1. Bp Spong to Abp Carey
2. Carey reply to Spong
3. Spong reply #2 to Carey
4. Spong White
........Unacceptable Stance of Archbishop Carey
........A Call for Authentic Discussion
5. Earle Fox reply to Spong - partly interspersed [bracketed] in
the text, with the following articles
at the end.
........a. Spong v. Carey
........b. The Mysterious "Faithful and Monogamous"
........c. The Problem with Spong - Tactics more than Content
6. Homosexuality and the Subversion of American Psychiatry, by Charles Socarides, MD.
Bp. Spong's Letter to the Primates of the Anglican Communion
November 12, 1997
TO: The Primates of the Anglican Communion of the World
I write to lay before you my deep concern for a significant part of both our communion and the human race; namely, the gay and lesbian population of our world. I am fearful that when we meet at the Lambeth Conference in 1998, we will act out of our long-standing ignorance and fear, instead of out of the Gospel imperative and thus deal one more violent blow to these victims of our traditional prejudice. .
My fears have been enhanced by recent statements issued by Lambeth Palace, the General Synod of the Church of England, the incredible and ill-informed diatribe that came this past year from the Archbishop of the Southern Cone (South America) and the much publicized, hostile and threatening Kuala Lumpur statement, signed by certain bishops of Southeast Asia. All of these negative messages were widely disseminated through the press. My concern is that if those are the only voices raised in the public domain, then a distorted picture of the status of this debate will be seen. The facts are, I believe, that these religious voices are significantly out of touch with the knowledge revolution that marks our generation.
[We will examine below who is out of touch with reality below, whether scientific, Biblical, or moral.] .
It is on that basis that I offer to you the following white paper which is designed to set these issues into a proper context and to challenge the prejudice and ignorance that I believe has been inflicted upon this Communion. I commend this paper to your serious consideration. This comes with every good wish.
John S. Spong Bishop of Newark .
/lc enclosure -- The white paper with Spong's evidence, -- and The Koinonia Statement with names of bishops who have signed. .
[For the White Paper, see below.] .
Archbishop Carey Replies to Bishop Spong
November 1997 .
There follows below the text of the Archbishop of Canterbury'sresponse to Bishop John Spong of Newark's letter to the Primate of the AnglicanCommunion. .
"I acknowledge receipt of your letter addressed to Primates of the Anglican Communion and I am also copying this brief reply to them. .
I am saddened by the hectoring and intemperate tone of your Statement which appears to leave little room for the dialogue you demand.You claim the high ground of science and reason; you argue that the viewof those who disagree is 'tired and threadbare' and their leadership lacksintegrity. Furthermore, you attack personally those of us who disagree withyour opinion and in doing so you distort the theologies and reasons why weare led to conclude that there is no justification for sexual expression outside marriage.
I would invite you, Bishop, to re-read my Christmas Letter in which I express my hope that bishops coming to Lambeth will come to 'give'and 'receive'. I assure you that there will be open and honest debate onall issues that concern our Communion. I expect that to characterise the discussion on the issue of homosexuality. I understand that you feel passionately about this and that you have the support of a significant number of Bishops. However I would ask you in turn to recognise that a very large number of bishops from all over the world disagree with you with equal passion. You seem to be under the impression that the Kuala Lumpur Statement is the work of South Asian bishops.
This is not the case. It was agreed by a conference of some eighty participants representing the majority of Anglican provinces in thesouthern hemisphere. The most recent Dallas statement, which expresses similarsentiments on sexuality, also drew bishops from many parts of the world.I draw your attention to these facts because I want to be sure that everyonefully realises the divide potential of this, not just for the Communion,but for people more generally. If bishops come to Lambeth wanting a showdownon this issue, I am quite clear that there will follow a very negative anddestructive conflict which will put even further back the cause of the peopleyou represent. I have no wish to lay further burdens on any groups, but the tone of your paper, ironically, risks creating such a situation. If we eachcome to listen to others in the spirit of our Lord whom we all try to serve,then we shall all benefit from our common discussion.
I hope that the bishops will ask me to set up an InternationalCommission to consider these issues. The Conference will be less inclinedto do so, however, if you, or, indeed, others on the opposite side of the argument, intend to split the Conference open on this matter. Do come inpeace, do come to learn, come to share - and leave behind any campaigning tactics which are so inappropriate and unproductive, whoever employs them. I urge you to come in a constructive spirit."
Sent by the Communications Department at 14:59 on Tue, Nov25, 1997 The Anglican Communion Office, London, UK Director of Communications . - Canon James M Rosenthal Tel:  (0)171 620-1110 Fax:  (0)171 620-1070 .
Bishop Spong's Reply to Archbishop Carey
November 26, 1997 .
The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. George L. Carey
Archbishop of Canterbury
Lambeth Palace, London SE1 7JU .
Thank you for your letter received by facsimile and dated November 24th. Your response was quite helpful in that it illustrated more clearly than I could ever have hoped the nature of the problem faced by this Communion. . You characterized my statement as "intemperate" and as "leaving little room for dialogue." Yet I do not recall your issuing any criticism, much less similar harsh words, about the Kuala Lumpur Statement, the Dallas Statement, or the Statement by the Archbishop of the Southern Cone. Those statements made assertions about gay and lesbian people that were not just intemperate, but offensive, rude and hostile. .
[Those statements need to be specified. There are no such statements in any of the documents to which Spong refers -- unless he want to say that the mere statement of the Biblical position is itself hostile and offensive. Is there any way that the Biblical position can be expressed, just to get it on the table so that it can be discussed, without Spong, et al, calling it offensive? Would the bishop please state the position which opposes him in terms which the holders of that position would recognise? And would he clearly tell us in what sense he thinks his position is "biblical"? If he is unable to locate his position in any specific text (for fear of being a "literalist"), then in what sense is he using the Bible at all as his basic text?]
Those statements went so far as to threaten schism if their point of view did not prevail or to breakoff communion with provinces of our Communion who disagreed with them. You do not appear to have suggested that they left "little room for dialogue."
[That is a way of deflecting attention from the fact that Spong and his friends have succeeded in undermining at every possible juncture the possibility of honest dialogue. See my booklet, "Dialogue in Darkness or Scientific Debate?" detailing the corruption and manipulation of the Episcopal sponsored dialogue leading up to the 1994 General Convention in Indianapolis. The statement of the southern bishops left quite enough room for dialogue based on honest Biblical scholarship and honest empirical science.]
These statements also threatened to withdraw financial support from the work of the Church unless the Church's leadership endorses their point of view. That strikes meas a form of ecclesiastical blackmail. By your silence in the face of these affronts, you reveal quite clearly where your own convictions lie. That makes it quite difficult to have confidence in your willingness to handle this debate in an even-handed way. Gay and lesbian Christians are at great risk if these attitudes prevail at Lambeth.
You suggest that the problem for our Communion lies in the fact that there are deep divisions among the bishops on the subject of homosexuality. May I respectfully disagree. We have had deep divisions beforeover important issues like slavery, segregation, apartheid and the full humanity of women and their right to pursue equality in both church and society. The Church can live with divisions. The issue is not that these divisions exist, but who is right. Church unity is important to me, but it is not an ultimate value. Truth and justice are.
