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Naughty, naughty, naughty Episcopalians....Now you've gone and done it!

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I don't get this.  Really.

The conservative Anglican's aren't happy with those crazy North American liberals so they're going to create their own Church and going back to an earlier, more conservative version of the Book of Common Prayer...

wait for it....

below the fold...

...based on the 1662 version.  That's not a typo.  1662.  I suppose it's progress that they didn't want to go back to Henry VIII's version.

I don't get it.

I think I know this....

Faith is a reality to be experienced, not a set of rules to be followed.  Jesus said, "Come and see,"  not, "Do what I tell you, or else."  Elevating two-thousand-year-old texts over all human experience of God in our lives was exactly the kind of screwed-up orthodoxy Jesus' ministry was out to subvert.  

There is no such thing as a second class Child of God.  Our understanding of what that means may change over time, but the truth itself does not. We were created (see sidebar) with reason, intelligence, creativity, and curiousity.  How we understand things - even how we understand what God wants of us, can and should change over time as we learn and grow as people and as a community.  

So I really don't it.

(Sidebar: Evolution and astrophysics, along with all science are science, explaining the how when and where of the universe as best we know.  But not "why". Ultimately, I believe the answer to "Why?" lies with God - you don't have to agree, but let's not get into it now, okay?)

Originally posted to Dan E in Blue Hampshire on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 09:51 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tips for the true ecclesia (MLK) (11+ / 0-)

    There ain't no such thing as a second class child of God.

    by Dan E in Blue Hampshire on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 09:52:09 AM PDT

  •  Does anyone really care? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cody, epcraig, Rogneid, grada3784

    NT

    •  Epsiscopalians (7+ / 0-)

      That would include me.

      Do you have a problem with that?

      •  No (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        epcraig

        Im Catholic. I could care less what they do.

        •  so, move along,,,,nothing here. (5+ / 0-)

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." ~ H.L.Mencken

          by PoliSigh on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:05:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Neither do Jews, Muslims, Hindus... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KibbutzAmiad, grada3784, esquimaux

          But they are taking the time to let everyone in the world know how little they care about this subject.

          Your disinterest has been duly noted.

          You can go now.

        •  You might want to care. The Anglicans have had (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe, grada3784

          communion in their mother tongue for a few centuries longer than Rome and the liturgical renewal movement had a lot to do with Vatican II. You don't know what you may have to wait for if the Anglican communion goes belly up.

          •  Not really (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe, Rogneid, grada3784

            Bulgarian and Greek Catholics have always used their mother tongues. The Greeks, well, because they're Greek which is a rather special case. Admittedly, the Bulgarians were also a special case. Rome and Constantinople were vying for control of the Bulgarian Church and Rome offered use of the vernacular as a concession since the practice of Constantinople at the time was to always translate the services into the vernacular.

            Also, one could argue that the Romans had the service in their mother tongue long before the Anglicans. It's just that the Romans stopped using their mother tongue.

        •  your church has been accepting married priests (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe, Rogneid, grada3784

          because of this controversy.

          a couple hundred married anglican priests who are upset about women's ordination and the ordination of gays (evidently there are no gay priests in the Roman Catholic church?) have had their ordinations transferred to the RC church and have been allowed to stay married.

          RC churches are closing all over the place because of lack of priests.  If they made celibacy optional a lot of RC priests who left to marry would come back and a lot of new ordinands would probably come forward.

          I find it interesting that the Vatican is holding the hard line on celibacy in general for RC priests but has welcomed the renegade married Anglicans with open arms.  Meanwhile RC priests who renounced their vows to marry have been treated terribly--losing their housing, their pensions, and more.  Jesus had a lot more nasty things to say about hypocritical religious leaders than about gay sex.

          Finally, concerning married Episcopalian clergy becoming Catholic priests, "the Holy See has specified that this exception to the rule of celibacy is granted in favor of these individual persons, and should not be understood as implying any change in the Church's conviction of the value of priestly celibacy, which will remain the rule for future candidates for the priesthood from this group."

          That's one reason why you could care.  It is directly affecting your denomination.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
          Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

          by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:53:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Rome has no problem with married priests (4+ / 0-)

            They just have a problem with married priests in the Latin rite. The eastern rites (Ruthenians, Greek Catholics, etc.) in communion with Rome allow married men to become priests as do all of the Orthodox and Coptic Churches not in communion with Rome. In the Latin rite, holy orders stop with the diaconate for married men.

            •  In the Eastern churches in union with Rome you do (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TrueBlueMajority, Rogneid

              indeed have married priests, but they get married before ordination. Thus in both the Latin rite and the Eastern rites there is no marriage after ordination. I believe this to be the case with the various Eastern churches not in union with Rome such as the Orthodox churches etc.

              We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

              by Lepanto on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:16:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  uh, no. You may not have read the comment you (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TrueBlueMajority, Rogneid

              were responding to. The Roman Catholic has accepted formerly Episcopal married priests AS Roman Catholic priests. It's probably unlikely they will become bishops but they are definitely Roman Catholic priests now, not deacons.

              •  You're right on the point that married former (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TrueBlueMajority, Rogneid

                Anglican priests have become Catholic priests despite being married. But they have all had to be reordained as Catholic priests, for the Catholic church doesn't recognize Anglican ordinations as valid.

                We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

                by Lepanto on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:31:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  yes, they have been reordained (0+ / 0-)

                  but they are allowed to stay married and are not  required to be celibate.

                  Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                  Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                  by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:32:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I don't know if it is still the practice (0+ / 0-)

                  But for a while, Rome was using something called a `conditional ordination' for Anglican converts.

                  •  Conditional ordination is ordination for those (0+ / 0-)

                    Anglican priests who claim that they have received more than simple Anglican ordination but have also received ordination from a valid bishop who continues the apostolic succession and is recognized by Rome (for example an Orthodox bishop).
                    The question is frightfully technical, in practice it means that even though Catholics do not recognized Anglican ordinations ad valid they are willing to accept the possibility that some Anglican priests have received valid ordination somehow and from some other source - these are the former Anglican priests who are "conditionally ordained" = ordained just in case their peculiar ordination is not valid, even though it might be.

                    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

                    by Lepanto on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:57:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Cardinal Newman was ordained conditionally (0+ / 0-)

                      But, admitted, that was prior to Apostolicae Curae. There have been other high profile conditional ordinations more recently, but I will concede that those may have involved ordination by some Old Catholic or other traditionalist bishop. Involvement by an Orthodox bishop would be accepted without any sort of ordination now, but it wasn't always. Many Carpathian-Russian Catholics became Orthodox in North America after Archbishop John Irelend refused to acknowledge Father Alexis Toth's eastern rite holy orders so he sought out an Orthodox bishop who accepted him with open arms.

