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Jul 06, 2006


Sun Warrior

An excellent post.

Gender issues are such a major issue in our society, let alone the Church.

When the spirit world does not have gender, such as God being both masculine (energy) and feminine (wisdom), how is that reflected in the individual human being?

It is quite the linear progression growing out of St. Paul. First slavery, then women, now homosexuality. Who are we when the intellectual foundation of the Church is so questioned? It is the identity crisis of the Church as part of civilization, mind culture. If we have enough knowledge of spiritual reality, then homosexuality shouldn't be an issue. But the debate points to our Church's limits as part of this culture.

If spirit is gender-neutral, then what is keeping us back from seeing this in the spectrum of every individual whom we want to define as either-or, instead of whole?

Ironically, the one thing a woman finds desireable in a man is wisdom. That seems to be in short supply. The world is too unbalanced toward the masculine, energy, without enough wisdom. Homosexuality is pointing to something the heteros need to take note of.

Art Deco

The real issue is not sexuality. Nor is it only about authority. My impression is that we are reacting to a world that is rapidly changing, "global," a consequence of late capitalism. Do I love the changes? Not really. But gay people are simply the current object of our general anxiety.

What is the purpose of intellectuals, but to tell us that things are not as ordinary people perceive them?

John Wilkins

Ah yes, perhaps there is no such thing as the subconscious.

Well, I perceive that the sun does, in fact, revolve around the earth, beginning in the east, and is a size of a small tennis ball. And evolution? Don't get me started on that fantasy. Probably an invention by geeks who never got chosen to play football.


John wilkins

Or as the archbishop noted today:

A straw in the wind: in Sudan, there is a breakaway and very aggressive Anglican body that has had support, in the past, from government in Khartoum. Among the varied grounds advanced for its separation is the ludicrous assertion that the Episcopal Church of Sudan is unorthodox in its teaching on sexual ethics. Some mischievous forces are quite capable of using the debates over sexuality as an alibi for divisive action whose roots are in other conflicts.


Count me among the people who are instinctively pro-blessing, but have been changed by scripture.

I am an avowed political liberal and lifelong episcopalian, and for the year or so following GC2003, when the issue of homosexuality in the church showed up on my radar, I advocated for same-sex blessings, bishops and priests on the grounds of "full inclusion". I changed my mind primarily because I found the much of the reasserters' exegesis of the passages relating to human sexuality to be focused more on explaining _away_ the scriptures rather than explaining them.

Yes, I still believe the plurality of scientific research which indicates that same-gender attraction has a strong natural component. And that the biblical assumption of male-female sexual relationships are a product of the culture of the authors of the bible.

But I can not understand the logical argument as to why that assumption should be challenged, given that no scripture seems to imply a god-given right to have sex with whomever one finds attractive.

I disagree with most of my church on this issue, including my priest and my bishop, but I have no plans to leave. There are just too many more important issues facing us than who the person in the next pew is having sex with.

Tobias Haller

Dear Connor,
I realize the argument isn't made often in liberal circles (in fact, I last recall it being made by Fleming Rutledge) but I think it is Scriptural. And that is the "marriage as a remedy to fornication" argument raised by Paul: it is better to marry than to burn. Although Rutledge stops short of advocating for same-sex marriage as equal to mixed-sex, she does see the point of stable same-sex relationships.

This is not simply a matter of "whomever one finds attractive" but of rather deep-seated orientation. If there is a real sexual orientation (whether to a person of the same or the opposite sex) -- and this appears to be the case -- unaccompanied by a gift for celibacy (to which, Jesus assures us, not all are called) then it seems the Pauline solution, "Let them marry; it is no sin" (1 Co 7:36) might find a place in our thinking.

J. C. Fisher

Thanks, Tobias.

I keep seeing this sexual *orientation* REDUCED to mere sexual *attractions*. Very, VERY, different!


"14. The experience of people who describe themselves as having been cured or freed from same-sex attraction is irrelevant and the church should not give such people a serious hearing."

The problem w/ this, is that *3* different things are being CONFLATED.

1) The moral question: is State 'A' superior to or inferior to State 'B'?

2) The psychological question: why does a person who self-IDs being State 'A' want to change to State 'B'? (Or vice-versa?)


3) The scientific question: has a person/persons ever---on the basis of *testable* empirical evidence---actually changed from 'A' to 'B' (or vice-versa?)

It's when these 3 things get mushed together, that the *anecdotes* become unworthy of a "serious hearing".

Do the work! Remove 1 and 2, in order to test 3---then get back to us! (But be sure to test whether persons went from straight to gay, also!)

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