It began here
and now here:
|Canon Jeremy Pemberton (right) and his husband, April 2014 Photo BBC|
Is this the crunch and if so for whom?
Canon Jeremy Pemberton was refused a licence to work as a hospital chaplain because his 'marriage' was against the Church of England's teachings so he brought a discrimination case against his bishop giving the distinct impression that for some clerics sexual preference is more important than their priestly ministry. This is not equality, it is stupidity. A line needs to be drawn to avoid further haemorrhaging of Church members, something the ordination of women clearly failed to do.
Traditional Anglicanism in England and Wales has given way to self interest. Career choices, often second choices for middle-aged women, are represented as 'a calling' with what appears to be virtually automatic acceptance for female candidates while a young male candidate with traditional views about the ordination of women is rejected. That is discrimination.
After equality, 'love' has become the in-word but it is also used as a euphemism for lust. Advocates correctly claim that Christ commanded that we should love one another but that was not given as a license to pursue every conceivable twist of the word. If it had been, it would not have taken 2,000 years for people to understand the Bible.
Reaching a new low the House of Bishops of the US Episcopal Church (TEC) wants to change the definition of marriage in the canons so that any reference to marriage as between a man and a woman is removed. - Read Anglican Curmudgeon's 'Bishops bless blasphemy' here and the Archbishop of Canterbury's reaction here.
What happens in TEC has been used as a green light by revisionists to push for changes in the Anglican Church in England and Wales while ignoring the views of the wider Church. See "Pride Festivals Draw Liberal Clergy on Parade" (here) and "John Sentamu calls for harmony as Church of England rows over sexuality escalate" (here).
Same sex marriage has become the sticking point for many. The vote in Ireland and more recently by the Supreme Court in the US has turned tolerance and understanding into an absurdity. The Tory Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan warns, "Children who hold homophobic views [are] more likely to become extremists". Ms Morgan who is also Minister for Women and Equalities must be unaware that opponents of same sex marriage are branded homophobic simply because they hold to the traditional view that marriage is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.
Such views are not confined to the Conservative Party. Norman Lamb, a Liberal Democrat leadership contender has argued that children’s TV shows like Peppa Pig should feature gay characters. In line with fashionable thinking he said "Our broadcasters must realise that sexuality is not, fundamentally, about who you want to have sex with – but who you are, and who you love", an open sesame if ever there was one. As Melanie McDonagh put it in The Spectator, "If love now rules supreme, should incest and polygamy also be legalised"?
Labour leader hopefuls also talk of equality confusing equality with sameness. Andy Burnham whose LGBT credentials had been questioned now says that "faith schools should be forced to teach about gay relationships", forgetting the transient nature of childhood feelings: When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. A childhood crush is just that. Attempts to spread the gay agenda on TV and in our schools should be resisted, not supported.
These false views of equality should be seen for what they are, stupidity giving licence to lust masquerading as love. Again in the US, Diana Butler Bass, "an independent scholar and expert on U.S. religion" penned a piece for the Washington Post in which she reflected on Katharine Jefferts Schori’s tenure as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Regarded by many as a heretic there was nevertheless a glowing appreciation of the retiring Presiding Bishop which included a reference to innumerable indignities, "most noteworthy of which was a 2010 order by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams that she not wear a mitre (the hat worn by Christian bishops to symbolize their spiritual authority) when preaching in an English cathedral".
Predictably the facts were twisted. The other side of this incident can be read here. Jefferts Schori's called, "their canons about the ministry of clergy from overseas" nonsense and said, "It is bizarre; it is beyond bizarre", much like her ministry.
Diana Butler Bass is a leading voice in Progressive Christianity in which Christ's new commandment to "love one another" has become an excuse for every excess, ignoring Christ's example "as I have loved you". That is, no women Apostles, no gay agenda, no same sex marriage.
One would have hoped, even expected, that when the Church is so obviously being used for political advantage to the detriment of the body of Christ, the successors to the Apostles would have something to say about it. To their shame, those who do are more often part of the problem supporting the latest fad rather than defending the faith.
Speaking at the discrimination case brought by Canon Pemberton against the Church, the Rt Rev Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, described the Church of England's teaching that marriage is only between a man and a woman as "a lousy definition". This created outrage drawing in the Archbishop of York. However, the Dean of York, the Very Rev Vivienne Faull, "defended York Minster's support for a section of the community that frequently experiences discrimination and hostility" as she played the well worn victim card.
The 'victim card' has become an absurdity. The new victims are the very people who are accused of victimisation while the majority of bishops seek popularity by reflecting current trends in society rather than follow Christ's message: "Everyone will hate you because you are committed to me".
Meanwhile I see that the Venerable Ruth Worsley is to be the next Bishop of Taunton in the Diocese of Bath and Wells. On hearing the news she said: "I am surprised and amused to be chosen as the next Bishop of Taunton as I grew up in a non-conformist church where women held no roles of leadership". Par for the course in New Anglicanism!
Postscript [11 July 2015]
According to the Telegraph report, the Archbishop of Canterbury hopes that encouraging people to take part in frank, face-to-face discussions will help "break the deadlock over what has become one of the most toxic issues in the Church. A similar tactic led to breakthrough over the issue of women bishops which was finally agreed last year after decades of argument".
What is there to talk about? Homosexuality is already recognised as a fact of life. Civil partnerships have been welcomed as a significant advance in human rights but the current movement to put homosexual relationships on a par with the institution of Holy Matrimony designed for the procreation of children is a step too far. That the Church of England, along with the Church in Wales, even discusses the issue illustrates the extent to which Anglicanism has lost its way in this country. And at such a cost when children are going hungry!
Postscript [19 August, 2015]
From the 'Not Another Episcopal Church Blog': When to Leave a Church.
For 'Episcopal church' one could read Church in Wales.
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