[On this point Spong, of course, is right. Truth precedes collegiality. But it is precisely the homosexualist agenda which has worked hammer and tong to prevent any honest assessment of the evidence. See "Good and Right in the Eyes of God?" by David Virtue and myself, a first draft of which is posted on http://theRoadtoEmmaus.org ]
A Church unified in racism, chauvinism or homophobia cannot be the Body of Christ. Our task as God's Church is to discern truth and to proclaim justice, and if that disturbs the unity of the Church, then so be it. In our effort to discover truth, however, we cannot close our minds or ignore new insights that challenge even the literal truth we quote from holy Scripture. I am aware, as I am certain you are, that church people have used biblical quotations, as well as what you have called "theologies and reasons" for centuries to justify attitudes that today are universally rejected. Why do we not recognize that quoting an ancient text to try to solve a complex moral or scientific issue is as irrelevant today as it was when the book of Joshua was quoted to condemn the discoveries of Galileo? I am amazed that this is not clear. It certainly is to so many in the secular world who have rejected the Church as no longer viable for their lives. .
[Spong confuses pitting the Bible against empirical evidence, which of course is silly, with any possible appeal to a concrete Biblical text. Pitting the Bible against empirical evidence is quite different from using the Bible as an authority for understanding what God wants us to do. Spong effectively nullifies the revelation of God to us concerning what He wants us to do with the world in which we live. Yet there is no empirical evidence which even remotely suggests that we have heard God wrongly about homosexuality. ALL of the significant empirical evidence, perhaps without exception, stands in support of the traditional Biblical interpretation (as per Romans 1:18 ff.) that homosexuality is a compulsive and lethal addiction. It is either inexcuseably incompetant or deliberate subversion of truth for Spong to hold otherwise. The medical health documentation on the issues is overwhelming, and easily available in very readable books in the market place. There is no excuse for not knowing the facts on this matter. See the bibliography on the issue in http://theRoadtoEmmaus.org] .
How many more moral debates will we have to undergo in the Christian Church before people recognize that the literal Bible was wrong on the seven day creation story, wrong on epilepsy being demon possession, wrong on sickness resulting from sin, wrong on the sun rotating around theearth, wrong on slavery, wrong on defining women as inferior people, and is now wrong on the origins, causes and meaning of homosexuality? How many irrelevant rear guard battles must we Christians lose before we give up this tactic? How much longer will we pretend that this is about divisions in the Church? .
[This is all nonsense. Yes, some in the Christian community have wrongly interpreted some issues. It is silly to conclude from that that "therefore" the traditional view is wrong on homosexuality. The evidence does NOT point in that direction, as Spong claims. It points precisely the other way. And not, this is not just another case of the "experts disagreeing". It is a case of deliberate beclouding of the evidence and deliberate avoidance of an honest confrontation of the easily available evidence.]
Perhaps we need to remind ourselves that Anglicanism has never identified the word of God with the literal words of Scripture. The living word of God for us is rather found underneath the literal words of Scripture and in the person of Christ, whom we have called traditionally the "Word of God Incarnate." . In the living word of God we hear it proclaimed that all persons are created in God's image, lived by God through Jesus Christ and called to the fullness of life inside God's Holy Spirit. Our task as Christian ethicists today is to apply that "Living Word" to the complex moral issues of our day with minds informed by knowledge developed in the secular and scientific world. We cannot stop the world because it no longer affirms our prejudices. If we are uninformedby available scientific data, we have no business trying to prescribe forthe lives of millions of people.
[The bishop is again wrong. "Secular" is not the same as "scientific". We are called indeed to develop our minds in honest science, but NOT in the secular framework. That is precisely what he is doing, sidelining Scripture to an irrelevant cloud of abstractions and generalities so that he can import what is a secular, i.e., God-less, view of morality and life. Given Spong's view, there is no possibility of ever having a "law of God" or a "will of God" which is not to be trumped by our own independent wills and values.
At no point does a faithful Christian ever have to oppose honest science with Godly revelation. The God who speaks through revelation is the same God who gifted us with scientific method. . It is false to imply that we cannot use particular passages as evidence for the mind of God. The question is not whether we appeal to particular passages, but rather whether we do so in a way consistent with the Biblical worldview and with an honest appreciation of the necessarily historical and therefore particular nature of the revelation of God to us. If Spong is going to use Scripture, as he says he does, he will have to use particular passages just like everyone else does. Or else he will have to admit that, for practical purposes, he does not use Scripture at all. He only talks about using it for PR purposes.
It is idle to oppose the "living word of God" with the text of the Bible. Jesus is the living word, but He spoke in understandable Hebrew (or Aramaic, if you prefer), and meant what He said. He was not ambiguous in His speech to His people. It was precisely His clarity that brought down the wrath of the people upon Him. No living person can communicate until he finds some basis in literal language (that is why we have dictionaries), which is not the same as "rigid" or "fundamentalist" language. We simply must know what we are saying in a reasonable and verifiable way.]
Finally, you seem to assume that my intention is to seek to impose a solution to this issue upon our Communion. Perhaps if you would reread my statement, you would discover that is absolutely not what I said or what I intend. I speak today as I do only because of the silence of leaders like yourself in the face of the abuse present in the public statements of the Southern Hemisphere bishops, the Archbishop of the Southern Cone and the Dallas signatories who do seek to impose their solution on the Church.They are the ones threatening the Church.
I seek, and will continue to do so in the future, to stand between the gay and lesbian Christians I am privileged to serve and the negativity and abuse of one more insensitive statement issuedon this subject by those who, while quite sincere, are not well-informed. .
I do not want our Church to be embarrassed yet again because we are so slowin embracing new knowledge and new ways of perceiving reality. Your leadership in this endeavor is crucial. .
I will come to Lambeth guided by the motto of my theologicalseminary, "to seek the truth of God come whence it may, cost what it will."I hope you and all the other bishops of this Church will do likewise. . Yours sincerely, John S. Spong, Bishop of Newark
Bp. Spong's "White Paper" defending homosexuality
The following was sent to all Primates in the AC along with that cover letter and is the "white paper" : . http://newark.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/whitepaper.html .
A Message to the Anglican Communion on the Subject
by John S. Spong, Bishop of Newark .
Our knowledge and understanding of homosexuality is changing:
Over the last fifty years dramatic new insights have been achieved in the studies of both human behavior and the science of brain function and formation. These insights have forced the western world, led by medical and scientific people, to reject the wisdom of the past that viewed homosexuality as a choice rather than a given aspect of reality, as amental illness rather than as part of the spectrum of human sexualactivity, and as aberrant and evil behavior engaged in by morally depraved people rather than a natural, albeit a minority, part of humanity. As long ago as 1973 The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its listof mental illnesses.
[The bishop is wrong. The APA is well documented as having paid no attention to scientific evidence when it deleted homosexuality from its list of pathologies. The decision was made under great pressure from groups such as ACT UP and Queer Nation, some of whom were inspired by readings of Hitler's "Mein Kampf", who used verbal and sometimes physical intimidation. That also is well documented by persons who were there, such as Charles Socarides. (I have an article by Dr. Socarides, with permission to reprint, giving the history of the APA event in detail, which can be ordered from Emmaus Ministries. See details below) ]
Today the debate centers on such things as the role of the hypothalamus, the level of the male hormone testosterone in the pregnant female, the work of the Y chromosome in sexual development, neuro-chemical realities and other newly discovered physiological facts inthe studies of brain formation and function.
