(ENS) South Carolinians have ”˜grievous concern,’ over General Convention actions

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

One comment on “(ENS) South Carolinians have ”˜grievous concern,’ over General Convention actions

  1. Todd Granger says:

    My comment, which I’m not sure will survive moderation at the website:

    XXX, the suggestion you make in your comment – that opposition to the blessing of homosexual relationships is motivated by a cold uncharitableness that would reject a child of homosexual orientation, and that this moral defect must be prayed out of the offender – is frankly offensive, and as much without substantiating evidence as an unthinking conservative claim that support for blessing homosexual relationships is motivated by nothing other than a desire to baptize concupiscence and to kowtow to the culture. Love is manifested by an acceptance of the person, not by an uncritical validation of everything about the person.

    As for “hard” answers – whose witness was hardest to bear in the midst of General Convention: South Carolina and the few deputies who stood during the reading of the conservative bishops’ statement in the HoD, or those deputies in the super-majority who voted for the same-sex blessing resolution and the large majority who voted for the transgender resolutions? Why do you for a moment think that those of us who continue to hold up traditional biblical and catholic teaching on human sexuality haven’t done any hard work in arriving at that position? Why do you think that position is so easy to maintain? It isn’t, if for no other reason than the fact that thinking hard about sexuality and sexual sin has the effect of turning a bright light on the dark corners of my own soul, to my own significant discomfort (which, Deo gratias, puts me on my knees). In the introduction to his book, _The Bible and Homosexual Practice_, Professor Robert Gagnon lists a number of risks taken by those who publicly espouse a critical position against blessing homosexual relationships: being labeled homophobic; being labeled intolerant; being labeled exclusive and resistant to diversity; being labeled uncritical (or, as you put it, “simple-minded”); being charged with promoting violence against homosexual persons. A public position of critique is not pleasant for most of us, leaving us vulnerable to the host of stereotypes listed (which you have yourself indulged) and positioning us squarely against cultural norms prevailing in most of the media and the academy – and The Episcopal Church. The public position of critique also carries with it regrets, not least that, in Gagnon’s words, “a rigorous critique of same-sex intercourse can have the unintended effect of brings personal pain to homosexuals”. Theological conservatives – myself included – deplore attempts to demean the humanity of homosexuals persons, though in a culture in which acceptance of one’s humanity means an uncritical validation of everything about the person – or at least, everything about the person considered important and admirable by the culture – simply opposing the blessing of homosexual unions is apt to be understood as precisely that.

    The reason that theological conservatives leave the table (whether by walking out of General Convention or by walking out of The Episcopal Church, as hundreds of thousands have done in the last decade) is that we are tired of being asked to stay at the table and engage in conversation – or as you more piously put it, to keep going to Church and to keep praying – when the “conversation” seems to be an entirely one-way exchange.