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The Anglican politics of Prince Harry’s wedding

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry waves at the conclusion of his installation service on Nov. 1, 2015 at Washington National Cathedral. Religion News Service photo by Adelle M. Banks

On Saturday, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church (TEC), will be giving the sermon at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

For those of you who are interested in the British royal family, this gig would seem to involve some identity politics. As an African-American, Curry can count the bride, a biracial Yank, as one of his peeps.

It was two months ago that the future Princess Meghan was baptized and confirmed into the Church of England (CoE) by the Archbishop of Canterbury (ABC), Justin Welby. Welby will be officiating at the wedding, just as one of his predecessors, Robert Runcie, officiated at the wedding of Harry parents, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana.

What’s of interest to this column, which in all candor could care less about royals, is the ABC’s hearty endorsement of the designated preacher—naturally enough in this day and age, via tweet:

Curry is doubtless all of those things. But he also happens to be the head of a Church—or, as the Anglicans say, Primate of a Province—that is disdained by a goodly portion of what’s known as the Anglican Communion. A couple of years ago, a majority of the other Primates, most of them hailing from the Global South, met in Canterbury and issued a communiqué “requiring” TEC not to participate in decision-making roles on ecumenical or internal committees of the Anglican Communion for a period of three years.

The communiqué was provoked by TEC’s decision to change canonical language defining marriage as being between a man and a woman and authorizing two new marriage rites with language allowing them to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples. For the record, the Anglican Communion has no authority to require any of its constituent members to do or not do anything.

For its part, the Church of England is currently in the midst of its own vigorous debate over same-sex marriage.

TEC’s plan to change its marriage service to accommodate same-sex couples was sharply criticized by CoE General Secretary William Nye in a letter—written in October but only made public last month—that threatened to cut ties with the U.S. Church. Pushback has come  in the form of an open letter from 300 Anglicans including Alan Wilson, the bishop of Buckingham, taking exception to Nye’s letter.

It’s not unlikely that Welby played a part in selecting Curry to preach the royal wedding sermon. And it’s impossible to see his enthusiastic sanctioning of the TEC Primate as anything but a rebuke to his own general secretary.

What Curry has to say in re: marriage could be quite interesting.

About the author

Mark Silk

Mark Silk is Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and director of the college's Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. He is a Contributing Editor of the Religion News Service

118 Comments

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  • The Church of England was late – very late – to the party when it came to the ordination of women. They only named their first female bishop four years ago in 2014. Here in the USA the Episcopal Church ordained its first female bishop, Barbara Harris of Massachusetts, in 1989. That’s quite a gap in time when you think about it – a quarter century, to be exact. Since the Episcopal Church ordained Gene Robinson in 2003 perhaps by the year 2043 the CoE, which still doesn’t allow for the ordination of openly gay bishops, will finally take baby steps to change their policy.

    On that side of the pond they don’t like to rush things, you see. But then they wonder why the CoE, the state religion, has become so moribund and all the pews empty. Perhaps if they did things more in the manner of their American counterparts they’d be more successful in attracting members. Maybe the inclusion of Presiding Bishop Curry in the latest royal wedding is a start to that.

  • Actually, I’d like to see an article — from ANY news source, even the cheap tabloids — that offers everybody a thoughtful, respectful, interesting look at Harry’s and Meghan’s spiritual beliefs.

    Curry? Not interested in Curry, honestly. Everybody knows where he — and today’s Episcopal Church — are at. (The “Global South” got it right.)

    But an open, honest, friendly news gig that strictly focused on where Harry and Meghan are personally at in spiritual terms, (rather than focusing on all the glitter and family-drama), would be most refreshing. Certainly better than Lifetime Channel’s oatmeal-mess “Harry and Meghan” movie.

  • Technically Curry is not “the head of a Church”, which carries with it connotations of doctrinal authority and universal jurisdiction.

    Under the constitution and canons of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, he is the chief pastor and primate of the national church and its nine ecclesiastical provinces, with responsibility for leadership in initiating, developing, and articulating policy and strategy, overseeing the administration of the national church staff, and speaking for the church on issues of concern and interest, and acting as president of the House of Bishops.

    It is an elected position, held at the church’s General Convention, for a single nine-year term.

  • Very sad that they chose a man who does not follow Christ, to conduct their wedding.

    Christian means follower of Christ;

    1 Corinthians 7 – Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.”

    No exceptions

  • Maybe the pews are empty because people have realized that the clergy and leadership are pushing a bunch of cultural b.s. that the faithful inherently know is against the teaching of Christ, the Bible and the Church.

  • The author could be excused for thinking that all primates of the Anglican Communion are equal in authority in their respective provinces. However, the General Convention of TEC and its two houses is where the power lies in that province. There are primates in other Anglican regional or nation churches who wield more authority than Michael does at home.

