Comments: Goddard2Goddard continues

I would have more faith in Fulcrum and Inclusive Church if they weren't made up of and controlled by so many ambitious people. Many of them also happen to be academic snobs who are disdainful of the grass roots of the Church and how we choose to communicate. Groups like these always lead to fudge and never to revolution as revolution would probably remove what they crave.

Posted by MadPriest at Saturday, 10 February 2007 at 12:12pm GMT

Straight speaking ! Terrific to hear this being said as it is.

Up the revolution

(yours unambitious nonperson floating on the breath of god )

Posted by seeker at Saturday, 10 February 2007 at 2:34pm GMT

"No theology can possibly be built on the back of anecdote and I have no doubt you could find powerful stories of the effectiveness of a more conservative approach. But my point is that we are not talking in a vacuum. We are dealing with real people’s lives, faith and loves and in that context we have to tread carefully, lest we tread on their dreams." Giles Goddard

Please don't miss the "real peoples lives, faith and loves" part....also, "tread carefully, lest we tread on their dreams."

As Bishop's Akinola and Orombi "build" yet more ugly and humorless "anecdotes" against fellow Anglicans and LGBT fellow human beings, dreams become nightmares in Nigeria, Uganda, Virginia, California and beyond. I imagine that's why fear, exclusion, outcasting and thievery are the core values of their religious mission and export theology of difference and hate...deadly and not funny to fellow Christians at the very REAL Anglican Communion.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Saturday, 10 February 2007 at 5:59pm GMT

I was struck by the honesty of Giles Goddard's words -- in particular this, "And in that context I’m afraid I have to say that I don’t think your position is sustainable. I don’t think it’s sustainable biblically, theologically, pastorally or ecclesiologically."

I do believe that, in the long term, he is quite right about this.

As Dr. King said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice."

Posted by Prior Aelred at Saturday, 10 February 2007 at 8:28pm GMT

Rather a good letter, I think (plain speaking from an unambitious academic snob).

Posted by Pluralist at Saturday, 10 February 2007 at 10:57pm GMT

Yes, I remain glad that Giles Goddard has the energy and the interest left to engage with his companion from Fulcrum. It helps me discern how much I personally have moved on, without quite realizing just how far I had moved onwards in faith and in humanity. I am not, not, not, mainly concerned in daily life with constantly addressing conservative straight peoples' continuing legacy doubts about whether I could possibly be up to anything good or common sense decent in my life just because I am not straight and also not conservative just like them.

Like Bishop Paul Marshall in the Diocese of Bethlehem, I am not all that willing to continue tilted closed-end conversations with highly conservative people who always need for me to address, nothing but their continued ignorances, fears, disgusts, and mistaken ideas of all definitive sorts about what sort of person I am as a person who is not straight. I am indeed weary, after having given it say forty years of conversation in trainings and workshops and much else, of still having myself invited in all seriousness to explain yet again why a legacy condemnation list that includes me with liars, thieves, rapists, murderers, and child molesters is a non-starter, empirically speaking, definitively from the get-go.

I suppose that addressing the conservative believers' tortured angst and condemnations is still is a worthy goal, service, calling, and ministry. Bravo to Giles Goddard and others who can take it up, still, in good hope and good conscience.

Nevertheless I do not quite see how the rest of us can move on, to do - and equally importantly live with the good guidance of the Holy Spirit and the companionship of each other into - the positive theologizing about both gay and straight people that Giles says he can recognize as our next steps, if at the same time we are always having to take seventy-seven steps back to address the ground zero flash points of empirical disconfirmation and surprise which so many conservative believers adamantly fail or refuse to let change one iota of anything for them.

Posted by drdanfee at Sunday, 11 February 2007 at 1:33am GMT

Having posted a bit on StandFirm, for example, I can say that - minus the key 90 percent of human communication that is nonverbal - the feeling tone, not to mention the negative thinking, is unremittingly hostile. No matter what, full stop, period. Are any of the Fulcrum views that much more open and willing to address the results of the available empirical hypothesis testing?

StandFirm replies are flatly disinterested in any good innate to my real world queer life and work and relationships. One bright fellow solemnly and (as he estimated) lovingly opined that his wide reading had revealed to him that people whose sexual orientations were not straight were either infected with an undiscovered virus, or that maybe their mothers had been infected with a virus at some critical stage of pregnancy. So he could little fathom why I did not long, day and night, to have conservative religious people identify the virus and find a cure for my lamentable condition. Meanwhile, of course, I should quaratine my sexuality behaviorally so that I did not further express the inferior nature of my sad, sad, sad inferior sexual orientation.

