Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Robert Gagnon responds to Canadian case for same-sex blessings

A paper by John Thorp (professor of philosophy at the University of Western Ontario) was sent to all the delegates to the 2007 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada just a few weeks before the Synod meeting pushing the case for blessing homosexual unions (“Making the Case: The Blessing of Same Unions in the Anglican Church of Canada”).

I have just completed a full response: “Case Not Made: A Response to Prof. John Thorp’s ‘Making the Case.’” Circulate and post as widely as you wish—especially if you know some way to get it to the members/delegates of the General Synod. Download here.

1 comment:

Blair said...

Hello John and all,

you may not be surprised to see me offering comment here... but for the moment I would just like to note the following. Dr Gagnon says:

"The two-sexes prerequisite is no little “detail” in Scripture but a core value in sexual ethics. The universal witness of Scripture to a male-female prerequisite for valid sexual unions—the flip side of which is the witness of Scripture against every form of homosexual practice—is no little “detail.” It is a core value among Scripture’s sexual ethics. It is a value held:

pervasively, that is, within each Testament and across Testaments;

absolutely, that is, without exception;

strongly, that is, as or more offensive than adultery and the worst forms of consensual adult incest;

counterculturally, that is, in opposition to broader cultural trends.

"As such, retaining the Bible’s position on this matter renders the church faithful, not frozen. Violating this foundational stance is not “dynamic,” as Thorp claims, but profoundly disobedient."

I'd simply like to point out that the only same-sex sexual act prohibited in Leviticus is anal sex between men. There is no prohibition (or mention of course) of any sexual act between women. Indeed, given that it is to a degree a moot point what Romans 1:26 refers to ("their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural" has not always been read as referring to lesbianism and has been read as meaning women having anal sex with men) it could be said that the only same-sex sexual act that the Bible as a whole unambiguously prohibits, is anal sex between men. In this light I don't see how Dr Gagnon can speak of "the witness of Scripture against every form of homosexual practice" - not every form of homosexual practice is in Scripture. Moreover, the fact that Hebrew Scripture does not mention any sexual act between women, puts a question mark against the first two of Dr Gagnon's bullet points. If the "two-sexes prerequisite" is so pervasive a value - or put another way, if it's the sameness of sex that's the problem - why does Leviticus (and 1 Corinthians 6 for that matter?) not prohibit sexual acts between women?

Just a 'reasonable doubt' or two...

in friendship, Blair