Saturday, March 17, 2007

One Way to Marginalize Bishop Duncan's Realignment Effort

I will be brief, but here it is (largely repeating comments I made on an earlier post):

Some right-evangelicals (I am thinking Minns as a paradigm) can come to have very little patience with the geographical episcopate of tradition, or even incipient notions of apostolic authority developing in the Pastorals and the Apologists; if these traditional things get in the way of their evangelical efforts, too bad for tradition.

More: the Church of England's right-evangelicals are much more powerful there than in TEC, and are Williams' major headache. He knows that even with N.T. Wright's help he may not be able to keep the CoE together if Nigeria leaves the Anglican Communion; the evangelicals would be sorely tempted to split from the CoE to remain with Nigeria. Even worse for the cause of unity: it seems to me the Reformed tradition can offer elements of a very powerful, cogent, comprehensive theology to right-evangelicals, if it is needed, more congenial to their hearts than the more hesitant, skeptical, and pragmatic theology at the heart of normative Anglicanism.

It is quite different for Iker, Schofield, and Duncan, I suspect. Kairos rhetoric ("Choose this day!") intended in part to keep evangelicals firmly on-board might as well have led to Duncan, et al being left in the dust as Minns and his minions streak ahead before the others are ready.

After all, Minns has close ties to Sugden--and Akinola. Duncan in effect has a bunch of Americans, minus Howe, whom I am told did not make it to Virginia to sign at the appropriate time. While Akinola (and so Minns) has Williams' ear, the Americans do not.

So what?

It seems to me that Williams at Tanzania rebuked both Duncan's call for walls of separation, and Duncan's harsh anti-Christian rhetoric aimed at TEC. Perhaps Williams had hoped Duncan would have been a more moderate Moderator, leading the Network to be what the Camp Allen group actually is now. It seems to me Williams now believes (quite correctly in my view) that Duncan reached too far; he has lost his usefulness to Williams, esp. as a counterweight to potentially volatile and fissiparous right-evangelicals.

This is extremely important: to the extent TEC can drive a wedge between the Network and Camp Allen, Duncan loses strength and legitimacy. Williams will not come to his rescue, and other bishops who are serious will desert him, regardless of their Viginia loyalty oaths. For Duncan does not have Minns' weight with Akinola, and he will be--with Camp Allen in place--totally unnecessary to keeping TEC's prophetic action in check.

24 Comments:

At 9:31 PM, Anonymous obadiahslope said...

If the majority of anglicans are evangelical - and they are by a considerable margin - then surely evangelical anglicanism has some claim at least the being considered normative. It may not be the anglicanism you prefer, or whose tradition has formed you, but it is the anglicanism of most anglicans. And it has been present in anglicanism, as long as the latitudianrian variety.

 
At 10:43 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

obadiahslope,

It seems you are right to say the majority of Anglicans alive now are evangelical, period. And it may have been that way at other times, and for all I know through most of the CoE's existence. But it seems to me for much of the CoE's existence, evangelicals have been treated as outsiders, and that has recently changed. As a result, the nature or self-understanding of what Anglicanism should be is up for grabs at the center, within the hierarchy of the CoE. Whether its claim to being normative succeeds ia another thing; I note your language:

"It may not be the anglicanism you prefer, or whose tradition has formed you, but it is the anglicanism of most anglicans."

One symptom of the struggle might be the issue of how to read Scripture; an observer could be forgiven for thinking, esp. after Lambeth '98, that what passes now as an evangelical approach is becoming normative.

 
At 1:44 AM, Anonymous Jamie said...

This raises a very interesting point that I have made to several people recently. In reality, the number of very conservative parishes and/or dioceses in TEC is relatively small, and if we were to actually split, frankly the rupture would not be that catastrophic.

However, from my three years of experience living in England, the CoE is really split right down the middle over these issues. In large part, I think, this has less to do with politics, and more to do with the fact that there are so few people left in the CoE (now at 3% of the population as 'regular' attenders), that pretty much everybody who was a moderate or a centrist has left and all that remains are two fiercely committed groups on the right and on the left.

