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more on derbyshire

I swore to myself that I wouldn't get expand on my feelings about Derbyshire. I know what happens when I write about homosexuality here.

However, I spent all night tossing and turning after stupidly going through a zillion Derbyshire posts at The Corner before I went to bed, which is akin to wolfing down a pepperoni/jalepeno pizza before sleeping.

What bothers me so much about Derbyshire is not just his outright hatred of gays, but his condescending, brutal tone when writing about the subject.

On the gay Bishop:

If this church that I grew up with is going to be a club for homosexuals, turning its teachings upside down to accommodate every passing social fad, "celebrating" the "gay" ethos, what is there in it for normal people like me?

Key words and phrases: Club for homosexuals; social fad; normal.

And more:

This is a dreadful event, a triumph for the forces of death over the forces of life...That he could become a bishop in my church sickens and disgusts me. We can show tolerance and Christian obligation towards deviant minorities without handing them the keys to the house, can't we? Apparently not, not today, not in America. For shame! For shame!

Key words and phrase: Forces of death. Deviant minorities.

...open homosexuality is — not necessarily, perhaps, but all too often — an infiltrating, exclusivist, corruptive and destructive force

The keywords and phrases are obvious there.

From the same article:

I do believe, with a high degree of certainty, that after a few more appointments of the Canon John / Rev. Robinson kind, my church will cease to be a vehicle for the teaching of Christ’s gospel, and become instead a dating service for homosexuals.

Is it a dating service for heterosexuals now? No? Thought not.

Shall I continue? Good.

On the same page we find Derbyshire's Law:

Any organization that admits frank and open homosexuals into its higher levels will sooner or later abandon its original purpose and give itself over to propagating and celebrating the homosexualist ethos, and to excluding heterosexuals and denigrating heterosexuality.

Derbyshire himself says, The key phrase there is “frank and open.”

See, he thinks homosexuals are fine as long as they stay in their closet. Don't talk about yourself, don't announce your gayness, don't be proud of who you are and, for heaven's sake, don't wear pink shirts!

If we follow Derbyshire's Law, then we could assume that if a school were to hire an openly gay principal, within a few weeks the students would all be reading nothing but gay and lesbian poetry and trying to turn the straight kids gay.

We could assume that if an openly gay person bought the New York Jets, they would soon be wearing rainbow patches on their uniform doing their recruting on Fire Island.

The Rule of JD is the biggest piece of bigoted, uniformed, closed-minded, ignorant, foolish opinion pieces I have ever seen a supposedly intelligent man come up with.

I could go on; I have at least 40 more quotes from Derbyshire that highlight his intolerance and downright hatred (even though, at times, he claims not to hate gays). He behaves like a child confronted by monster movie for the first time, hiding under his bed with his hands covering his eyes, hoping the big, bad monster doesn't eat him up.

And please, before you get on the subject about the new Bishop having left his wife and kids for a man, that's not what this is about. This is about my problem with Derbyshire's almost fearful, abject disgust with gay people and his ridiculous notion that giving them the freedom to be open about who they are will somehow turn the world into one big, gay gang-bang of hedonism.


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I on the other part don't understand why a gay person would want any part of a religion that hates them.

I'm not much of a de-linker, but every time Derbyshire says something stupid, I'm turned off from the Corner for days. What bothers me the most about him is that unlike, say, KJL, Derbyshire is intelligent. At any rate, I think that we might take the Corner off the blogroll.

I, on the other hand, have totally bookmarked the Corner, insofar as it provides me with a veritable goldmine of lunacy from which to riff. Poor, poor Bill Buckley.

As for Edgar's post, it's obvious that Episcopalians DO want to include gays in their mission. Unfortunately, they're not doctrinaire enough to cater to histrionic retards like Derbyshire. So turn the question around, and give him a few Southern Baptist or Church of Christ websites.

