LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Tue Jan 21 01:51:44 EST 2003
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I note with dismay the astonishing length of many of the contributions
to Virtuosity from the clergy. Are they expending time on
correspondence columns which should be directed to their flock?
(Canon Dr.) Michael Green Oxford UK
MICHIGAN BISHOP GOES TO NIGERIA
I read your open letter to the Bishop of Michigan about his visiting
the Nigerian Church
I'm a theological conservative who agrees with much of what you say;
however, you lose me when you insists on blaming gay people for the
state of the Episcopal church. As one example, you talk about the
diseases one can catch from gay sex -- somebody needs to inform you
that in Africa (which includes Nigeria last time I checked) almost all
of the AIDS transmissions are heterosexual. In fact, worldwide most
AIDS is heterosexual, the exceptions being Europe and North America.
If you want to make the argument that your understanding of Scripture
is that homosexuality is a sin (a view far from unanimous among
Christians, I might add), then fine, then make that argument. But to
blame gay people for social ills they have nothing to do with, and to
keep playing the disease card even though African AIDS is a
heterosexual phenomenon, succeeds only in making you look ridiculous.
Christ's Church leadership update; thoughts on financial giving in
Since I have quite a bit of knowledge about what goes on at the
National Church level and have strong feelings on these matters, I
would like to comment on the message that "where your treasure is,
there is where your heart is."
There is little doubt that at the National level, the Episcopal Church
is not an organization of which we can be proud; the question is
"should we be supporting it spiritually and financially?" Or, "how do
we make our beliefs and feelings truly felt where it will matter?" I do
not believe that any amount of letter writing will have any impact
whatsoever. Further, the use of trust funds and similar arrangements
are very cumbersome and because all money is fungible (meaning that it
can be used for any purpose and restrictions are impossible to enforce)
such arrangements do not work.
We should withdraw all support from the National Church but most
Bishops are unwilling to do that living in the hope that somehow things
will change for the better. They won't change unless very strong
statements are made and are done so publicly and that is, I am afraid,
unlikely to happen. What is the poor parishioner to do?
Susan and I have been having almost daily home discussions about the
moral climate in the Church and this is what we have decided: We have
drawn a spiritual "line in the sand" which says that if the National
Church goes one more step in its immoral direction, we will withdraw
all remaining financial support locally with the intent of getting the
Diocesan Bishops' attention; then when the Bishops inform the people
publicly that all financial support to the National Church has been
terminated, we will restore our local giving. I intend to contact my
friends in other parishes to persuade them to do the same.
Small withholdings of members' National Church "shares" will do no good
and I agree that local withholding will damage our local churches. But,
only by putting on real pressure will we get anywhere.
We should remember that whenever one of the Church's Bishops around the
country announces another same sex wedding or similar falling away from
historical Christian teaching, it reflects very negatively on all of us
and as long as any of our money goes to support this system, a wrong is
being committed in each of our names no matter how small our individual
share may be. "Where your treasure is; that is where your heart is"
Diocese of Albany, New York
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