Monday, February 28, 2011

The Government are NOT about to force ‘gay marriage’ on the Church of England


Before this media-manufactured spat blows up into a full Church v State crisis – the likes of which Europe has seen quite regularly over two millennia, though increasingly less in England since the Erastian settlement by which the state has been supreme in matters ecclesiastical – His Grace would like to clarify a few things.

A few months before the 2010 General Election, David Cameron jumped in with both feet and presumed to lecture the Archbishop of Canterbury on gay rights. Mr Cameron said: “I don't want to get into a huge row with the Archbishop here, but the Church has to do some of the things that the Conservative Party has been through. Sorting this issue out and recognising that full equality is a bottom-line, full essential.”

And he didn’t get into a huge row with the Archbishop because the absoluteness of ‘full equality’ and the unequivocal ‘bottom line’ were quietly dropped after the election.

And yet, on the face of it, the Prime Minister appears fully to support ‘gay marriage’, for nothing else could be meant by ‘full equality’.

This, coupled with the (untrue) announcement a few weeks ago that the Government are intent on permitting ‘gay marriage’ to be performed in churches (and other religious buildings), has apparently led to some frantic meetings between MPs and bishops to find a typically Anglican via media solution to the issue.

Firstly, let us dispel the whole ‘gay marriage’ canard. The Government has made no proposals to redefine marriage. Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone is preparing a Bill to allow all religious venues – churches, synagogues, mandirs, gurdwaras and mosques to perform some kind of blessing upon homosexual unions if they wish, and to permit sacred scriptures and religious paraphernalia to be used in civil partnership ceremonies. There is no compulsion or coercion of anyone: the state is not redefining marriage, for it cannot.

As His Grace has said, the prohibition on the use of pseudo-spiritual poems in civil ceremonies is absurd: it amounts to state censorship and an enforced division between the private realm of spiritual belief and the public realm of political policy. If consenting adults wish to read the Bible, the Qur’an, the Gita, the Upinishads or a divine piece of Shakespeare as they make their vows, that should be a matter for them. We do not have a tradition of laïcité in this country, and the fundamentalist secularisation of society amounts to the systematic elimination of all religion from public life. Conservatives should see such a violation of conscience and property rights as utterly abhorrent.

If two consenting adult Muslims wish to trundle off to their local mosque to get their gay-friendly imam to pray Allah’s blessing upon their happy civil partnership, what business is that of the state? Having legislated for same-sex civil partnerships, it is bizarre to permit ceremonies to be performed in the Palace of Westminster whilst barring them from Finsbury Park Mosque. The state should have no interest other than in the licence of partnership by which property rights may be determined in law.

Notwithstanding this, Jonathan Wynn-Jones reported that the Archbishop of Canterbury ‘is not prepared for the Coalition to tell the Church how to behave’ and ‘would not be dictated to by the Government’.

Apparently, he had no fewer than four sources for this article, so it must be true.

While we may quibble over the use of the terms ‘Coalition’ and ‘Government’ in this context, His Grace would like to point out to His Grace (if accurately reported, by four sources) that it is indeed for Parliament ‘to tell the Church how to behave’, just as it is for Parliament to license the Church’s Prayer Book and choose its Supreme Governor.

Mr Wynn-Jones informs us that Dr Williams ‘told a private meeting of influential politicians that the Church of England would not bow to public pressure to allow its buildings to be used to conduct same-sex civil partnerships’ and that the Church ‘held a clear position that marriage is between a man and a woman and would not consider changing this stance’.

And so the Archbishop has been accused of ‘alienating homosexuals’ and rendering the Church ‘out of touch with society’. According to Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kempton: “Public opinion is moving faster than the Church on this issue and it is increasingly in danger of getting left behind.”

Well, thank God for that.

It is not for the Church of Jesus Christ to accommodate every passing fad and societal obsession: sometimes, being ‘left behind’ is very much the best place to be.

But The Daily Mail (which has plagiarised Mr Wynn-Jones’ article verbatim) quotes Dr Williams as saying: “Gay weddings will never take place in church buildings.”

Again, His Grace would like to point out to His Grace (if accurately quoted) that a Church of England building has already been used to conduct a ‘gay marriage’.

So ‘never’ is already negated.

Perhaps Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone has this sort of marriage liturgy in mind when she talks of ‘gay marriage’:
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God to join these men in a holy covenant of love and fidelity. Such a covenant shows us the mystery of the union between God and God's people and between Christ and the Church... As David and Jonathan's souls were knit together, so these men may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made."
But getting this form of Nuptial Mass through Parliament is fraught with so many complexities that they would be easier for a camel to pass through St Stephen's Gate.

It should be evident to politicians of all political persuasions and faiths that marriage is not an exclusively Judaeo-Christian institution; it is a union observed in all cultures, and seems, according to Aristotle, to exist by nature. Marriage in the Bible is essential for the functioning of society, and is the model used to explain the mystery of Christ’s relationship to the church (Eph 5:25-32). The Church of England ‘affirms, according to our Lord’s teaching, that marriage is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong, for better or worse, till death do them part, of one man with one woman’. This has its basis in the Old Testament, where YHWH says: ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’ (Gen 2:18). It continues: ‘for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh’ (v24). Although these verses do not purport to define marriage, they do describe its origin, and are therefore crucial for understanding the Bible’s teaching on marriage.

There are three principal purposes for marriage arising out of v24: (i) the procreation of children; (ii) companionship, and (iii) sexual union. Marriage is a covenant before God, which Jesus confirms with the phrase ‘God has joined together’ (Mt 19:26); when a person ‘leaves’ and ‘cleaves’. Iain Duncan Smith (at least) has realised that it is the erosion of this foundation which has contributed to ‘Breakdown Britain’.

While the Church in England is subject to Parliament, Parliament is not so omnipotent that it may alter the Word of God. But the Government is not proposing to do so. Permitting religious buildings to be used for the blessing of civil partnerships is not the same as imposing a redefinition of marriage upon the Established Church. So let us stop all this hype, for the Prime Minister is rather busy and can do without such disinformation.

