A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Rowan Williams is trying to hold the Anglican Communion together. This is a central mission for Christians if we take John 17:21 seriously, that all may be one. But this does not mean that it will always be successful or that any route works. It has to begin with a few starting points. There needs to be a dialogue, and this dialogue has to be built on the supposition that the other has something to inform us of God and God's workings in the world.

And because the other has something which can inform us, we are ready and able to have our views mutually transformed in the encounter. But if either sides thinks of the other as non Christian, totally separate from God, then there's no reason to talk. The only routes become conquering the other side or splitting. Since the first option is not possible in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion, the latter option seems to be the likely route.

There are of course half measures and piece meal compromises. William's recent decision to not be at the consecration of women bishops is such a measure. But like any such measure it is rightly met with scorn on both sides of the fence. Allowing gay clergy to marry but require celibacy is another such measure. Instead of support, Williams receives threats of schism from Akinola in Nigeria and bewilderment by liberals at home.

Until there's mutual dialogue and a desire to see what God is up to in the other, William's half measures, will do nothing to slow down, may even hasten the breakup of the communion. Some rejoice in that. But if the church can't demonstrate what loving community and the spirit of reconciliation looks like to the wider world, I have hard time thinking that we are in a position to present Christian faith as some model or resource in our world today.

5 Comments:

At 11:51 AM , Anonymous Marie said...

I've just discovered this very good blog, and I hope we'll be more and more to tend to a liberal religion.

 
At 1:10 PM , Blogger Revwilly said...

Conservative don't believe that allowing sinful behavior in the church adds anything to the understanding of God and what he is doing in the world. Sometimes there is no point in talking. Sometimes it is time to agree to disagree and go separate ways.

 
At 1:16 PM , Anonymous Tim said...

Not just threats of schism - he's rewritten the Church of Nigeria's constitution to replace allegiance with the see of Canterbury to some waffly statement about those who agree with him on orthodox interpretations of scripture.

I'm wondering what kind of requirement there is from the Communion back on a member church that it be entitled to call itself Anglican or not - and if someone is so petty as to stoop to the above, I'd be quite content for them to have the decency to split off properly.

 
At 1:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the US and Canadian Anglican church should have schism from the UK church. I also think the outdated liturgy should be changed. After returning from higher education, children are not buying it and are leaving in droves.

 
At 2:38 PM , Blogger TAXIN GOD said...

The Catholic Church must pay !

After this past Sundays' (Oct. 2, 2005) event by the Catholic Church collecting signatures inside the building, regarding the initiative petition to end same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. This IRS regulation, continues on with regards to the 501 status, therefore, its time the tax paying Americans takes action to ensure that the Catholic Church loses it 501 status.

The tax exemption status of religious organizations (501(c)(3) status ). It is very obvious that the Catholic Church does not qualify for this status any more. The church is actively attempting to influence legislation.

In general, no organization may qualify for section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). A 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.

Legislation includes action by Congress, any state legislature, any local council, or similar governing body, with respect to acts, bills, resolutions, or similar items (such as legislative confirmation of appointive office), or by the public in referendum, ballot initiative, constitutional amendment, or similar procedure. It does not include actions by executive, judicial, or administrative bodies.

An organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.

Organizations may, however, involve themselves in issues of public policy without the activity being considered as lobbying. For example, organizations may conduct educational meetings, prepare and distribute educational materials, or otherwise consider public policy issues in an educational manner without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.

Whether an organization’s attempts to influence legislation constitute a substantial part of its overall activities is determined on the basis of all the pertinent facts and circumstances in each case. The IRS considers a variety of factors, including the time devoted (by both compensated and volunteer workers) and the expenditures devoted by the organization to the activity, when determining whether the lobbying activity is substantial.

Under the substantial part test, an organization that conducts excessive lobbying activity in any taxable year may lose its tax-exempt status, resulting in all of its income being subject to tax. In addition, a religious organization is subject to an excise tax equal to five percent of its lobbying expenditures for the year in which it ceases to qualify for exemption.

Further, a tax equal to five percent of the lobbying expenditures for the year may be imposed against organization managers, jointly and severally, who agree to the making of such expenditures knowing that the expenditures would likely result in the loss of tax-exempt status.

Organizations undertake voter education activities by distributing voter guides. Voter guides, generally, are distributed during an election campaign and provide information on how all candidates stand on various issues. These guides may be distributed with the purpose of educating voters; however, they may not be used to attempt to favor or oppose candidates for public elected office.
http://www.taxingod.com/

 

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