This is definitely an oversimplification of the CoE, but I think it represents the reality of their situation. Added to which, if the CoE were to split down the middle, it would rock not only the Anglican Communion, but British society as a whole to the core. Despite the low church attendance, the CoE occupies a place in that society similar perhaps in some ways to the monarchy. It is 'part' of the fabric of Britain, and I have a feeling that Rowan is trying to avoid that split at all costs.

 
At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Williams, so thoroughly Oxbridge (and I mean that as non-pejoratively as possible) is not going to be as strident as an American. But, tell me, where is this harsh anti-Christian rhetoric by Duncan? I sure can't find it. He seems less mean-spirited than his opponents--not speaking of Bishops here--to me. Nobody seems to be able to cite things that he has said which are mean-spirited or 'harsh' and 'anti-Christian.'

Can you Anglican Scotist tell me what words of Duncan justify your characterization? Thanks

 
At 5:32 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Sure; here is Duncan at "Choose This Day": http://www.anglicandecision.com/
where he was busy saying the kinds of things Willaims rebuked him for at Tanzania, according to Bishop Epting. Read all about it here:

http://ecubishop.wordpress.com/2007/02/20/anglican-primates-pre-meeting/

And Williams is reported by Epting as saying:
"In his summation, Archbishop Williams shared his conviction that “building walls” is hardly what Christians are to be all about, according to Ephesians 2. He also spoke of his discomfort with the idea that the Episcopal Church has created a “new faith” (suggested by both Bishop MacPherson and Bishop Duncan)."

Sounds like Duncan is perfectly capable of ascerbic rhetoric.

 
At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incredible, really. You say, or you lead me to where Epting said, "Archbishop Williams shared his conviction that “building walls” is hardly what Christians are to be all about." But what Duncan said about the walls was so totally different. He said walls should be put in place to protect orthodox clergy from legal prosecution. His intent--and we only need to look at some of the ridiculous charges of 'abandoing communion' that have been used beginning, I am guessing, with Moyer in Philly--was clearly to shield people from prosecution not to build walls just for the sake of building walls.

Now, I can see how the phrase 'new faith' rankles people. But, really, it hardly raised to the level that deserves the kind of things that this blog and others have attributed to him.

All you need to do to get the measure of the man is see how graciously he has treated Calvary in his own diocese.

Williams' ruebuke seems very, very light to me, if not ambiguous. But I can live with that. As for Williams playing the kind of coalition building games that this blog and others have suggested, I just don't buy it at all. He just isn't that coalition oriented IMHO

All of this I say, not in a spirit of contention, but hopes the rhetoric will be dialed down.

 
At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To get the measure of the man, one does need to look at how he treated Calvary. Viz Sept. 2003, threats to expell Calvary because it sued. Justfication: Parishes do not sue bishops. Such suits are an egregious violation of church discipline. Calvary's argument: +Duncan was in violation of his oath to TEC. (an "egregious "violation?" I wonder.) I guess it depends upon one's ecclesiology. Calvary would argue that the Church's ultimate authority is the GC, Duncan would argue it's the diocese. One can assert many theories why +Duncan did follow through on his threats, the most obvious from the liberal side was the huge (and negative) national publicity the case received especially as a consequence of the leaking of the Geoffrey Chapman Memo to the Washington Post EPfizH

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Hnag on, hang on--let me quickly back off the idea of "taking the measure of the man."

Let us presume Bishop Duncan is both a genuinely pious and is a careful, longsuffering Christian as well as a superb pastoral leader. Everything I have heard from him supports a positive view of his pastoral abilities and intentions.

His dealings Father Lewis' parish may be an exception, just as his tactics as leader of the Network may be an exception--but that issue is not what I wish to debate. It may just be that extreme times such as ours drive even the best leaders to extreme measures.

I am only calling attention to his words as Network leader: his calling for walls of separation, his claiming that TEC has abandoned the Faith. That's harsh stuff, esp. coming from a Christian leader of his obvious abilities and sincerity.

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Having made my positive feelings about Duncan the man known, let us address some of the particulars in his claims.

Anon, you seem to be attending only to the Epting material; the "Choose This Day" material should be viewed as a piece with Duncan's Tanzania comments, so as to give them a proper context.

Duncan's wants a wall of separation to insulate schismatic clergy from church discipline. Duncan seems to think freedom can come without responsibility; he on the right, like some on the left, is another in the long line of ecclesial radicals ready to destroy time-tested traditional structures in a "if it feels good it is good" free for all.

