A Liberal Agenda?
The Anglican Church in New Zealand is about to be rocked by the gay
clergy/homosexual marriage debate, after a move by the Church's liberal wing to
force the issue onto the national agenda.
Glynn Cardy, the vicar of picturesque St Andrews church in the Auckland
suburb of Epsom, has confirmed to investigatemagazine.tv that he's the author of
a resolution seeking consideration for the Anglican faith to recognise gay
"marriage" and debate the ordination of gay clergy.
Cardy says his decision to move on the issue now was prompted by the
controversy over the decision by US Episcopalians the American branch
of Anglicanism to ordain their first openly homosexual Bishop, Gene
Robinson, a divorced father of two who left his wife to begin an eight year
relationship with his gay lover.
"I'm one who thinks that some of the 'decisions taken overseas have been
good decisions. I'd be seen as fairly liberal on the issue," Cardy says.
When challenged that the debate in the US, Canada and now New Zealand could
cause an irreparable split in the Church worldwide, Cardy's reaction is laconic:
"Yeah, maybe. I doubt it."
Cardy claims the Bible does not condemn homosexuality between gay men in
"committed relationships", and says Biblical texts have been taken out
of context in the past and are only now being properly understood "by good
liberal Bible scholars".
One of those misunderstood texts is presumably 1 Corinthians 6:910,
which states, "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom
of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor
adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders ... will inherit the
kingdom of God."
Despite such strident language, Cardy says priests, homosexual or otherwise,
should be free to be sexual within the confines of "committed
"I think there's a hope that the locus of sexual intimacy be a long-term
committed relationship, and hopefully marriage, and that's why someone like
myself would be keen on the Church having a right to acknowledge long-term
committed gay relationships - recognising of course that hetero marriages or gay
relationships do come adrift and that that happens as much with bishops and
clergy as with anyone else."
Cardy's resolution has gone forward to be debated by the Anglican synod in
New Zealand and, if carried, would make New Zealand the first Anglican diocese
outside North America to recognise openly gay priests and relationships.
"What Iíve got at the Synod is merely a means where people can talk
about it and talk about the events that have happened internationally.
"There's three international decisions. There's one in the diocese of
New Westminster, in Vancouver, Canada, about same sex marriages. There's a
decision in England where a candidate for ordination to be a Bishop withdrew his
nomination after significant pressure was applied to him, and there's the
decision of the general convention of the US church to ratify [Robinson]. So
those three events have had major significance throughout the Anglican
At the heart of the debate is a power struggle between the liberal and
conservative wings of Christianity, but an extra twist is added by the
demographic composition of the "mainstream" church clergy, with claims
that the percentage of priests who are homosexual is 40% - more than 15 times
higher than the established level of homosexuality in the wider community.
What's even more surprising is that this astonishing claim is not made by
conservatives, but by liberals. The US organisation Integrity Inc., a gay rights
movement within the Episcopalian church, tendered sworn testimony in the 1996
heresy trial of Bishop Walter Righter who supported the ordination of openly gay
priests, to the effect that 40% or around 6,000 of the priests in the US
Anglican church are gay, of whom only one-sixth have "come out".
Up until Robinson's promotion, however, no openly gay priest had ever been
ordained as a Bishop.
The question of why the mainstream' churches should find themselves blessed
with much higher levels of homosexuality and paedophilia than the general
community remains unexplained, but many remain suspicious that the growing
liberality of mainstream churches has attracted people with agendas for
Those suspicions won't have been curbed by last month's UN-sponsored
conference in New York where homosexual groups pledged a "showdown with
religion" over gay marriage, gay priests and gay rights.
"The meeting was sponsored by the U.N. Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual
Employees, known as UNGLOBE, a group officially recognized by the worldwide body
in 1996," reported WorldNetDaily.com on August 8.
"At a forum Monday, attended briefly by U.N. Secretary General Kofi
Annan, panel members singled out Roman Catholics and evangelical Protestants as
opponents, according to the New York-based Catholic Family and Human Rights
"Paula Ettelbrick, executive director of the San Francisco-based
International Gay: and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, or IGLHRC, announced a
coming "showdown with religion" and vowed Pope John Paul II's
"call to arms" against homosexual marriage would be successfully
"Another panel member, Princeton University professor Anthony Appiah,
wondered whether or not religion should be limited, as it poses a
"challenge" to the homosexual agenda," reported WlorldNetDaily.
"The U.N. group that hosted the event is pressing the United Nations to
recognize same-sex couples and treat their partnerships as equal to traditional
"Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender lawmakers from around the world
will meet in San Diego this fall to coordinate their efforts, he noted.
"IGLHRC, the international group, distributed fliers at the meeting that
listed laws it wants changed, including "sodomy, age of consent and other
Ďsex-actí laws, laws on prostitution, laws penalizing those wearing clothing
of the opposite sex and laws on obscenity and pornography."
"The group also is lobbying against "denial of marriage to same sex
partners, denial of marriage to transgendered people and laws on parenting and
Any surprise that New Zealand's law promoting prostitution originated in the
offices of gay-rights activist and Labour MP Tim Barnett and the AIDS
In the wake of the Prostitution Law Reform Act, brothels have already been
invited to at least one tertiary institution to brief students on the benefits
of becoming prostitutes to help pay off student loans, and in Wellington social
workers are reporting exactly that - that students are leaving high school to
become prostitutes because they see it as a better option than going on the