Is Gay the New Orthodox?

“It’s a clean sweep for the liberal agenda in the Episcopal Church,” said David Virtue, editor of VirtueOnline.org, a conservative Web site. “The orthodox are finished.”

So begins the NYTimes article on the annual cluster meeting known as the Episcopal Church General Convention.

(Too harsh, you say? Well, here’s how the Episcopal Church describes its own General Convention:

Resolutions proposed for discussion at
convention are referred to legislative committees, which consider,
amalgamate and perfect them before presenting them on the floor of
convention.  Legislative committees hold hearings on legislation at
which the following can speak: deputy, registered alternate or
registered visitor. These are held in convention hotels near the
Convention Center.

Honestly, I’ve been following the Twitter hashtag, but there’s so much insider lingo that even I, a pretty educated observer, cannot possibly understand what they’re tweeting about.)


OK, enough of that rant. My feelings on denominational bureaucracies are well documented.

No, wait, let me say one more thing. When did we come so far off the rails that the words “convention,” “legislative,” and “committees” become constitutive of our promulgation of the gospel?  My favorite tweet came a couple days ago from a clergywoman (“rev” was part of her Twitter handle!) that simply read, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGH!!!!”

OK, now to the issue at hand. The Episcopal Church has voted to allow all persons to be ordained, regardless of their sexual orientation. Many will see this as an inevitable slide into radical-anything-goes-relativism by a small and shrinking mainline denomination — which has, it must be noted, a cultural significance that is way disproportionate to it’s numbers. Why? Because it’s populated primarily by rich, white people. There are roughly as many Episcopalians in the US as Jews, but no Jew has been elected President of the US. There have been eleven Episcopalian Presidents, more than any other denomination.

The result of this vote is that more dioceses and parishes will go bishop-shopping. Thinking their own bishop too liberal, they’ll look to another diocese in the States, in Africa, or one of the new, non-geographical dioceses for oversight.

But, of course, this is a breach of episcopal polity. The episcopal system of church government is fundamentally geographical, and incumbent on submission to the bishop’s authority, whether the bishop be appointed (Catholic, Orthodox) or elected (Episcopal). When you start shopping around for a bishop with whom you agree, you are, by definition, no longer operating under an episcopal system. But you’re not congregational or presbyterian either. You’re just broken.

Anyway, back to that “the orthodox are finished” quote from the NYTimes. I wrote for Patheos that one’s stance on homosexuality has become the new Shibboleth for conservatives.
 

So Evangelicals have turned their gaze on a new shibboleth — gay
marriage — and the correlations are clear: replace the oversized
placards of aborted fetuses with Westboro Baptist’s “God Hates Fags”
signs at military funerals; swap out Operation Rescue for the National
Organization for Marriage; exchange James Dobson for, um, James Dobson.

Tim Dalrymple and others have taken issue. “No!” they protest, “Evangelicals don’t do this. This is not a question of one’s orthodoxy or one’s salvation. Don’t caricature us like that.”

But then, right their in the Gray Lady, one of their number says it as clear as can be: If you don’t stand with him against gay ordination/marriage/rights, you are not orthodox. Because, of course, David Virtue is the arbiter of orthodoxy. Just look at his picture — he’s wearing an academic gown, so he must know what he’s talking about.

***

OK, snarkiness aside, I have a bunch of friends who are Episcopal (since I fit their profile). I know that this week has been probably painful for many of them. I, too, grieve for the coming Anglican schism.

But I implore them to look beyond the gay issue. The bigger issue is that they employ a medieval form of church polity strange hybrid of medieval (bishops, dioceses, sextons) and modern (legislation, amendments, committees) polities, which will inevitably fail in this postmodern, wiki-world.

