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, June 29, 2006

A Real Debate

I've been following the right's reactions to the Episcopal convention. I came across Cal Thomas's piece which claims that liberals are trying to be "relevant" and "poll driven" in their inclusion of gay and lesbians.

Conservatives in this debate want to be treated as if they have serious theological concerns when it comes to homosexuality. They don't want to be simply dismissed as bigots and that doing so stops debate. The same consideration needs to be given to liberals as well.

There are real moral and theological reasons that liberals support gay and lesbian inclusion. We are not trying to curry favor. Look at the polls on these culture war issues and ask yourself, who is more in line with it, the Southern Baptists or the Episcopal Church?

If you want to find who is poll driven, look at the two political parties. They shift and turn with the newest polls. If any decision looks costly they abandon it. Look at the Episcopal Church. They are threatened with expulsion from the Communion and continual attacks.

Even if life would be a lot easier in the communion if they stopped insisting that gay and lesbians are welcome they continue to do so anyways. They continue to risk punishments because they as fervently believe in this as much as the right believes their claims.

If there's going to be real discussion, something which is rare, even more so in the church, it's going to have to be over the real theological issues at stake, not simply dimissing the other side with ulterior motives. Let's assume folks really believe in their cause.


At 12:23 PM , Blogger Alan said...

I absolutely agree.

I can't tell you the number of times I've discussed LGBT issues with someone who starts from the position that I don't believe in Scripture and/or don't take it seriously.

Unfortunately, I guess it's easier to simply dismiss someone than seriously engage them.

At 2:04 PM , Anonymous Tim said...

What I found interesting was the description of the problem as a `choice between two goods' - one of continuing to welcome all comers, and one of staying in the larger Anglican Communion.

What I find annoying is the misportrayal of the conflict as over the issue of homosexuality. It's not: one side is defined as being progressive, inclusive and welcoming - even of right-wingers - while the other has a bee in its bonnet over one particular issue and wants to distance itself from people. The other side also supports homophobia in all its worst connotations - let's not forget that Akinola signed a law in Nigeria that forbids even discussion of the subject.
What I don't understand is those parishes and dioceses in a supposed "civilization" trying to break out of ECUSA and side with him.

Reading Rowan Williams' utterences is highly enlightening (and not too far off what I've been thinking, this past week or so). Certainly it shows up a great discrepancy in some of the popular press - any whiff of a "2-tier anglican communion" gets misrepresented as a "split" at the drop of a hat. Idiots.


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