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Source: (consider it) Thread: Church of Not Talking About Sex
Helen-Eva
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After the Anglican church's latest contributions to covering itself in glory - preventing two guys becoming bishops, one because he's gay, the other because he doesn't think women can be priests - I really really want to start the Church of Not Talking About Sex. Members are free to believe what they like within the broad boundaries of Anglicanism. If they don't think someone is a real priest they can think that, if they do or don't believe two people should be married they can think that, but they are absolutely forbidden on pain of instant excommunication to SAY anything about it. Or anything to do with sex or gender.

Who's with me?

[ 10. March 2017, 15:15: Message edited by: Helen-Eva ]

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DaleMaily
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I am, with the hypocritical caveat that I'm contemplating resurrecting the sex before marriage thread [serious question: I assume that's allowed, right?].

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Helen-Eva
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quote:
Originally posted by DaleMaily:
I am, with the hypocritical caveat that I'm contemplating resurrecting the sex before marriage thread [serious question: I assume that's allowed, right?].

Interesting. I'll need a several-years-long committee of bishops to think about that.

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SvitlanaV2
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DaleMaily

It's not so much 'allowed', but rather tolerated by mainstream denominations or movements because it's so prevalent in secular culture. Tolerance is a matter of pragmatism. However, evangelicalism is more theologically defiant of the culture so is usually less accepting.

If someone wants a church that tends not to make a public fuss about sexual matters I'd recommend British Methodism (although I think SSM has made a few waves at Conference in recent years). Avoiding conflict is the Methodist way. The problem with Methodism, though, is that it lacks the pizzazz of the stricter outfits.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
If they don't think someone is a real priest they can think that,[..] but they are absolutely forbidden on pain of instant excommunication to SAY anything about it.

So how would that work in practice? Imagine you are a person who thinks that women aren't actually priests. Imagine further that you are scheduled to serve at the altar as a lay assistant one Sunday, you arrive, start your preparations, and are then told that Father Steve is sick, so there's a stand-in who happens to be a woman.

What do you do?

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Helen-Eva
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
If they don't think someone is a real priest they can think that,[..] but they are absolutely forbidden on pain of instant excommunication to SAY anything about it.

So how would that work in practice? Imagine you are a person who thinks that women aren't actually priests. Imagine further that you are scheduled to serve at the altar as a lay assistant one Sunday, you arrive, start your preparations, and are then told that Father Steve is sick, so there's a stand-in who happens to be a woman.

What do you do?

You can say that you don't think the stand in is a real priest so you can't serve with them but you can't say it's because they're a woman. You then withdraw quietly and politely in your best christian way. No one can argue with you because no-one is allowed to mention gender.

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SvitlanaV2
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I don't think expecting intelligent lay and ordained members of the CofE to shut up is going to work. What's the point of belonging to a 'broad church' if noone there is interested in what you have to say?

The upcoming task is for the CofE to decide what its identity is. Once that struggle has been won, the also-rans can leave. The only problem will be financial - who will get the buildings and the money?

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
You can say that you don't think the stand in is a real priest so you can't serve with them but you can't say it's because they're a woman. You then withdraw quietly and politely in your best christian way. No one can argue with you because no-one is allowed to mention gender.

So you tell me you can't serve with Annie, because you don't think she's really a priest. Either I know why, and with a series of nods and winks we arrange for someone else to take your place, or I don't know why. And if I don't know why, then I want to ask, because if Annie isn't a priest, we've got a problem. So I ask "oh - what's wrong with Annie?"

And what if you're visiting a different parish? Is your priest... a priest? Nudge nudge, say no more.

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
If they don't think someone is a real priest they can think that,[..] but they are absolutely forbidden on pain of instant excommunication to SAY anything about it.

So how would that work in practice? Imagine you are a person who thinks that women aren't actually priests. Imagine further that you are scheduled to serve at the altar as a lay assistant one Sunday, you arrive, start your preparations, and are then told that Father Steve is sick, so there's a stand-in who happens to be a woman.

What do you do?

Throw a sickie?