  • Gary

    Your last line is the best. I hope you’ll explore that more. As a United Methodist, I see some of the same problems. Though our hybrid is more towards the modern, (legislation, amendments, etc.,) we do still have our share of Bishops, District Superintendents, etc., and I’d love to hear what you think of where that will end up. Free church for everyone? I think the connections that are part of Episcopal/Methodist/Lutheran churches are important, but how to make that work best is pretty uncertain.

  • Annie

    I really don’t see how a failure of polity is the crux of the problem here. Maybe you’ll say more at some point “The orthodox” is insider shorthand for a traditionalist, which Virtue surely is. Sure, there’s a claim about orthodoxy embedded in it, but I don’t think David Virtue means to set himself up as the sole arbiter of orthodoxy.
    What I find really strange, honestly, coming from the liberal side, is the assertion that it’s the job of the church to follow along where the secular government goes. If it’s legal, then we should bless it. Some states have legalized gay marriage, ergo we *need* liturgies to bless it. Well, whether we do or we don’t, I’m not so sure whether or not the government sanctions a thing should determine whether or not it is holy.
    There’s a strong intersection between American culture and politics and theology here–it’s reflected in polity, actually, as all the “modern” and democratic elements are specific to the Episcopal Church in this country and are not reflected in other provinces. As much as the Episcopal Church wants to be an international not a national church, they are acting very much the latter in certain ways.

  • Bob Hyatt

    “The Episcopal Church has voted to allow all persons to be ordained, regardless of their sexual orientation”
    Is that an intentional obfuscation or just throwing in with the obfuscation of others?
    C’mon-you know this has nothing to do with orientation and everything to do with behavior which either does or does not belong in the life of someone following Jesus.

  • Mike Croghan

    Tony, I was with you all the way, right up until you picked on sextons. You go too far, sir!
    LMAO at this post! :-)
    - Croghan the AWOL Episcopalian

  • Pat

    The lesson I draw from this whole thing is the same lesson I’ve drawn from middle management experience, in the church and the secular world; it is a mistake to compromise your principles to retain people who have begun threatening to leave your organization. TEC has put off doing what they thought right for the sake of retaining conservative church members, and in the process has satisfied nobody.
    There was no point to it in the first place. Once people have started to talk about leaving an organization, they are going to go, and you should kindly but firmly take them up on their first offer, rather than make a fool of yourself trying to cater to them – a burden which falls disproportionately on the folks actually doing the work of the organization.

  • http://sweetbiandbi.wordpress.com Rachel

    Heeeeyyyy. Insider language, indiscernible tweets, I resemble your comments Tony. Indeed you point out some of the most huge flaws, boulders, etc. that stand in the way of The Episcopal Church. And your last sentence, loud and clear, and so right on.
    To Annie: Which ‘liberals’ are you listening to? Because I know the organization I am working for, Integrity, most certainly is not using this logic. Let the courts do for all people, hetro and homo, civil marriage. Let the church do what the church does–bless. The two should not mix, the church and the civic, on these matters. And marriage is, as far as I can tell, no longer about property, right?
    The Episcopal Church is not a national church, and does not claim to be. Within it are partners from all around the globe, Honduras, Taiwan, Dominican Republic and so on. It does want to be a part of the Anglican Communion, and will continue to do so. Because love, is stronger than law and because you cannot control or legislate the Gospel imperative to love the other. All, really does mean all. In the words of Ed Browning, former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church “This church of ours is open to all, there will be no outcasts.”
    As far as I can tell, this is what the LGBT people (in the TEC) are saying: Here I am, Send me, I am a witness to God’s inclusive love. LGBT people are going to continue to love and serve God, whether or not they are legislated otherwise. What the church does in response to their gift–is theirs to receive. But we will continue to shake the dust off and keep on healing, feeding and clothing.
    What do they, the LGBT people want? To serve. At all levels to which God has called them. If you don’t want them serving, then don’t baptize them. Don’t welcome them into God’s church, be bold and honest right up front.
    Pat, you are so right on.

