Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An Outburst

This is a reply to another comment that I posted on a comment thread at Mark Harris' blog Preludium. I begin with that comment.

"Those Global South Primates would probably tell us that it [the schism] happened a bit earlier than that, when they said (unanimously as a body)that our proposed actions would tear at the fabric of the communion, and we went ahead despite the warnings and pleas."

I can only imagine the reaction if the shoe was on the other foot, and we pleaded with Global South Primates to refrain from certain proposed actions. I'm sure they would listen patiently and considerately to the reservations of affluent Westerners who once colonized them, and refrain from any actions that we might find offensive... only in our dreams! They'd tell us all to go climb a tree.
They did just that when they told us to take our "listening process" and our ecclesiastical autonomy and go stuff it.

I find the Church in Uganda's latest report suggesting that it will support the draconian anti-gay legislation before the Ugandan parliament deeply offensive, and I'm not alone. Since I'm not a right wing billionaire with piles of money to pour into the ambitions of any aspiring Prince of the Church, my opinion doesn't count for much.
But I will keep it anyway.

I'm confident that the Christian Faith will survive, but I think the Church is about to shipwreck on the gay issue.
By clinging to a position on sexuality that is rapidly becoming as obsolete as the Ptolemaic cosmic model, the Church once again faces a sharp loss in its moral authority in the larger world. Most of the Western World (and a larger part of the Non-Western World than most people imagine) has already moved on and sees gay folk as healthy fellow human beings and citizens. The recalcitrance of church hierarchies and fundamentalist movements on this issue will ghettoize the Church into a community of self-isolating fanatics that has nothing to say to people or to their experiences. The Church won't have anything to say to people, and they will conclude that the Church doesn't care about them or their lives.

LGBTs see that hierarchs from the Pope to the Archbishop of Canterbury require that they loathe themselves and their sexuality as the minimum price for admission to the Feast. Most LGBTs shook the dust of the Church off their feet a long time ago. That there are still any openly gay Christians at all is testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps there is a big theological and ethical question ecclesiastical hierarchs must ask themselves if they wish to remain so contrary on what many see as a moral issue of human dignity and human rights. If the Church no longer wants to be a friend of humanity, then can it remain a friend of God who created humanity?

--a deeply frustrated gay Christian pewsitter.

As for the Rev'd Harris' Schism Clock on his post, as far as I'm concerned, it's 1AM. The Schism already happened.


The Religious Pícaro said...

By clinging to a position on sexuality that is rapidly becoming as obsolete as the Ptolemaic cosmic model, the Church once again faces a sharp loss in its moral authority in the larger world.

I'm afraid you have exposed the real danger in the situation, and one not appreciated by many.

Allen said...

Hi Doug,
In a post that he later took down today, Madpriest talked about the frustration of planting an oak tree that you know will take more than your lifetime to reach its glory. I think the same applies to us in the church who are working for and witnessing what Bishop Robinson calls the end of patriarchy.

Pope Benedict, Archbishop Rowan, Fr. Matt Kennedy can say what they want -- I believe the Spirit is leading the world and the churches) in the right direction.

In the short term, I'm much more worried about and distressed by the economic injustices happily perpetuated by the three branches of the US government than I am by the failure of Anglican churches to move more quickly towards the gospel.

John Sandeman said...

Inclusive Church seems to interpret the Church Of Uganda statement differently from yu

Counterlight said...

Mr. Sandeman,

Whatever it is you see over at Inclusive Church, I don't see it. All I found was a link to a blog post by Scott Gunn ( that was more a defense of Ugandan Christianity than it was any endorsement of the latest permutation of Uganda's pending legislation, or any indication that the Ugandan church urged any softening in the legislation.
Scott Gunn and I disagree over the precipitousness of +Gene Robinson's election and consecration.

I wonder if Bishop Orombi would stand for a moment the same meddling in his national church that he does in ours. I seriously doubt it. I'm sure that he would make full use of the powers of the state to stop it, something that is unavailable to Godless Episcopalians in God-forsaken imperial America.

I'm sure that earnest well-meaning Ugandan Christians will make their best case for the rightness of their cause, and only further alienate Americans and a lot of other people.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

I am with you, dear Counterlight. 1 o'clock it is.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Obadia' must be referring to Changing Attitudes who emphasise the changes in Ch of U attitudes noticeable in the latest statement.