March 1, 2017

August 2, 2008

Some Insights Into Bishop Tom ‘I Am A Conservative’ Shaw

I have to admit to being one of those suffering from a bit of shellshock at reading where Bishop Tom Shaw calls himself a conservative.  I know.  It takes a while for it to sink in.  And yes, it is the same Thomas Shaw we read about in this article

After the high-energy spectacle of the Pride parade about 30 revelers headed to St. Paul’s Cathedral for a more subdued but no less heartfelt celebration of Pride. Massachusetts Episcopal Bishop Thomas Shaw, fresh from marching in the parade, led worshippers in song and prayers. During the service worshippers lined up in the center aisle of the cathedral, coming up as individuals and as couples, and Shaw laid his hands on them and blessed them. [emphasis added]

After receiving the blessing a young female couple, one of whom wore a rainbow flag fastened to her hair, were in tears as they embraced each other.

“It’s a day of tremendous celebration,” Shaw told Bay Windows. “Gay and lesbian people and transgender people, society doesn’t give them a lot to celebrate, so to have the opportunity to celebrate and bless on the same day seems a good thing to do. ... What the church does best is to bless love, and that’s what we’re doing, blessing love.”

For those of you who may be ready to step up and defend his actions as personal conviction, etc., etc., please read on: 

“It’s not my blessing. It’s the blessing of the whole church,” said Shaw. “That’s all I am, a sign of unity of the whole church.”

Sooooo….. At least there is some good news.  Anyone wondering what to get him for Christmas has a dead solid perfect gift idea - a dictionary.

Share this story:

Recent Related Posts



I remember his election as bishop. It was a time filled with promise following the tragic life, and end, of the bishop proceeding him. +Shaw was touted as a “traditionalist.” What a disappointment. As to the St. Paul’s Cathedral you mention, I believe at one time, if not presently, it was the smallest Cathedral (numerically speaking) in the Communion. Although I don’t believe numbers tell the story, in that case, sadly, they probably do…

[1] Posted by FrVan on 8-2-2008 at 08:59 AM · [top]

Great! Now they are changing the meaning of conservative. Two gospels, two conservatives. It is no wonder so many people are confused these days.

[2] Posted by martin5 on 8-2-2008 at 09:07 AM · [top]

I thought that lying and misrepresenting yourself is behavior unbecoming a clergy person.  This sounds like a prime example.  Of course this only means that we are traveling two different ways within the Anglican Communion ... or is it the Episcopal Communion ... I’m not sure where Ms Schori has decided to take HER church ... with all 16 flags that were flown at the last GC…  </sarcasm>

Come on ... this is just another example of how Tec wishes to proceed.  The Bishops should just pick up their marbles and go home.  The Lambeth games would appear to really be over with.

[3] Posted by Fr. K on 8-2-2008 at 09:24 AM · [top]

martin4, remember the commercial: “Two mints, two mints in one…”

[4] Posted by FrVan on 8-2-2008 at 09:28 AM · [top]

Well, of course, not only can +Thomas Shaw the Shameless claim that, “I am a conservative.” but he can even say with a straight face (like +Jon Bruno the Brute), “I don’t ‘authorize’ SSB’s,” since he hasn’t approved any formal rite for such blessings.  Yet he sees his informal laying on of hands and blessing of gay couples as not merely a personal act on his part but as an act “of the whole Church.”

The man is totally deceived.  Utterly sincere in his commitment to the “gay is OK” delusion, but completely self-deceived.

David Handy+

[5] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 8-2-2008 at 09:30 AM · [top]

Shaw, a self-described “conservative bishop,” has an abortion rights activist as a priest in his diocese, an activist that got pregnant out of wedlock while in seminary,secured an abortion, and felt no guilt.

[6] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 8-2-2008 at 10:02 AM · [top]

Once again we see the same lack of integrity in the progressive approach to church politics (which is, not surprisingly, the approach of cultural politics and marketing as well) - Say anything the audience wants to hear, regardless of the truthfulness or accuracy. If they want conservatives, give them conservatives. Never mind the facts or the truth.

Here is where theology and doctrine COUNT and determine our transformed thinking, folks, and here is why peoeple shuch as Shaw bring shame to the church. There isn’t such a thing as verifiable truth according to progressive and post-modern/post-Christian thought, so each man is free to create his own “truth” for his own puroses(a form of blasphemey and idolatry. ) Oh, excuse me for being gender specific - Each woman of the progressive mind-set and worldview also feels free to create truth for her own purposes.  Ya’ all know the drill - “They are wife-beaters, don’t listen to them.”

Lying and deception don’t seem to bother them.