    TEC was born in the cauldron of the US Revolution, so a lot of the same democratic ideas that eventually went into the US government had a large influence in the evolution of TEC. TEC is a synodical church and the General Convention over TEC as a whole and diocesan conventions over their respective dioceses severally, wield more power than each of the bishops of the church.

  • Keep on believing that if it makes you feel better that the hatred you advocate is dying out with a whimper, not a bang.

  • The bigot can’t tolerate your opinion. If you have a different opinion, you are a hater.

  • You think so, do you? When I was watching Barbara Bush’s funeral the newscaster mentioned that the church where she was buried, St. Martin’s in Houston, is the largest in the nation, boasting a total membership of more than 9000 people, and they’re not alone. St. Phillip’s Cathedral in Atlanta, St. Michael and All Angels in Dallas, and many others throughout the country are booming as well. Trinity Church on Wall Street in NYC is a parish church with assets worth more than $2 billion and a thriving ministry. That being the case, what you’re saying is not completely true.

  • “…which in all candor could care less about royals, is the ABC’s hearty endorsement”

    I believe the author meant ‘couldn’t care less’.

  • Hmm…

    According to the latest statistics U.S. membership dropped 2.7 percent from a reported 1,866,758 members in 2013 to 1,745,156 in 2016, a loss of 121,602 persons. Attendance took an even steeper hit, with the average number of Sunday worshipers dropping from 623,691 in 2013 to 570,454 in 2016, a decline of 53,237 persons in the pews, down 8.5 percent. Congregations dropped to 6,473.

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Episcopal_Church_(United_States)#Membership

  • Or maybe, hell and damnation and exclusivity are much easier to sell to people than actually doing what Jesus commanded, and using your brain and your heart. Hyper conservatives are also losing members, must not at such a rate. But nevertheless, they are losing members, and the membership in the “nones” and agnostics and atheists are increasing.

  • The “nones” are still what you call “religionists”.

    Agnostics and atheists are increasing from .001% to .0015%, which seems to indicate at this rate they’ll be a majority in 10,000 years or so.

  • You lost me with your confusing response.

    Jesus says to Love One Another – which we all should do.

    He also says that He Comes to Take Away Our Sins – we we all have.

    The hyper-conservatives you so fondly comment on above (I believe) focus on their sinfullness – as it results from the moral teachings of Christ, the Bible and the Church.

    This is a direct contridiction of the modern “church of nice” that you and others (on these pages) desire; a church that glosses over sin; or worse – attempts to normalize and make acceptable immoral and sinful behavior.

    I would respect you more if you were intellecually honest and just came out and said what you mean – I can do whatever I want, and have what I want, and change the world as I want; even if it is disobedient to God. Everything is about YOU. Your view of EVERYthing is man-centric; not God-centric.

    On a side note; if you do a bit of research, you will see that parishes that have the Latin Mass are actually growing. It will be a long burn to reverse the destructive effects of Vatican II; but the church will right itself.

  • If the hyper conservatives want to focus on THEIR sinfulness, I’m all for it. Focusing on my alleged sinfulness is contrary to what Jesus commanded. I’m not a Christian, of that or any other sort, Andi don’t believe In sinning against a god a don’t believe in.

    Im not trying either to gloss over immoral and sinful behavior. We disagree over what that might be. The immorality of what has been done to gay People for 2000 years should concern you.

    Your story about what “I want” is simply that: YOUR STORY. It has very little to do with me, except for the desire of hyper Christians to control everyone according to what they believe. If you want to be obedient to your idea of god, have at it. I don’t care. But stop insisting that I HAVE TO BELIEVE IT, TOO.

    “God centric” stuff has wreaked immeasurable harm upon people who don’t share your beliefs. Both as a Jew and as a gay person, I’ve been listening to that justification my entire life. I’m not interested in hearing it any more.

    Believe whatever you wish. Keep it out of the civil law that governs all of us, and stop trying to make my life as a gay person difficult, unpleasant, expensive, and dangerous, and you can rest assured that I will not be bothering with you.

  • Trinity owns a lot of real estate in the most expensive place in the country. They have a lot of money, I don’t know if they have a lot of people (besides tourists and curious passersby).

  • I presume–and that is all it is, a presumption–is that Meghan and Harry made the decision to invite Bishop Curry. Not as a rebuke to Welby’s shilly-shallying on same sex marriage but as a gentle prod to encourage him to stand up to the opponents (who can never be accommodated) and get on with sanctioning same sex marriages to be performed by priests who are open to it, and not compelled to be performed by priests opposed to it. Curry, despite much opposition, was an early supporter of same sex marriage in the Episcopal Church USA. Eventually the church accepted it and did not fall apart. Curry always based his support for same sex marriage on the Gospels and not on sociology.

