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    Thursday, September 20, 2007

    They can't stop smiling

    It makes them happy to be on the forefront of something new and exciting. Gay bible and gay leadership.

    This Jefferts lady bishop understands that her American friends are so far advanced, it may take the rest of the world 100 years to catch up to their new reading of God's Word that now says all are welcome at the table without the admonition to sin no more.

    Two strong currents got them into this future place. One is their understanding of inclusiveness regardless of sin. Added to their understanding that homosexual acts are no longer a sin. Pre-Jesus and the 2,000 years since, people were simply wrong in their gut understanding that homosexual acts are as dirty as any other sin. They have changed shame into smiling pride.

    Lesbian Rev. Tracey Lind and lesbian Rev. Liz Steadman and who knows how many other homosexual clergy with them agree that this is indeed a proud and future moment.

    Somehow, the last line in the sand has become the argument about homosexual bishops, since the argument about homosexual clergy was settled for them back 10's of years ago. I wonder what made anyone think their bishops could somehow remain normal.

    And so now their church will be ripped along American, non-American lines. Those who are the future, and those who will take 100 years to catch up. In the mean time, old thinking bishops from Africa will have to come in to minister to the non-futurists.

    I am in no way gloating over their demise. It is a sad lesson to be learned for us Catholics. We can not be fooled into letting sinful structures into the clergy, and not expect it to infect the whole. And as we can see, not in a quiet way, but with pride and smiles.

    We don't have much pride or smiling regarding the gay boys who became Priests in the 60's and 70's, fooled around with the school boys, and now drain the coffers making the grown school boys rich. That sinful structure has been suppressed.

    And perhaps given the anglican lesson playing out before our eyes, we will be safe from their scandal.

    Who can say what will be the devil's next temptation to smiling pride?


    Though Anglican leaders have urged the U.S. church to stop electing gay bishops who are in committed relationships, a lesbian priest is among five finalists for bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. Meanwhile, dissidents in the diocese will turn out Sunday in suburban Wheaton to hear Archbishop Peter Akinola, conservative leader of Nigeria's Anglican Church and the fiercest critic of the Episcopal Church's stance on gays.

    "We are asking Rowan Williams to be bold and represent the worldwide Anglican Communion and not just the Episcopal Church," he said. "The Episcopal Church has engaged in behavior that has caused a rupture in the communion, and I feel saddened by that."

    The directive being considered came out of a February meeting in Tanzania, where three dozen Anglican leaders demanded that the Episcopal Church bar blessings for gay couples and stop consecrating gay bishops. Though bishops have yet to address those requests, the Chicago diocese this month named Rev. Tracey Lind, a lesbian in a committed relationship, as one of five finalists to become its next bishop. She and four other candidates will tour the diocese in October.

    Rev. Liz Steadman, the Episcopal chaplain of Northwestern University, finds Akinola's visit troubling. The chapel where Akinola will preach is named after her grandfather, a former president of Wheaton College, and she is a lesbian in a committed relationship.

    "I don't love the Gospel despite the fact that I am a lesbian. I love it because of who I am—Victor Raymond Edman's granddaughter, a child of God and, yes, a lesbian," she said. "It breaks my heart when the Gospel is perverted to justify the abuse of entire groups of people."

    Yes Liz, it does. Perverted abuse of the Gospel that is.

    The church is a clinic for sinners. But that doesn't work so well when the person preaching lives in a sinless proud future of their own design. Even our bad Catholic Priests knew shame. To be shameless is something altogether worse.


    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Why such a scant acknowledgment of the Catholic abuse scandal? That was no small scandal where shame was known or shown, as you allege. Where is the shame in generations of Catholic priests diddling, fornicating with and sodomizing children? If I have the Catholic poisition straight, it's this: consenting adults in a committed relationship = not okay. Predatory Catholic priests violating children = something to be brushed over. What a set of morals! Gosh, I'm glad I'm a WASP.

    October 01, 2007  
    Blogger Joseph said...

    Thanks for the comment.

    Perhaps you are right. Those bad priests were lacking some shame. But I do know they were not out front with it, and hid behind the silence of the children. Some shame, or at least fear was involved.

    And it's a shame for us non-priests now to find out what was happening. How we let the homosexuals in and practicing in the first place is just wrong, especially with our great hindsight. It had to do with the crazy 70's and 80's. It is now something to guard against, but nicely going away.

    It was brushed over then, and it was wrong then. It is not brushed over now, and it is still wrong now.

    The only way I may seem to make light of it, is to remember that it was mainly teen boys that I think knew and understood what they were doing. I know as a teen I knew exactly what was going on, and would have given the boy friendly priest a punch in the nose.

    Sorry, things adults consent to are not auutomaticly good because consent is involved.

    I have to agree with all of Jewish and Chirstian history in saying homosexual acts lead somewhere bad, low, and hot.

    October 01, 2007  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    All of Jewish and Christian history says "homosexual acts lead somewhere bad, low, and hot"? Now that some of the current prejudice is melting away, there is finally serious scholarship being done as to whether that is true. Most Biblical historians are begining to agree that it's not true. There are dozens of examples but two come to mind in an instant. The first involves the scholarship regarding the story of David and Jonathan who, according to Bible, shared a love for each other that surpassed that of women. There are some who are beginning to discuss the homosexual element or underpinnings of that story. Which brings to mind the second: the overwhelming amount of findings that are coming to light from the Middle Ages, such a "frerements" which was a religious and legal status granted to two members of the same gender who were unrelated. They appear to look quite a bit like civil unions. Further, the late Prof. John Boswell of Yale wrote extensively on the topic. I'm quite certain any of his books would give a plethora of examples that may make your claim uncomfortably unstable. I think your claim relects a lack of engagement with the scholarship that exists on the matter.

    October 07, 2007  
    Blogger Joseph said...

    Thanks for your comment.

    It is not impossible to imagine David with a love for Jonathan that surpassed that of a woman.

    Love between any two people is always unique. I don't think you mean to imply that a man's love for a woman is not all it's cracked up to be. But that could also be true in different circumstances.

    Love does not automatically connote a sexual act. Usually the love of a mother or father for their child does not connote sexual physical acts either. Love between the sexes, and among the same sex is a beautiful thing. Men do love each other, and women do love each other too. Whether any of those particular loves exceeds some standard for the expected love between a man and a woman would be an interesting measure to undertake. I don’t think it can be done. I don’t think it matters.

    It is those folks that cross the line into carnal love that so incite repulsion.

    However non-Christian culture can break down these barriers. The old Greeks did it. Romans did it. It’s nothing new.

    I’m not aware of a Christian culture devolving into homosexuality. Among Catholics, Natural Law should hold the line against revisionist readings of the Bible. The Pope is asking theologians for more development of Natural Law insights. We shall see what comes from that.

    I never heard of frerements. If they turn out to sanction Christian homosexual acts, that would be amazing I think.

    October 08, 2007  

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