Jul 31, 2008
There are many NGO's (non-governmental organizations) working non-stop, everyday in Central America. Many of my friends donate their time and positive energies to help enrich the lives of others through these NGO organizations which are often the most effective voices for the concerns of ordinary people in the international arena. NGOs include the most outspoken advocates of human rights, the environment, social/health programs, family planning, women's rights, libraries/learning centers and more:
Many people I know are striving to be of service to those who often live in REAL situations of daily desperation and need. Outside ideas, experience and various forms of appropriate HELP convert desperation into enthusiasm for living. Help generates HOPE and then generates actual, hands on, working/learning opportunities that healthfully transform formerly bleak family lives into homes bursting with fresh energy/courage and a focused desire to realize everyones well-being...usually gainful employment, peace-of-mind and greater security follow rather quickly...few are lazy here and the everyday hard workers are willing and ready to "step up" to fresh opportunities/challenges as the visions for better "living" unfold before their eyes!
My friend Judy and her husband Gene wanted to help people...they sailed into Guatemala on their ship, tied up, dropped anchor and decided to go ashore...everything changed when they met Guatemala, her people and the loveliness of the country...they built a home in Antigua and decided, as retired professional people often do, to "get involved"...become "part of" the world around them, to lend a helping hand...no observing from overstuffed chairs for Judy and Gene as they invited folks to attend a first Community Forum...a forum to share information on NGO "being of service" programs in action that HELP other human beings...the Community Forum became The Antigua Network and I've invited Judy to tell you about it:
The Antigua Network is experiencing exciting times! We, a creative and healthy-spirited group of mostly retired people, are creating a web connection among the NGO's in Guatemala! We have enthusiastic members actively helping out everyday in Sacatapequez/Guatemala/Solola/Quiche/beyond and sponsoring get-togethers of NGO's to help each other help others...at these brain picking/storming meetings we share information and have developed a culture of working in a country that is far different from our own...in addition, the most prominent English publication in Antigua is planning an upcoming issue focusing on NGO's thanks to our in depth coordinating focus on the individual groups and exactly WHAT IT IS THAT THEY DO...and how we can best HELP one another HELP others.
My husband, Gene, and I would like to think that when we arranged the first Community Forum and it then became this vital Antigua Network group...we are really glad we started something HELPFUL in this community...not only helpful for making life "easier" when plowing through local "red tape" but helpful by adding living links of experience for promoting the enhancement of life here in Central America!
The purpose of our gatherings are continously unfolding before us...but, always, every meeting, we have a better understanding of our various goals, cooperation/information sharing and synergy amongst those who work so hard to improve the health, education, infrastructure and finances of the poor is the thrust of The Antigua Network.
WE want the world to know that those with "needs" in Guatemala, Central America can be helped if we volunteer time, make some donations/invest with micro-loans and share REAL LIFE work/learning experience. When NGO organizations and volunteers work together we become more efficient providers and have greater success. We bring positive change faster to the communities in which we work. Everyone benefits!
It is a joy to be retired here as we discover healthy ways to be of service and share in the blossoming of lives and families around us! We recommend it to you. Come down and visit and explore Guatemala, "The Land of Eternal Spring"...bring your one-of-a-kind, authentic, first-person, living/learning experiences and share them with us...we look forward to meeting you
Judy can be reached by contacting me, firstname.lastname@example.org (I'll forward your note) or comment right here at the blog.
Photo of Judy in my garden taken by Juan Carlos Castillo Fuentes
"Its about Human Rights, Rowan
I’ve refrained from commenting much on the Lambeth Conference as there has not been anything official to react to and media reports do not give a good flavour of what is essentially a closed event.
However, now we have a published address from Rowan Williams.
At first sight, it seems reasonable enough. Indeed, he is making an honest attempt to hear and articulate the feelings and emotions of two hypothetical voices on either “side” of the debate.
The fact is, it is the conception of the Communion as having these two sides that is the real problem.
I don’t actually think that the attempt to sum up the “liberal” side comes anywhere near to my position at all.
The things is, its all about human rights, Rowan. This is not just about the rights of gay and lesbian people in the US, it is about all of us. It is about the rights of people in all parts of the world to self expression, to practise their religion, to live freely with dignity before God. It is about the whole people of God, (you know, the laos, you must have heard of it, you’ve read a bit of theology) being able to speak in decision making in the church. It is about women and men being treated as equal human beings. It is about the western church standing up for persecuted brothers and sisters wherever they are. It is about having the confidence that Muslim and Anglican can live together in the same street and not attack one another.
