Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The myths in the Government's gay marriage 'Mythbusters'


CARE’s public affairs team has produced a response to the Government’s Mythbusters document on same-sex marriage - you know, the one that listed all the panicky rumour and unfounded conjecture ('Myths'), and then patronisingly - not to say deceptively - set out the 'Reality'. CARE's response to each 'Reality' may be seen to establish the veracity of the 'Myth', which are not actually myths at all. The full list of ripostes may be found HERE. His Grace reproduces just three:

MYTH: Allowing same-sex couples to marry will destroy the institution of marriage.

REALITY: Marriage is a hugely important institution in this country. The principles of long-term commitment and responsibility which underpin it bind society together and make it stronger. The Government believes that we should not prevent people getting married unless there are very good reasons – and loving someone of the same sex is not one of them.

CARE’s RESPONSE: Commitment and responsibility are key components of marriage. For years the law has recognised this by making adultery a ground for divorce. According to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, adultery does not apply to marriages between two people of the same sex. Lawyers have already said that this situation is unsustainable and that, in time, adultery will in practice be removed as a basis for divorce altogether.[1] In light of these things, the Government cannot claim that the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will promote commitment and responsibility. In reality it will have quite the opposite effect.

MYTH: Teachers will have to promote same-sex marriage to pupils in sex and relationships education.

REALITY: This is not true. No teacher will be required to promote or endorse views which go against their beliefs. As with any other area of the curriculum teachers will of course be required to teach the factual position, that under the law marriage can be between opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples. There are many areas within teaching, particularly within faith schools, where this type of issue already arises and where subjects such as divorce are taught with sensitivity. The guidance governing these issues is the same guidance that will govern how same-sex marriage in the classroom will be approached. Sex and relationships education is categorically not about the promotion of a particular sexual orientation - that would be inappropriate teaching.

CARE’s RESPONSE: It is not at all clear that teachers will be given the option of teaching about the new definition of marriage in the purely factual way suggested. Suppose a primary school teacher is required to use the book King and King which tells the story of two Princes who fall in love and marry. Most Christians would feel unable to use such a resource because it does not simply deal with facts but seeks to promote same sex relationships. A Christian teacher with orthodox views about same sex marriage could not use this resource without acting in violation of their faith. Aidan O’Neill advises that teachers in this situation would have no chance of success in court.[2] Additionally, with regard to sex and relationships education, under the terms of Section 403 of the Education Act 1996, there is an explicit duty to 'encourage those pupils to have due regard to moral considerations and the value of family life', an arguably implicit duty to promote marriage under S.403 (1A, a) and an explicit duty to have ‘regard to the age and the religious background of the pupils concerned'. It is difficult to see how redefining marriage will not bring teachers into conflict with the law and perhaps stigmatise children from religious backgrounds who themselves do not want (or whose parents do not want them) to learn about same-sex marriage.

MYTH: You did not take into account the large number of petitions received opposing a change in the law.

REALITY: 228,000 individuals and organisations responded to the consultation on how to open up marriage to same-sex couples. Additionally there were petitions for and against equal marriage. The largest was from the Coalition for Marriage against the proposals which contained over 500,000 signatures opposed to the proposals. The views expressed in the petitions were considered along with all the other responses received. However, the Government have always been clear that the consultation was focussed on how to implement a change in the law, rather than whether to change the law.

CARE’s RESPONSE: Civil servants suggested that signatories to the Coalition for Marriage petition, which indicate a clear answer to question 1 of the consultation,[5] would be counted as consultation submissions. Later the Government backtracked on this assurance and said that whilst they had regard to the petition, they would not count signatories as submissions. On this basis they could claim that 53% of submissions were in favour of redefining marriage. If the Government had honoured their original undertaking, then a staggering 83% of submissions would have been against their proposals. Many people who would have made a separate submission had they not been misled now feel cheated and deceived.[6] The Government’s line that the consultation was only concerned with how and not whether marriage should be redefined is completely unsustainable given that the first two questions of the consultation were explicitly about whether marriage should be redefined.