[The bishop is wrong. There is not a single one of the studies alleging a biological cause of homosexuality which has stood the test of peer review. Not one. Biological factors may contribute but there is no evidence that they "cause" homosexual behavior in any determinate sense. At last report, Dr. Simon LeVay who wrote the hypothalamus study had abandoned his researches to become a homosexual activist. Apparently he did not think that his patient research was as valuable to his cause as storming the barracades. And Dr. LeVay himself allowed that his study did not prove anything at all. See "Good and Right in the Eyes of God?", chapter IV, section on "Medical Evidence", on http://theRoadtoEmmaus.org
Bishop Spong can seriously compromise my case by bringing forware a study which has and continuses to survive peer review supporting his case.]
The constancy of the number of gay/lesbian people in the population of the world is also generally accepted.
[That is not true. It is not "generally accepted". The figures claimed by homosexual persons have been all over the map. The Kinsey material, which has been proven fraudulent, is still being used by homosexualists to promote the mythical 10% figure. Every other reputable study finds a figure somewhere around 1% to 4% in contemporary culture. And at least one massive study by David Greenberg, THE CONSTRUCTION OF HOMOSEXUALITY, who is pro-homosexual, concludes that homosexuality has a large sociological component, and that the incidence of homosexuality varies in different societies depending on the place homosexuality has in their social construction.] .
That evidence is disguised by the fact that homosexuality is violently suppressed in some social orders, making it appear to be minimal or non-existent. .
[If Spong is suggesting that homosexuality appears to be less than what some people say it is only because of violent suppression, then he is making an unsubstantiatable and gratuitous statement.] .
Studies reveal that suppressing homosexuality only cloaks reality; it does not decrease the incidence, and allowing homosexuality to be expressed openly only reveals reality; it does not increase the incidence. .
[Of course. Suppressing anything cloaks reality. That has nothing to do with the incidence of homosexuality. The evidence does not support the conclusion that self-discipline is the same as repression, that homosexuals are fixed in numbers across all cultures, that they cannot change, or that there is no genuine conversion or therapy.]
The fact is that the number of homosexual persons appears to remain constant in every generation and in every society. The conclusion to which these data point is obvious; namely,homosexuality is a part of the human and biological norm.
[The trouble with Spong's point is that even if we grant that there is a constant percentage across all cultures, that tells us nothing at all about whether homosexuality is good and right in the eyes of God. Only God can tell us that. That is a matter for revelation, not for empirical science. Only God can speak for God. The empirical sciences can tell us why God may have said "yes" or "no", but it cannot, without asking God, tell us what He has said. The massive amount of medical evidence against the healthiness of homosexual behavior tells us that only a malevolent God would deliberately create such creatures. ]
It is not an aberration or a sickness that needs to be overcome. These new insights, overwhelmingly accepted by the medical and scientific community, continue to be rejected, however, by uninformed religious people who buttress their attitude with appeals to a literal understanding of the Bible.
[This kind of statement is untrue and irresponsible. The supposed biological causation of homosexuality, which is the main "scientific" buttress for the homosexualist, is proveably at best only minimal, and in its strong form supported by hardly anyone in the scientific community. Not even, truth be known, by pro-homosexual scientists in their writings, only when caught in the pressure of having to be politically correct for PR reasons. Spong is again...wrong.]
This same mentality has marked every debate about every new insight that has arisen in the western world over the last six hundred years. It is a tired, threadbare argument and has become one of embarrassment to the cause of Christ. In the developing nations of the world these scientific insights area vailable to the gay/lesbian community and have provided many in that community with the impetus to come out of their closets of fear, and their ghettoized existences. They are now openly sharing their gifts and achievements in all walks of life, and our society is being forced to rethink its destructive stereotypes. The result is that the overwhelming hostility and prejudice that gay and lesbian people have had to bear in the past is rapidly diminishing.
[What is tired and threadbare is the continual harping by Spong and others on how unscientific his opposition is, and their continual attempts to make their opposition appear rigid, narrow-minded, and mean-spirited. .
Yes, wherever oppression has been meted out to homosexual persons, an apology is due. But the homosexual activists and their supporters in religious high places also own an apology to the world at large, to the hundreds of thousands of homosexuals who have died because of mis-information, and to the families which have been devastated by the pan-sexual revolution, of which homosexuality is only a small segment. Pan-sexual activists own an apology for the manipulation and distortion of truth in the public arena, and the twisting of truth to gain ends which will not survive the light of an honest debate.] .
Our ministry of reconciliation is hurt by continuing religious prejudice toward homosexual persons. The Christian ministry of reconciliation to and with the gay/lesbian population, particularly in the urban areas of the western world is today being significantly hurt by the continued expression of uninformed prejudices by some religious leaders among us who are perceived to speak for Christ. In recent years there has been a significant movement back to Christianity among gay and lesbian people. The Christ embraced those whom the religious authorities of his day defined as outcasts and unclean, and we are called to do the same. The integrity of the Gospel is at risk unless we confront this killing prejudice in our midst and root it out from the body of Christ. For these reasons we want to make certain that you as the leaders of this communion know how strange, disheartening and discouraging it is to these victims of our prejudice when this Gospel is undercut by statements made by Christian leaders in which prejudice and ignorance are enshrined and where the suggestion is made that this rejection by these leaders is part of the Gospel itself. Let me illustrate what I mean. . .
The unacceptable stance of the Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury has been widely quoted in the press as saying, "The discipline of the Church is that we recognize two life-styles. One is marriage and the other is celibacy, and there can't be anything in between, and we don't recognize same sex marriages." Yet in 1991 a booklet entitled "Issues in Human Sexuality," was published with a foreword by the same Archbishop of Canterbury and in 1997 the General Synod of the Church of England commended this book to the churches and people of England for study, noting that it was not the "final word" on this subject.
In the text of this book the clergy and the Church were exhorted to support the faithful commitments of gay and lesbian lay couples. The discontinuity between this booklet and the Archbishop's later statement was explained by a spokes person for Lambeth Palace who said that the Archbishop was only talking about the unions of gay clergy couples when he drew his harsh line. That is the weakest of all possible arguments. There is no moral tradition in Anglicanism that suggests that something might be morally acceptable forthe laity and not for the clergy. It also relegates to a second class status the relationships that some gay and lesbian couples have forged under great hardships and which in fact have produced in their commitments to each other the marks of both love and holiness.
[Spong is right, of course, that there are no double standards in Christendom. But double standards held by some do nothing at all to make homosexuality good and right in the eyes of God.]
The Archbishop has further disappointed those who expect more of his leadership role in the English Church by his steadfast refusal to meet andto be in dialogue with the major church-related gay/lesbian organization inthe United Kingdom, the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement.