  • Wow – for not being a Christian nor believer; you sure have a lot to say about other people’s faith and beliefs. I guess my statement that its all about you is more correct than I thought.

  • No, your statement about it’s all about Ben is not correct. Many of us who are LGBT know a lot about other people’s belief’s and faiths than we have ever wanted to, as we have them used against us for so long. Both Ben and I have been out for over 40 years, of course we pay attention to those who want us literally dead and out of their sight and minds, with our sin of actually loving and committing to another human being is so much worse than any other sin.

  • I have few issues with other people’s faiths and beliefs. It is when they insist that I must follow them that we have a problem.

    You are incorrect. Though it IS about me, it is far more about the continued attack by conservative religionists on my participation in society. It is also about millions of other gay people. It’s about gay kids that commit suicide because of the toxic messages propagated by conservative religionists, attacking their very souls. It’s about gay kids that buy into this, and lead haggard-like furtive lives of despair, addiction, and fear. It’s about conservative religions’ lies about “all you need is jesus” and “you can become heterosexual.” it’s about attacks like anti adoption laws, anti marriage laws, don’t ask don’t tell, political campaigns, and vicious lies coming from people who swear they are righteous.

    It’s about all kinds of harm done to innocent people so that conservative can believe they are doing god’s will.

  • I can accept TEC as an appropriate form of Christianity, although I have personally moved past traditional Christianity in my personal beliefs due the inability of mainstream “Christians” to understand and acknowledge that being LGBTQ is a gift of god (or Gaia, mother Earth) and not some horrible curse or personal “sin.” Citing various Bible texts out of their cultural context for the purpose of gay-bashing only diminishes the respectability of the people who do so. As someone who tried to bend my own natural spirituality to fit the “pray the gay away” false model in my youth, I personally know that such nonsense itself is the affront to god and nature, not homosexuality. The rise of LGBTQ human rights, including equal marriage, is due to the positive contributions of LGBTQ people to society being recognized by policy makers, even as various Abrahamic faiths drag their feet and throw childish temper tantrums.

  • Congratulations on your 40 years.
    I dont want you dead – so don’t lump me in with those who do. That attitude is just as bad as any other that catagorizes people into groups.
    That being said – sin is sin. I will agree that a lot of Christians tend to place sin in a hiearchy; ex: murder is worse that adultry, adultry is worse than thievery, thievery is worse than “X”, etc. This way, they can place themselves above “the other sinners” and feel good about themselves. This is again, a very selfish, man-centric way of existence; when our lives should be God-centric.
    The fact is that ALL human behavior that is in disobedience to the will of God (and his laws) is sin. There is no pecking order – all sin is equal in its wretchedness. The benefit is that Jesus paid for our sin.
    For what is worth – Im sorry that you and others were/are treated the way you were/are. This is not who I am as a Christian.

  • All you do with your absolute pronouncements is show how absolutely devoid of the real Christ you really are. It’s sad, really.

  • Thank you for your apology, I believe there are more christians like you than not. I was not implying that you, personally, wanted me dead, just acknowledging the number of times I have had it said to me, that someone couldn’t wait to see Jesus fry me in hell, etc., and then the time 4 guys thought they should “Rape me straight” which was fortunately avoided because while not large, I was, and still am for my age, strong and could fight long enough for help to arrive.

    Ben and I share and issue though and that is that one of the tenants of christianity is not judging others. It’s why I get so sick of people judging us, and refusing to do business with us in the public square, but I see no refusal of baking cakes for second, third and fourth marriages, or for known adulterers. Either judge us all and refuse service because of our sins, or judge none and leave it to god, as christianity was instructed.

    Enjoy your day, I have to go teach 2nd graders to swim…

  • You too. For what its worth, please try to look through all the hate to what we Christians are trying to share/profess – the love and mercy of Christ.

  • I do, Parker, my whole community will tell you that. I am discerning enough to know true love and true christianity for what it is, regardless of whence it comes. I don’t write off anyone. I will quit corresponding with people whom will never change.

  • I’ll say the same thing to you as I said to Daulphin – I’m sorry for your pain. Know that the world is screwed up and you are not the only one to feel the way you do – it goes on EVERYWHERE – regardless of orientation. It is an evil world. I have different stories about despair, addiction, pain, etc. I realized that it was caused by all types of people; and it turned me toward to God because there was no where else for me to go.
    For what its worth, please try to look through all the hate to what we Christians are trying to share/profess – the love and mercy of Christ.

  • “The communiqué was provoked by TEC’s decision to change canonical language defining marriage as being between a man and a woman and authorizing two new marriage rites with language allowing them to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples. For the record, the Anglican Communion has no authority to require any of its constituent members to do or not do anything.”