Sometimes, that means standing up to bishops, such as condemning the inflamatory remarks made by Akinola connected with inter-religious rioting in Nigeria. We’ve not yet heard any condemation from the Lambeth Conference of the circumstances which caused the UK Government to offer policial assylum to a gay Anglican this week because of the violence and persecution he could expect from his home church. That shames the whole church.
It is only when a human rights agenda gets woven into all of this that there will be dignity for all those affected.
We need human rights missionaries. We need to interfere in other jurisdictions until all God’s people are free and safe in their societies and in their churches. We need to set those high, inclusive moral standards amongst all Anglican peoples. That Covenant you are suggesting is not a patch on that vision. It is a step in another direction altogether.
Any covenant which allows anything less than treating all the baptised as equally enriched and empowered by the potential of God’s grace will result in non-juring Episcopalians again in Scotland. That would be communion breaking, not communion making. You might have some problems with it even closer to home than Scotland too.
What is proposed is not a solution.
What is proposed is the problem."
Kevin Holdsworth, Provost of St. Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow
Thanks to my dear friends at:
The Friends of Jake
(a "hat tip" to lapinbizarre too)
Jul 30, 2008
Thanks be to God
Jul 29, 2008
Multiple Choice: A Final Solution, Pastoral Answer, Discrimination, Religious Persecution, Cowardly Blundering, Spite or Bad JOKE?
The discrimination, marginalizing and demonizing of Christians/others continues unchecked as does Dr. Williams chronic codependent behavior and cowardly tendency for "living in denial" about the REAL, on-the-ground, fear/hate-mongering actions and the bold instigating of INJUSTICE at some Provinces within The Anglican Communion...a contaminating spiritual sickness has been running rampant/unchecked amongst bigots in-and-around the worldwide communion for years...meanwhile, back at Lambeth Palace, FEAR/HATE and "excluding" that has been, and IS, preached by Anglican Bishops in Africa/beyond goes ignored...preached from the pulpits of those who would/do generate violent CRIMES, massacres, mass shootings, and promote "difference" everyday throughout the Anglican Communion is IGNORED and apparently silently TOLERATED by ++Rowan:
SOURCE: From The Times
July 26, 2008
HEADLINE: Anglican version of the 'inquisition' proposed to avoid future schism
by: Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
An Anglican version of the Roman Catholic church's "inquisition" is proposed today in a document seen by The Times.
Bishops are urging the setting up of an Anglican Faith and Order Commission to give "guidance" on controversial issues such as same-sex blessings and gay ordinations.
The commission was put forward as a proposal this week to the 650 bishops attending the Lambeth Conference as a way of preserving the future unity of the Anglican Communion. Insiders compared it with the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the body formerly headed by the present Pope as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and previously known as the Holy Office or Inquisition.
This morning's "observations" document is the second in a series of three. The third will be published next week. The document says: "Anglicans are currently failing to recognise Church in one another."
In a damning passage about the rows exposing the Church to public ridicule, it continues: "We value independence at the expense of interdependence in the Body of Christ. We denigrate the discipleship of others. This has led to internal fragmentation as well as to confusion among our ecumenical partners."
The document continues to propose solutions to restore unity: "We commend the suggestion for the setting up of an Anglican Communion Faith and Order Commission that could give guidance on the ecclesiological issues raised by our current crisis."
The measure is one of several new initiatives being planned described in the document as "vital for strengthening the life of our Communion".
Another project is looking at the place of the Bible in the Church. The document says: "Such projects are urgent and vital if we are to regain a sense of common values and mutual understanding."
The document also describes as "crucially important" for future unity the Anglican Covenant, a new "unity pledge" that provinces will be asked to sign up to. The covenant will be debated in detail next week.
The proposals are a sign of how the Anglican Communion is centralising its authority in an attempt to prevent further schismatic events such as the consecration of a gay bishop.
Although he will resist describing himself as such, the effect of all these measures, if they are successfully implemented, will be to turn the Archbishop of Canterbury into a de facto Anglican Pope.
In a related move, the same group, which includes the former Dean of St Paul's Dr John Moses and the Primate of South East Asia, the Most Rev John Chew, is also working on a "blueprint" of canon law. This, which would be an Anglican equivalent of the Catholic church's Code of Canon Law, is intended to become a fifth "instrument of communion" designed to hold Anglicans together.
The four existing instruments of communion are the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates Meeting and the executive body at the centre, the Anglican Consultative Council...."
Jul 28, 2008
Attention: Anglican Bishops at Lambeth Conference/Canterbury... STOP Instigating and Endorsing CRIMES of HATE against Christians/others!
