A rather elegant solution to this problem, in my view, is to simply demand sexual abstinence from all Anglican bishops, and – perhaps – all priests. In addition to shifting attention away from the unseemly spat over homosexuality, a strictly-policed policy of clerical celibacy would have the advantage of drawing the Church of Canterbury closer to the Church of Rome. It would, moreover, require the straight bishops to continue their sex lives, should they choose to do so in defiance of the ban, with as much secrecy and discretion as the gay bishops of the Communion (and I could name several) currently do.
After all, the current Christian fad for family life and marriage is a very recent thing. For 1500 years, the Church taught that a life of celibacy and poverty was the ideal, Christ-like state, but that for the weak it was better to marry than to burn. A very good case can be made for returning to this Pauline-Augustinian position.
Then again, perhaps the Anglican bishops (and their spouses at Lambeth) would rethink their priorities if their own sex lives came under the communion’s microscope…
Might of got th wrong end of te stick here, but would not a gay candidate for any job of bishop in this country have a case under the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation?
Let them expel the liberals, it would further diminish the C of E’s influence and power, good riddance to that.
Sister Mary – if by “this country” you mean the UK, then no. The legislation specifically exempts religious positions. Determining exactly which positions are and are not covered by this law is likely to take some time, but it’s a fair bet that bishops are not included.
“Let them expel the liberals, it would further diminish the C of E’s influence and power, good riddance to that.”
Really? Are you actually looking forward to seeing the fairly-moderate Church of England supplanted in this country by more uncompromising forms of religion? Religious worship in Britain is changing, but it is certainly not going away. You may find that the dear of C of E is replaced by less tolerant and more literalist forms of religious organisation. Small cause for joy even from atheists, I should think.
Well, rjb, of course it is lamentable, but I do not mind who runs the C of E. They represent a tiny minority, about 2 percent of the population and falling.
I definitely want them out of the house of lords, and I want them to fund themselves, be it lavish, multi-million Lambeth palace gay-bashing congresses, or unsafe buildings. And away from schoolchildren.
Of course, you are right, there is no cause for joy at all for secularists, and gay people in particular, since increased religiosity always equals more homophobia.
Thanks to Blair, and his ludicrous policy of creating faith schools – a blueprint for creating the kind of sectarianism of Belfast and baghdad – you can expect fundamentalist faith, and religious-inspired homophobia, and bullying of gay schoolkids to rise dramatically. It’s a ticking timebomb: many of these schools are production lines for bigotry, indoctrinating children with the evil of homosexuality.
To make matters worse, the government pours money into ‘interfaith’ projects – a disaster waiting to happen, to appease the fanatics, which by definition is impossible. And then the same politicians have the cheek to turn up at gay pride and tell us how wonderful it is to show pride, and how fabulous we look.
It really is time all those who are not religious woke up to the dangers. Thank goodness for the national secular society and the british humanists.
I do not think that any of this has to do with the authority of Scripture, or of the individual’s safety, or another covenant or creed to lead us in our mission to love and serve the Lord, each according to their own creation, ability and gifts.
What I do believe is that we as a People of G-d, in the redemption of Christ and the Love of the Holy Spirit are coming to terms with the idea given to the Galation community so many years ago that , ” There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither slave nor freeman, there can be neither male nor female-for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
It does no good to point to the belief that a person’s sexuality is immutable, thereby created by G-d and to be cherished as such. Nor does it do any good to point out that there are exceptions to everything under the sun, and those exceptions were created by the same G-d that created everything else.
We have a hard enough time with the covenant G-d gave to us on Sinai by commandment, and Jesus on earth who gave us our commission to ” You must love the Lord your G-d with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind… and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39).
As for our brother’s and sister’s who fear for their lives in living out the call of the Christian all I can say is I to share in that fear, and hope and pray if ever met with that end that I would remain in the Love of G-d and Christ’s own Crucifixion and Resurrection for courage.
I do not believe that any other covenant could do anything but limit, that which we have already been given by G-d and Christ and the Holy Spirit. And there is nothing in either of those above mentioned that would exclude anyone from full inclusion in our anglican institutions. Not to mention the constitutional issues involved, within the Episcopal Church.
And for those who would say “ We don’t see why welcoming the gay or lesbian person with love must mean blessing what they do in the Church’s name or accepting them for ordination whatever their lifestyle.” I have no answer except, you are not the only ones who make up the People of G-d within or without of the Anglican Communion. There are as many who believe that by not giving a blessing in the name of the church or accepting them for ordination is as morally repugnant and theologically unsound as you find not to. So we disagree. Let’s get over it and get on with it. As the song says, “There are no good guys, there are no bad guys, there’s only you and me and we just disagree.”
I hope that in some small way to read these words gives those on both sides of these issues hope, that in spite of ourselves and whatever the reasons we have that when Jesus says, “ I love you” , he didn’t mean just me or you.