    It’s a shame that the Episcopal Church–of which I used to be a member, chooses to spend it’s time and resources promoting same-sex marriage and sucking up to the LGBTQ community, and not the main business of any Christian church, which is to preach and teach the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • I am not in pain. I have a great life. I am ANGRY.

    I am absolutely sure that some Christians are sharing and professing love. Just as I am equally sure that a goodly number are not, and the ones who are are failing to call them out on it.

  • They can do both at the same time.
    It’s a shame that the Catholic hierarchy, the Southern Baptists, and the Miormons shoose to spend their time and resources attacking gay people and our participation in society under the aegis of any number of false narratives and outright lies, suckling up to the knuckle draggers of the Republican Party, and not the main business of any Christian church, which is to preach and teach the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    But there you have it.
    see more

  • Oh, look. Another Christian unwilling to acknowledge how much damage their religion has done and how much pain it has caused. I guess “I’m sorry for your pain” is slightly better than the “I’m sorry you feel that way” non-apology popular these days. It’s still ducking anything resembling culpability, but it’s slightly less blatant about it. Nice.

  • Understood.
    As my friends and family will tell you – one of my favorite lines is, “that people are people”. Every one of us is broken in some way; that is why they act as they do (evil, hateful, malicious, etc.). I believe that we are all broken due to original sin – and all the evil in the world is a result of it.
    You and I probably start on different sides of the spectrum on this board; you are (rightly) angry due to your life experiences, and I am (hopefully rightly) defending my faith and church against what I feel are unjustified angry, attack posts. And yet – all we do is argue, insult and get more angry at one another.
    I admit – I am a broken human being. You have no idea. I guess my point is that I hope you are able to somehow see the good intent of us that want you to share in the promise of the Resurrection – and at the same time, realize that those that have made you angry are just broken people too – whether they claim to be Christian or not.

  • Yup.
    I dont apologize for anything or anyone but myself. I don’t play the sins of my father game. I’m not sure what groups you could be or want to be lumped in with, but if you want to apologize on their behalf; please do so.

  • The only “whimpering” here would be yours. Do we need to call you a “waambulance?”

  • Given your non-stop attacks on religion and religious beliefs, writing “I have few issues with other people’s faiths and beliefs” is like writing “Herr Hitler simply adores the Jews”.

  • You’ll have a h-ll of time demonstrating with citations that “the Catholic hierarchy, the Southern Baptists, and the Miormons shoose to spend their time and resources attacking gay people and our participation in society under the aegis of any number of false narratives and outright lies”. Applause at JoeMyGod does not translate into something that flies outside the true believers.

    E.g.:

    http://www.usccb.org/about/doctrine/publications/homosexual-inclination-guidelines-page-set.cfm

    “Church policies should explicitly reject unjust discrimination and harassment of any persons, including those with a homosexual inclination. Procedures should be in place to handle complaints.”

  • Why would I? None have done anything wrong. Certainly absolutely nothing that can even hold a candle to what Christianity had done.
    BTW, you are certainly breaking from your religion by not blaming people for what their fathers have done. Isn’t your entire religion based around inherited sins from Adam and Eve?

  • Civil law is not IN your churches. And a place of business is not a church, but a place of business.

  • Actually the church did fall apart.

    http://www.anglicansonline.org/communion/nic.html

    You’re apparently too young to remember when it was nearly twice its current size.

    Every Christmas and Easter national television would carry the Communion at the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington (Washington National Cathedral).

    No more.

  • No…you’re the one that needs the waambulence like everyone else who tried to lynch the Duke lacrosse guys.

  • I knew that response was coming. Ben seriously wants those Christian small businesses who (even if they’re pro-gay) refuse to participate in gay wedding or gay reception events, to get punished severely — like being totally put out of business — by the civil law.

    And by the way: The main church building and Sunday services may be safe for now, but a church’s bookstore, or a church’s daycare, or a church’s multi-purpose or recreational hall, or a church-based college/university — are NOT safe.
    Gay Goliath has got PLANS for us Christians.

  • MadScientist1023 is angry too. There’s a lotta anger in the Gay Religion.

    Once (this was way before Obergefell), while a student columnist, I heard that the local and state gay activists were going to do a press conference at the state capitol. Some interesting legislation they wanted to see passed. I figured maybe I could do a column on it, So I showed up. First presser I ever went to.

    Everything went mostly as expected. Pretty serious affair with real journalists present, so I decided to keep all quiet and just take notes. The leading gay activist gave his expected shpiel. And then…standing only 10 feet away from me (I was the only black person there), he started directly appealing to the black struggle to justify this gay legislation he’s wanting.

    A common tactic, but at the time I was very very surprised. So when it was time for the press Q & A time, I decided maybe I could ask him a question. “I notice you were saying such-and-such, so are you saying that being gay is like being black?”

