The Editors

Three ways to kick porn out of your life

The Editors
The Editors
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Note: This is part three of a five part series on pornography

Part I: My porn addiction
Part II: Porn, devil or an angel?
Part III: Three ways to kick porn out of your life
Part IV: The fight for sexual sanity in a world awash in porn
P
art V: The pointlessness of pornography

November 29, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - But even if we can all agree that porn is a devil, that is only the beginning. That we even come to hate pornography is no guarantee that we will be freed from its allure. Many are those who have believed that they had their porn use “under control,” but who, upon seeking to quit once and for all, have found themselves inexplicably returning again and again, in defiance of their convictions and their good sense. It turns out that the temptation of anonymous, responsibility-free sexual pleasure on demand is a remarkably enduring one, even if we know from experience that all its promises of happiness are an illusion, and that if we give in it will only end in loneliness, bitterness and self-recrimination.

To cut porn out of your life once you have welcomed it in is no easy thing: for many it requires hard work, constant vigilance, and dramatic measures. And many will fight discouragement as they discover that despite their most ardent resolutions, they continue to fall back into a habit which they have come to despise. The first and most important lesson these will have to learn is how to set up realistic expectations, and how to forgive themselves when they fail to live up to them. This is especially important for people who may be part of communities or families that have not yet caught up with the reality of how completely porn has flooded our culture, and where frank discussion about the issue or any hint that any of their members might be struggling with it, is verboten. Part of my hope in writing this series is that we might begin to break open the barriers of communication, to throw unreasonable expectations out the window, and to smash the damaging perfectionism that can lead to a crippling shame. This does not mean that we are in any way compromising our convictions on the issue. What it does mean is that we are willing to give those who feel entrapped by porn the space they need to start taking the practical steps required to heal and overcome.

When I think back over my own years of wrestling with this problem, I can detect clear patterns to my successes and my failures. In particular, I can remember three specific, protracted porn-free periods of my adolescence. Each of these now seems to offer a specific insight into how one might gain the upper hand in the battle for sexual sanity. I offer them not as definitive, or comprehensive techniques for putting porn behind you, but simply as examples gained through personal experience.

The first period of reprieve came when I was 17, when I first went to college – a small private Catholic liberal arts college located in Michigan. As soon as I arrived I fell madly in love with a girl from California, whom I will call Christine. This love had about it all the vehemence and ardor of a first love, and, as Christine professed to return the sentiment, it was not long before we were dating. Like most adolescent relationships, it didn’t last. But what I find instructive looking back is that, in the first place, my love was so vehement and sincere that I honestly could not imagine even wanting to use Christine in any way, and so our relationship was thoroughly chaste. But, even more interesting and to the point, is that this love killed all desire for any sort of illicit sexual pleasure. And this was, I think, for two reasons: firstly, because when set up against Christine all other women, and most especially the uni-dimensional actresses featured in porn, seemed to pale by comparison; and, secondly, because my love made me desire to be worthy of the love I received from Christine, a goal in which a porn habit could have no part.

I am not, of course, saying that everyone who wishes to quit porn must have a passionate romance. But this experience points to a profound truth – that love (true love, and not mere “feelings”) is self-transcendent. Love draws us outside of ourselves, and focuses all our attention on the beloved, and makes us desire the happiness of the beloved even above our own. This is true across the board, whether we are talking about romantic love, or friendship, or the love between family members, or love of God. Love is the exact opposite of selfishness. It makes sense, then, that in love I should have found an antidote for porn. Porn, after all, is essentially selfish: its sole purpose is to gain pleasure for oneself by using someone else, without intention of giving anything in return. There simply is no more noble or constructive goal.

Practically speaking, what this suggests is that if we want to beat a porn habit we should start looking for ways to give to others, rather than focusing on ourselves. This can express itself in a million different ways, even in the most mundane details of our lives, but for the person struggling with porn, it might mean spending more time developing close friendships, or looking for volunteer opportunities, or even developing new and constructive hobbies - for the love of learning or of art, or even of sport, are authentic forms of love. Anything at all, really, but the endless, suffocating hours locked up in our own rooms, far away from people, surfing the internet, watching television or movies, playing video games, and, inevitably, watching porn.