Contact his mother, Judy Shepard, for details and about the ongoing campaign against the instigating of crimes of HATE:
It seems it's easy to forget the REALITY of murderous bigotry, exclusion and the every-day-marginalizing/harming and slandering of fellow human beings that often is generated by the-not-so "Good News" of irresponsible clergymen.
You know them, you've heard them, as they preach/rationalize and demonize against LGBT/others and attempt to marginalize and outcast/demean fellow human beings at all levels of Churchlife.
Currently the Archbishop of Akinola/Nigeria, Orombi/Uganda, Bul/Sudan, Kenya and others at The Anglcian Communion are guaranteeing that deadly actions of discrimination and persecution will continue to be acted-out against fellow human beings by pretending that LGBT people "don't exist" in their home countries...or, if they do exist or "surface" they are "abominations" or "lower than pigs" or "worse sinners" than other Christians at The Body of Christ.
It seems there is no end to the irresponsible excluding/demonizing voiced by ignorant extremist spewing by various self-appointed "righteous/Godly Christians." They are capable of generating HATE while refusing to accept the responsiblity for their lethal fear/hatedriven actions against others. These grandstanding and sometimes greedy fellows (and a few scared/angry women), send a message of "exclusion" and HATE-mongering from Church that is promoted against OTHER Christians/Anglicans at The Anglican Communion.
They think they are defending God. A God who needs NO defense!
There is even more HATE NEWS today as police report that Jim David Adkisson is being held for the "Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church" mass shooting/mudering tantrum/rampage against a liberal "Gay Friendly" Chuch in Knoxville Tennessee yesterday, Sunday...the whole story is here (or in any newspaper or CNN)
Attention Episcopalian/Anglican Bishops meeting at The Lambeth Conference at Kent University and Canterbury Cathedral in England:
STOP trying to rationalize fear/hate mongering at Church! QUIT allowing discrimination, punishment/outcasting and persecution of LGBT and Heterosexual Women (practiced selectively by country/Province) to continue...QUIT living in denial and please start to be fully accountable for endorsing, sometimes by silence as The Archbishop of Canterbury often does, HATE preached and instigated at OUR communion by Bishops who are sometimes also bigots and theives!
THE BEATING GOES ON! Update, England: ttp://www.exgaywatch.com/wp/2008/07/liverpool-boy-in-critical-condition-following-homophobic-beating/
Jul 26, 2008
Anglican Archbishop Drexel Gomez places a miter on the head of Bishop Coadjutor Laish Boyd at his consecration at Christ Church Cathedral in Nassau, Bahamas.
Originally uploaded by johnhanscom
Archbishop Drexel Gomez isn't a impartial sorta guy...he was dead set against the election/consecration of Bishop V.Gene Robinson of The Episcopal Church diocese of New Hampshire because Bishop V.Gene Robinson is a openly Gay person in a over 20 year committed relationship...in fact, Bishop Gomez has supported, and traveled to Africa to attend/preach at the consecration of "irregular" bishops....bishops consecrated by African Primates and charged with developing religious "missions" by locating anti-LGBT membership within The Episcopal Church parishes (inside the United States of America and inside The Episcopal Church), recruit the fearful, disgruntled and/or otherwise "excluding/abominating and marginalizing" LGBT loathers at Church and then attempt to "take-over" the REAL property/assets within the parish, within the diocese of The Episcopal Church...all in the name of God, who everyone ought know HATES FAGS...the Anglican "destructionists" including Drexel Gomez, West Indies, are a less-than-above board lot.
++Drexel doesn't come to the "Covenant Design Group" with a healthy/clean record of defending the basic HUMAN RIGHTS or even the basic safety of LGBT Christians/others in Jamaica and other places in the West Indies....Drexel Gomez (a enthusiastic supporter of dangerous fellow Gay "excluders" ++Henri Orombi/Uganda and ++Peter Akinola/Nigeria who are currently engaged in trying to take over/own Episcopal Church properties in Virginia, Colorado and California in the name of their African fear/hate-promoting religious missions) leads a Province that has a diocese, Jamaica, that encourages the exclusion of LGBT Christians/Anglicans at all levels of realife and churchlife...Jamaica has a horrible, brutal and bloody history/current record on violence directed against LGBT Anglican/Christians/others right this MOMENT:
"Stop aid to homophobic countries
July 25, 2008
Speaking to the crowd at the San Diego Pride Human Rights Vigil on Friday 18 July, veteran human rights campaigner Mr Tatchell called for an end to aid for, "viciously homophobic countries like Jamaica, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Iraq and Nigeria."
"Tyrannies should not be rewarded: No US aid for anti-gay regimes," Mr. Tatchell said.
