What we are up against…

Bishop Catherine Waynick of Indianapolis sent a pastoral letter to all within her diocese discussing the Covenant Relationship document produced by the House of Bishops. In part of the letter, she relates portions of what Frank Griswold, the Presiding Bishop, said of his experience at the Primates Meeting last month.
Here is a quote:

“He said that several colleagues came to him and asked quiet and sincere questions about the nature of same sex relationships which revealed to him the profound misunderstandings in other parts of the world. Surprisingly, the most vocal outrage was expressed when they were told that in such partnerships either or both of the men actually cooked meals. This revelation was greeted with genuine horror;
men should not cook!”(emphasis mine)
If this is accurate, and the several bishops expressed horror at the thought of men actually cooking, how in the world can we understand the vast differences between our cultures and the effect of those differences on our understanding of what is and is not godly and of God?

Natural Family Manifesto

I read this from the Focus-on-the-Family CITIZENLINK e-mail dated March 16, 2005. The two authors, Dr. Allen Carlson of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society and Paul Mero of the
Sutherland Institute argue that the “first chore is to properly define ‘family.'”
Read the description they propose below. The only things that would or could differentiate a straight household from a gay household is that they demand that a family must be defined as a “man and a woman” and procreation. Obviously, a gay “family” must adopt children, but so does a straight “family” comprising an infertile couple. All other aspects described below are absolutely possible whether the family is made up of a straight or gay couple.

“The two are Dr. Allen Carlson of the Howard Center for
Family, Religion and Society and Paul Mero of the
Sutherland Institute. In today’s world, they argue, the
first chore is to properly define “family.”
“(Family is) the union of a man and a woman through
marriage,” Carlson said, “for the purposes of sharing love
and joy, propagating children, providing their moral
education, building a vital home economy, offering
security in times of trouble and binding the generations.”

Covenant Statement

The House of Bishops has issued a “Covenant Statement” after their recent meeting.
I think it is a good statement and good movement forward for the U.S. Church. The suspension of all approval of elections and subsequent consecrations of new bishops until the next General Convention in 2006 in Columbus, Ohio is a strong statement that the Church will honor the Windsor Report by not consecrating new bishops who are openly gay and with partner and also respecting gay and lesbian people by agreeing to not consecrate any new bishops.
I am glad to see, also, that the bishops reaffirmed their dedication to and support of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral. This is the statement that details the elements Anglicans and the Episcopal Church in the U.S. believe to be necessary for ecumenical relations, including intra-Anglican relations.
It seems that the bishops are taking seriously the need to present to the wider Anglican Communion a strong theological statement, along with biblical justifications, for why the U.S. Church in Convention during 2003 supported the election and subsequent consecration of Bishop Robinson and acknowledged that various diocese and parishes within the U.S. Church are moving forward on blessing same-sex unions. This will be good for all of us!
I have been saying for a while now that the “accommodationist” position is not well stated beyond appeals to emotion and victimization (among many other valid things). Accommodationists need to meet “prohibitionists” on their plain of understanding as much as prohibitionists need to acknowledge and address the justifications and understanding of the accommodationists. We need to talk with each other and strive to understand the position of our “opponents.” Anyway, I look forward to the theological statement coming from the House of Bishops.