One example among many many others. There are so many things wrong with this that it is hard to know where to begin.
And here's a sterling example of the tiresome pedantry appearing in the comments thread of Thinking Anglicans these days:
The simple reality is that using a term like 'gay' because it is a neologism means its meaning is not univocal. RJB puts his finger on the tricky landscape this new language lives in.
The present discussion appears to assume there are distinct categories of 'being' that are more trenchant than gender (or more vague, like the 'genderless' fiction in Toronto, with the young infant 'Storm').
So, one is 'Gay' and that means adopting the acculturation of Gay life (being and acting as conjoined). Or, it means, someone who chooses not to adopt that life and indeed rejects the term, but who also does not identify with 'straight/strait'. Are monks/nuns of necessity either gay or straight monks?
Is Gay a political term as much or more than a quasi-biological term? Hence its appearance latterly but not before the 19th century?
Here we also run into the problem of 'sliding scale.' Does a 'straight' person with 'homosexual' inclinations become 'gay' when these reach __ %? When they have a same-sex encounter?
So on the one hand the terms are used as if they refer to states of being/biological givens. X is 'straight.' Y is 'Gay.' And yet one also speaks of inclinations and desires as semi-autonomous and declarative in some sense.
Add into this the business of social construction, and the *process* of maturation, and at what point is boy X 'gay' and at what point 'straight' and how does that come about?
All these areas of confusion are not the homophobias of 'global south style' incubation, but belong to the welter of our age. To declare terms univocal is not to make them so. This is why it is equally false to speak of 'scientific' facts independently of a sociology of knowledge.
Posted by: cseitz on Wednesday, 1 June 2011 at 9:33pm BST
There are long stretches these days where I just don't have patience for the comments threads on Anglican religious blogs. The pious pedantry becomes just too much for me to bear. It seems as if most of institutional Christianity has disappeared down a rabbit hole of almost monomaniacal preoccupation with what Tobias Haller calls "pelvic issues." Christianity is becoming unhinged over the "gay issue" with obsessive and ridiculous arguments over what peg goes in which hole (literally sometimes). The face of Christianity to the world these days is frequently that of obsessed and unhinged (and frequently older) people ranting furiously over what 2 boys or 2 girls might like to do with each other on a Saturday night. Many people these days, when asked what Christianity is all about, will answer opposition to homosexuality, opposition to pre-marital sex, and opposition to abortion. Resurrection and unconditional undying redemptive love hardly seem to get any attention at all in the public forum, or even among the religious themselves. This preoccupation with the mysteries of the bedroom is disproportionate.
As I read all of these people with divinity degrees throwing around proof texts and arguing fine points of law and doctrine like lawyers, I'm coming to the conclusion that God ultimately is practical. God is a pragmatist, and not a legalist. It seems to me that the image of God that these arguments create is one of a kind of monster Santa Claus keeping naughty and nice lists; or a kind of nightmare school master demanding the correct recitation of the correct answer in some horrific oral exam in a catechism class. Such a god would not be our friend, but our hall monitor, and none of us would have the correct hall pass. It seems to me that a God we call "father" (that Jesus called "abba" or "daddy") would not be this way at all. He wouldn't be an exam proctor or a morals cop, He'd be a parent. If we are to really understand God as a parent, then maybe the best place to look for insight is at parents. I am not a parent, but I remember mine, and I've seen others parenting. What strikes me about parenting is that it can be a very improvisatory business based, not so much on what is correct, but what works, what works to make a loving home where children can feel safe, feel loved, and go through the painful and necessary living and learning of growing up. Even the best and healthiest of children tend to make a mess of things. Teens make bigger and more consequential messes because they are on the brink of adulthood, but still are children. Loving parents stand by their children no matter what, as mine did, and they were certainly not "perfect" parents. No one parents "perfectly" and no one grows up "perfectly." We can only do the best we can with what we have in a mysterious world that we can't control. I think that this is really how God works when dealing with very messy mortals and their very messy relationships. Even the most superficial glance at the historical record shows that how people have arranged their lives together and created households changes constantly, sometimes radically, depending on changing circumstances and understandings. That flexibility is not inconstancy, but a quality which is very necessary to our own survival and to the safety of others around us, adaptability.
A friend of mine years ago said that the Commandment against adultery was way over legislated while the Commandments against killing and stealing remain under enforced.
God, like any parent, takes the sex lives of His children seriously, that they should be responsible and do no harm to themselves or to anyone else. At the same time, God like any parent, is concerned first and foremost with His children's welfare, that no harm should come to them. Also, the truly self-sacrificial aspect of being a parent is, in the end, letting daughters and sons go out into the world and make their own lives for better or worse.
We all must make our way through a world where greed, predation, and aggression are crowned with success, where death, and the fear of death, ultimately rule (Santa Muerte). It seems to me that God has far bigger and more urgent things to worry about than peeking into everyone's bed sheets. God is more concerned with matters like these which happen somewhere on earth daily.