Fred Hiltz aims for “good disagreement” on same-sex marriage

Does anyone remember Rowan Williams’ attempt to solve the same-sex marriage mess in the Anglican Communion using The Covenant? It was still alive and kicking – well, twitching at least – as little as five years ago, yet now it’s deader than the dandruff falling from Rowan’s eyebrows.

Justin Welby ignored The Covenant and, instead, imposed “consequences” on provinces that defied the ban on same-sex marriages. No one, least of all Welby, took them seriously.

Having now jettisoned both The Covenant and Consequences, Welby has settled on the idea of “good disagreement”, an ecclesiastical version of the cold war with ersatz pieties injected into it for appearances’ sake.

Fred Hiltz has jumped on the good disagreement bandwagon and is applying it to the Anglican Church of Canada. Sorry, he is embracing it.

The question is, if same-sex marriage were to remain forbidden in the ACoC, would anyone be proposing good disagreement as the solution for calming bruised liberals? Of course not: the battle would continue and all we would hear about would be prophetic voices, inclusion, justice and equality, laced with frequent references to a rubber stamping holy spirit.   Good disagreement is just another smoke screen designed to cloud the judgement of conservatives in order to keep them in the fold, so as to continue to collect their offerings.

From here:

My own read is that many in our church are coming to accept and declare that we will never agree on this matter. There will always be those who favour same-sex marriage and those who oppose it, each from the ground of their own wrestling with the Scriptures and the long-held teaching of
the church on the nature of marriage. The challenge is, how do we live with such deep-seated differences of conviction?

At the heart of this challenge are two things—the acknowledging of our fears and the embracing of good disagreement.

Of the fear, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby addressed his own church at a General Synod in 2014, saying, “There is great fear among some, here and round the world, that that will lead to the betrayal of our traditions, to the denial of the authority of Scripture, to apostasy, not to use too strong a word. And there is also a great fear that our decisions will lead us to the rejection of LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender] people, to irrelevance in a changing society, to behaviour that may seem akin to racism. Both those fears are alive and well in this room today.”

Of the nature of good disagreement, 
the dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, David Ison, wrote in 2015: “There is no expectation of achieving any consensus—in either direction—in the foreseeable future. But there is a task to be done of encouraging those within the church who are at odds on this issue to express their concerns in a safe environment, listen carefully to those with whom they disagree profoundly, find something of Christ in each other and consider together what the practical consequence of disagreement might be. From New Testament times the church of Christ has had to face disagreement. Fashioning our life as a church includes finding ways to ‘disagree Christianly’.”

I believe that in our church there is both a commitment and a capacity to do just that—to disagree in a manner that does not demean one another, but honours our calling in Christ. In good disagreement, no one is made to feel their position is of no value. No one feels belittled, walked over or pushed out. In good disagreement, there is, in truth, a continuing place for everyone in our church.

The right to wear facial hardware at work

From here:

An Edmonton woman is fighting for the right to proudly display her facial piercings without fear of professional punishment.

Kendra Behringer has pierced her ears, eyebrows and lips in an act of “self-expression.”

However, she believes her appearance has cost her jobs, something she hopes to change by launching a petition slamming workplace discrimination against tattooed and pierced employees.

If Behringer is successful – something that wouldn’t surprise me – she may open up a new opportunity for Christians who have been harassed for wearing a cross at work. Punch a hole in your eyebrow, stick the cross in it and you will be OK.

I’m sure that if there are theological implications to wearing an eyebrow cross, Rowan Williams – who may already have several for all we know – would be only too happy to elucidate them; I know, I know, writing “elucidate” and “Rowan Williams” in the same sentence is the essence of oxymoron.

A prophecy of doom from Rowan Williams, climate expert

Rowan Williams, in a burst of prescience which had completely deserted him during his tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury, has declared that a weather crisis is upon us and it is all the West’s fault for burning too much fossil fuel.

What seems to have escaped Rowan’s attention is that China is now the largest consumer of fossil fuel in the world. Perhaps it hasn’t though: heaping carbon sin opprobrium on a communist country is not necessary since the global warming crusade is less about science than it is about wealth redistribution – and that is supposed to have already arrived in China’s Marxist paradise.

From here:

Former archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has spoken of his fears for the global climate, saying the winter flooding was a portent of what is to come in the future.

He has blamed the lifestyle of Western countries for climate change, which he said is ‘pushing the environment towards crisis’.

He said the floods in Britain and similar weather-related catastrophes around the world are the clearest indications yet that predictions of ‘accelerated warming of the Earth’ caused by the uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels… ‘are coming true’.

Rowan Williams thinks British Christians are cry-babies

From here:

Lord Williams said religious believers should be wary of complaining about their treatment in the Western world, with those claiming they are “persecuted” making him “very uneasy”.

He added the level of “not being taken very seriously” or “being made fun of” in Britain and the United States is not comparable to the “murderous hostility” faced by others in different parts of the world.

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, he urged those who complain of ill-treatment for their beliefs in Britain to “grow up”.

No-one cared much what Rowan Williams thought when he was Archbishop of Canterbury – actually, due to his tortuous, eyebrow-matching tangled communication abilities, most people didn’t know what he thought – so I doubt that anyone cares now that he isn’t.

Nevertheless, he will keep spouting pious aphorisms as if we do – care, that is.

