Thursday, March 22, 2007

Love the sinner, hate the sin

If one publicly opposes homosexual acts one is inevitably accused of hating homosexuals. In response to such accusations elsewhere I give this long quote from an Anglican source which pretty well states my own position. One opposes acts not orientation.Quoptes are also from RCC sources. My catholicity is showing.

"What has the Christian church said?
Some .... might argue that something like 1998 Lambeth Resolution I.10 rules out the Church's support for anti-homosexual civil legislation a priori:

We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.

and

...while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, [this Conference] calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals...

This resolution coheres with something like The Episcopal Church's 1976 General Convention resolution A069 that stated that

Homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral care of the Church.

It also can be said to fit with the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, for example that homosexual persons

must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided;[8]

and that with homosexual persons, as with others,

the intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.[9]

The Anglican Primates at Dromantine (2005) themselves said something in this vein, when they asserted that:

the victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us.

But do convictions like this necessarily imply that homosexual activity or the promotion of gay sex ought to be protected by the civil law, and that churches should support such protective legislation? Obviously not. The Roman Catholic church's concurrent opposition to such legislation attests:

The proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase.[10]"Human Rights, Homosexuality and the Anglican Communion: Reflections in Light of Nigeria
by Ephraim Radner and Andrew Goddard http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/news/2006/20061121radner.cfm?doc=167

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