  • Jeff

    An interesting irony in all of this is that Baptists (even supposedly enlightened American Baptists) have this same crazy, outmoded, unworkable mess of an approach to governance (whatever that is). They come down on the opposite side to the gay ordination issue, but, as Tony says, the deeper issue is this craziness. An attempt to restructure the denomination just failed. Some see that as a victory for true progressive Baptist causes. I wonder why anyone bothers!

  • sb

    NT Wright on the TEC decision
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6710640.ece
    On the decision:
    “They were formalising the schism they initiated six years ago when they consecrated as bishop a divorced man in an active same-sex relationship, against the Primates’ unanimous statement that this would “tear the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level”.”
    On the issue of homosexuality:
    “Jesus’s own stern denunciation of sexual immorality would certainly have carried, to his hearers, a clear implied rejection of all sexual behaviour outside heterosexual monogamy. This isn’t a matter of “private response to Scripture” but of the uniform teaching of the whole Bible, of Jesus himself, and of the entire Christian tradition.”
    He pretty much destroys your response to homosexuality Tony.

  • Rachel
  • Annie

    Rachel, I’m actually talking about the language of first resolve of D025. To use insider language. And a follow-up quote I read this morning from V. Gene Robinson.

  • Annie

    The quote from Robinson:
    “Another bishop said that in his diocese he will never have to deal with gay marriage. I told him, you don’t know where this is going. Gay marriage could go to the Supreme Court, it could become the law of the land. Maybe part of your responsibility is to get your people ready for where the country is going.”
    And the source:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/17/us/17bishop.html?_r=1&hp
    And I didn’t think I said “liberals”. If I did, I didn’t mean to.
    I also misspoke above. It was the first resolve of C056:
    “Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 76th General Convention acknowledge the changing circumstances in the United States and in other nations, as legislation authorizing or forbidding marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian persons is passed in various civil jurisdictions that call forth a renewed pastoral response from this Church, and for an open process for the collection of theological resources and liturgies for the blessing of same gender relationships; and be it further”

  • Rachel

    Thank you Annie–I had not seen the NYT interview yet. Please hear my words not entirely pointed at you, some was directly in response to your comments, and some was just some of my own thoughts. I should have separated them more clearly.
    Certainly I agree that this conversation is happening at the same time in the church as it is in the public square. But I do not think the church is reacting to the public square, it is speaking a prophetic voice into the public square, as it has through the ages.
    Thank you – again.

  • Ted Seeber

    Evangelicals are too new to be orthodox in any way, shape, or form. The very idea of a “priesthood of all believers” is a hetrodox idea from the Reformation, not an orthodox idea.
    So it doesn’t matter what the Evangelical part of the church says- they’re a truncated people with a truncated theology and a truncated Bible.

  • Ted Seeber

    Also, I do not believe that pre-Reformation ideals will fail in a wiki world- if anything, the growing gap between the rich and the poor promises a return to feudalism as the inevitable end to the immoral and ill-advised experiment in liberty.

  • Ted Seeber

    And Anne- I believe Gay Marriage is a direct attack on the First Amendment Rights of conservative, orthodox people, and that Gays are headed towards STARTING a civil war in America over their own selfishness. If it goes to the Supreme Court, and you start seeing storm troopers in Catholic Churches that are being sued for discrimination, you’ll know it has gone too far.

  • Ted Seeber

    Rachel: ” And marriage is, as far as I can tell, no longer about property, right?”
    Apparently you haven’t been to an American divorce recently. Nor have you taken a close look at the “rights” the gays think marriage will grant them. It’s all about property, even today- after all, what is power of attorney in a living will other than the ability to conserve inheritance by turning off the machine?

  • Sheryl

    Storm troopers in churches???????

