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Dear Sir [the Letters section of Episcopal Life]
Midwest Conservative Journal ^ | 5/05/2005 | Christopher Johnson

Posted on 05/06/2005 8:22:20 AM PDT by sionnsar

Reading the Letters section of Episcopal Life is always an instructive experience.  For example, who says Episcopal liberals never engage on an intellectual level?  Here, one Max Coolidge-Gillmor of Orland, Maine effectively employs the celebrated argument known as the reductio ad littlebrotherum, popularly referred to as "I Know You Are But What Am I?"

In the news on Feb. 24, I heard: "The Episcopal Church caused the split when they confirmed the election of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003."

Conservatives have framed this issue and are making it sound as if the national church did something radical and unorthodox. ECUSA did nothing but allow an independent diocese to exercise its constitutional and canonical right to elect its own bishop; the radical act would have been for the General Convention to overturn the free decision of Episcopalians in New Hampshire.

Around the world and in our country, homosexuals are being systematically oppressed and culturally devalued. Gay rights is a mission field; it is not an issue to be quiet about. Conservatives label our church as "liberal," while nobly labeling their side as Bible-believing and traditional. Christian gay-rights supporters are Bible-believing, and our arguments come from Scripture and tradition. We must frame the issue ourselves and show that it is not we, but they who are the radicals.

The split was not caused by the Episcopal Church; it has been the work of a conservative insurgency with a hateful agenda. I urge all Episcopalians to work prayerfully to remain in communion with the worldwide church, but never at the cost of giving up the fight for full membership for homosexuals. This is a cause worth fighting for, and, as much pain as it has caused, it is an issue worth being divided over.

Yup.  In August, 2003, people like me dynamited the Anglican world; Gene Robinson was part of our sinister plan.  Sounds plausible.  I agree with that last part although not for the same reason.  And if there are Scriptural arguments for giving a pointy hat and hooked stick to Gene Robinson, one wonders why Robbie's backers have so far kept these arguments to themselves.  For I certainly have not heard any that weren't immediately blown out of the water or laughed to scorn.  Next up, the Rev Denis B. Ford of Ottawa, Kansas plays the race card.

Once again, rich white American males are exploiting black Africans for their gain and purposes. The real revisionists in the Episcopal Church, those who disagree with the prophetic and orthodox ordination of Bishop Gene Robinson, are exploiting, at best, African cultural homophobia and, at worst, ignorance to further their own ambitions for power. “Advising,” as it was called at the Primates Meeting, is a euphemism for exploitation. These bishops seek to bend the rest of the Episcopal Church to their will or tear apart the Anglican Communion, thereby shoring up their rapidly waning power and influence.

In our Episcopal tradition of “making nice,” called pastoral concern, we allow this unconscionable use of blacks by whites to go on. In two generations in this country, this whole controversy will seem trivial, while racism will by it be driven deeper, and the pandering to cultural homophobia here and in Africa will only make the AIDS epidemic that much worse. Once again, black Africans are being used, and are dying, by rich white males, and we, the church, must name it and stop it. The cost to our souls, as it ever has been, is too high!

The Episcopal Church.  Where it's always 1960, Martin Luther King is still in jail, whites still run South Africa and Rhodesia still exists.

For those who don't speak fluent Episcopalian, "prophetic" means "we haven't got a Scriptural leg to stand on and we know it."  Anyway, that's an odd claim for someone to make in this day and age, Ford.  Are you suggesting that college-educated Africans like Peter Akinola and Henry Orombi are incapable of coming to a decision on their own?  That if they should happen to take issue with your claim that Robbie's ordination was "prophetic and orthodox," they've been "exploited" into adopting that view?  That they don't really know what they think about things unless rich, white, western liberals tell them?  Sounds kind of racist to me, Ford.  But Max, up top there, thinks I've got a "hateful agenda."

The Rev. Charles Walthall of Washington, DC thinks he's found a primatial contradiction.

The Primates’ Communiqué of Feb. 24 upheld the church’s traditional teaching on sexuality, as set forth in the 1998 Lambeth Resolution I.10. (The resolution, “in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage.”)