Re-think your archaic attitudes to women?

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Helen-Eva
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
If they don't think someone is a real priest they can think that,[..] but they are absolutely forbidden on pain of instant excommunication to SAY anything about it.

So how would that work in practice? Imagine you are a person who thinks that women aren't actually priests. Imagine further that you are scheduled to serve at the altar as a lay assistant one Sunday, you arrive, start your preparations, and are then told that Father Steve is sick, so there's a stand-in who happens to be a woman.

What do you do?

Throw a sickie?

Re-think your archaic attitudes to women?

In the spirit of the Church of Not Talking About Sex throwing a sickie is the right answer.

The serious point, in so far as there is one, is that by banning talking about sex and gender, church would have to be about other things such as [insert your favourite teaching of Jesus here].

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Jemima the 9th
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Helen-Eva I am so with you for your church. [Overused]

I was brought up evangelical (via the Elim Pentecostals and Methodists) and the pre-occupation with sex was overwhelming. My own church, in its infinite wisdom, is having a sermon series on the 7 deadly sins. This coming Sunday is Lust. I am in despair, in advance (not least because I'm playing the piano, and one of the songs is Your love is amazing, featuring the lines:

"Your love is surprising
I can feel it rising
All the joy that's growing
Deep inside of me"

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Jolly Jape
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[Killing me] [Killing me]

The really worrying thing is that the irony is completely lost on the church PTB. Expect much sniggering from the congo [Big Grin]

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SvitlanaV2
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Don't the lay representatives at these churches have any input into the development of sermon series conducted by their own ministers? What if noone wants to hear about lust?

The idea that you all have to sit in the pews and cringe helplessly as your minister offends your sensibilities strikes me as very disempowering.

OTOH, it's hard to imagine that a sermon on lust would be boring. This thread may be championing prudery in church circles, but is the preacher going to be talking to an empty room on that day? I doubt it.

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Og, King of Bashan

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I would have been with you for many years. I came from a family that still doesn't talk about dead horses and other controversial subjects at the dinner table. Joining my wife's family, where they do discuss such things, was a shock to the system.

In the last few years, I have learned that not wrestling with the tough stuff will prevent you from understanding or growing as a person or as a group. If you instigated the "no talking about sex" rule 50 years ago, I suspect that we still would have male-only clergy and no recognition that some of our members are gay. Women, minorities, and GLBT folks have been largely voiceless for most of Christian history, and the (likely unintended) effect of the "no talking about sex" rule would be to keep them voiceless.

I'm not accusing anyone of actually wanting to use this tactic to prevent change. We in the Episcopal Church went through all of this 15 years ago, and diocesan conventions used to be a nightmare. I get wanting everyone to just shut up about it- I've been there. But I think we owe it to the voiceless or underrepresented to allow them a chance to talk for once.

(As for sermons about sex, I'm still recovering from the megachurch I attended once where I heard the priest openly and casually admit in a sermon that he had struggled with a pornography addiction, or the friend who told me about the "great" sermon he heard from the cured gay person. While I am open to an explanation of why I am wrong on this count, I tend to think that you should keep personal sex stories to yourself.)

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Gamaliel
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Well, first off, I doubt if the megachurch minister would have considered himself a 'priest' in anything other than a 'priesthood of all believers' sense ...

He'd have probably thought he was being helpful with the admission. 'Look, I've struggled in this area but by the grace of God, I've been able to kick it - you can too ...'

But yes, I don't like the idea of personal disclosure of that kind either.

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Og, King of Bashan

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Right. [Hot and Hormonal]

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SvitlanaV2
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I understand that large numbers of young and youngish churchgoing men in the USA are struggling with a porn addiction. I would find it distasteful if a preacher were talking about his own addiction to a congregation of old ladies and little kids, but in front of the right people surely the church has to say something to people who are longing for help, or else what use is the church?
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Schroedinger's cat

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Maybe the Church of Not Being a Complete Arse?

The obsession with sex in some parts of churches always puzzles me. As if I should really care what you do with your genitalia, as long as it is SSC*. As long as there is no abuse involved, the church should get its semen-covered nose out of other peoples business.