                      It is, as you say, a highly technical question. It is also a question that has had a number of different answers in different time frames and in different areas of the world.

              •  I read the comment (0+ / 0-)

                And was attempting to broaden the discussion a bit to put the situation in light of its larger context. Two misconceptions seem to underlie much of what is being said, that ordination to the priesthood is the only ordination and that Rome requires celibacy of those who are ordained.

                As to the likelihood of converted Anglican priests becoming Catholic bishops, I think you're speaking prematurely. The likelihood is no worse than that of any other priest in the Latin rite.

                •  I have as a personal, close friend a Catholic (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Belvedere Come Here Boy

                  bishop in Australia, a man who was an Anglican priest, then converted to Catholicism and became a Catholic priest. This case is not so unusual, but he was never married to begin with.

                  We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

                  by Lepanto on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:00:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  We Episkies care. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TrueBlueMajority

        We love a good argument as well as our second Eucharist, coffee hour.  

        We have a bunch of ecclesiastical conspiracy theorists who mumble about this whole matter being driven by big-money neocon politically infiltrated groups who want to destroy ECUSA and a couple more mainline churches so "bible-believing christians" and rule the world and rid it of gays, feminists and science.  It's a good two slices of lemon pound cake weekly discussion forum.

        I think we'll weather this storm as well, whether the Communion does schism or not. I might not be pleased that there is a whole (what I consider to be) intolerant section, but if they feel that leaving is the best way for them to establish their environment to worship, then I can't do anything but wish them well. Seriously. They still are our Brothers and Sisters.

        I'm sorry that the Jerusalem Document was made. I'm sorry we couldn't have more discussion and discernment on the matter.

        But if the gay issue keeps them feeling their Communion and ECUSA are preaching a "false doctrine", especially when anti-gay feelings are a prominent belief in their culture, I'd rather have them feel free to worship without obstacles.  We may not agree, but in the end we all approach the same altar rail, even if it is by different paths.

        _

        You know you are an Episcopalian when:

        You are at a science fiction convention and some says "May the Force be with you" and you reply "And also with you!".

        There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don't. -- Robert Benchley -5.75, -7.18

        by Rogneid on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:37:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I sorta do. (4+ / 0-)

      I was married in an Episcopalian church, and my wife was raised Episcopalian.  I'm a deist myself, but I have to say that sometimes these church splits can have political reverberations.  If my tacit understanding of history is correct, the periods in time in which churches split are the periods in which they are least influential on American politics.  They're usually too busy fighting amongst each other to cause much of a stir in politics.

  •  Schisms are a good thing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    epcraig, Rogneid, grada3784, esquimaux

    Should have happened decades ago in the Catholic Church.

    RE: Anglicans -- we'll see -- it is all about property rights after all; rather than morality.

    My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 09:54:52 AM PDT

    •  Centuries Ago Isn't Enough for You? eom (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, grada3784
    •  It's about gay rights (10+ / 0-)

      The Episcopal Church is expanding the rights of gays within their church.  They haven't reached the same level as the UCofC, but they're heading there and it's pissing off a lot of assholes.

      •  Gay rights is the (10+ / 0-)

        lightening rod issue.  Bottom line is -- who owns the Church property?  I'd rather see the Anglican Church divest itself of the right-wingers and stick to what they have become good at -- social justice issues.  If they anti-gay group wants to leave, fine -- it might be that they leave without the "percs" to which they have become accustomed.

        My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

        by gchaucer2 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:07:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's about the Bible. (8+ / 0-)

        I'm a former Anglican who has worked extensively in the field of gay rights.

        At root, this is only accidentally about gay people. It's about how you view the Bible. If you view the Bible as being divinely inspired, then you cannot think of people who practice gay sex as being morally equivalent to people who practice heterosexual sex, and no amount of evidence that homosexuality has a biological basis will shake that perspective.I am sure that many people who believe in the divine inspiration of the Scriptures also believe that gay sex is, well, icky, but that arises out of the prior belief.

        I would prefer that the Anglican church shake off explicitly the idea that the Bible is divinely inspired - but then they'd be Unitarian Universalists, which is what I now am.

        A couple of further points.

        The African bishops are in a way right to feel betrayed. A mere two lifetimes ago, missionaries were coming to their countries, Bibles in hand, preaching that homosexuality was abominable to God; many African people believed them, and some were martyred for their new belief and their resistance to homosexual rape. (Yes, I'm aware that consensual and non-consensual sex are different. But I'm talking about what was pitched at the time as being abominable to God, not what we would understand now as being abominable.) Those martyrs are the venerated core of the Anglican church in Africa.

        Well-meaning liberal Christians try to explain away the Biblical passages that denounce homosexuality. These are basically three in number: the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the prohibitions in Leviticus, and the prohibitions in St. Paul's letter to the Romans. Sodom and Gomorrah can plausibly be explained as being about violation of hospitality, not about homosexuality. Leviticus is often explained away as being part of the Old Testament that Christians no longer need to accept, which runs into the problem that Christians have never developed a consistent rule for what applies to our lives now from the Old Testament and what doesn't. The third, the only one to denounce both men and women who practice homosexual sex, could possibly as an alternative be construed as a general prohibition on anal sex, but that's a stretch and doesn't really get God out of the bedroom anyway. In general, it is safe to say that insofar as the Bible addresses homosexuality, it opposes it.

        Last, it's worth pointing out that there's really no such thing as "a homosexual" in the Bible. There are people who are perceived as practicing a perverted form of sex, and people who are not. But the notion that someone can have a homosexual orientation would be pretty unfamiliar to the ancients. That historical point has enabled the Anglicans to muddle along up till now with the same kind of distinctions as the US military (orientation OK, conduct not OK).

        But now, they have to choose.

        •  I agree to the extent that I think that to read (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          latts, TrueBlueMajority, grada3784

          the Bible in terms of contemporary notions and understanding of heterosexuality/homosexuality is anachronistic. In so far as one choses to do so nonetheless, it might be possible to argue that the Pauline condemnation concerns homosexual practices been indulged in by heterosexuals.

          We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

          by Lepanto on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:26:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I view the Bible as divinely inspired (4+ / 0-)

          but I have no problem with gays because I also believe the Leviticus purity codes no longer need apply to us in the New Covenant.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
          Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

          by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:34:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That doesn't address... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            grada3784

            ...Romans 1. Do you also think St. Paul no longer applies?

