Thursday, August 18, 2022

Anglican church splits: conservatives form Australian breakaway

Anglican conservatives have set up a breakaway church
The trigger was deep divisions over blessing same-sex marriage
The new church will lure people who are unhappy with their bishop’s position

It will be led by former Sydney archbishop Glenn Davies
Critics have described it as “fundamentalism writ large”
Australia’s Anglican church has split, and conservatives who oppose same-sex marriage have launched a breakaway movement led by former Sydney archbishop Glenn Davies aiming to lure Anglicans who are unhappy with progressive bishops.

The Diocese of the Southern Cross was formally launched in Canberra on Sunday. The first service was led by a rebel minister who resigned from the liberal Brisbane Archdiocese because he “cannot go along with same-sex blessings”.

Davies, who finished his term as Sydney archbishop last year, said many Anglicans felt the Australian church had strayed from the teachings of the Bible, particularly on same-sex marriage. At present, they must move to another diocese if they disagree with their bishop.

But they can join the new church from anywhere - it will cover the whole country - and Davies expected many will do so. He is already speaking to ministers and lay people who are preparing to defect, but will not name them.

“I think you’ll see the Diocese of the Southern Cross will have a significant impact,” he said. “It will send shivers down the spines of some bishops in the Anglican Church of Australia.”

There have been many small, localised breakaway churches since the Diocese of Australia was first established in the 1830s, but never anything of such scope or involving such senior, consecrated members of the established church.

Women: Conservative Anglicans believe the bible gives men the role of ‘elders’, so they are the only ones who can be ordained as a presbyter, or minister. Progressive dioceses allow women’s ordination as ministers.

Same-sex relationships: Some dioceses, such a Perth and Brisbane, are sympathetic to same-sex unions. Conservatives, such as Sydney, say the bible teaches that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

Its social and theological conservatism - especially that marriage is only between a man and a woman - aligns with the views held by Sydney Anglicans, who are often described as the most theologically and socially conservative in the English-speaking world.

But other dioceses, such as Brisbane, Gippsland and Perth, hold different views. They ordain women and are open to blessing same-sex marriages. Most defections to the Diocese of the Southern Cross are likely to come from dioceses with progressive bishops.

The issue of same-sex marriage has led to similar splits in North America, Brazil and New Zealand.

‘Fundamentally awry’: bishops block move to reject same-sex marriage

The new church was registered with the charities commission in October. It will not be “in communion” with the archbishop of Canterbury, but will instead be aligned with the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), a group of conservative churches dominated by those from Africa.

Davies said the paperwork for the church was done ahead of the split, and the decision to proceed was made after a vote at the national Anglican synod (a church parliament) in May when a majority of bishops vetoed Sydney’s motion affirming that marriage was between a man and a woman.

The motion had had been supported by most of the lay and clergy representatives, and many argued the division showed that the bishops were out of touch with grassroots Anglicans.

“For those who cannot live under the liberal regime of a bishop, they can come and be thoroughly Anglican under a bishop,” said Davies, who will be commissioned as head of the breakaway church in Canberra on Thursday.

Matthew Anstey, a progressive Anglican theology academic from South Australia who argued in favour of blessing same-sex marriage at the synod, described the breakaway church as corrosive.

“They’re basically saying, ‘maybe your bishop is not a true Christian, you shouldn’t trust him or her, we’ve got the truth, we’re right’,” he said.

“They’re strongly implying that a lot of the rest of us aren’t even Christians. That’s what we find offensive.

“This is fundamentalism writ large. This is a split. How big it becomes, what shape it takes, how many join, we don’t know.”

In America, the division led to years of legal fights over church assets, which include schools and historic churches. The new church has no claim to existing assets as they are legally owned by individual dioceses within Anglican Church of Australia.

However, there may be tensions over property if there is a push from entire parishes to join the new church. Anstey believes both sides will try to avoid protracted legal battles. “This action may well be a catalyst for these kinds of conversations,” he said.

The new church is backed by Sydney Archdiocese and the Bishop of Tasmania, Richard Condie.