I do think "not talking about sex" is dangerous. As Og mentioned, not talking about it amounts to pretending it doesn't exist, and so is oppressive. Not talking about it doesn't acknowledge the gender and sexuality based oppression that is our history, and is endemic in the church.

What we need is not giving a shit about it. Why should your gender, your sexuality or your relationship situation be your defining characteristic? You are human, a being created in the image of God. That (for me) is the most important definition, and that means I should respect and care for you.

*Safe, Sane, Consensual

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Martin60
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Aye. That's a privileged yet vulnerable minority position. How are we to embrace the massive mixed state majority?

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Throw a sickie?

Re-think your archaic attitudes to women?

Helen-Eva's premise was that any opinion on women priests was permissible as long as you shut up about it, which is not consistent with your "Re-think your archaic attitudes to women?"

Your suggestion seems to be that, given the church has decided consistently since the 70s that there's no theological impediment to women priests, recusants should be told they are in error, and offered no accommodation. Which at least has the merits of consistency.

But once you've signed up for dual integrities rather than duelling integrities, what then? And it seems to me that Helen-Eva's proposal isn't really the path of everyone getting along. It's perfectly comfortable for one of the integrities to not talk about whether women can be priests, because it supports the current status quo (all supposed priests are real priests). The other one? Not so much.

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Pomona
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Churches should be talking about sex more, not less. Silence isn't any better than unhelpful discussions. Sex is an important part of many people's lives, a gift of God, and something we should talk about sensibly at a personal and theological level in church. There's plenty of unhelpful stuff out there, but there are also brilliant initiatives in this by churches particularly in youthwork.

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Pomona
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Also, discussion of gender is not the same as discussing sex (in the sense of intercourse not biological sex), but they are related and I feel that Particular Anglican Headaches really needed discussions on gender and theology before discussing the headaches in question. There are lots of theologians doing fantastic work on this and they need amplifying, not silencing.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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anteater

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ISTM that the aim is to have a quiet life where we are protected from any discussion of ethical issues, except maybe where the allowed issues are so anodyne that nobody could possibly be upset.

Not something that appeals to me even though the cost of promoting dialog is that you get a fair share of BS.

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Paul.
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The Church has a long long long way to go before it becomes anywhere near as obsessed with sex as modern Western society. The difference of course is that apart from a few lone voices (usually feminists) there's broad agreement on sex in society. Or at the very least those who are less obsessed mostly seem to tolerate it.

The Church on the other hand has serious fault lines over issues related to sex. And yes it spends far more time discussing those issues than other very important things it could talk about. However these disagreements are genuine and the situation won't be resolved by pretending they don't exist.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:


The obsession with sex in some parts of churches always puzzles me. As if I should really care what you do with your genitalia, as long as it is SSC*. As long as there is no abuse involved, the church should get its semen-covered nose out of other peoples business.

*Safe, Sane, Consensual

Considering that many human beings appear to be utterly fascinated by sex (far more so than by boring doctrinal matters!) I think it's unlikely that religion as a whole would ever be indifferent.

Still, if there was a demand for churches of the kind the OP describes then you'd think it would be possible to meet that demand. In some places there are certainly churches that lean in that direction. But nowadays most people don't turn to religion for sexual liberation. They can live according to that principle easily enough without regular God bothering and pew hogging.

Moreover, I think that in England the focus on the CofE actually undermines the cause of tolerance. The growth of secularisation and the decline of Nonconformity means that the CofE is left trying to cover almost all Christian bases. But you can't please all the people all the time. A CofE which feels beholden to evangelicals in the pews isn't an organisation that's going to be entirely indifferent to sexual behaviour, no matter how many open-minded books liberal theologians write about the subject.

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Anglican_Brat
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The CofE needs to figure out exactly what it wants to be. Does it want to be a conservative evangelical church with conservative attitudes towards sexuality or does it want to be a liberal form of catholicism?

Or another kettle of fish altogether.

