Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The apple of homophobia doesn't fall far from the tree of patriarchy

So part of my sabbatical project is a narrative history of the "inclusion wars" here in the Episcopal Church. And part of that research is reading what the folks on the "other side of the aisle" have to say. And one of the nuggets was this timeline of all the times, ways and places where the Episcopal Church has "walked away from orthodoxy/abandoned the faith received by the apostles/chosen apostate heresy, etc."

It's about what you would expect ... except this WAS a surprise to me.

The first entry?
The seminal moment when we began the "walk away?"
The metaphorical apple in the Garden that set us on the path of abandoning the Faith of the Fathers and on the road to ruin?
You ready?
"1930 Lambeth Conference passes Resolution 15, "The Life and Witness of the Christian Community - Marriage and Sex," making Anglicans the first major Christian body to approve artificial means of birth control."
Yep. Women's reproductive choice was the Rubicon. It was the thin end of the wedge -- the beginning of the end -- the Apple in the Garden.

Remember that just in case anybody ever needs convincing that sexism, patriarchy, misogyny and homohysteria are all connected. Cuz they are. And have been -- at least since 1930.


David Ames said...

Susan, this is an informative nugget of our history. And, we did not even have women deputies to General Convention until 1964! Then, the fun began and we reached out for greater equality by ordaining 11 women in July, 1974.

Scott said...

Fascinating. Thanks for posting this, Susan.

JCF said...

Actually, I'm kind of surprised you're surprised, Susan. Tiber-swimmer Robert Ian Williams at "Thinking Anglicans" mentions this fairly often [The one thing RIW is good for, is that he'll call out ConEvs for being so insanely anti-gay, "when they're soft on birth control and marriage after divorce". Yup, RIW's swallowed the Full Roman Kool-Aid! ;-X]

dr.primrose said...

I can't figure out why a Lambeth Conference resolution would prove that TEC was "walking apart" from the Anglican Communion. A Lambeth Conference resolution reflects the views of the Anglican Communion, not TEC.

The 1930 resolution changed the previous views of the Lambeth Conference, which now seem quaint if not bizarre.

A 1908 resolution provided, "The Conference regards with alarm the growing practice of the artificial restriction of the family, and earnestly calls upon all Christian people to discountenance the use of all artificial means of restriction as demoralising to character and hostile to national welfare."

The 1920 Lambeth Conference had three resolutions on the subject:

(1) "The Conference, while declining to lay down rules which will meet the needs of every abnormal case, regards with grave concern the spread in modern society of theories and practices hostile to the family. We utter an emphatic warning against the use of unnatural means for the avoidance of conception, together with the grave dangers - physical, moral and religious - thereby incurred, and against the evils with which the extension of such use threatens the race. In opposition to the teaching which, under the name of science and religion, encourages married people in the deliberate cultivation of sexual union as an end in itself, we steadfastly uphold what must always be regarded as the governing considerations of Christian marriage. One is the primary purpose for which marriage exists, namely the continuation of the race through the gift and heritage of children; the other is the paramount importance in married life of deliberate and thoughtful self-control.

"We desire solemnly to commend what we have said to Christian people and to all who will hear."

(2) "The Conference must condemn the distribution or use, before exposure to infection, of so-called prophylactics, since these cannot but be regarded as an invitation to vice."

(3) "The Conference urges the importance of enlisting the help of all high-principled men and women, whatever be their religious beliefs, in co-operation with or, if necessary, in bringing pressure to bear upon, authorities both national and local, for removing such incentives to vice as indecent literature, suggestive plays and films, the open or secret sale of contraceptives, and the continued existence of brothels."


Exactly. The irony, of course, is that "they" (the arbiters of all things orthodox) start their journey-to-apostasy timeline with a Lambeth resolution they disagree with ... and then later on there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth when others (that would be us) dissent from Lambeth 1.10 marginalizing gay and lesbian folks.

As for what their argument is, you might ask 'em. :)