His role as the titular head of this communion has also been weakened by his refusal to meet with the founder of Integrity in the United States. He seems to believe that it is his prerogative to designate the proper leaders of the homosexual community with whom he is willing to negotiate, those who embody his"acceptable" understandings. We need to be reminded that the white,apartheid-supporting government of South Africa also sought to act this way. They wanted to speak only with those representatives of black Africa with whom they were comfortable. They dismissed the claims of other groups by accusing them of employing unacceptable tactics which included violence, without the slightest understanding of how unacceptable and violent apartheid itself was on all black people. Whenever the Church rejects a segment of God's people, the Church creates the very hostility and the precise reactions which the Church then condemns. That is an unacceptable procedure for Christians in general to follow and it is not a becoming stance for one who wears the mantle of Christ. The credibility of such a stance on the part of the Archbishop is also compromised by the admission that the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, has himself knowingly and willingly ordained non-celibate gay persons to the priesthood. The fact is so have countless other bishops throughout the Anglican Communion. The ethical basis for this behavior seems to be "so long as we are not open and honest about what we are doing, it is okay." I submit that this attitude has no moral credibility.
[The fact of irresponsible leadership does nothing at all, again, to support the goodness of homosexuality. The behaviors engaged in by homosexual persons are inherently self-destructive, and is something only a malicious God would "build into" a person. To imply this about God does Him no favor and amounts to blasphemy.
Bishop Spong writes in his paragraph above: "Whenever the Church rejects a segment of God's people...." and in doing so, makes the crucial assumptions (1) that all critics of homosexuality are rejecting people, not behavior, when that is patently not the case, and (2) that homosexuality is what persons are rather than what they do. Which is also patently not the case. He wants to by-pass the discussion of whether homosexuality is good and right in the eyes of God by making it appear that anyone who raises the issue is running counter to a known fact -- i.e. that homosexuality is good and that it is a part of one's nature. Despite his claims to "new knowledge", there is no evidence to support either of those contentions. So it is dishonest to berate those who bring evidence against the acceptance of homosexuality as though they were being mean-spirited simply for bringing the evidence. That is normally called "ad hominem" arguing and "dodging the issue".]
The language of power is not the language of Christ. At the recent General Synod of the Church of England, the Bishop of Oxford,the Rt. Rev. Richard Harries, was quoted as saying, "Marriage and gay unions are not on a par." These words have been heard so often that one suspects they have almost become the party line.
[Yes, indeed, these words are in fact "the party line". The party happens to be God's party. If that is not the case, let him prove differently. The bishop uses such derisive language to pour contempt on the Biblical view of human sexuality. That is indication of a soul in rebellion against God, not of a truth-seeker-.]
The Archbishop of Canterbury used these same words in the press recently, even when being critical of Bishop Harries. These words imply that marriage is clearly superior to a gay union. Bishop Harries and the Archbishop are, of course, speaking out of their own heterosexual perspective. .
[The attempt to justify homosexual unions apart from any honest inspection of the facts, and to belittle those who defend the Biblical (and scientifically responsible) position, does not hold any water. Homosexualists want to get a "seat at the table" without ever having shown that they have a case, and they do that by promoting their "victimhood", by inuendo and promotion of guilt in their opponents, and by preventing any serious discussion based on fact and logic.]
This argument has been used in the past by those in power to block and denigrate other rejected people who were seeking a place in the sun. White people defended slavery, segregation, apartheid, and anti-miscegenation laws with similar versions of that statement which maintained that black people were simply not on a par with white people. Males in previous generations have acted to keep females from voting, from achieving the ability to hold property in their own name, from getting adequate educations, from entering professions reserved for men only, from being ordained and even from getting divorces hen they lived in abusive marriages. These conclusions were also justified by the claim that women were in fact not on a par with men. Now the powerful majority of heterosexual church people want, in these words to claim that their majority status qualifies them to denigrate homosexual people and the sacred commitments of the gay/lesbian community by defining them as "not on a par" with the relationships of heterosexual people. This argument is totally without merit. Prejudice, however, has an interesting way of seeking to justify itself. This is the language of power; not the language of Christ. The time has come for the leaders of our communion in every nation to be concerned less with institutional public relations and more with truth and justice. As a Church we sacrificed black people for centuries until their acceptance was politically and socially acceptable and then we tried to claim credit for defeating racism. The Church of England rejected the ordination of women until that idea had achieved more than an 80 percent approval rating in the population at large and until the damage done to the institution of the Church by not ordaining women had become greater than the damage that would be done by ordaining women. Only then did they act. Surely we must recognize that there is no integrity and no leadership in this kind of pattern.
[Spong's continual harping on previous sins of some Christians is an attempt to paint the homosexual issue in the same light. But the justification of homosexuality will have to stand on its own feet, and not ride into the Kingdom on the coattails of other issues. And on independent grounds, it does not even get up to bat, let alone to first base. See below on "prima facie" evidence.]
The Archbishop of the Southern Cone misuses the Bible The statement by the Archbishop of the Southern Cone, the Most Rev. Maurice Sinclair, following the last meeting of the Anglican primates was an offensive burden that had to be borne by many parts of the body of Christ.
[Please, Bp Spong, tell us precisely what that statement was by Archbishop Sinclair so that we know what you are talking about and can respond.] .
The Bible is the book of life; it must not be used as a weapon of repression. This is not a new use of holy scripture, but it is galling to see that ancient distortion employed yet again and by one of our primates. The Bible was quoted in the 16th and 17th centuries to oppose Copernicus and Galileo. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was quoted to supportthe practice of slavery and to oppose both the use of vaccinations and theideas of Charles Darwin. In the 20th century it has been quoted to undergird segregation, apartheid and the second class status of women. Now it is being quoted to condemn homosexual persons. The Bible must never beused to give moral justification to prejudice of any kind. Archbishop Sinclair needs to be confronted publicly.
[Bishop Spong needs to be confronted publicly. He wants us to believe that he rests his case in some mysterious way on Scripture, but that to do so he does not need to quote any specific passages. That is nonsense. Either he quotesScripture like the rest of us, or he does not use in it any significant way at all.
And, these cases to which he refers above, again, are irrelevant. The homosexual issue must stand on its own feet. What Bishop Spong rests his case on is neither Scriptural nor honest science, but an illusory and politically constructed pseudo-science.]
The Kuala Lumpur Statement is ill-informed and filled with the prejudice of propaganda.
[Please name one place.]
The Kuala Lumpur statement of some bishops of Southern Asia employed the Bible in a similar fashion. Perhaps the overwhelming scientific data available today in the western world has simply not penetrated the minds of the signatories of this document.
[Spong is, again, either inexcuseably ignorant, or deliberatly dishonest. There is no such evidence. Not a single study alleging in the direction in which he points has survived peer review. See "Good and Right in the Eyes of God?" on http://theRoadtoEmmaus.org - especially chapter IV. See also Jeffrey Satinover's book, "Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth" -- and other books listed in the website bibliography.]
Perhaps they have never read those portions of scripture which validate polygamy and the treatment of women as property.
[Perhaps Spong does not realise that, whatever was lacking in the early Hebrew understanding of manhood and womanhood, it was miles ahead of any known pagan culture in its respect for both men and women. That nasty Old Testament is the bedrock upon which our understanding of personal freedom and even, yes, our democratic republic, is founded. Whatever its faults, the ingredients were there for the working out of those faults as the revelation of God progressed.]
Perhaps they want to go back to the time when homosexuals or suspected homosexuals were burned at the stake in conformity with the Levitical codethat called for their execution (Lev. 20). Perhaps they have not read Romans 1 where Paul's argument is that those who do not worship God properly will have their sexual natures confused by God as punishment.