  • Edward Green

    The Anglican church is essentially Reformed Catholic (16th century for Ancient Future?), and certainly here in the UK is doing a pretty good job of reforming itself in continuity with the catholic faith.
    The three-fold order strikes me as a pretty essential aspect of being the church. But not a medieval version of it. Nor a modern version of it for that matter.
    The three orders are strong attractors – The Apostolic and the Deaconal coming from Jerusalem, and that rather strange accident of Pauline missionary activity the Presbyterial. Yet it somehow makes sense.
    We need the Apostolic visionaries and strategists. Certainly in the CofE this is about winning hearts and minds rather than authority. Geographical regionalism is useful but not essential.
    We need those who in their service to the Church are not tied down with some of the entanglements of ‘leadership’. Admittedly in the CofE most Deacons are not ordained such. But the ministry certainly exists.
    And we need those who for the sake of the kingdom find themselves neither truly Deacons or Apostles, yet represent both forms of ministry. Priests stand in the Gap. Just not the one most people think.
    The overall theme of this ministry is representative. Ministers are those that are called and ordered to represent the apostolicity, the priesthood, the servanthood, of the church.
    Having come out of the big E in the early 00′s I found it radical and attractive. And catholic and biblical.
    You know the aspect of the Emergent conversation you represent doesn’t seem to exist in the UK as Emergent. (Does Emergent exist in the UK at all?) But it is alive and well in the CofE.

  • GlitteringEye

    My first exposure to marital law came in law school in a property course. The point of the case was the legal record of marriage allowed for the issue to inherit. Hence, one might say marriage, is or was, about the rights of children. The benefits of marriage are tied to the concept of an economically dependent partner who is the caregiver. The benefits that arise from economic dependence caused by child rearing, should not be severed from it’s historic purpose. Today, the great need in society is to care for the growing poor, single moms and their children. There is not one lobby for the single mom while we are throwing benefits to a largely childless and well-heeled population. Sorry, that’s not any kind of ethic at all.

  • http://blakehuggins.com Blake Huggins

    “A direct attack on on the First Amendment Rights of conservative, orthodox people.”
    Wow. Really? That is laughable.

  • Ted Seeber

    Sheryl- I’m exaggerating a bit, but that’s pretty close to the fear that I’ve heard from extreme conservative Catholics about gay marriage- that the government will, upon same sex marriage becoming a right, find a way to force dissenting religions to go along with it.
    Blake- It’s not so laughable when you consider what happened when Connecticut decided to force abortions in Catholic hospitals:
    http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?id=9182
    There is a side of all this, on the extreme left, that is into forcing society to become their image.

  • MattR

    I am not an expert on The Epsicopal/USA church…
    However I know enough to know that the rifts happening in the worldwide Anglican communion are about a LOT more than the ordination of GLBT people…
    - Global Shift.
    Not just TEC, but all North American churches will eventually have to adjust to the fact that Christianity is no longer predominately a white, western, wealthy phenomenon.
    And the west, with our so called ‘enlightened’ attitudes is gonna have to ‘play nice’ with people who often very different perspectives and cultures if we want to be part of any global expression of Christianity (like Anglican Communion)
    - Mainline Denominational Breakdown (Tony, you hinted at this in your post) At what point do we care more about our structures and maintaining our power, then we do the Gospel… Tony, even you have to admit, some of the recent statements by Katharine Jefferts Schori sounded a bit like she was saying… everyone else should come to us, on our terms!
    - What is the center? The Anglican Communion has always been a ‘big tent’… The ‘middle way’ of Christianity. What happens when the American province of that church continually tries to stretch that tent to one side? Even at the strong requests to reconsider from the rest of the world? By the way… there are more moderate AND progressive people who are struggling with the direction of TEC.
    It’s not always about the inclusion of GLBT people, it’s questions like… ‘can one be a Bishop, but not believe in the basic creeds (Apostles, and Nicaea)?’ ‘Not believe in the resurrection?’ Then where is the center?