            What is your rule for what applies from the Old Testament and what doesn't? Do the Ten Commandments apply? If so, why not this? If not, why not?

            •  I worship Jesus, not Paul (5+ / 0-)

              that's the short answer as to Romans 1.

              Before I give you the longer answer, maybe you should tell me your rule about what applies from the Old Testament and what doesn't.  Do you eat shellfish?  Pork?  Non-kosher meat?  Do you think adultery should be punished by death?  Do you think people who curse their father and mother should be put to death?  Do you think Tarot card readers should be put to death?  Would you banish a couple from the community for having sex while the woman was menstruating?  Would you banish someone for believing in astrology?  Do you wear clothes made from two different kinds of material?  Do you think autopsies and tattoos should be illegal because the bible says they are bad?  Do you shave?  Is slavery acceptable?

              I could go on.

              The Ten Commandments still apply, because the Great Commandment still applies.  But even the most fundy fundamentalists pick and choose what they will obey from the OT.

              Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
              Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

              by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:09:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And if that's the case... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TrueBlueMajority, Rogneid, grada3784

                ...then you can create a more consistent rule. You're right that everyone picks and chooses, but you can only have full consistency by discarding the notion of then Bible - any part of it - as being divinely inspired.

                I said above that I'm no longer an Anglican. I'm a Unitarian Universalist, which means that my rule can be: if the Bible is saying something consonant with a loving God who wishes us to treat one another justly and humanely, then I will take it on board; if not, then not.

                I don't think the Ten Commandments can be retained "by adoption" into the Great Commandment. Jesus also said that no jot or tittle would pass from the Law. He preached adherence to the spirit of the law where the letter would result in injustice, but during life he certainly viewed the Old Testament, rituals and all, as being from God.

                •  adherence to the spirit of the law (0+ / 0-)

                  where the letter would result in injustice seems like a good summary of why gay relationships based on faithfulness and keeping God in the center of the marriage deserve to be blessed as much as heterosexual ones.

                  as for jots and tittles, the context is important.

                  no jot or tittle will pass from the law until all is fulfilled.  so then it depends on what you think "it is finished" meant from the cross.

                  Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                  Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                  by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:26:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  All is certainly not fulfilled. (0+ / 0-)

                    Not unless history ended and I didn't notice. Darn. Must've overslept.

                    I completely agree that gay marriages deserve fully to be blessed, and that God loves them quite as much as straight marriages. But you have to strain and stretch and misread systematically and tendentiously to get that perspective out of the Bible (and particularly out of St. Paul). It is cleaner, simpler and more moral to assert the principle first and then to judge the Bible by it, rather than claiming you can assert the Bible first and then make your morals fit into it.

                    You are basically having to argue that Christians are entitled, using modern notions of justice and injustice, to evaluate the Bible's contents and not follow those that seem unjust. If parts of it are unjust, then how can they be from God?

                    •  there was a time when slavery was OK (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      esquimaux

                      it is not OK any more.

                      there was a time when it was healthier not to eat pork.

                      now we have refrigerators.

                      if "all is fulfilled" means the end of time and the New Jerusalem, that is what a lot of people believe.  But some believe that part of what Jesus saved us from was the need for legalistic adherence to the 613 laws.

                      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                      Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:36:50 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  They can believe that if they like. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TrueBlueMajority

                        Christianity would certainly have had trouble spreading if, like the Ebionites, it had held to the Jewish ritual law.

                        Just don't pretend that there's some sort of consistent divine hand behind this complicated system of promulgation and revocation. God is God, the same at all times and in all places, and what is morally right is not different for a Jew than a Gentile or a Hottentot.

                        •  that's clearly untrue--Jews believe it is immoral (0+ / 0-)

                          for a man to be uncircumcised.

                          Reality Bias, where are you when I need you?

                          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                          Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                          by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:45:15 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Just because that's what the Jews believe... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TrueBlueMajority

                            ...doesn't make it objectively true from the perspective of God.

                            Your notion of God may include a God that will say to one set of people, "Well done, you got circumcised", and to another set of people, "Well done, you didn't get circumcised", but my notion of God has a little more consistency.

                          •  now you are being dualistic (0+ / 0-)

                            everything is either of God for everyone for all time or not of God at all?  That seems odd given the incredible diversity of the needs of human beings throughout recorded history.

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                            Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:20:46 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Pretty much. (0+ / 0-)

                            God is an inherently dualistic concept in the Christian tradition. He's perfectly good, eternal, and perfectly loving.

                            If you want to talk about a different kind of God - like Shiva, Creator and Destroyer, for one - who can embody the kind of inconsistency you want, then fine. But we'll no longer be talking about a God that is eternal, good and loving.

                          •  you are labeling it as inconsistency, I am not (0+ / 0-)

                            it is like asking why a parent who gives certain instructions with respect to a 1 year old does not give the same instructions when the child is 10 years old or 25 years old or 55 years old.  just because the directives are different from different stages of understanding does not make the parent inconsistent, it points to a higher wisdom that can accommodate the natural fact that the child and its needs change over time.

                            humanity changes over time.  God does not change, and God's love does not change, but gives us different tools in different seasons of our understanding.

                            We do not want 5 year olds to have sharp scissors but it does not make scissors bad in and of themselves. A loving parent prohibits scissors from a small child and watches closely the scissor use of an older one.  If a 40 year old man calls his mother inconsistent because "she told me not to use sharp scissors when I was a baby but she doesn't care that I use scissors now" that would not be a reflection on the wisdom of the parent!

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                            Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:58:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  whitewash (0+ / 0-)

                            since when does a 1-year-old need to know that it is right to commit genocide?

                          •  Not at all. Circumcision (0+ / 0-)

                            is a mark of the covenant between God and Abraham. A Jewish father is commanded to circumcise his son. No immorality attaches to an uncircumcised Jewish son; it wasn't his obligation. No immorality attaches to a non-Jewish father; it's not his obligation.

                    •  oops hit post too soon (0+ / 0-)

                      the point about pork and slavery (and other stuff too like polygamy) is that God can speak a revelation for one time and place and another revelation for another time and place.

                      isn't that kind of the whole point about Jesus?  One revelation for one time and a new revelation for a new time?

                      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                      Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:41:26 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  See my post just above! (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TrueBlueMajority

                        Sure, you can have the idea of new revelations. But if new revelations are logically critical to your scheme, you can hardly claim that those new revelations become sufficient with Jesus, or at any point in history.