Disclaimer: I like JD's writing on a number of subjects. Just not this stuff. I've always had the feeling that something happened to him as a young adult that has fueled this. I hate armchair psychoanalyzation, but that's just the feeling that I get. I can understand an argument based on moral codes, religion, or public policy. I can't appreciate one based on visceral disgust and hatred.

"normal people like me" was the clue to quit reading right there.

It's not as if there aren't a zillion churches to choose from, and I'm sure there's even one that reflects Derbyshire's beliefs. Of course, they won't have the depth of religious ferver he writes about, ie, liking the hymns (eye roll here).

JD talks about "the church I grew up with" as if it's the only Episcopalian congregation in the country - as if every person of that denomination MUST attend that particular church. Hey, JD - will you ever be directly affected by the bishop? Will the bishop ever appear and preach in your chosen congregation? Will you and your parishoners ever have as much as a conversation with the bishop? Probably not.

I find that when people start ranting about the agendas of certain groups of people, it's usually because they themselves have an agenda; since they have an agenda, everyone else must have one too, right? Maybe this bishop and this denomination have no agenda - they simply want to reach out to more people, and preach love, acceptance, and faith.

Wow, an inclusive, loving religion - what a concept!

A few points, awaiting flameage.

1. The question here is whether the church is a human-run or God-run institution. If the church is, as it claims to be, under God's leadership, then there's no question according to his Word that practiced homosexuality is a sin; and that while God loves all of us as sinners, he did not intend for those who carry out his work as spiritual leaders responsible for large groups of people to thumb their noses at God by flaunting their sin. The requirements for leaders in the church are clearly pronounced in 1 Timothy 3, notably verse 12: "A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well."

2. This is a church we're talking about, not a public school, or a football team. The act of flaunting one's 'gayness' before other individuals is a grievous error, whether or not it's explicitly condemned, as shown by I Corinthians 8. "And you are sinning against Christ when you sin against other Christians by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong. If what I eat is going to make another Christian sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live--for I don't want to make another Christian stumble."
Here you will note that Paul equates simply eating meat (his example in this chapter) in public with encouraging them to do the same thing, even though they think it's wrong. Likewise, a public affirmation of an openly gay official into the church is, according to this passage, a sin, because this affirmation is tantamount to encouragement of the homosexual lifestyle, especially in weaker Christians' lives.

Ok Pietro, I'll bite.

So, when the Catholic church allows pedophiles to continue celebrating mass, does that mean they are then encouraging pedophelia?

If the church is, as it claims to be, under God's leadership, then there's no question according to his Word that practiced homosexuality is a sin

Let's be clear: the only thing God said on the subject was that homosexuals should be killed.

That's it. That's all he said. So unless you favor the Taliban-style execution of everyone discovered having gay sex, you're not obeying God. Don't pretend you are.

Now, various men, such as Paul, condemned homosexuals. Paul was a man. Outside of the Catholic (and Orthodox, presumably, I'm unfamiliar with them) Paul is no more of a spokesman for God than any other human is. Many Christians today believe this was one of several subjects that Paul was wrong about.

Jesus never discussed homosexuality directly, but he did basically say that his teachings overrode the old Jewish law. Many Christians feel that the logical implication of Jesus's teachings is that homosexuality should be accepted; it makes no sense to hate and condemn a person for being what God made him. So these Christians believe that the "kill all homosexuals" portions of the Old Testament were one of the parts that got overwritten.