“We are at an important moment in the history of the Anglican Church in Australia,” Condie said at the launch on Sunday. “You know as well as I do that there is an emergency.”


Progressive Anglicans ‘devastated’ by schism over same-sex marriage

They are talking rubbish. The schism is about much more than sexual deviance. It is about loyalty to the basic first century revelation about Christ and his teachings as recorded in the Bible. You either believe in the Resurrection as recorded in the Bible or you do not. If you reject the Bible teachings on abhorrent sexuality, how can you be sure of the Resurrection?

The Bible is the source of information about the Resurrection. To question its teachings makes you a non-Christian. Sadly, the Anglican church has for long harboured snakes in its bosom -- pretend-Christians who claim to accept Christian revelation but who are in reality skeptical about them.

The Bible as the foundation of the Christian message is the issue behind the schism, not something as incidental as the sex-life of the clergy.

Progressive Anglicans say they are “devastated” by a historic split in their church triggered by intractable divisions over same-sex marriage, and question whether a breakaway group can still consider itself Anglican.

Peter Stuart, the Bishop of Newcastle, apologised to the LGBTQI community. “I am sorry for the pain that you endure too often when Anglicans speak,” he said. North Queensland Bishop Keith Joseph described the split as an “error”.

Clarence Bester, the Bishop of Wangaratta, said it was “a sadness that we discriminate against people and we use scripture as justification”.

The Reverend Elizabeth Smith, a priest in Kalgoorlie, said she was “devastated by the launching of a breakaway new church that calls itself Anglican but is a world away from most Australian Anglicans”, and backed her female bishop, Kay Goldsworthy, who attracted criticism for ordaining a male deacon living in a same-sex marriage.

The Herald and The Age revealed on Wednesday that Anglican conservatives, led by former Sydney archbishop Glenn Davies, had launched a new church, which they described as a “lifeboat” for religiously orthodox people who disagreed with their more liberal bishops.

Conservatives have declared the issue of same-sex marriage a “line in the sand” and are concerned that progressives within the church have put modern social justice considerations above the Bible’s “unchanging truth” that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The issue has torn apart churches around the world. It made headlines in Australia in 2019 when the Victorian diocese of Wangaratta voted to bless same-sex civil unions, beginning with that of retired Wangaratta vicar-general John Davis and his partner of more than 20 years, Rob Whalley, also a former priest.

But the ceremony was delayed when conservatives - especially those in Sydney - vocally objected. The issue went to a church court, which endorsed the original decision. The couple’s ceremony went ahead in November 2020.

“The roof hasn’t fallen in,” Davis told the Herald and The Age. “I think [same-sex love] is a second-order issue that is being made a first-order issue and I think that’s deeply unnecessary. This isn’t really about principles, it’s about power.”

Dorothy Lee, an Anglican theologian and priest, described it as a sad day for the church. “I think [the decision to launch a breakaway movement] is aggressive, and arrogant and absolutist,” she said.

“I think it’s tragic when churches split, and fail to hold together in unity despite the many things they have in common.”

Some also questioned whether the new church, the Diocese of the Southern Cross - which describes itself as a “separate and parallel” Anglican diocese - could legitimately call itself Anglican.

John Davis also wrote a doctoral thesis on the Anglican Church of Australia’s constitution and said every bishop or priest of the Anglican Church of Australia had to swear an oath to comply with the constitution.

“You can’t straddle two different opposing institutions and get away with it,” he said. “You can’t do that and do what this [new church] is doing” In an opinion piece for this masthead, Anglican scholar Matthew Anstey said, “I suspect lawyers will be called upon for advice.”

Joseph said there was no trademark on the word Anglican, but the new group, and its global affiliate GAFCON, went “beyond classical Anglicanism”.

However, Tasmanian Bishop Richard Condie - who supports the new church - said it was simply providing a way for Anglicans whose views contrasted with those of their bishop to find like-minded spiritual leadership.