Christians in Britain are being persecuted: they are losing their jobs, losing their businesses and losing their right to freedom of expression; because he was seen to represent Christendom, Lee Rigby lost his life. Sadly, the only thing that would make Rowan Williams side with British Christians is if he discovered that greedy bankers were, somehow, selectively making obscene profits from them – that would still be about the bankers rather than the Christians, of course.

Rowan also believes that Muslim women “assert themselves” by wearing a veil, that sharia law is a good idea and that playing at being a druid is a routine component of being an Anglican archbishop.

When I “grow up”, perhaps I will agree with him.

On Satire

G. K. Chesterton said: “A man is angry at a libel because it is false, but at a satire because it is true.”

But what is satire? The ever helpful Wikipedia tells us:

Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon.

While satire originated in Egypt, it became more fully developed in Ancient Greece where it took one of two forms: Satire after the style of Horace: humorous, self-deprecating commentary that laments contemporary follies; or after the style of Juvenal. Juvanalian satire is scornful, sarcastic and polarised.

Unbeknownst to me I have unwittingly succumbed to the influence of Rowan Williams whose ten year stint as Anglican in Chief has insidiously infused my thinking with via media muddle. I have concocted an Hegelian middle ground between Horatian and Juvenalian satire, one that is both excruciatingly funny while being bitingly sarcastic. I have empirical evidence of this: my 11 year old granddaughter roars with laughter at my musings (no, I don’t show her all of them), confirming the former and I find myself deep in the mephitic bowels of an ecclesiastical lawsuit, confirming the latter.

For those who think some of the things I have written are a trifle tasteless, I recommend a quote from Malcolm Muggeridge – whom I met briefly in the 70s and, you will be relieved to know, I irritated by asking impertinent questions:

Good taste and humour are a contradiction in terms, like a chaste whore.

Richard Dawkins on Anglicanism: the most unkindest cut of all

There can be little that is more insulting to a belief system than to be a champion for its antithesis while claiming to be a product of its cultural charm.

In his debate with Rowan Williams, Richard Dawkins has restated that he is “a cultural Anglican”, implying that Anglicanism bears no relation to Christianity – which Dawkins hates – whatsoever. In Dawkins’ eyes and in the eyes of many others, to be Anglican is nothing more than to maintain a veneer of benign, doddering, civilising gentility over a society that openly ridicules what it once stood for.

From here:

Early in his address, Prof Dawkins made a provocative comparison between Christian and Islamic traditions, describing himself as a ”cultural Anglican”.

”I’m grateful, by the way, to be a cultural Anglican when you think of the competition,” he added.

”If I were a cultural Muslim, I would have something to say about that faith’s appalling attitude to women and various other moral points.”

Rowan Williams says goodbye

From here:

Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, says his final goodbye.

It’s been a turbulent 10 years for the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury.

Only recently he has had to fight to maintain unity within the Anglican community amid rows over the contentious issue of women bishops.

And in the past he has come under fire for comments made on a number of controversial topics, including sharia law.

Cheerio, Rowan. I’ll miss the beard, the eyebrows, your wisdom on how well sharia law would fit into British life, your denouncing of evil bankers, the failure of capitalism, the jewels to be found in the inner depths of Marxism, your heroic Hegelian striving to find a happy medium between truth and lies and your virtuoso performance in taking the public position you did on human sexuality while privately believing the opposite. I expect your successor will continue much of your good work, so it only remains for me to say:

Rowan Williams to be Baron Williams of Oystermouth

Oystermouth is a village in Mumbles near Swansea, quite close to where I attended university. In those days a train ran along the sea front from Swansea to Mumbles; I still have fond memories of riding on it to Mumbles pier as a child.

It was a quaint, pretty area – I haven’t been there for many years – and doesn’t deserve the ignominy of having the person who did nothing to prevent the disintegration of its established church become a baron bearing its name.

Rowan Williams will be created a Baron for Life by the style and title of Baron Williams of Oystermouth in the City and County of Swansea.

The Queen should be the next archbishop of Canterbury

Why? Because she seems to have a firmer grip on the significance of the Incarnation to ordinary people than either the current or soon to be Cantuar.

In her Christmas message, after a brief recap of the year, she spoke of Christ’s example in serving others:

“This is the time of year when we remember that God sent his only son ‘to serve, not to be served’. He restored love and service to the centre of our lives in the person of Jesus Christ.

“It is my prayer this Christmas Day that his example and teaching will continue to bring people together to give the best of themselves in the service of others.

In contrast to the Queen, Justin Welby simply couldn’t resist blathering on about cherished leftist articles of faith: wealth and the implied need for its redistribution, foreign aid, justice and the poor, inequality and higher taxes for the wealthy – encased in a thin veneer of Christianity.

Rowan Williams calls for more gun control in the U.S.

From here:

The leader of the world’s 80 million-strong Anglican Communion has thrown his support behind stricter gun control in the U.S., saying the easy availability of powerful weapons drew vulnerable people toward violence.


Turning to the issue of gun control, Williams said: “People use guns but, in a sense, guns use people too. When we have the technology for violence easily to hand, our choices are skewed and we are more vulnerable to being manipulated into violent action.”

If Rowan Williams is right and “guns use people” then, if the citizens of the U.S. are completely disarmed and only the police and armed forces have guns, only the police and armed forces will be “vulnerable to being manipulated into violent action”, potentially leaving ordinary citizens at their mercy.

If Williams is right – and I’m not sure he is – that’s a good reason why U.S. citizens should not be disarmed.