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This page last updated 11 June 2007  

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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 Canadian 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 4 to 10 June 2007

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the 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.

How many crosses do you see? Three? Maybe you need new glasses

Good Morning Fellow Anglicans. It's just gone midnight and my hyper-active mind won't let me sleep because it's just come up with a really interesting theory. Two thousand years ago Herod asked the crowd whether he should release Jesus or Barabas. The crowd called for Barabas and we all know the rest of the story. I found out this afternoon that Barabas's first name was Yeshua. So here we have a man called Yeshua Bar Abbas or, in English, Jesus, son of the father.

The question now becomes 'Were there actually two men up for crucifixion or was Herod really asking if he should release Jesus the man or Jesus the son of the father (Messiah)?' By crucifying the man, he enabled the resurrection, thus releasing the Messiah.

This might just be the far-fetched wanderings of a mind which can think its way around a corkscrew but, as we all know, He moves in mysterious ways. Any ideas?

PS: Have a look at The Religious Write, a blog in The Age.

Fleur Wimborne
All Saints, Ainslie
Canberra, A.C.T., AUSTRALIA
4 June 2007

je je tlhej SoH

Re: Bible Languages, your editorial of 03 Jun 2007

Whatever it takes to get people, young and old, human or human-space alien wannabe interested in the Bible! You might be interested in knowing that the Bible is being translated into the Star Trek language Klingon. The gospel of Mark is here. The Klingon Bible Translation Project home page is here. They say their goals do not include missionary work. ;)

WJ Arnold PhD
St Mark's
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA
4 June 2007

Like, totally groovy

Today's essay (June 4, 2007) on language struck a chord in me. Years ago, as a copy writer for a major Canadian department store, I was responsible for writing advertisements for the teen clothing departments. This was in the 1970s when teen language was evolving at a rate of knots. I quickly learned that by the time the ad I had written in teenspeak was published, the teenspeak it used was already obsolete, which had the effect of making the ad - and, by association, the store - seem ridiculous. I reverted to using plain English!

On another topic (maybe, maybe not) the present hullabaloo about who is attending Lambeth 2008 and who is not reflects much of the disconnect occurring in the Communion. I must confess to having a bit of a chuckle when Archbishop Akinola announced that he was leading a boycott against Lambeth, only to be one-upped by his brother-in-arms Archbishop Orombi's announcement that neither he nor any of his bishops would be attending. So much for their highly touted deep concern for the preservation of the Communion.

On the other hand, I was pleased to note the item in the News Centre about the statement issued by the South American and Caribbean Bishops with regard to upholding the Communion in all its diversity. It would seem that some Bishops are much more grown-up than others and truly understand the language of the Anglican Church! We resolve our differences by discussion, reflection, and a willingness to hear all sides of an issue. Anglicans historically have been willing to listen to one another, in every language.

Thank you for continuing to be a voice of reason - in language we all understand.

Rene Jamieson
The Cathedral Church of St. John the Evangelist
Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA
4 June 2007

Now go redd up your room

Speaking of lexical markers, your spelling of "hallo" presumably indicates that you reside north of the Straits of Juan de Fuca and the St. Lawrence River? My other curious to know thing is whether your editorial greeting/musings are a solo, collective, or rotational effort?

Carl Chan
St. James, Monterey (Diocese of El Camino Real)
Monterey, California, USA
5 June 2007

(Ed: We're all listed on the Anglicans Online Staff page. We endeavour to use Canadian spellings and rhetorical devices as best we can, in honour of Anglicans Online's origins many years ago in British Columbia. We are carefully mysterious about which of us writes which portions of our material. It is typically a mixture of collective and rotational efforts. One of us editors resides not far north of Moss Landing, another not far east of Mill River, and the third within a stone's throw of the Delaware River. Our hard-working production staff are more widely dispersed.)

We're dismissive of Paris Hilton

In your News Section, you wrote the following (as an introduction to a conference called by Bishop Duncan):

The Episcopal News Service reports that the Bishop of Pittsburgh has invited representatives of six other unhappy organizations to a formative meeting in Pittsburgh this Fall of the Common Cause Council of Bishops.

It's more than a little condescending to refer to the invited organizations dismissively as "unhappy organizations." This is especially true in the case of the Reformed Episcopal Church, which is an independent denomination, and has been for a long time (even before the late unpleasantness).

