Shuck and Jive

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why Bishop Wright is Wrong

It is the same story. It is the same rhetoric. It is the sin of privilege.

It is Bishop N.T. Wright:

They [The Episcopal Church] were formalising the schism they initiated six years ago when they consecrated as bishop a divorced man in an active same-sex relationship, against the Primates’ unanimous statement that this would “tear the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level”.
Translation: You uppity (women, blacks, divorced persons, gays, ____________) are not possibly as righteous as I in the eyes of the Lord. You have only a half-assed baptism while I am a complete ass.

Every church has its right-wing. In order to secure their privilege they accuse those they actively oppress of disturbing the peace.

"You are causing schism. You are causing unrest. How dare you claim equality with us? You are threatening the unity and we will break the relationship if you get justice."

Who is causing "schism" again? Who is breaking away? Who is leaving and trying to take the silver with them?

Only a sick church gives in to those threats. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is still pretty sick I am afraid. Although, there are signs of health on the horizon.

The Episcopal Church is showing itself healthy these days. They are making decisions with dignity and integrity and for the sake of the Gospel.

They are seeing the Bishop Wrights for what they are: beloved of God but wrong.


  1. John,

    Here is an excellent response to Bishop Wright's letter from a priest here in the states.


  2. Thanks Andy,

    That was an excellent response!

  3. I'll never understand people who want to remain firmly entrenched in the past then wonder why the world has passed them by.

  4. I've always considered N.T. Wright to be something of an idiot. This only confirms it.

  5. John,

    As one who doesn't consider Wright an idiot, and although I can't say I agree with him in this case, I’m a little puzzled by this post. Is Wright’s position on homosexuality enough to earn him the "right wing" moniker and to become the poster boy for all who stand in the way of justice in the church (i.e. your comment about “seeing the Bishop Wrights” for what they are)? On this issue, I’m closer to the welcoming and affirming position than to Wright’s position, but come on. Considering Wright’s friendship with Marcus Borg, his strong opposition to the war in Iraq and his outspokenness about relieving Third World debt (to give just three examples), a lot of bona fide right wingers wouldn't claim him (some even consider him liberal!), nor do I think his theology can be so easily caricatured (see, e.g., If you need a right wing whipping boy, even on this issue, is Wright really the best candidate?

    Also, I don’t think this is your intention, but do you see where someone could read your post as saying: “you homophobic morons are not possibly as righteous as I in the eyes of the Lord”? Just wondering . . .

  6. Thanks for the comment, Jody. This post was a comment on the article he wrote. I called him on his heterosexual privilege. It had nothing to do with Marcus Borg, Third World debt, the war in Iraq, his theology, how much he loves his family, or how he treats his dog if he has one.

    The rhetoric he employed that TEC is schismatic and destroying the unity of the church because they acted on behalf of justice for gay and lesbian people is the same rhetoric used by the right wing in my denomination.

    It is the same rhetoric used by the right wing throughout history in its attempts to keep people from obtaining civil and ecclesiastical liberties.

    I am sure people will read whatever they want in my post.