74 Comments:

Blogger Utar Efson said...

Your Grace -

I wish I had your simple belief that the Government was not planning on imposing same-sex marriage in Britain. I concede that they have no proposal to do so...yet.

As is painfully evident from the previous incumbents it would not surprise me if the move to allow "blessings" is simply a stepping stone to the full, malicious redefinition of marriage by the State.

The frog in a pan of warming water is an excellent metaphor for the advancement of the agenda of the professional politician.

UE

28 February 2011 at 09:58  
Blogger Simon Sarmiento said...

The Government has made no proposals to redefine marriage.

Not yet, but the Government has announced a further consultation, separate from the matter of CPs in religious venues. See my Church Times interview with Lynne Featherstone at
http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=108237

This is what has got them worried.

28 February 2011 at 09:58  
Blogger Paul said...

Your Grace,

Do you remember the promises that civil partnerships were not the homosexual equivalent of marriage, that they were purely secular arrangements etc. ?

Do you think promises made by Her Majesty's Government on such issues are to be trusted?

I fear that smoke has been getting in your eyes on this one.

28 February 2011 at 10:26  
Anonymous Anguished Soul said...

It's even more alarming when you think that Dave purports to be a Christian. He obviously doesn't fear the Lord's wrath...

28 February 2011 at 10:26  
Blogger Vincent said...

Congratulations on your article, not least for the vigilance with which you ensure that the term “gay marriage” is always encased in quotation marks.

28 February 2011 at 10:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear sir

Dr Williams is a politician first and foremost, who is more governed with courting public opinion and bums on seats than in upholding Scriptural standards.

I doubt this spineless character will take a stand against the government, as John Sentamu or Michael Nazir-Ali would more likely do.

Shame on him!

People would do well and listen to the words of Christ, rather than this blind false shepherd.

Best regards

@enochcarpenter at twitter

28 February 2011 at 10:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies

Excuse my silly keyboard, governed should by concerned on my 1st paragraph!

:)

28 February 2011 at 10:49  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions." How many times have we been told that this doesn't mean that or if we allow this, that wont happen? Gain an inch, take a mile is the liberal agenda.
http://ancientbritonpetros.blogspot.com/2011/02/englishmans-word-is-his-bond.html

28 February 2011 at 11:20  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

I'm a great believer in "Live and let live", and that in broad terms people should be allowed to do what they want provide that they don't interfere with others in the process.
If gay people want to live together, I may not approve, but it is their business. If they want a fancy ceremony or even call themselves "married", frankly I don't care; they're not in my terms, and that is all that matters with me.
If our Rector decided to "marry" or even bless a "marriage" of two gays in our church, I would be upset, not with the gays, but with the Rector, and it would be the last he would see of me. However if the Rector carried out such a ceremony because he was told that he had to do so, only then would I be spurred into action! After all, he is apparently under no obligation to marry heterosexual couples in the church if he considers it inappropriate, so why should he be forced to marry gays?

Nevertheless, like AncientBritain above, I do worry about "give then an inch and they take a mile" ( a non-metric phrase which is probably illegal by now). The recent forcing of gays into places where they are not wanted like hotels being a typical example.

And of course there is the matter of abortion, which was essentially to be restricted to cases where the mother's life was in danger or the foetus seriously deformed. It has been stretched so far that we now effectively have abortion on demand.

28 February 2011 at 11:51  
Anonymous Philip said...

The problem is that permitting religious buildings to be used for blessing of civil partnerships could (or perhaps one should say, will) inevitably lead to pressure on congregations and denominations who do not wish to do so, maybe even litigation on discrimination.

Recent history of equality laws suggests this outcome. That the RC adoption agencies have been forced to close or cut their religious ties by equality law, Christian marriage registrars can be dismissed for their religious views on marriage, and Christian B&B owners are forced to pay compensation to homosexuals, demonstrates equality laws inevitably become an instrument of State coercion against Christians.

28 February 2011 at 11:55  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

Section 202(4) Equality Act 2010 inserts into section 258(2) Partnership Act 2004:

(3B) “Civil marriage” means marriage solemnised otherwise than according to the rites of the Church of England or any other religious usages.

So a marriage now solemnised by ‘consenting adults [who] read the Bible, the Qu’ran, the Gita, the Upinshads or a divine piece of Shakespeare as they make their vows…’ is a ‘marriage solemnised otherwise than according to the rites of the Church of England or any other religious usages’ according to the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

Are we sure the State has not redefined marriage?

I would be more than happy to be proved wrong and rebuked.

28 February 2011 at 11:56  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

YG said

If two consenting adult Muslims wish to trundle off to their local mosque to get their gay-friendly imam to pray Allah’s blessing upon their happy civil partnership, what business is that of the state?


Honestly YG, can you really see that ever happening? I am no fan of Islam but I will give them this, they stick to their core beliefs and don't bend to fashionable wishy washy Liberal bunkum, unlike the CofE.

Gays SHOULD have the right to a peaceful existence in our society but should NOT be given equal status/legitimacy to that of a marriage between a man and a woman. I do not believe that the Bible or the Koran sanctions such things as Gay Marriage and so ask a holy man to bless such a union in the name of God or Allah, is wrong.

28 February 2011 at 12:06  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Since I live in a country where Members of the Royal Family are not permitted to marry in civil ceremonies under 1948 Marriage Act inter alia, and yet the Prince of Wales considers himself married to his mistress, I am not altogether confident that His Grace has the final word on such matters.

It might be better if marriage ceased to be a Civil Ceremony altogether and was replaced with Civil Partnerships, with Marriage being reserved for religious ceremonies.

There are increasingly fewer areas of common agreement as to what constitutes a society or polity at all that perhaps we should consider separation of more than Church and State, but complete separation of whole communities from the intrusive and prescriptive ideological interference of the State ?