1 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2268689/Concept-adultery-abolished-law-grounds-divorce-wake-Government-s-plans-gay-marriage.html
2 Hyde v Hyde and Woodmansee (1866) LR 1 P&D 130
5 http://www.itn.co.uk/UK/63995/church-of-england-says-lack-of-consultation-on-gay-marriage paras 7.1–7.9
6 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9825341/Government-powerless-to-protect-teachers-from-sack-over-gay-marriage.html

56 Comments:

Blogger Katie said...

What about Wet Welly, then? Why does he refer in the interview in the Torygraph to 'it' instead of the gay marriage bill and why does he say that this issue is not of concern to global anglicanism? Shame on you, wet Welly. If there is another strategy here, please let us know.This way of speaking without naming things is worse than Rowan's fuzzy talk.

5 February 2013 at 09:05  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Politicians - I don't know whether to pity them or despise them.

Actually, I've made my mind up - contemptible bar stewards

5 February 2013 at 09:12  
Blogger Andrew Hill said...

Thank you for focusing attention on the disingenuous use of language in the shameful Government document which turns the concepts of myth and reality on their head, and for sharing some of the clear minded responses from the CARE team.

5 February 2013 at 09:16  
Blogger Jim McLean said...

Sorry...regarding the third example...the petitions. Is this saying that the government did not include the 500,000 signatories on the CFM petitions? Genuinely confused and cannot / do not want to believe that this could happen.

5 February 2013 at 09:23  
Blogger Mike Stallard said...

Well blogged, your Grace!

I, a pretty loyal Conservative, am now forced to choose between my faith and my politics.

And gay marriage is, under a sort of categorical imperative wrong because it is wrong.

5 February 2013 at 09:23  
Blogger Liberal Avenger said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 February 2013 at 09:44  
Blogger Liberal Avenger said...

About time this government did what the vast majority of people in this country want (and which poll after polls show) - that gay and lesbian citizens should have access to civil marriage. Bring. It. On.

5 February 2013 at 09:48  
Blogger baritoneuk said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 February 2013 at 10:01  
Blogger BeeLZeeBub said...

- Mike Stallard

"And gay marriage is, under a sort of categorical imperative wrong because it is wrong."

What sort of argument is that?

5 February 2013 at 10:01  
Blogger Thinking Person said...

Are the polls showing the vast majority of UK citizens are for gay marriage? That's not the impression I got. Perhaps I am wrong. Most people I know are against it.

I'm really active on social media, but I've been completely silent on this issue. If I say I am against gay marriage it could be held against me in the future- particularly as I am a teacher. I think a lot of people who are against this bill aren't speaking out for the same reason- they're scared to do so.

I'm very concerned about this and deeply saddened that this has come this far. I am worried about my kids and what they will be taught at school. I am worried about teachers, clergy and other people being sacked despite the proposed safeguards. I am worried about free speech. I am worried about the watering down of marriage and the removal of adultery and consummation laws. I am worried about the potential of the disestablishment of the Church of England.

Maybe it's about time that Christians and people who uphold the amazing institution of marriage should be worried and stop being silent. The problem is, I am afraid to speak out.

5 February 2013 at 10:03  
Blogger William said...

Liberal Avenger

"gay and lesbian citizens should have access to civil marriage."

I have some good news for you.

They already do.

5 February 2013 at 10:04  
Blogger Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh said...

Those with some time, philosophical interest, and stamina may find the following essay (4000 words?) of relevance. It uses the thought of Herman Dooyeweerd as a framework for a historical sweep through Western views on normativity:
http://tinyurl.com/al2uxjp

5 February 2013 at 10:05  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Letter that went to my MP yesterday:

On the eve of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, I am writing to
express my most profound opposition to this Bill.

