bishop Walter Righter faced a presentment and trial..."

I am talking about the persecution that non-liberals received from liberals in 2004-2008, not the very reasonable treatment that liberals received in 1995.