German Ethics Council declares incest a “fundamental right”

From here:

Laws banning incest between brothers and sisters in Germany could be scrapped after a government ethics committee said they were an unacceptable intrusion into the right to sexual self-determination.

“Criminal law is not the appropriate means to preserve a social taboo,” the German Ethics Council said in a statement. “The fundamental right of adult siblings to sexual self-determination is to be weighed more heavily than the abstract idea of protection of the family.”

The problem for the Anglican Church will be this: if the church redefines marriage to include same sex couples, what possible reason could it have to exclude opposite sex siblings in monogamous, committed, faithful relationships?

Dr. Priscilla Turner’s submission to the Anglican Church of Canada’s Commission on the Marriage Canon

I welcome the opportunity to contribute to this discussion. The Lord Jesus Christ taught us that there is no marriage in the heavenly life; but it is my conviction at 76, having lost an exemplary husband to Parkinson’s Disease just shy of the 51-year mark, that there is nothing more significant in this world than marriage, both for those who have marriages and for those who have none.

Discussion in our branch of the Anglican Communion has most unfortunately been characterised by a number of serious misunderstandings, including but not limited to these: That the Holy Scriptures are ambiguous about same-sex physical intimacy; that we may not know what were the convictions and practice of the Lord Jesus; that the phenomenon was different in the ancient world; that the behaviour of those with same-sex leanings is genetically pre-determined; that Christian love requires us to ‘bless’ same-sex ‘unions’; that people of the same sex can consummate sexually; and that all love may legitim­ately find an intimate physical expression. It is important to note that none of these positions is held by serious biblical and theological professionals: for instance, even those very few scholars who hold that the Scriptures are mistaken acknowledge that they are wholly adverse to same-sex practice. For none of these positions has the case ever been made outside advocacy scholarship, for the very sound reason that such a case cannot be made, and the most positive thing that may be said of such views is that they are less than informed. That busy bishops and other leaders unequipped with the tools of the trade have not tested them is venial. What is less excusable is that our Church has not until now asked any of the tiny handful who are so equipped to contribute.

To address your questions:–

  • How do you interpret what scripture says about marriage? It is monogamous, between a man and a woman, and ideally life-long, though the Lord Himself admitted the possibility of pastoral provision for failure, and ‘evened up’ the sexual inequality of His day.
  • How do you understand the theological significance of gender difference in marriage? It is an acted parable of the love-and-response relation between Christ and his Church prefigured in the Old Testament. In it all of us His people are feminine, and His passion and our response are made visible in fruitfulness. Same-sex physical relations do not correspond to this pattern at all. Which is the husband and which is the wife in such relations? How do they lead in any natural way to offspring? How do they show Christ to the world when they are characterised by the first-listed of the ‘Works of the Flesh’ in Gal. 5?
  • Is there a distinction between civil marriage and Christian marriage? Yes. It is to be doubted whether the church ought ever to recognise divorces on as many grounds as the State. Fur­thermore, if the State chooses to institutionalise a relationship which is a nonsense, or a contra­diction in terms, or which has an immoral act at its heart, this cannot be confused with Christian marriage or celebrated in church.
  • The marriage canon describes “the purposes of marriage” as mutual fellowship, support, and com­fort; the procreation (if it may be) and nurture of children; and the creation of a relationship in which sexuality may serve personal fulfilment in a community of faithful love. What is the theological significance of:
    • companionship in marriage? My partner becomes both my closest Christian brother/sister and my nearest neighbour.
    • bearing and raising children? Together we sub-create unique persons to serve God and the world and to live for ever.
    • (the theological significance of) the relationship between marriage and sexuality? Mar­riage is essentially and irreducibly sexual, whatever other enrichments we may have added in Christian civilisation. The idea of husband and wife as best friends, for in­stance, was once very new. Unconsummated marriages have traditionally been capable of annulment, on the grounds that no marriage has been established in the sight of God or man. Same-sex acts may be genital, but they are precisely not sexual, because sex is by definition la petite différence.
  • What is the difference between marriage and the blessing of a relationship? Are you asking about the public ceremony, or something else? In any case Christ’s Church has no authority to ‘bless’ what He does not bless, and such ‘blessings’ are of none effect. It never has been a sensible let alone godly way of running a diocese or a denomination to have something ‘blessed’ in some places which is believed to be sinful in others.
  • How do you understand the sacramentality of marriage? As we always have, the outward and visible sign is sexual intercourse, which only opposite-sex people can have, married love is the inward and spiritual grace created and nourished thereby. How can those be married who can­not consummate sexually?