    Ben should have been there at that moment. You never saw so many people raising their shields, and charging up their phasers, since Star Trek. Including the main speaker. NOT happy. But he did cordially deny that that was what he was saying, and I smiled and said okay thanks. Interesting session there.

  • Yet just another story you tell yourself about poor persecuted you. I really don’t expect anything better. It’s too bad that youdon’t, either.

  • Wrong again, Errol Flynn. It was the Christian White who “sacrificed” their own to stave off bad press that could spill over onto the two spots that actually matter to the good ole boys, Football and Basketball.

  • The Church did not fall apart, but it did loose members. There’s a difference.
    There have been lots of studies about what happened to those who left. For the most part they joined with all those from other denominations who simply dropped out of Christianity all together and became early settlers in the “none” camp. If you believe having Christ in your life makes life better, then we should be sad for them.

  • I would love, simply love, to see support for “For the most part they joined with all those from other denominations who simply dropped out of Christianity all together”.

    I’ve followed events from the late 60s forward, including congregations who became Orthodox, Catholic, formed the continuing churches, and kept a bit of an informal tab on the decline in ECUSA and it would appear that – all in all – about 2/3 of the missing can be accounted for by those who who became Orthodox, Catholic, and formed the continuing churches.

    http://www.anglicansonline.org/communion/nic.html

    https://ordinariate.net/

    Add to them the members of the dioceses in litigation with ECUSA.

    These folks have decidedly not become “nones”, and I don’t think we should feel sad for them.

    What should make us sad is this sort of thing:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/19/us/two-last-masses-for-a-centuryold-church-that-split-over-a-gay-episcopal.html

  • I too have followed these things since the 60’s as an Episcopalian, a diocesan leader, and staff person.
    1. When a congregation leaves as a body, they do pretty well if they can keep their building. It’s much harder if they leave the building behind along with their identity because they become a mission congregation with only a fraction of their former members. A significant portion of these last only a couple of years.
    2. The lists of dioceses and congregations online are very deceptive and often don’t represent a fully functioning diocese or congregation. A friend became the bishop in one of these bodies and told me “there’s no there there”, only a mailing list his predecessor had used for fund raising. This is not to say that this is true of all of them.
    3. I know of only a couple instance where a whole congregation switched to Roman Catholic and no cases where a congregation joined one of the various kinds of Orthodox denominations.
    4. I disagree with your finding that 2/3 of the Episcopal losses simply joined a continuing, R.C. or Orthodox churches.
    5. The data says when individuals drop out they join the “nones”.

  • Since you’ve provide zero data, simply your recitation, I will point out a few issues.

    “I know of only a couple instance where a whole congregation switched to Roman Catholic and no cases where a congregation joined one of the various kinds of Orthodox denominations.”

    There are two entire parishes and religious community of nuns in the Baltimore area alone. With 50 states it seems unlikely there are only a couple of instances, but I would consider doing the research if I see a purpose.

    I personally was in frequent correspondence with a parish of the Episcopal Church in Missouri which left en masse for Orthodoxy. It would take some digging to find their current url since the only trace of their origins the last time I looked was a brief reference in their parish history, almost all the original members having either completely subsumed into Orthodoxy or passed on.

    “When a congregation leaves as a body, they do pretty well if they can keep their building. It’s much harder if they leave the building behind along with their identity because they become a mission congregation with only a fraction of their former members. A significant portion of these last only a couple of years.”

    Post-Dennis Canon (Title I.7.4 – as presently numbered – of the Canons of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America), which required a parish to accede to a trust in favor of the Episcopal Church on property held by a local group of Episcopalian that is true, not to mention post-Schori.

    Prior to that it was not the case, and still is not in some states, which is why the Dennis Canon was adopted in the first place.

    Parishes which were Church of England and pre-Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, of course, could generally demonstrate continuous ownership.

    “The data says when individuals drop out they join the ‘nones’.”

    That may be your impression, but there’s no data.

    I do understand that post-77 the mantra was “Prepare to be assimilated, resistance is futile”, but apparently resistance was not futile.

  • It’s all irrelevant. The UK will be Muslim-majority and under homophobic Shariah Law before long.

  • This is all irrelevant. The UK will be Muslim-majority and under Shariah Law before long.

  • Well, I don’t think atheism has a long prosperous future in front of it, whatever else happens.

  • Say THAT on the bitter Faux My God crowd blog and watch how much that basement-dwelling anti-Christian clique decides to rip you to shreds.

  • Maybe if you’d prayed it away you would have turned out a decent person. But…maybe not. You’d just be a hetero scumbag.