[The bishop is wrong. Paul does not argue that persons will get their sexual natures confused as "punishment" (i.e. in some vindictive manner), but rather as a natural consequence of being allowed to have their own way. God "gives them over to" their lusts. He lets them have what they want -- and its consequencs (Romans 1:18 ff.) It is a clear and consistent Biblical principle, both OT and NT, that God lets us have our way when we need to experience the consequences, in hopes of repentance.]
Perhaps they have never seen monogamy lived out by loving, faithful gay orlesbian couples.
[Not surprising. Not many people have. The reported figures, including from the homosexual community, indicate that less than 2% of all homosexual persons even plan to be monogomous, let along succeed. Where are these faithful, monogamous persons? 2% of 2% is only one out of 2500 persons. What we have in evidence for "faithful and monogamous" homosexual couples is only anecdotal evidence played before us in the midst ofemotionally charged situations, hardly objective evidence. But evenif there are such couples, their being successfully monogamous does not by itself make homosexuality right. Only God can determine that. .
And if the studies of Paul Cameron are accurate, those who are reasonably faithful, i.e. stick more or less to one partner, have an even shorter lifespan than the already badly curtailed lifespan of under 50 years for the average homosexual person. That appears to be so because having a more or less consistent partner means that one engages in the lethal activity more consistently and therefore exposes oneself to the deadly disease inherent to a lifestyle centered for the mostpart around anal intercourse. Monogamy for homosexual persons, what little there is of it, appears to be a backfire, only proving that it is the behavior itself which is the problem.]
I do not know what their reasoning was. I only know that their statement was an embarrassing misuse of the Bible and that it greatly confused moral categories. Lest there be the slightest bit of misunderstanding, let me state specifically that no one I know of thinks promiscuity in any form can betolerated or blessed by the Church. No Christian I know of wants any form of predatory sexual activity to be upheld anywhere. No leader of the Church that I am aware of favors sexual molesting in any form.
It is scurrilous propaganda on the part of those who signed the Kuala Lumpur statement to suggest that these evils are to be equated with faithful, committed gay or lesbian relationships. Those are the only relationships that any of us have called on the Church to recognize as blessed by God and to add our blessing as a public sign of God's acceptance. The Kuala Lumpur signatories do not seem to recognize that the failure of both church and society to bless, recognize and undergird faithful, committed, monogamous relationships among our gay and lesbian brothersand sisters contributes mightily to those very sexual practices which all of us condemn.
[Clearly, not being liked, or being persecuted puts strain and tension on one's life, but there is little or no evidence to support the contention that "homophobia" is anything like the primary cause of the high mortality rate. An average loss of about one third of homosexual lifespan can hardly be caused by the negative attitudes of society. In view of the legendary promiscuity of homosexual persons, this kind of appeal to the faithful, monogamous homosexual person is foolish and irresponsible. And in view of the lives that are put at risk, one must say that it is criminally irresponsible.]
The Kuala Lumpur signatories also hint that homosexuality is a manifestation of a "brokenness" that when admitted and faced, could be "part of a healing process." If one is going to prescribe for a segment of the humanrace, one has a responsibility to be informed. The possibility that homosexuals might be "cured" by conversion, forgiveness, prayer, psychotherapy or "spiritual counseling" is totally discredited in the scientific world today. .
[That is an irresponsible and dishonest statement. The fact is that every single therapist (at least up to a few years ago) who has written on the subject of homosexuals being able to change has said that it is possible, and that there are significant changes being made. That includes Kinsey himself, Masters and Johnson, John Money, and others quite favorable to homosexuality. It has been only since the deliberate politicization of the issue by homosexualists that anyone has contradicted those studies. Not a single study, not one, can be brought forth to justify the claim that homosexual persons are either "born that way" or that they cannot change. The bishop's statements are false.] .
A recent statement by the American Psychiatric Society referred to it as "pastoral violence." To quote from certain persons who claim to be "cured homosexuals,"who are today enriching themselves and their organizations by playing on the homophobic pain and fear that infects our society when there is no scientific basis or support for their claims is without honor and without integrity. .
[It was the APA, not the APS, which has so declared. But there are no peer reviewed studies of any kind which support such a conclusion. And there are overwhelming numbers of testimonies and a growing collecting of evidence by Exodus and NARTH supporting what every therapist who has written on the subject has already said. Spong's statements are irresponsible and dishonest. See below on the documentation of the APA manipulation regarding the decision to delete homosexuality from the list of pathologies.] .
The threat of these same signatories to "expel those provinces" of the Anglican Communion or to break off communion with those who might ordain non-celibate homosexual persons to the priesthood or bless same-sex unions, is so blatantly a political tactic that it is hardly worthy of comment. The fact that their statement was immediately endorsed by the four American bishops and several of their fellow travelers who still refuse to ordain women in violation of the canons of this province of this Communion, only demonstrates its political agenda.
[So who is the "politician" here?] .
To be closed to new revelations and new truth, to assume that you speak with the voice of scripture and that anyone who disagrees with you is not worthy of being part of the body of Christ, is to come dangerously close to what the New Testament calls the unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit.
[Yes, indeed. So are we not obliged to go by the objective evidence in the matter?]
The Kuala Lumpur signatories need to recall that the Fourth Gospel suggests that the Holy Spirit "will lead us into all truth." That is impossible when any person suggests that he or she already possesses this ultimate truth. The Anglican Province in the United States has been debatingthe issues surrounding homosexuality publicly for more than twenty years. That debate has been open and vigorous. Minds have been changed by new data and new experience.
[The bishop is wrong. The American Province in the United States has NOT been having a open debate. Vigorous, yes, but perverted and dishonest, "managed" by persons who were convinced they already knew the truth, but had no interest in risking finding out otherwise. The technique of manipulation is documented in "Dialogue in Darkness or Scientific Debate?" and also in chapter III of "Good and Right in the Eyes of God?" on the website.]
In 1997 for the first time we achieved a statistical majority inour house of deputies (which included four lay persons and four priests elected by every diocese in our Church to represent them), in favor of blessing samesex unions. We did not achieve a canonical majority which takes a vote closeto 66 2/3 percent, but the wave of the future seems clear. We have already achieved a legal ruling, through a strange judicial process forced upon us by our most conservative bishops, that this Church has no doctrine that will prohibit the ordination of homosexual persons living in monogamous, committed relationships. We also elected in 1997 anew primate, who was himself a signatory of the Koinonia Statement (copy enclosed) that calls for the recognition of our gay clergy and the blessing of their sacred commitments. We have no desire to force our solutions on anyone, but we do intend to witness to the truth to which we have been led. We have, on other issues, tried to listen to other parts of this Communion when they faced concerns unique to themselves like polygamy in Uganda and Kenya. We are troubled by the arrogance that the Kuala Lumpur statement expresses, and reject that arrogance forthwith as unbecoming to our partners in this communion.
A Church dedicated to institutional maintenance, rather than truth, will not survive. Even those bishops in England, who know better on this issue of homosexuality, have, with a few rare exceptions, been muted by some strange commitment to institutional unity. That unity has come at the cost of sacrificing truth. If even a minority of bishops would speak out, it would allow gay and lesbian people to know that they are not alone and that someone,somewhere, in the body of Christ understands their plight. The leadership of this communion in every land must break ranks with that mentality which believes that the role of a bishop is to serve institutional maintenance first and truth second. .