[7] Posted by cityonahill on 8-2-2008 at 10:06 AM · [top]

Fr Van mentioned that +Shaw’s cathedral is the smallest.  I spent a little time in MA, and that seemed right (although Dio MA is enormous, esp Trinity Church just down the street with 1000+ each Sunday).  Since I love statistics, I went to TEC’s stats page with their ASA/Membership/Income charts.  Interestingly, I can’t even seem to find St Paul’s Boston listed.  Am I missing it, or is it not there?  Either the Very Rev didn’t fill out his parochial report (shame, shame), or it’s intentionally not there.  Or, have they departed for AMIA and I missed it? teehee, teehee  Inquiring minds would like to know.

[8] Posted by episcopaul on 8-2-2008 at 10:14 AM · [top]

Shaw, a self-described “conservative bishop,” is not sure if he believes in hell.

[9] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 8-2-2008 at 10:18 AM · [top]

episcopaul: I went to “The Church Annual 2008” and found St. Paul"s Cathedral. Interestingly, it seems to be the only church listed without numbers….hummmm..peculiar…They must be so proud. They must have at least 10, because I think I counted at least that many priests, deacons, and bishops, associated….

[10] Posted by FrVan on 8-2-2008 at 10:20 AM · [top]

Shaw, a self-described “conservative bishop,” has a an activist transgendered priest in his diocese.

[11] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 8-2-2008 at 10:21 AM · [top]

Just because you call yourself a “conservative” doesn’t mean you are one.

Incidentally, the same rule applies to the word “Christian”.

[12] Posted by st. anonymous on 8-2-2008 at 10:22 AM · [top]

I remember the post Greg did when Ms. Fowler’s article about the wonders of abortion on demand.  And Clergy Finder confirms she is canonically resident in Massachusetts.  You think maybe Bishop Shaw forgot?

[13] Posted by Jackie on 8-2-2008 at 10:28 AM · [top]

Just remember, these are people of the same mindset as the maniac who coined the technique of the “big lie”—“Tell it often enough, and make it big enough, and eventually it will be believed”. Be wise as serpents and cunning as foxes, folks, when you are dealing with these people, or listening to them talk.

[14] Posted by desertpadre on 8-2-2008 at 10:32 AM · [top]

Shaw IS a conservative…now.  He’s dead-set on conserving the religion he now serves: abortion, sodomy, denial of Scripture.  And don’t think these new “conservatives” won’t be as viscious as rabid animals in its defense.

[15] Posted by Jeffersonian on 8-2-2008 at 10:47 AM · [top]

Tom Shaw, a self-described “conservative bishop,” has been politically active in supporting the legalization of same sex marriage.

[16] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 8-2-2008 at 10:50 AM · [top]

Perhaps the good bishop’s self descripion as a conservative matches up with the ABC’s call to step toward the center, that in some circles the “center” is to Bishop Shaw’s left….
  Didn’t Standfirm have a wonderful piece some time ago, about those of us who always sat in the middle of the TEC theological pew, and suddenly found that everyone to our right had left, and though centrists, we were now holding down the right-hand end….?

[17] Posted by Dick Mitchell on 8-2-2008 at 10:52 AM · [top]

Indeed, Dick #17, TEC is one place where one can move rapidly to the right just by standing still for a few weeks.  I’m seeing it with a few revisionists over at T19 as we speak.  They’re quickly becoming the new “conservatives.”

[18] Posted by Jeffersonian on 8-2-2008 at 10:55 AM · [top]

Tom Shaw, a self-described “conservative bishop,” has (or had) a priest in his diocese that directed Political Research Associates (a nonprofit research center on the U.S. political right), served as chair of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and on the board of NARAL: Pro-Choice America, The White House Project, the Progressive Religious Partnership.

[19] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 8-2-2008 at 11:05 AM · [top]

Unless they changed their vote at the very last minute, the standing committee of diocese of Massachusetts (led by self-described “conservative bishop” Tom Shaw) refused to consent to the election of conservative Mark Lawrence as bishop of South Carolina, even though Lawrence was duly elected according to the canons and consitution of SC.  I find no record of whether Shaw gave his consent as bishop or not.

[20] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 8-2-2008 at 12:17 PM · [top]

A leading radical feminist theologian is part of the diocese of Massachusetts, whose bishop, Tom Shaw, is a self-described “conservative.”  She said, “I have a really hard time with the Nicene Creed as a statement of my personal faith. ”

[21] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 8-2-2008 at 12:30 PM · [top]

In 2006, the diocese of Massachusetts, led by self-described “conservative bishop” Tom Shaw, considered getting out of the marriage business altogether, since it wasn’t fair to bless the same-sex couples immediately after they were married by someone outside the diocese, while the different-sex couples could get married by someone inside the diocese.

[22] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 8-2-2008 at 12:58 PM · [top]

Jill, you are priceless. It’s good to see how Shaw defines “conservative.” It is shameful to tell such a lie at Lambeth - and it leaves me wondering what other lies the progressives told.