For myself, this insight was confirmed after I met my wife, to whom all I said above applies 100-times over. Earlier this week a liberal social media site linked to the first installment of this essay on porn. Many of the commenters there accused my wife of “forcing” me to give up porn (the implication being, I suppose, that it is selfish of her to ask so much of me). They weren’t entirely wrong. My wife has “forced” me to give up porn, and many other bad habits besides. But only in the sense that any miserable wretch who has ever encountered a woman far more beautiful, pure, and good than himself, has been “forced” to recognize his own wretchedness and aspire to become worthy of her. Love does that. It is a form of bondage, but a bondage that is far more liberating than any of our popular concepts of freedom. To be free to wallow in our selfishness and misery is no freedom at all.

Yes, it is difficult to overstate the role my wife has played in teaching me the remarkable power of love to purify. And yet, she cannot claim first position in this respect, for I have also begun to understand, at least a very little, the Great Lesson: that the only truly reliable Love, the only one that truly has the power in the long run to transform us from the selfish beings we are into something really admirable, is found on our knees, in the silence of a church. But more on that later.

Another seemingly banal, but nevertheless noteworthy period of success, occurred when I later transferred to another Catholic liberal arts college, this one in Virginia, after spending a year working. At this college, the Internet was only available on public computers located in the library – across campus from my dorm. And, as simple as it may sound, the removal of the source of the temptation to a distance, largely killed the temptation itself.

The more I think about it, the more I realize this truth cannot be overstated. The reason that porn use has exploded can be attributed in large part to the advent of this new technology: the Internet. It is true that the Internet itself is neither morally good nor morally bad, but what it has done is give the pornographers a path straight into our bedrooms, so that, at any time, an entire world of sexual fantasy is but a click away. So it is that many a man or woman sits down at a computer with no intention whatsoever of looking for pornography (possibly even with the very deliberate intention not to look for it), and then suddenly “finds” him or herself doing exactly that. It’s too easy. Once exposed to porn, the temptation to look just “one more time” is forever scratching, scratching, scratching, just below the surface of our brains, every time we sit down at a computer, until we feel that we will go mad unless we give in to it.

It was just as I was graduating from college that smart phones were starting to become common. This no longer made it possible to keep the Internet out of the dorms. And frankly, I pity the students who came after me, who will not have the freedom, as I did, to live and learn free from the influence of the primary source of addiction today. Some porn experts say that porn is as addictive as cocaine. Imagine for a moment if all that a cocaine addict had to do was pull his cell phone out of his pocket and press a button to get his next hit, for free?

And so, here is method number two of kicking porn out of your life: put as much distance as possible between you and the Internet. I realize that in the age of Facebook, Netflix, and Google, this will strike many as an impossible, if not insane, suggestion. And for many it may not be necessary. But most of those who have repeatedly tried to put porn behind them, and have repeatedly failed, will be forced to admit that this is because accessing porn is simply too easy. Put down your guard for a fleeting moment while surfing the internet, and voila! You’ve clicked on a link you shouldn’t have. You’ve searched for a word you know will lead you places you shouldn’t go.

If the price of freedom is limiting your access to the Internet, I say choose freedom. If porn is your problem, seriously consider disconnecting the Internet from your house. And if you must have a cell phone, don’t get a smart phone with Internet access. If you do need the Internet, go to your library to use it. And if you absolutely need the Internet at home, install filtering software on your computer, and ask someone else to set the password. Do whatever is necessary to remove the source of temptation to as great a distance as possible. The greater the distance, the less vehement the temptation, and the more space you will have to live your life without this albatross hanging about your neck.

The third period in which I achieved some consistent success in my own battle to cast off this albatross overlaps with the second. It happened at the same time as I began to recover from a protracted period of religious agnosticism, as well as fall in love again - this time with my wife. Both factors added fuel to the fire of my hatred of porn. While I had already been making considerable steps in dealing with the problem, I no longer wanted anything to do with it…ever. And so I decided to take a dramatic step. I decided to do something I had never regularly done before. I decided to start fasting: two days a week I would go without breakfast and lunch.

The results were remarkable. If you have ever fasted you will know what I mean. There comes a point in the day when suddenly the hunger pangs fade into the background, and this is replaced with a real sense of peace. It is a kind of pleasure, but of a completely different - frankly, higher - category than what we normally call “pleasure.” All the clamoring of the body for this and that or the other thing vanishes, the mind clarifies, and there is a strange, buoyant sensation of being “in control.” It doesn’t necessarily happen to the same degree every time, but even when the annoyance of not eating never quite goes away, there is still found a kind of intellectual satisfaction in having given the finger – as it were – to what Francis of Assisi called “brother ass” (the body), and forced it to listen to us for a change.