28 February 2011 at 12:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given that god made all in herimage, does that make her a poof.

28 February 2011 at 12:55  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

Anonymous said...

Dr Williams is a politician first and foremost ...


I beg to differ; Dr Williams is an academic theologian. If he were more of a politician perhaps he would be a bit more adept at leading the C of E.

28 February 2011 at 13:15  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

Although your linkage to Jonathan and David are to an apparently real Jonathan and David in today’s world: by such a linkage you do not terminate a suggested linkage to Jonathan and David of the Bible and thereby leave a suggestion which is opposed by the old and new Testaments.

Both of them were married and had children. They were close friends who had the kind of friendship that was common in the Ancient Near East. This type of friendship is hardly known today – except perhaps in the Mediterranean neighbourhood.

Indeed, King David had many wives and no male lovers.

I think it unwise for you to suggesd such things as they may influence the young in faith.

28 February 2011 at 13:23  
Anonymous Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

D Singh said 28 February 2011 13:23

"Both of them were married and had children. They were close friends who had the kind of friendship that was common in the Ancient Near East. This type of friendship is hardly known today – except perhaps in the Mediterranean neighbourhood."

Dear boy, it has become anathema to even represent such male friendships on Silver Screen or TV anymore without snide 'In the closet' remarks?

Laurel and Hardy?
Morecambe and Wise?

What on earth would Olly and Stan or Eric and Ernie make of this present generation.

"I think it unwise for you to suggesd such things as they may influence the young in faith."

Indeed!

Old Ernst

28 February 2011 at 13:43  
Blogger D. Singh said...

'Good morning, gentlemen. ACME pollution inspection. We're cleaning up the world, we thought this was a suitable starting point'.

Connery as Bond in 'Diamonds are Forever' (1971)

28 February 2011 at 14:05  
Anonymous Road_Hog said...

There is one reason only that the COE is not having its arm twisted over this.

The same rules/laws would have to apply to mosques and the special ones cannot be offended.

28 February 2011 at 14:06  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Statement 1: … the state is not redefining marriage, for it cannot. Statement 2: … it is indeed for Parliament ‘to tell the Church how to behave’

If Parliament has the power to regulate the Church, how can it not have the power to redefine marriage? Not that I would want it redefined: the Archbishop has gone up in my estimation by upholding the Church’s position on marriage. All we need now is for him to abandon his misguided tolerance of Islam in general and shari’ah law in particular.

28 February 2011 at 14:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The state is not redefining marriage, for it cannot."

This is not correct: the state can redefine marriage as it wishes. The redefinition you appear to object to has already occurred in many other European countries, with no deleterious effects whatsoever.

Britons were marrying before Christianity came to our islands, and most straight couples who marry today do not do so in church, so there is clearly no intrinsic dependence of marriage in Britain upon Christianity.

28 February 2011 at 14:30  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Anon said:

'... so there is clearly no intrinsic dependence of marriage in Britain upon Christianity'.

So that leaves the alternative: humanism.

Choose to do what you want.

Why not a marriage of three? Thirty-three?

If not the Judaeo-Christian norm then why not introduce polygamy?

A man marrying his horse?

It was Judaeo-Christianity that domesticated the excesses of humanism and prevented society from descending into social anarchy.

28 February 2011 at 14:37  
Anonymous Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

D Singh said 28 February 2011 14:05

"Connery as Bond in 'Diamonds are Forever' (1971)"

My favourite said Bond and Movie..I'm a likkle bit biased, I know but Hey Ho!

Ernst is having a 'quiet one' but I am enjoying your comments today, old sport.

Ernst

28 February 2011 at 14:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cranmer: I do so love you, but you're being incredibly naive on this one.

See today's Telegraph: "Christian couple lose foster ruling over views on homosexuality"

The underlying assumption behind that ruling is that the state can use the rule of law to force Christians to conform to the state's morals.

One of the ultimate goals of the modern leftist state is to make Christianity illegal, and this will be effected by compelling the church to marry gays in the name of legal equity. Churches of conscience will shut their doors.

You already see this in the US, where Catholic hospitals have been forced to close their doors rather than offer mandatory abortion services.

Wake up. Please, please, wake up.

28 February 2011 at 15:33  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Christians were not persecuted in England until the EU decided to use employment law to redesign society in general. It has been the use of specifically French and German rules of conformity that have transformed English Law.

It would appear that Christians like Muslims cannot conform to the dictates of the All-Powerful State and must separate themselves from it.

Whether the political structures in Western Europe will survive is debatable, it is clear they are on a course which will lead to conflict

28 February 2011 at 16:07  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

The vociferous gays that will keep banging on about having a “gay marriage” in a Church and the Featherstone women seems to have plenty of time to ferment nonsensical crap to appease this minority. They wont rest until they get the word of God changed to suit them that's their whole agenda. Call me Dave has to say No.

I wouldn't think that the majority of Church goers are homosexuals so why should the Church bow down and do something that will upset the majority that are not? Why should it go against everything and open its doors to even bless the gay union when there are many more appropriate and meaningful places for a gay blessing. Eureka Valley, in San Francisco the “holy” city of gay lesbian, bisexual and transsexuals, plenty of gay history there and iconic buildings to use.

28 February 2011 at 17:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I look forward to the day when the first ‘gay’ couple dares step inside their local mosque and demand that their ‘marriage’ be blessed, as will be their right. After the ceremony I look forward to hearing that the happy couple have arrived safely at a Moslem run guest house and have been shown to their double room with complementary alcoholic beverage, as will be their right. After a night of nuptials I look forward to hearing that they were served Full English breakfasts with sausages, bacon and black pudding, as will be their right.

I jest about the breakfast...

28 February 2011 at 17:24  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Unfortunately my lengthy blogg post was lost to the cyber ether which is shame . It is nice to hear the archbishop find somthing foundational to the church to have convictiion on makes a change from the deeply thought words he useually gives the flock.I think marriage is for man and woman , a vessel that the church has a unique role in claiming a service and blessing for a godly thought vessel.

