Skip to comments."Episcopal Life" Letters to the Editor
Posted on 05/02/2006 5:19:50 PM PDT by sionnsar
It's Episcopal Life Letters to the Editor time! Mr. Ben Dettinger of Hatboro, Pennsylvania opens strong:
When the Anglican Communion issued the October 2004 report urging our Episcopal Church to apologize for offending the culture and sensibilities of our more conservative brethren over the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson, we willingly bent over backwards as far as any person or group with a backbone can bend. Then, we bent a little farther and accepted what has obviously become a listening process that only one side is honoring.
The meeting in Pittsburgh on Nov. 11, 2005, made it clear that the ultra-conservative wing of our communion will accept nothing short of total capitulation.
The recent actions of Archbishop Peter J. Akinola of Nigeria apparently have taken the preaching of the gospel of intolerance to a new level. Archbishop Akinola has reportedly used his weight to egregiously support a new law that would not only criminalize same-sex marriage, but also, apparently, prosecute for affections acted upon in private. Gay citizens would further be denied freedom of petition and assembly. The law also would end freedom of the press on these issues by threat of imprisonment.
Do not let this Taliban-style theocracy come to our shores where efforts are already afoot. Jesus never hesitated to speak out against the stiff-necked, pharisaic leaders who insisted on their legalistic, literalistic, fundamentalist interpretations. A bully is never appeased even by total capitulation. You know what Jesus would do.
I think that's going to be an ongoing theme for ECUSA. In the same edition, EppieL runs John Chane's Washington Post screed of a while back, commented upon here. But Ben's a little confused. The Taliban upheld Islamic law and under Islamic law, homosexuals can be and frequently are killed. And since he cares so much about Nigerian homosexuals, I'm still waiting for Chane to denounce the imposition of "this Taliban-style theocracy" in northern Nigeria.
Matt Carr of Elkins, West Virginia thinks Andrew Sullivan should come out. Of Rome.
I just read the article ("Condemed by truth") by the Rev. Patrick Malloy regarding his struggle to integrate spirituality with sexual orientation in fully serving God. Although I am only 22, I grew up Roman Catholic and have been on hiatus from the church for several years. After discovering that I am gay at 14, I waited a few years to tell my Catholic confessor at the time. He told me, "You do understand that this is a disorder. You have two choices. Either redirect your feelings toward women, or be completely celibate."
Somehow, I do not think God gives gay and lesbian Christians only those two options when attempting to reconcile their spirituality with sexuality, especially when sexuality is manifested within the confines of a loving, committed relationship. I found a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church in 2004. Although I have not yet been confirmed, I know in my heart that I have found my spiritual home. In every Episcopal parish I have visited, I have always received a very warm welcome. For that, I commend our church leaders. I am more than confident that God will lead us through the current trials we are experiencing both in the national church and the Anglican Communion.
To those gay Catholics who find themselves spiritually betrayed by the Church of Rome, I extend, on behalf of Anglicans the world over, a welcome into our churches, especially my beloved Episcopal Church.
While Wayne Schwab of Plattsburgh, New York is concerned about a kid's movie.
In all the comments on The Chronicles of Narnia (Fanfare no fantasy, January), I am surprised that no one has noted its commendation of violence and war. Has no one noticed that: Peter has to kill a wolf in order to achieve knighthood; and that Aslan wins the war as he slaughters the opposition? Are these actions we want to commend as Christian? Yes, the war is only two paragraphs in the book, but Aslans decisive role in it is still there, and Peter still slays the wolf. Is this the message of Jesus Christ, that we cope with bad people by killing them?
And is no one going to comment on Lewiss atonement theology? As he explains his return to life, Aslan says: "... When a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitors stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward ..." (p. 163, Harper Trophy Edition, 2000). This is substitutionary atonement someone had to pay the price for human sin, and that is what Jesus did. This is an atonement theology that is being questioned increasingly for its nurture of violence.
It is quite easy to center on giving ones life for a great cause and overlook asking is the cause truly "great." For the Christian in war, one asks: Is the war truly "just?"
In ECUSA, atonement theology is being questioned because liberal Episcopalians don't commit sins that need to be atoned for. The Rev. Canon Paul Edwards of Fullerton, California thinks it's a goshdarned shame ECUSA is so racist.
How can a committee of bishops, priests and lay people present a four-person, lily-white slate (Presiding bishop candidates, March)? What would have been wrong with an eight- or 10-person slate that would have included persons they would deem best who are black, brown, Asian, Indian or other? We may claim to be liberal, but when it came down to the presiding bishop, we went back to our old stereotypes.
Finishing things up, old EppieL favoritie Hanns Engelhardt of Karlsruhe, Germany writes about his favorite topic. Those people.
All the world demanded democratic elections in Palestine. There were democratic elections. But it appears that such elections are a good thing only if they return our friends to power.
The Israeli government has announced it will withhold money it raises on behalf of the Palestinian Authority unless Hamas renounces violence and recognizes Israels right to existence. It enjoys the support of the European governments. Nobody demands the Israelis unequivocally recognize the Palestinians right to live in an independent and viable state, stop the further development of the illegal settlements and withdraw at least behind the green line of 1967. Hamas has already refrained from violence for roughly a year, while Israel has continued developing its settlements by taking away Palestinian land.
A leading Hamas spokesman has publicly declared that Hamas would recognize Israels right to existence if Israel committed itself to withdraw from the occupied territories. The Israeli government is not prepared to make such a withdrawal at any time and under any circumstances. The Israeli prime ministers adviser, Dov Weissglas, has been quoted (in Haaretz, Feb. 16) as having said about the Palestinians, "Its like a meeting with a dietician. We have to make them much thinner, but not enough to die." Given the present situation in Palestine with a large proportion of Palestinians already living below the poverty line, such cynicism is outrageous, but the U.S. and European governments appear to refuse to take note of it.
Life sure was easier when they all wore yellow stars and knew their place, wasn't it, Santa? But I guess if your country's on a two world war losing streak, you'd be a little cranky too.
Tune in next month for another exciting episode of Episcopal Life Letters to the Editor!
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