Friday, January 13, 2006

what ecusa's executive committee did yesterday

Absolutely incredible.

+ Approved the Episcopal Church's membership in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The membership had caused some controversy during the last General Convention. In a related resolution (NAC-040), the council asked for a report at its March meeting regarding "membership of or on behalf of the Episcopal Church in external organizations." The National Concerns Committee is considering whether the church needs a more specific policy on membership in such organizations.

Read the whole thing here, i.e. at Episcopal News Service. Christ have mercy upon us.

9 comments:

Garland said...

After this is there anything left salvaging in the ECUSA? Have they completely and utterly abandoned any reasonable claim to apostolicity and moral authority? What do you think of this WB? I know you see yourself as standing in the gap until such time as ECUSA completely disintegrates, but where does one draw the line? The Rome Report said that the good ship ECUSA continues to sink. but it seems to me already sunk and any hopes of "saving" it vanished. At what point does it all become futile?

M F Davidson said...

I would have thought that from a mere political standpoint (i.e. an attempt to be savvy) that the Executive Committee would not have made this resolution just before Sanctity of Life Sunday. Sanctity of Life Sunday, while not recognized by all Episcopal or Anglican parishes, is certainly recognized annually each Sunday closest to January 22nd (i.e., next Sunday) by pro-life Episcopal and Anglican parishes, and by pro-life congregations in most mainline and conservative denominations:

Episcopal: www.noelforlife.org/resources/readarticle.asp?number=214&topic=&display=

Presbyterian: http://www.ppl.org/SOHLS_Home.html

Baptists: http://www.bfl.org/events.htm

Lutherans: http://www.lutheransforlife.org/Life%20Sunday/2006_Life_Sunday.htm

On this issue, the Episcopal Church's Executive Committee is following on the heels of the other mainlines' governing bodies. For instance the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA) have already joined the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (http://www.rcrc.org). RCRC buttress their position by pointing out denominational statements in their favor, at http://www.rcrc.org/pdf/We_affirm.pdf (though this is done selectively). Most if not all the mainline protestant denominations have followed this cultural shift since Roe, allowing at least some room for a “pro-choice” position (if not adopting a rather strong one altogether). See www.spiritrestoration.org/Church/Denominational-stand-on-the-issue-of-abortion.htm.

M F Davidson said...

Official dialogue over abortion in ECUSA (as I have experience it) is almost nil, though of course we hear of “remaining in dialogue”; Liberals on the Executive Committee slowly (quickly?) push ECUSA toward a pro-choice position on abortion while “conservatives” in NOEL and IRD (http://www.ird-renew.org/site/pp.asp?c=fvKVLfMVIsG&b=278604) join across protestant denominations for advocacy of a pro-life position.

Seppuku Kid said...

I'm not sure what the big deal is here. I understand some believers holding the position that human personhood begins at conception, and I understand other believers who believe that personhood occurs sometime later. ECUSA seems to have opted for the latter position, but what's the big deal here? I'm not sure that Christian faith requires one to hold to the belief that human personhood begins when sperm meets egg, and I'm certain that there are more pressing issues in the Church and in the world than this one. Why do so many people allow the hot-button political issues of the day to become the foremost issues in the Church?

Anonymous said...

Seppukid,

Depends on whether you are the zygote and who is your mom. That's the big issue. If your mom had made another choice, you wouldn't be able to pretend confusion. You'd be silent.

Seppuku Kid said...

Anonymous,
An argument from sentimentalism...great...I'm game. As long as we're mourning all those who might have been, what about all those people who are silenced by various means of birth control. So many people who never had a chance! While we're at it, these damned abstinence education programs in schools...preventing so many wonderful people for coming into being. If ensuring that every potential person becomes a person is the goal, then surely all these women in the world of childbearing age who aren't currently pregnant are such a waste of potential.
Please, spare me the sentimentality. There is a legitimate debate as to when I ceased being a potential person and began to be a person. In my mind, your drawing the line at zygote is just as ridiculous as drawing it at a pre-intercourse period. There is no undisputed ontological method of determining when that line is, even within the church. If you would rather ignore this ambiguity and gloss it with hackneyed sentimentalism, that's your business, but it doesn't solve any of the ambiguity.
Grace and Peace,
SK

P. Singer said...

SK,

The development of reason is the only way to adequately determine when life begins.

P.S.

M F Davidson said...

Seppuku Kid,

I think your point has merit in so far as some theological conservatives should have a rather more comprehnsive view of Christian Ethics. I would be interested to know, for example, how many Episcopal parishes that recognize Sanctity of Life Sunday on January 22 will also recognize Homelessness Sunday on January 29?

Seppuku Kid said...

M F Davidson,
I agree that homelessness is an often overlooked issue in many churches (liberal and conservative), but I believe there are even more basic responsibilities that are largely being ignored or at least overshadowed by intramural debates over issues like abortion and homosexuality.
What ever happened to evangelism? I know that the ECUSA is not an "Evangelical" church, but it seems that spreading the gospel should be a pretty high priority on the church radar. What about Christian education? How many people sit in the pews every Sunday with nothing but a meager understanding of theology, Christian ethics, and the history of the Church? It seems that the ECUSA, both liberal and conservative congregations, is woefully inadequate in both these areas, but it spends its time debating politics instead of addressing them.
Grace and peace,
SK