                        Listen, either God cares about humanity or he doesn't, has rules for humanity or he doesn't. If he does care, then what matters to him must always be the same, because he is eternal. Claiming constant new revelations makes him a weathervane God whose opinions just happen to mirror the cultural and social preoccupations of the age in which he is being written about.

                        •  i do understand what you are saying (0+ / 0-)

                          and I do believe God is constant.  But human beings change and human cultures change.  That is why we keep approaching God in new ways and with new needs and in new circumstances.  but God does not change.

                          and back to the Great Commandment/Ten Commandments, i still say that loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself are a reflection of the Ten: the first four commandments about loving God and the final six about love of neighbor/humanity.  So Jesus said those two/those ten were paramount, and that makes it right to view the 613 in that context.  All the other stuff is for the people of the First Covenant and I respect those who follow it, but I follow Jesus.

                          Since you started out with Paul, he also said that the purpose of the Law was to prepare us for Christ, and that is what it did.  As for my point about "it is finished", Paul also says elsewhere in Romans that "Christ is the end of the Law" and that no one can be righteous by adhering to the 613 laws.  That must mean that God has given us a new way of achieving righteousness (belief in Christ).  One revelation for one time, another revelation for another time.  Maybe I'm crazy that it seems simple to me.

                          I do not want any of this to be seen as a disparagement of your decision to change denominations.

                          behold, I make all things new!

                          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                          Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                          by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:15:27 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I think you're trying to have it both ways. (0+ / 0-)

                            ...despite being very able to analyze these passages.

                            We do keep approaching God in new ways, and that's just fine; but what gets in the way of that is precisely the ideas that the Bible is divinely inspired and that somehow revelation stops once the Bible is complete. Necessarily, that would mean that the perception of God enshrined in the Bible is right in a way that we can never be by ourselves. And that perception is one that we should rightly be very uncomfortable with. The God of the Bible is comfortable with ordering genocide, denouncing gay people, condoning slavery, and depicting the earth as six thousand years old. Of course, he's also, within the Bible, comfortable with preaching universal love and deep empathy with the poor and oppressed.

                            You're right that the New Testament passages discuss the Old; but Jesus does not say that all ten were paramount. You again want things both ways: to have the Great Commandment supersede the Ten, but also to have the Ten to hand when you want them.

                            The idea of successive revelations is not simple at all. Surely you can see that the thesis that God previously gave out an imperfect revelation by which all people are damned through their inability to follow the Law perfectly, raises serious issues about whether God was being just in any way recognizable to us. That's an awful lot of burning-in-hell to explain away, when part of the people burning's problem was simply that they were born before Jesus was.

                          •  last try (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            calibrit

                            "revelation stops once the Bible is complete" -- almost no one teaches this.

                            "the thesis that God previously gave out an imperfect revelation by which all people are damned through their inability to follow the Law perfectly" -- hey, you're the one who brought up Paul!  He's the one who said that!  I think Paul has lots of problems, but when I have these kind of discussions anyone who wants to bring Paul's writings into it gets his writings handed right back to them.

                            I'm not sure what you are saying now about the ten commandments.  The Great Commandment (and the second is like it) do not contradict the Ten--in fact they are just a distillation of the Ten.

                            universal love and deep empathy with the poor and oppressed is 2what is expected of followers of Christ.  we are supposed to view all scripture in light of it.  people who were born before Jesus are still allowed to be justified by faith even if they followed the law imperfectly.  Abraham believed God and it was reckoned unto him as righteousness, or something like that.

                            explaining the creation of the world in six days is a funny one.  i have always felt it was an attempt to explain things at the level the pitiful human brain of the time could accept and understand.  now that we have higher understanding, God is revealing new things about the universe to us.  From milk to more solid food, you might say.

                            This has been a great discussion but I do not think we are going to persuade one another.  However, I am always up for this kind of talk if you want to continue.

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                            Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:51:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Understood. (0+ / 0-)

                            I was the one bringing Paul up, and not to agree with him. I don't really get how you can be aware of the problems in Paul and still somehow see him as being divinely inspired. Maybe divinely inspired is your way of putting what I would describe as "honestly trying to convey his beliefs about God's will".

                            Like you, I think that "universal love and deep empathy with the poor and oppressed is what is expected of followers of Christ". But I see passages in the Bible that violate this precept as directly as it is possible in human language to do so. I can't contain in my head a God that both enjoins love and orders hate.

                          •  if you have a couple of passages handy... (0+ / 0-)

                            an example or two would help.

                            Now that I see you are not agreeing with Paul, I understand you better.

                            We may also find a good middle ground with "honestly trying to convey his beliefs about God's will".  That is all any human being can do, even a divinely inspired one.

                            Divine inspiration does not turn Paul into the equivalent of God himself.  I'm sure God is continually frustrated at having to communicate with us through the imperfect media of human discernment and language.

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                            Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:01:14 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  1 Samuel 15 (0+ / 0-)

                            In 1 Samuel 15, God (through Samuel) commands Saul to eliminate entirely the nation of the Amalekites, specifically including their cattle and their infants. Saul temporarily spares their king and some of the cattle. God strikes him with insanity for his disobedience to his will.

                            There is no context (believe me, I have thoroughly argued this) that legitimizes this command to commit genocide. Nor does this fit in the idea that God is trying to explain himself imperfectly to imperfect beings. Therefore, we are left with the following options

                            1. God sometimes approves of genocide, and therefore is not perfectly good.
                            1. God sometimes approves of genocide, and therefore genocide is not always bad.
                            1. God does not ever approve of genocide, and therefore this part of the Bible is wrong about God.
            •  My Hermeneutic (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TrueBlueMajority, grada3784

              ...Romans 1. Do you also think St. Paul no longer applies?

              Of course it applies.  No one should have sex with little boys who have are being held captive for that very purpose.  This doesn't mean that two men or cannot be in a loving relationship.

              Do the Ten Commandments apply? If so, why not this? If not, why not?

              Of course they apply — to the people of Israel.  Are you Jewish?  Then they don't apply.  Only the Naochide laws apply to all people

              •  Romans 1 (0+ / 0-)

                Romans 1 says nothing about referring only to children. On the contrary, it talks about "all  ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth", of which homosexual sex is an example. Don't read into it things that aren't there.

                I'm sorry. I wish it didn't say what it says. But it clearly considers sex between adult men to be against God's wishes, and says nothing about exceptions for men who really, really love each other.

                If your rule is that there is a "Noahide covenant" that applies to all people, then why not exclude from the Christian Bible material that applies only to Jews? Why include it if it is wholly morally irrelevant to Christians?