Absolutely. The Bible holds no denominational barriers.
Let's make this clear: God loves everyone, no matter their condition... nobody deserves what He gave us. God loves pedophiles, it's true.
However... a publicly-practicing pedophile priest (excuse the alliteration) who's held to a high standard has no business being a church leader. A church member who is a pedophile has lower standards, but he's not out of the judgment of God and the church unless he turns from his sin (repents) and truly wants to change.
Do you know what Paul says about sexual immorality in 1 Corinthians?
1 Corinthians 5 relates,
"How terrible that you should boast about your spirituality, and yet you let this sort of thing go on. Don't you realize that if even one person is allowed to go on sinning, soon all will be affected? Remove this wicked person from among you so that you can stay pure. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. So let us celebrate the festival, not by eating the old bread of wickedness and evil, but by eating the new bread of purity and truth.
When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin.
But I wasn't talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or who are greedy or are swindlers or idol worshipers. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. What I meant was that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a Christian yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Don't even eat with such people. It isn't my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your job to judge those inside the church who are sinning in these ways. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, 'You must remove the evil person from among you.'"
Pretty clear, isn't it?


Just because Jesus' sacrifice removed the burden of the law (and the death penalty for lots of things) doesn't absolve homosexuality of its status as a sin, just like it doesn't mean you can start murdering, or stealing, without consequence. You can differentiate between the necessary and unnecessary laws merely by comparing the Old and New Testaments.
One of the reasons the Old Testament is in the Bible is to lead us to the New Testament... to show us that man can not get to heaven on his own, but by the grace of God. However, that grace and mercy , however abounding, has its limits - namely God's holiness.

If we went by Paul's standards, there would be nobody left in church.

Geez Pietro, hope any women in your life don't wear makeup (Paul told women not to adorn themselves) and I certainly hope you don't get run over by a truck while wearing a cotton-poly shirt (Leviticus would have you go straight to hell).

Michele, are you Catholic ? Religious at all ? Odd that seems to be one thing I don't seem to have any idea about.

I was raised Catholic. But I'll tell you, the last thing I want to hear is Christian preaching from ANYONE. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That's all I need to know. And apparently, that's how the better part of the Episcopalian Church feels the same way.

There is nothing that turns me off more than someone quoting the bible like Pietro. I don't care. Do you get it ? You might as well be a droning buzzing noise. I'm not listening because it is fiction and irrelevant fiction at that.

Sherard, I was born and raised Catholic, but I'm much better now.

I am, and have been for many years, an atheist. Actually, I rather fancy the term that Roger Simon uses: Spiritually Independent.

There is nothing that turns me off more than someone quoting the bible like Pietro. I don't care. Do you get it ? You might as well be a droning buzzing noise. I'm not listening because it is fiction and irrelevant fiction at that.

Thousands of years of manuscripts, history, and testimony render that particular thought blind ignorance, but it's not my fault you never thought to find out for yourself.

I'm a nonbeliever myself, but I think Pietro has a point. In the context of a house of God, the Bible and its interpretation is of paramount importance, otherwise it ceases to be a religion and becomes more of a social club. I've heard strong theological arguments from both sides about the status of homosexuality.

Christians have no fucking business telling me what I can or can't believe or do or comport myself, and likewise I have no business at all telling them how to run churches. Freedom of religion doesn't get much clearer than that.

Derbyshire, however, is a paranoid nutbar.

Just because Jesus' sacrifice removed the burden of the law (and the death penalty for lots of things) doesn't absolve homosexuality of its status as a sin

You are, of course, welcome to your opinion. But you're just a human; you're not God. And many Christians think you're perverting Jesus' message to humanity.

Thousands of years of manuscripts, history, and testimony render that particular thought blind ignorance, but it's not my fault you never thought to find out for yourself

Thousands of years of people writing down the voices in their head doesn't yield insight into anything other than how crazy people think. :)

I personally think having a gay bishop is logical-
We know the Father's a guy
We know the Son's a guy
We can assume the Holy Ghost is a guy since it impregnated Mary

So ya got a Trinity without a female, a gay biship seems perfectly appropriate.
Besides the chess piece looks like a penis.

"Jesus never discussed homosexuality directly,"

An Essene teacher once told me that Jesus did discuss homosexuality in the Gospel Of Saint Thomas.
He basically said that it's okay for a woman to lie down with a woman because there is no waste of seed as with two men.
I haven't read that gospel so can't verify it.

