A Pansexual Friendly Lambeth Will Be Knockout Blow to Orthodox Anglicans (March 11)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Pansexual Friendly Lambeth Will Be Knockout Blow to Orthodox Anglicans

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

There is still plenty of time for orthodox Anglicans around the Communion, especially the CAPA bishops, to make up their minds as to whether or not they will attend Lambeth in July.

So far, archbishops and bishops from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, the Southern Cone, Sydney, a small group of Americans and one Canadian bishop have said they will not go. Uninvited Anglican bishops, who probably would not go if asked at this point, include the Bishop of Recife, and the bishops of AMiA and CANA. There is no word if San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield will be uninvited, now that he has left The Episcopal Church and made the Southern Cone his new ecclesiastical home. Also, we do not know, at this time, if there are some Common Cause Partnership bishops who will be going to Lambeth. Many, if not all of these archbishops and bishops will be attending GAFCON in the Holy Land a month prior to Lambeth.

The majority of CAPA bishops from Africa have not publicly said if they plan to attend, but it is expected they will as their airfares, accommodation and walk about money are mostly being provided by the U.S. There is always the hope they will have time to buy stuff at Harrods in London and get an invitation to see the Queen at the standard Garden party she gives. One doesn't know, at this time, how much arm-twisting is going on behind the scenes in Africa. We will know more in time. A retired orthodox archbishop, I spoke with, says that CAPA bishops are enamored by things British, and Canterbury still has a strong psychological pull for many of them.

Another reason some might consider not going is that, although New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson has not been invited, all those who voted for him are invited. What is the moral distinction? They are all unrepentant.

Final numbers of who will attend are still uncertain. As of now, about 600 of the 800 bishops invited to Lambeth have said they will go, but the truth is they represent only about 25% to 30% of the Anglican Communion whereas the 200 bishops attending GAFCON represent somewhere between 75% to 80% of the communion!

Orthodox theologians and archbishops across the communion are still divided as to whether orthodox bishops should or should not attend. Foremost among those who believe everyone should go to Lambeth include the Rev. Dr. Peter Toon, President of the Prayer Book Society USA;, Dr. Michael Poon, Singapore,. Director, Centre for the Study of Christianity in Asia; Canadian-based Anglican Communion Institute theologians; Archbishop Drexel Gomez (West Indies); and at least 25 evangelical Church of England bishops.

All have pled for everyone to attend and challenge the issues head on, or face the possibility that the church's traditional Christian sexual ethic - lifelong heterosexual marriage between a man and woman, with a positive celibacy for all others - well may be lost. There is some truth to this that should not be overlooked, but it is not the whole truth.

Archbishop Gomez is concerned that, if orthodox bishops do not attend, it could signal a rebellion by liberal and revisionist bishops who would see this as a golden opportunity to set about reversing Resolution 1:10 passed overwhelmingly at Lambeth 1998.

Even though the Design Team has laid no ground- work for such legislative resolutions American and British homosexuals could (and probably will) push their pansexual advocates among liberal bishops hard and press Dr. Rowan Williams, himself an advocate of homosexuality (within committed relationships), to consent to vote for such a resolution overturning 1:10.

Increasingly, there is evidence that American and British pansexualists are planning a coup d'etat against orthodox bishops, intimidating and cowering them into submission. A watchful liberal press will accuse orthodox bishops of homophobia, if they so much as raise their heads above the sodomite ramparts and suggest that homosexual behavior is dangerous to your body, not to mention your soul.

Dr. Lisa Severine Nolland, writing for Anglican Mainstream (, put it succinctly when she wrote, "the very air of Lambeth 2008 will be mandatory gay-friendly and gay-affirmative, which is one reason Changing Attitude (CA), et al., is so insistent that all come, all be present." She might have added that the unofficial Episcopal pansexual organization Integrity plans to send a contingent of homosexual activists to Lambeth to support Changing Attitude in making victims out of homosexuals not invited to Lambeth and much more.

Nolland believes that Lambeth has already been lost. She says that GLBT advocates and allies are matter-of-fact, relaxed, confident, chilled - even assertive. And why should they not be? It is fully to be expected that they will be on the inside, helping to run Lambeth in the offices of the secretariat, press corps etc., Lambeth cannot "happen" without significant volunteer help from the staff of western bishops. What is incontrovertible, though, is that CA, et al., is simply thrilled about Lambeth - is presently raising large amounts of money to pour into it - is gearing up to be an integral part of it.