Whether section IV discipline is applied, where a full trial is not needed, or section III, where a full trial results, the rules are there in public for all to see. You and Duncan may think the rules of our common life are simply ridiculous, but clergy took sincere oaths to follow them.

You and Duncan presume such contracts worthless when you feel like they ought to be discarded. More "feels good? It IS good" nonosense.

When he claims TEC adopted a new faith, you know full well what he implies--that it has ceased to be Christian. Maybe you think that insult is of no objective importance, but you can hardly claim surprise when Christians resent hbeing told they have no Faith, that their worship is worthless. It seems you are just pretending not to undertsand that one might be upset st such imputation; it is hard to take you seriously.

But then again, such extremism is an indication of a kind of subjectively based "feel good" radicalism Duncan has been pushed to adopt recently in our hard times.

 
At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Scotist Thanks for ballance on +Duncan. Fo me, it's not what he does but how he does it that so often a problem. On a different tack,have you seen Prof Grieb's suggestions on the five year Fast as a reponse to the communique from Tanzania? (There is an abstract at Daily Episcopal ian) I'd be interested in your take on this. EPfizH

 
At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. To say that Duncan is operating on anything remotely close to a philosophy--or an ecclesiology--of 'if it feels good do it' is so ridiculous as to hardly deserve comment. If you want to find ecclesial hedonism, look at how ECUSA ignored the warnings of the Primates, acted precipitously in consecrating VGR in advance of any agreed upon rationale for SSB etc.,
Duncan is, quite precisely, calling for an orderly ecclesiology. What you're backing is selective, manipulative, and punitive use of the canons (if you're backing the use by Bennison, Smith, and others who charge abadonment of the faith) and hardly supporting 'church discipline.' (Did you BTW speak up against Spong? A little bit of a need for discipline there, eh? And, another matte, I dare to bring up . . you're a philosophy prof . . .you accuse Duncan of sunjectivism? The mind boggles.)

2. I've listened to the Choose You This Day material. Duncan's comments will rankle people but they are, surely, among the softest in the whole video.

3.I never said the rules of our common life were 'ridiculous'--attributing overstatement is not a kind rhetorical strategy. It is, of course, the "rules of our common life" that are at stake in our present hard times. What Duncan has enormously on his side, and now the backing of the Primates, is the common life as given through the creeds, scripture, and the BCP, and the church spread out through time and space fairly unanimous in its unwillingness to allow the innovations (his word) that you would encourage.

Where I concur is with this statment. "It may just be that extreme times such as ours drive even the best leaders to extreme measures." For my part, I am willing to give +Duncan nothing but high marks for otherwise we would walk down that tempting path of moral slovenliness, soft under foot as CS Lewis. So, if Duncan is a bit like Jeremiah, I say, 'Good.'

 
At 5:48 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Anon,

To your 1: Duncan sounds exactly like an "If it feels good, it is good" moral relativist to me. Maybe you cannot see it. Generational conflict comes in many forms; I am not a '60s generation person.

I do not understand their particular drive--across the political spectrum--to uproot mediating institutions. In particular, I do not understand the savagely wicked language of Divorce that Duncan, Anderson, and others on the Anglican right promote and repeat.

Any child who has lived through a divorce never forgets the pain, and it seems that many never outrun the pain; it is always already there, permeating the background like a dessicating grey tinge in the color of the sky. Why does he so avidly hunger to bring this pain into the church anywhere in its body? Why?

Duncan does not call for an orderly ecclesiaology when he calls for the equivalent of a divorce in the Episcopal Church. Such a notion is risible. More: his call for and toleration of Divorce as an option is is sheer wickedness. You can dress it up with pathetic equivocations any way you wish. But these wishes of your heart cannot make evil good. Spin, spin, spin all you want--none of us shall have to wait very long to stand before the Throne of Final Judgement. You, Anderson, Duncan, and the others can explain there how sweet, laudable, good, and decorous Divorce is as a piece of Ecclesiology. Good luck.

When Duncan and his friends on the right advocate Divorce in the church, they sound to me like a right-wing version of anti-institutional '60s radicalism. Theirs is not the Burkean Paleo-conservatism that I grew up with.

