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First openly gay bishop in America - opinions?

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Platypus, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. Platypus Gems: 4/31
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    I suppose that by now a lot of you will have heard the news about the first openly gay bishop being elected in the US episcopal church. If not, then here is a link:

    http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030608-124346-1938r.htm

    It seems to me that this is a victory for common sense in the church, but I do worry for the poor guy's safety... I think that there are going to be many extremists who will try and harass him. What about you?
     
  2. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Not being episcopalian I'm not sure if my opinions matter in this issue, but here goes anyway.

    1. If the people he is supposed to be the spiritual guide for do not have a problem, I'm not sure anyone else has a right to be upset.

    2. I sure hope he knows what he is doing. There are already repercussions from other parts of the Episcopalian church and from other religions that are aghast at this. It doesn't appear to me that the Episcopalian's have as centralized a religion as the Catholics. I would hate to be known as the person that caused a break-up of a faith.
     
  3. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I've heard the news. It's not a victory of anything with a positive denominator, it's a defeat.

    It's not a defeat because he's homosexual. There have been quite a few homosexual bishops in Christian churches. The problem is that he performs carnal homosexual activity. Another problem is that he does so without marriage, and in Christianity marriage is between a man and a woman. This, however, is not considered sinful by all Protestant churches or theologists. Carnal homosexual activity, however, is believed incompatible with the scripture by the Anglican Church:

    Note that there's nothing about homosexuals themselves. A homosexual may be as good a bishop as a heterosexual. The matter is that one who lives in sin, such as carnal homosexual activity (note, this is not being homosexual), is not supposed to perform priestly duties or receive Eucharist (and therefore consecrate it).

    As you see below, this election has not won anything and 'sexual freedom' will not be further increased:

     
  4. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
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    Not being an Episcopalian, it's hardly up to me to determine what's right for that Church. However, I personally don't see what a person's sexuality has to do with the relation that individual has with God - but I'm a tad off-the-wall when it comes to such things.

    I wish him all the strength he needs to fulfill his duties.
     
  5. Tiamat Gems: 17/31
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    [​IMG] I see. So being a homosexual actually isn't a sin, but doing something about it (ie finding a partner) is. And if you are homosexual, but don't do anything about it, you're in perfect moral standing, but get to spend your life alone...too bad for you. Gee, it's perfectly logical. What sense it makes. Good luck to this guy, he's gonna need that - and a thick skin.
     
  6. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    I don't see any problem with this logic.

    What do you call a kleptomaniac who doesn't steal?

    A law abiding citizen.
     
  7. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    This may be a surprise to those of you who have read my past comments on this subject (I’m a supporter of gay rights), but in this case, I’m not sure what to think. I always thought that the Church considered homosexuality to be a sin, but based on chev’s comments, it appears I am incorrect. However, that may be splitting hairs, since I assume homosexuality and “carnal homosexual activity” usually go hand-in-hand. I would think that, to be true to Christian faith, one would have to denounce homosexuality, and therefore the idea of a homosexual religious leader would be unacceptable. On the other hand, and with a nod to Earl Grey’s “Dear Dr. Laura” thread, maybe this is the first step towards recognising the archaic nature of the religious concept of homosexuality as a sin.
     
  8. Master of Nuhn

    Master of Nuhn Wear it like a crown Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I stick with Chev and The Great Snook, homosexuality is not a sin.
    And so I don't care if there are gay bishops (or vicars for the protestants, right?).

    I always make difference between homophiles and homosexuals.
    Homophil is a person who is attracted to the same gender.
    Homosexual is a person who is having 'carnal homosexual activity'.
    In this case homosexuality is a sin and I'm having much and MUCH respect for homophils who don't give in to it.
    IMO, homosexual (carnal active) peole shouldn't become leaders in the church. Nor should heterosexuals behaving like bonobo-lookalikes, btw.

    Splunge, homophily and homosexuality usually goes hand in hand, but in the christian church that's not how it should be.
     
  9. Kasandra Gems: 2/31
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    I am not Episcopalian either, but since our opinions were asked for I will give mine. The new Bishop's homosexuality does not bother me, nor is it my business. What concerns me is that he left his wife and children to be with his lover. I am uncomfortable with that, as I would if he had left them for another woman. Somehow I have difficulty aligning that behavior with a man of God.
     
  10. SoCo Gems: 9/31
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    Humm, isn't that agiasnt thier Religion? It makes no sence to me what so ever. Reading the Article now.
     
  11. Iago Gems: 24/31
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    Schism ! Schism ! Schism ! Schism !

    The only way out of a stalemate is shism. It's been so long since the last Schism wave. Let's have some Schism again!

    Well, if this opinion is so strong and widespread in the Anglican Church, how comes they have made an homosexual bishop ? Seems like they're divided.

    Hm, if protestants make homosexuals bishops, will catholics let priests merry ?
     
  12. Tigress Gems: 4/31
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    [​IMG] I have to admit, I'm not entirley sure what to make of this whole issue. On one hand there is the 'till death do us part' thing you go through at marrige, to break it is a sin (in most christian relgigons). But on the other hand, his wife and daughters do not seem to have a problem with him living his life like that. Also, I support gay rights. But, on the other other side I'm not episcipalian so do I really have any opinion on this matter whatsoever?
    Well, there you have it, that's my opinion.
     
  13. Xaelifer Gems: 10/31
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    Oooh - there's going to be much crossfire over this issue.

