Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bloomsday (and after) thoughts

In my Blogger profile, I list James Joyce's Ulysses as one of my favorite books. It truly is one of my favorites, although it's been years since I've seriously looked at it. Among other things, Ulysses is a book about the author's home town. My own hometown is Binghamton, New York -- at least that's where I was born and where I spent the majority of my young life before I headed off to college when I was 18. Even though I have lived in New York City for more than 50 years, Binghamton is still my home town and nearby Heart Lake, Pennsylvania is my summer home place -- not quite a town.

Binghamton is the home -- not the home town -- of Matt Kennedy, a former Episcopal priest who led his parish out the Episcopal Church (TEC) and who blogs at Stand Firm. Just as the Rev. Mr. Kennedy seems to be obsessed with gay sex and with what he sees as the failings of the Episcopal Church, I am somewhat, although to a much lesser degree, obsessed with the doings and writings of Mr. Kennedy (I mean no disrespect -- I am simply being low church.) The current location of the Church of the Good Shepherd is under 30 miles from our cottage at Heart Lake and that no doubt plays a role in my interest in their doings. Because of my mini-obsession I sometimes drop in on the Blog of the Good Shepherd. Today I found this gem:
Many have been asking about how to become a member of Good Shepherd. I'll be putting together a packet and a class in the next week or so. So stay tuned for information on that. The membership regulations in the Episcopal Church are very low...something like "Are you breathing and are you in the pew?" Yes. "You are a member of our church". We hope to do a little better than that now that God has given us this new start.
That quote includes a gratuitous and unsupported slur.

Mr. Kenndedy is a regular blogger at Stand Firm. Here's a recent quote on a thread suggesting that the Episcopal Church might soon endorse bestiality:

Jackie did not “attribute” this particular “vile thing” to TEC. She simply wrote: “New Frontier for TEC” and concluded with a question mark—as in: could this be the next “new thing”

Personally, I do not at all see such things as future impossibilities for the “church” that embraces already one form of sexual perversion and whose bishops participate without censure in “Pride” parades which specialize “vile things” and extreme lewdness

Let's see, he's saying that the Episcopal Church is not a real church, rather it is some kind of a false "church," it embraces a form of sexual perversion (by which he means same-sex sexual behavior,) and its bishops participate in parades which "specialize" in "vile things" and "extreme lewdness."
  • Putting the word church in quotes is a form of innuendo that is devoid of content.
  • The assertion that TEC embraces a form of sexual perversion is wrong. TEC's limited acceptance of LGBT people is in no sense an "embracing" of any kind of sexual behavior. There is a genuine debate going on in TEC (as in the Anglican Communion as a whole and in othe denominations) about same-sex sexual relationships. Use of the word perversion adds heat, but not light, to the discussion.
  • The complaint about bishops participating in Pride parades at which other people engage in "vile things" and "extreme lewdness" seems to suggest that the bishops, whoever they are, are endorsing the "vile things" and "extreme lewdness." That's remarkably close to the complaint that Jesus consorted with tax collectors and sinners.
In the same thread, Keith Töpfer, another commenter, made this remark:
The last time I checked, bestiality was just as much a “sexual orientation” as is heterosexuality, homosexuality, pædophilia, necrophilia (and the list, in all probability, goes on a considerable distance from those.)
This statement is either intellectually dishonest or simply stupid. "Sexual orientation" is a technical term with a specific meaning, not just a faddish catch-all term to descirbie any and all sexual behaiors. Specifically, it refers "to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes" and "to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions." Mr. Töpfer, if indeed he checked anywhere at all, did not check any reputable source, or he would have found that while there are indeed advocates for treating pædophilia and zoophilia (bestiality) as "sexual orientations," there is no reason to think these efforts will go anywhere.

I didn't notice Mr. Kennedy disassociating himslef from Mr. Töpfer's foolishness, so, using his kind of logic, I guess I can impute those remarks to him..


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