  • Some modern gays have made positive contributions, yes (like cancer-researcher Jack Andraka) but dopes like you actually harm society. You merely cheer for RuPaul’s drag race contestants while screaming about Trump not inviting more Muslims to come pouring into the U.S. You actually want young gay guys to suffer like you claim you did, and that’s why you need Islam. Christians just won’t persecute gays anymore, not enough to satisfy you.

  • If Islam wasn’t in the equation, I don’t know about atheism. Whether it would prosper or not. I suspect the agnostic, I’m-not-sure, type of crowd would be a lot bigger than the outright atheists.

  • Right, because there’s no better way to duck blame than to change the subject! Good to see ‘whataboutism’ is alive and well here. It’s not like you can admit what your religion did was wrong. That’d be too mature.

  • Shhh!

    A good number of the “atheists” ’round these parts thinks them “agnostic, I’m-not-sure, type of crowd” are atheists.

  • You think that all non-Christians are “devil-worshippers”, don’t you?

  • Maybe the pews are empty because people have realised that the clergy and leadership are pushing a bunch of cultural b.s. that the faithful inherently know is against logic and reason.

    There – fixed for you by someone in a position to know rather than speculate.

  • You certainly hate Muslims, a lot. I hate Christians, possibly for the same reasons.

  • Which religion am I ? I’ll admit anything negative that religion committed. Meanwhile, if we want to talk about relevant homophobia, we better start tackling the religion that actually executes gay men in 9 countries.

  • Nine Muslim-majority countries kill people, legally, for homosexual acts. Meanwhile, several Christian-majority countries have gay marriage. Secular-christian countries (like most in Europe) and religious Christian like Argentina and Malta. Stop worrying about Christianity and start facing the real monster at the door.

  • You hate Christians for….mysterious reasons though. I hate Muslims because they’re the biggest threat to the gay future (my future).

  • We get it. You hate Muslims. We all got the message and are judging you for it. Can you come up with comments that are less predictable?

  • Observe the number of very vocal Christians in this country arguing against gay marriage, because they’re bored and have nothing better to do. This is how gay children end up dead by their own hand.

  • The Anglican Communion has been of two minds on women’s ordination and LGBTQRSUVWXYZ sexuality for decades.

  • St. Martins does not reflect the dominant liberal beliefs of pecusa. Plus, St. Philip’s has had some significant money problems, as has the National Cathedral. Liberals talk a good game, but what they’re best at is emptying churches.

  • The focus of the conservatives that I know is on Jesus Christ and His teachings. Sin is a part of the message, and so is God’s forgiveness and salvation.

  • I don’t know of anyone who takes a biblical stance on human sexuality who wants anyone “literally dead.” Perhaps that’s the “poor persecuted you” story that you tell.

  • God is the scientific method? – Hallelujah

    You can define your god(s) in any way you like – I challenge you to demonstrate, clearly and unambiguously that it/they exist.

  • I can provide you with a very long list of conservative christians who focus on my alleged sins and to my detriment, and the detriment of millions of other people.

    That’s the issue.

  • Perhaps you should spend some time on google. There are enough if them

    Some just want us imprisoned. Others are happy as long as our participation in society is limited by law for our “sins”. Others on these very pages enjoy making up crap in their heads to damn and disparage us.

  • Thank you for calling me a liar, just because you personally haven’t had my experiences. I’m guessing I made this screenshot up, and it’s the least offensive I can post. But no, it’s just the poor persecuted me story I tell. I don’t know if the channel accepts screen shots, but the comment directed to me is “I support the death penalty for LGBT.”

    In fact, I don’t tell poor persecuted me stories. I do tell the truth of some of my experience, as many, like yourself, seem to think none of this ever happens.
    I find more christians feeling persecuted these days because they aren’t allowed to discriminate against us in the public sphere. Why, with your first amendment right to protect you, you still find a need to write laws against us is beyond me. But it’s done quiet often, all the while claiming we are asking for “special” rights to receive the same rights you already have, by simply choosing a religion.

  • When Muslims become less predictable with their hands-on violent homophobia, then I’ll become less predicatable.

  • 1. I’m sorry to hear that. 2. That’s one issue. We all have to deal with our sins.

  • WHY?! To satisfy some meddlesome pearl and bible clutchers? To wave them in the faces of non-believers as bait to join the cult followers? Maybe this couple doesn’t feel the need to put their spiritual beliefs into head lines, unlike the curb shouters and overdressed stage prancers in this country. Maybe it’s none of your business.

