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This page last updated 1 February 2005
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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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.

If you'd like to respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 23 to 30 January 2005

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the letter writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

Missing letters

RIGHT AFTER YOUR WEEKLY FRONT PAGE, my favorite section is Letters to AO. I was so disappointed to find no letters this week (No one had an opinion last week? How dull and how unAnglican!) that I vowed to write one myself so I wouldn't be disappointed next week.

Thanks for giving voice to Anglicans the world over.

Amy Phillips Witzke
St. Timothy's Church, Mountain View
Sunnyvale, California, USA
24 January 2005

Last week we had only a few public letters in our AO inbox, each of which was a response to an earlier letter to editor. Rather than continuing the cycle of publishing letters that would then provoke additional replies to those letters, we decided not to update this page last week.
     Thanks for writing and letting us know this section matters to you.

Identity, maturity, and histrionics

YOUR ARTICLE IS RIGHT on the mark! Humans apparently like to identify themselves by what they are not and and explain their actions by what they do not like or, more likely, what they fear. The Anglican Communion, and especially ECUSA, has gotten the Church into the current foolishness because of fear of those who are not like 'us' and how they might change 'us' or affect 'our' comfort zones. Fear of those who are different is the Christian's most pervasive sin and adversively affects any attempt to expect others to take our witness as truth. This has always been with us, but one would think that by the 21st century the Church would be closer to Christian maturity than adolescent histrionics.

This identify-fear is derailing Christian witness and forcing many who believe in inclusion rather than exclusion to leave their own parishes and literally become homeless Episcopalians.

Clint Capers
Church of the Holy Spirit
Waco, Texas, USA
24 January 2005

'Every institution has rules on the books that virtually no one takes seriously'

I'VE BEEN FOLLOWING AND CONTRIBUTING TO the sexuality debate in the Episcopal Church for more than a decade now and I still don't get it.

I don't think there's anything wrong with homosexuality and I don't know anyone who does. I know there are lots of Americans who think homosexuality is seriously evil. But most of them aren't Episcopalians and aren't going to be impressed by the Episcopal Church's position on these matters. There are probably also a few Episcopalians who share these views and a great many more who are just queasy about homosexuality. But they aren't going to be impressed either.

I haven't heard of a single individual, liberal or conservative, announcing his intention to defer to the authority of the Church: everyone involved in the sexuality debate bases his views on his own interpretation of Scripture, Tradition and Right Reason and is intent on seeing to it that the Church as an institution supports it. The institutional Church, in the persons of its clergy, should have the humility to recognize that no one is listening to them and that, in a "world come of age" there's no reason why anyone should. Literate, educated people can figure out these matters for themselves.

So why make a fuss about sexuality? Every institution has rules on the books that virtually no one takes seriously. The Catholic Church has rules prohibiting artificial contraception and as far as I know the Episcopal Church and most others still officially prohibit pre-marital sex. I do not know any Catholics, lay or ordained, who take the ban on birth control seriously and if I had to guess I'd bet that the number of virgins married in the Episcopal Church nationwide during the past 10 years was, at most, in double digits. No one bothers fighting the good fight about contraception or pre-marital sex -- I do not understand why it's worth bothering with homosexuality.

H. E. Baber
University of San Diego
San Diego, CA
25 January 2005

Light and love

I WAS FEELING LOW and turned on the internet tonight, and pulled up AO. I check on you guys from time to time. I haven't been to church much in over a year. I've become too disaffected by all the angst over gays. I'm gay, and to have one's personal condition debated endlessly, by one's brothers and sisters in Christ no less, is deeply wearying.

It's comforting to see that you all are still out there, raising light. I liked that very much. 'Walk in Light' is one of my favorite mottoes. I wouldn't say the bishops' interview was fascinating, but, to paraphrase a certain Vulcan scientist, it was interesting.

I'm going back to bed now, where my lover of 20 years is sleeping. He loves me and I love him. I'm grateful to be in love, because it lets me know what love is. And when I'm not feeling torn down too much by other people, I thank God for being gay, because it gives me a tremendous perspective on my fellow human beings, which is a wonderful blessing to me.

Michael Johnson
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Houston, Texas
26 January 2005

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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