An Interesting Globe and Mail Poll after Candian General Synod

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaCanadian General Synod 2007Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings

Posted June 27, 2007 at 6:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Tom Roberts wrote:

Caveat emptor.
When the term “vote” is used and it is online, and then it doesn’t have a statistical methods description, it probably isn’t a statistically significant “poll”. A bunch of folks logged on and voted 7:1 one way or another.

June 27, 7:29 am | [comment link]
2. Bob from Boone wrote:

I agree, Tom. Also, such a “poll” doesn’t appear to be restricted to members of ACC but is one available to the general public. So, it wouldn’t necessarily reflect sentiment within the Church itself, even if it were a one-vote-a-person poll.

June 27, 8:06 am | [comment link]
3. Larry Morse wrote:

Where was this poll taken? LM

June 27, 8:30 am | [comment link]
4. William Scott wrote:

Though it is not a scientific poll, the point is that it is not a church poll.  We are often told we are not keeping up with society.  Where does society really stand on this one?

June 27, 9:38 am | [comment link]
5. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Regardless of the accuracy of the poll, it’s numbers cannot be taken as a statement of what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong.’

A poll taken in Germany in 1934 might have indicated a general public approval of the N*Z* party’s anti-Semitism, but such a poll would not have been a statement that anti-Semitism is a ‘right’ and a ‘good thing.’

If you were to take a poll on whether or not the smoking of ‘cannabis’ is an ‘OK thing,’ you might find a lot of people in agreement, but that poll does not ‘of itself’ legalize the smoking of ‘dope.’

Likewise, Scripture (read Gagnon’s analysis) and church tradition are quite clear in their assertion that sexual activity between persons outside of heterosexual matrimony is a ‘sin.’

Polls cannot not convert ‘sin’ into ‘un-sin.’  When we unrepentantly and defiantly sin, it’s not society’s judgement that we should fear and all Christians with a sound understanding of Christianity understand that fact.

Unrepentant and defiant sin receives Eternal Judgement regardless of what some revisionist/progressive bishop says.

Think about that.

June 27, 11:38 am | [comment link]
6. AnglicanFirst wrote:

In comment # 5., please change
“Likewise, Scripture (read Gagnon’s analysis) and church tradition are quite clear in their assertion….”
to read
“Scripture (read Gagnon’s analysis) and church tradition are quite clear in their assertion….”

June 27, 11:43 am | [comment link]
7. William Scott wrote:

#5 & 6.  I agree that polls cannot create truth apart from whatever facts they bear about opinions.  My point is we often told we need to keep up with the times.  What really is the opinion of our times? Perhaps our society in general is just as bewildered about all this as we are.  Parliament uses a document called the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to make these decisions.  This kind of document is supposed to protect the rights of individuals and groups from the tyrany of the many.  So SS marriage will be a right no matter what a poll might say. 
We use another document to inform our choices.  This document has little to say about rights and much to say about responsibilities and the sovereignty of God over human affairs.  This is a hard truth for many to accept.  The fact that Man’s authority has often propped itself up as God’s does not mitigate God’s authority.  It does challenge we Orthodox to conduct ourselves all the more carefully in accordance with the full council of God through Scripture.

June 27, 12:59 pm | [comment link]
8. Larry Morse wrote:

That hs been muy point again and again. What does the REST of the public think? W pay so little attention to the remained of the world, as if we are here all by oourselves. I daresay this poll has limited accuracy and therefor cannot be used to make predictions, and yet it does tell us SOMETHING. I want to know where these Somethings are. In Canada? What province?
Can’t you see how vital it is for our best inter ests and our sense of what actions we must take to know what the rest of the world thinks? This is why I asked Harmon again and again to address these wider issues. LM

June 27, 4:17 pm | [comment link]
9. Paula wrote:

Whatever you all say, I think it’s a VERY interesting poll.  Doesn’t it show that more than 31,000 people (most of those who responded) agreed that the church should not proceed with same-sex blessings?  Hurrah!

June 27, 5:34 pm | [comment link]
10. john scholasticus wrote:

Why is this important to you, Larry? I thought you were one of those for whom ‘the Word of God’ was enough? Why do you keep appealing in this matter to the (admittedly rather elusive) Kendall? Why not think for yourself and admit the times, they are a’changing, and, if you want, explain that change in terms of the working of the Holy Spirit? I sense in you deep anxiety about your orthodoxy.

June 27, 6:56 pm | [comment link]
11. MargaretG wrote:

John S
Rather than doing an ad hominum attack on Larry, what about commenting on the actual topic.

How does this poll support your view that times are a-changing?

June 27, 7:16 pm | [comment link]
12. William Scott wrote:

All of us are somewhat uneasy obout our positions.  We hold them in faith.  There are ‘fundametalists’ on both sides.  I am drawn to our Orthodox faith not because I know it is right, but because God draws me into it.  It is a much larger tent than the other encampments I have visited along the way.  Uneasy about my faith? You bet.  It gives me vertigo.

June 27, 8:15 pm | [comment link]
13. William Scott wrote:

The Holy Spirit is not some object you grab and use as you will.  I don’t sense in you enough anxiety about your revisionism.

June 27, 8:20 pm | [comment link]
14. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

We already knew this of the Anglican Communion from the Anglican Communion poll that has 22 of 38 Provinces in broken or impaired communion with ECUSA/TEC.  Assuming this is a secular poll and subject to all the caveats heretofore mentioned above, it scarcely seems a ringing endorsement of the responders to the alleged changes of the time.  A bit of information for all to digest.