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Anglican_Brat
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One theory that one of my friends postulated is the church's fixation on sex is due to its distrust of earthly pleasure as an idol meant to sway the human soul from its purpose in finding its true fulfillment of desire in God.

The church's tradition of celibacy, thus, is not an abnegation or rejection of desire, but an affirmation of desire with its perfect fulfillment not in a human partner, but in God.

What the church lacks is a theology that sees sexual pleasure as not in competition with the human desire for God.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by DaleMaily:
I am, with the hypocritical caveat that I'm contemplating resurrecting the sex before marriage thread [serious question: I assume that's allowed, right?].

We're probably about due one, and it is springtime (at least in the northern hemisphere...)

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anteater

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Anglican Brat:
quote:
The CofE needs to figure out exactly what it wants to be.
Except that is against the spirit of English conservatism which is very suspicious of defining its Strategic Aim. And that spirit is alive and well in the CoE.

And just where is the evidence that the Church is obsessed with sex? I think that's just a Secularist Myth. It is true there are issues of sexual ethics where there is near unanimity in the church, such as faithfulness in marriage and non commercialisation of sex. And others where there is genuine disagreement such as removing the link between sex and procreation, and LGBT issues.

But the same is bound to be true in all sorts of areas, unless you want to separate ethics from religion or pretend that no ethical issues are complex and hard to agree on. But we don't hear of the Church's obsession with wealth distribution, or the limits of medical experimentation, or legitimacy of violence etc etc.

In my present church I remember no sermon about sex. Maybe I need a racier church. Mind you we're a bit old for 'that sort of thing'.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Avoiding conflict is the Methodist way. The problem with Methodism, though, is that it lacks the pizzazz of the stricter outfits. [/QB]

That's why Methodism is seeing significant decline. You have to stand for something and sometimes that means conflict as not everything can be resolved in a blender.
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Jemima the 9th
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
One theory that one of my friends postulated is the church's fixation on sex is due to its distrust of earthly pleasure as an idol meant to sway the human soul from its purpose in finding its true fulfillment of desire in God.

The church's tradition of celibacy, thus, is not an abnegation or rejection of desire, but an affirmation of desire with its perfect fulfillment not in a human partner, but in God.

What the church lacks is a theology that sees sexual pleasure as not in competition with the human desire for God.

That sounds pretty good to me.

For all my joking about silly song lyrics (and I will be sniggering, oh yes) I'm actually dreading tomorrow morning's Lust sermon. It's put a blight on my weekend.

I think the point (which anteater & Pomona were also hinting at) is that if we are going to discuss issues of sex (also sexuality and gender) it needs doing well, or not at all. And by well, I mean thoughtfully, with a look at the wide sweep of the Bible, and Christian history and experience, and relevant theologians working in this field. ie, the discussion should treat people like grown ups. We should also acknowledge that a not insignificant proportion of the congregation may have had unpleasant experiences related to sex, up to and including abuse.

My own upbringing was a horrible combination of NotTalkingAboutSexAtAll and TalkingAboutItAllTheTimeInAReallyInappropriateWay. It wasn't abusive, but it was very unhealthy and dysfunctional, and a few things went on which I think would raise the eyebrows of Child Protection people today. My experience of discussions of sex in church is that it's another horrible combination of prudery and end of the pier titillation and voyeurism. How else to explain the endless obsession with exactly who puts what where in the bedroom? Chatting in the pub with friends the other night, a friend told me that there had been discussions about licking ice cream off your spouse in his marriage prep. He found it hilarious, I would actually have died of shame, I think.

And this is why I'm in such a grump about tomorrow, I think. I simply don't trust my church to handle the subject.

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Helen-Eva
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quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
Maybe the Church of Not Being a Complete Arse?

Well quite. I would love that church. Also the Church of Not Caring about Sex. But those things would probably end up being quite like the intellectual liberal progressive sort of echo chamber in which I am attempting not to live my life. I was trying to include both sides and it feels like they can only get along if only they would SHUT THE F*** UP about sex and gender. Let's have a bit of christian kindly agreeing to differ and cooperating on something productive such as feeding the hungry, tending the sick, or making the tea. [I did envisage this as an outcrop of Anglicanism. [Biased] ]

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I thought the radio 3 announcer said "Weber" but it turned out to be Webern. Story of my life.