Those who share these commitments with me do not plan to come to Lambeth demanding that our agenda be affirmed. However, if the bishops ofthe Lambeth conference follow the lead of those who want to continue in the hostile, prejudiced patterns of the past, we will not remain silent. If the Lambeth Conference is forced to vote negatively on this issue, we will take to the public media to assure the gay and lesbian population of the world and most especially those gay and lesbian Christians we are privileged to serve, that they have not been abandoned by the leadership of their Church. .
[Please give it your best shot...!] . .
A call for discussion at Lambeth that is authentic. .
If homosexuality is not discussed openly at the Lambeth Conference, it will be yet another sign of our irrelevance as a Church in shaping the affairs of our world. However, that discussion must be authentic. The persons chosen to present the case for full gay inclusion must be recognized as leaders by the gay population itself. The one figure of world stature who could chair this is Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Two retired bishops, one ofthe Episcopal Church in Scotland, Bishop Derek Rawcliffe, and one from the United States,Bishop Otis Charles, both of whom have publically declared their homosexuality, might also be able to serve that purpose. Since retired bishops do not attend Lambeth, they would need a special invitation. There are many active bishops in Canada, England, Scotland and the U.S. who would be acceptable to the gay constituency to speak on their behalf if the gay leadership in the Anglican Communion were consulted. If they are not consulted the integrity of the process will be destroyed. .
Requirements if a study commission is to be the path we travel. Those of us who support the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people in the life of the Church are also prepared to support the appointment of aspecial commission to work on this issue during the next ten years, provided that two things are present:
1.This body is advisory to provinces and the ultimate decision- making on these issues remains with the provinces themselves; and
2.The membership of this commission reflects adequately those who are leaders in the struggle to make the Body of Christ whole by including God's gay and lesbian children.
Someone of great stature would need to chair such a commission in order for it to have credibility and thus to be effective. Once again, if this commission is formed without full participation by the authorized bodies representing Anglican gay and lesbian Christians, it will be denounced immediately and its conclusions will be ignored. Clearly in the next decade a consensus will be formed if the present available data can be disseminated.
In South Africa, Canada and the United States apologies have been offered by the Anglican Churches to gay and lesbian people based upon prior treatment that these people have received at the hands of the Christian Church. The bishops at Lambeth might do likewise. It is my best hope, however, that the Lambeth Conference will not add to the burden gay and lesbian people have had to bear in the past and that it will rise above and even call to an accounting the negative voices heard from high places in our Communion in recent days.I, along with countless others, stand ready to assist that process.
[Spong calls for an "authentic" discussion at Lambeth. If he has his way, it will be anything but. The homosexualists have insinuated themselves into the "discussion" by promoting their "victim" image, using the same techniques as the radical blacks and feminists. Riding on the coattails of what are recognised and real abuses, they have promoted an agenda which has no contact with reality, and which is itself abusive in the extreme.
In law, when a major accusation is made, a grand jury investigates to decide whether there is "prima facie" evidence for conducting a full-scale trial. The Episcopal (and most other) Churches have failed to insist on an honest investigation to see whether there was any prima facie evidence for the acceptance of homosexuality. When one examines the actual evidence, one has to ask, "Why are we even having this discussion?" There has never been presented to the Christian body or to the Christian leadership any reliable, responsible, and documentable prima facie (let alone conclusive) evidence to tell us that homosexuality is indeed good and right in the eyes of God, or that it is a heatlhy way to live.
All the available evidence tells us otherwise -- except that which has been manipulated and staged by homosexual and pansexual activists.
An honest and authentic dialogue at Lambeth would require those supporting homosexuality to provide the hard evidence on which they so vigorously claim to rest their case. Put that evidence into our hands so that it can be examined on its merits. Allow each side to consult expert witnesses and examine each other's alleged evidence.
The discussion has most often been commandeered by people who have no interest in truth, only in justifying their behavior. Homo-sexual liberation is riding point for, and being cynically sacrificed by, the much larger Kinseyan (et al) program of pan-sexual liberation, where anything, not just homosexuality, goes. E. Fox] .
John Shelby Spong, Bishop of Newark
[The following articles are further
commentary by Earle Fox,
originally published on the Internet]
A. The "Spong v. Carey" Debate
Concerning the vigorous debate between Bishop Spong and Archbishop Carey -- Spong is either very ill informed or worse. There is not a teaspoon of scientific evidence to support his case. The supposed "new evidence" which is supposed to justify his case does not exist. It is nowhere to be found. (See Good and Right in the Eyes of God, chapter IV, on my website also.)
Jeffrey Satinover had very kindly and generously sent me a draft of his forth coming book (Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth) back in 1994 when I was looking for information in preparation for the Indianapolis General Convention (as Edward Eichel and Judith Reisman had done when I was preparing for General Convention 1988 in Detroit -- giving me well ahead of their own publication - "Kinsey, Sex, and Fraud" -- their material on Kinsey). With the help of that I wrote the summary of the evidence on homosexuality which many of you have seen and which I distributed to every single bishop at that convention and to most of the deputies, with the great help and inspiration of Dennis and Elizabeth Kelly of the Christian Community of Family Ministry (CCFM - it was their idea).
Friends, the pseudo-liberals (liberals who do not liberate) are not the only problem. Not once at any General Convention (neither in 1988, 1991, 1994, nor 1997) to my knowledge did that evidence (given to people who were supposed to be conservatives) get on the floor of debate. I have this last year talked to leadership in the American Anglican Council (AAC), in the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), and many others. I have to conclude that it is simply not in the "conservative" plan to confront the opposition with hard evidence -- the only kind that can win. The problem is not only the pseudo-liberals, it is the pseudo-conservatives (conservatives who cannot or will not conserve).
Things can change, of course, and it may be that there are new winds blowing. As George Washington said at a crisis point: "Let us raise a standard to which the brave and honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God." Let us speak the truth boldly and gracefully, and put the event in the hand of God.
The pseudo-liberals do not (yet) have a gun to our heads (they will if they continue to get their way in the arena of civil government), so our failure is our own, not theirs. (To be fair, pseudo-conservatives would do the same thing with the gun....)
Spong's piece can be taken apart thread by thread. [See commentary above in the text of Bp. Spong's pieces.] It has no substance to it. But I fear that Abp. Carey, along with the others, might delegate the mess to yet one more commission to "dialogue" on, in that inane manner where no one's feelings can possibly be hurt. "Dialogue to consensus", as they say.
The only way to honest consensus is by fact and logic. And on those grounds, the Biblical position is a steady and consistent winner. Fact and logic do not care a fig for your feelings. Truth does not get out of the road for anyone. If you are not interested in the truth, it will be the stone on which you stumble. The Lord of truth cares for your feelings, but He will put you through the discipline of truth. In the end, fact and logic ("Come, let us reason together....") lead to consensus and feeling good. But you have to pay the price of admitting that you might be wrong, and just let the truth and the Lord of truth speak for themselves -- at any cost to yourself.
I understand that Diane Knippers from IRD (and others?) will be debating Louie Crew (and others)?. (Anyone have info on this?) We are scheduled to have some sort of debate here in the diocese of Pittsburgh. I hope that any persons who have been pseudo-conservatives will stand up and force the discussion onto fact and logic so that the Lord of fact and logic can get His word in. Genuine liberals and genuine conservatives have a common bond in truth. Conserving and liberating walk arm in arm down the path of life. The nasty conflict is between the pseudo's on both ends.