At the same time, the Primates’ Communiqué hastened to add, “The victimization or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us.” Do the primates fail to see the irony of making both assertions? Is the denial of sexual relationship not a diminishment of human beings?

Dunno, Walthall.  I'm not the most attractive person in the world.  I'm pushing 50, I'm overweight, I rarely work out and I work in a library.  Do the math; I don't exactly have to beat the ladies off my back with a stick.  I can't interest local women in my existence and tend to babble like an idiot on those extremely rare occasions when I can, kind of.

Since, like homosexuals, I can't have a sexual relationship in the accepted way, I guess you've got no moral objections to my engaging the services of a prostitute.  You wouldn't want to "diminish" me, would you?  Finally, Page Hamrick of Charleston, West Virginia is fed up with having to share a tradition with a bunch of bigots.

I see that we – the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada – have been unceremoniously tossed, or, better, withdrawn from the global Anglican Communion. The rest of the Anglican world and, in the strangest of contradictions, the African Anglican communion in particular, just cannot stand our acceptance of homosexuality, same-sex marriage, gay ordination. Its remarkable that a communion of people who have been so colonized, subjugated, depressed and discriminated against can be so discriminatory, so unaccepting, judgmental, un-Anglican.

I always thought the Episcopal Church and the whole darn Anglican Communion was the church of acceptance, the church of nondiscrimination, the church of wholeness, inclusiveness, sharing. I always thought that we as a church accepted each other regardless of gender, sexual preferences, marital relations and whatever anyone thinks of does. I always thought we were concerned with greater issues than worrying about what others do behind closed doors.

I was always proud that our church has had women priests, that a priest who happened to be female and from our own parish became a bishop, that women and persons of all races are becoming bishops all over America, that there are always a large number of individuals in same-sex relationships in attendance at our services, that we host gay, lesbian and a rainbow gamut of other groups in our churches.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to be a member of an organization that discriminates against others. When the rest of the Anglican Communion grows up, when they begin to accept others as they are accepted and come into communion, when they cease their discriminatory ways, then maybe they can rejoin us. Until that time, I suggest we accept their “suspension” as a blessing.

Ah, the sweet smell of the moral lecture from the rich western liberal who's never seen anyone murdered or enslaved because he or she professes faith in Jesus Christ.  There's the reason the Africans don't like you, Hamrick.  African Christians still value the Gospel of Jesus Christ and refuse to make the Word of God say what it clearly doesn't say just to make a certain group of people feel better about themselves.

Therein lies the heart of the Current Unpleasantness, Hamrick.  Unlike Episcopalians, who haven't had serious beliefs for decades, African Anglicans want to believe something.  So you can keep your "church" and await the next well-organized pressure group that will demand that you rip out a few more pages of the Bible in exchange for their approval.  The Africans and those of us in the West who still take this stuff seriously won't trouble your "consciences" much longer.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: africa; akinola; angpost8; ecusa; orombi

1 posted on 05/06/2005 8:22:27 AM PDT by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; wagglebee; St. Johann Tetzel; AnalogReigns; GatorGirl; KateatRFM; Alkhin; ...
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-7 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 05/06/2005 8:22:44 AM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?)
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To: sionnsar

"Its remarkable that a communion of people who have been so colonized, subjugated, depressed and discriminated against can be so discriminatory, so unaccepting, judgmental, un-Anglican. I...thought the ...Anglican Communion was the church of acceptance...nondiscrimination...wholeness...inclusiveness
...sharing...regardless of gender, sexual preferences, marital relations and whatever..."

It would seem that Page has won a shopping spree at Buzz Words Are Us.

3 posted on 05/06/2005 12:50:22 PM PDT by beelzepug (Parking For Witches Only--All Others Will Be Toad.)
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To: beelzepug

Thank you, I'll take the Salvation Army over this bunch of sanctimonious Junior Leaguers any day of the week. This is why it's very wrong to not allow your children to experience failure. They can't handle it when they finally realize that there are things in the world that can't be controlled by kicking and screaming.

4 posted on 05/06/2005 5:15:12 PM PDT by KateatRFM
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