I disagree with the Church's stance on homosexuality largely because it comes from two sources I find unreliable.... the oft-ignored Leviticus, and the misogynistic self-aggrandizer Paul.

Based on the relationship of Paul's accounts with other historical accounts (for example, a recent work demonstrated how he did his best to gloss over the works of others, such as the bishop of Jerusalem, in order to make himself seem more important), I wouldn't put it past him to likewise record his personal prejudices and claim them as god's will.

Leviticus is especially problematic, as few modern christians do more than pick and choose a half dozen of the hundreds of rules in that book.

All that being said, prohibitions against homosexuality are there, so I'm not surprised people take them seriously.... and they are an issue when discussing the fitness of someone for church office (though not for any secular office). If Episcopalians consider being gay to be a sin, or being in a gay relationship (assuming the Bishop still is) to be a sin, then they should rightly be outraged at an openly sinning bishop. If Episcopalian doctrine is fine with both gayness and gay behaviour, then Derbyshire has no legitimate complaints.

None of the above, however, excuses Derbyshire, nor his fevered fantasies that society will end up like something out of The Forever War. Derbyshire is right that a person can be against gay marriage, or against gays in church positions, without being an anti-gay bigot.... that person, however, is obviously not John Derbyshire.

Side note: lest any be confused, I'm in favour of gay civil marriage, in part because we already have (and call "marriage") many civilly-sanctioned relationships that are not marriages by many standard religious teachings (most obviously, common law marriage).

derbyshire is one of the reasons i can't call myself a conservative. replace "homosexual" with "jew" in any of those posts and you have instant-nazi.

I don't really agree with Derbyshire on this, but I think I have an idea of what he might be trying to say that seems to be overlooked.

When he talks about "Any organization that admits frank and open homosexuals into its higher levels will sooner or later abandon its original purpose and give itself over to propagating and celebrating the homosexualist ethos, and to excluding heterosexuals and denigrating heterosexuality. ", it seems to me that he's most likely talking about only the current set of "homosexual culture", not homosexuality per se; and I certainly see from talking to my own friends who are gay or spend time in gay/lesiban/whatever culture that there's strong pressure to "toe the line" for what is unfortunately called "the gay agenda".

I don't see this "agenda" as a horribly destructive evil conspiracy like some seem to, but to the extent it can be said to exist (and I think it can, as long as we're clear that this is a cultural artifact of gay activist groups, not something inherent to gayness itself, or shared by all gay people), it very much does promote celebrating homosexuality and, to some extent, excluding or sidelining heterosexuality.

This is an understandable (and not especially bad, wrong, or shameful) reaction for the gay community (such as there's a "community" in that sense [is there a community of men? a community of conservatives? a community of computer programmers? can any group defined by one part of their lives be called a "community" automatically?], and especially when we speak of the "ideologically gay", those who politicise their sexuality), but the tendency to "cross over" the ideology into other realms (such as churches, shcools, or what-have-you) is, I think, more likely to cause harmful backlash than to help.

If this makes any sense at all, in my rambling, that is. The summary is: If Derbyshire is, as I suspect he might be, talking mainly about the ideologically-gay and their effects on churches and other organisations, he's substantially right about that specific claim which I mentioned; his other views on the subject I make no comment on. Of course, he may really mean "all or almost all gay people", in which case he's Smoking $20 Crack Rocks™.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong but the church's primary argument against homosexuality is that of sex. When two men have sex, they are not having sex for the sole purpose of fathering children. Obviously, its impossible FOR them to have children through that act so because of that its immoral and because of THAT, homosexuality is immoral and a sin to the church. Please, correct me if I'm wrong here, I was raised Lutheran and not Catholic.