The news has just broke on the couple who have been barred from fostering (despite fostering before) as they have told the SS that they find homosexuality an affront and would not raise children teaching them it is equal .

Perhaps His holiness pope Bendicts speaking on agressive athiesm wasnt to far short on enshrining secualr parenting.

28 February 2011 at 18:11  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ not a machine (18:11)—If your posts are not appearing, try clearing your Google and Blogger cookies. In practice, it may be easier simply to clear all your cookies and start from scratch. It worked for me (touch wood).

28 February 2011 at 18:32  
Anonymous len said...

'According to Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kempton: “Public opinion is moving faster than the Church on this issue and it is increasingly in danger of getting left behind.”
........
Brighton Kemptown has for as long as I can remember been the seat of a 'gay 'community.So Mr Kirby has his own particular 'axe to grind'if he wants to be re elected.

28 February 2011 at 18:37  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

If the state wishes to change the law on marriage to include same sex couples then they may have difficulty over heriditary titles and even the monarchy.

Holy Matrimony has always been seen by sacramental Christians as a mystery in much the same way as "betwixt Christ and His Church". However much certain Christians may feel obliged to offer same sex blessings, such activities are without the understanding of Catholic Christendom. No such doctrines have been revealed in scripture or by tradition.

28 February 2011 at 19:10  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Simon Radford-Kirby is irrelevant - he represents Brighton !

the Church was left behind every time Moloch was resurrected in every generation

28 February 2011 at 19:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His Grace forgets that this government is a Coalition that includes LibDems as Ministers of the Crown. I would hazard a guess that the LibDems are even more extreme in their devotion to the Cultural Marxist Trojan Horse of "Equality and Diversity" than New Labour.

From

http://www.equalities.gov.uk/

we read that the

"GEO [Government Equalities Office] is a small policy Department employing just over 100 staff, which has responsibility within Government for equality strategy and legislation. GEO takes the lead on issues relating to women, sexual orientation and transgender equality matters.

On May 12th 2010, the Prime Minister appointed The Rt Hon Theresa May MP [Conservative] as Minister for Women and Equalities in addition to her appointment as Home Secretary. Lynne Featherstone MP [Liberal Democrat] is the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Equalities)."

With the possible exception of Her Majesty's Armed Forces, the Senior Management of all Public Service Organizations, and most especially the Civil Service, have for the last 15 years been completely suborned by New Labour, and have vied with each other in their desperation to prove their loyalty to their New Labour masters by indoctrinating their staff in the tenets of "Equality and Diversity", and in their devotion to the imposition of a Cultural Marxist "Weltanshauung" on an unwilling English population.

It is therefore not only entirely possible, but very probable, that the many adherents of this pernicious soft-communist pseudo-religion in all the main "constitutional" parties and throughout the Civil Service will seek to use what that New Labour apologist Andrew Marr called the "coercive power of the State" to impose their writ on the churches.

Alfred of Wessex

28 February 2011 at 20:15  
Blogger Anoneumouse said...

Can I marry ET and where dose that fall under the Human Rights Act.

28 February 2011 at 20:24  
Anonymous Edmund Berk said...

Forgive the cynicism but this seems to me to be the first blow in a typical jab, uppercut approach used to railroad through the orthodoxy of the day.

Once there are no legal barriers to allowing churches (or mosques etc) to do as they wish, it can surely only be a matter of time until a gay couple then sue for discrimination against a church now taking a stance on other than legal grounds.

I am reminded of the assurances given by Europe to the Irish on abortion, and yet they are now being dragged through the 'courts' of ECHR canon law.

28 February 2011 at 20:27  
Anonymous LCF said...

Long time reader, first time poster, Your Grace. Greetings in Christ.

I agree completely with the central premise of your article. I have no issue with homosexual people (love the sinner, not the sin, etc.) And, as cliched as it is, some of my best friends do happen to be gay.

I also have no problem with the legal status of a Civil Partnership which grants civil rights to homosexual couples who wish to make a commitment to each other, for whatever reasons.

As YG rightly notes, however, Marriage is a different issue, and there are no plans to introduce "Gay Marriage", nor could such a thing realistically be introduced.

The problem, I think, arises from the fact that the general public, including some "Christians" (and Gay Rights groups) have taken "Civil Partnership" to mean, and equate to, "Marriage" in the Biblical sense of the word; yet another sign of how little the true concept of marriage means to many people today, and how trivially it's viewed.

For once in his left-wing, beard-sporting, socks-and-sandals-promotative life, the Archbishop is right.

But His Grace is being deliberately misinterpreted by the media, as are the couple today whose appeal to the High Court to adopt children, despite their refusal to *promote* a gay lifestile due to their Christian beliefs, are.

28 February 2011 at 20:39  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Your Grace.
My trust in any statement of political intent containing the trace elements of integrity & truth were scuttled by former P.M Edward Heaths promise that the Common Market was & always would be, just that. The question of it becoming a "United States of Europe" was not even a possibility (LOL).

If two people wish to have a same sex relationship. That is their freewill choice.
If they wish to have that union blessed by their Church, Temple, Mosque or Synagogue I would say that either they have recognised that their is a God & therefore they are answerable to Him on the conduct of every area of their lives, including sex.
Or they are for their own reasons resorting to deception, maybe even self deception in believing that a Church blessing will somehow make the union O.K & blessed by God.
For the more militant of the 'Gay' society a refusal could be seen as a way to gain publicity & score points against the Church with the intention of gaining a 'Victory' by eventually making it illegal for a minister to refuse to perform the said ceremony.
We ALL should remember that God is not answereable to man, be they straight, gay, P.M, Pope or Archbishop. But we are without doubt answerable to Him.
What has History to say regarding His view? Well Sodom & Gommorah would be a good place to start.
Be Careful friends. You could have a Tiger by the tail!.

