Of course, it's not all about homosexuality. Homosexuality is merely the shibbolth issue, the means to separate out people who would otherwise be indistinguishable. It's hard work knowing your friends from your enemies when they all look alike.
So, was Jeffery John a contender for the See of Bangor? No sooner had that suggestion swept the media and blogosphere (and my comment) than it was followed by cold water.
James at Three Legged Stool had an explanation:
You’ll never guess who “broke” the story. The Rev’d. David Anderson. Yes, THE
David Anderson who is one of the American conservatives who led the fight
against the consents for Gene Robinson. The very same Anderson who ran around
like a chicken with its head cut off, spreading assiduous lies about Robinson
and never offered an apology.
Andersons “intervention” is a not so subtle attempt to invigorate
fundamentalists once again to oppose John's nomination/appointment and to give
legitimacy to the fundamentalists' un-Christian actions.
Very likely. Beyond the core of committed activistis t is hard work keeping supporters together and on side in the battle. You need to keep crying 'Wolf!' at intervals.
But I'd still like to see John made Bishop - perhaps for the same reasons.
For those who like their homosexuality in greater depth and length the American Theological Review has devoted its Summer 2008 edition to the issue. The Introduction is on the net.
From Integrity USA:
The LGBT Religious Archives Network has posted an oral history interview with the Rev. Malcolm Johnson, one of the first openly gay clergy in the Church of England. Johnson played a critical role in the initiation of organizations that
have been formative in the lives of LGBT Anglicans and clergy: The St. Katharine's Group (social group formed in 1968), the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (1976) and the Clergy Consultation (1976). In this interview Johnson
relates his life journey beginning with childhood in World War II, his subsequent education and ministry training, and forty years of formal ministry through which was interwoven an extensive array of ministries with LGBT persons.
Homosexuality was on the agenda at a joint meeting of the Diocese of Springfield and Diocese of Quincy presided over by Bishops Ackerman and Beckwith - and mandatory for clergy and lay leaders (August 30th).
There is an account here (Episcopal Cafe) and here comments at the Three Legged Stool. Gems include (all from Episcopal Cafe):
Both bishops took turns praising GAFCON, and expressed their ambivalence
Bishop Beckwith then stated that these issues can only be seen through the
following prism: "Is homosexual behavior a wholesome example to the Christian
community?" *TEC says 'yes'. *GAFCON says 'no'. Anglicans need consensus.
The Rev. James Fackler, retired Lutheran supply clergy in the Diocese of
Springfield, asked why he had not once heard the word 'love' in the previous 3
hours' of talk. 'Where is love for the homosexual?' he asked to deafening
silence. He further emphasized the enormous on-going damage that schism had
caused in his own church, referring to it as having a 'killing effect' on both
A layman from another moderate parish in the northern part of the Diocese
of Springfield asked Bishop Beckwith about the ongoing 'lack of communication'
in the Diocese of Springfield. The subtext of the question clearly being that
DoS parishes that dare to not subscribe to their Bishop's anti-inclusion agenda
are routinely marginalized and actively ignored.
But, as so often, Mark Harris is blunt and clear:
It has taken a while to get the message out. But it is out. No matter that the Bishops of San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, Fort Worth and Quincy determine to leave the Episcopal
Church, through whose ecclesial community they hold orders. No matter that there
are clergy and laity who will go with them. There will indeed be EPISCOPAL
CHURCH dioceses of San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, Fort Worth and Quincy beyond the
time of their leaving.
It's not all about homosexuality. It's also about power, pensions and control of property. It's also about who gets to control the brand name 'Anglicanism'.