Every Lent, like clockwork, the media runs a series of bemused articles in which they interview “on-the-street” Catholics to find out what they’re “giving up” (chocolate, Facebook, coffee, TV), as if nothing could be stranger than all this business of self-denial for the sake of Jesus. In reality, the idea of giving something up for the sake of something else is just good old fashioned common sense. Saints and mystics have touted the power of fasting in achieving self-control for millennia. Of course, for various reasons we don’t trust saints and mystics, but really, anyone who has spent thirty seconds in self-analysis will have realized that he often has conflicting desires, and will see that some are good and some bad: and that it sometimes takes a real effort to choose the good ones over the bad.

And so it is not surprising that if we are only ever accustomed to giving ourselves what we want, as soon as we want it, that we so quickly give in to temptation, even when we know doing so will only hurt us in the long run. We cannot isolate one of our habits from another, because our minds are not isolated parts. We are one whole person. And if we have a habit of self-indulgence, or at least of never explicitly denying ourselves anything, when porn comes knocking, it feels natural to open the door. So why not take a cue from the Catholics and “give something up” on certain days of the week, for no other reason than to take control of your own life and prove you can? It hardly matters what, as long as it is something you like, and that you can legitimately do without. Coffee, chocolate, the internet, movies, TV – these are the common ones, and they will do just fine. Or, if you are able, do an all-out fast.

These are just three ways to beat porn, based upon my own personal experience. There are, of course, hundreds of other ways to kick porn out of your life, some of which will be specific to your own unique circumstances in life. However, many of these other ways are ultimately contained within the three I have offered here.

The one thing that absolutely will not work is to do nothing, hoping that temptation will one day just “go away.” Temptation will never just go away. And certainly it will never be overcome, not without a deliberate, concentrated effort. Someone once famously joked that temptation will stop ten minutes after we’re dead. We cannot dream ourselves into the person we want to be. Life is a struggle, and it requires hard work. If we do nothing, we slide backwards. We must always be climbing upwards. So, don’t be afraid to take drastic actions to get your own problem under control. Extreme times call for extreme measures. And when it comes to the battle for sexual sanity, the times have never been more extreme…ever.

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Drew Belsky

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ACLU sues Kentucky clerk for refusing marriage licenses to all couples

Drew Belsky
By Drew Belsky

July 6, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Four Kentucky couples are suing a clerk of the court in their county for refusing to grant them marriage licenses.

The clerk, Kim Davis of Rowan (pronounced "rah-win") County, declared that her faith prevents her from complying with the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges decision, issued in late June, which legally redefined marriage to include same-sex couples.  She is withholding licenses not only to same-sex couples, but to everyone – in fact, two of the couples suing Davis, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), are sexually complementary.

"It is my deep conviction and belief that God ordained marriage between a man and a woman," Davis told Kentucky station WYKT.  "I can't be a part of this."

"My Kentucky Constitution that I took the oath to uphold in January stated that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that is the constitution that I have vowed to uphold."

Laura Landenwich, an attorney with the ACLU, said that "Ms. Davis has the absolute right to believe whatever she wants about God, faith, and religion.  But as a government official who swore an oath to uphold the law, she cannot pick and choose who[m] she is going to serve, or which duties her office will perform based on her religious beliefs."

The ACLU's complaint avers that "Plaintiff and Plaintiff Class have suffered and continue to suffer irreparable harms, including harms to their dignity and autonomy, family security, and access to the full spectrum of benefits conferred by the state upon others."

Davis, a Democrat, is appealing to Kentucky's Bill of Rights, which states that "no human authority shall, in any case whatsoever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience."  Moreover, she told WSAZ reporter Kaitlynn LeBeau, "My Kentucky Constitution that I took the oath to uphold in January stated that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that is the constitution that I have vowed to uphold."

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, has ordered all clerks in the Bluegrass State to comply with the Supreme Court's decision.

"Each clerk vowed to uphold the law regardless of his or her personal beliefs," Beshear said in a statement.  "I appreciate the clerks who are fulfilling their duties, issuing licenses to all couples, and I would expect others to execute the duties of their offices as prescribed by law and to issue marriage licenses to all Kentuckians."