In 2003 the Bush administration pledged $20 billion for the reconstruction of Iraq, according to Forbes magazine.
The reconstruction of Iraq is the largest rebuilding taken on by the US since the Marshall plan helped to rebuild post WW2 Europe.
Under Saddam Hussein's regime sodomy was criminalised in 2001. However, there were no recorded executions or imprisonments.
It is only in recent years that militias have sought and murdered members of the Iraqi LGBT community.
The US also pledged $15 billion to curb the AIDS epidemic in Nigeria.
Homosexuality is a punishable offence under the strict Sharia law that governs the West African country. Gay men can be handed down a sentence of 14 years imprisonment, or 100 lashes for unmarried men and 1 years imprisonment and death by stoning for married men caught in homosexual acts.
In 2004 US aid to Uganda reached $65 million, of that $56 million was donated as emergency food for Ugandans affected by conflict.
The Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni recently branded homosexuality a "negative foreign culture."
Since President Museveni's time in office began, Uganda's LGBT community has been subject to violent attacks and harassment. Many have fled the country and are now claiming asylum in Europe.
US aid to Pakistan in 2006 reached $2.8 million and was used to support a national health survey to improve health care in country.
In Pakistan having an alternative sexuality to heterosexuality can lead to life imprisonment, and Gay Nigerians face 14 years in prison.
In Jamaica, a recent survey found anti-gay statements made by the Prime Minister Bruce Golding, had boosted his popularity.
70% of the country do not believe in equal rights for the LGBT community.
After Hurricane Ivan devastated the Caribbean Island of Jamaica in 2005, the year before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the US donated $18 million in aid to help Jamaica recover.
Mr Tatchell also hit out at homophobia within the United States. He called for a boycott of all Hyatt hotels after owner Douglas Manchester for helping to fund proposition 8, the move to ban same sex marriage in California.
The international hotelier has three hotels in the UK, two of which are in London.
Protesters, including Tatchell, picketed the San Diego Hyatt hotel on Saturday. One protester said Hyatt "put so much money into advertising this hotel in gay magazines, and it's a huge slap in the face."
Jul 25, 2008
"For more than 30 years Peter Tatchell has campaigned tirelessly against homophobia, racism and sexism and for civil liberties and social justice. Through direct political action and his writing, he has stood up to and confronted injustice and abuse, often at considerable risk to himself. Despite being attacked, physically and verbally, he has never allowed himself to be bullied into silence."
Quote from Peter Tatchell:
"It's very sad to see a good man like the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, going to such extraordinary lengths to appease homophobes within the Anglican communion. He'd never try to appease anti-Semites or racists. The Anglican communion's obsession with homosexuality is not normal and not healthy. It indicates a collective sexual neurosis. Its neglect of issues like the arms race, global warming and mass poverty in the developing world is truly shameful — it has deserted Christ's gospel of love and compassion in favour of a homophobic and misogynistic agenda."
The above quotation was taken from the article "Lifelong crusader for gay rights" published today in THE IRISH TIMES.
Thank you Mad Priest:
Jul 24, 2008
"...the police and the parade organizers decided that ALL religious people posed a threat to the gay parade."
Perhaps this is why Bishop/Primate Bul of Sudan and Peter Akinola of Nigeria don't think there are ANY Gay people in Sudan or Nigeria. Peter Akinola Archbishop/Primate of Nigeria stayed in his far-away Hotel room at the outskirts of Jerusalem during this years Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem...he was excluded/prohibited from entering the area for security reasons...part of the security for protecting the all-around safety of LGBT Christians, Muslims, Jews and others by his absense and the absense of his Gafcon accomplices.
LGBT Christians and Muslims know that many religious people are a THREAT to their very living/being/breathing and religious beliving...a threat that has nothing to do with what the REAL character of any individual LGBT person may be, actually IS, or may represent in the quality of their everyday lives and/or their posivitive interactions with family and friends..
Dangerous extremist religious bigots know little of promoting Peace and Gods love with one another...they often can not be TRUSTED with ones spiritual life when one would be excluded, marginalized and/or outright damned to Hell....abominated for simply breathing in and out? It's in the blatant "intolerance and discrimination" by some of the "religious" against LGBT Christians/Muslims and Heterosexual Women in Africa/beyond that harms/stops any outreach and/or Evangelism. "Religious" excluding pontificators instigate crimes of hate and generate feelings of extreme caution and out-right DANGER when LGBT people and abused Women seek spiritual consul, help (any kind) from a trained-to-demean, demoralize and castagate/destroy "religious" preacher/leaders. One need not "do" anything wrong/sinful to qualify for viscious acts of brutality to be launched against them by extremists....but then again, you don't have to be a LGBT Christian/Muslim or a abused Heterosexual Woman to figure that out. Some "religious" excluding leaders are dangerous to EVERYONES health...in their religious madness/denial they pretend it's "evangelism" and they pretend, or have the arrogance to think/believe, they represent a God! A God who wants us to LOVE THY NEIGHBOR as they initiate massacres, suicide bombings, aggressive attacks and civil wars on fellow human beings? These are the religious "destructionists" who harm all humanity.
