Tag Archives: gay rights

Anglicanism, Episcopalians, and gay rights

Food for thought, from an 8-year-old book entitled Anglican Communion in Crisis: How Episcopal Dissidents and Their African Allies Are Reshaping Anglicanism:

In their conflicting positions on homosexuality, both sides view their positions on this issue as part of their religious identities and faith commitments. Although conservatives sometimes describe the liberal position as an adoption of secular humanist values from the surrounding culture, proponents of both the conservative and the liberal positions ground their arguments in understandings of God, scripture, and the church….

Liberal Christians generally do not take a literalist view of Scripture and offer less condemning readings of the biblical passages that conservatives take as denouncing homosexuality. One example comes from the book What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality, by Roman Catholic priest David Helminiak. Helminiak writes: “Somehow God must be behind the fact that some people are homosexual. Then why should God’s word in the Bible condemn homosexuality? . . . There must be another answer. The mistake must be in how the Bible is being read.”

Helminiak’s statement hints at a second liberal argument, based on humanistic ideas about the naturalness and goodness of human nature. This argument holds that since some people experience themselves as homosexual, and since presumably God made them that way, then expressing their sexual orientation cannot be inherently wrong. Such views also rest on an incarnational theology that sees Jesus Christ’s taking on human form as validating humanity in a fundamental way. Human nature is seen not as negative and inimical to faith and purity, but as God’s gift, sanctified by Christ’s sharing in it. An element of liberation theology is present here as well, in the conviction voiced by many liberal Episcopalians that the gospel’s central message concerns freedom from oppression. [emphasis added]

— Miranda K. Hassett, in Anglican Communion in Crisis : How Episcopal Dissidents and Their African Allies Are Reshaping Anglicanism, Princeton University Press, 2007

In both of the above-boldfaced cases, notice how sovereignty, that key term for Reformation theology, is implied in the liberal Christian perspective.

A libertarian defense of Miss California

From a post at The Humble Libertarian:

I would like for homosexuals and gay rights activists to extend to Carrie Prejean the same right that she affirmed they have, the right to choose. Is it intolerant for her to say she believes homosexuality is wrong? Should she keep her morality to herself? If you answered “yes” to both those questions, then you have accused her behavior of being wrong and you haven’t kept your morality to yourself. You’ve been intolerant by your own standards. You see, the essence of tolerance is disagreement. You disagree with someone, but you do not forcibly coerce them into acting according to your conclusions. You allow them to act according to theirs even if you disagree with them.

I think Miss California’s answer was a perfectly good summation of the proper attitude for someone like her (who has conservative sexual mores) to have. She said she thinks it’s great that people can choose, but she personally disagrees with some of their choices. Miss California summed up the essence of tolerance. It was an extremely tolerant answer to give. Unfortunately, it didn’t really answer the question. …

Read the full post here.