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This page last updated 3 May 2004
Anglicans Online last updated 20 August 2000

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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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.

Letters from 25 to 2 May 2004

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

On holiday? Take in service.

LAST AUGUST MY DAUGHTER AND I went to London and were extremely fortunate to be able to attend a Sunday service at Westminster Abbey. And in the evening I went to Evensong. Both services were absolutely fantastic. To be sitting in Westminster Abbey with my teenage daughter was out of this world special. The morning service was so relaxing, beautiful, and the sermon was excellent. Evensong was wonderful too. It was like time had stood still. The music was, of course, outstanding, and I felt at home. (My dad is a priest and I am an organist, so I grew up learning Anglican music.) The clergy, staff, and the parishioners were welcoming and showed us how really glad they were to have us there. I came away with the feeling that this Abbey has seen so many hard times, religious fights, various kings and queens -- and it endures. The Church will endure, in spite of what goes on. I encourage anyone who is traveling to take time out and attend services wherever you are.

Anne Bay
Long Beach, California, USA
29 April 2004

Rippling on...

WHAT A LOVELY message last week! Small things are important.

Sandra Laythorpe
St Boniface (middle of the road Anglican)
Chandlers Ford, England, UNITED KINGDOM
28 April 2004

Characterising positions fairly

THREE CHEERS FOR Mr. Thomas Peters (Letters, 19 April), for reminding us that 'words have consequences,' and that "Christian charity requires us to characterize the position of those with whom we disagree with accuracy and integrity.' Too often, conservatives and liberals trying to discuss issues related to the present Anglican quasi-schism succeed only in 'talking past each other,' because they cannot, or will not, paraphrase each other's positions accurately. Mr. Peters correctly points out that 'conservative Anglicans do not argue that gays should be condemned.'

Unfortunately, while I applaud his efforts, I'm afraid Mr. Peters still has not accurately summarized the position of the conservatives (with whom, in this case, I happen to agree). It is not true that conservatives argue that non-celibate gays should not be ordained. A gay man can marry a woman and beget children by her, in which case he is non-celibate. Thus, Bp. V. Gene Robinson (assuming that he is the biological father of his children, and that they were begotten by the usual method) was, even prior to his divorce, a non-celibate gay man, and the fact that he was a priest did not bother conservatives at all. So, if gayness and celibacy and ordination are not the crux of the matter, what is? In a word: sodomy. Quite simply, conservatives believe that sodomy is a sin, and liberals do not. Conservatives are not arguing that gay persons should be excluded from the Church; conversely, liberals are not arguing that obdurately impenitent sinners should be included. The real question at issue is whether or not sodomy is of itself sinful. It would help tremendously in discussing this controversy if both sides could stay focused on this question.

By the way, how is it that Anglicans Online, while thanking Mr. Peters for his comment (19 April), and stating, 'We'll try to do better,' nevertheless reports, in one of its news stories for 23 April, that 'the Most Revd. George Cary has sided with the Colorado Springs Anglican Communion Institute to condemn gay clergy'? Although I read the linked article twice, I could find no mention of any condemnation of gay persons, whether clergy or otherwise.

David Plitnik
Church of Holy Love
Saitama City, Japan
2 May 2004

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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