I imagine/believe the "neighbors" God Commands us to love include ALL of the children of God, we are instructed to love the "marginalized" people of God...NO exceptions, all means all...no wonder religious extremists are "forbidden" and considered "threatening" to come near some hearts/souls and their everyday REAL spiritual/emotional and physical lives.
Are some religious people dangerous to our spiritual and emotional health? I think so...I must not live in our world by playing pretend...spiritual or otherwise.
Jul 23, 2008
Asked about the REAL LIFE homosexual citizens in Sudan, Deng said, "They have not come to the surface, so no, I don't think we have them."
The Most Revd Dr. Daniel Deng Bul
Archbishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church of Sudan, Africa
And now a REAL LIFE "account" of what life is like in Arab Africa where homosexuality is intolerated:
"I am Arab, Sudanese national and I am writing to you with regard to the homosexuality in Sudan. In Sudan a kiss can cost you your life. First of all to begin with, I must confess I do not have the word expression to express to you the horror and the fear I am going through.
This is my best friend I am grieving about, it's all happened very quickly, I didn't had the chance to say good bye. It was last year when my friend G (I am not saying his name for my own safety) called me he asked me to meet some where. From the way he sounded I can feel he is in trouble, we have met and he told me that his brother saw him kissing another guy, he told me I think he is going to kill me as he is very anti homosexuality. So I was trying to calm him dawn & I told him don't be ridiculous no body is going to kill you just because of that & if at the time of the incident he did nothing I think he is not going to harm you, I told him to go back home and act as nothing was happened. I wish I said nothing.
Well the next 2 days my friend is been reported missing, I really thought that my friend is hiding some where & I never thought he is gone forever. Sadly the 3ed day he is been found stepped to death near by the river Nile. How sad & furious is that? such loving and caring person didn't deserve to die like that, every body loved him & he had no enemy whatsoever, he is just been condemned to death without no conviction, just like all gays in Sudan. I am going through a severe depression of what happened to my friend, knowing who did this crime I just want people to know about what is going over here, about how human life is so cheap& how intolerant & homophobic people in Muslim countries.
I just wonder is being gay is the only one thing about us? Or is it defines our whole being? Unfortunately for some people the answer is yes. You could be awarded with a Nobel Prize. (You know what I mean!) And for them you'd be just gay. So let me emphasis that our whole being is human being & being gay is only a small part of our being."
and then there was/is:
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself.”
~ Harvey S. Firestone
Stop ADDING to the abuse Dr. Bul!
PREACH LOVE for ALL of your brothers and sisters and stop instigating excluding words of outcasting, marginalizing and demonizing at Church...condem the active abuse and deadly actions of the Government of Sudan in Darfur and condem the abusive actions against Christians/Muslims/others anywhere and at anytime.
Please stop attempting to THROW PEOPLE OUT at The Anglican Communion and Body of Christ....afterall, The Episcopal Church WELCOMES everyone...get that into your head/heart and go forth in peace and attempt to SAVE lives and souls in Darfur and beyond.
Jul 22, 2008
INTRODUCING: The Guatemalan "Inner City Railroad Community" and "Safe Passage" OUT of the City Dump!
...STEP RIGHT UP and meet another "community" that I would like to introduce to you today...today a day like every other day in Central America where poverty, misery and lack of education won't go away...at least, not yet!
HELP! LAMBETH BISHOPS ARE YOU LISTENING? Can you hear us inside of the "locked down" at Canterbury Cathedral?
My friend Lisa Jensen is from New Hampshire. She's a Episcopalian from New Hampshire who is very proud of her Bishop V.Gene Robinson and the "sexual orientation" non-issue surrounding his election/consecration and his spiritual guidance and loving personal leadership at the Diocese of New Hampshire, TEC.
Today, this very day, in Guatemala City, Lisa Jensen is introducing American visitors, recently arrived volunteers and those who simply wish to HELP OUT, in someway/anyway, children who live, struggle in life, work and attempt to "play" at the Guatemala City Dump.
