Saturday, November 24, 2012


Before I came to New Zealand, I had only attended one ordination, that of the 2nd group of women in Australia to be ordained priests at Goulburn in 1992.   I always say that the first group in Perth was a bit far. As it was, I drove nearly 3 hours each way to be present.

I had friends from university days who became priests and a close friend from childhood, for whose wedding I was best man, also became a priest but we had drifted apart by the times of their ordinations.

Shortly after arriving in Dunedin I attended the consecration of Bishop Kelvin Wright and this year I have had the pleasure of attending the ordination as Deacons of 2 women in our parish.

However tomorrow night there is to be an ordination to the priesthood in the cathedral of a man.  My only reason to attend would be to protest so  will not be there. 
David Booth is a member of St Matthews Dunedin , a parish which protested at the ordination in 2006 as Deacon of Rev Juan Kinnear, the partnered gay man who is now an associate priest in the cathedral.  At the time I wrote to them and told them that when I moved to Dunedin I would not be worshipping at St Matthews.  As I have told Juan, he is one of many reasons why I moved here.

Worse, David Booth wrote an article in September objecting to any recognition by the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia of gay partnerships.  I have removed it from my computer but remember being very angry at statements that homosexuality was a choice and could be changed.

I have found this part
“In this paper I have highlighted the results of methodologically sound research that shows homosexuality is a product of social rather than biological factors and that gay relationships are significantly different to heterosexual relationships as far as love, trust, fidelity, and monogamy are concerned.
The evidence so far suggests that non-monogamy is essential for satisfying the male homosexual’s need for ever more satisfying sexual partners, and for ensuring the longevity of committed male same-sex relationships. The evidence also suggests that non-monogamy is a significant factor in there being higher levels of psychological disorder in homosexual households than in heterosexual households."

A response from Dr Nora Dowse, more learned than I, included.
'it is a collection of studies and writings based on anecdotal evidence dating from 45 years ago, with the inevitable question about qualitative methodologies from that era:'

She also stated and I can agree that
Many of us know people who are in loving, loyal, committed gay relationships.

The recent developments in England and the sad  tenure of Rowan Williams as Archbishop pf Canterbury show that we cannot reason or compromise with fundamentalists. They need to be opposed. This week I have read that, while we should pray for our enemies, we are not suppose to have no enemies. Jesus had enemies.

I have never met Rev David Booth but, from his writings, he is my enemy and I object to his being ordained a priest.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


That is it. I do not care who is Archbishop of Canterbury. I am a parishioner in a parish in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and do not give a damn who is in the Church of England. We should break all ties with them.
I will not darken one of their doors next time I go to England.
However I will pray for the women and many of the good men in that church.

If a church decided that black people could not be bishops, no one would expect me to share in Christian worship with them.  I believe sexism to be as great a wrong as racism.  I left the Sydney diocese with its misogynist leaders for whom I had absolutely no respect. I would never enter an evangelical woman hating church. Hopefully none of my friends will be buried from one. But then most of my friends, except for those I meet at church, rarely enter a church and consider my regular attendance as a particular interest of mine similar to our membership of walking or movie or garden groups. The headlines that will follow this decision in England will confirm their beliefs.  In the English papers already the atheists are crowing with glee.  The cartoon by Bishop Alan Wilson says it all.

Some comments from Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow in the Scottish Episcopal Church (Note NOT the Church of England) which reflect my thoughts precisely.

The Church of England looks foolish and we all end up being tarred with the same brush.

The abject failure of Rowan Williams’s archepiscopate is now complete.

Looking on at the passion of the Church of England from outside, one finds oneself trying hard to substitute compassion for pity.  

The Church of England gets its chance to prove that it worships at something other than the altar of compromise.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Prime Minister is a disgrace

It must be just 4 years since I brought my sister to Dunedin to check where I had chosen to live.  I remember watching the US Presidential results on TV while in Manapouri.  We also watched the NZ election results in the same week.  Those results made me consider whether I was making a mistake.  I had just finished living through more than 10 years of John Howard as Prime Minister of Australia.  I opposed nearly everything he stood for. Now I was watching a Labour Prime Minister, Helen Clark, whom I admired from a distance, being replaced by a conservative John Key.  I hoped he would not be like John Howard and thankfully he has not been.  However he needs to control his language.

Last week while speaking to a group of school students in Dunedin he said English footballer David Beckham was "thick as batsh*t.
I do not know nor care much about David Beckham but this is not Prime Ministerial language especially in front of school students. When I was a teacher I would have reprimanded any student who used such language about another person. 

Worse, last Friday  he teased a radio presenter by saying his red sweater was 'gay'. 
After the criticism that naturally arose, he dug himself deeper by saying  he used the term "gay" to mean "weird".  He continued "Young people use it all the time, I don't think too many people would be offended by it"

Sir Ian McKellen warned Key that his language was "careless" and could damage lives.

In an open letter to Mr Key the NZ Post Primary Teachers Association's "Rainbow Taskforce" said the Prime Minister's use of gay as a derogatory term belittled a vulnerable group of young people.
The taskforce had been developed to educate secondary teachers about the challenges lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex youth faced in classrooms and on playing fields at schools.
The focus of the campaign was getting teachers to challenge the use of homophobic language, specifically the use of the word "gay".
"So we are saddened to hear the leader of our country not only use this homophobic language but then explain it away with, 'young people use it all the time, I don't think too many people would be offended by it'.
"You are perpetuating the harmful use of such a simple word," the teachers said.

I totally agree with them.  His language was offensive.

 I end with a statement by comedian Guy Williams.
"John Key is quickly becoming to New Zealand what Borat was to Kazakhstan."

Thursday, November 01, 2012