EZ-divorce is part of '60s era permissiveness. To promote its spread does nobody a service. Not the church, not the institution of marriage, not our wider society.

Bringing up Bennison and Spong will not avail you. Duncan adding his wrongs to theirs will not make what Duncan does right. Instead he should try to be a moral example. Another instance of moral relativism: as if a sinful act relative to another sinful act will somehow become good. What madness is that?

On 2: He is a Bishop of the church catholic sworn to uphold the unity of the church. How he can do that and speak as he does in the Choos This Day video is beyond me; how can uphold the unity of the church while tolerating Divorce within it sounds insane.

To once again seek to Relativize by relating a Bishop's speech to speech of others in the video who are not bishops--as if the relation somehow exonerates Duncan--is indivative of a relativistic moral framework.

Look: he is called to a higher standard as bishop; that standard does not melt away when he is in relation to others who are not bishops.

On your 3: You said "we only need to look at some of the ridiculous charges of 'abandoing communion' that have been used beginning, I am guessing, with Moyer in Philly" and you know full well Bennison charged him under Canon IV.10. You are claiming that a charge of violating the canons is ridiculous, no? Well, you can take them with whatever spirit of levity you wish--it's a free country buddy--but I take what Moyer did with great seriousness: refusing to let his bishop preside at the Eucharist, refusing pastoral visitations and to present candidates for confirmation, disobeying pastoral direction from his bishop, etc. All of these are presentable; Moyer should have been hauled up for trial, alas. Even if you support Moyers' theology and think he would be exonerated at trial, how you can see Moyers' actions as anything less than absolutely grave is totally beyond me. I am amazed at the sheer audacity.

And the ease with which you rhetorically finesse Moyers' radicalism shows me again an anti-institutional mindset familiar from the '60s: a nihilistic mindset I believe you and Duncan share.

If Duncan in these hard times remained serious about forming the church's common life around the great Creeds, Christian tradition, the Bible, and teh BCP he would not have put Divorce on the table as an option; he would not have said we are in a state of marital Separation now. That way of giving meaning to our travail identifies him as part of another moral framework--it sounds like a '60s moral framework to me. A framework bent on institutional destruction. A frameowrk that cannot help itself--one that simply must run its course and produce its quota of human wreckage.

I come from a different generation; I watch what Duncan and these others do with awe. I have seen it done before. I know what will happen when it runs its course. I know I and others like me will have to pick up the pieces when Duncan, you and the others move on to their next, happier marriage.

 
At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a scream, in both senses of the word. If you want to persist in the divorce metaphor, well, guess what? ECUSA's revisionists are Gomer. It's all just a bit rich to say that +Duncan is initiating divorce proceedings. ECUSA is in grave and obvious error. We tore the sacramental unity of the church---remember?--despite being warned not to do so 'at a fundamental level.'

Whatever you think you're talking about when you say Duncan is a moral relativist or (throwing me in the mix, too) part of a nihilistic generation is just beyond me. Because he is anti-institutional? Well, of course he isn't. One more time: it is precisely the vitality and faithfulness of the institution--called the Church--which he and many others with him are battling for. It's a contested thing. You have a different view of what constitutes the health and faithfulness of the organization.
(You also might want to brush up on the canons: A Bishop does not have to preside at the Eucharist as you allege in the Moyer case.) But everything that you say of Duncan--putting divorce on the table, creating wreckage, etc.,--could be said of those who assented to the consecration of VGR and everything that led up to it and especially so when, as we all know, the issue was never decided on its merits. I would think that someone who really believed in the health of the institution, mediating vehicle that it is, would say "Yes, you're right. We shouldn't have moved without getting (as Dromantine later asked of us) a theological rationale out there, and approved by GC before moving ahead with our agenda." But Nooooooooo (that's 70's BTW) Everything that you've said about divisiveness can be said of those who support this direction of ECUSA. And now because some stands up and points to that which the canons are to serve, you say he is the divisive one.

I think I will go watch the Choose this Day video again. Maybe I missed something, for its obviously has some kind of power. Sorry that my initial aim--getting people to see Duncan in a more positive light--has gained little traction here.

PS If a person disobeys the law, say he drives 30 mph in a 25 zone, but does so in order to, say, rush an injured person to the hospital, is he a nihilist, a moral relativist?