The problem I see with the church's argument there is that there was a ruling in the 70's from the Pope that vasectomies were legal. Lets see if it will let me post it fully here...or even blockquote it.
At this point it will be helpful to review the text of this most recent decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued on 13 May 1977 and which Pope Paul VI "approved and ordered to be published". The Congregation issued the decree in the form of two questions and two answers: 1) Whether impotence, which renders matrimony invalid, consists in the incapacity, antecedent and perpetual, whether absolute or relative, of performing conjugal copula." Answer: "Affirmative". "2) In view of the above affirmative, whether ejaculation of semen that has been elaborated in the testicles is necessarily required for conjugal copula." Answer: "Negative" (3). Finally, then, it is important to review and summarize what the decree obviously means, and what it obviously does not mean. The decree means that it is the current teaching of the Church that the doubly vasectomized male is capable of a marriage act provided erection, penetration, and the ejaculation of secretions from the prostate, seminal vesicles and various other glands is possible; that the grossly normal ejaculate is sufficient to fulfil the canonical concept of "true semen" and to achieve that kind of an act which otherwise would be generative, even though in this case the ejaculate is sterile and contains nothing elaborated in the testicles. While the decree does not explicitly mention that this is likewise true of the castrate, it is clearly implied and the implication is confirmed by the earlier replies of the same Congregation referred to above, which explicitly dealt with cases of castration. Moreover clinical experience indicates the practicality of androgen hormone therapy in cases of castration.

Sweet, it worked. Finally, should we really accept the churchs ruling on homosexuality and its immoral sins when the church itself supported the Nazi's for their entire existence and held onto its delusions until well towards the end of the 20th century. Or, please bare in mind that the church still held slavery to be a [sic] "not very bad thing." That, in of itself, disturbs me.

Given that "ideological gayness" is primarily a reaction to exclusion from almost every other subculture, I would bet that loosening social restrictions and stigmas against homosexuality would be more likely to produce a broader variety of ideologies within homosexual "culture" and break it up than it would be to spread the "homosexual agenda" or ideology. Free people with nothing to fear quickly develop all sorts of viewpoints.

"Replace 'homosexual' with 'jew' and you have instant Nazi"?

Something tells me conservative Episcopals would be upset about a practicing Jew being elected bishop as well.

The Episcopal Church got itself into this mess by refusing to take a public stand on the issue of homosexuality. The church is now left in the situation of having to approve of gay marriage (because the bible says sex outside of the sacrament of marriage is a sin as well) or run the risk of being a Church no longer based in Scripture.

As someone who's not Episcopalian, but someone who does believe in God, I'm a little concerned with the lack of moral fortitude we expect from our spiritual leaders these days. Yes, if you're a Christian, you believe we're all sinners. But we're also all striving to be free of sin. Someone openly and unrepenentantly leading a "sinful lifestyle" isn't exactly the best role model for the Church.

Sigivald, the problem with your theory is that Derbyshire is foaming at the mouth about a bishop who is certainly not "ideologically gay". The problem is that Derbyshire is the sort of person who thinks that "gay" equates to "evangelically left-wing", "child molester", and "morally depraved". So naturally he sees all homosexuals as, by their very existance, pushing a hateful "agenda".

My suspicion has always been that Derbyshire was molested as a child. It would explain both his confused attitude and his misplaced rage, anyway.

i am from nh. my mother works as the secretary for an episcopal church in nh. her boss was on both the committee that found gene, and the committee that investigated the stupidness and cleared him of it. he has also blessed gay unions for years, even though the episcopal church only just started approving them.

the episcopal (anglican) church is incredibly diverse. and known for its diverseness. the only thing that matters in the anglican church is money. and some of the rituals.

i was baptized episcopalian. we went to the church for a few years, but switched when i was very young because it was too ritualized. but all the anglicans i have known have been incredibly socially liberal people who have cheered gene on from the moment he was considered in the running.

good fucking riddance to the wanna-be lutherans. they deserve what they get. yay gene.

