21 July 2006

Fr. Sanderson Speaks.

Wise words from Fr. Dow Sanderson, rector of the Church of the Holy Communion in Charleston and president of the Diocese of South Carolina standing committee.

...On the 28th of June, I wrote, and the Standing Committee affirmed, a statement for the Diocese of South Carolina asking for Alternative Primatial oversight from the Archbishop of Canterbury. From the moment this statement was made public, I have been receiving innumerable letters, e-mails, phone messages etc. that exhibited considerable want of charity. Some have been peppered with profanity of the nastiest sort. I have been accused of “betraying” my ordination vows, and, by appealing to “a crown-appointed, un-elected member of the House of Lords”, as being downright un-American!

Most of these insults I have received with a grain of salt. But some of the letters to the editor that we read in our daily paper have served the purpose of further driving wedges by those who have their own agendas. That is to say, we have been ridiculed as being closed minded, intolerant, bigoted, etc. etc. For the record, our statement begins by rejecting bigotry. Homophobia is a sin. Categorical cruelty, verbal abuse and the like are always sinful. I have friends as well as family who are gay people. Clearly I love and care for them. They are welcome in our lives, in our homes, and in our churches, as are all other fellow-sinners. But loving and including are not the equivalent of blessing and ordaining. So when people write letters that accuse us of intolerance, they are simply using what the Archbishop of Canterbury calls the rhetoric of inclusion as a tool to ridicule anyone who holds to the traditional Christian perspective. It really is ludicrous if followed to its logical conclusion. Was Mother Teresa a bigot? Pope John Paul a shameless homophobe? Of course not! But the shrill voice of condemnation for anyone who dares embrace a traditional view of Christianity would have us think otherwise...

Please read the whole thing. Via TitusOneNine.


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