  • MattR

    I am not an expert on The Episcopal/USA church…
    However I know enough to know that the rifts happening in the worldwide Anglican communion are about a LOT more than the ordination of GLBT people…
    - Global Shift.
    Not just TEC, but all North American churches will eventually have to adjust to the fact that Christianity is no longer predominately a white, western, wealthy phenomenon.
    And the west, with our so called ‘enlightened’ attitudes is gonna have to ‘play nice’ with people who often very different perspectives and cultures if we want to be part of any global expression of Christianity (like Anglican Communion)
    - Mainline Denominational Breakdown (Tony, you hinted at this in your post) At what point do we care more about our structures and maintaining our power, then we do the Gospel… Tony, even you have to admit, some of the recent statements by Katharine Jefferts Schori sounded a bit like she was saying… everyone else should come to us, on our terms!
    - What is the center? The Anglican Communion has always been a ‘big tent’… The ‘middle way’ of Christianity. What happens when the American province of that church continually tries to stretch that tent to one side? Even at the strong requests to reconsider from the rest of the world? By the way… there are more moderate AND progressive people who are struggling with the direction of TEC.
    It’s not always about the inclusion of GLBT people, it’s questions like… ‘can one be a Bishop, but not believe in the basic creeds (Apostles, and Nicaea)?’ ‘Not believe in the resurrection?’ Then where is the center?

  • Anon

    Ted,
    I love how you pine for feudalism and bemoan our “ill-advised experiment in liberty” in one post and then in your next post go on to invoke your First Amendment Rights, an anti-feudal legal regime rooted in political liberalism if there ever were one. Which is it that you want exactly?
    I know Emerson said consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, but really…

  • Gwyddion9

    The us against them mentality never surprises me.
    Do they not understand or simply don’t care but a more important question is will they ever learn. I guess religions with absolutes will always be at odds with itself and others.

  • Tim

    Perfect love casts out fear.
    Perfect fear casts out love.

  • Jules

    I guess in all of this and following what was happening with in the Episcopal Church I kept having thoughts of how it was church. I felt I was watching a political session. Maybe it is my Restoration roots peeking out of me, but an honest disconnect to it. I watched several meetings of the reps (?) and also some speakers there and just my overall sense was of what the body of Christ should look like. So I guess I’m still firmly in the camp of what the Restoration movement was about as far as the model of the gathering of believers. Even if it was exciting to see some symbolic stances on LGBT and other various social issues.

  • Jules

    Tony-
    I know you may not answer this, but in your feelings on hierarchical type churches do you feel Tickles’ remarks at the convention are true. That they hold the most appealing answer to the postmodern world/ emergence? I may have misunderstood her point in what she was saying, but I did feel, at least for myself, that wasn’t true (if that was her assertion).
    Jules

  • robroy

    The lie being perpetrated now by the “victors” is that the controversy will soon die down and the “inclusivity” of the church will be a big selling point drawing people in.
    First off, the controversy will continue especially with the lawsuits. Ms Schori has instigated over 50 lawsuits, so many that she had to hire her own personal litigator. The fastest growing budget item in a rapidly shrinking budget is the lawyers bills. And they are performing accounting sleight of hand to hide those costs as much as possible. For example, the remnant diocese of San Joaquin raised $500,000 in plate and pledge funds. But they gave 100% of that to the lawyers and then the national church picked up the tab for running the diocese. That way the national church can say the money (probably well over $500,000) went to “mission”. The lawsuit in the St James, Newport hasn’t even gone to trial yet four years after it was filed. Pretrial motions are going all the way to the Supreme Court. The lawsuits against the four exiting dioceses promise to be just as complex.
    Second and importantly, we have an “inclusive” church that hasn’t seen the controversy, the UCC. In a recent survey, it was found that the UCC had the most liberal clergy with respect to homosexuality and abortion followed by the TEC. Guess which denomination was this year’s fastest declining? The UCC. So it is not just the controversy, the liberal message doesn’t sell.