I thank God for the truth-seekers on both ends of the spectrum. Amidst all the smoke and mirrors, there are some who really just want to know the truth, whatever it is, and who would conform their lives to truth if they could just establish what it was.
B. The Mysterious "Faithful and Monogamous"
The homosexualist case has all but disappeared as an identifiable entity. The biological case has disappeared, the psychological case has disappeared, as have the Biblical and sociological cases -- all of which have turned out, if one bothers to look at the honest evidence, to be disasters for the homosexualist cause.
So the case rests now on two points on which John Spong continually harps: (1) the victim image (at the hands of rigid, meanspirited conservatives), and (2) the alleged abundance of "faithful and monogamous" homosexual couples.
The victim image is a bit of an ambiguity because, although it is true that homosexual persons, especially teens, are often and very wrongly ill treated, the greatest part of abuse to homosexuals is that which they do to themselves and each other. Homosexual activists are also extremely abusive of the public by their manipulation of the media, clear and obvious distortion of truth, and the way they treat those who disagree with them.
For a first-hand, in-house outline of their strategy in that manner, read "After the Ball" by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen. The book explains "How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the '90's" -- an unabashed promotion of propaganda (their word). It is exactly the program that has succeeded. Charles Socarides (author of Homosexuality: a Freedom Too Far) made reference to that book about a year ago on a message that was going around the internet, accurately comparing its propaganda techniques to the brainwashing techniques of Mao Tse Tung in controlling the teaming masses of China.
So while apologies are being passed out, the homosexualists might apologise for lying (that is what my mother called it when I did something like that). They might apologise to all the homosexual persons who have died because of severely distorted and misguided information, and to their families. They might also apologise to those heterosexual families whose lives have been terribly disrupted by the larger pan-sexual revolution, of which they are an aggressive segment, and without which they could never have gotten to first base. (Pansexuality is the view that "anything goes" -- including bestiality, not just homosexuality -- all out there on that "harmless" internet -- and all, just by the way, promoted in the late '70's or early '80's in The Sex Atlas, a book from the official publishing house of the Episcopal Church, Seabury Press. The evil roots of our sexual rebellion have penetrated deeply into the fabric of the Episcopal Church.)
The other half of their remaining case is the mysterious, perhaps even non-existent, "faithful and monogamous" homosexual couple. One cannot say that for sure such couples do not exist. But consider that homosexuals are only about 2% of the population -- and that the figures (from both sides of the fence that I have heard) are that only about 2% of homosexuals even plan on being faithful and monogamous, let alone succeed at it. 2% of 2% is only 1 out of 2,500. That means that you might possibly find a monogamous couple in every 5,000 of the population. And that is "intending", not succeeding.
Then there is the further problem of predicting who are in fact the 2% of the 2%, other than by their declaration of intention. But given the known pathological promiscuity of the other 98% of the homosexual population, one could know for sure who was successful only after the fact. Unless someone can come up with a "non-promiscuous homosexual gene", we are left to guessing.
But let us grant that 2% of the 2% actually do succeed against all probability. To base an acceptance of homosexual behavior on that 1 out of 2,500 is like saying that (e.g.) 1 out of 2,500 children who play in the street never get hit by cars, so we ought to allow that 1 out of 2,500 to play in the street. Since it is impossible to predict (in either case) who those 2% of 2% will be, the claim that there we can base public policy on the strength of those examples is futile.
I wish to be fair in this comparison. If there are homosexual persons who are succeeding in the endeavor to be faithful to one another, or even honestly trying, I applaud their efforts and give thanks to God for their persistence and stout-hearted integrity. But that is precisely the point. If they are succeeding, it is against all odds. They are swimming against a heavy tide, they are not "mainstream" America, they are a very a-typical situation.
So one cannot base public policy on that kind of case.
And evidence from the work of Paul Cameron suggests that there is another hitch to their case. Cameron's studies of obituaries in homosexual publications compared with the obituaries from mainsteam publications suggests that the lifespan of homosexual persons is reduced on average to under 50, a loss of about a third of the average American lifespan (a rough and ready way of estimating, as Cameron grants - but it is a start which highlights the enormity of the problem).
He also found, surprisingly, that the lifespan of those who claimed to have had reasonably faithful relationships were shorter, not longer, than the average of the promiscuous. The reason for this unexpected finding appears to be that when one has a consistent partner, naturally one engages in the desired activities more often. But it is precisely those compulsively desired activities, such as anal intercourse, that are the cause of disease and death.
If Cameron's studies are correct, then the case for same-sex marriage runs on the rocks no matter in which direction it is steered. Marriage and monogamy is not the safe refuge from the homophobic society it is advertized to be. It is more of a death-trap even than promiscuous homosexuality.
Spong claims -- "It is scurrilous propaganda on the part of those who signed the Kuala Lumpur statement to suggest that these evils are to be equated with faithful, committed gay or lesbian relationships. Those are the only relationships that any of us have called on the Church to recognize as blessed by God and to add our blessing as a public sign of God's acceptance."
That, of course, is not true, as the bishop well knows. Robert Williams, whom he ordained, averred in quite graphic terms, echoed through the press, that Mother Theresa's life of chastity was sexually unfulfilled. There are many "Christian" homosexuals, one must assume, that would agree with him. It might be noted that Mother Theresa's sexually unfulfilled life lasted a good deal longer than that of her critic.
The truth is that Robert Williams was simply acting out the mandate of Spong and of the homosexual and pansexual revolution for "freedom": If that is how you are made, then act like that. Williams, as he defended his behavior, was accepted and ordained by Spong on the terms typical of the standard homosexual program, and then when he acted consistently with that, was rejected by Spong. Williams felt used by Spong, and he may have been right.
There are no doubt persons supporting the homosexualist case who are sincere in their beliefs that homosexual persons can typically live chaste and Godly lives sexually, that the typical homosexual person is "main-stream Ameria" (or wherever you live), and who believe that they are prevented from doing so only by mean-spirited, homophobic, heterosexualist folks. But the evidence does not support that, and a quote better depicting the real homosexual agenda comes from more "traditional" homosexual sources (yes, every "liberal" becomes his own traditionalist):
Paula Ettelbrick, Policy Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights tells us: "...being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and in the process transforming the very fabric of society.... We must keep our eyes on the goals of providing true alternatives to marriage and of radically reordering society's views of reality."
Or Andrew Sullivan, editor of New Republic Magazine, who says in his book, Virtually Normal: "At times among gay relationships, the openness of the contract makes it more likely to survive than heterosexual bonds. There is more likely to be greater understanding of the need for extra-marital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman...."
Or Michelangelo Signorile in the Dec/Jan 1994 issue of Out magazine describes the goals of the homosexual: "...to fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted redefine the institution of marriage completely, to demand the right to marry, not as a way of adhering to society's moral codes, but to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution."
The "gay agenda", in other words, is neither chastity nor obedience to the law of God. Talk of the faithful and monogamous homosexual couple is an attempt to deflect discussion from the sordid and ugly realities of the homosexual lifestyle, to wring the last gasp from the "victim" image, and to focus (ever hopefully) on the final disappearing wisp of a good "mainstream America" image, the mysterious 2% of 2%.