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Davis' decision brought protesters to her office in Morehead last Tuesday.  The crowd comprised both opposition and supporters, bearing signs with messages including "Morehead = Equality," "Leave Religion out of your GOVERNMENT job!," and "We stand with you Kim."

Davis refuses to speak on camera because of an intensifying tide of threatening hate mail.  One man told her by email that she needed to be killed.  She has received gratitude and support as well, including from states outside Kentucky.

"This is a battle," Davis told one reporter by phone, "nationwide, that I think is vital to every person who holds near and dear to their heart the word of God."

Resistance to Obergefell is not limited to one Kentucky county.  All three staffers at the county clerk's office in Decatur County, Tennessee resigned following the decision.  Decatur County commissioner David Boroughs told a local paper that he is "proud of them that their faith is so strong and well-rounded that they feel they can do that."

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Matthew J. Franck

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Obergefell is so awful that it makes Dred Scott look like a piece of lawyerly precision

Matthew J. Franck
By Matthew Franck

July 6, 2015 (ThePublicDiscourse) -- When the blow finally fell, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges—holding 5-4 that every state in the Union must license same-sex marriages—seemed somehow less crushing in its impact, less hurtful and wounding, than one might have expected from a decision that is so thoroughly a defeat for the truth about marriage and the truth about the Constitution.

Make no mistake, the harms from the Court’s appallingly illegitimate decision are many, and gravely serious. But the good news for a cockeyed optimist like me is that Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion is so incompetent, so gossamer-thin as an exercise in legal or constitutional reasoning, so unpersuasive even in political terms, that it renews my zest for carrying on the battle of persuading my fellow citizens and turning the country around on this issue.

I should have known he would do this for us, as well as to us. For Kennedy began to travel this road nearly twenty years ago in Romer v. Evans (1996), in which a 6-3 Court denied to the people of Colorado the authority to amend their state constitution to prevent their elected state and local legislators from adding “sexual orientation” to the list of “identities” on the grounds of which discrimination by public and private actors alike is forbidden.

Is Anyone "Demeaning" Others' "Dignity"?

Yet at least in Romer, the word “dignity” had not yet appeared in Kennedy’s reasoning. In Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which overturned state laws that criminalized homosexual sodomy, Kennedy turned away from the equal protection clause and to the textually and historically ungrounded jurisprudence of “substantive due process.” This meant, in Kennedy’s hands, the judicial protection of a free-ranging, judicially defined notion of “liberty” invoked to overturn any conduct-regulating statute that trenched on the “dignity” of persons whose wishes and desires tugged at the judges’ heartstrings.

In Romer, at least, Justice Kennedy had labored to produce something that resembled a competent account of the equal protection clause—though his attempt failed. But Lawrence was something else. Lawrence was a moment of real self-liberation for Kennedy. That can be seen in his quotation of what were probably his own words from the joint opinion he co-authored with Justices O’Connor and Souter in Planned Parenthood v. Casey: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” This “mystery passage” was already in 2003, and remains, the most widely lampooned bit of pseudo-reasoning of the last half century, but Kennedy sensed the cultural and political power that it represented, and in Lawrence he set it on course to colonize our constitutional law entirely. His opinion was also liberally salted with references to “dignity” (three times, including another line quoted from Casey), and to the idea that laws resting on negative judgments of homosexual conduct “demean” those who engage in it (four times).

United States v. Windsor, the Defense of Marriage Act case from two years ago, gave us more of Kennedy’s free-floating jurisprudence of “dignity” (ten mentions including “indignity”), condemning laws that “demean” (three mentions).  Obergefell rests explicitly on this fragile, groundless rationale, with Kennedy mentioning the connection of marriage to “dignity” nine times, while three times saying that it “demeans” same-sex couples when a state limits marriage to one man and one woman, and twice invoking the matter of “identity.”

But there is something else quite new in Obergefell. Kennedy, somewhat defensively, mentions twice that defenders of conjugal marriage might believe redefining the institution to include same-sex couples “demeans” marriage itself. Since no one opposed to same-sex marriage actually speaks this way, this is a curious characterization, but perhaps an important one. In Kennedy’s mind, the Constitution has been converted into a great Dignity Document. The role of the Supreme Court is to adjudicate whose version of Dignity it embodies, which can be decided by pondering who is made to feel worse by having his strongest convictions “demeaned.” Victory will go to the one who can appeal successfully to strong feelings about his “identity.” As Chief Justice Roberts said in dissent, “The majority’s driving themes are that marriage is desirable and petitioners desire it.”