Every time I hear an argument like this, I substitute the word "heterosexual" for "homosexual" -- that way, it's really easy to hear how utterly absurd the argument is. I mean, they have straight bishops, and there's been no rampant rape epidemic that we know of, no lusty straight bishops ravaging all of their female parishioners, so why would it be any different with a gay bishop?

Something tells me conservative Episcopals would be upset about a practicing Jew being elected bishop as well.

The question isn't whether or not they would be upset about practicing Jews being elected bishop. Obviously they would. I imagine any Episcopalian, conservative or other would be. Jews don't practice the same religion or believe that Jesus was the Messiah. That's not like a "they don't follow this rule in the Bible" kind of thing. That's a whole "they don't even follow the same Bible" kind of thing.

The question is whether the Conservative Episcopalians would express their displeasure in such terms as Derbyshire did re: gays. You know, referring to Jews as a force of death or a deviant minority, or implying that they are abnormal (and I doubt he meant that in the statistical sense). And if they did (which I highly doubt), what would the reaction to their doing so be? It would be self-evident that anyone who referred to Jews in such terms was an anti-Semite. Extend that concept.

NR/NRO/The Corner are, I think, about to blow it. I don't know the numbers, but I'm guessing the whole franchise gained readers after September 11, many of them not from traditional demographics. So what do they do with the new readership? Alienate it by deciding that what the country needs most right now--more than a commitment to fighting terrorism, more than getting the budget under control, more than growing the economy--is a damn federal marriage amendment. Nice one, retards!

I'll still read The Corner from time to time, and I still enjoy Jonah's columns, but my subscription to the print edition is history once it runs out this fall.

I'll suggest that people who are going to stop reading NRO/linking to NRO/subscribing to NRODT might be well served to send an e-mail to the NRO editors explaining why you are doing so, citing the examples Michele compiled above.

Be polite, but firm. If you're a Republican voter or otherwise inclined NRO's way, mention that, so they can't write this off as a "liberal agenda".

Feel free to equate Derbyshire's whining about "censorship" and "gay fascism" with the Dixie Chicks, since I think its an apt comparison.

Corner feedback is:

The editors with e-mail addresses posted are:
Jonah Goldberg, NRO editor at large:
Jay Nordlinger, NR managing editor:
Rich Lowry, NR Editor
Kathryn Jean Lopez, NRO Editor

Remember, firm politeness will probably get you furthest.

Personally I applaud Derbyshire and his harping on the inroads of the trouser trout trollers...

What the blogger of this site and many, many others don't seem to understand or want to understand is that tolerance and acceptance are NOT ONE AND THE SAME!

Derbyshire and most every commentator misses the point. This should be a private matter for what should be a private institution, the Episcopal Church. Not a member (like I am not)? Then you're not qualified to comment on their internal decisions. If Derbyshire doesn't like it, he should find another church, or argue with the leadership of HIS church about it. Doctrinal questions should be discussed among those who submit themselves to the doctrine; members are free to vote with their feet, and if enough of them disagreed with the council and left, there'd be a major shift in denominational balance. To publicize this "election" in the very public arena allows exactly the intrusion into church doctrine and business that ought to be avoided.

Tolerance is, of course, an extremely intolerant idea, because it means "I am the boss: I will allow you some, though not all, of the rights I enjoy as long as you behave yourself according to standards that I shall determine." That, I think, is a fair definition of religious tolerance as it is normally understood and applied.

In a letter to the Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island, that George Washington wrote in 1790, he remarked, perhaps in an allusion to the famous "Patent of Tolerance" promulgated by the Austrian Emperor Joseph II a few years previously, "It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights."

At a meeting of Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Vienna some years ago the Cardinal Archbishop Franz Koenig spoke of tolerance, and I couldn't resist quoting Washington to him.

He replied, "You are right. I shall no more speak of tolerance; I shall speak of mutual respect." There are still too few who share the attitude expressed in this truly magnificent response.

—Bernard Lewis

Jesus never discussed homosexuality directly, but he did basically say that his teachings overrode the old Jewish law.