  • Todd Erickson

    There’s a summation of events so far on Theooze from an Anglican pastor who has been attending the TEC convention. Very startling stuff:
    http://www.theooze.com/forums/discussions.cfm?forumid=10&topicid=491257
    They’ve apparently openly stated that belief in “A personal relationship with Jesus Christ” is a heresy, and they’re changing the language in a lot of their stuff to read “TEC” instead of “community” so that they’re being truer to their own believes than what is necessary Anglican.

  • Edward Green

    I am in general with Tickle. The word Hierarchy means rule of the Priests after all, and Priestly ministry being representative seems to be the cure to many of the issues with leadership we have in the wider church. Not that it is without opportunity for abuse. I will blog about this at some point.
    I don’t have an issue with individual salvation, but theologically would see salvation as corporate and community based.
    Perhaps what the TEC lacks is a centre ground. It seems polarised into Conservative and Radical elements. I think there is a lot we can learn from Tillich and so called ‘Secular’ and ‘Radical’ theology. But I fear it can become a backwater.
    There are of course Liberal Churches that are growing. Even a book about it. But where are the strong arguments for practised Christian faith and Evangelism? Whatever one believes about the historicity of the Christian story (I for one am creedal) the fact is that it changes lives and is unique and wonderful. Humans need God (even the Ground of All Being, or the sum of our highest ideals), and in the Christian story we can be found by God and be found In Him. There is such scope for dynamic liberal semi-realist liberal evangelism and mission that I just can’t work out why they don’t get on with it.

  • robroy

    “There are of course Liberal Churches that are growing. Even a book about it. ”
    First off, that should be “churches” not “Churches”.
    That book is by Diana Butler Bass. She has about the same credibility as the “researchers” who worked for the tobacco industry who stated that cigarettes aren’t bad for you and listed some people who smoked and lived for a long time. She goes around the country and world taking speaker fees to help liberal Churches deny reality. Even the Unitarians and the Metropolitan Community Churches are shrinking.
    Here is a dose of reality. A high percentage of parents with young children when choosing a church would eschew a “gay church.” Of course, there are exceptions. There are, after all, knucklehead parents who bring their children to gay pride parades – “Mommy, why do those men have those black pants which show their bottoms?”, “Daddy, why does that funny man have no clothes.”
    How about your child coming home from church camp announcing they had exercises to explore their sexual identities both heterosexual and homosexual? Or how about announcing there was a special visitor, Bp Gene, who said we should engage in oral sex or mutual masturbation? Lest anyone think this is hyperbolic, see http://tinyurl.com/9epuqx where Gene did exactly that in a “sermon” to a bunch of teens.

  • Edward Green

    Oooh you Pedent! Picking up my Random capitalization!
    Must admit I have only flicked through the book. It is sitting here somewhere. Probably next to ‘The New Faithful’.
    I have been part of a number of churches that were ‘Inclusive’ in the Church of England. All growing. Never been an issue for parents I have known. Honestly it seems like half the children’s TV presenters are gay men anyway. But there are big cultural differences between the US and the UK I guess. Yes there are strong feelings on the issue here too. But perhaps expressed in different ways.
    Let’s not get into teenage sexuality shall we? Otherwise we shall have to return to biblical ages of marriage to make any sense of scriptures teaching on the subject.

  • Ted Seeber

    Anon: “I love how you pine for feudalism and bemoan our “ill-advised experiment in liberty” in one post and then in your next post go on to invoke your First Amendment Rights, an anti-feudal legal regime rooted in political liberalism if there ever were one. Which is it that you want exactly?”
    I’ve got Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a form of autism, so if it was just me I’d much rather have the feudalism.
    But it’s not just me, is it? It’s the whole bloody mess we make of things when we want our rights, but don’t want to take the duty to preserve the rights of others. I want people to take *responsibility* for liberty if they are going to demand it.