Similar breakaway movements had happened in North America and New Zealand. “That doesn’t mean that everybody who remains is not a Bible person,” he said. “Even in the most revisionist of diocese in Australia, they love the Bible and they want to live by it.

“But for some, receiving the ministry of [their] bishop is difficult,” Condie said.

“There’s no sense of triumph. There’s a sombre air of sadness about what’s happened.”

Condie said the new church was Anglican because it believed Anglican doctrine. “I don’t think there’s any issue of legality to be considered,” he said. “I think it is more confessional, it’s more about what we believe.”

The bishop of the new church, Glenn Davies, said the Diocese of the Southern Cross had not received, “nor are we likely to receive”, any inquires from Melbourne for affiliation.


The flag as a rejection of social divisiveness

Self-loathing Greens should learn from India’s Muslims

Greens leader Adam Bandt disrespects the Australian flag as a hurtful symbol of racism. Black Power-saluting Greens Senator ‘I sovereign’ Lidia Thorpe disrespects the ‘colonising’ Queen as a coloniser. She betrayed the depth of her incoherence and ignorance. Queen Elizabeth II has probably presided over the decolonisation of more countries from her empire than any other monarch in history and then welcomed them all into the Commonwealth as sovereign states. The perpetually outraged Bandt and Thorpe – frequently wrong yet seldom troubled by self-doubt amid adolescent antics – should put plaques on their desks engraved with the homily: Better to remain silent and risk being thought a fool, than talk and remove all doubt.

Flags are the most prominent symbols of nations. Soldiers in particular take special pride in them and are literally prepared to die for everything they symbolise. Just think of Joe Rosenthal’s iconic second world war photo ‘Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima’. In 1982, the French contingent of the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon told the invading Israeli forces it would fight to hold its lines. The Israeli commander refused to believe the French colonel, as the latter had neither the men, arms nor mandate to fight the fully mobilised Israeli force. To prove his intent, the Frenchman ordered his men to lay down the French tricolour across the road. The Israelis paid him the courtesy of driving around the flag rather than over it.

The Bandt-Thorpe theatre of gestures demonstrates contempt for ‘Australia’s foremost national symbol’ that ‘has become an expression of Australian identity and pride’ (PM&C). Channelling Trump’s advice to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Westerners forever trashing their country should live for a spell in a desperately poor country where life is Hobbesian – nasty, brutish and short – before returning with a better appreciation of the goodness of their home country.

India is the world’s biggest democracy. Just the number of India’s Muslim voters exceeds the total number of voters in all Western countries bar the US. Since becoming PM in 2014 and especially after re-election with increased majority in 2019, Narendra Modi has overseen the rise of Hindu fundamentalist activism and the accompanying relegation of 200 million Muslims to de facto second-class citizens through legal manoeuvres, administrative actions and street thugs. The response of Muslims to this attempted marginalisation and silencing of their community has been most revelatory. I was last in India in February–March 2020 before world borders closed in the great lockdown. From mid-December 2019 to near the end of March 2020, Delhi was gripped by the Shaheen Bagh protest, named after the suburb that was its site, led mainly but not exclusively by Muslim women.

In common with nationalists everywhere, Modi’s BJP projects itself as the party of muscular nationalism and ostentatiously adopts the outward symbols of national pride. It came as a rude shock therefore when students, women and other protestors across India, particularly Muslims, followed the lead from Shaheen Bagh to appropriate the main nationalist symbols with spontaneity and gaiety to celebrate their core Indianness. The national tricolour was adopted as the symbol of the protest, the national anthem became its song, and the preamble to the constitution the vocabulary. On Republic Day – 26 January, another echo of Australia! – which marks the formal adoption of the constitution in 1950, students from Jamia Millia, a prominent Islamic university in Delhi, read the preamble to the constitution aloud in public spaces before raising the tricolour and singing the national anthem. The preamble proclaims liberty, equality, justice and fraternity for all Indians and respect for all faiths in Hindi, English and Urdu (the language of India’s Muslims).