                This notion of the Noahide moral covenant is one of those ingenious heuristics that Christians have developed to deal with this problem. It doesn't really resolve the problem. If you believe that Jesus wanted to create a new religion, then that inherently meant converting people from Judaism and away from the rituals which as members of the Jewish people they were supposed to practice (see the Epistle to the Hebrews, passim).

                •  if eating "unclean" animals (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  The Red Pen

                  no longer makes a person unclean, and almost all of us agree on that, then that means lines are being drawn about which purity laws still apply.  and they were not drawn by the liberals.

                  I can believe that what Paul wrote was divinely inspired without believing that it is inerrant.

                  Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                  Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                  by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:31:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I've stated my line... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...which is nothing to do with any part of the Bible being divinely inspired. Yes, people who believe that still pick and choose, both conservatives and liberals. But you can't, without doublethink, believe that something is simultaneously divinely inspired and of no worth or applicability, unless you also think that God was gratuitously messing with human beings' heads and lives for his own Mysterious Purposes.

                    There are points where Paul states clearly that what he is writing is not God's opinion, but his own. There are points where Paul states things that we know, with complete certainty, to be absolutely untrue. Given these things, what does your "divinely inspired" mean?

                    •  see my later post about (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      The Red Pen

                      God offering one revelation for one time and another revelation for another time.

                      if everything in the Bible were spelled out without any need for interpretation, why would the Spirit gives us the power of discernment as individuals and as a church?

                      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                      Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:43:19 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Or, on the other hand, (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TrueBlueMajority

                        if God wanted to provide us with something - let's call it a "book" - showing us what his will is for us, why wouldn't he provide something clearer and less ambiguous, instead of a heterogenous mishmash of 66 self-contradicting books replete with atrocities and scientific and logical absurdities?

                        Why could it not rather be the case that this mishmash is a product of humans attempting to understand the divine, and that whether it is God's will or not, we must love one another?

                        •  why can't it be both (0+ / 0-)

                          think of how hard it is for an all knowing being to communicate with the likes of us!

                          we must love one another--we all agree on that.  i even try to love Republicans but they make it so difficult for me!

                          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                          Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                          by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:17:12 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  If there is an overall perspective... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...where all of the Bible makes sense and is just, then I want no part of that overall perspective.

                            You can't have it both ways. You can't have a God that both orders genocide AND punishes people for not committing genocide AND tells us to love one another as ourselves. You just can't. A is A, and not another thing, and you can't simply assume a consistency between the Bible and morality that doesn't exist.

                  •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TrueBlueMajority

                    A lot of people take the bibolotrous position that "divinely inspired" means "dictated word for word by God."  Imagining some dude in a trance transcribing the "Word" exactly is kind of a creepy image, really.

                    Paul may have been operating under the influence of The Spirit, but he clearly didn't understand mystical experiences, as he has a great deal of difficulty describing them.  Thus, his viewpoints, while important, are not the be-all end-all.

                •  Ungodliness and wickedness (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TrueBlueMajority, Hellenic Pagan

                  Romans 1 says nothing about referring only to children.

                  Yes it does.  When Paul specifically address homosexual sex, he uses a word that specifically refers to young boys kept in captivity for the expressed purpose of being available for sex with older men. I can't remember the word, but it's unambiguous.

                  On the contrary, it talks about "all  ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth", of which homosexual sex is an example.

                  Um, "all  ungodliness and wickedness," covers a lot of ground and tossing homosexuality in there without a more specific reference is not particularly convincing.

                  Don't read into it things that aren't there.

                  Ironic.

                  Unfortunately, I'm at the office so I don't have my Greek texts availably, but if you're patient, I can post what Paul really wrote later.

                  •  pederasty (0+ / 0-)

                    The reference to "ungodliness and wickedness" is to Romans 1:18, the grammar of which governs this passage.

                    I can't understand Greek, but no translation I can find makes any reference limiting Paul's condemnation to the Greek custom of pederasty of teenage boys by older men. Paul is also referring in the text to homosexual sex between women, which fact excludes by its nature your contention that he is only referring to this custom.

                    •  Wrong again (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Hellenic Pagan

                      Paul is also referring in the text to homosexual sex between women.

                      This isn't clear at all.  Paul makes a relatively vague reference to "unnatural" acts for women to engage in.  There is more evidence to believe that this is a reference to women having sex with animals, rather than sex with each other.

                      One of the reasons why lesbianism was never mentioned was that women had a very low status in society and were usually considered property.  No one would bother pointing out that women shouldn't have sex with each other for much the same reason that they wouldn't bother commenting on sofas having sex with dining tables.  Why would anyone care?

                      Yes, this is awfully misogynist in our modern sensibilities, but that's one of the reasons why it was so significant that Jesus hung around with women and treated them with respect.

                      Also, if said you couldn't find a translation that fits my description of the passage.  Well, here's the translation Eugene Peters put in "The Message":

                      18-23But God's angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.

                      This particular translation doesn't mention homosexuality at all because that's not what they passage is trying to talk about.  People have gotten all caught up in "plain readings" that they miss the important meaning.

                      •  The Message isn't even a translation. (0+ / 0-)

                        It's a paraphrase, and a highly interpretive and selective one at that. No serious scholar would attempt to buttress their argument using The Message. Lord, even the Good News Bible is more accurate, and that's saying something.

                        •  That's a pretty bold statement... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Hellenic Pagan

                          ...coming from someone who can't read Greek.  I use "The Message" because it matches the translation I would do.  Also, you might not want to lecture someone who can read the Bible in all of its original languages about scholarship.

                          Accuracy of translation means getting the meaning, not the words.  There is no English equivalent for the Greek aorist verb tense which is ubiquitous in sacred writing so you can't translate even the simplest verse from Koine to English without interpreting it.  I don't see how any serious scholar could claim that "The Message" was "inaccurate" because to do so would indicate that there is a "correct" translation — which there isn't.

                          I've seen people arguing furiously over whether the KJV's phrasing "faith in Jesus Christ" was as accurate as the NSRV's "faith of Jesus Christ" and whether "faith of Jesus Christ" meant Judaism.  Both phrases are approximations, and discussions like this are reading a whole bunch of crap into the text based on translation artifacts and nothing else.

                          What I like about the Message is that it's explicitly not a word-for-word translation so you can't bicker over meaningless trivial such as which preposition the translator chose.

                          •  OK then - (0+ / 0-)
                            - I will accept that, in the particular interpretive paraphrase you chose, there is no prohibition against male homosexuality. Happy?

