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Andrew Brown: sexuality wars ending, liberals have won

Andrew Brown: sexuality wars ending, liberals have won

Andrew Brown of The Guardian says the Anglican Communion’s sexuality wars are ending and the liberals have won. He writes:

There is a heart-rending interview going around the net with Vaughan Roberts, the rector of St Ebbe’s, a hardline evangelical church in Oxford. He is gay, though he wouldn’t use the term, and celibate. He talks about two things: the difficulty of remaining celibate, and the difficulty for conservative evangelicals of ever admitting to anyone, even to themselves, that they are in fact gay. A further layer of irony and pain is added to the situation because his interviewer, Julian Hardyman, leads a Cambridge Baptist church where his predecessor was chased out of the job for coming out and announcing he had a partner.

What the article makes clear is that, even among conservative evangelicals, it is no longer possible to deal with gay people, and the problems their existence poses, by simple repression.


So, at last, we have an important evangelical figure admitting that conservative evangelicals are repelled by gay people, that homosexuality is not a choice, and that God won’t cure it, even if omnipotence means He could: “A small proportion of people, including Christians, find that they remain exclusively attracted to the same sex as they grow into mature adulthood. God has the power to change their orientation, but he hasn’t promised to and that has not been my experience.”


Conservative evangelicals in England have dreamed or hoped for 20 years that England could be brought back to a Nigerian or Ugandan view of homosexuality. It’s not going to happen, and it’s not going to happen within the Church of England, either. That’s true whoever becomes archbishop. The sexuality wars are coming to an end, and the liberals have won.


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Ann Fontaine

Google celtic mass or eucharist and you will see.

Bill Dilworth

What’s a “Celtic mass”?

John D

Thank-you for that comment, Susan; tears to my eyes.I just left our Sunday evening Celtic mass after a conversation with a new parishioner, new friend, about his anti-retroviral medications. This isn’t about winners and losers. It is about the boundless grace of G-d and the enormous opportunities all sorts of Anglican churches have right on their front steps. Be the salt,y’all, as Mark’s Gospel implores today.

John Donnelly


“The sexuality wars are coming to an end, and the liberals have won.”

Of course I’m delighted in the “coming to an end” part but would prefer to reframe the conclusion “the Gospel has won.”

I would prefer the story to be that the Good News of God in Christ Jesus available to absolutely everybody has won.

And then I would ask: what do we do now … we “liberals” who have “won”? We church that is seeing the light at the end of the sexuality wars tunnel?

Can we — who have spent the last decade (or so) so settled into the House of Fear of Who Will Leave If We Let Everybody In — now pack up our stuff and move into the House of Love With the Banquet Table Set for All God’s Beloved? Can we get proactive about Evangelism — about sharing the Good News we have with those coming toward us rather than being reactive in last-ditch efforts to hold onto those threatening to leave?

I sure hope so. And now I’m heading back to church for the launch of the Fall New Member Class and help lead seventy-some “new members coming toward us” find their way into the work and witness of All Saints Church in Pasadena.

And tonight that feels like victory enough for one day.

Susan Russell

Diocese of Los Angeles

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