Online reading

Here’s some on-line reading.

The Doctrine Committee of the Scottish Episcopal Church published an essay earlier this year on Marriage and Human Intimacy. This is available now online for the first time along with the other previous essays which they have written.

There was a mini-brouhaha on twitter when one or two people actually read it this afternoon and started to recount the ways in which it is offensive. The bit about scientific evidence for gay people reacting to sweat differently to straight people seems to be the bit that has caused most offence. Silliest is perhaps: “Gay men tend to weigh less than heterosexual men and
to have shorter limbs and hands.”

By far the most offensive thing about it from my point of view is that on being asked at General Synod whether any gay people had been engaged, consulted or included in the process, the convener of the group answered in the negative.

Do I need to spell it out? If we were doing a piece of work about women but all the writers were men…..if we were doing something about disability and no-one bothered to speak to anyone in a wheelchair…..


There will be plenty more to say about this later, but for now read it. It is designed to provoke debate and is an invitation to respond.

The essay is available here.

Rather more positively we have a good article in the White Rose, the magazine of Old St Paul’s church in Edinburgh.

Towards the end of a long article, well worth reading, Ian Paton, their Rector says:

As far as I can see, therefore, there is no obvious reason why such Godgiven humanity should not be affirmed in same-sex relationships as well as in heterosexual ones. No relationships are perfect, whatever the sexual orientation of the persons involved, but they all contain the potential to reveal that God-given humanity.

Despite the prejudices and ignorance of many people, which I have shared on the past, gay and lesbian people themselves have developed ways of finding, establishing and celebrating life-long relationships of mutual commitment and joy. For myself, I
can see no reason, in the Bible or in Tradition, for preventing those relationships from being equally
acknowledged and affirmed, with those of heterosexual couples, as marriages blessed by God, signs and sacraments of God’s committed and joyful love for the world.

When he is not busy being the Rector of Old St Paul’s, Fr Ian also happens to convene the Liturgy Committee in our church.

You can find that here.


  1. So p6 contains an entirely unfounded assertion, “Christ did not marry”. We don’t actually *know* that Jesus or Paul weren’t gay, for starters!
    p7 fails to notice that Gen.1: and 2: are tribal/cultural myths.
    The quote from Oppenheimer on p8 starts out quite irenic, but winds up with an assumption that there is one kind of relationship “heaven”.
    p11 uses `metaphor’ when it means hyperbole.
    It is quite funny how it fudges the move from definitely Paul’s work (most of 1.Cor, Romans) to deutero-Paul (Ephesians, Colossians) without rendering the changing authorship explicit, around p14.

    Skipping a lot… what *is* an “elevated incidence of extreme right-handedness”? Visions from the more charismatic movements come to mind…

    As for the “scientific” stuff… the lack of immediate citations made the whole thing look too fanciful and open to spin. I couldn’t read that.

  2. Brother David says

    I have made two comments to this thread and they both appear to have evaporated into the nether field.

    • Sorry, Brother David – I’ve not seen those comments an certainly not deleted anything. Don’t know why they have not made it through to me.

  3. Rosemary Hannah says

    We bounce along 20 (30?) years behind the times. Oh yes, improvements on earlier ‘reports’ ‘studies’ and ‘discussion papers’ but still stuff which is laughable when read in the context of our decade. It really is inexcusable. What is more, it is downright embarrassing. Of course you put your finger on it – it is done by the wrong people. Given we have the right people readily available … why?

  4. Brother David says

    3rd try –

    I asked these vary same questions of Father Bosco after the General Synod Te Hinota Whanui of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia where the Synod appointed a committee to research marriage in that church. The appointed chair of the committee even boasted that it was a benefit that gay or lesbian folks were not part of the membership of the committee, “The second stone is that none of us has any public connection with the advancement of same gender issues.”

    I am baffled by the logic. Would they even consider having a committee to research women’s issues without women on the committee? The Handicapped? Racism?

  5. Brother David says

    The post has disappeared again Father K. Is the posting software not configured to allow links to outside websites? That is the only thing that I can see as being different in the comment.

  6. Brother David says

    4th try, without outside link –

    I asked Father Bosco at his Liturgy website, these same questions in July after the General Synod Te Hinota Whanui of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia appointed a committee to study marriage in that province. The chair of the committee boasted that not having gay/lesbian members to be an advantage to the appointed committee, “The second stone is that none of us has any public connection with the advancement of same gender issues.”

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