breaking apart, and not just in the U.S.

I have been reading over the past few weeks of Episcopal priests and parishes who are jumping the Episcopal ship and seeking episcopal oversight outside the U.S. Now, we have “Anglican” bishops under the authority of Rwanda, priests under the episcopal authority of bishops in Uganda, Nigeria, and Bolivia, among others. Now, some British liberals who favor inclusion of homosexuals have said they will seek alternative episcopal oversight from American bishops if the Church of England sides with those demaning exclusion of homosexuals.
The bishops in countries from the global south are quick to get their foot in the door as the geographical territory of the current Anglican province in the United States is subdivided into geographical oblivion by their actions.
According to Anglican tradition and recent pronouncements by the world’s Anglican Primates, no bishop can enter another’s province or diocese to exercise episcopal duties or oversight without the prior approval of the diocesan bishop with jurisdiction. The primates who are feverishly opposed to Gene Robinson and the American Church’s decisions during General Convention ’03, declare that the American Church is infringing upon their territories and imposing upon them something that is sin and against 2,000 years of tradition, and that the American Church does not have that right. Yet, here are the same primates and bishops literally infringing upon the American Church’s authority and establishing their own beachheads of authority in the American Church’s territory. They are acting hypocritically, despite their justifications.
So, we have activist bishops from all over the world violating their own decisions and pronouncements, and I wonder what will happen when suddenly two, or perhaps three, new churches under the episcopal authority of different bishops start to compete with each other. What will the bishop from Bolivia do when it seems that the church under a bishop of Nigeria is luring parishioners away from his church? What will happen when the peculiar beliefs or activities of one foreign church conflict with those of another foreign church located in the U.S.?
This is no different than Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches and denominations that continue to splinter time and time again. The “Continuing” Anglican denominations in the U.S. simply continue this trend. Now, opportunistic bishops around the world are setting up their own mini-denominations/fiefdoms in the U.S. It will never end. As several conservative traditionalists have said – it is all about power.

You go girl! (I have never in my life said this or written this, until now!)

I came across this today:

The following was written by a Christian lady, married, professional,
heterosexual, with grown children:
Alan Keyes, conservative sometime candidate for the presidency of the United
States and now candidate for Senator from Illinois, has recently said that
lesbians are “sinners” and “selfish hedonists.”
As a Roman Catholic Christian (like Keyes) and as a straight woman, I’d like
to dissect this statement.
1. “Sinners.” Catholic theology teaches that all men and women are
sinners, so this is kind of non-news. Keyes could, with equal accuracy, have
proclaimed that all garbage collectors are sinners, or all politicians are
sinners, or whoever. This statement seems hardly worth the ink it takes to
print it, or the breath it takes so say it.
2. “Selfish hedonists.” This is the meat of Keyes’ statement, and
I am frankly startled by it. Note the implication. This is a statement that
straight sex is less fun than lesbian sex. Now, this may or may not be true,
but I’m wondering how Alan Keyes, who, whatever else he is, is a guy, would
know this.
So. Where are we? Lesbians are “hedonists”, meaning, pleasure-seekers. Their
sex is more fun, Keyes is saying. If I were sufficiently “selfish” that’s
what I’d be doing. But no. Since I am “unselfish” and I’m not apparently
interested in pleasure, I, as a straight woman, will be the stoic, bravely
putting up with (less pleasurable? entirely non-pleasurable?) sex with a
man, for the greater good or something. How virtuous of me, right?
My husband was especially pleased by this insight, needless to say.

Heaven or hell

I was walking along the boardwalk and ocean at Coney Island today. There were hoards of people enjoying the day, the water, the music, and one another. As I walked along the shore I couldn’t help but watch the joy of the children as they played, and their parents, too.
If what is traditionally emphasized within Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism is true, that those who do not make a specific decision to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and then live a life that proves their decision will end up in Hell for all eternity, then the vast majority of God’s creation will end up burning for all eternity.
I just don’t know. I don稚 remember the theologian or pastor who offered this theory, but it is appealing: as moral free-agents, God will abide by our decision.
I don’t know.

Who owns “Marriage”

Who owns the term “marriage?” Is “marriage” a term that belongs to the Church, society independent of the Church, or both?
I have heard it said many times that most gay people are not that concerned with getting “married,” per say, meaning that all the ceremonial trappings and many of the ideas of heterosexual marriage are not a necessity for the survival of their relationships. After all, successful gay couples have had to survive without State and Church approval, and in most cases within hostile environments. Whether the Church gives its blessing or the State gives them a license does not make their relationship any more valid in their own experience. Considering that nearly half of all heterosexual marriages do not survive, including born-again Christian marriages, State and Church sanction will not make that much difference in the good survival of their relationships, it seems. Yet, for purposes of equal treatment under the law, at least State sanction can be an important aspect of gay relationships – survivor benefits, rights of visitation, taxes, equal treatment in housing, work, et cetera.
Is the word “marriage” the domain of the Church? This means the Church needs a well-developed theology of marriage, which it lacks. (Who controls marriage – is a couple married when they receive the piece of paper from the State, or when they finish the ceremony within a Church? Perhaps neither, but when intercourse first takes place? Does the Church want to relinquish control to the State?) The problem is that the Church and Christians have been such miserable failures concerning marriage survival rates.
What about Civil-Unions? The way the State deals with the issue gay couples and the way the Church deals with the issue should be very different. When the Church demands that the State accept its definitions and reasoning that result in the denial of equal protection for one segment of the population, then we have problems with the establishment of religion…