Monday, July 27, 2009

And another thing ...

One more thought-over-lunchtime about +Rowan's Statement Du Jour:

Q. What's up with ++Rowan's quote "their chosen lifestyle is not one that the Church's teaching sanctions." (See Section #8)

A. We don't "choose" sexuality but we do "choose" hypocrisy. And at the end of the day, I'm happier facing my Maker claiming the former rather than being accused of the latter.


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Here's the thing, Susan. We don't choose our sexuality, but we can choose honesty about our sexuality. I think that's the real issue here. The choice we make about acting on our God-given sexuality.

That 'acting on' = behavior = choice = 'lifestyle' = (you know the answer to this) SIN.

It's the old RC "natural law": homosexuality = 'inherent disorder" = celibacy as the ONLY choice LGBT people have.

This has all become so very tedious, hasn't it?

I'm laying solid money that his children grow up to be horribly embarrassed by their father.

Kirkepiscatoid said...

Oh, sigh. That's like saying I chose to have brown eyes, or to start to go gray in my early 30's.

Elizabeth is right. This is not about sexual orientation, this is about honesty. Using the ABC's analogy, it makes no sense in other why would it make sense in this venue?

I have never figured out why people want to stop a sizable minority of the population from being monogamous. I thought monogamy was good...isn't that what the church teaches? Sigh.

SCG said...

Exactly my thoughts!

uffda51 said...

“Lifestyle” is a term said to have originated in 1929. People who travel the country in Winnabagos share a lifestyle. Weekend golfers share a lifestyle.

It’s disappointing to see that the ABC is still under the impression that homosexuality is a “lifestyle.”

Governor Mark Sanford, Senator John Ensign & Rep. Chip Pickering, all affiliated with the strange brand of Christianity known as the “C” Street “Family,” share a lifestyle. Their salaries (and health care and pension benefits) are paid by taxpayers. They win elections by campaigning on Republican family values, cheat on their wives, embarrass their children, see no need to resign, and will have no obstacles in the way of any future marriages.

They chose this lifestyle. They did not chose their sexual orientation. I share their sexual orientation - but not their lifestyle.

Would the ABC say that skin color, height, or eye color is a lifestyle? Many in the AC discussion use “lifestyle” as a pejorative term, as a way of marginalizing the LGBT community. I would have thought the ABC was above this kind of thing.

Unknown said...

Does Abp. Williams seriously believe that it's chosen? Have his views regressed so far?

Unknown said...

Homosexuality is a choice. You choose to have a sexual relationship with someone of the same gender. Heterosexuality is a choice. You choose to have a sexual relationship with someone of the opposite gender. Making the wrong choice = sin. How hard is that to comprehend? God created this world to function a certain way. Man's sin was rebellion against Him and his purpose. Do you honestly believe that when God created men and women, he intended for same-gender people to be coupled?

BJ said...

After all is said and done, as a gay man, it is painful to hear words that indicate from the Archbishop that part of the flock, God's children, are not worthy -- based on antiquated thoughts and bigotry.

paulas said...

Exactly. Either he's not listening or he's willfully choosing to say things he doesn't believe. It's "love the sinner, hate the sin," with a lot of high-faluting words to try to make it sound suitably Anglican. Even the loving the sinner part sounds awfully grudging. "Whatever the human respect and pastoral sensitivity such persons must be given..." What incredible damage the poor man must be doing to his heart, mind, and soul.

WilliamK said...

Do you honestly believe that when God created men and women, he intended for same-gender people to be coupled?

Yes. Some small percentage of them. Yes.


For John:


Next question.

Unknown said...

What Susan said.

seraph said...

I do not believe that sexual orientation is a choice we make nor that +the ABC is as naive about sexuality as some suggest here.

In all honesty, people are not choiceless when it refers to sexual issues! We can and do make choices, about who we are going to have sex with or not among other things! Though being gay is not a lifestyle choice, being sexually active, partnered or not is a definite choice some people make, just as others may choose celibacy.

For most of the world's Anglicans and Christians, the lifestyle choice of being a sexually active/partnered gay person seems incomplatible with ordained ministry based on the prevailing understanding of marriage and ordination requirements. Even in our progressive TEC not all are of the same mind about it, nor does our theology of marriage cearly extend the sacrament to same sex couples!