A Constitutional Crisis

Confronted by such a string of sentiments masquerading as constitutional principles, why then should I feel heartened by the new phase of the struggle into which the Obergefell ruling has just pitched us? The reason is that Kennedy is so terribly bad at his chosen profession of judge that he has now unmasked himself, and his four silent colleagues who joined his opinion for the Court, as imperial rulers with no regard for the Constitution, for the forms of reasoning that give the law its real vitality, or for the rightful authority of the people to govern themselves within the bounds of a Constitution they understand and respect.

Moreover, while noting all the manifold ways in which the marriage debate has been played out over the last two decades—just as he was attempting to shut that debate down—Kennedy evinced no understanding of what the arguments about marriage really are, not even grasping the arguments on the side he favored. In so doing, he showed himself to be, if not one of the least intellectually honest persons ever to come to that debate, then one of the least well-informed. His opinion is an act of the most breathtaking argumentative carelessness in the history of the Supreme Court. Roe v. WadeLochner v. New York, and Dred Scott v. Sandford—all rightly invoked by the dissenters in Obergefell as the true models for Kennedy’s reasoning—are closely reasoned works of lawyerly precision by comparison.

As a legal opinion, Obergefell is an utter failure. What the late John Hart Ely, who was politically in favor of abortion, said of Roe v. Wade, we can say of Obergefell: “It is bad because it is bad constitutional law, or rather because it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.” But Obergefell is also embarrassingly bad as a contribution to the political and social debate on marriage. From this I take heart that the battle can be rejoined, with the making of better arguments—each side offering its best against the other’s best—in a struggle that will continue for years to come.

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But wait. Isn’t the debate over? Isn’t that what a Supreme Court decision on the Constitution means? Well, frankly, no. The movement for rescuing and restoring marriage in our country will not be made to vanish by so transparently political a holding of five justices of the Supreme Court. The movement for defending the sanctity of life in our law, forty-two years after Roe v. Wade, waxes rather than wanes in strength. As the pro-life movement was joined, so the marriage movement will be joined, by defenders of the authentic Constitution so blithely traduced by the Court’s majority. The Roe decision has often made pro-life converts out of people who actually read it—I know, because I was one of them—and the Obergefell ruling, in time, will do similar work in adding strength to the ranks of marriage’s defenders.

A constitutional ruling so shoddily reasoned, so completely and, one may say, easily dismantled by the four justices who dissent from it, must paper over a cause that cannot ultimately win in an open democratic debate, and that therefore seeks the shelter of powerful friends in the judiciary. This is just what many young people will come to see for themselves simply by reading the decision, just as many have done by reading Roe. The twin discoveries, that a great constitutional wrong has been committed to give cover to a great moral wrong, will come together.

We may take heart, then, from Justice Alito’s observation that “even enthusiastic supporters of same-sex marriage should worry about the scope of the power that today’s majority claims.” Indeed they should, for the debate is not over; it has only entered a new phase. That phase will necessarily include some sober deliberations regarding what can be done about a Supreme Court with (at least) five members who believe that they can rewrite the Constitution at will in order to transform fundamental institutions of our society. For Alito’s very next sentence is, “Today’s decision shows that decades of attempts to restrain this Court’s abuse of authority have failed.” Indeed, they have, and so it is back to the drawing board. When even the chief justice complains of “the majority’s extravagant conception of judicial supremacy,” it is time to do some hard thinking about meaningful institutional reform of the federal judiciary.

In the Meantime

While we prepare for hard work on many fronts in the battles for marriage and for the Constitution, we should recognize and immediately try to mitigate the great harm the Court has done. Despite Kennedy’s pat denials, marriage has been grievously wounded as an institution, and we must do what we can to bind up its wounds, in our own families, communities, and churches. After all, every future generation is at stake. We must never tire of saying: every child deserves a mother and a father—preferably his or her own biological parents. That, as the dissenting justices recognized, is what marriage has always been about, in every age and culture, and it is why marriage has always been understood as the union of a man and a woman.

And we must do all that we can to institute safeguards for religious freedom in our country, which will now come under attack as never before. It was strangely gratifying to see Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Thomas, in their dissents, give this matter their lengthy and considered attention. Thomas foresees “potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty” in this invention of a new “right” of same-sex marriage, and Roberts noted how telling was the way in which Kennedy shrugged off such potentials:

The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to “advocate” and “teach” their views of marriage. . . . The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to “exercise” religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.