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rolyn
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This could be to do with my own general waning enthusiasm with church life, but to be quite honest I think the church is now completely up the creek without a paddle where sexual morality and gender politics is concerned.

As the saying goes 'When you're in a hole stop digging' so the church stopping talking about sex would be a good place to start, not out of prudery or driving an embarrassing topic underground but more as an attempt the restore a sense of joy and thanksgiving towards *all* the good things in life.

As for anyone addicted to pornography, they need help whether they be a church-goer or not. If there is a connection between religion and sex addiction then it needs to be studied in isolation not from the pulpit.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Avoiding conflict is the Methodist way. The problem with Methodism, though, is that it lacks the pizzazz of the stricter outfits.

That's why Methodism is seeing significant decline. You have to stand for something and sometimes that means conflict as not everything can be resolved in a blender.
I think Methodism stands for a general tolerance in which open evangelicalism and moderate liberalism can merge and interact with each other. In the face of CofE infighting and the washing of dirty laundry in public this approach should, in theory, be quite valuable.

But the irony is that churchgoers seem to want a more solid position, if only to give them something to disagree with. So Jemima the 9th grumbles about her church, but she could just as well join the Methodists or the URC and never hear any mention of sex at all, or only hear of how things are moving in a more splendidly tolerant, accepting direction. But that would apparently be rather boring....

The weakness of moderate theology in the modern church is the problem. A lot of people seem to like these ideas in theory, but they don't seem very enthused when presented with an actual church to attend week after week. This is the reality of the Church of Sweden, for example. Everyone approves of it from a distance.

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Helen-Eva
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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:

As the saying goes 'When you're in a hole stop digging' so the church stopping talking about sex would be a good place to start, not out of prudery or driving an embarrassing topic underground but more as an attempt the restore a sense of joy and thanksgiving towards *all* the good things in life.

*Revival meeting preacher voice* A-Men - Preach it Brothers and Sisters: Praaaise the Laaaaard.

*Anglican voice* I do so agree.

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I thought the radio 3 announcer said "Weber" but it turned out to be Webern. Story of my life.

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Arethosemyfeet
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As others have said, keeping quiet about oppression favours the oppressors and does nothing to bring about justice. In short, while there continues to be oppression on the basis of sex and sexual orientation not talking about it will be unchristian.
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Helen-Eva
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
As others have said, keeping quiet about oppression favours the oppressors and does nothing to bring about justice. In short, while there continues to be oppression on the basis of sex and sexual orientation not talking about it will be unchristian.

I take your point but I'm not sure I agree. You would definitely be right if we were talking about the whole of society but we're not - if the whole of society stopped talking about oppression on the basis of gender and sex (or indeed anything else) then I totally agree that it would give oppression a free pass. But we're not talking about a church that exists in a vacuum but one that exists as part of a modern society that is pretty well clued up on gender and sex. So clued up, in fact, that anything the church says is going to a) annoy people b) make it look silly or usually c) both.

You're also making this more general that I was intending. I didn't say oppression couldn't be mentioned - I said sex/gender couldn't be mentioned. In fact, I would find "stop belittling person X who is equally human as yourself" would be a more powerful message to "stop being sexist about female person X who is a woman and entitled to equal rights to you." Avoiding talking about sex/gender if only for an hour and half on Sundays plus tea afterwards would, I hope, emphasise common humanity. As well as stopping the church looking quite so silly in the media the whole d**n time.

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I thought the radio 3 announcer said "Weber" but it turned out to be Webern. Story of my life.