Um, as an atheist, I don't have much of a a dog in the race of what laws are and aren't applicable, but Jesus said no such thing. In fact, in Matthew 5: 17-20, he says:

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."

Now, Jewish law only ever applied to the Jews anyway, and not to Gentiles who considered YHVH to be the One True God, so it's somewhat academic. The question usually centered around whether Jews who accepted Jesus as the Messiah were still obligated to obey the Torah. And as far as Jesus was concerned, the answer was obviously "Yes."

If you're going to argue with Christians on the validity of Biblical teachings, make sure you have your bases covered. :)

bernard, thank you. you put the problems with "tolerance" very well.

to everyone else: i am not episcopalian. i have not been episcopalian for almost 20 years. however, i have many connections with the episcopalian church, and many of you are just flat out wrong.

it is absolutly the most diverse church out there. although they only started having female priests in the last 50 or so years, they have been more willing to look the other way. the entire basis of the anglican church is breaking away from the old traditions that don't hold true anymore. derbyshire is a dumb fuck (pardon my language, but he does not deserve the benefit of high vocabulary) who has no understanding of his own faith.

i am very interested in what the gospel of thomas has to say about homosexuality. it is a heretical text for a reason. the official "church" does not like it because it draws more from the esoteric than the exoteric aspects of christianity. it shows jesus as a person, not a holy icon.

"good fucking riddance to the wanna-be lutherans..."
What exactly is your definition of a Lutheran?

Um, as an atheist, I don't have much of a a dog in the race of what laws are and aren't applicable, but Jesus said no such thing

As an atheist who was raised Episcopalian, I feel obligated to point out that it is the accepted Christian belief that Jesus did, indeed, mean to change the law. :)

Lordy the nutters are out on this one...All you atheists who want to change the theology of a church crack me up. If you are atheist why exactly do you care about the theology of a church? What makes you think your opinion matters to any member of the church?

It takes a HUGE amount of arrogance for non-Christian's or more specifically non-Anglicans to tell the Anglican church what it is they ought to believe. SHAME ON YOU!

And then to wax elloquent about how morally pure your beliefs are...GAK!

Like a bunch spoiled kids, you think that your thoughts are the only valuable thoughts, your insights are the only important insights, your opinions are more significant, your beliefs are what the Church should believe.

You are behaving in the same manner as those you criticize. You want to sneer at another's beliefs, their religion; but god forbid they sneer at you. Intollerant bastards!

You need to look in the mirror and confront the idiot looking back at you. If John Derbyshire is concerned about HIS denomination acting in a fashion that is not conforming with his beliefs, he should be entitled to do that. It is HIS denomination. The fact that you do not believe his denomination is all the analysis you need to give this...that and doing a little bit of growing up.

Dan: As a confirmed-Episcopalian-turned-atheist, I can only go by the words of the guy himself, regardless of how contemporary theologists may have interpreted it.

Phil, the problem with going by his words is that some of his words contradict other words. For example, the law explicitly demands that people stone adulteresses to death -- God demanded it, in fact -- but Jesus specifically told them that they were not to do so. This represents a direct refutation of existing law, which Jesus then "spun" as a re-interpretation. He'd have made a good Supreme Court judge. :)

It takes a HUGE amount of arrogance for non-Christian's or more specifically non-Anglicans to tell the Anglican church what it is they ought to believe.

Hm... so non-Christians shouldn't tell Christians what they ought to believe. Ok, I see where you're coming from, I guess.

Any chance that Christians are going to stop telling non-Christians what to believe? Think of all the money you'd save if you got rid of the missionaries, evangelists, and childrens' Sunday School programs. :)

My test for Derby columns is to imagine if I would feel comfortable reading them aloud in front of someone who was gay. He flunks that test - same as when he writes about race.

bkg - i am talking about the bishops who said that if gene was confirmed they were going to go across the street and attend a prayer service at the lutheran church.