June 27, 8:41 pm | [comment link]
15. Larry Morse wrote:

#10. You are absolutely right, John. I am uneasy, anxious, and my orthodoxy can rightly be challenged. I am doing the best I can, but I have been trained to think, not to believe, My examination of the experiential world has lead me to my certainty - if such it is - that God is quite real and so is the soul, but I am heterodox in much of my thinking, even heretical. Nevertheless, I know only to well, that the emptiness of TEC is a wind from hell if ever there was one, and I know that standards, clear and bright wherever possible, are always to be desired. So I try. If I fail, it won’t be for lack of trying. AS Pascal said, there is are truths in our hearts that the mind can never know, sound reasons that can never reach the verbal level save when some poet speaks the hearts’ truth obliquely.
  For these reasons and more, I read the responses here, for they frequently come from people who have what I lack.  LM

June 27, 10:09 pm | [comment link]
16. Larry Morse wrote:

#10: Why is it important to me? Because I do NOT know, but I do know that such know;edge is essential if we are to be able to predict the furture with any accuracy. This is what wisdom is for, the accumulation of inductions such that predictions may be made with some sense of their coming to pass. I want to know not what we much chat about, but what we must DO. I know that we cannot sit of our hands and stroke each other’s beliefs and feel the sweet drench of virtue. Don’t you see, John, the Anglican Church is sitting on its hands, talking and talking, but never bringing the heat to the enemy. Yes, to the enemy.Hear me: TEC is the enemy. Enough of turning the other cheek. A culture that lacks the courage to fight to protect itself - and I mean duke it out -doesn’t deserve to survive.

June 27, 10:15 pm | [comment link]
17. john scholasticus wrote:

#15, 16
Larry, thanks. You took me seriously. I was serious. It wasn’t just ‘ad hominem’. I prefer your #15 to your #16.


June 28, 3:44 pm | [comment link]
18. William Scott wrote:

Larry makes an interesting point that I have wondered about for some time.  How do we balance non-aggression with stolid opinion?  This is a struggle for culture.  Anglican niceness has led us to this place.  Full tolerance means we acquiesce to the most aggressive force, namely the one that is intolerant, or only doctrinally so.  This is what many do not admit.  The two basic forms of social organization that are forming up in our communion cannot cohabitate without one or both loosing authenticity.  We are not discussing mere opinions.  We are struggling for space to act in. 

In reference to the above poll, I wonder what he real opinion of Anglicans is on SSB.
We had a poll at our recent Special Synod on the subject.  We sent a memorial based on this poll.  The poll itself was skewed.  Out of 5 options one was a clear positive for SSB, Three were varying degrees pf soft positives (Not sure but why not, not sure so later) and only on was a clear negative that read no not ever.  22% chose this one.  So in the end it looked like most were in some way in support.  The presence of a soft negative might have taken some of this seeming support away.  One of the official presenters was Dean Peter Elliot of Christchurch in Vancouver.  And the other was Victoria Matthews; the first a proponent of yes right now and the second of yes but not yet. There was no official presentation of a non supportive view toward SSB.

On the ballot mentioned before 51% voted in favor of SSB now.  But when a similar vote came to the floor later it was defeated.  The Chair did not even need to call for a count; it was clearly defeated by sight.  This is only a guess but I cannot imagine more than 40% in favor under these counting conditions. 

I am left wondering what we believe as a community.  I am also left wondering why a certain voice has been silenced, yet continues to determine some of our thinking.  I also wonder how side of that opinion or group of opinions would shift these votes if it were allowed voice on the floor and not just in the lobby.

June 28, 4:46 pm | [comment link]
19. William Scott wrote:

Sorry my laptops function key for sutting off the mouse pad is down and I keep sending the cursor all over the page. 

That last sentence should read:

I also wonder how that other opinion or group of opinions would shift these votes if it were allowed voice on the floor and not just in the lobby.

June 28, 4:55 pm | [comment link]
20. Larry Morse wrote:

I hope that others here will take up what #18 said in his first paragraph. This is no empty theoretical pas de deux. Will we act, actually do something? The guys in the black hats are in the newspapers all the time. I almost never see the white hats taking out strongly and effectively against the Bad Guys. My sense is that we are too polite, - or shall I say, too weak kneed, too cowardly. Too strong? I think not.
Niceness is nice, but not nice is, as far as the media is concerned, much nicer. Our voice is not in the media in an aggressive way. We spank wrists, we turn the other cheek, we quote scripture, even in the face of the most patent provocation. TEC has - well, I can’t say it - all over us, again and again, and you all know it. ANd yet, here we are, waiting for the end of September… and for what? Do you REALLY think +++Williams is going to send Luigi out to visit TEC’s kneecaps? And if he doesn’t, what then? Another synod? Another conference? Another threat? Don’t you people get tired of having your buttons pushed, of being jerked around? Because that’s what TEC is doing, isn’t it? LM

June 28, 5:30 pm | [comment link]
21. William Scott wrote:

Larry,  is it time for dirrect action?

June 28, 6:06 pm | [comment link]
22. William Scott wrote:

To use the PoMo lexicon, it is time to take the narrative back.  Our story flows from Genesis to Revelation and to the present.  Theirs is broken; half rejected and the other half reworked.  This is a time for courage. Occupy, occupy, occupy the temple!  Wait for the manifestation of the Lords prophets.  We are a sleeping giant; lulled by overuse of kindness toward error.  We will not sleep for ever.

June 28, 6:16 pm | [comment link]
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