Sunday, January 27, 2008

In the BBC World Service "Heart and Soul" available today for a week Michael Buerk examines Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s claim that the worldwide Anglican Church is obsessed with human sexuality, rather than with issues of war and injustice and poverty.

Bishop Duncan, Lord Carey, and Archbishop Tutu speak but not actually to each other. Lord Carey respects the right of homosexuals to their relationships but not to have relationships sanctioned or recognised by the Church. Jesus spoke instead of the sacramentality of marriage. Lord Carey knows that the Bible is clearly against practicing homosexuals. One shouldn't mix religion and politics.

Archbishop Tutu, on the other hand, says people who want to separate religion and politics are generally well off. God freed slaves and this is a political act. We need to tackle the real sins of this world: poverty, sin and disease. We need to deal not with personal but structural sins. When are we going to have a fair economic system that reflects the righteousness of God? "God is weeping looking at the atrocities we commit against one another. The Anglican Church is almost obsessed with questions of human sexuality." Archbishop Tutu pleads for the Church to be inclusive but instead, "we have become homophobic and exclusive." He is sad and ashamed. "If God is homophobic, I wouldn't worship that God." Jesus spoke of a shepherd who goes to look for the most troublesome sheep not a lamb.

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