Formerly Ad Orientem

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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children.

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Irish Elk
Thursday, August 07, 2003  
Loose Canon: I know it's the nature of identity politics, but what strikes me about the case of Rev. Canon Robinson is the selfishness, first in leaving a wife and two children in the name of lifestyle, then in persisting in a bid for advancement even at the cost of tearing a supposedly beloved faith community asunder.

UPDATE: Oh, to write as well as Lileks, who absolutely nails the point: The guy left his wife and kids to go do the hokey-pokey with someone else: that’s what it’s all about, at least for me. Marriages founder for a variety of reasons, and ofttimes they’re valid reasons, sad and inescapable. But “I want to have sex with other people” is not a valid reason for depriving two little girls of a daddy who lives with them, gets up at night when they're sick, kisses them in the morning when they wake. There's a word for people who leave their children because they don't want to have sex with Mommy anymore: selfish. I'm not a praying man, but I cannot possibly imagine asking God if that would be okay. Send them another Dad, okay? Until you do I'll keep my cellphone on 24/7, I promise.

* The Very Rev. John Burwell, an Episcopal priest from South Carolina who has been posting a chronicle from the convention, offers a conservative's perspective on the Day After.

* How interesting that for all the squishy multicultural affectations of Episcopal hierarchs, the loudest protests against the unorthodox departures of the American church are coming from Anglican leaders in the Third World.

* Anglicans traditionally have described the underpinnings of their faith through the analogy of a stool resting on three legs, Scripture, Tradition and Reason. Some might argue the Episcopalians have kicked out at least two, and perhaps all three, of those legs. But this sermon delivered a couple years back by an Australian pastor posits the addition of a fourth leg – the Social-Justice-Diversity leg, if you will. It is upon this fourth leg the American church has decided to most heavily lean.

And to mix metaphors, those who don't like the remodeling – who wish to preserve the faith in which they had been born and raised in the form in which it had been handed down through the generations – are shown the door. Oh, so collegially, of course. With smarmy protestations of sadness at their leaving, and assurances they're always welcome to come home. To a home they no longer recognize and that is no longer theirs.

Those who don't assent to what has been, for all its touchy-feely-ness, a hostile takeover of their faith and its institutions, are dismissed as unreconstructed reactionaries, as unenlightened, as intolerant, and as destructive of conciliation and unity.

The preservationists are portrayed as the home-wreckers.

* Read a remarkable perspective from a gay Orthodox former Anglican deacon in San Francisco:

The question was how can we as gay Christians make room for those who disagree with us: St Paul says not to scandalize each other, shouldn't we as gay folks side with Saint Paul and stand down our new morality so as to keep from scandalizing those who held an opposing view? The answer was a clear, "No." There was no room for people like that in the Church - the time to insist was now. In the words of Barbara Harris, "let them go." Or, "Good bye and don't let the door hit you on the way out."

…[T]he other rector of our parish…asked me, point blank, why it was I wanted to be in communion with those folks who didn't want to be in communion with me - and why I was willing to ignore folks who
wanted to be in communion with me. The problem was not that I was rejecting those folks - old friends, comforting faces. The problem was they were rejecting me: not for my sexuality but rather for the heresy (in liberal eyes) of believing in the Bible and the created order of things, of believing in a bodily crucified and bodily resurrected Christ; the heresy (in liberal eyes) of being a mostly (small o) orthodox Christian. A quote currently making the rounds - "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying: 'You are mad, you are not like us.'" - Abba Anthony of Egypt. I was mad in their eyes. (Via Bettnet.com)


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