And if you are, presumably, not a moral relativist, coud you let me know what complaints you've lodged against ECUSA soft positions on abortion and the recent GC alliance with the reproductive rights organization that, for sure, promotes the kind of individualism that you seem to abhor? Just wandering.
Frank

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Once again with the relativism! You try to exonerate Duncan's use of divorce language by claiming ECUSA initiated the divorce proceedings. ECUSA's wrong will not make Duncan's embrace of divorce right.

As with many on the right, you try to exonerate yourselves for pushing toward divorce within the church by saying it's all VGR's fault. Or it's all their consecrators' fault. All somebody else's fault.

The right has to learn to take responsibility for its actions. It is pushing at least as hard for schism as anyone on the left. Blaming someone else is not taking responsibility.

Resposnsibility is what the '60's generation evades, what the Episcopalian right evades, and wht you seem to be evading in your comments.

PS--Somebody driving 30 in a 25 mile zone is your example? Brush up on your liturgy: traffic laws are not sacramental like Holy Matrimony; traffic laws are not consecrated before God; the church and marriage are holy in a way traffic is not.

We can make and unmake traffic laws as we will. We cannot make divorce right as we will. There is a basic and fundamental difference between traffic law and the morality divorce.

Your attempt to assimilate the morality of divorce to the merely conventional morality of traffic law is yet another example of a relativistic mindset.

Can you comprehend even the meaning of an Absolute Moral principle? One that is binding always and everywhere on everyone? Can Duncan?

It seems not. That is what I am worried about. Morals shifting with the wind, and nobody taking responsibility for anything--sounds a bit like '60s-style relativism.

Now make it cross-dress as old-fashioned Anglo-catholicism, and you've got Duncan.

 
At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bizarre. Truly. Duncan a relativist. Duncan embraces divorce. White is black. Black is white. There was no warning from the Primates.

And, again, for someone committed to institutional health. Where was the process?

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger Tom Blair said...

I agree with you to an extent that the evangelicals are quick to abjure tradition - but cannot understand why you don't see the same issue with TEC. There is nothing tradtional about homosexual marriage, nor with much of the 1979 BCP, nor with the new-agey liturgy (and latest version of the Lord's Prayer) our liberal rector has us using.

I have nothing in common with Nigeria, and am not terribly evangelical - but I have nothing in common with a feminine incarnation of Jesus, gay marriage, and a liturgy that cannot acknowledge original sin either.

A more even-handed post would have been preferable. It is not homosexuals who are feeling unwelcome in TEC - it is traditionalists. You fail to appreciate this in your post.

 
At 8:48 PM, Blogger bls said...

FYI, Tom Blair: I'm gay and I can't stand "new-agey liturgy," either. Matter of fact, I left such a parish for a more "traditional" one. In my part of the world, there are plenty of these - and actually some of the most liturgically traditional people I know are gay themselves.

Anyway, gay marriage is a conservative notion. Or perhaps you'd prefer gay people to just go around having sexual relations with no strings attached?

(BTW, quite a bit of the new stuff in the 1979 BCP actually comes from the earliest - or Eastern Orthodox - liturgies. Eucharistic Prayer D is one example; some of the prayers in the Burial Rite, too. The Easter Vigil is certainly traditional; that wasn't in the 1928. And "original sin" is only one narrow way to understand human sinfulness; there are many others. Again, the Orthodox don't view this as much of the West has, and I don't think you'd consider them to be "new-agey," would you?)

 
At 10:08 PM, Blogger Tom Blair said...

I don't know how you know other people in your church are gay. I've been going to church for 20 years as an adult and never asked anyone about his sex life. Nor has anyone ever told me. Nor do I care to know - it's a church - not a bathhouse.

Don't bring sexual, political agendas to church - please. It demeans the institution.

I disagree that gay marriage is conservative. Conservatives don't fight nature. It is natural to go forth and multiply. When two grownups deliberately chose barrenness it worries me. It doesn't bode well for our future. I don't dispute their right to do so. But it isn't something to celebrate.

Don't mean any personal offense. Enjoy your sexuality if you must - but please remember that you have an obligation to a wider community.

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger bls said...

I know they are gay because they introduce me to their partners, mainly. That's how I know people are heterosexual, too - when they introduce me to their husbands or wives.

