My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Schism In The Offing?

The Episcopal Church has been roiled in a controversy for the last couple of years over the ordination of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire and, apparently, the consecration of same-sex marriages in one province of Canada. The full church, in its meeting in Nottingham, England, called on the U.S. and Canadian branches to explain themselves.

The tough stances taken by its North American wings, particularly the U.S. Episcopalians, fly in the face of official church policy, which declares homosexual sex as "incompatible with Scripture" and flatly rejects homosexual ordinations and same-sex unions.

The contentious issue of homosexuality leaves the Anglican Communion facing possibly the biggest crisis in its 400-plus year history -- and yesterday's moves will do little to ease the fears of many Anglicans that a major split between its liberal and conservative branches is inevitable.

As far as it goes, this seems to be pretty much an internicene struggle, which only interests me in passing. But what did grab my attention was a quote that pretty much sums up what appears to be the issue with gay-marriage advocates:

It was left yesterday to Bishop Suffragan Catherine Roskam of New York to launch the Episcopal Church's defense. She insisted that her wing of the church believes that "a person living in a same-gendered union may be eligible to lead the flock of Christ."

"We believe that God has been opening our eyes to acts of God that we had not known how to see before,"

Did not know how to see before because it never occurred to us to deny Scripture to justify what we want to do. And before anybody goes and says "Jesus never talks about homosexuality," let me say this: true, but he does reaffirm in Matthew 19 the teaching from Genesis that marriage is the "reason a man will leave his father and mother, and become united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." So to make the case for gay marriage, its religious proponents have to claim sudden, non-Scriptural enlightenment.

But just as interesting is this quote:

"We're up against a winner-take-all approach that does not brook any dissent and will slowly but surely stifle it," said Chris Sugden, leader of the traditionalist Anglican Mainstream group.

Which, of course, we've also discovered to be true in the political arena. "Does not brook any dissent and will slowly but surely stifle it."

Again, this particular struggle only obliquely interests me. But it does still shed light on issues in the culture at large.

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