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Friday, June 20, 2008

Garret Keizer's Harper's essay

I came across mention of an article at The Pew Forum - an essay in the June issue of Harper's magazine by Garret Keizer called “Turning Away From Jesus: Gay rights and the war for the Episcopal Church.”

I hesitate to even post this .... it seems to me that I've been posting a lot on this subject lately and I'm not sure if it's because it's been in the news or because I tend to be like a dog with a bone when I'm interested in an issue As to why I'm interested, I'm not sure - it certainly isn't popular and I don't have a stake it it, aside from the stake we all should have when we see people getting pushed around .... no man is an island :). Maybe I should stick to science fiction posts in the future - heh.

Anyway, here's a bit on the essay from Reuters .....

Provocative Harper’s essay on Anglican split over gays

The June issue of “Harper’s Magazine” has a provocative essay by Garret Keizer called “Turning Away From Jesus: Gay rights and the war for the Episcopal Church.”

The split in the global Anglican Communion over the consecration of the openly gay U.S. Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson and the broader issue of the church’s take on sexual orientation and other social issues in general has been extensively reported on.

These fault lines are partly but far from exclusively geographical, dividing more traditional churches in the developing world — especially Africa — from those in the developed world. It threatens to undermine Anglican provinces like the Episcopal Church in the United States by creating competing authorities within them, one for a more liberal majority and another for a conservative minority ....

And here's an excerpt from the essay from the Episcopal Cafe, The Lead ....


For me it is the methods more than the motives [of realignment leaders] that invite scrutiny, and the similarity of these methods to those of corporate culture that has the most to say to readers outside the church. What is “provincial realignment” at bottom, if not the ecclesiastical version of a corporate merger? What is “alternative oversight” if not church talk for a hostile takeover? For that matter, how far is “hostile takeover” from the sort of church talk that makes frequent reference to the mission statement, the growth chart, and evangelism’s “market share”? Martyn Minns, Peter Akinola’s irregularly consecrated missionary bishop to the breakaway churches of the conservative Convocation of Anglicans in North America, told me that he had learned more during his years at Mobil Oil Corporation than he’d ever learned in the seminary. I suspect that is a much less exceptional statement than either Bishop Minns or the rest of us would care to admit.

I was more surprised when I asked Minns what writers in the Anglican tradition had most influenced him, to have him cite Philip Jenkins’ The Next Christianity and Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat. Friedman’s status as an Anglican aside, this is a ways from Richard Hooker. This is sola scriptura with a weird appendix, Matthew Mark and Mega-trends—and it is this aspect of the “global crisis” in Anglicanism and of the cant attending it that one would expect to be of greatest concern to any person marching under the flag of orthodoxy: this reverential awe for the “global forces” that we ourselves animate, the idols that speak with your voice. The global dynamics of Anglican realignment work in a manner not unlike the global dynamics of outsourcing and extraordinary rendition: the Galilean carpenter (or the Kabul cab driver) has his part to play and his cross to bear, but it’s the little Caesars calling the shots.”


and another excerpt from the essay from Father Jake Stops the World ...


..I am among those disappointed with Rowan Williams for not inviting Gene Robinson to Lambeth, especially after speaking so often and so well about the rights of gay and lesbian people. But, after visiting with certain persons in England, including Colin Coward, the director and founder of the Anglican gay and lesbian advocacy group Changing Attitude, I feel I understand a little better what's at stake "if Rowan loses the Communion," which would mean losing any leverage for protecting the rights of sexual minorities in countries whose leadership both ecclesiastical and political is, as one American observer put it, "viciously, lethally homophobic." Who am I to say what the Archbishop of Canterbury ought to do? I can only say what I wish he'd do, which is slip out of Lambeth Palace well before the dogs are up and go fishing with Gene, a typically dotty Anglican solution to a "global crisis," I admit, but one not without precedent in the earliest strata of the tradition...



Blogger Jack said...

Excellent!!! Jack

7:25 AM  
Blogger crystal said...


10:26 AM  

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