In the process the women and youth of India articulated a counter-narrative of patriotism and reset the terms of engagement between citizens, the government and the constitution. This is all the more striking for diverging from the trend to identitarian politics in contemporary Western democratic societies. The BJP’s slogan of ‘Akhand Bharat’ (indivisible India) has an external reference point: India’s territorial integrity is sacrosanct and no foreign power will be allowed to break it apart. The protestors ‘domesticated’ the slogan: India’s ruling party will be prevented from threatening national integration by labelling and compartmentalising Indians into identity groups divided by religion and caste.

The country’s unity thus becomes a sacred obligation entrusted by the constitution to every citizen. The hijab-clad and tricolour-draped young Muslim women challenged Modi’s Hindu supremacist narrative directly by instrumentalising the constitution for framing their engagement with democratic politics. Furthermore, and just as important, they articulated their demands and asserted their rights as Indians, without sacrificing their Muslim identity. By directing their demands at the elected government, they expanded the conception of liberal democracy, rescuing it from the majoritarian trap in which the Modi government had imprisoned it.

In other words, democracy, citizenship, constitutional governance and minority rights were forged into one powerful national identity. They emphatically and visually rejected BJP efforts to downsize their destiny as India’s Muslims, instead reimagining the idea of a liberal, pluralistic, tolerant, inclusive India embodied in the constitution.

A less hypocritical Bandt would uproot himself from Australia and return to the country of his ancestors. A less hypocritical Thorpe would not have sought election to parliament and would resign to take up the politics of street protest. I’m not holding my breath. Instead, perhaps Bandt could lead a Greens delegation to India to learn from its Muslims the dangers of identitarian politics and divisive rhetoric and the value of inclusive citizenship. It might also help them to register the reality that a sizable chunk of immigrants are excluded from their imagination and agenda that conceptualises Australia in binary ethnic categories of Europeans and Aborigines. India will also surely help them to appreciate why energy policy requires hard trade-offs, not soft slogans.


Australia is ruled by a political consensus

An obvious example is the way all parties accept the climate scare. The parties differ only in how big the precautions against it should be

Australia is being run by a political quad who, despite appearances of difference, believe the same things.

From New South Wales Liberal Deputy Leader Matt Kean all the way through the political swamp to Greens Leader Adam Bandt, only minor differences separate their ideology.

Whether it is Teal Zali Steggall or Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, they are on a group-hugging, Kumbaya-singing unity ticket.

Don’t believe the faux stoushes over staffing levels in Parliamentary offices – that is simply squabbling between siblings over who does the dishes.

This Red/Teal/Blue/Green colour-wheel-quad wants to shut down coal mines, but not fringe ideological movements inside our schools.

It doesn’t matter that the Great Barrier Reef is fine and that our kids are not.

It doesn’t matter that in Europe, where reality is biting, coal mines are opening and there is a push-back against activism in education.

Processing evidence is not their thing.

For our quad, climate activism and Critical Race Theory matter, not critical thinking.

Their policies are simultaneously cruelling the economy and cruel to children.

This is a political class that needs media advisers to ensure the mainstream media can be spoon-fed like a publicity arm for quad ideas.

It’s a media arm led by the ABC, cashed up with $1.3 billion a year from taxpayers.

Free speech is out.

Ideas are enforced through Cancel Culture.

Anti-discrimination laws are weaponised to protect the hurt feelings of the regime.

Don’t expect the quad to move on 18C [in the racial discrimination act of 1975] any time soon.

Willingly or reluctantly, members of the public are swallowing the propaganda relentlessly beamed into their homes and smartphones.

This is particularly the case in our rich inner-city suburbs where affluence has dulled senses and insulated hip pockets from reality.

Battlers in the burbs rarely hear alternative views unless they are watching Senators Matt Canavan, Claire Chandler, Alex Antic, or conservative minor party players howling at the moon on Sky After Dark.

In the western suburbs, the public are more likely to have a Kayo subscription than Sky News Australia.

If only everyone watched Sky from 5pm to 10pm weeknights or from 9am to 11am Sundays. The nation’s problems would be solved.