  • Ted Seeber

    Edward:
    “Let’s not get into teenage sexuality shall we? Otherwise we shall have to return to biblical ages of marriage to make any sense of scriptures teaching on the subject.”
    Or actually have Dear Amy admit that perhaps rooming a hormone filled 18-year-old gay guy with a straight roommate will likely result in a midnight rape- just as if you roomed an 18-year-old straight guy with anything resembling female in a college dorm.

  • Husband

    Ted,
    ” I’m exaggerating a bit, but that’s pretty close to the fear that I’ve heard from extreme conservative Catholics about gay marriage- that the government will, upon same sex marriage becoming a right, find a way to force dissenting religions to go along with it”
    I’m with Tim in reminding you, Ted, that perfect Love casts out all fear. Well, perfect love and a bit of common sense. Conservatives veritably live in fear (lessons from Dreher?), but your fantasy is laughable. There won’t be any “storm troopers in Churches” (Catholic or otherwise) insisting on them performing same-sex marriages. At least not until the divorced (who would re-marry) get their wishes granted first and they’ve been in line a whole lot longer than gay folk.
    Get real.
    And your suggestion that gay people rooming with str8s would result in a “midnight rape” is merely more vile hysteria, not to mention false (isn’t bearing false witness a “sin” in your church?). I’m gay and had several college roommates and never a hint of impropriety. Your suggestion is disgusting, revolting and so very not Christian.

  • Anon

    I’ve got Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a form of autism, so if it was just me I’d much rather have the feudalism.
    I see two claims strung together with a conjunction, but I’m befuddled as to how they are connected to each other.
    In any case, your complaining about having your First Amendment Rights violated (by gays having the right to marry of all things) proves that you probably don’t like feudalism as much as you think you would. But it’s always easier to whine about liberal democracy while enjoying its benefits…

  • Ted Seeber

    Anon: “I see two claims strung together with a conjunction, but I’m befuddled as to how they are connected to each other.”
    Feudalism is a status-quo form of government; it seeks not change but rather eternal sameness. Can you not understand how, for an autistic, that might be a powerful draw, far more powerful than the chaos of liberty?
    “In any case, your complaining about having your First Amendment Rights violated (by gays having the right to marry of all things) proves that you probably don’t like feudalism as much as you think you would. But it’s always easier to whine about liberal democracy while enjoying its benefits…”
    Well, even here the two are linked- the right to free association should rightly include a right to free disassociation, correct? And if one is afraid of change…..

  • Ted Seeber

    “There won’t be any “storm troopers in Churches” (Catholic or otherwise) insisting on them performing same-sex marriages. At least not until the divorced (who would re-marry) get their wishes granted first and they’ve been in line a whole lot longer than gay folk.”
    In Canada, Catholic Parishes have already been sued for both, and it’s obvious the indoctination attitude of the homosexual movement will stop at nothing less than recruitment, so maybe not so much of a fantasy.
    “And your suggestion that gay people rooming with str8s would result in a “midnight rape” is merely more vile hysteria, not to mention false (isn’t bearing false witness a “sin” in your church?). I’m gay and had several college roommates and never a hint of impropriety. Your suggestion is disgusting, revolting and so very not Christian.”
    “Vile hysteria” it may be, but then if so, you should have no problems forcing lesbians to live with men in college dorms as well, since it’s exactly the same situation. I’ve been hit on enough by your kind misjudging my autistic behavior as homosexuality to know there is an equivalent level of sexual aggressive behavior in homosexuality as in heterosexuality. Are you denying that it would EVER happen?

