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This page last updated 18 September 2003
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Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.

We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to English orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

Letters received during the week of 7 September 2003

Truth, billboards, and Corinthians.

I NOTE THAT YOU DON'T NORMALLY PUBLISH letters in response to other letters, but I was very struck by the church billboard that Warren Phillips saw ('Society has replaced Truth with Tolerance'). Surely, Christ's second commandment, that we love one another, has done that for us. Those still in doubt need to (re)read 1 Corinthians 13.

Edward Bunting
Saint Vedast-alias-Foster, London
London, England, UNITED KINGDOM
8 September 2003

Not a chance.

IS THERE ANY CHANCE THAT Brian and Cynthia could sit in on the extraordinary meeting of the Primates of the Communion in October? In my opinion, the meeting could use their balanced, rational, Christian presence!

One of your correspondents suggested that the Primates in opposition to Gene Robinson's elevation to the episcopacy are reacting out of fear. I agree. I also believe that they are treating the scriptures as 'carved in stone' truth, rather than living, dynamic teachings to be interpreted anew, as new information comes to light.

The writers of the gospels and all other books of the canon had no knowledge of DNA, chromosomes, schizophrenia, jet propulsion, gravity, evolution, astrophysics, cathode ray tubes, radio or light waves, or any of the other 'wonders' that we take for granted! How, then, can we use scripture except interpretively?

God didn't stop speaking to us when the writer of Revelation put down his pen! There have been prophets through the last 2,000 years (Meister Eckhart, John Wesley, William Wilberforce, William Temple, Archbishop Tutu, Sister Joan Chittister are just a few!) and as our knowledge of the physical increases, then our understanding of the spiritual should exponentially increase, too. That old, tired 'God said it, I believe it, that settles it!' approach to scriptural exigesis just doesn't work. We're faced with many more dilemmas than the people of Biblical times.

And I'm sorry, but why is ordaining gays any more against the will of God than allowing polygamists in African dioceses to keep their multiple wives?

Thank you again for your great ministry at Anglicans Online!

Rene Jamieson
St. John's Cathedral
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
8 September 2003

We trust the outcome of the primates meeting to be balanced, rational, and Christian, and what takes place there is almost certainly private.

Canon Robinson and divorce: The problem is not the chronology.

I NOTED THAT AFTER MY PUBLISHED LETTER you published a form of a rebuttal regarding Bishop-Elect Robinson's marital and homosexual chronology. My letter did not discuss chronology and was not intended to attribute any particular rationale for divorce, remarriage and homosexual partnering. A chronology does not provide a reason for behavior and action.

The chronology, however, leaves no doubt that the Robinsons did divorce after a decade and a half of marriage and that two children were the innocent victims of that divorce. Further, such a divorce and the subsequent homosexual circumstances begs the question about when homosexual feelings and then behavior first occurred — and whether that was the reason for marital failure.

After having done an extensive study of marriage and its importance to civilization, I am convinced that marriage has to a sacred life-long commitment that involves individual sacrifice for the long term benefit of family. It should not be treated as life-style choice to be discarded because of circumstantial inconvenience.

Bob Warren
Bruton Parish
Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
9 September 2003

Canon Robinson and divorce: The problem is that it's not a one-night lapse.

I AM A BIT SURPRISED BY THE EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE to Bob Warren's letter. You appear to be answering an allegation which Mr Warren does not make — of a connection between Canon Robinson's divorce and his present relationship.

What Mr Warren says is true:

1. Canon Robinson left his wife and children and is divorced.

2. Canon Robinson now lives in an open and notorious homosexual relationship.

Either of these two unconnected facts must raise doubts about his appointment as a bishop. The second is particularly difficult, in that Presiding Bishop Griswold has said frankly that he could not envisage a heterosexual priest living openly with his mistress being similarly preferred. (Yes, the straight priest could marry the mistress, but this would not solve the problem if, like Canon Robinson, he had a wife still living.)

I have every sympathy with priests, whatever their sexuality, who struggle to remain obedient to Christian teaching regarding sexual morality, and sometimes fail. If Canon Robinson lapsed with a nice young man or woman when he had had a few pints on a Saturday night, that would be one thing, but persisting in a sinful relationship is quite another.

Alan Harrison
S. Mary's, Hayes, Middlesex
Uxbridge, Middlesex
10 September 2003

Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All of our letters are in our archives.


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