Christmas Spirit

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Reverend Irene Monroe, Ford Fellow and doctoral candidate at Harvard Divinity School, on the split in the Episcopal church and other religious matters.

Comments [26]

Tim Fisher from Valley Cottage, NY

The Romans Catholics began to lose it as early as 800 with the resusitation of Augustine by the Carolingians to bolster their rivalry with the Orthodox Eastern Empire. It culminated in the Great Schism and Anselm and his Vicarious Satisfaction Theory of Redemption and the rise of the Scholastics. This legacy tore the West away from Orthodox experience of Grace via ascetic/ethical struggle.

B) This now has reached a new nadir with misconceptions of "inclusive love" which is not love, for it does not cure the ailing of passions, but sends them off to immerse themselves even deeper and deeper in egoistic self-indulgence: sin, thus denying them salvation and proclaiming it to be Christlike. Thus is the way prepared for antichrist. Ecumenism and modernist inclusionism go hand in hand. This is a "church" following the broad path not the strait of True Christianity.

Dec. 24 2008 02:12 AM
Tim Fisher from Valley Cottage, NY

A) Unfortunately the half-truths and bogus theologizing of this whole brand of psuedo-Christianity is the result of a long history of this sort of mis-guidance.

I am a former Episcopalian, 40 years now and Orthodox Christian.

The ethical heresies of Anglicanism/Episcopalianism are the direct consequence of their doctrinal heresies.
Allowing bishops to remain in good standing after stating anti-Christian doctrines like non-belief in the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, the Divine Nature of Christ leads to ordaining women and gays.
All this allowed under the false concept of "inclusiveness" which results from misguided ecclesiology of embracing both Prot and RC theologies and ecclesiologies.

First, practicing gay sexuality is contrary to Christian doctrine, which is one of asceticism, not egoistic hedonism, regardless of whether it is mutual or not. This is a basic teaching of the Apostles and Church Fathers. In advocating this false ethical doctrine the Anglicans/Episcopalians are manifesting the loss of doctrinal Apostolic Succession that is evident in the preceding RC pseudo-church and inherited by the Prot sects.

Dec. 24 2008 02:12 AM
Rob from The Bronx

Ed Helmrich may have a point, at which point do we stop before we descend into moral relativity, right? The question of course is what school of thought one subscribes to, is it an eye for an eye as prescribed in Exodus 21:23 or turn the other cheek as in Matthew 5:38 or Luke 6:27, both paths are available to followers of the book. I prefer the latter but it is a choice that I make. People who follow the scriptures can readily make a case for slavery, subjugation of women, stoning of disobedient children etc. all based on the book.

Dec. 23 2008 01:45 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Is this so, The Truth? (though I think you’re merely trying to stoke a debate, I’ll bite)
Your first point, gay by choice; care to elaborate? It’s the common argument. When, from that asexual fork in the road of your youth, did you choose to live a heterosexual life? Was it an informed decision… sample a little of each and see what you preferred? Or, as I suspect the answer will be, you didn’t have to choose, did you? You always knew you were heterosexual? There’s the flaw in that argument. Heterosexual men claim they always knew they were heterosexual and claim homosexual men had a choice to make and deliberately choose not to be heterosexual.
Your second point… sexual trauma. No sexual trauma here.

Dec. 23 2008 12:21 PM
Ed Helmrich from Larchmont, NY

Dear Brian Lehrer,
I appreciated your program on the Anglican Church today. At one point you said that (I paraphrase) it was generally accepted that 'religion is a community's agreed upon view of what God wants or demands'.
This is the Marxist view of religion, and is certainly - except perhaps among many NPR listeners - not accepted by anyone who is devoted to God in a religious tradition. I'm Catholic and in a few words, the morality of the Catholic Church is not our agreeing upon what God wants, but is what God has revealed to us as true and what God desires and demands.
And this holds for Muslims, Jewish people, Anglicans (though the guest was shy to say so), and any devoted believer.
In the Anglican Church, what has happened is that they allowed birth control, and the people accepted it, and they allowed homosexual clergy, and the people accepted it grudgingly, and they allowed female clergy and hierarchy, and the people grudgingly accepted it, and now they allow homosexually active hierarchy, and the people have finally said 'No more'. This is not what is revealed to us, so we must leave.
I would invite any Anglicans who are uncomfortable with the positions of the Anglican Church to consider joining the Catholic Church, since we share the same beliefs in these areas.
Please consider other views of religion and morality that the Marxist / atheist / agnostic one you proposed.

Dec. 23 2008 12:14 PM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Every gay person I know experienced some sexual trauma as a child.

Dec. 23 2008 12:06 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

I understand your point; however, it is slightly (only a tiny bit) inaccurate. Being homosexual could be an obvious quality. If it weren’t, there’d be no such thing as being in the closet. I’m not referring to flagrantly effeminate men, but to simple gestures like holding hands in public or appearing in any way to be romantically involved with a member of the same sex… simple adjustments to otherwise normal natural behavior. Remember, when Homer Plessy boarded that first-class car of train, other riders though he was white.