28 February 2011 at 20:58  
Anonymous len said...

Brighton, Kemptown is a parliamentary constituency covering the Kemptown district in the city of Brighton and Hove.
This is a part of Brighton. Brighton Pavilion is another Parliamentary seat in central Brighton.
I point this out as it is relevant to my earlier post.
Marriage as HG pointed out is a Covenant made (by a male and a female) before God (which God will bless as He ordained it.)
A 'gay marriage ' can be performed anywhere presumably( I should keep well away from Mosques though)but God has made His position clear through His Word so the 'marriage ritual' would be meaningless.

28 February 2011 at 22:22  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I couldnt let my other thoughts rest on this. As a young man that lived a very modern life , I perhaps would fall somewhat way short on the rt hon Ian Duncan Smiths view of his long and cherished marriage. Marriage has perhaps been replaced by the more scientific idea of compatability , love with commonality or shared values as the road to happiness.

This kind of sorted out happiness before one becomes intimate in legal terms is supposed to offer some sort of risk removal to happiness being attained .It acknowledges all encompassing physcology and reaches further into replacing the spiritual with physcology. Quite wether upon the first real argument in a realtionship ,one uses an app that was on the site that matched you up , rather than requiring the person to understand somthing of there situation, all begins to whiff of huxleys brave new world .

The male problem of being emotionally small has got many professors , the females seem to be keen on testing the man for juvenile tendancies or faults .All of this occures in very sexualised world and instant gratification. Once of the belief that "being boring" is the social sin as an individual one must never commit , relationship all too quickly becomes contract which one may feel more obliged to take or leave , profitable or loss .
these things could also be as result of loss of the church and its far more organic teachings , that speak both of vessel and the responsibilty of carrying it .

Which belief is spurious , the one with godly human growth and love or the one with the desires of compatability consumerism intact with sex and no boredom, has been in competion for some time .
The prudes vs the nerds is perhaps not a spectular fight , but it has consequnce .Multimillionaires may well have a market view about realtionship , but where marriage has really counted is in those couples who have little and work together to make a better life , nor is it really an alternative to the security of money . Who having lost love, when experienced ,would not have given everything to have it back.
The loss of the understanding of christian love has other consequnces for society, who will foster the children , have the care for the elderly or dying , genuine compassion , the all too human aspects , if home life is not stable and full of relational meanining , rather than hours either watching, listening to or playing a game on the electronic destractions in ones own world of greater (but solitary) world of satisfaction , a litter of social network memorium and yet increasingly less time/respectful attention with real world human/close relationship.

It may be a little too late to point out that devotion and vocation are different to addiction and browsing , but I am fairly sure that society will not improve until we can teach better real world/life emotions in knowing marriage is a journey requiring work and growth and sacrfice of things that are found in the spiritual world of christian belief .

1 March 2011 at 01:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The government very recently announced that it would no longer record if conceptions of babies were linked to marriage or cohabitation. This is obviously part of the erosion of the distinction between the two, and by analogy, between civil partnerships and 'gay marriage'. The state chooses to be very vigilant about what language we use about sexuality, yet chooses to erase information about sexual behaviour when it suits its covertly anti-natalist and eugenicist ends - supported by members of all the mainstream political parties, let's recall, including many Conservatives. Protestants lag far behind Roman Catholics in showing awareness of this dimension of the problem.

1 March 2011 at 02:04  
Anonymous not a machine said...

being as the post has just disappeared , you might think I had lost my way with current affairs in libya .Not so , his rule is comming to an end , via a majority decision by his own people , who perhaps have there only oppertunity to circumvent fraudulant elections.
leaving/fleeing a country with reletively small life and ecnomic loss would be perhaps a real leaders love for his people , a deluded dictator would only claim there was no choice in such clear need for better goverment by its people.

This idea of maytr perhaps attempts to frustrate and cause handwringing , but as saddam found there were his own people who thought hanging him was the only recourse for all he had done , and few put pictures up of saddam in Iraq as a much loved maytr.

1 March 2011 at 02:12  
Blogger Randal Oulton said...

Oh for heaven's sake. Why can't you all just be more like Canada and get on with it.

The side bonus is that your country wouldn't be bankrupt, either.

1 March 2011 at 02:24  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

AncientBriton said...
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

This may certainly appear to be the case.

However, I contend that bad things ultimately happen because of ultimately bad intentions often cloaked in good ones.

Wolves in sheep's clothing.

The intention of the state is to eventually take over by dictate every aspect of human existence. This including his spiritual as well as material life.

Some may have been persuaded that this is a good thing, mainly by most stupidly believing that this sort of thing will only apply to others. However our common sense should tell us all, that this is anything but good, indeed it is a manifestation of the most profound EVIL.

The opposite of conservatism, better known as Fascism or Fabianism.

Cameron and The ABofC should know this, IMO they do, and do not give a damn.

For it is of the nature of the ruling class to be cursed with the belief that they know best, and that the common people are designed by God to be inferior beings which cannot properly or usefully exist without their guidance and instruction.

If they were not born with this affliction, they soon enough lean to think this way by the time they leave university.

However the ruling class do not have the confidence that they appear to have that this is actually the case. Therefore they make sure it appears to be as best as they can.

In other words they break the back legs of their farm animals at birth, and then blame them for not being able to stand on its own legs for the rest of its crippled lives. By so doing create a role for themselves in society, where there would not otherwise have been one.

For as a general rule these people are utterly useless. They struggle to understand the most simplest of practical things such as repairing their own dripping taps, keeping their own friendships or marriages in tact.

Instead they bury their minds and souls in things such as highly elitist Art and literature, while comforting themselves with the accumulation of as much material wealth as they can most easily, and most usually immorally attain.

The higher up the pecking order these greedy idiots are, or believe they are, the more deeply rooted this pathologically based psychosis becomes.