I have arranged for you to receive by the end of the month in three shipments:–

8 copies of Holy Homosex?: This & That Priscilla D.M. Turner [one copy for each member, best read back end first for those without ancient languages, i.e. starting with my Brief to the Lambeth Commiss­ion, and paying careful attention to my Dialogue with Hugh]

The Bible And Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics Robert A. Gagnon [one copy to be passed around to all who have not read it]

O Love How Deep: A Tale of Three Souls Diana Maryon [one copy to be passed around to all who have not read it]

The Septuagint Version of Chapters 1-39 of the Book of Ezekiel: The Language, the Translation Techn­ique and the Bearing on the Hebrew Text Priscilla D.M. Turner [My Oxford doctoral dissertation, one copy provided for those with biblical languages and long immersion in the study of the ancient world]

These works should be considered part of my brief. Many people will be watching to see the content re­flected in your conclusions.

I will gladly travel at my own expense to discuss any of these matters with the Committee face-to-face.

Yours most sincerely,

Priscilla Turner

DR. P.D.M. TURNER

Diocese of Niagara starts demolishing church, forgets to tell anyone

St._PaulsFrom here:

Some Port Robinson residents are hoping they’ll be able to save historic St. Paul’s Anglican Church, but the clock is ticking with the 170-year-old icon slated for demolition.

Some residents came to city council on Sept. 16, saying they were stunned to learn the white church, surrounded by an old cemetery, was scheduled to be knocked down.

“Most of us didn’t even know until it started to be dismantled,” said resident Kyrsten McDonald. “We’re wondering what we (can) do and how we can stop this.

“This is one of our last historical buildings that’s in great condition, and it’s being torn down.”

[….]

“It was never the desire of the Diocese to take down St. Paul’s as it has played a part in the history of the Diocese,” he said. “However, as a business decision, it was felt that we were left with no other choice.
“If the community had actually supported this parish over these many years, perhaps we would not have had to come to this unfortunate decision.”

As we can see, the problem lies with the community for not supporting the church: the diocese was forced into a Prophetic Social Justice Making ……. business decision. Perhaps the church would have garnered more support over the years if there had been more Gospel preached and less “more tea vicar? social club cliquishness punctuated by spasms of leftist propaganda.

The Anglican Church of Canada, social services agency

The Anglican Church of Canada, having spent many decades trying to persuade us that man’s yearning for transcendence can be satisfied by installing a solar panel and buying a Prius, is continuing to transform itself into a social services agency by converting its buildings into apartments. The latest effort hails from Winnipeg where St. Matthew’s is, so we are told, excited by the fact that it worships in a small corner of the former church building. This must be what revival means in the ACoC.

Fittingly, Fred Hiltz was installed as Primate at St. Matthew’s; clearly he has taken St. Matthew’s decline to 80 parishioners as inspiration for the direction of the entire denomination.

From here:

The congregation at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church is excited to worship in what is only a small corner of the grand brick edifice that once was the largest Anglican church building in Winnipeg.

That’s because the remainder of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church has been converted into 25 low-income apartments, a $7.3-million project under construction for nearly three years.