                            What I'm objecting to is you using The Message for a purpose more appropriate to a translation that is actually intended to convey as best it can the meanings of individual words in the Greek. The Message may be a perfectly good wrench, but it still won't work best if what you want is to turn a screw.

                            You know, or must know, that this is a matter of degree. All translations involve some paraphrasing, some much less than others. "The Message" is the most periphrastic of all major versions in English, and says nothing about whether the original text prohibits homosexuality precisely because it is right at the periphrastic end of the continuum.

                          •  All translation is interpretation. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            The Red Pen

                            Βλέπω ότι δεν μπορείτε να δείτε.

                            In Islam, only the text in the original language is the Koran , and I think you need to understand the same about the Bible.

                            If you don't know Greek, you don't really know what's being said... and your culture-bound statements above prove it.

                            The Gods bless us by giving us what we need and curse us by giving us what we think we need.

                            by Hellenic Pagan on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:00:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  true--in fact (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        The Red Pen, Hellenic Pagan

                        I'm not sure that women having sex with women is prohibited anywhere in the Bible.

                        Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                        Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                        by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:30:07 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It's not. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          TrueBlueMajority, The Red Pen

                          Sappho could have been a Christian, if only she had given up her paganism.

                          This who argument here is why I am a Greek Pagan who looks to Christ as an enlightened teacher and the Jewish son of Zeus... but you are right, nowhere in the Bible - in the Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic texts - is female homosexuality and/or lesbianism prohibited.

                          The Gods bless us by giving us what we need and curse us by giving us what we think we need.

                          by Hellenic Pagan on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:51:40 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  thanks, The Red Pen (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    The Red Pen, Hellenic Pagan

                    I was going to come back to that point and now I do not have to.

                    if this helps, here is a Greek New Testament on line

                    and here is a pretty good interlinear.

                    I'm afraid I have forgotten almost all my Greek but I am familiar with the special case of the word in the passage you referred to.

                    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                    Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:28:22 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  OK, so what's the word (0+ / 0-)

                      within this helpful interlinear that is supposed to convey only pederasty, and not sex between adult men?

                      •  ok, ok, I looked it up and I was wrong (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        The Red Pen

                        that is, I was wrong about Romans 1.

                        I thought this was going to be one of Paul's uses of "malakoi" or "arsenokoitai" which do not appear in that Romans passage but are found in 1 Corinithians (1 Cor 6:9).

                        malakoi are catamites:  the young boy partner in a pederastic sexual relationship.

                        arsenokoitai is the word about shrine worship--the boys and girls kept for temple sex were also pretty young.

                        Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                        Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

                        by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:17:24 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Oops (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          TrueBlueMajority

                          Without my reference, I assumed that "malakoi" was in the passage he was talking about, so I was wrong, too.

                          Thanks for the links.

                          But now I see why "the Message" doesn't mention homosexuality: Romans 1 doesn't mention homosexuality.

                          Paul is ragging on pagans.

                          In Romans 1:24, the English text talks about "lusts of their hearts", but the word is "akatharsia" which implies all forms of excessive hedonism, not just sexual (and it could apply to heterosexual sexual excess).

                          Honestly, calibrit, I don't see where you're getting these meanings.

                          •  Turning away from God (0+ / 0-)

                            The usual translation I use is the NRSV. But as I say, it doesn't matter whether you consult the NIV, Jerusalem, or any other major translation here.

                            Paul is talking about people turning away from God and committing idolatry. He uses homosexuality between men (in 1:26 and 1:27) as an example of the kinds of unacceptable behavior people commit when they turn away from God. The fact that he is in general talking about people who turn away from God, does not mean that he is only thinking of homosexuality as unacceptable when committed by pagans. 1:24 is general; 1:26 and 1:27 are specific.

                            Come on, people! I know you would like this passage to say something that allows you to maintain both divine inspiration and moral equality for gays and straights, and I applaud the desire to find equality within the Bible; but it really isn't there, and Paul clearly disapproves of sex between men here at a bare minimum. It's not me being "dead set" on finding this; people who don't find it are "dead set" on not seeing it.

                      •  Why are you so dead set on... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        The Red Pen

                        ...it being against all homosexuals and not just pagan pederasts?

                        I'm curious.

                        The Gods bless us by giving us what we need and curse us by giving us what we think we need.

                        by Hellenic Pagan on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 01:22:54 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually the Sodom story doesn't say (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TrueBlueMajority

          anything about homosexuality: it's about rape.  And by a city that had fought and lost a war.  Sort of like 9/11 with Osama bin Laden dictating peace terms in the Oval Office and taking the Bush daughters to be his handmaidens.  You might see also the almost identical story near the end of Judges, where there is no fire, brimstone or any divine temper tantrums.

          In Ezekiel 16 and Isaiah 1, the sins of Sodom are referred to - no sex.  Instead, they talk more about things more in line with the economic sodomy practiced in the holy USA.

          As far as Romans, the sexual practices are God's punishment according to Paul in Chapter 1 and the thought continues into the beginning of Chapter 2, where he says not to judge.  Remember, Paul didn't write his epistles in chapters; it was one long letter.

          Julius Caesar fed the Roman masses; John McCain feeds the MSM asses.

          by grada3784 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:03:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It is about how you read the Bible...and more (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TrueBlueMajority, grada3784

          ...and see religion more generally.

          Broadly, and by no means exclusively, religion can be prescriptive and hierarchical - all about What The Rules Are and What The Proper Order of Things Is.  (Very) loosely speaking, conservative (Latin)Christianity, both Protestant and Catholic, fit in here.  I don't know enough about Greek-derived Christian communities to have an opinion.  Hinduism fits in here, more or less - think about castes.  More conservative forms of Judaism are prescriptive, but not hierarchical.

          Or religion can be descriptive and community focused. We're All In This Together.  Faith is a Journey.  More liberal varieties of Christianity, more common in the Episcopal and other "mainline" Protestant churches, plus liberal Roman Catholic churches are more like this.  Buddhism fits here. UU absolutely fits here.  Reformed Judaism - again, I don't know enough to have an opinion.

          Mysticism is a whole different herd of cats, and I chose that metaphor deliberately.  Taize, Sufi, Kabbalah in a way have more to do with each other and the mystic experience than the particular faith they come from.

          Anyway, as to Paul, and I have to go back and study more, my take has been that, in context of time and place, that was an exhortation to the faithful community to put first things first in living a godly life, not a prescriptive checklist of behaviors.  

          There ain't no such thing as a second class child of God.

          by Dan E in Blue Hampshire on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:08:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, they did (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rogneid, grada3784, anotherdemocrat

      That's what created the Lutherans for one thing...