Cameron and The ABofC being reasonably low in this pyramidical pecking order, therefore they both retain a seeming semblance of normality. This is not the case with the people who are, as well as believe themselves to be far higher up Jacob's ladder.

The thing to remember is that The state is the property, or play thing, of the aristocracy and their corporatist bed fellows. Which is why the state is inherently FASCIST is most of its short term, and all of its long term intentions.

Therefore the state is ultimately not at all liberal in any real sense of the word, it is FASCIST in all important regards and most of the lesser ones, and not about to get in anyway less so.

1 March 2011 at 04:24  
Anonymous bluedog said...

'Cameron and The ABofC being reasonably low in this pyramidical pecking order.'

Mr Atlas, if the Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury are relatively insignificant in your particular version of the Anatomy of Britain, can you name the supreme leader?

1 March 2011 at 06:10  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Oh for heaven's sake. Why can't you all just be more like Canada and get on with it.

Lots of deportations needed to get our population, and population density down

1 March 2011 at 07:19  
Anonymous Tacitus said...

Unless the Church afully accepts gay marriage it will be left in the nineteenth century and become nothing more than an artefact. If it wants to be relevant and vibrant it must demonstrate the liberal, open-mindedness of Jesus. Nothing less is acceptable.

1 March 2011 at 08:56  
Anonymous Voyager said...

demonstrate the liberal, open-mindedness of Jesus

Jesus was a 1st Century Orthodox Jewish Rabbi wearing orthodox garments and tzitzit. He was Torah observant.

Just where did you get your Neo-Pagan belief ?

1 March 2011 at 09:54  
Anonymous len said...

The Church far from needing to bow to the moral turpitude of our'modern Society' need to return to its roots!!
Back to the' Book of Acts ',Back to basics,cut out all the religious nonsense and the 'additions and the traditions of men and the Church empowered by the Holy Spirit could turn this World upside down!

1 March 2011 at 17:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Church times readers say YES to religious CPs

On 18/02/2011 we asked you "Should civil-partnership ceremonies for same-sex couples take place in church?"
The results were:
Yes 58%
No 41%

Total : 458

3 March 2011 at 00:18  
Anonymous len said...

Church Times readers, does this constitute being a Christian?, I thought there was a bit more to it than that!

4 March 2011 at 22:56  
Anonymous Danj0 said...

^ Unless one is filling in the 2011 census or referring to the 2001 census apparently.

5 March 2011 at 11:44  
Anonymous len said...

Figures can easily be 'inflated' the 'gay rights movement do this with the proportion of 'gays(what a misnomer) in Society.
Probably to add weight to their demands and the ongoing campaign to promote and 'normalise' homosexuality in the Media.
The true percentage of Christians (of whatever Denomination) would only be known by Jesus Christ.
The portrayal of Christians in the Media is part of a campaign to alienate and sideline Christians........................................but that is another issue.

6 March 2011 at 08:06  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Homosexuality is normal and natural so it's just a matter of social justice really.

The media portrays Christians variously good and bad, unlike Muslims which it almost always portrays badly.

I'm not that bothered about how the media portrays Christians myself. I know enough to see the reality. Similarly with Muslims.

6 March 2011 at 11:19  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Homosexuality cannot be normal behaviour, if it were normal then we would not be here discussing this. It does occur in the animal world but I've read mainly where there are not enough mating partners of the opposite sex so as a kind of ersatz partner.

6 March 2011 at 15:48  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Homosexuality cannot be normal behaviour, if it were normal then we would not be here discussing this."

Words like 'normal' and 'natural' have a context and various meanings depending on that. For instance, homosexuality is sometimes described as 'abnormal', usually meaning something like wrong or deviant rather than unusual or not typical.

Of course not that many people are homosexual, something like the number of church-going Christians I suspect, and so it is an unusual trait or behaviour at least. Homosexuality, I mean, though it could equally apply to church-going.

It is clearly not normal as in being a social norm, since most people aren't homosexual, although I bet rather more people than just homosexuals try it in their lives, or do things more associated with homosexual men to their female partners.

Perhaps normal here just means socially acceptable? It wasn't acceptable that long ago, of course. But times change. Other sexual behaviour that once wasn't normal in this sense is now normal, such as sex before marriage.

Sex before marriage is rather frowned upon by some of the religious, though by observation to nothing like the level of homosexuality in public. That's probably because frowning on it in public makes one look a prude, whereas frowning on homosexuality does not.

I expect most people have sex before marriage these days, including Christians as it goes, and most people don't like someone frowning on what they consider to be entirely normal, i.e. acceptable, behaviour.

I used to work with a Christian guy who attended the local Elim church. We talked about the prohibition of sex before marriage and I asked him whether he was still a virgin, his being in his early 30s and unmarried though serially seeing someone. He blushed and said no, of course not.

Thinking back, I'm wondering now if he was worried about being seen as abnormal for being a virgin in his early 30s in this day and age, or whether he blushed at my holding him to what he may have thought were antiquated and abnormally-held beliefs.

6 March 2011 at 16:40  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Normal as in meaning homosexuality is not the typical behaviour of the majority of the human species.

Although homosexuality is a natural occurrence in nature and we have seen this with identical male twins from one egg but two sperm where one is homosexual and the other heterosexual. There are also those who are born heterosexual but choose to become homosexual and lately it seems to be the fashion to be gay as it's promoted so heavily. In fact if you're NOT gay or gay friendly one is ridiculed, ostracised and frowned upon in polite society. If you espouse normal human behaviour these days you're about as popular as a BNP member at a UAF meeting!

6 March 2011 at 20:28  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"There are also those who are born heterosexual but choose to become homosexual and lately it seems to be the fashion to be gay as it's promoted so heavily."

You don't believe that, surely?

Is religious belief all that is stopping you performing oral sex on (say) a Womens Institute member? You really quite fancy the idea of a Gucci handbag or some lesbian sex to be à la mode?