  • Is this the same God

    who caused human suffering because his first people did something they couldn’t know was wrong – even though he knew in advance that they would.

    the same God who drowned (almost) all life (including the innocent mammals, insects, marsupials etc. etc.) because he lost his cool – even though he knew in advance that he would. – and then had to create a “heavenly” knotted hankiy in case he forgot the horror he caused and went to do it again.

    who ordered genocide

    who realised he had screwed up and decided that the only way to sort his error was to kill his own son (though no-one knows why that could work)

    who can’t – or won’t – sort out his mistakes that lead to cancer, arthritis, sepsis, mental health problems, senility et al.

    who knows, before we do, what we need but insists we plead for it

    who is content that 10% of the people he loves so dearly don’t have access to safe water

    etc, etc, etc..

    That God?

    If so – I’m a better (or at least less evil) God than he is.
    Want to worship me? – No thanks – I’m imperfect but I’m not a psychopath.

  • When hate and prejudice hide behind religious belief, when a desire to harm others gets up in it best Sunday-go-to-meetin’ drag, then the objects of those disaffections have to deal with the egregious sins of others.

  • Note that the gun advocate, deluded Christian nutcase, bigot, and NRA shill presenting himself as “Bob Arnzen” variously and dishonestly uses a variety of names on RNS such as Bob Arnzen, José Carioca, and others. However, there is actually no real Bob Arnzen, and there is no real José Carioca.

    It is recommended that you refer to him and reply to him stating his name as “Bobosé”, “Bobby-Jo”, or just “snowflake”.

    The account for this present post is used as a parody of “Bob Arnzen”.

  • God didn’t cause human suffering; we did – when his first people were disobedient. They knew the rules and broke them, thus let evil into the world.
    Man was given free will – to choose good or evil; they chose to do evil.
    Evil deeds require just punishment – just ask any parent.
    His son sacrificed himself – he was killed by man. A selfless act only done by those who love others more than themselves.
    You are so busy hating that you fail to work backwards to the truth.

  • If you go on google to be offended, you’re as bad as the idiots who post that stuff.

  • I don’t go on google to be offended. I have other things to do with my time, and I remain quite well informed about people who use their “faith” as a club against other people without having to go looking for it.

    I advised YOU to go on google so that YOU could inform yourself about something that YOU are ignorant about.

  • It is sad that you persist in creating new fake accounts

    https://disqus.com/by/barnzen/

    https://disqus.com/by/jcarioca/

    https://disqus.com/by/jcarioca1/

    https://disqus.com/by/jcarioca2/

    after Disqus closes them one at a time for violating the prohibition against “Impersonation — misrepresents themselves as someone else”. Eventually Disqus will block your url and you’ll have to go to a public library to post.

    There is no Ben in Oakland, there is no Pope Hilarius II, there is no Moderator DC, there is no NoMoreBadTown, there is no PsiCop, and there is no Kangaroo52 because there is no ban on using pen names to avoid personal harassment, which is also a violation of Disqus terms of use.

    If you were able to carry on an actual discussion based on facts and reason we would not be reading your post, which makes clear who the deluded nutcase, bigot, etc. really is.

  • I don’t go to google to be offended. As you do, I have better things to do with my time.

  • Democrat DA Mike Nifong as well. At least he’s out of work now. He definitely messed, like one of the defendents’ mothers put it, “with the wrong mommy.” But you were SO desperate to find straight white males you could accuse of raping a black female. so desperate.

  • “God”

    I repeat – I challenge you to demonstrate, clearly and unambiguously that it/they exist.
    – – – – – – –
    “didn’t cause human suffering; we did – when his first people were disobedient”.

    No – we didn’t. The story says that God punished Adam and Eve for doing something which lead to them knowing the difference between good and evil – that inescapably means that before they ate the fruit they did not understand the concept of evil and therefore God was morally wrong to punish them. (It also says that he lied about them dying if they ate the fruit.)
    And further – we didn’t break the rules – is it just if I break the speed limit and you have to pay my fine – or be executed because I murdered someone?
    – – – – – –
    “They knew the rules and broke them, thus let evil into the world.”

    But they didn’t know that rules shouldn’t be broken did they.
    Actually, if God has foreknowledge, then it would be to blame – if I do something knowing that evil will follow I’m as guilty as the perpetrator – because I could have stopped it and didn’t.
    – – – – – – –
    “Man was given free will”

    – the evidence says that “free will” is a myth – a story we tell ourselves. Experimental neuroscience uses fMRI scanners to demonstrate that we react (choose) based on our unique mix of nature and nurture. As was said many years ago “We do what we will but we can’t will what we will”.
    – – – – – – –
    “they chose to do evil.”

    they didn’t know that evil existed so no – they did not choose to do evil.
    – – – – – – – –
    “Evil deeds require just punishment – just ask any parent.”

    I hope you aren’t a parent. Children do bad things when learning how to behave – punishment may sometimes be appropriate but understanding, explanation and encouragement are preferable and often much more effective.