My own observations of Changing Attitudes confirm Nolland's. At Dar-es-Salaam, the Rev. Colin Coward and his Nigerian counterpart Davis Mac-Iyalla were given open access to Archbishop Ndungane (Southern Africa). There were photo ops with Mrs. Jefferts Schori and other pro-homosexual archbishops. The rest of the media were warned off trying to speak to the Archbishops as they had been sequested in a "ring of steel" silence. Coward told this writer that he and his organization were making great progress. The number of archbishops refusing to take communion with Frank Griswold at Dromantine was 22; that figure whittled down to 8 in Tanzania. The message is clear, given time and the Anglican Communion's pansexualists will win the day, helped along by the Archbishop of Canterbury whose views are all too manifestly clear on the subject (see S.P.R.E.A.D. document

Nolland nails it when she says, "I believe it will be almost impossible for the conservative voice to speak up or be heard, let alone be taken seriously. As the CoE's recent 'Gay Wednesday' synod debate clearly demonstrated, the 'Hear My Pain' line - which is powerful, no doubt of it! - works its magic and shuts the potential opposition up efficiently and effectively. The conservative position is continually back-footed and on the defensive, reminiscent of those posed with the question of whether they had stopped beating their wife (or husband) yet. And in relation to this Lambeth, of course, we all realize that Rowan Williams fully supports and actively endorses partnered lesbian/gay clergy in the CoE (think 29 November 2007) - while there are just under 200 Civil Partnerships (think Gay Marriage - they do!) of Anglican clergy and laity registered with CA alone. At some point in the very near future, the penny will drop and people across the theological spectrum on this fair isle will realize that in fact, significant parts of the CoE mirror and echo TEC perfectly - but lack the courage and honesty to admit it in public."

The Archbishop of Canterbury and ultra-liberals like Frank Griswold and now Mrs. Jefferts Schori talk much about "conversation" and "listening". What we have learned over the years is that conversation is specifically designed to wear down conservatives till they fall over themselves in agreement with liberals and revisionists about homosexuality. It was never designed to seek out the truth from Scripture, history, science or reason. "Truth" is about hearing someone's story, feeling their pain, and then agreeing with them. If, God forbid, a liberated and healed homosexual and/or lesbian stands up and says "Once I was blind, but now I see", THEY are accused of being self-loathing queers who won't admit the truth about themselves!

You can never win arguments with pansexualists; they will get you going or coming. The only arguments they can never win are: the medical argument, the shortened life-span, total biblical prohibition (except of course if you say that Jesus was a queer because of his relationship with the 'beloved disciple'), and saying that First Century Biblical writers like St. Paul had no idea about committed same-sex relationships. So long as they can present their case as being the victim in the court of public opinion, and present the other side as homophobic, they win. Changing the laws help them in the secular courts.

Which brings us to Gene Robinson.

At the TEC's House of Bishops meeting in Camp Allen, Texas, this week it was announced (for the umpteenth time) that Robinson will not be getting an official invitation to Lambeth. He turned down an opportunity to make his case as an "exhibit" in the "marketplace" for parachurch ministries. But does that mean he won't go?

Of course he is going, and he is going for one reason and one reason only - to make his case before the media as a martyr for the cause of sodomy. You can be sure that the liberal press, led by the orthodox-hating broad sheet newspaper "The Guardian", will lead the charge in declaring to the world that Robinson is the victim of a homophobic Archbishop of Canterbury and fundamentalist African bishops who know nothing about inclusivity and diversity. They will paint Robinson and his partner (who will have just gotten married and be on their honeymoon) as a couple and that, if the whole world could see that they are just like everybody else, all would be well. Changing Attitude and Integrity will double team and hold many press conferences. The BBC will fall all over itself, telling the world, in sound bites, that heterosexuals, who just don't get it, are treating Robinson horribly.

Nolland, in her critique of why bishops should not attend Lambeth, cites authors Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, in their book After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s (NY: Doubleday, 1989), "According to our authors, 'Coming out makes an enormous contribution to the fight against homohatred, since it generally provides an ideal opportunity to activate the psychological mechanisms we have called desensitization, jamming and conversion. Here's how it works: First, coming out helps desensitive straights. As more and more gays emerge into everyday life, gays as a group will begin to seem more familiar and unexceptional to straights, hence less alarming and objectionable ... Second, coming out allows more jamming of the reward system for homohatred. Jamming, you'll recall, means interrupting the smooth workings of bigotry by inducing inconsistent feelings in the bigot ... Jamming can work, even if open gays merely stand around homohaters without saying a word ... Third, coming out is a critical catalyst for the all-important '"conversion'" process, as well. Conversion is more than merely desensitizing straights or jamming their homohatred; it entails making them actually like and accept homosexuals as a group, enabling straights to identify with them.' (pp. 167-168). For our authors, if one likes X - and X is lesbian or gay - one will endeavour to approve of X's lesbianism or gayness."

Alleged homo hater Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola has gone on record saying that orthodox bishops (mindful of the presence of Robinson and other gay activists) would be the continual target of activist campaigners and media intrusion during Lambeth. "In these circumstances, we could not feel at home. All of us have attended Lambeth before," he wrote.

"We have come to the conclusion, from the failure of the instruments of the Communion to take action either to discipline the Episcopal Church or to protect those who have asked the Communion for protection, that there is no serious space for those of an orthodox persuasion in the councils of the Communion to be themselves or to be taken seriously."

If orthodox bishops change their minds which now seems highly unlikely as GAFCON is a done deal, then they should know what they are getting themselves into. They should not be blind to a media blitz that will paint them as homohaters. There will be no honest discussion of the issues, that day is done.