You know, I'm gay and the thought of doing anything sexual to a woman is completely beyond me. And that's pretty fashionable for men to want to do that. I have zero sexual interest in women and always have had.

However, I have to say I wish it were true. I quite fancy being a fashion accessory this season for some dark, handsome man.

"In fact if you're NOT gay or gay friendly one is ridiculed, ostracised and frowned upon in polite society."

Well, in polite society perhaps. It's like being racist or misogynist I suppose.

6 March 2011 at 21:30  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

So you're sexually confused, you've been brainwashed by the Marxist/liberal elite? Oh dear
I suppose you support the destruction of the middle class family too no doubt. You should try to control your homosexual urges. Have you considered celibacy?

6 March 2011 at 23:02  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Well, interesting response there.

I copied your original point and that to my facebook page. They're doing the rounds on multiple pages now. :)

7 March 2011 at 06:47  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

No damning comments I hope?

7 March 2011 at 12:10  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 March 2011 at 12:10  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Your belief that people are choosing their sexual orientation for fashion reasons is a Flat Earth type interpretation. There's not a lot to be said about that other than it suggests there's something really wrong with your reasoning or perhaps your core beliefs to come up with something so counter-intuitive.

The blithe assumptions in your second comment are a little astonishing, truth to be told. It's hard to know what to say about them really.

The Marxist thing seems to be common theme on this blog with the tin foil hat lot, I asked some time ago for an explanation but gave up when one poster thought Karl Marx's idea of Utopia was a world with just owners and workers under extreme capitalism.

I can't make head or tail of the destruction of the middle class family thing. I'm confused as to the relevance of middle class there, or why I might want to destroy the concept of a family in that particular socio-economic group. Do you mean the nuclear family?

That you think I am sexually confused given what I said is very odd in itself. Surely it's the exact opposite? I know that some teenagers have a period of vague sexual ambiguity but I never even had that.

As for controlling my urges, why would you assume I don't? It's just sexual orientation as far as self control is concerned, the type doesn't matter and most people manage self-control.

You ask if I have considered celibacy. Have you considered celibacy yourself? If so then why? I can't think of a reason myself why I would want to by choice. It's a strange question, really. But then the whole of your comment is quite strange; basically it's a non-sequitur and a little ungrounded.

7 March 2011 at 15:32  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

I took it that you are quite young and with a screen name like Danjo (see option 3 in the Urban dictionary) that you more than likely were sexually confused from possibly being brainwashed with the “wonders” of the gay lifestyle during your formative years.

From my experiences of friends,men and women who have left stable and happy long term hetero marriages and relationships to go off with someone of same sex drove me to conclude that there are some people who have with the changing society decided to change their sexual preferences because they now can and because the gay agenda pushing Marxist liberal elite are making homosexuality into the norm, and destroying the sacred family especially the middle class ones as they have always been the decent moral backbone of a once stable solid Britain. So I have to ask is making same sex relationships too accessible changing and undermining the family and removing too many people from the normal way of life? I would think it is.

So my hairdresser is gay, my best friends clever brother is gay (he is denying the human gene pool of his excellent DNA by not having children), my tutor at a course I am taking is probably a born lesbian but her much younger partner was married for ten yrs with a ten yr old son at the time she suddenly decided to become a lesbian. Another friend's common law wife gave up 11 yrs of normality to shack up with a woman rather suddenly. There are many more I could list. It's fashionable it seems or were they all closet gays anyway? Hard to imagine. I can't even question this and say it's wrong without people jumping down my throat and pigeon-holing me as a bigot.

Celibacy for me is more preferable than having meaningless sex with many partners.

Oh! and the W. I.hold talks on rug making NOT rug munching!

7 March 2011 at 21:34  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Actually, it's Dan J with a zero on the end. Daniel, you see. And the first letter of my surname. I'm most amused at the urban dictionary, that completely passed me by. How spooky! I'm intrigued now though about how you knew that, or do you google names when someone on the Net teases you?

Have you tried asking your best friend's brother, your hairdresser, your tutor, and friend's wife whether they're just doing it to be the height of fashion? Apparently, floral patterns are this coming season's thing; so much easier wearing that than ditching a long marriage I'd have thought.

As for the wonders of a gay lifestyle in my formative years, I posted about that when I first came here. I was brought up in a mono-cultured middle-class area by socially-conforming parents. This was some years ago before we got a measure of social justice and things were rather more aggressive for us back then. I was absolutely terrified at school of people realising or presuming I was gay.

During my first year of university, I sat on a window ledge at the top of a tower block deciding whether to jump or not because of my sexual orientation. The only thing that stopped me was the realisation of the effect it would have on my parents. Even today, some teenagers go through hell because of it, especially in religious places like America. There's an ongoing campaign at the moment trying to tackle related teenager suicide there, endorsed by President Obama.

Perhaps this might give you a small inkling of how it might be received for someone to say that we are just choosing to be gay as a fashion statement. Or perhaps not. I spend time on the Telegraph comments pages so I am well accustomed to online Christian 'love' as you can probably imagine.

7 March 2011 at 22:17  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Celibacy for me is more preferable than having meaningless sex with many partners."

What about meaningful sex with one partner? Or is that not actually possible for gay people in your mind? I think you find it is.

When I posted your comment on my facebook, a social worker friend who also happens to be gay jokingly commented that evangelicals seem to spend more time thinking about gay sex than he did, and that they seem to imagine he's at it night and day with everyone he can find. It does feel like that sometimes.

You know your 'fashionable' thing, is it possible, do you think, that it is simply more acceptable now and bisexual people who have been 'brainwashed' into thinking a heterosexual life is the only possible one suddenly find out they can live more naturally for them now?