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Arethosemyfeet
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But what happens when the PCC is composed only of men and only men are "approached" to be church wardens? Nothing to say the women can't be, just custom and habit that they aren't. The Church already has enough trouble with oppression going unchallenged to avoid rocking the boat.
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Helen-Eva
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Sorry for double post - missed edit window - I meant to include this para in the middle of the post above:

One person's justice is another person's oppression EVEN if we all believe that one of those people is right and the other is wrong. Doing all the things most people on this board would consider right about stamping out prejudice against women, LBGT people etc etc in the church does still deeply hurt people. Possibly they are reactionary people that we wouldn't invite to a dinner party, but they are still people and I'm seeking to recognise the broad spectrum of opinion in a non-hurtful way.

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I thought the radio 3 announcer said "Weber" but it turned out to be Webern. Story of my life.

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Helen-Eva
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
But what happens when the PCC is composed only of men and only men are "approached" to be church wardens? Nothing to say the women can't be, just custom and habit that they aren't. The Church already has enough trouble with oppression going unchallenged to avoid rocking the boat.

Then you say "why don't you invite Susan and Claire and Sarah to be on the PCC - they have lots of skills?" Rather than "why don't we invite some women onto the PCC as at present we don't have any?"

Or equally likely, Susan and Claire and Sarah and their families all decamp to another church and eventually market forces end the male-only church. Or if they don't, its fulfilling a need, and you and I probably don't like it, but as it doesn't have a monopoly, live and let live.

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I thought the radio 3 announcer said "Weber" but it turned out to be Webern. Story of my life.

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rolyn
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I live in a rural area of England which is about as Conservative as you could possibly get and there has been no shortage of women Churchwardens. Done/do a fine job.
Now we are seeing more and more female clergy around here, great stuff. Question is can they do any more than males to get people back into church on a Sunday? I very much doubt it.

The Anglican Church is on the heel of it's back foot for many different reasons. Why not just live and let live, and leave the sex obsessed dead horse stuff to popular culture and soap operas. < In a very agreeable voice>

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Og, King of Bashan

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quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
One person's justice is another person's oppression EVEN if we all believe that one of those people is right and the other is wrong. Doing all the things most people on this board would consider right about stamping out prejudice against women, LBGT people etc etc in the church does still deeply hurt people. Possibly they are reactionary people that we wouldn't invite to a dinner party, but they are still people and I'm seeking to recognise the broad spectrum of opinion in a non-hurtful way.

Group A can't completely shut out group B for centuries and then claim that it is being oppressed when the group B dares to speak up. If group A were actually concerned about oppression, it would have done better by group B in the first place.

As I have said above, I get where this idea comes from, and I get its appeal. But it's not fair to rail against folks for centuries and then say "oh, we aren't going to talk about that anymore" the moment they gain the power to make a counter argument.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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anteater

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Helen-Eva:
quote:
But we're not talking about a church that exists in a vacuum but one that exists as part of a modern society that is pretty well clued up on gender and sex.
Actually the Church exists in many societies and cultures, but it is one Church. And taking on the colour of the culture is good but does not trump ethical needs. I think few would like the influence of the caste system within Indian Christianity and many are uneasy when the Church embraces polygamy, either consecutive or serial.

Plus I'm not sure how clued up our society is - I suppose it all depends on what you mean by clued up.

quote:
stamping out prejudice against women, LBGT people etc
Prejudice is not the same as questioning aspects of a lifestyle. As normally used, prejudice implies ignorance and often an unwillingness to have negative attitudes challenged. And nobody would advocate that.

But that cannot be used to debar serious discussion within a religious (or any other) community. The issue it very different when that extends to trying to use the law from prohibiting people from expressing there lifestyles, where no basis in terms of the general good of society is plausible.

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Schnuffle schnuffle.

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Helen-Eva
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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
One person's justice is another person's oppression EVEN if we all believe that one of those people is right and the other is wrong. Doing all the things most people on this board would consider right about stamping out prejudice against women, LBGT people etc etc in the church does still deeply hurt people. Possibly they are reactionary people that we wouldn't invite to a dinner party, but they are still people and I'm seeking to recognise the broad spectrum of opinion in a non-hurtful way.