For recalcitrant Anglicans who remain unmoved by these stirring tales of the Soviet style conversion of churches into apartments, there is this magnificent Hiltzian denunciation of all things not green. An unnamed source high in the Chinese Politburo – they are keen observers of ACoC policies – told me, on the condition of remaining anonymous, that the Standing Committee is so moved by this panegyric to renewing the face of the earth (heaven and hell having long ago been extirpated from the ACoC) that they immediately plan to stop building smog spewing coal fired power plants – currently expanding at the rate of two per week.

Sydney

A few photos from Sydney. There are many more that will have to wait since my Aussie Internet connection seems to be running on wet string and tin cans.

The view of Sydney harbour from our friends’ apartment where we stayed for a while:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe obligatory opera house shots:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Bondi Beach:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome colour from the Botanic Gardens:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAResting in the Botanic Gardens:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASt, Mary’s Cathedral:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABuskers:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPeople walking across the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge. No, I didn’t try it:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

An Anglican church with a resident imam

From here:

Anglican ImamCALGARY – A unique Imam in Residence program is being launched at St. Martin’s Anglican Church in October in conjunction with the Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Assembly.

“This type of program does help us understand each others’ beliefs and traditions. There’s more misunderstanding and misinformation (out there),” says Imam Syed Soharwardy, with the Muslims Against Terrorism group and with the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, who is the Imam in Residence for the program.

“We are bringing congregations together. It’s not just the imam and pastor talking. It is the grassroots congregation coming together to have food together, to be together. It’s a very good thing that even children participate, families participate, women participate. It removes the barriers between people.”

The Imam in Residence program takes place October 17-19.

[.....]

“It was just a really enriching experience to see what we had in common and to learn things about each other – to have a chance for us in a very intentional setting to sit down and really learn about other faiths,” says Brubaker Garrison.

The program includes:

Friday, October 17th, 1:15 p.m. – Services at Genesis Centre of Community Wellness (gymnasium) with conversation afterward.
Saturday, October 18th, 10:00 a.m. – “Qur’an and Its Different Interpretations” & 1:00 p.m. – “Islamic Sharia and Muslims in the Western World: Issues, Limitations, and Enforcement” at Knox Presbyterian Church
Sunday, October 19th, 10:00 a.m. – Worship at St. Martin’s with the sermon offer by Imam Soharwardy

It’s hard to overlook the fact that the “learning” is all one-sided: Rev. Brubaker Garrison and her congregation seem to be hearing a lot about the Koran and Sharia law but the imam isn’t being told much at all about Jesus, his divinity, atoning death upon the cross, resurrection and the fact that he is the only way to God the Father. If Brubaker Garrison actually believed that herself, she would probably be less eager to encourage her congregation to absorb the finer points of Sharia law.

Syed Soharwardy, whose sensibilities were outraged by the Western Standard ‘s publishing of the  Mohammed cartoons, filed a human rights complaint against Ezra Levant. As a result, Ezra, unlike Rev. Brubaker Garrison, doesn’t get along too well with the imam:

Islam is not a religion of peace

Given current events, this is not a particularly startling assertion. What is somewhat surprising, is that a Muslim is making it. Tarek Fatah, a Muslim, reckons that the antics of ISIS are inherent to the teaching and tradition of Islam and a continuation of the received understanding of the activities of its founder.

From here:

We Muslims need to acknowledge the beheadings by ISIS are part of Islamic tradition, text and history, not some fringe interpretation of our faith.

None other than the grandson of Prophet Mohammed was slaughtered and his head paraded through the streets of Damascus on a spike.

The ISIS jihadis are doing exactly what we Muslims are taught our Prophet did during warfare.

Here is a quote from the voluminous biography of the Prophet of Islam, Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq, popularly known as the Sira:

“Then they (Jews) surrendered and the apostle (Prophet Mohammed) confined them in Medina. Then the apostle went out to the market and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them (Jews) and struck off their heads in those trenches … There were 600 or 700 in all.”

In my book, The Jew is Not My Enemy, I disputed this account of mass murder, but was assailed for having challenged what many, if not all Muslims, consider absolute truth.

Islam is not a religion of peace.