    Let's hope he keeps his head down. ;)
     
  14. Platypus Gems: 4/31
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    Well, since the issue of the sinfulness of homosexuality seems to be coming up in my post, I suppose I ought to reply.
    I do remeber reading an article in The Times - a British broadsheet newspaper - which argued that the passage from the new testament which is used as Biblical evidence that homosexuality is incorrectly applied by the church; that it is taken out of its original context. Unfortunately I cannot access their online archives as you need a subscription, but nevertheless IIRC the article argued that it was only the act of turning away from women that was bad and sinful, and that being homosexual throughout your life was not intrisically sinful... however, I do accept that having sexual relations with another person outside of wedlock is sinful, and since the church does not perform gay marriages Gene Robinson's relationship with his partner is sinful in that way.
     
  15. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Some Christian theologists claim that homosexual intercourse is no more sinful than any non-marital one. I suppose there are cases in which that is so, but basically carnal homosexual activity is specifically frowned upon and has its own passages in the Bible.

    I believe that homosexuality is either an ilness or a perversion. When it's illness, you can hardly be held liable for its effects - your level of guilt is different, anyway. When it's perversion, developed from inquisitive search of new ways to please oneself, then it's by all means a more serious case than two people normally meant to breed who lose control of their minds. To me, the latter case is more outrageous than Lollita Syndrome or Oedipus complex and not really different from zoophilia. No leniency here, contrary to the poor misguided people led astray by their pursuit for the love of their life, or just those who for some reasons related to environmental conditions became attracted to their own sex and possibly lost attraction to the opposite sex. Most of Christian theologists agree here, as far as I know.


    Well, not much more than after the case of some churches ordaining female priests.

    I agree with you on this, but Protestant churches allow divorce. They see it as two people releasing each other from their vows (and so it was in this particular case, as the man said). From their perspective everything looks correct.

    Actually it's a matter of discipline (exclusive devotion to God, the problems of having a family etc) rather than doctrine, so they may allow it without changing anything in the doctrine, just the 'rules'.

    It's beyond me how he got elected for this very reason. Someone living in sin isn't supposed to perform priestly duties. In Roman Catholic Church exceptions exist, but only in extraordinary circumstances when a priest is need and no other priest is around. I don't know what are the rules for Episcopalians in this case, but I doubt they have changed.

    [ August 10, 2003, 23:11: Message edited by: chevalier ]
     
  16. Pac man Gems: 25/31
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    Maybe it's time for the Catholic church to get rid of their ancient ethics, and start treating everyone like human beings. A gay bishop or a straight bishop, what the hell is the difference ?
     
  17. Kovalis Darkfire Gems: 13/31
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    *Kovalis sighs profoundly* Why do we have to talk about gay bishops...
     
  18. Tigress Gems: 4/31
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    Catholics will probalby never let preists marry because they feel that if you are a priest, God must come first in your life and be the center of attention. Therefore, if you had a wife and family they might get in the way of you duty to serve God first and foremost.
     
  19. Viking Gems: 19/31
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    Quite interesting that this came up so soon after a "non practicing" homosexual in the UK withdrew from his nomination to be appointed the bishop of Reading.

    There was a lot written about it here, and most of the oposition came from the same quarters as this time.

    Here is a statement by Jeffrey John published on the subject of homosexuality within the church, and his nomination for Bishop. Quite interesting.

    Now as I see it, cannon Jeffrey John was pressured to abandon the nomination in order for the Achbishop of Canterbury not to have to make a publicly divisive statement endorsing or not endorsing the nomination. The Archbishop was fairly supportive of cannon John though, it has to be said, in his public statements.

    Now this was a no longer sexually active homosexual causing consternation, so I can see how the current case must be rather difficult to stomach for some members of the church.

    Difficult for me to comment from a religious point of view since I'm not a religious person. I would observe though that since there appears to be many different interpretations of the scriptures, I think perhaps there has to be more focus on the important issues of making the church inclusive rather than divisive. It is certainly a fact in the UK that attendances are dwindeling, and part of the reason is certainly that the church fails to change it's attitudes in a changing world. By that I do not mean change the bible or some such, but perhaps make interpretations from the bible in light of how society is today rather than 2000 years ago. Most of you will have noticed it has changed rather dramatically.
     
  20. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Ethics change, morals don't. And actually whole Christianity is about the salvation of human beings and their welfare - eternal rather than temporal, but if that's not the correct order why bother with any religion at all?

    It's no difference - straight bishop or gay bishop. Bishop sleeping around is a huge difference, because Catholic clergy aren't meant even to have in-marriage sex. In Catholic church someone in the state of grave sin cannot embrace Holy Communion and he must do so in order to perform Consecration (the only exception is times of war and no other priest to be found).

    This only applies to conclusions derived according to the laws of logic as they're seen at the time being. Pretending that God did't mean what He said, but in fact something opposite serves no one but the enemies of God and nothing but corruption within the Church. There have been various compromises on administration issues, rites etc, but doctrine is of divine origin and can't be abused to achieve earthly goals. If they agreed on some lose interpretation allowing different conclusions to be made, a whole new bunch of misguided philosophers will come up with newer and newer concepts which will be less and less agreable. That will surely lead to further division rather than anything else.

    Slowly, but it happens. Extreme caution, however, must be exercised. Ethics and catechisms are one thing, but doctrine is seen as eternal and can't be adjusted to present times for convinience.
     
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