Attention ALL Lambeth Conference Bishops from The North, The East, The West, The Global Center and The Global South...there is much GOOD NEWS to read here, absorb and share with you about what Lisa and her friends are ALL about:
Lisa, our friend/sister, is a full time, non-paid worker at a non-Profit (funded by people like us/you) by the name of "Safe Passage" where she has been "volunteering" for over a year now...please meet the children of "Safe Passage" and get to know them, their everyday style of life and their health and safety issues and know about their journey away from desperate personal circumstances through HOPE, EDUCATION and OPPORTUNITY:
If you are interested in knowing more about "Safe Passage" please contact, online or telephone or come meet Lisa Jensen or leave a comment right here and I will see that she gets it quickly...better yet, come visit Lisa and/or Leonardo Ricardo because, even in Central America Episcopalians are a very friendly lot and WELCOME everyone...everyone means everyone and my door is OPEN and I've got a really nifty little guest room with the "light" on!
Listen to the sound of vividly colored CHIRPPING BIRDS in person!
Jul 21, 2008
Yesterday, Sunday. a Holy Eucharist was held/offered on the lawn near Canterbury Cathedral in England...it was unfortunately not especially well attended by Episcopalian and Anglican Bishops who support the full inclusion of LGBT and Heterosexual Female Christians at the Body of Christ and at all levels of Churchlife...true, there are many who have "fear" of "inclusiveness" and the possible recognition of LGBT people and Heterosexual Women as full "fledged" Christians...they often scamper off...they make excuses, or simply prefer to "look the other way" and think of "happier things" as discrimination and persecution of Anglican LGBT people and Women in Africa/beyond continues to be instigated by perpertrators of hate who are also members of The Anglican Communion.
Where was Archbishop Rowan Williams yesterday?
Recently one of the prime excluders/hateleaders in Anglicandom was denyed entry into the Kingdom of Jordan where he had planned to craft more excluding with a demonizing/destructive scheme aimed against fellow Anglicans/Christians and others...he, Archbishop Akinola of Nigeria, and his grim accomplices were forced to "take a powder" and move their little mean gathering elsewhere after Jordanian "authorities" uncovered their troublemaking/dangerous plot to mangle the Anglican Communion from within.
Where was ++Rowan, what did he think, what did he do?
Meanwhile, now, a few weeks after the Jordanian deportation of Gafcon folks, the every-ten-year gathering of Anglican Bishops from throughout the Worldwide Anglican Communion gathers at the University of Kent/Canterbury Cathedral...the official meeting of The Anglican Communion Bishops will hold a three-week, spiritually inspired, confab/retreat on topics that will include "human sexuality"....shudder! A possible Anglican"Covenant" will be another topic so we all might "sign up" and get along with oneanother...shudder, or what? There will also be a few other "experience sharing" sessions aimed at first person topics/troubles as the all Bishops listen to one another, speak frankly about their many dilemmas and try and dig their way out from another difficult period of Anglican agreeing to disagree...well, almost all of the Bishops will listen to one another and their REAL and religious life experience...most all except Bishop V.Gene Robinson from The Episcopal Church who is being punished for "causing problems" at The Anglican Communion...the "problem" is that +Robinson/New Hampshire is openly GAY!
Where is the Bishop of New Hampshire? Where is Bishop V. Gene Robinson? He's nearby. He's on the "fringe" on Anglicanism at The Market Place, keeping a stiff upper lip and representing the millions of LGBT Christians/others who are quite used to sitting on the sidelines of everyday religious life sitting/fasting Churchlife out!
The group of hundreds of Anglican Bishops were encouraged by The Archbishop of Canterbury to "pray with him or her" fellow Bishop with whom "makes us nervous" and "put *it* in the presence of God." A suggestion that Archbishop Rowan doesn't think applies to himself when considering his "nervous" feelings regarding the "troublesome sexual orientation" of Bishop VG Robinson at Episcopal Church/The Body of Christ! Fortunately the "closeted" Gay Bishops don't seem to upset the Archbishop or make him nervous at all!
Archbishop Rowan Williams favors laying low and sometimes playing pretend.
Shortly after +Rowan's challenging address yesterday, most of the 650+ Bishops avoided attending the nearby Eucharist celebration where the outcasted/marginalized, and non-invitee to The Lambeth Conference, Gay Bishop from the Diocese of New Hampshire, VG Robinson, was PRESENT....yikes, eek and/or worse another snub? Everyone knew +Gene would be there in the "presence of God," with everyone else, attending mass.
Where was ++Rowan, was their a "presence of God" opportunity missed?
Where were the Anglican Bishops who "fear" Bishop Gene Robinson? Nobody seems ready to "face their demons" and sort their "nerveousness" out!