7 March 2011 at 22:29  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

People are like sheep if something becomes acceptable and encouraged they want to copy it and do it. Look at the following all these celebrities have. Like His Grace points out, more people follow David Beckham’s tattoos and the X factor than what is really going on in society and how it will have a deeper impact on their lives. Being gay,bisexual or having a sex change these days is almost de-rigour. Even my middle class cousin who had a strict Methodist upbringing but has been herself a liberal at heart so her children have turned out unruly and wild. Son number 2 in his 20's still living at home dragged back one evening his girlfriend and a strange man. Cousin was a bit shocked but let him carry on. So he's become bi and my cousin also thought she'd try it too. She's been married 33 yrs and hubby doesn't seem to mind. What next neighbourhood orgies? It's debauched.

Many kids get bullied (both my brother and I included) for a variety of reasons. And some commit suicide for many reasons too. It's not just about being gay. Bullying is unacceptable, but it happens and as my mother said to me “love you have learn to fight your own battles.” In a way it's the first test of survival. If you can get through a period of bullying then you come out a tougher person.

8 March 2011 at 13:19  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Looking on “Gaydar” a lot of them are at it alI the time but that's not what I care about if they do it in private. And if they wish to live together in a long term relationship that's up to them as long as they don't impinge on others. What I feel passionately about is the changing face of society now that the reigns are coming off one by one. The crumbling of family values and the depreciation of the institute of marriage. Like I've said, making same sex relationships too accessible is eroding the quality of the human gene pool as well as destroying normal family life which is the typical behaviour of human beings. I think we are heading into dangerous and muddy waters because as we head into the world of scientific production of children and children being brought up by same sex households where will it all end? God will rain hot Sulphur down to burn and choke us all as in Sodom and Gomorrah.

8 March 2011 at 13:21  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Being gay,bisexual or having a sex change these days is almost de-rigour."

You persist with this yet it is manifestly rubbish. Just look into yourself if you are straight and and ask yourself if you are capable of same sex activities simply for fashion reasons. I'm all ears on that one, I can't wait for the answer.

Also, please get back to me with the answers of your best friend's brother, your hairdresser, your tutor, and friend's wife when you get around to asking them whether they're just doing it because it's de rigeur now. I won't be able to rest until I know.

I'm quite impressed with the extent of the goings on in your social and family life. Do you actually live in Wisteria Lane? I feel like I've been missing out, having as I do a fairly simple and unadorned sex life and history. Perhaps you should write a book about it, like Jilly Copper?

I'm afraid I'm going to have to post your comment about having sex changes being de rigeur these days on my facebook. I know one person online who is a post-op trans-sexual and one who is pre-op from a forum I used to frequent. I know their stories and I'm sure they will be thrilled with your opinion of their choices.

I gather feeling trapped in a body of the wrong sex, undergoing the psychiatric assessments, drug regime, operations, and subsequent social adjustment is very traumatic. I confess to feeling quite contemptuous over this. From experience, I don't have great expectations of Christians these days but this example of a lack of compassion and empathy surprises even me.

8 March 2011 at 13:53  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

We are all capable of having same sex relations it's just that most of us don't want to.

We've all got stories and most of us don't like some part of our bodies and psyche, but in the case of not feeling happy in our own skin, wouldn't it be better to learn to accept oneself as one is rather than making such drastic changes as a sex change operation. Although it's just another plastic surgery procedure on the outside, surely the inside could be treated. Self help literature, medication to adjust possible hormonal imbalances, hypnosis, whatever.

Isn't plastic surgery on the increase these days due to celebrities having it, TV and media promoting it? So it's easier and more readily available too. An ex work colleague is a transformed male to female who seems to have admired Cherrie Blair. When she did presentations it was as though the Blair woman herself was in the room, now that is sad. Is she any happier afterwards well that is questionable as she is always moaning about how hard done to she is. She is 6'4” wears size 10 shoes and is a size 22. She wears long skirts to cover up her calves and shows a strange jealous streak of really feminine women which she sits and observes intently when at corporate functions.

The Bible says it's immoral. Learn to love what God has given you.

8 March 2011 at 15:34  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"We are all capable of having same sex relations it's just that most of us don't want to."

Not even because it is apparently fashionable? I am certainly capable of same-sex relations, it's the different sex ones I am not capable of. If we did a poll here then I suspect pretty much all the men would say that having sex with another man is impossible for them. It's a physical problem with men, you see. Rather difficult to fake attraction, even for money.

Can I just ask you about Gaydar? You know, right, that one needs to register a profile there to view other profiles through the site? Is that what you've done? I think your silence on the 'danjo' thing suggests you've been googling my name, which is a little bizarre though you won't be the first, but registering with Gaydar as you talk of looking through it? What's that all about?

Gaydar, if straight people here are still reading, is a gay dating site which is rather akin to a town-centre 'meat market' nightclub, except online. Of course, the way of meeting gay people is changing now it's all much more open and accepted. As with nightclubs, there are 'players' who are very promiscuous, only more so given the historic ships-in-the-night approach of the gay scene when it was not socially acceptable to be gay.

8 March 2011 at 17:27  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Well, I think one can read as much from the silence there as the words. Interesting ...

11 March 2011 at 08:24  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Some of us have other things to do.

In a nutshell what I’m saying is that surely you cannot rule out that social pressure popularising homosexuality CAN change SOME people’s sexual preferences and behaviour. That homosexual, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender orientation is not all down to genetics or hormonal imbalances whilst in the womb that there could possibly be other influences as well that bring on this deviation of the norm.

“I think your silence on
the 'danjo' thing suggests you've been googling my name”
Don't flatter yourself boy. With that name I didn't need to refer to Google.

God Bless

11 March 2011 at 23:11  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

I've done a straw poll amongst my gay friends and none of us knew what 'danjo' meant. Yet you do. The words on the urban dictionary, third entry, suggest American slang too. Curious. :) I notice also that you have dodged the Gaydar thing. While we're talking about slang, do you know what "busted!" means?

12 March 2011 at 08:30  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

For research purposes only, and it's amazing who you find on there!
Anyway “Busted” aren't they some useless, untalented pop group or were you being a true to form bitchy queer.

13 March 2011 at 13:46  

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