What does consistently interest the posters on StandFirm? Why, presuming definitively or presuppositionally that everything in my life and person and relationships must be nothing but exemplar of the going updated versions of the familiar legacy negative views.

As Sarah Hey herself bothered to reply to a comment (I paraphrase) on one thread: Nothing you could ever say would ever make me change my mind.

At the very same time, such conservative posters are not in the least willing to credit just how much they have indeed changed some of their most ancient legacy views about me - that crops are blighted or cattle stillborn because I could be having oral sex, say? - for empirical reasons. Nor are those empirical matters at all relevant to the foundational hermeneutics or epistemology of any further discernment we could possibly engage concerning queer folks, their progressively welcoming families, and their welcoming friends.

Talk about high religious privileges to call all the shots in all the games of critical intellect, bar none. Isn’t this way of following Jesus way too similar to what we know of the school hard bullies who always varied the rules of school ball games, and happened to find things in their own favor? Their shots were always in bounds, and everybody elses' shots were fallible, inept, and yes you guessed it, clearly out of bounds.

Posted by drdanfee at Sunday, 11 February 2007 at 2:06am GMT

Repeated conservative religious false witness against people who are not straight passes without notice. Religious believers continue to presume that anything and everything bad or awful in a queer citizen's life must have been caused, somehow, in whole or in part, by the person not having a straight sexual orientation. This is just one of the Really Big Lies that religious believers feel constrained to repeat so often.

No conservative leader, except for some very oblique comments from Canterbury which get quickly lost in the flux as erudite to the point of obtuseness, worries any Global South Anglican much, let alone communicates any hint of irony about this customary false witness. Thankfully, Archbishop Ndungane of South Africa remains an exception, and one wonders why Canterbury and York find it so impossible to join vigorously with him by speaking plainly with authority, against this presumptive Big Lie.

I, on the other hand, find it quite ironic that my sexual orientation categorically adds me no matter what to a list of awful people like liars, while religious people who say they are examples of the only real believers possible may continue to tell lies about the alleged ethical failed quality of my life, my work, my body, and my relationships of care.

Why am I lacking in good living? Because I did not get there via the prescribed penal atonement pathways? And because I am not straight and not willing to automatically grant on religious grounds that exclusively straight people have the only true truth to tell about what is good in my life, my work, my relationships?

I also find it highly ironic that these same believers can repeat familiar condemnation code phrases which as we all know too well, buttress their closed discernment that I am a much worse sort of human being than simply a person who has been caught lying when he gave a customer change.

This leads me to suggest that until such conservative believers can imagine under what rubrics of disconfirming empirical evidence and discernment they could possibly change their minds - we are pitched at a closed impasse by their definitive, closed presuppositional commitments. If the careful research results done over the past fifty to sixty years does not loosen their closed commitments enough to realize the disconfirming nature of that empirical evidence, what in the world could possibly move them onwards from legacy condemnation?

Posted by drdanfee at Sunday, 11 February 2007 at 2:21am GMT

what would revolution look like , Madpriest? a thriving church committed to a gospel of justice and generosity? well, that would be a start, I suppose. There are lots of ways to turn a wheel - we're trying to do it by engaging with those with whom we don't agree. In the present climate that feels a bit revolutionary!

And I have to say I don't recognise many academic snobs among those involved in IC .. and is a parish between the Elephant and Castle and Peckham not grass roots enough?

Posted by Giles Goddard at Sunday, 11 February 2007 at 9:25am GMT

He started it.

Posted by MadPriest at Sunday, 11 February 2007 at 12:19pm GMT

In MadPriests defense, some of the cruelest and most selfish people I have ever worked with have come from liberal/labour movements.

I have been delighted to see a renaissance of articles in the last few months with the labour movement in various countries realising they had lost touch with their religious allies from their early years.

They have been so busy fighting arch conservatives that they have allowed themselves to stereotype all religious people as conservative. That has done themselves a disservice.

It has also done the conservatives a disservice as they have been able to erroneously develop a paradigm that the only biblical interpretations are conservative interpretations.

The churches who have aided and abetted the development of sociopathic economic systems, and victory at any cost have a lot to answer for.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Monday, 12 February 2007 at 7:39am GMT
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