It’s old news in blog-land, but the Executive Council, which governs the Church between General Conventions, has responded to the House of Bishop’s response to the Primates.

Fr Jake has the entire resolution of the Executive Council posted here.  The bottom line is that the Executive Council says that the HOB inappropriately suggested that a qualification exists for the episcopacy that is simply not found in our canons and constitution.

My synopsis of that:  the HOB went overboard on their response.

Other good stuff to read in the blogosphere is on Susan Russell’s blog:  be sure to read here post on Minding the Gap, and especially on Archbishop Desmund Tutu’s recent pronouncement that God is Not A Christian!

j

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From Planet Out News…

Saudis linked to anti-gay tracts in UK mosques

SUMMARY: A think tank accused agencies linked to the Saudi government of sending British mosques material urging the killing of gays and subjugation of women.

Read the whole thing here.

Maryology 101 and Pluralism

October 24, 2007

I’ve been focused on Maryology lately– the theology of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

This ENS article reports on a report just released by a joint council between Anglican and Roman officials hoping to bridge differences between our respective Maryologies.

I’ve always been a little resistent to an elevated view of Mary– in that resistance I’ve always thought of the Catholic “Immaculate Conception” which holds Mary out to be perfect.  The linked document does a good job of describing the difference between the Immaculate Conception and Anglican theology while allowing us as Anglicans to get a significant contribution from Mary that is helpful particularly to women, I think, but also to everyone as we see someone chosen by God for a particular task who says “yes.”

One of the most important pieces of this report, though, will not get credit or attention, and that is something I want to lift up for consideration regarding the diversity of theological perspectives within the household of God, also known as pluralism (or even inclusion!!):

  • “Among Anglicans there is a range of beliefs about the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, including acceptance of them.” (In other words, Anglicans do not have to agree to remain Anglican.)
  • “Communion between our churches might better be understood not as uniformity in doctrinal formulations but as an embrace of difference within a common faith.”  (A very Anglican concept– I wonder how the Roman Catholics agreed to this, or whether the Vatican/Pope would agree?)
  • “…the faithful of both our churches may deepen their understanding of the faith we hold in common while also recognizing the different ways we have received and practice that faith.”  (Again, very Anglican.  The last pronouncement from the Vatican sounded nothing like this, and if we submit to that pronouncement we undermine our own Protestant tradition in an effort to capitalize on our orthodox heritage; it is the via media that makes us Anglican.)

It is clear that the recent shift towards defining ecumenicism as unity with Roman Catholicism, diverting our attention away from Protestant and interfaith relations, would be much better served if we would take these three points to heart.

In fact, Anglicanism itself would be well served if we would take these three points to heart!

j

I saw For the Bible Tells Me So last night. What a great and well-needed movie!

It combines personal stories with just about all of the relevant facts and talking points that are needed in today’s struggle for equality.  It does well what I have tried for so long to do here– to articulate the connection between the persecution, injustice, hate crimes, high suicide rates, and downsides of LGBT life and the church’s persecution of us.  It even touches on the fact that the church at her worst has historically looked for an “other” to be the scapegoat for her fears and insecurities– Women, Jews, Blacks, and unfortunately that “other” happens to be LGBT people at the moment. Read the rest of this entry »

The Decline of Conservatism

October 19, 2007

I entered “decline of conservatism” into Google this morning to see what would happen, and interestingly it seems to be a topic widely discussed over the past year or so.

I watched this video by bloggingheads.tv entitled “The Decline and Fall of the Conservative Empire,” which is long but fascinating.  In it, two pundits from thinktanks discuss the rise and fall of conservatism starting with Goldwater moving up to the disastrous Bush administration.

I also wrote a post yesterday on the generational gap between baby boomers and “gen-y,” describing a cultural movement away from capitalist motivations on a basis of scarcity to work for greed and towards humanitarian motivations to work perhaps on a basis of abundance.  Very different theologies these two generations, whether stated or not.

I’ve also been following a post from Fr. Jake entitled “Brutal Honesty,” where Jake with Tobias Haller’s help outlines a position arguing that perhaps it is easy to perceive the Episcopal church as being more progessive than it really is.

What I am going to argue in this post today is that:

  1. the decline in conservatism is real and present in this country;
  2. there is reason to believe we could be emerging into an age with roots for a very strong base for intentional and theologically sound Christian values– based on an inclusive and loving gospel message
  3. we are slow to realize the shift in the church because we are preoccupied with other issues/disconnected from culture; as a result we have the wrong conversations

Read the rest of this entry »

I just read this article on Gen-Y from Newsweek entitled Narcissists in Neverland: a Day of Reconing for Gen-Yers by Emily Flynn Vencat.  I tried to post a comment on it but ran into technical problems so I thought, “why not post it on my blog?”  I haven’t talked much about our post-modern condition.

What an appalling piece this is; it has no journalistic integrity.

The author spends 8 paragraphs discussing the so-called “downside” of gen-y and 1 discussing an alternative viewpoint, then finally arrives in the conclusion with an apathetic position– one of “it really isn’t any better or worse.”  Clearly she does have a position and she has dedicated the majority of her article to it.

The disconnect between the modern age and the post-modern age is striking here.  The age of the hyper-individual self which has no care for the “other” is going out with the end of the modern age, and those firmly rooted in the past are having a hard time accepting it.  When you care more about personal financial success, climbing the corporate ladder, sacrificing your own self-worth so that you can make a buck or two even if it means giving up your authenticity as a human, we are left with an empty culture based in commercialism, greed, and corruption.

When we live into our authenticity, when we look not only for who we are called to be but intrinsically work towards something bigger– looking after the entire human family– those selfish goals of personal financial success are just not as important.  The old modern attempt to root it around something as inconsequential as parental support fails to see the connection to the bigger picture, the larger human family.  It is rooted in fear, not in hope.  Are there slackers in Gen-Y?  You bet.  But there are also those intrinsically looking for something different; a different truth than the rational and ultimately selfish certitude of modernity.

I am almost 40.  I have two children and I only hope that when they are grown they will be firmly rooted in humanitarian causes, that they will care as deeply and passionately about contributing to the world as some of the people profiled unfairly in this article.

j

Happy Coming Out Day!

October 11, 2007

There are a lot of resources I’d like to put up in honor of National Coming Out Day, but I’m off to New York for our semiannual Integrity Board Meeting.

I think I’ll just send you to Ground Spark’s “It’s Still Elementary” project’s clip page, where you can see some clips from an amazing project to educate our youth about our families.

Have courage and be authentic knowing that you are created in the image of the supreme Holy One!

j