[23] Posted by oscewicee on 8-2-2008 at 01:11 PM · [top]

Reportedly, self-described “conservative bishop” Tom Shaw has taught that we ourselves are the pearls of great price.

[24] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 8-2-2008 at 01:24 PM · [top]

Thanks, oscewicee.  Although Shaw’s description of himself as “conservative” is worthy of challenge, I think it is important to give credit where credit is due.  Shaw does have a zeal for helping the poor, and as a monk, he has taken vows of poverty. I deeply respect that aspect of his ministry.

[25] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 8-2-2008 at 01:33 PM · [top]

I am glad to hear that, Jill. Thank you. Would that he were as faithful in what comes from his mouth.

[26] Posted by oscewicee on 8-2-2008 at 01:35 PM · [top]

Yes, St. Paul’s is right on Tremont St. facing Boston Common.  As for “conservative” Shaw, I once had an attorney tell me “you can’t be sued for slander if you’re telling the truth”.  So, here’s the truth:  Tom Shaw takes his male lover to all those bishopy events where spouses are included.  I know of a bishop’s wife who won’t even attend that stuff because of Shaw.  There is a REASON that VGR likes to proclaim himself “the ONLY openly gay bishop”!  Also, Bay Windows is an ultrahomosexual newspaper geared totally towards the LGBT (or however it goes) community in Boston.  I don’t know if they even know any heterosexuals.

[27] Posted by no longer NH Episcopalian on 8-2-2008 at 01:55 PM · [top]

Tom Shaw, a self-described “conservative bishop,” was a participant at the consecration of Gene Robinson.

[28] Posted by Randy Muller on 8-2-2008 at 02:06 PM · [top]

I know nothing of Bp Shaw’s personal life.  I did notice, however, that the diocesan website has a page for clergy spouses and partners.

[29] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 8-2-2008 at 02:06 PM · [top]

#25, But Jill, this is where I get all discomobulated.  There are lots and lots of folks who do so much “good” in this world—-who are truly good, compassionate people—-who are atheists.

The point of all of this is, if you do not believe in the Bible, can you call yourself a Christian?

[30] Posted by heart on 8-2-2008 at 02:09 PM · [top]

Heart, I agree, works alone are not the mark of a Christian.  True worshippers must worship the Father in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:23).

[31] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 8-2-2008 at 02:34 PM · [top]

Jill in #20.  To be semi-fair.  The Standing Comm of MA witheld consent for Bishop Lawrence the first time, and granted consent the second time.  No record of Shaw’s consent either time.

[32] Posted by MassPK on 8-2-2008 at 03:44 PM · [top]

MassPK, thank you for clarifying that.  I stand corrected.

[33] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 8-2-2008 at 05:05 PM · [top]

Tom Shaw, a self-described “conservative bishop,” was a participant at the consecration of Gene Robinson.

Liars all…the Lord takes note.

[34] Posted by Intercessor on 8-2-2008 at 06:18 PM · [top]

Shaw developed connections on Capitol Hill in the Clinton administration:

[35] Posted by TACit on 8-3-2008 at 12:13 AM · [top]

#27 Tom Shaw takes his male lover to all those bishopy events where spouses are included.

Normally, I would protest unsubstantiated allegations.  As a resident of Massachusetts, I will not protest this particular allegation.

[36] Posted by paradoxymoron on 12-29-2008 at 10:28 PM · [top]

What the church does best is to bless love, and that’s what we’re doing, blessing love.”

Oh, good—am I supposed to start “loving” my dog in the Biblical sense?  Maybe I should love 4 husbands instead of just one…

How many times has Shaw had Marvin Ellison as a keynote speaker in his diocese?  Oh, that’s right, we’re just all supposed to live in a commune, mix the gene pool by not knowing exactly WHO it is that fathers our children, and produce a more egalitarian society. 

And we’ll just call it “blessed” regardless of what God may think, as revealed in Scripture.

[37] Posted by Passing By on 3-16-2009 at 02:06 PM · [top]

Registered members are welcome to leave comments. Log in here, or register here.

Comment Policy: We pride ourselves on having some of the most open, honest debate anywhere. However, we do have a few rules that we enforce strictly. They are: No over-the-top profanity, no racial or ethnic slurs, and no threats real or implied of physical violence. Please see this post for more explanation, and the posts here, here, and here for advice on becoming a valued commenter as opposed to an ex-commenter. Although we rarely do so, we reserve the right to remove or edit comments, as well as suspend users' accounts, solely at the discretion of site administrators. Since we try to err on the side of open debate, you may sometimes see comments which you believe strain the boundaries of our rules. Comments are the opinions of visitors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Stand Firm site administrators or Gri5th Media, LLC.