Dec. 23 2008 11:57 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Here we go with the gay thing again. Gay by choice not by nature.

Dec. 23 2008 11:57 AM
Jeff from Brooklyn (Boerum Hill)

It must be easier to get into Harvard Divinity school than previously thought -- Rev. Monroe's general dismissive tone and her simplistic views on how our judiciary works left me unimpressed with her arguments.

Happy Holidays!

Dec. 23 2008 11:49 AM
hjs from 11211

oppression is oppression, we are not free unlill all of us are free.

being gay is never a choice

Dec. 23 2008 11:49 AM
David! from NYC

#13--HC, No, there is no Biblical direct reference to gay marriage. In the Old Testament, men often had several wives. It's funny how so many Biblical literalists only take it literally when convenient.

Dec. 23 2008 11:48 AM

Religion aside, our government by order of the Constitution is now allowed to discriminate. Besides, no taxation without representation right? Well gays pay as much taxes as anyone else, so they should also be represented.

Dec. 23 2008 11:47 AM
Robert from NYC

hjs: I was referring to both, the catholic side of it is obvious by who made the statement and in the name of who. Besides, what's the difference between the two!

Dec. 23 2008 11:45 AM
robert from park slope

Church denominations are amorphous and every generation sees its breakups and mergers. These actions have generally revolved around whom to allow into the church and/or who should ascend to leadership positions. The earliest debate in the first century was whether or not to allow gentiles to particpate in the then new Jewish sect (later called Christians). As a member of an inclusive Episcopal congregation, I am disappointed by the schism but life goes on.

Dec. 23 2008 11:44 AM
Andre from NYC

I really wish that people would STOP conflating being black and the civil rights movement with objections to gay marriage. Being black is an immutable, obvious quality; ordinarily, one cannot tell whether another is homosexual or not from outward appearances.

Dec. 23 2008 11:43 AM
HC from nyc

The banning of gay marriage in the church seems to be totally arbitrary. Is it based on a specific passage from the bible? Why would the church not also ban rich people considering the bible says that no rich person could enter the gates of heaven? This is totally arbitrary and based on scapegoating a certain group of people.

Dec. 23 2008 11:43 AM
David! from NYC

The Anglican Bishop of Rwanda has, for many years, been over the "Anglican Mission in America". In addition to its refusal to see the LGBT community as anything beyond vile sinners, it also disagrees with the ordination of women.

The issue really does come down to whether one sees Christianity as a faith that welcomes or a religion that excludes. As I fall in the camp of the former, I wish to all a very Merry Christmas!

Dec. 23 2008 11:43 AM
J. McEvoy from Patchogue, NY

I'm impressed that you have aired this program...we need MORE inclusion throughout this land, not less. My church does not, and should not discriminate ....should not put obstacles in the path of "righteousness"...and should not, for sure, align with other countries for the sake of their conservative congregants.

Because Henry VIII established the church, we should always remain tolerant...we were not founded in "the holy"...but in the secular. The secular environs have shown us that diversity and inclusion are the most necessary forces in this country.

Dec. 23 2008 11:41 AM
Joanna Asperger from NYC

George is saying that he objects to the marriage of a man and a man, not a woman and a woman. I think this is where the problem arises!

Dec. 23 2008 11:41 AM
bronxite from Bronx

I hope they have not gone so far as to declare homosexuality as an "ecological disaster" has Pope Benedict.

Dec. 23 2008 11:39 AM
O from Forest Hills

This is a very interesting segment presenting the different theological interpretations of scripture.

It is a new experience for me.

Dec. 23 2008 11:38 AM
Robert from NYC

Let's look at this also with respect to the Pope's statement yesterday about what amounts to the most hateful attacks on homosexuality. I think time is here we investigate his real involvement in that organization and not just accept this apparently flimsy story. Anyway with regard to this segment, this recent year-end statement he made to Vatican higher-ups was stunningly offensive and pure "you will surely go to hell" hate speech on homosexuality.

Dec. 23 2008 11:38 AM
ebun from brooklyn via lagos nigeria

the truth is there are not a lot of openly gay people in Nigeria, this feeds into the stance of the church, what is going on in the church is a discription of what is going on in the broader Nigerian community

Dec. 23 2008 11:36 AM
hjs from 11211

henry the 8th should have never divorced catherine

Dec. 23 2008 11:34 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Africa may be the membership center of the Anglican church, but what is the financial center of the church? From what I’ve heard, “amoral” Europe and the United States is financially supporting the ultraconservative African and South American churches. Is this true?

Dec. 23 2008 11:33 AM
David! from NYC

A former Episcopalian, this saddens me. I rarely differed from the church--I married into another. I can attest though, from observation and personal experience, that the structure of The Episcopal Church creates a situation wherein it is only as forward and nurturing as the bishop of a particular diocese. It needs more Bishop John Shelby Spongs, who refused to sacrifice what is morally right on the altar of orthodoxy and unity.
Let the conservatives go their way.

Dec. 23 2008 11:29 AM

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