We can decide we do not agree but we are not free to ignore this reality than the ABC very charitably points out!




seraph --

A core component of your argument is that celibacy is "a choice."

In point of fact, the church understands celibacy to be a vocation. A calling. A gift not everyone is given.

Ask +Tom Shaw. He'd be happy to explain that to you -- as he's done from time to time to the House of Bishops.

We're just not going to give you --or the Archbishop of Canterbury -- the power to dismiss our lives, vocations and relationships as a "lifestyle choice."

Been there. Done that. Got the B033 tshirt in Columbus -- which we traded in on new "Here I am, Send Me!" shirts in Anaheim.

We're done.

IT said...

My choice is to claim equality. To characterize me a less of a person because of my sexuality is no different than denying me an education because I'm female. And I'm going to bet that the Episcopal church in the past denied marriage to mixed race couples, and I know it denied marriage to the divorced.

My morality is no more suspect because I'm gay. I don't have a lifestyle. I have a life lived honestly, and a marriage lived with integrity.

If the Abp chooses to throw over the GLBT, let's ask HIM to be honest. Because this is a man who wrote some years ago,
: “I concluded that an active sexual relationship between two people of the same sex might therefore reflect the love of God in a way comparable to marriage, if and only if it had about it the same character of absolute covenanted faithfulness.” Dr Williams described his view as his “definitive conclusion” reached after 20 years of study and prayer.

And this is a man now, who apparently thinks the problem is not our relationships, but our honesty. It's the most cowardly expediency imaginable.

seraph said...

Dear Susan:

No one is dismissing your life, vocation nor relationships... only pointing out that you made choices about how you would live along the way...!

Priscilla said...

Seraph, that is why I have no place in my life anymore for your church, your not-so-good news, nor your judgement about my "choices". I choose to live as a sexually fulfilled, whole human being who feels no guilt about who I am, what I do, or whom I do it with. I do get very upset when people like you try to limit my choices because of your personal beliefs.

The church, Anglican or otherwise, can have its heterosexuals only club. And I bless and admire Susan and Elizabeth and all like them for their witness and choice to serve god as they do despite the daily hostility and hatred they face.

I don't have it in my any more; my life is much better without god and without church and without the hatred and discrimination. I get enough of that at work and when I go shopping.

I once believed in a Jesus who preached love of god and love of neighbor and for better of 40 years I tried to follow him. But his church and many, many of its members and its history blocks my view. If the choice is forced celibacy and misery or a churchless fulfilled life then it really isn't a choice at all, is it? I choose wholeness and happiness.

Perhaps someday I will encounter him again outside the darkness of the church -- I would like that very much. But right now I'm far better off without the whole soul-destroying drama of it all. Pax

MarkBrunson said...


I have no problem with your point, and Williams' position will be valid - - but only when the "choice" to remain partnerless is required of all ordained clergy.

Unknown said...

"but only when the "choice" to remain partnerless is required of all ordained clergy."

How about just the ones where when they are partnered, they are living in sin? This goes for having a sexual partner outside of marriage and/or a same-sex partner.

It's no use arguing with you guys; neither one of us is going to change our minds. The two-tiered system may be a necessity.

WilliamK said...

It's no use arguing with you guys....

That's the problem, John. You want to argue rather than really discuss, reflect, and think about what it means for lesbian and gay people to be told that their only "choice" is celibacy.

IT said...

Normal behavior, a natural variant (and therefore worthy of marriage) or a mutant pathology? John is right on one thing, we'll never agree: those who see us as a sickness vs those who recognize us as no more sick than a left-handed person.

More at Friends of Jake

uffda51 said...

“. . . neither one of us is going to change our minds.”

All of us were raised on the same teachings, tradition and doctrine that John was. Some of us came to believe differently.

We did change our minds. We learned that we don’t live at the center of a three-tiered universe, among other things. Sometimes reality trumps doctrine.

MarkBrunson said...


You mean you straights have no choice in copulating?! I always suspected it to be so.

Or . . . is it just that you care so little for the well-being of those "living in sin" by your definition that you would be absolutely unwilling to give up a fulfilling life-mate to help save their souls.

Why do you think you are so much more worthy and important?