  • TimD

    Tony, I don’t see how the words of David Virtue support your claim. I acknowledged that there presumably exist people who would rather remove you from the church if you do not accept the same stance on homosexuality. Yet you paint capital-E Evangelicalism as a whole with this brush, and that’s simply too broad a generalization.
    Even so, Virtue is not saying that those who disagree with him are not Christian, or not true Episcopelians. He’s saying that the “liberal” agenda has prevailed and the ‘orthodox’ agenda (which is probably his way of saying conservative, much as liberals prefer to say ‘progressive’) is decisively defeated.
    If you imagine this proves your point…well, I simply don’t see it.
    There is the issue of intellectual honesty, in acknowledging complexity where your personal and rhetorical interests would lead you to prefer simplicity. (It doesn’t pack as much punch to say that *some* conservative evangelicals would not consider you an evangelical in truth if you accept gay marriage.) But there’s also an issue here just as the body of Christ. I believe that you are a sincere person of faith, even though you disagree with me on this issue. Do *you* believe that *I* am a sincere person of faith? Will you give *me* the benefit of the doubt? If so, then don’t you owe it to me as a fellow Christian, and don’t you owe it to Christ as the head of the Church, not to misrepresent or disparage another part of the body of Christ?
    What you think about gay marriage is not especially important to me. What is important to me is that we shape a form of Christian discourse that is charitable and fair. It’s common practice to misrepresent and caricature the opposing side in secular political discourse–but it doesn’t have to be for us.

  • Ted Seeber

    Husband: “You are one ungracious SOB, that’s for sure. Your comments about my sister (whom you know not at all) were insulting, and un-Christian.”
    Only from your point of view. Let’s examine them from an ORTHODOX worldview instead of a morally relativistic one, shall we?
    “Like you get to decide that for others. How on earth would you know, since you don’t even know the circumstances. Who died and made you Judge?”
    I’m not the Judge, Jesus Christ our Once and Future King is, and he’s the one who said Divorce was a sin.
    “Her first husband beat her. I hope you rot in he11.”
    I might, gladly, if my Lord Jesus Christ sends me there. Having said that, if her husband was beating her, that’s a mental illness and reason to commit him to an insane asylum, not a reason for divorce. “In Sickness and in Health” says the vows- why did she have to break *her* vow just because *he* got sick?
    “Or hey, maybe it’s YOU that isn’t Christian. Christ is love. There’s not an iota of love in your condemnatory, judgemental, hate-filled supposition.”
    Christ isn’t Love, Christ is God’s Word. Yet another way in which Protestantism had twisted and faked Christianity. GOD is Love, but he’s not unjudgemental love, he’s not unconditional love. Sin exists, much as we sinners wish it weren’t so, and God’s love is tough love, wanting something better for us than we want for ourselves.
    “I believe this disparagement is against B’net’s ROCs. You Catholics may not get divorced, but I’d say an annullment after 28 years of (non-)marriage and producing a coupla sons is a neat loophole. If my Church had loopholes. See how easy it is to get nasty with the ‘other’?”
    I agree that annulment after 28 years of non-marriage and producing a couple of sons is a loophole that should be closed. I’ve in fact argued against annulment before, except in cases of infertility.
    “Where on earth did you get the idea that I “only believe in non-reproductive marriage”?”
    Because that’s the only form of marriage you have supported in this argument so far.
    “I know you make things up a lot, but that’s just (another) outright lie. And here all this time I thought you ‘followed the teachings of Christ’ (who said you shouldn’t bear false witness – you seem to keep forgetting that one).”
    You don’t even know what the teachings of Christ are. They aren’t the ten commandments- those were the teachings of Moses. And based on the evidence you’ve produced thus far, I’ve got to say that you’ve not only failed to convince me that homosexuality isn’t sinful, but you’ve failed to convince me that you are a thinking human being who is capable of examining evidence dispasionately and from the other side of the equation. In other words, you’ve failed the Turing Test. Any hatred you feel is all on your side, I can assure you, because emotions are not contained in this media.

  • george arnold

    Gay marriage as an assault on the !st amendment right of evangelicals? How so? Evangelicals, as far as I can see, are free to speak either in support or opposition to same-sex marriage rights, and in states which do legislate marriage parity are free to marry whomever they choose to. It would seem that marriage equality legislation actually expands the rights of expression and association to evangelicals, as well as everybody else.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X