    Are you claiming that punishing you for something your great grandfather did would be just? If so I think you misunderstand the concept of justice.
    – – – – –
    “His son sacrificed himself”

    No he didn’t – if the stories were true (and no-one has ever demonstrated that they are) he committed suicide but used others to be the instrument of his death. And pointlessly – a proper god would
    a) not have allowed the problem to occur and
    b) have sorted out his mistake without murdering his son – even if he had convinced his son to want to be killed.
    – – – – –
    “You are so busy hating that you fail to work backwards to the truth”

    You have encapsulated why religion is so dangerous. The way to find answers is to work forward from question to answer – without limiting the potential answer. Religion daren’t do that – it has to assume the answer (Goddidit maybe) and then, as you put it so accurately, “work backwards” – but not to the truth – simply to a reworking of the question so that the answer doesn’t challenge the irrational belief.

    Oh – an afterthought. What do you think I hate? I’m opposed to fraud, to harming people by lying to them and making them believe nonsense in order to benefit the liar. I dislike those who misuse faux morality to damage others – to restrict the achievement of human potential by persuading my fellow humans that unevidenced, irrational ideas are more valuable than simple evidence-based reasoning.

  • God told them not to eat the fruit – they ate the fruit – they were disobedient. I’m not sure at that point there was a need to know good/vs. evil. They didn’t follow directions. Because they didn’t follow directions, they were cast out of the garden. Pretty simple – not sure why you get all revved up about having to know good/evil at that point in time – they didn’t need to weigh consequences; they just had to obey. FYI – they did die – just not immediately. A smart guy like you should know that this implied death in general. “free will” is a myth – a story we tell ourselves. Experimental neuroscience uses fMRI scanners to demonstrate that we react (choose) based on our…. blah, blah, blah. Bottom line is I make choices – you can throw all the variables in that you want – it still is my choice. I guess you’re a snowflake parent. Awards for all, your kid never does anything wrong, little Johnny, just keep ignoring that bully…yep, we need more parents like you. They broke the rule set by God – and were banished for it. Maybe there should have been peer consoling or a ten-step process, so they could have learned right and wrong prior – but for whatever reason, God determined that they should get booted. On a side-note, we don’t know the exact details of the interactions that God had with them prior to his order not to eat the fruit. I don’t think committed suicide is correct. I’m pretty sure the correct term is “willing(ly) sacrifice(d) himself”. I’m not sure that someone commits suicide by jumping on a grenade for a fellow soldier – they pretty much sacrificed themselves for the other guy. I’d comment on your last two paragraphs, but frankly it’s exhausting to try to talk to someone who uses science as a replacement for morality.

  • Firstly – remember all this Garden of Eden stuff is just a story. Didn’t happen.

    Secondly – you haven’t answered my questions
    ” is it just if I break the speed limit and you have to pay my fine – or be executed because I murdered someone?”

    “Are you claiming that punishing you for something your great grandfather did would be just?”

    Thirdly – “Bottom line is I make choices – you can throw all the variables in that you want – it still is my choice” –
    Yes it is your choice – but made at the subconscious level based on your inherited qualities and the experiences of your lifetime. It isn’t “free will” – your will is determined by things you have no control over. We tell ourselves we are choosing but the choice has already been made and it’s the only one we are going to make however much we kid ourselves. We do whatever we want to do – we can’t change what it is we want to do. –
    “Blah, blah” is presumably your way of admitting that you know nothing about the subject – try reading up on it – Free Will – Sam Harris and Incognito – David Eagleman are good places to start.

    Fourthly – your lack of humanity shines through if you really think that anyone who doesn’t immediately punish is a “snowflake”.

    Fifthly – “I’d comment on your last two paragraphs, but frankly it’s exhausting to try to talk to someone who uses science as a replacement for morality”.

    Boo-hoo. Poor you – tired of thinking – or afraid to think?

    You confuse irrational superstitious belief with morality. You claim your wicked bully of a God is moral – punishing future generations for things they didn’t do; is moral? Harming Job and his family to win a bet: is moral? Drowning almost every living thing because of a tantrum – most of them innocent animals: is moral? Creating a world knowing that pain, suffering, poverty, hunger – and the suicide of your son – are going to happen is MORAL?

    Either you haven’t really thought about your religion, you haven’t understood the horror of the depravity God displays, you have compartmentalised the evil and “hardened your heart” against it or you’ve fallen for the desperate self-despising stupidity that goes by the name of “divine command morality”.

    Now – want to respond to
    a) I repeat – I challenge you to demonstrate, clearly and unambiguously that it/they (god[s]) exist
    b) the question of justice and punishing those who did not break the rules
    c) those two paragraphs that exhausted you.

  • Maybe this: “Maybe the pews are empty because people have realized that the clergy and leadership are pushing a bunch of cultural b.s. that the faithful inherently know is against the teaching of Christ, the Bible and the Church.”

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