Where was Rowan during that potential "grace-filled" moment that would have honored, and given hope to millions of LGBT Anglicans/Christians and the marginalized people worldwide? A grace-filled and kindly/unofficial visit from ++Rowan at mass yesterday would have made worldwide headlines...headlines of the religious "loving" and "kissing the leper" right kind.
Archbishop Rowan shunned Bishop V.G. Robinson instead.
When will Bishop Rowan and many of the Anglican Bishops face and fully understand there are millions of LGBT people and Heterosexual women who are being ABUSED, marginalized, excluded and ill treated/persecuted worldwide everyday ? When will all the Anglican Bishops realize that even most RELIGIOUS everyday laity people don't approve of the fear/hate-mongoring and excluding directed toward "the marginalized" anymore?
What is Dr. Rowan Williams responsiblity in all of this religious "abominating" mischief?
Ought +Rowan be spearheading a Lambeth Conference that examines then activey promotes a Anglican Covenant based solely upon the basic two commandments which "hang all the Law and the Prophets?”
*Matthew 22: 36-40
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
What are ++Rowans thoughts on #37, #39 and #40?
Where are the basic and LIFE PROMOTING and loving basic words, actions and suggestions turning toward deeds that ought come out of +Rowans Lambeth Conference 2008? What words and actions of "reaching out" ought shape aggressive Anglican thinking/beliving in a unhealthy and murderous/thieving world? A world made up of many Christians/others who are actively participating in ethnic/clensing/civil wars and massacres? Greediness/sexual exploitation/other exploitation of others, pridefilled deceit, irresponsible/destructive aggressive actions against the environment are being committed before us! What is that Rowan and the Anglican Bishops have to suggest other than to preach "loving thy neighbor" and not instigate more difference, exclusion and crime...who will say NO to the encouraging/raging fear and hating that is sometimes promoted by self-righteous religious extremist folks? Who will offer teachings of "inclusion" to the Scripturally selective "religious" destructionists who would meet in the Holy Land and attempt to demonize and demoralize others and attempt to further exclude fellow Christians/others at all levels of Anglian Communion life?
YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.
YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF
"On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Dr. Rowan, ALL means ALL.
Archibishop Rowan please, as you suggest, "seek out the Bishop you most fear" and put yourself before God and the rest of us openly...no more secret meetings or anti-American snubs...then, only then, move on to other business at your conference...millions of lives depend on your transparent actions of "loving thy neighbor" at The Lambeth Conference and beyond...life ought not be a free-for-all of irresponsible leadership...afterall, you are the "first amongst equals" amongst the Bishops with who you "break bread" today.
Jul 20, 2008
Dear Rowan, Archbishop of Canterbury, you are cordially invited to follow your own spiritual advice and seek out the Bishop V.Gene Robinson of TEC diocese of New Hampshire (he's nearby)...as you well know, the much FEARED Bishop Gene Robinson is the only fully/freely elected and officially consecrated/credentialed and authentic Episcopalian/Anglican Bishop with Jurisdiction you didn't invite to The Lambeth Conference (what were YOU afraid of?)...unfortunately by removing him from the every ten-year Lambeth Conference meeting your REAL and HONEST opportunity to put +Robinson in full "presence before God" (and all of you) has so-far lapsed.
Perhaps you, very personally, will follow your own advice and seek-out Bishop Robinson at the Integrity/Inclusive Church Eucharist being held today so you can FACE, before God and as a fine example to everyone else of how to directly and spiritually approach..."the root of OUR problem."
Jul 19, 2008
Jul 18, 2008
Kissing the Leper
This essay was originally published in the early 1990s in The Bakersfield Californian. Because of its publication, the deposed bishop of the diocese, David Schofield, withdraw my license to minister in the Diocese of San Joaquin.
--The Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian
Grace Episcopal Church, Bakersfield
Kissing the Leper
Last Friday I sat with the lepers and outcasts. Inside St. Paul's Episcopal parish, delegates for diocesan convention were meeting, but we were outside because Bishop Schofield refused to allow us inside. Who were we? Members of Integrity, the national organization supporting gays and lesbians in the Episcopal Church. Bishop Schofield not only refused us entrance to St. Paul's, he has refused to allow Integrity to meet in any parish in the diocese; he has forbidden the clergy of the diocese to celebrate Communion for the people of Integrity.
I wish this fear and hatred of gays by many Christians were an isolated event, a simple example of theological racism, but it isn't. Among some Christians, homophobia is just one symptom; others are fear of women, fear of sexuality, fear of the poor, fear of those not like us, and fear of change.