Over 90% of homosexual men engage in anal intercourse. That means that there it makes no more sense to encourage homosexuality than it would to encourage your child to play in the toilet. The homosexualist case is bankrupt, and John Spong's irrational blast at Archbishop Carey is a tacit admission of that fact. Like communism and the Berlin wall, it is just a matter of time before the bankruptcy becomes evident to everybody.
So, yes, let there be the "authentic" discussion at Lambeth for which Spong calls, but let it be authentic on terms that any honest person would recognise, not on the terms on which it has been conducted by the homosexualists for nearly three decades.
C. The Problem with Spong - Tactics More than Content
The problem with Bishop Spong's defense of homosexuality is not nearly so much that he supports that compulsive and lethal lifestyle. That is important enough, but secondary.
The primary problem is rather the way he supports it. He calls upon the Archbishop of Canterbury to have an "authentic" discussion at Lambeth, yet he himself has been a major perpetrator of dialogue that is either grossly incompetent or dishonest. If there had been promoted authentic discussion, the issue of homosexuality would never have arisen in public discussion, because there was never prima facie, let alone substantial, evidence that it was anything other than a compulsive and lethal addiction. Homosexuality has won "a place at the table" of public discussion only through manipulation and dishonesty. Given the lives at stake, that is criminally irresponsible.
The issue has become obscure and nearly impossible to discuss, not because the evidence is all that hard either to obtain or to assess, but because there has been a concerted effort to prevent any such honest discussion from happening. That has been done by the use of manipulative techniques of rhetoric and emotional control, and by control of information through the media. Those are known in the trade as brainwashing techniques, used by every totalitarian and control-minded group since psychologists over the last two centuries have discovered systematic techniques of mind-control.
I am focusing on Bishop Spong not because I wish to pursue a vendatta, but because he, like Louie Crew, has chosen to take a lead in presenting the homosexualist case and therefore is an easy and appropriate foil with which to make one's points. He does indeed have the virtue of standing publicly for what he believes. One wishes that there were more honest liberals and conservatives who would do the same thing.
I would cite as an example of Bishop Spong's incompetence or dishonesty his continually claiming or implying, contrary to easily available evidence, that science has repudiated the notion that homosexuality is an emotional problem, and that homosexual persons cannot change to heterosexual. It is irresponsible to say such things without even the slightest attempt honestly to engage those many people, Christian, Jewish, secular, and others who have indeed maintained otherwise.
"Science", of course, does not say anything at all -- other than to spell out the rules of finding the truth about something. (Just as the rules of football do not say anything about who will win the next football game.) It is not the job of "science" to draw conclusions. It is scient-ists who say things and draw conclusions, not science. There are some scient-ists who support the homosexual position. There are many more, I would suggest, who do not, but many of whom have been intimidated (as in the APA decision to delete homosexuality from its list of pathologies) by groups such as Act Up and Queer Nation, or who have been persuaded by a media which has all but lost the capacity or desire to tell the truth about such matters, and which routinely lies to us.
I would cite as a second example Spong's failure the demonizing of his opposition as rigid, "fundamentalist", "literalist", etc, merely for stating their view in opposition to his. Those who believe other than Spong might well be wrong. But they are not "mean spirited" merely for disagreeing with him.
There are ground rules for having an honest and candid debate which have been public property since at least as early as Isaiah heard God say, "Come, let us reason together..." I would propose that somebody with enough clout get the relevant leaders into an arena where those ground rules would be enforced. The Archbishop of Canterbury may be the only person who could do so.
Those ground rules would include:
1. No statement that contradicts itself or contradicts other known facts can qualify as being true.
2. The issue must be stated clearly and in terms both parties agree to. The key issue might be stated: "Homosexuality is good and right in the eyes of God -- True or False?" because what God thinks about the matter trumps all other considerations. We might expect, however (God being the creator of the cosmos), that the revealed will of God and the empirical evidence will not contradict each other. E.g., if God approves of homosexuality, it would not likely be a disease-producing lifestyle, and on the other hand, if God were disapproving, we might expect to find corroborating evidence as to why He would disapprove.
3. There is an objective truth about the matter before us, and we need to know which, if any, of the views being defended is the true one. If any party to the discussion holds that there is no objective truth on the matter, then there is no possibility of having a rational discussion, and such person is disqualified from the discussion. Without a commitment to objective truth there is no way to distinguish between honest persons and liars.
4. The only way to decide between the views is to appeal, as best we can, to the publically verifiable evidence, that is, on an appeal to fact and logic in the widest sense of those terms. So there needs to be an arena in which the presentation of evidence will be permitted by all sides, without nasty names from the other side. Each side must be free to present whatever evidence it feels relevant on the terms it feels relevant.
5. Any other party to the discussion can then critique that evidence on its merits or lack of them, asking any question or making any point relevant to the stated issue.
6. We do not debate personalities, we debate issues. There needs to be a truce concerning past sins (maybe even confession and forgiveness...?), and personal behavior should be discussed in the dialogue context only if there is reason to believe that one of the parties to the discussion is then presently being dishonest.
Other helpful suggestions:
1. State the opposition's case in terms that the opposition would recognise and accept.
2. State the terms upon which I would agree that my case could be disproven, and that I would consider supporting the other side. If I do not allow any terms on which my case can be disproven and that, on the evidence of which, I would consider supporting the other side, then I am not engaging in an honest discussion because I am acting as though I were infallible.
3. Agree that I am not infallible, that the issue needs to be addressed on the basis of the evidence, and that if I am wrong, I would want to know.
I do not think that those who believe homosexuality to be contrary to the will of God and therefore wrong have done a much better job in any of the above items than those who defend homosexuality. It appears to me that pseudo-liberals (who do not liberate with truth, but merely want to "feel good") have been scrapping with the pseudo-conservatives (who do not want to conserve truth, but merely to have their accustomed position win). That is a fruitless and never ending battle. When honest liberals (who liberate with new truth) and honest conservatives (who want to conserve old truth) take over from their pseudo- counterparts, they will have a common bond in truth, and we will see a resolution to our present conflict.
And not otherwise. Giving up our ego investment to become those honest liberals and conservatives means the way of the cross for all of us. But, when truth wins, everybody wins.
My prayer is that prior to the Lambeth Conference in the summer of 1998, the Anglican Communion, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, will force an honest discussion of the issues. Some people object to the use of "force", as though it implied twisting arms, threats, clubs, and the like. Jesus forced a confrontation with truth, with no clubs in sight. He simply refused to accept the dishonest ground rules of discussion promoted by the power structure, and spoke the truth whether anyone liked it or not. That is using the sword of the Spirit, a very proper activity in which loving, faithful, and compassionate Christians might well engage. When truth wins, everybody wins.
(HOMOSEXUALITY and the SUBVERSION of AMERICAN PSYCHIATRY, by Charles Socarides is a detailed history of the manipulation and intimidation used by homosexualists in obtaining the deletion of homosexuality by the American Psychiatric Association from its list of pathologies. It can be ordered from Emmaus Ministries. Send a check for $4 to Emmaus Ministries. See Shopping Mall on WebSite for other items on sexuality issues.)
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