I don't ask people about their sex lives - and I don't think that simply being introduced to someone's partner is a "political or sexual agenda," either, BTW. It's a normal part of life.

Older people, and the infertile, get married all the time; they are not planning to "go forth and multiply," but simply to help one another through life's trials and to share one another's joys. What's so terrible?

(And BTW, would you rather gay people married heterosexually? Would you be happy if your own daughter or son married a homosexual person? I wouldn't think so.)

 
At 12:58 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

I am starting to feel the argument is moot--at least the way I am pursuing it here.

Presumably Duncan et al are being driven to extremes because they firmly believe what they are doing is right--and that the stakes are dire, salvation is at stake.

Maybe it is wrong of me to imagine Duncan is perspicuous about why he is doing what he is doing, about the theology. Maybe he would simply refer to Gagnon, or some other author, and say something to the effect that his job is to deliver the goods: a church free of what he considers to be heresy.

Whatever: he is still taking very grave liberties with the means he uses.

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger Puckpan said...

BLS - it sounds to me like you are referring to homosexuality as a lifestyle; actions over which a person has freedom of choice.

I was using it as an orientation - predispositions over which one has no control. All of us are predisposed to sin. All of us fail to control actions based on that predisposition. Only the modern homosexual rights movement is claiming their predispositions are not sinful.

It certainly does not bother me who one considers his partner or who a person associates with. Having sex outside of heterosexual marriage may be fun for some - but it is an action - so it is something one can chose not to do.

I have no problem with people unable to have children. I do have a problem with the conscious decision upon adulthood, not to invest our lives in the next generation - which is exactly what open homosexuals are doing and encouraging.

The great Anglican prophet Charles Darwin was correct - the desire to propagate our genes is natural. The decision not to do that sounds suicidal to me.

I'm sorry BLS, but the homosexual rights movement looks very much to me like another indicator of the death of Western Civilization. There are many people who look forward to that. But not me.

It makes me very sad.

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger First Apostle said...

I'm not so sure about this: "He knows that even with N.T. Wright's help he may not be able to keep the CoE together if Nigeria leaves the Anglican Communion; the evangelicals would be sorely tempted to split from the CoE to remain with Nigeria."

Something that I came to appreciate very much while living in England is how important it is to all factions of the C of E to be a part of the established church. It is because the church is established that there is so much wider a divide among different styles of churchmanship. If you can be a pentecostal and still have the monetary benefits and social advantages of being a part of the established church, why break from it? So I wonder if they would really "leave". I really don't think anything short of formal expulsion will get them out of the C of E. And that doesn't seem likely in the current state of affairs, does it? But who knows?

 
At 12:57 PM, Blogger bls said...

Two points, puckpan:

1. I presume from your post, then, that's you'd be OK if your daughter married a gay man, or your son a lesbian? You'd encourage that, I take it? Or should gay men and lesbians marry each other and stay out of your hair? (Ooops, did you know that's actually happening in some places already? There was a big write-up in the New York Times about it about a year ago; some gay men and lesbians are in fact having children together. I assume you approve?)

2. Are you also saying, then, that monks and nuns (and priests of the Catholic Church since the Middle Ages) are and have always been "contributing to the death of Western Civilization"? That's odd, because I think we'd all agree that it's been exactly the other way around.

 
At 11:30 AM, Blogger Pfalz prophet said...

Puckpan, all of us are predisposed to sin, but surely you would agreee that not all predispositions are sinful. We are all sexual beings, for example, and sexual activity in the context of a committed, loving relationship is a societal good. Why then do you regard a committed, loving gay or lesbian relationship to be not good? Is it because you believe, as the RC church believes, that gays an lesbians are merely defective heterosexuals? What is the basis for that belief, where is it rooted? The same place as the belief that leprosy is caused by sin? Or is it straight hubris, the belief that gays are morally inferior because they're the minority? How difficult it must be for some Anglicans to accept the humiliation of discovering that their "normality" isn't superior to someone else's "abnormality" just by virtue of being in the majority, "abnormality" meant in the technical, not pejorative, sense. It took the Roman church over 400 years to admit that Galileo was correct. How long before we understand that the differences in mammalian sexuality are all normal, and that the Church can support and bless faithfulness and love, regardless of the gender of the beloved?

 

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