But, let’s face it, Sky doesn’t move the dial at election times and the quad knows it.

Despite the valiant efforts of the truth tellers on Sky, at The Spectator Australia, Advance, the ACL, the IPA, and CIS – the message is not yet cutting through.

Instead of tacking away from its leftward list under Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, the federal Liberals are continuing to be blown along by the wind of Woke.

So successful has the Left been, traditional Liberal constituencies in the big end of town and the leafy inner suburbs are on board.

Somewhere along the way, these former blue-ribbon electorates merged with the ideology of universities and the education system, both of which have been busy brainwashing a generation.

It appears that new Liberal Leader Peter Dutton, despite his sometimes conservative instincts, is spooked by this institutional realignment.

Early signs are not good. The courageous and transformational leadership our nation needs is not going to come from the Coalition any time soon.

Who wants to risk being labelled a denier, bigot, or transphobe by standing up to the media, the academy, or big tech?

Adam Bandt is the moral force behind the quad and is leading our nation on the road to ruin.

Sadly, it is hard to see a way out of quad groupthink apart from a catastrophe causing us to come to our senses.

Rampant inflation, an unstable electricity grid, and gender-confused kids point to a looming economic and social crisis.

US statecraft doyen Henry Kissinger, despite being in his late 90s, has just penned a book on political leaders of the second half of the 20th century.

Common to most of the six he profiles is leadership in the aftermath of catastrophe.

In the case of post-war German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, it was leading a battered people out of their self-inflicted catastrophe.

An extreme example for sure, but Australia’s problems are not mild, and they are all politician-induced.

Even the Chinese Communist Party menace was made worse by our acceptance of Confucius Institutes on campuses and complacency and mismanagement of defence.

Quoting historian Andrew Roberts, Kissinger reminds us that leadership is ‘as capable of leading mankind to the abyss as to the sunlit uplands. It is a protean force of terrifying power’.

We should be very afraid of the quad.

Australian politics gives the appearance of choice. But rather than being spoiled for it, we are offered a fake and dangerous choice.


Worrisome legal move to erase identity of "women" in favour of "gender"

The Herald Sun is reporting that the women in the Dame Phyllis Frost Correctional Centre in Victoria are objecting to what they call an inmate with a ‘working’ penis and a history of violent sexual assault against a woman and a girl.

The phrasing they are not allowed to use here is ‘man’, ‘rapist’, and ‘paedophile’.

I am feeling this particularly as the Queensland government are, as we speak, pushing legislation that will erase female as a sex classification, most likely leading to violence against women and the silencing of the most marginal of female voices.

The proposed change to the Births Deaths and Marriage Registration Act 2003 will bring Queensland in line with Victoria in allowing people to change their legal sex for all purposes with a simple declaration. This, a common move from left-wing governments, is referred to colloquially as ‘self ID’.

Self ID does not allow an alignment of gender identity with documents as it is being reported, it allows any man, for any reason, to change his legal sex to female and vice versa. It is the legal redefinition of sex in law.

Under a regime with both self ID and gender identity protections, ‘woman’ is a category containing two classes of females distinguished by the type of declaration that was made to create her. If a doctor made the female declaration over a person at birth, that female can access female spaces in the normal way. Gender activists call this type of woman AFAB (Assigned Female at Birth).

If a female declaration is made by a male person over themselves, that person will get access to female spaces and words with the additional protections in ‘gender identity’, this male ‘woman’ is referred to as AMAB (Assigned Male at Birth).

Women are being gaslit about their rights here. We are being told that ‘rights are not a pie’; meaning that giving rights ‘women’ who were AMAB will not take away from women. The language that is being presented to women is that of ‘inclusion’. The better analogy for rights between ‘sex’ and ‘gender identity’ is a poker game where ‘gender identity’ is a wild card in a stacked deck with no aces.

Even if sex is a protected characteristic in law, males can now access the sex of female, while women can never access the protected ‘gender identity’ while accepting their sex as female. Only males can have this additional legal protection in the realm of women’s rights, making them the more protected and powerful ‘woman’, a first class of women, if you will.