The reasons for these fears--and the hatred that often accompanies them--are complex, but they are bound together by, and find their common expression in, a profound misunderstanding and misuse of the Bible
With regard to homosexuality, the extreme conservative argument is simple: Homosexuality is evil, a sin, because the Bible says so. Such an argument reduces a complicated human subject to absolutes of good and evil, right or wrong. Those who make this argument conveniently--or blindly--ignore the fact that "the Bible" variously endorses polygyny, slavery, massacre, and the sequestration of women during their periods.
Put more positively, the Bible is a human document (or collection of documents), a human witness to God's being, activity, and presence. As a human witness, it is a fallible one. Since the Bible is a human witness, those who wrote it--however inspired they were--were subject to social, political, ethnic, temporal and religious biases and prejudices, just as we are today.
In ignoring all this, conservative biblicists make a serious mistake; unfortunately, in their use of the Bible they commit a worse one: false use is worse than false understanding. Biblicists mistakenly believe that the Bible is a book of dictates and rules, revealed by God. Once they have this infallible rule book in hand, like a boy scout with his handbook, they selectively decide which issues are most important. Usually for biblicists it is homosexuality or sexuality in general, abortion, and women's subordination. Biblicists are so obsessed with these issues that they usually ignore questions of social justice, poverty, homelessness, or war and peace.
It is a question of priorities, and biblicists have their priorities wrong. While more and more of our people go hungry and homeless, die from drugs and violence, and live lives without meaning, biblicists care more about who is sleeping with whom and what parts of the body are being used to do what.
Those who condemn homosexuality say they are speaking of "biblical" ethics or as a "biblical" Church. But what is this "biblical" belief as it seems to be practiced in this country?
Is it "biblical" to condemn homosexuality while at the same time keeping a patriotic and blasphemous silence (as virtually all of the churches of Kern County did) when the United States slaughtered over 100,000 Iraqis?
Is it "biblical" to oppose abortion while supporting or keeping silent about the death penalty (legalized State murder)?
Is it "biblical" to deny, in the name of scripture and tradition, the full ministry of women in the Church--as the local Episcopal Church does?
No. None of these is biblical. Some who espouse certain "biblical beliefs" are misguided: they naively and simplistically use the Bible to support non-Biblical agendas.
Others, though, who make "biblical" statements--such as certain bishops, priests, and ministers--should by their training know better. Their use of "the Bible" is at best a form of fundamentalism; at worst, it is knowingly mendacious. Such biblicism is not Christian.
Those of us who are not biblicists or fundamentalists, as we listen to their increasingly strident voices, need to remember that--despite their loud shouts--they do not represent the truth of Christianity. Their misuse of the Bible in no way damages its real message: that God is a God of love and compassion, mercy and tenderness; that God became human in order to fully know our humanity; that God loves each of us equally and completely.
The Bible--the true Bible--not only calls us to kiss, like St. Francis, the mouth of the leper. It calls us to claim the leper's mouth as our own.
Dr. Tim Vivian
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies
California State University Bakersfield
P.S. Thanks to "Dusty" of San Joaquin for introducing me to this essay by Dr. Tim and all my dear friends at the: http://episcopalgrapevine.blogspot.com/
Jul 17, 2008
It's getting dark in the Central American Anglican Center of everyday life and I know it's deep into night at the University of Kent. It's the time for the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference held at nearby Canterbury Cathedral (Mother Church of The worldwide Anglican Communion and official see/seat of The Archbishop of Canterbury)
Have all the Anglican Bishops layed down their sweet heads, on Kent University dormitory beds? Are post-plumpudding visions of great wisdom and kindness dancing through pointy heads? Will Archbishop Rowans rendition of the Rodney King favorite "Can't WE All Just Get Along," ever-so-long (overdue) evensong/singalong lyric start taking hold in purple clad hearts pumping full by Gods "will?" Gods "will" for another day like the Bible Study day in privacy and hide-a-way of the locked down Cathedral today?
Pray for ALL Bishops at The Lambeth Conference (and the Gay one that wasn't invited from the State of New Hampshire, TEC who "loves them anyway" and pray for the Gay "closeted" Bishops who WERE invited).
Pray for the victims of religious/other abuse (especially in Nigeria, Uganda, Sydney and beyond)
Pray that we ALL are one (and that all them "Graces and Lordships" finally figure that out)
Pray for the personal responsiblity and accountability of ALL persons at ALL levels of Churchlife before The Body of Christ.
Pray for The Anglican Communion, pray that fear/hate and the persecution of LGBT Christians/others and Heterosexual Women at ALL levels of everyday life will disappear on a upcoming day like today.
The door is open and the light is on: The Episcopal Church WELCOMES everyone...and that is a very good start.