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Gay Clergy-About time or moral oxymoron?

 
 
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 02:13 pm
In a blatant abuse of my powers, I've taken upon myself the Featuring of this Poll and Discussion. I look forward to seeing the poll results and hope the subject engenders some interesting statements of and expansions on viewpoints. I sure hope this works.

Much has been made lately of the Gay Episcopal Bishop Candidate Brouhaha, and I suspect much, much more will come of it. Apart from dissension within The Anglican Communion, there are implications, considerations, and consequences involving the interrelationships and liasons among Christians and Non-Christians alike. Implied here is a repudiation of an ancient cultural approbation, a paradigm shift in perception and tolerance, or further polarization, divisiveness, and isolation. The situation calls for extremes in viewpoints and suffers from a powerful association with deep seated emotions and personal subjectivity. Regardless whether one is repelled by, indifferent to, or confirmed in any particular sexual orientation, if one examines the issue at hand, core values and basic precepts come to play. Few aspects of humankind's social consciousness engender more partisanship and enthusiasm than do Sex, Religion, and Politics. Put all three together and you may expect vigorous controversy. Supporters of the proposition are no more or less educated, ethical, principled, moral, or otherwise worthy or unworthy than are those opposed, as a whole, and the lunatic fringes of both sides pretty much balance one another. Both sides can find both secular and sacred support, both written and traditional, for their positions and for the rebuttal of opposition. Both sides can muster both passioniate conviction and diligently crafted logical validation. Both sides perceive the matter to be an issue of victory or defeat.

There is considerable common ground and interest among the parties, apart from the current contentiousness, but the issue seems quite resistant to accomodation and compromise. Why might this be, and what does it really mean?

(note: Poll edited to correct bone-headed error on my part ... sorry for the confusion ... all my fault ... I really gotta learn to use "Preview" more) Embarrassed
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Thomas
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 02:19 pm
Uh ... I don't mean to nitpick, but I notice your poll doesn't have an "about time" option. This is the one I would have picked.

T.
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Acquiunk
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 02:21 pm
There have always been gay clergy, look at the scandal in the Catholic Church. The thing is they are now public about it. More to the point, what does one's sexuality have to do with the ability to preach or perform ritual.
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 02:22 pm
I think it's against Christianity and poses a problem for the Church. It also poses a chance to modernize and take leave of these hateful and archaic customs.

Last night I was with a girl who was ranting about this "They make a joke about Christianity! Can't they read the Bible? It's sick!"etc etc.

That kind of thinking bothers me and I'm always happy to see change.
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NickFun
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 02:30 pm
First thing he will do is go around to the Churches and replace some of those ghastly drapes and wallhangings with somethin more stylin. Then he will replace those nasty pews with comfy swivel chairs. Throw a pillow on the chair and the whole room will look fabulous!

And I'm sure he'll do a fine job.
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Acquiunk
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 02:51 pm
I was in one of those "Born Again" evangelical Christian churches a few years ago Nick and it looked exactly like that.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 03:08 pm
I'd choose that "About time", too, with a smattering of Acquiunk's "There always have been, now they just will remove a layer of hypocrisy" and a healthy dollop of "when they allow all clergy to marry, too, we'll be getting somewhere."
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 04:03 pm
You notice they said "first openly gay priest." The conservative hetero priests in the Anglican church are spouting off hypocritical vitriol knowing in many areas of the country (and the world), there is a predominance of gay men in the Episcopalean hierachy. This could explode the myth that this church and the Catholic church have not recruited gay men for years and they do want it covered up. Why are gay men drawn to these churches especially? It's the regalia -- what I've called before "Priestly drag." That's obviously a joke as there are other reasons but does anyone really believe throught history that there's never been a Pope who was gay? Grow up.
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 04:13 pm
Aaaaarghhhh .... I see I screwed up the poll options ... I corrected it, but I apologize to those who were inconvenienced ... "About time ... etc" was SUPPOSED to be the first option, not the Poll Question. Embarrassed Hey ... I'm human Rolling Eyes
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dlowan
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 04:14 pm
I would go with about time, too - I think it is great - I know it will be difficult for many christians - although I am unable to comprehend why, really - ie I do not understand why people feel so threatened or whatever by gayness, or by gay clergy - it just seems weird to me. I hope the church can manage this without schism.

Since the Anglican church in Great Britain (or at least the candidate) backed down, this one will, I hope, be the great watershed on this matter.

Best of luck to the new Bishop!
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 04:21 pm
Deb,

Were I a Christian I'd feel threatened. It is clearly against the Bible and it opens up questions about the religion.

I'm happy. Those questions need to be asked.
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dlowan
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 04:27 pm
Look - if you are gonna act on the Bible - you know what else you have to do.

I know, intellectually, some of what they are on about - but the crap about gayness is way beyond something the Bible says (clearly as a non-christian I am free to "know" that the reason that stuff is in the bible is because the bible reflects the deep prejudice against homosexuality that I am talking about - it is THAT that I do not understand) - as is reflected in the fact that christians have happily abandoned slavery, and killing adulterers etc, without seeing it as a huge doctrinal crisis - but this one is humungous.

(Actually - I do wonder if the slavery thing was a big doctrinal watershed in its day?)
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dlowan
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 04:28 pm
'Tis interesting that ordination of women is another biggie, in the same way.
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dlowan
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 04:31 pm
Even when I was a christian, I don't think I could have summoned up a crisis about ordination of gay people - and I was an adolescent (14) when I gave christianity up - a time of likelihood of great prejudice against homosexuality, developmentally speaking.
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 04:33 pm
It wouldn't be a crisis about gay people so mcuh as a crisis about the infallibility of the Bible.
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BillW
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 04:39 pm
dlowan wrote:
I do not understand why people feel so threatened or whatever by gayness


Homophobic, the fear that if it is accepted I will see my true self and I am gay.

The bible was written by men, it also says that women are men's chattel property. Sometimes, the tales and legends were carried for centuries before they were written down.

If one does not accept that gays are natural beings one must accept that god made a mistake. I prefer to believe that God is perfect and makes no mistakes; therefore, there is a reason and I have much too much faith to question why!
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 04:40 pm
Bingo, CdK ... As I mentioned, I doubt this is anywhere near over ... in fact I suspect it is far from full-grown.
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fishin
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 04:50 pm
I'll go with "Who Cares?". I'm not a member of this church (or any other for that matter) so I don't really concern myself with what they do or don't do.

I find it more interesting that others who refute specific religious groups are so interested in what those groups do or don't do yet when an "official" representative of some religious sect says something people have no problem screaming about how they are attempting to impose their views on them. It's a two way street - live and let live.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 04:51 pm
Was that 'moral oxymoron' or 'oral oxymoron'....my eyesight is going...
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Frank Apisa
 
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Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 05:02 pm
The Bible specifically tells Christians that homosexual conduct is an abomination in the eyes of their god -- so much so that the god commands that people who engage in the practice should be put to death for it.

"They have forfeited their lives," is what the god of the Christians tells them.

I think it is wonderful that Christians have looked at that passage and concluded that the best guess that can be made about it -- is that it is a bunch of horseshit!

If they would open their eyes just a bit further, they would see that the best guess that can be made about the rest of the Bible is that much of the rest of it is also horseshit.

What they ought to do is to break away from Christianity. That is the ethical way of dealing with this.

Doing what they are doing is hypocrisy on a cosmic scale.

I didn't see a choice like all that, Timber, so I haven't voted yet.

I may at some future time.
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