The protection of religious freedom may rapidly become our most urgent legislative business, both in Congress and in state legislatures. But win or lose in legislative assemblies, the faithful and their pastoral leaders in the many religious communities devoted to the truth about marriage must prayerfully muster the courage to act, and to live as their faith informs their consciences, as well as to “advocate” and “teach.” As Alito notes, “those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent” on the marriage question will be ready to exploit the Court’s decision. Look at your social media feeds: That is already happening.

In our response to our counterparts in this great constitutional, political, and moral debate that now begins anew, we can start by preaching and practicing a truer, fuller understanding of dignity, in our families and churches, than the one about which Kennedy so vainly prattles. And we can fix our eyes on the prize of restoring, through real democratic debate and persuasion, the great goods of constitutional self-government and justice to individuals and families.

Thank you, Justice Kennedy, for giving us this opportunity. I know you didn’t mean it, but thank you nonetheless.

Reprinted with permission from The Witherspoon Institute

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Lisa Bourne

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US Episcopal Church faces backlash after approving gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 6, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- The bishops of the U.S. Episcopal Church gave the green light last week for clergy to perform same-sex “weddings,” in a heavily-debated fundamental change set to come in the door incrementally.  

As of November 1 of this year homosexual couples will have the right to be “married” in the church, the result of new liturgies for same-sex couples approved Wednesday at the denomination’s General Convention in Salt Lake City.

The bishops also accepted changing the church’s canons (rules) governing marriage, to make them gender neutral, thus replacing the terms “man and woman” with “couple.”

Episcopal clergy however, will be allowed to refuse to perform a homosexual “marriage” with the promise they would not be penalized, and individual bishops were also given the right to refuse to allow same-sex ceremonies to take place in their diocese.

The compromise is angering Episcopalians on both sides of the issue, with liberal factions potentially trying to block the plan and insist on the immediate introduction of same-sex “marriage” with no way for dioceses to opt out, and conservatives likely to reach out to overseas leaders in the wider Anglican Communion for help in getting the church to stop.

The leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which includes the Episcopal Church, released a statement expressing his “deep concern” over the U.S. Episcopal Church’s resolution to change the definition of marriage.

“Its decision will cause distress for some and have ramifications for the Anglican Communion as a whole,” Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said, “as well as for its ecumenical and interfaith relationships.”

Blessings for homosexual unions were first approved at the denomination’s 2012 convention, along with acceptance of transgender clergy. The Episcopal Church still maintained at the time that marriage was an exclusive life-long covenant of one man and one woman, as held in the church’s Book of Common Prayer.

While several Episcopal bishops defended the Biblical definition of marriage at this year’s convention, the majority of bishops argued that the provisional and trial rites would expand the traditional teaching about marriage, without changing the church’s underlying text or doctrine of marriage.

Retired Episcopal Bishop Vicky Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, was among those at the convention who said homosexual sexual intimacy was morally acceptable and should be blessed in faithful covenanted relationships, stating, “I think it is time for us to do this.”

Robinson, whose 2003 elevation to bishop was a key factor in the denomination’s later split, said, “Gays and lesbians are living out their lives in holy ways,” and changing the church’s rules on marriage “allows us to recognize this,” to “declare how far we have come.”

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In response to an inquiry for comment on the Episcopal bishops’ resolution accepting homosexual “marriage,” the Anglican Church in North America directed LifeSiteNews to the church’s recent response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing homosexual “marriage,” which said in part, “The Anglican Church in North America only authorizes and only performs marriages between one man and one woman.” 

Leaders of the Anglican Global South, a grouping of 24 of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion, issued a statement criticizing the U.S. Episcopal Church’s resolution as another unilateral decision taken without consideration for the Anglican Communion, ecumenical and interfaith relations and the mission of the church worldwide.

“This Resolution clearly contradicts the Holy Scriptures and God’s plan for creation as He created humankind as man and woman to complement each other physically and emotionally,” the Global South statement said.

“The church is intended by its Lord to be the holy leaven to shape society by its spiritual and moral values in line with God’s design,” it continued. “But sadly, by this action of (The Episcopal Church), the church gives way to the society to alter and shape its values. In other words the church is losing its distinctiveness as salt and light in this world.”

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