Jennifer Green, The Ottawa Citizen

To Ottawa Diocesan Listserv 30 May 2007

Hi --

Anybody out there feeling like the ground is shifting beneath their feet? In these days before the synod, the Citizen wants to hear from ordinary churchgoers on the issue of same-sex marriage -- those in favour, those not, and those not so sure -- about how this is affecting your faith life and your community life in the church.

At this point, we'd just like to hear from you. Nothing would go in the paper without your explicit permission.

I hope you will all consider this or pass it along to someone else who might be interested in sharing their faith journey as it relates to this issue.


My reply:

There are no "ordinary churchgoers" reading the diocesan listserv! It's too painful. You didn't say to whom we should send our observations. Direct to you? Here goes with an initial comment.

The readers and writers on this group comprize
Group 1: those passionately determined to see gay relationships accepted in every way, legally and in the sight of the Church, as valid as straight relationships, and this is more important to them than anything that would appear to challenge such relations written in the Bible. This group contains both gays and straight people. They feel that the Bible should be interpreted in the interests of contemporary society, and that anything in the Bible that appears to suggest that homosexuality is not of God has been wrongly interpreted by millions of Christians in the past.

Group 2: - believes that homosexual acts, being condemned in the Bible, cannot be justified to help people feel good about themselves or their friends, any more than the acts of pedophiles, or bestiality could be (this is not to equate sodomy with those other practices). Some of this group, such as I, cannot justify homosexuality because the shape of our bodies clearly indicates a design by God with heterosexual relations in mind. I believe that is the reason the Bible says what it says, coupled with the health problems, both physical and mental associated with homosexuality. (There are many verses in the Bible related to good health and nutrition). People in this group do not dislike or condemn gays but we have a major problem with them marrying or having their unions blessed by the church. We feel that the Bible and Jesus Christ are the same yesterday, today and forever, and we do not modify our beliefs to fit in with societal changes. At least 70% of Anglicans world-wide would side with group 2.

Group 3: (about 50%) write in on other matters of general Anglican interest.

You may find my same-sex blessings site (with a subsection on same-sex marriage) is of help in your research. See link.

Tony Copple
President, Anglican Essentials Ottawa
Skype: tonycopple

The promised article appeared on 2 June 07: see link

The Bishop of Ottawa's executive secretary posted a message on the Listserv on 31 May beginning:
Dear Friends: As of Friday, June 8, the Episcopal Office will not be subscribing to the diocesan list. With some of the discussions now being carried out, it has become a site that is more unpleasant than is necessary and much too time consuming.

This announcement was commented on in Jennifer Green's article.

On 4 June the Episcopal office reconsidered this decision following a plethora of postings mainly against this "pull out."