Ted Gale
Calvary Episcopal [Indian Rocks Beach]
Seminole, Florida, USA
5 June 2007

(Ed: If we wanted to be dismissive we just wouldn't have mentioned this item. You're right, we oughtn't have included the Reformed Episcopal Church, but it really does seem to us that the common factor among those organizations is that they are unhappy. That is why they feel the need to make changes; it is not a pejorative.)

Probably you should ask Richard Turnbull

A theological question seeking an answer.

If Jesus died for our sins, why is the Original Sin of disobedence of Adam and Eve punished by God by putting Adam in charge over Eve not void? If a sin is forgiven is not the punishment void?

In other words, how can the Church consider patriarchy to be a viable and proper Christian lifestyle?

Rev. Robert G. Hewitt
St. Luke's Episcopal
Westcliffe, Colorado, USA
9 June 2007

It's a flight from fear

Where does one turn when a world goes mad? Nigeria, a small, cruel, and influential world on Christian morals today.

When the Queen of England is hailed for her prowess as a revolutionary, the greatest woman who has served and united her world around her, and what ever anyone else might think, in my opinion is head of the Church. And then somewhere there is Archbishop Akinola, and his foolish protest is also being viewed as "revolutionary", and his destructive thinking, hacking at the current unity of the Anglican Christian Church is brought into my peaceful world. Beside him is his cohort Archbishop Williams who recently "apologised" to the Black world for the huge profits made through the slavery of the African peoples. Akinola who is Archbishop of a country that revived from slavery, who might know from History the crushing price of racism and the freedom from its clutches. Nigeria, a still corrupt world of different religions at war, of condoned sexual mutilation of woman, of total inequality between the sexes.

Here we are presented with questions.

This blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of an openly gay Bishop by the Episcopalian branch of the Anglican Church is viewed by Akinola as un-Christian. Why, and what can he possibly know that is better? The message that Jesus preached to love one another began under the social, cultural and religious framework of the late Roman Empire when morals were unheard of, and religion condoned unspeakable acts of bestiality and cruelty.Through the work of St. Paul was planted the seeds of a world religion and to love one another was the command. With the Edict of Milan in 313 at the beginning of his reign, Emperor Constantine recognised Christianity with open favour and granted it official standing. From its secretive beginnings the Christian Church has brought about a freedom to all that turn to it. The schism that brought the Anglican Church into being was because of "marriage". It did not bring about a destruction of the freedom of human rights, but rather set an example for a peaceful path that many are now glad was taken. It has certainly given women the chance and equal right to become priests and inspire their world with Christ's message of love. How much more does a woman know of nurture than a man knows of warring? Many times I tell you, and the man Akinola comes from a background of warring, patriarchal, corrupt traditions that have no shred of equality among the sexes, and certainly no sense of compassion towards, for example, ones continually suppressed gay or lesbian neighbour, and, as is in plain evidence, is mostly ignorant and uneducated when viewed from the country's cruel and still barbaric female genital mutilations, a traditional, condoned, unjust and degrading practice.

Does Akinola protest that? Does he protest the utter destruction that HIV and other severe infections bring about through such painful, unsanitary, unjust mutilation and the huge social complications which are widespread among his own people as a result? No, that would be unmanly. Sex is never to be discussed to that degree in Nigeria. Just quote the old, outdated and extremely rare sayings from the Old Testament that denounce same sex practices and become a "revolutionary". How does one get through to bigots eventually. Who will stand out and stem this spreading tide of ignorance. How does righteous indignation prevail in the face of this huge degree of ignorance and want of education, from an elected church leader who can lead masses of those more ignorant than he.

I was born gay and non-white. My wrong colouring in racist England of the 60's was a further complication. I grew up in the Anglican Church and fled from Christianity for its failure to support me, a baptized child, and I wandered around the world for a place to call home to live a free life. I have it now. Here I am in Ottawa, in Canada. Thank God for St. John the Evangelist's Church. My church is inclusive and I feel at home in a community for the first time in my life. I remain Anglican and I am proud of it. It is my baptized right. I have no wish to marry another man, but I support the human right to do so.

So does God.

Anyone who has fled from injustice and ignorance knows the peace I feel today. It is a flight from fear.

Graham Smith
St. John the Evangelist, Ottawa
Ottawa, Canada
4 June 2007

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