Women may hold a ‘four of a kind’, a very respectable hand, but it is only ever males who can hold a ‘royal flush’ in the women’s rights game of spaces, protections, and words.

In a situation of conflict, almost always involving the most vulnerable of women, the wild card always falls in favour of self-declared first class AMAB ‘women’. Second class women who were arbitrarily declared female at birth are being told they must make accommodations for males in their spaces or not use them at all.

In Washington State last week, an 80-year-old woman challenged a man in a swimming pool change room because she was in a state of undress and little girls were going to the toilet in open stalls. The 80-year-old swimmer was not only asked to leave, but she was also permanently banned from the YMCA facility because of the presentation of the man’s wild card of gender identity. The staff at the YMCA even told the woman that they had called the police, so she had no other option than to retreat to where women are traditionally told to retreat, her home.

The hierarchy of rights that emerges from the wild card of gender identity in combination with the legal fiction of the ‘f’ marker for men, means that women lose sovereignty over both their spaces and words.

The second class AFAB females have now no right to the words ‘woman’, ‘female’, and ‘girl’ anymore, if the words are not able to centre the first class of AMAB ‘females’. Words are being removed in many places where ‘woman’, ‘female’, and ‘girl’ have a distinct attachment to female bodies and gender meanings centring the powerful female role in reproduction.

The work women have put into moulding societal gender meanings around their bodies – including removing their bodies, life-cycle, and sexuality from shame – is being wholesale appropriated by a movement that is designed to compel populations to recognise men who perform feminine gender stereotypes as women. The harm this may cause to women and girls is never even considered.

The stereotypes being presented to second class of women by the first class of ‘women’, are often domesticated, heavily made up, sexually submissive, or ‘slutty’. Stereotypes that are offered to girls by gender identity ‘educators’ are almost always pink, sparkly, and passive. The gender of women is now legally owned and protected only in men and manufactured by government and capital funded organisations.

It is interesting that medical professionals can still legally recognise sex on the sight of genitalia in babies and in utero, as this is philosophically inconsistent with gender identity ideology. This is the next tower to be attacked by the gender authoritarians. The removal of sex altogether would annihilate the ability of women to organise as a sex class or exclude themselves from a male on the basis of sex. That is not even considering the impact on science and medicine.

We are already seeing women organise in secret for political or single-sex dating purposes, as recognising sex is unlawful in some contexts in places like Victoria and Tasmania. In California, little girls are actively being encouraged to look the other way if they are frighted at the sight of male genitalia in a space where women and girls are undressing.

Self ID effectively decriminalises what used to be called flashing and criminalises what used to be called safeguarding. This is not a political statement; this is the logical extension of the state ideology that produces this harmful suite of legislation. Ideology that is actively and enthusiastically funded by conservative and left-wing governments alike.

We are seeing, women play and lose the rights card game everywhere, and come up against the violence of the state that is ultimately on the side of first class of ‘women’. This week on Twitter I watched a feminist complain about the Self ID laws in Victoria, and a trans activist produced their licence, on Twitter, to show they had an ‘f’ marker. The activist then openly threatened the feminist with legal action and the police, if she continued to fail to submit to the will of the first class of ‘women’.

Queensland legislators are telling us to look at other states as they push through unpopular redefinition of human sex. As we look to Victoria, we see the same thing we have seen overseas, men in women’s prison, women objecting, women getting called bigoted, women getting raped, women getting arrested, and women who speak out getting reported to her employer or the police.

Self ID is the most successful strategy to silence women with violence, fear, and impoverishment that I have seen in my lifetime. Gender identity ideology has been grown exclusively in academic books, universities, and government departments and has been proliferated by committed activists almost exclusively funded by government and capital interests.

Gender identity in social justice protections, combined with the ability of any man to change his sex to female, is the complete annihilation of women’s rights. Governments are wholly relived of protecting vulnerabilities they refuse to see. The price we pay for this government victory is the laying bare of the most vulnerable of women and girls to the will of the worst of men. ?




No comments: