aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Has the global Christian community lost its moral bearings?
I think it’s good that those seven Episcopal parishes in Virginia voted to secede and ally themselves with the Nigerian archbishop who believes that gays should be jailed and their free speech curtailed. Let’s get real and be clear as to what this battle is all about.
I point again and again to Russell Shorto’s summer 2005 Times’ Magazine piece, What’s Their Real Problem With Gay Marriage? It’s the Gay Part:
I found no one among the people on the ground who are leading the anti-gay-marriage cause who said in essence: ‘’I have nothing against homosexuality. I just don’t believe gays should be allowed to marry.’’ Rather, their passion comes from their conviction that homosexuality is a sin, is immoral, harms children and spreads disease. Not only that, but they see homosexuality itself as a kind of disease, one that afflicts not only individuals but also society at large and that shares one of the prominent features of a disease: it seeks to spread itself.
It’s no secret that the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion are engaged in a bitter internal struggle over the role of gay and lesbian people within the church. But despite this struggle, the leaders of our global communion of 77 million members have consistently reiterated their pastoral concern for gays and lesbians. Meeting last February, the primates who lead our 38 member provinces issued a unanimous statement that said in part: “The victimization or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us.”
We now have reason to doubt those words.
Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, primate of the Church of Nigeria and leader of the conservative wing of the communion, recently threw his prestige and resources behind a new law that criminalizes same-sex marriage in his country and denies gay citizens the freedoms to assemble and petition their government. The law also infringes upon press and religious freedom by authorizing Nigeria’s government to prosecute newspapers that publicize same-sex associations and religious organizations that permit same-sex unions. [...]
Surprisingly, few voices—Anglican or otherwise—have been raised in opposition to the archbishop. When I compare this silence with the cacophony that followed the Episcopal Church’s decision to consecrate the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, a gay man who lives openly with his partner, as the bishop of New Hampshire, I am compelled to ask whether the global Christian community has lost not only its backbone but its moral bearings. Have we become so cowed by the periodic eruptions about the decadent West that Archbishop Akinola and his allies issue that we are no longer willing to name an injustice when we see one?
I also feel compelled to ask the archbishop’s many high-profile supporters in this country why they have not publicly dissociated themselves from his attack on the human rights of a vulnerable population. Is it because they support this sort of legislation, or because the rights of gay men and women are not worth the risk of tangling with an important alliance?
The bigger their brawl the more likely people are to pay attention. The broad Christian public of this nation will not support these draconian attitudes.
The Potato Peeler
Apparently profiled in Vanity Fair in April of this year - “With his hand-tailored suits and Turnbull & Asser ties, Joe Ades definitely looks the part of a Park Avenue swell. But unlike his neighbors, Ades works the streets-selling potato peelers.” - they say he’s a rich man. And a New York legend. I do love New York…
Google is on the move. The internet giant has held talks with Orange, the mobile phone operator, about a multi-billion-dollar partnership to create a ‘Google phone’ which makes it easy to search the web wherever you are. [...]
Their plans centre on a branded Google phone, which would probably also carry Orange’s logo. The device would not be revolutionary: manufactured by HTC, a Taiwanese firm specialising in smart phones and Personal Data Assistants (PDAs), it might have a screen similar to a video iPod. But it would have built-in Google software which would dramatically improve on the slow and cumbersome experience of surfing the web from a mobile handset.
A source close to the talks told The Observer: ‘Google are software experts and are doing some amazing work compressing data so that the mobile user gets a much better experience. They don’t know so much about mobiles, but they are eager to learn from Orange’s years of experience.’
Among the potential benefits are location-based searches: aware of your handset’s geographical position, Google could offer a tailored list of local cinemas, restaurants and other amenities, and maps and images from Google Earth. It is believed that the Google phone would not go on sale before 2008.
Via Om Malik:
Google Phone, if you think about it is a reasonable speculation. Google has been aggressive in developing location based services, has amp-ed up its local search and mapping services. In addition, it has also been mobilizing its applications such as GTalk and GMail. YouTube, the video arm of Google, is beginning to embrace the mobile ecosystem. [READ ON]