      "Old soldiers never die -- they get young soldiers killed." -- Bill Maher

      by Cali Scribe on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:09:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's about homosexuality as much as anything (9+ / 0-)

    as I understand it.  The African clergy that have become so influential are profoundly homophobic (as opposed to the European and American clergy who are only ambivalently homophobic).  So no Jesus-love for the gays is the stakes they are playing for here and abroad.

    His ignorance covered the whole earth like a blanket and there was hardly a hole in it anywhere. --Mark Twain on G.W. Bush.

    by Anubis Bard on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:02:36 AM PDT

  •  The first version of the Book of Common Prayer is (4+ / 0-)

    from 1549, in the reign of Edwards VI. Henry VIII, who was conservative in liturgical matters, would have been horrified by it.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:17:11 AM PDT

    •  true--Henry did NOT intend to create a new church (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      epcraig, Rogneid, grada3784

      or a new religion.  He was a Defender of the Faith.  It was all about his need for an heir, and a problem with the pope not giving him permission to divorce (permission that had easily been granted to others).  He was not having any problem with the theology of the church as a whole.

      that is one of many reasons why Anglicans consider ourselves Catholic as well as Protestant.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
      Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:37:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course, the pope (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TrueBlueMajority

        being under the thumb of the nephew of Katherine of Aragon for a lot of that time had absolutely nothing to to with it.  Imagine Cahrles V saying to Pope Clement:  Uh, Pope, you're not going to give Uncle Hank that divorce, especially so soon after my troops sacked your city.

        Julius Caesar fed the Roman masses; John McCain feeds the MSM asses.

        by grada3784 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:54:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I knew Edward's BCP was radical at the time (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority, grada3784

      ...couldn't remember if Henry issued a Book of Common Prayer during his reign or not - posting during a lunch break, so there you go.

      There ain't no such thing as a second class child of God.

      by Dan E in Blue Hampshire on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:53:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the Methodist Church (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Rogneid, grada3784

    managed to avoid a schism at our General Conference not long ago. Had some good things pass (actual moderates appointed to the Judiciary Council, as opposed to the right-wingers who had been there before) and some bad things - re-affirming that d@mned "incompatible" line. Issuance of a statement decrying discrimination (yeah, we see the irony) that included discrimination against transgendered persons. So, truly a mixed bag.

    Here's a link to the Reconciling Network's reports:

    http://www.generalconference2008.org/

    Good luck to the Anglican church.

  •  Dualists vs non-dualists (6+ / 0-)

    Those who see the universe in Manichean Dualist terms believe Everything is a Simple Matter of Right vs Wrong™ and the Forces of Good™ (their religion) has defined homosexuality as part of the Forces of Evil.™

    Conservative Christianity has always been dualist. The American Epispcopal Church is now seeing reality as complex and multifaceted, which is heresy to the conservatives.

    Since they can't kill all of them (the traditional Christian response to heresy), they are left with schism as their only option.

    We're going to see a lot of this in the coming decades as the sane peoples of the world separate themselves from the religious lunatics.

    First, oversight; second, investigations; third, impeachments; fourth, war crimes trials!

    by ibonewits on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:38:08 AM PDT

  •  And it's not only a matter of African Anglicans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, grada3784

    Apparently one of the principal movers was the Archbishop of Sydney in Australia. The Anglican archdiocese of Sydney is probably the liturgically "lowest" Anglican diocese in the world and doctrinally it's in fact Calvinist-Evangelical.
    It's reached the point of not permitting women priests/bishops but allowing laymen to preside at the Eucharist. Now work that one out, you theological buffs.
    Most other Australian Anglican dioceses are liturgically "high" (bells, candles, incense) but doctrinally anything goes.
    The Anglican Church down under is falling apart.
    http://www.smh.com.au/...

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:55:29 AM PDT

    •  That's because Anglicans are nor fish nor flesh (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lepanto, Rogneid, grada3784

      If someone's going to subscribe to a denomination, that denomination needs to have a clear internal sense of what it believes and why it's important that you should believe it.

      The Anglican church in England has been falling apart for years. If it weren't for the fact that no-one wants to get into the issue of the division of the property, it would have split long ago. This has been a long time coming, but it's not a bad thing, even for people previously called Anglican. You'll now have two churches, the UCC/UU-Anglicans and the Conservative-Anglicans, and that's just fine. Both will be more easily able to attract believers apart than together.

      •  we are both fish and flesh (0+ / 0-)

        reagrdless of what you were taught.

        I have much more in common with the Roman Catholics than with the UCC and UU, even though I have respect for both those denominations.  They don't have apostolic succession or bishops or sacraments or feast days or Mary or rosaries or any of a number of other things that are important to me (and lots of other Episcopalians/Anglicans).

        I'll still consider myself Anglo-Catholic regardless of what the conservatives do.  I just hope that I live to see them be embarrassed about the split just as it is hard now to find any conservatives who admit to having been on the wrong side of the civil rights movement in the 60s.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
        Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

        by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:15:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It may well be... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TrueBlueMajority

          ...that the discussion within Anglicanism will move to the point where inequality for gays is viewed in the same way as inequality for slaves is viewed now. But if it does, it will not be because Anglicans have discerned any better the "true meaning" of the Biblical texts; they will, in fact, have moved further from their natural meaning.

          And that's a darn good thing.

      •  Well the Anglican church has always considered (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TrueBlueMajority

        its greatest strength being inclusive and accomodating: being fish to the pescivores and meat to the carnivores.
        It seems that many Anglicans now feel that this accomodating inclusiveness means that the Anglican church has finished up by not standing for anything at all...
        The Anglican happenings we're discussing represent an attempt by the low-church evangelical wing to make a stand on what it believes in.

        We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

        by Lepanto on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:41:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Book of Common Prayer (0+ / 0-)

    The 1662 version was written by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer.  It is a model of elegant prose, and was in use for three hundred years, with little revision.

  •  According to the Anglican archbishop of Sydney, (0+ / 0-)

    one of the main movers behind all this, these are the reasons:

    Dr Jensen said the organisation aimed to rescue those who supported the old rather than modern ways of the church.
    "The homosexual crisis is only symbolic of a whole way of looking at the world, which many in the church had taken on as well, I call this post-modernity," he told ABC radio.
    "We have decided to rescue people in the West who want to stand for the old ways, who want to stand on the Bible.
    "Secondly, we've decided to protect ourselves against this post-modern and relativistic world view that will come our way through the internet and other communicational revolutions."

    http://news.smh.com.au/...