Group A can't completely shut out group B for centuries and then claim that it is being oppressed when the group B dares to speak up. If group A were actually concerned about oppression, it would have done better by group B in the first place.

As I have said above, I get where this idea comes from, and I get its appeal. But it's not fair to rail against folks for centuries and then say "oh, we aren't going to talk about that anymore" the moment they gain the power to make a counter argument.

Difficult stuff there - corporate guilt is a thing if we're talking slavery or lynchings or something awful but it feels a bit unfair when we're talking about diverse groups of people some of whom may have been mean to some of the other lot in previous generations.

As to claiming to be oppressed: well, in my workplace if someone feels bullied, then that's taken seriously, no matter whether the "bully" meant to bully or even knew what they'd done. So I tend to think that if people feel oppressed then they have the right to be taken seriously. Their allegation might be mistaken or it might be malicious (like bullying allegations) but I don't want to assume that up front. Some poor little old person who doesn't believe women can be priests or who's scared of gay people because they've never knowingly met one can't really be the enemy can they?

I guess I'd always rather be kind to someone even if they're a bit of a git. Dear me I am sounding self-righteous today. [Hot and Hormonal]

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I thought the radio 3 announcer said "Weber" but it turned out to be Webern. Story of my life.

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
As others have said, keeping quiet about oppression favours the oppressors and does nothing to bring about justice. In short, while there continues to be oppression on the basis of sex and sexual orientation not talking about it will be unchristian.

I take your point but I'm not sure I agree. You would definitely be right if we were talking about the whole of society but we're not - if the whole of society stopped talking about oppression on the basis of gender and sex (or indeed anything else) then I totally agree that it would give oppression a free pass. But we're not talking about a church that exists in a vacuum but one that exists as part of a modern society that is pretty well clued up on gender and sex. So clued up, in fact, that anything the church says is going to a) annoy people b) make it look silly or usually c) both.

You're also making this more general that I was intending. I didn't say oppression couldn't be mentioned - I said sex/gender couldn't be mentioned. In fact, I would find "stop belittling person X who is equally human as yourself" would be a more powerful message to "stop being sexist about female person X who is a woman and entitled to equal rights to you." Avoiding talking about sex/gender if only for an hour and half on Sundays plus tea afterwards would, I hope, emphasise common humanity. As well as stopping the church looking quite so silly in the media the whole d**n time.

What about when the Song of Songs crops up in the lectionary? Or Jesus talking about lust and divorce? Sex is a part of the Christian life just like anything else - we need to be better at discussing it, not ignoring it.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Og, King of Bashan

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I cannot see how you can reconcile taking bullying seriously and refusing to talk about a major cause of bullying.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
I cannot see how you can reconcile taking bullying seriously and refusing to talk about a major cause of bullying.

bullies?

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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rolyn
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It is difficult to see how the Church can altogether shed it's gender oppression characteristic when the ancient Scriptures on which it is based clearly and unambiguously places men over and above women.

Dictates over what we should and shouldn't do with our bits doesn't seem to be writ large in the Gospel, depending of course on how one wants to define adultery.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Helen-Eva
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
I cannot see how you can reconcile taking bullying seriously and refusing to talk about a major cause of bullying.

bullies?
Well quite. You can't guarantee to shift whatever nasty ideas are in people's heads but you can make them behave themselves. At work I can't stop people thinking racist thoughts but I can stop them exhibiting racist behaviour. (Not perfectly - obvs - but we try.) My point is that what needs tackling in the short term is the symptoms of the problem - the underlying dumb-ass attitudes will take time to shift and I'm not putting up with the bullying behaviours until they do.

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I thought the radio 3 announcer said "Weber" but it turned out to be Webern. Story of my life.

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SvitlanaV2
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Maybe the CofE could have a moratorium on discussing SSM, as the URC did. But I can't see any precedent for telling all lay and ordained churchgoers that they should refrain from talking about all sexual matters in case they cause offense.

Besides which, the official teachings or expectations of the CofE already cause offense to a lot of people, so the leadership of the denomination would be highly hypocritical if it attempted to inhibit discussion of these matters for this reason.

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