Diocese of BC desperately seeking same-sex couples to marry

The dioceses of Niagara, Ottawa, Montreal , Toronto and British Columbia are proceeding with same-sex marriages ahead of the final vote to approve them in 2019.

But, having scoured the province for likely candidates, poor Bishop Logan McMenamie has yet to find any men willing to marry another man; or a woman to marry another woman. If Anglicans in BC don’t get with the program soon, McMenamie will have to resort to compelling some of his eligible male clergy to tie the knot.

From here:

Bishop Logan McMenamie, of the diocese of British Columbia, announced at a diocesan synod in autumn 2016 that he will “move forward with the marriage of same-sex couples in the diocese” on a case-by-case basis. When the Anglican Journal contacted McMenamie’s offce in March 2017, no same-sex couples had yet approached the diocese about the possibility of marriage.

Niagara’s Bishop Michael Bird currently has the competitive edge in the same-sex marriage scavenger hunt: he has four couples under his belt.

Niagara, however, may have an unfair advantage since it has widened the net by including bisexuals, who, presumably, would only be satisfied with a ménage à trois, counting as 1.5 couples. Of course, if both candidates are bisexual, we would need a ménage à quatre, a bonus that would qualify as two couples. Transgender couples are also part of the Niagara strategy. I’m not sure exactly how that would work, but I estimate that, depending on the mood of the moment and assuming part-time transgenderism – gender, we are assured, is fluid – it would make a total of four possible copulative combinations, one for each week of the month: man-man, man-woman, woman-man and woman-woman. That would count as at least two couples, possibly four.

Bird said his thoughts on the matter have not changed and that he was committed to continuing “to walk along the path of full inclusion and to immediately proceed with marriage equality” with LGBTQ2 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Two-Spirited) Anglicans in his diocese.

Canadian dioceses marrying same-sex couples

There are presently three Canadian dioceses that have performed same-sex marriages and at least another three which plan to – assuming, after scouring the land, they can find some willing couples. Others will undoubtedly follow.

This is all happening before the vote in 2019 to finalise approval of same-sex marriage in the Anglican Church of Canada. If it seems chaotic, it is because it is: Fred Hiltz says he has no authority to prevent it, Michael Bird and other bishops have cheerfully declared they can proceed because no one can find anything in the canons that says they can’t and, even though synod has pronounced same-sex marriage a matter of theology, Bird et al. have effectively said, no it isn’t it’s pastoral.

Considering the energy, time and passion invested in this, and the ensuing mayhem, it would be reasonable for an outsider to assume that there are thousands or, at the very least, hundreds of same-sex couples clamouring to be joined in unholy matrimony in an Anglican church. But no: there have been eight so far.

Eight! That’s 0.000044% of the population; on the positive side, it a beautiful illustration of how effective the ACoC’s efforts to be relevant are to average Canadians.

Read it all here:

Since the first reading at General Synod 2016 of a resolution to allow for the solemnization of same-sex marriages, eight couples have been married in three Anglican Church of Canada dioceses—with more planning on walking down the aisle in the coming year.

Four weddings of same-sex couples have taken place in the diocese of Niagara, three in the diocese of Toronto and one in the diocese of Ottawa, according to the offices of the respective diocesan bishops. Toronto and Ottawa also noted that several other same-sex couples in their dioceses are in the process of preparation for marriage.

Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson, of the diocese of Montreal, said she is currently going through a discernment process with four same-sex couples considering marriage.

Bishop Logan McMenamie, of the diocese of British Columbia, announced at a diocesan synod in autumn 2016 that he will “move forward with the marriage of same-sex couples in the diocese” on a case-by-case basis. When the Anglican Journal contacted his office in March 2017, no same-sex couples had yet approached the diocese about the possibility of marriage.

Following the first reading of the motion to change the marriage canon (church law) of the Anglican Church of Canada to allow for the marriage of same-sex couples—which was initially, but incorrectly, declared as being defeated in a vote—several bishops publicly announced they would nonetheless marry same-sex couples.

Niagara Bishop Michael Bird, Ottawa Bishop John Chapman, Toronto Archbishop Colin Johnson, then Huron Bishop Bob Bennett and then Coadjutor (now diocesan) Bishop Linda Nicholls all stated that they would marry same-sex couples as a pastoral measure, citing an opinion by General Synod Chancellor David Jones, that the marriage canon as it stands does not actually bar same-sex marriage.

Following discovery of a voting error, which showed that the motion had actually passed its first reading, Bird, Chapman and Johnson said they would still go ahead with same-sex marriage. However, Bennett and Nicholls issued another statement, clarifying that their diocese was “committed to ongoing consultations” as required by the same-sex motion. At press time, no changes to diocesan policy regarding the marriage of same-sex couples had been made.

Decaffeinated Indaba

Apparently, indabas have been replaced by sankofas – and you can tell what that reminds me of by the title.

But I jest. Sankofa actually means: “It is not a taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind”. It is a catchphrase taught to English bus drivers to be used as they watch old ladies in their rear view mirrors running after the bus. If that isn’t clear enough, the definition goes on to say: “the narrative of the past is a dynamic reality that cannot be separated from consideration of the present and future”. In other words, the past is dynamic, or changeable by the present, a concept made popular in the ‘70s by those consuming an excessive quantity of magic mushrooms. Since Canadian bishops seem to fall into that category, many of them – Hiltz, Bird, Ingham and Alexander – were present at the latest salacious sankofa  exercise to ponder together homoerotic sexuality under the pretext of conjuring a prior dynamic reality that conforms ancient perversions to 21st century delusions of normalcy.

A pusillanimous church – and that’s what Western Anglicanism has become – grovels and trembles before the culture in which it finds itself. Hence, as Ingham notes below, the church is content to let the culture determine its theology. A church can sink no lower than that.

From here:

Introduced by the Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante as an ecumenical contribution from the Methodist Church of Ghana, the Akan concept of sankofa served as a guiding framework for the Seventh Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue, which took place from May 25-29 in Accra, Ghana. The gathering brought together bishops from Canada, Ghana, Swaziland, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Burundi, Zambia, England, and the United States.

Sankofa—literally, ‘It is not a taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind’—refers broadly to the unity of past and present, where the narrative of the past is a dynamic reality that cannot be separated from consideration of the present and future.

[….]

Bishop Ingham noted that despite the bishops present holding many different theologies on marriage, sexuality and biblical interpretation, “we’re not divided by these differences. Rather, we’re spurred to be curious with each other and to hear how these matters play out in our different parts of the world.”

“We’re all very aware that mission is contextual,” he added. “And I think most of the African bishops who attend understand that social and legislative challenges have taken place around homosexuality in Western countries.

Diocese of the Arctic rejects changing the marriage canon

A small oasis of sanity in the vast desert of ACoC sexual neuroses.

Read it all in the Journal:

As the Anglican Church of Canada prepares for a controversial vote on whether or not to change its laws to allow for the marriage of same-sex couples, the diocese of the Arctic has sent a memorial to General Synod stating its commitment to maintaining the status quo.

The memorial, passed at the Arctic’s 2016 diocesan synod in May, also notes that the diocese seeks to “preserve the unity of the church,” and expresses a “sincere hope that [the diocese] can remain in fellowship and ministry with the Anglican Church of Canada, while standing with the larger Anglican Communion.”

Holy Matrimony “is a creation ordinance which is restricted to, and defined as, a covenant between a man and a woman,” the memorial says. “We seek to protect and promote this sacrament for the strengthening of the family, the stability of society, the unity of God’s church, and the common good.”

[….]

The diocese has been outspoken on matters of human sexuality in the past. In 2005, the Arctic’s diocesan synod amended its canon on the order and eligibility for licensing and banned employment of anyone involved in a sexual relationship outside of heterosexual marriage, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and those who willingly engage in sexual activities with a minor.

At the time, then Arctic Bishop Andrew Atagotaaluk and Bishop Larry Robertson (then suffragan of Mackenzie and Kitikmeot) explained that the law was passed to ensure diocesan employees maintained a lifestyle congruent with the diocese’s understanding of biblical sexual ethics.

While the memorial states that the diocese is “committed to human flourishing, equal opportunities, dignity and justice for all,” it is not clear whether this commitment to “equal opportunities” indicates a change in official diocesan hiring practices.

Diocese of Rupert’s Land plans to proceed with same-sex marriages

The bishop of Rupert’s Land has issued the following statement that clearly says – amidst the usual faux-pious gobbledegook – that he intends to go ahead with marrying same-sex couples in spite of the fact that the motion to approve same-sex marriages won’t be voted upon until the next general synod, that it is unlikely to pass anyway and that it could not receive final approval until 2019.

Fred Hiltz has already received an oracle  that this was bound to happen; I suppose Phillips, having seen that, thought to himself: “Why wait?”

An Update from the Bishop on Same-sex Marriages in our Church May 23, 2016.

It is my hope that this brief pastoral update will be helpful to members of our Diocese. Since the communication from the House of Bishops and the response from the Council of General Synod regarding the proposed change to the marriage canon back in March, 2016, I have noted both the interest and concern around how I view same-sex marriage in our Diocese, as well as the confusion and anxiety about what my approach to same-sex marriage might be.

Through continued prayer, listening to many voices, studying the Commission’s report, This Holy Estate, and much conversation, I am able to offer the following, hopefully straightforward, statement: I am convinced that the time has come for the provision for same-sex marriages in our Diocese to become reality. I am committed to working toward making that happen both as soon as responsibly possible, and in a grace-filled manner that minimizes the impact for those who struggle with this issue – both within and beyond our Diocese.

How this needs to take place is yet to be determined and it is important that I, our other delegates to General Synod, and all of the members of our Diocese, remain open to the leading of the Holy Spirit in discerning that path.

Yours [not in any way, shape or form – editor] in Christ,
Donald Phillips, PhD
Bishop of Rupert’s Land

There is a Facebook group for those who want to see the Marriage Canon changed

Like-minded same-sex marriage enthusiasts have set up a Facebook group to encourage one another in their desire to see a Marriage Canon change to accommodate same-sex couples. As of this writing, there are 1269 members. In the spirit of full inclusion, it is a closed group, so you can only see what is going on if you join. I did and here is the stated purpose of the group:

As administrators of this group, we want to reiterate our purpose because we have more than doubled membership over the past couple of days. It’s important that we are all on the same page and that we continue to promote a safe space where people can be free to express their thoughts, feelings and emotions.

We want to clarify for everyone who is part of this group our intent in coming together here as stated in our description …

“This is to be a forum for support and to encourage each other as we head into this important conversation. Many continue to feel hurt and excluded; others are wanting to continue working for justice, respect and dignity for all as equal members of the body of Christ … the living out of our baptismal covenant. Pray for wisdom and the grace of God through the Holy Spirit as we continue this prophetic mission and ministry for equality for all, and especially our LGBTQ community!”

We trust that everyone who is here as a member of this group shares this purpose and desires this outcome.

The last sentence confirms that dissenters are unwelcome, a fact whose accuracy was reinforced after I posted this:

I’m opposed to changing the marriage canon but thought I would join the group to see if anyone has said anything that might change my mind. They haven’t.

The reply:

I was under the impression that people who have joined this group understood that Jesus loves everyone, all inclusive. I’m all for healthy debate but I’m unsure if that is possible in this situation.

So, as you can see, with full inclusion, no debate is possible.

Very shortly after posting my comment I was booted out of the group by the moderators.

I feel so excluded.

Marriage Equality

For marriages to be equal, everyone would have to have to be hitched to a person who is no less or more attractive, capable, wealthy, fertile, sanguine, attentive, understanding, sympathetic or desirable than anyone else.

As with socialism, the only way this works is to compel all to sink to the lowest common denominator. We all have to marry unattractive, bungling, impoverished, impotent, miserable, disinterested, dense, uncaring, ugly and repugnant individuals – the sex of the person wouldn’t matter because there wouldn’t be any.

Of course, what those who tirelessly agitate for marriage equality really want is imbalance not equality: a contrived conjoining of two similarities, a consummation of anti-symmetry, a coitus of hollow infertility.

TEC changes the definition of marriage; Justin Welby is deeply concerned

From here:

The Archbishop of Canterbury today expressed deep concern about the stress for the Anglican Communion following the US Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops’ resolution to change the definition of marriage in the canons so that any reference to marriage as between a man and a woman is removed.

While recognising the prerogative of The Episcopal Church to address issues appropriate to its own context, Archbishop Justin Welby said that its decision will cause distress for some and have ramifications for the Anglican Communion as a whole, as well as for its ecumenical and interfaith relationships.

Other than the fact that I am still waiting with considerable anticipation for an archbishop to voice a shallow concern, what I find most interesting about this is that Welby’s worry is not so much whether it is Biblically sound to redefine marriage, but whether TEC’s decision will hasten the demise of the pallid but still twitching carcass belonging to what used to be the Anglican Communion.

In order to remain credible, and in the absence of any more potent stricture on TEC than deep concern from Canterbury, what choice will Provinces that take the Gospel seriously have but to further distance themselves from TEC – and Canterbury?

Incidentally, does anyone doubt that the Anglican Church of Canada will follow in TEC’s footsteps? Anyone?

Scottish Episcopal Church considers change to Canon on Marriage

Following the Anglican Church of Canada and TEC’s prophetic lead, the Scottish Episcopal Church is to consider changing its marriage canon to included same-sex couples.

In this context, “prophetic” means abjectly striving to fit into a world to which, the Bible tells us, the church is not to be conformed.

From here:

The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church has today voted to begin a process for change in relation to its Canon on Marriage. It has therefore instructed the Church’s Faith and Order Board to begin the two year process which may lead towards canonical change. That change would potentially allow the marriage of same gendered couples in Church in late 2017. The option which Synod voted for states

Married lesbian threesome

Apparently, there is a word for this: throuple.

When asked what the benefits are to having three people in a marriage, one of the ladies notes that chores are much easier when distributed between three people; good point. She went on to say: “poly-fidelity is not something seedy…. it can be a perfectly acceptable choice of life and love.”

The obvious question for the Western Anglican Church is, since blessing same sex married couples is now de rigueur, what possible reason could our trendy bishops have for not blessing – for excluding – committed poly-monogamous throuples? After all, Jesus said absolutely nothing about poly-fidelity.

happy throupleFrom here:

Doll, Kitten and Brynn, from Massachusetts, were joined together in a marriage-style ceremony last August and are expecting a daughter in July.

Kitten, 27, is pregnant after undergoing IVF treatment using an anonymous sperm donor, and the trio eventually plan to have three children – one for each of them.

[…..]

The so-called ‘throuple’ worked with a specialist family lawyer who drew up the paperwork and drafted the ceremony so that all three of them were obligated and bound to each other .

While Brynn and Kitten are legally married, Doll is handfasted to both so the threesome are as equally married to each other as legally possible.