    I love the bit about the internet!!!

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:34:49 AM PDT

  •  There are several issues working here. (0+ / 0-)
    1.  The objector provinces, who want to leave are principally from old colonial areas of the former British Empire, principally in Africa (Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, etc) and Australia, who resent the control still exercised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and which objectants p o'd the Primate of Jerusalem by holding the recent meeting there. The cultures there are conservative in different ways than in the current, or the past, UK, and part of what is going on is fighting out the degree to which the cultural norms of the new provinces, which now hold the majority of Anglicans, will be enforced instead of whatever is going on in the Old Imperium. They are also fighting out in their own terms the old Calvinist vs. High Church vs. Charismatic divide which we have papered over here in the US by our everyone-welcome approach to it, part of the same wave as the RC's are duking out all over Latin America with folk we here would call Evangelical. The property issue is insofar as I understand it a peculiarly American matter, as the question is whether the Church buildings and the like belong to the individual parishes which want to secede on grounds of homosexuality or female ordination, or to the diocese to which they belong whch disagrees with them. I believe there is one entire Diocese in California which wants to leave.
    1. a. The passage from Paul's letter is not Pauline. It is at best deutero-Pauline or possibly trito-Pauline. An interlineation added  one or two generations later to an already honored work, to give the prohibition contained in it a Pauline sort of blessing, in a Pauline tradition which otherwise did not contain it. And my recall, having packed my books because I am moving, is that what it says is that one should not lie with a man as with a woman, which is not quite the same scope as what we would call a prohibition on homosexuality in all its forms as we now think of it.  Those of you who follow this stuff already know that there were a huge number of versions of almost everything, and a lot of once-recognized Christian works which didn't make the cut into the New Testament at all, until the Councils sat down to settle it in the Second Century, three hundred years after the facts. All sex was questionable then, and the kind the Romans and the Greeks and a few others did more so than the one which at least produced the next generation. So says the Seminary I graduated from.

                   b. The Levitical prohibition was literally onanism, spilling precious seed on the ground, in an age when a man was only thought to have so much of it. Probably what we would call masturabation, but a more serious matter if you think your kid only has so many go-rounds to make the entire next generation with, and that number of go-rounds is very small and should not be wasted.
                   c. Nobody has ever been sure what was happening in Sodom and Gomorrah, but there are two versions of the story in the OT so it was very important to someone. The underlying problem in that time was that the Hebrews-soon-to-be-Jews, were encountering cultures which had vastly different mores.

    •  Property and canon issues (0+ / 0-)

      The property issue is a huge one in Britain. But there, the smart people don't want the huge burden of caring for vast, nearly empty, very elderly churches when trying to bring new people in. Very hard to do both.

      As for the canonicity of this passage of Paul, I will simply say that the fact that it is partly based on Wisdom 14:22-31, a deutero-canonical text, doesn't of itself make it non-canonical. But I'm not really interested in whether it's canonical; I'm more interested in the fact that for nearly two thousand years, it has been treated as canonical, and has caused enormous suffering to gay people; which, if the passage is inspired by God, must in some way have been intended by God to happen.

    •  well put, Christy1947 (0+ / 0-)

      and for giggles, I have heard more than one lesbian say that "the bible says not to lie with a man as with a woman--and I couldn't agree more!"

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
      Give to Populista's Obamathon 2.0!

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 12:33:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sodom in the Jewish tradition. (0+ / 0-)

      The Jewish religious tradition teaches that the people of Sodom exhibited absolute heartlessness towards the needy, adamantly advocating the rights of each individual to his own money, to the point where sharing was seen as inappropriate and worthy of condemnation.

      God says to Abraham:

      The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah, how great! Their offense is very grave.

      Gen. 18:20 (Robert Alter translation).

      What was the offense of Sodom? One might think the answer obvious: Sodom = sodomy = homosexuality. Indeed, the text tells us that, when God's messengers arrived in Sodom and Lot offered them hospitality,

      the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, from lads to elders, every last man of them. And they called out to Lot and said, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we may know them!"

      Gen. 19:4-5 (Robert Alter translation).

      The Hebrew word translated as "we may know," v'naedah, here means to know sexually. Thus the Jewish Publication Society translates the verse as "that we may be intimate with them." In plain language, the men of Sodom demand that Lot hand over the messengers for homosexual gang rape.

      But the Sages (Rabbis) of the Talmud did not identify the sin of Sodom with this event. After all, God already had decided to destroy the city; the messengers were sent to save Lot and his family.

      One key to the Rabbis' understanding of the story comes from God's declaration to Abraham: "The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah." Robert Alter tells us:

      The Hebrew noun, or the verb from which it is derived, tsa'aq or za'aq, is often associated in the Prophets and Psalms with the shrieks of torment of the oppressed

      Of what oppression were Sodom and Gomorrah guilty?

      Ezekiel answers (16:49):

      Only this was the sin of your sister Sodom: arrogance! She and her daughters had plenty of bread and untroubled tranquility, yet she did not support the poor and the needy.

      In Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers, we learn (5:10):

      "What is mine is mine, and what is yours is yours," this is the character of Sodom.

      We are to learn that their sin lay in their unwavering adherence to strict legality and refusal to bend. The people of Sodom exhibited absolute heartlessness towards the needy, adamantly advocating the rights of each individual to his own money, to the point where sharing was seen as inappropriate and worthy of condemnation.

      Another comment:

      Sodom was punished for hoarding rather than distributing her resources. For the Sages, the apparently legal justification that ownership is the ultimate basis for the distribution of resources was insidious. That is, according to the Rabbis, there is more to collective life than asserting that what is mine is mine


      And from Pirkei de Rabbi Eliezer, The Sayings of Rabbi Eliezer, we learn:

      Rabbi Jehudah said: They made a proclamation in Sodom saying: Everyone who strengthens the hand of the poor or the needy with a loaf of bread shall be burnt by fire. Peletith, daughter of Lot, was wedded to one of the magnates of Sodom. She saw a certain very poor man in the street of the city, and her soul was grieved on his account... Every day when she went out to draw water she put in her bucket all sorts of provisions from her home, and she fed that poor man. The men of Sodom said: How does this poor man live? When they ascertained the facts, they brought her forth to be burnt by fire. She said: Sovereign of all the worlds! maintain my right and my cause (at the hands of) the men of Sodom. And her cry ascended before the Throne of Glory. In that hour the Holy One, blessed be He, said: I will now descend and I will see whether the men of Sodom have done according to the cry of this young woman, I will turn her foundation upwards, and the surface thereof shall be turned downwards.

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