There are many arguments against this Bill. Here are mine in brief -
and in no particular order:

1) Democratically
This legislation has NO mandate. It was not in the government's
manifesto. It was not in the coalition agreement. It wasn't in the
Queen's speech. One of the largest ever petitions was completely
ignored in the sham "consultation" (which didn't consult on whether the
legislation was wanted/necessary etc but on HOW it should be
implemented i.e. - a forgone conclusion). There has been no demand for
it (except from a very vocal and VERY small minority). Public opinion
is - at best - equally divided on it; at worst, strongly opposed to it.
Australian parliament recently rejected it. Wherever it has been
subject to a public vote in the USA, the public have voted against it.
In France, the largest public demonstration in 30 years was against the
proposal. There are only 11 countries in the world who have introduced
it (and many are subsequently legislating for polygamous
relationships), so there is no strong demand or precedent for it.

2) Politically
The legislation is a dog's dinner. It purports to be about "equal
marriage", but creates more inequalities. Homosexuals will be able to
have two kinds of state endorsed relationships: "marriage" & Civil
partnerships, heterosexuals will have one. Heterosexual marriage will be
subject to laws of consummation & adultery, homosexual "marriage" will
not. It will be illegal for some churches to conduct same-sex
"marriages" but illegal for others not to! Some couples will be
"married" when they are England and "unmarried" when they cross the
border to other parts of the UK.

Despite the fact that it is one of the most significant changes to a
social that pre-dates church or state, it has been rushed &
ill-considered with undue haste and with little rigorous scrutiny.

3) Principled
There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what the nature &
purpose of marriage actually is. I can do no better than quote Oxford
University Prof Roger Scruton:

"In all observed societies some form of marriage exists, as the means
whereby the work of one generation is dedicated to the well-being of
the next. Marriage does not merely protect and nurture children ...
Marriage fulfils this complex function because it is something more than
a contract of mutual co-operation, and something more than an agreement
to live together. Hence marriage enjoys -– or has until recently
enjoyed – a distinct social aura"

Marriage is fundamentally about the next generation not about the
present one. If it is not inextricably linked with procreation then
there is no reason why it needs to be a sexual relationship at all, or
why it should be restricted to 2 people, or why it should be entered
into as a life-long commitment.

Procreation is inherently heterosexual. This is to do with biology, not
ideology. A lock requires a key & a barrel. Trying to redefine a lock
as any combination of keys & barrels is fundamentally flawed and denies
the most obvious self-evident truths.

This issue transcends all political considerations and is of
fundamental importance to me (and society at large). I would implore
you to oppose the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

Yours sincerely,

5 February 2013 at 10:08  
Blogger William said...

Thinking Person

"The problem is, I am afraid to speak out."

Yes, that's the general idea. Lies can only be imposed by fear.

5 February 2013 at 10:11  
Blogger Dr Robert Warde said...

BeeLZeeBub said
"And gay marriage is, under a sort categorical imperative wrong because it is wrong."
What sort of argument is that?"
the same sort of argument that said murder is wrong, and so is theft. even the most ardent atheist would agree with that.

5 February 2013 at 10:15  
Blogger Roy said...

Previously when governments produced publications explaining new laws or proposed Acts of Parliament they at least made some sort of attempt to set out the provisions in a reasonably objective way. This publication with its title of "Myth Busters" is obviously nothing but propaganda and is a disgraceful use of taxpayers' money.

As for the promises regarding freedom of conscience and religion, they are utterly worthless. The Left (including the "modernising" wing of the Conservative Party) has a long history of broken promises.

For example, whatever your views on capital punishment, (and I think the risks of condemning an innocent person to death are too great) it would never have been abolished if the public at large, and many of the MPs who voted for abolition, had realised that "life imprisonment" would definitely not mean "imprisonment for life."

Similarly with imprisonment for lesser offences the whole sentencing system is based on a lie. Everyone knows that a man sentenced to 4 years in jail will probably be out in 2. Almost every time a judge passes a custodial sentence he or she is committing perjury because the judge knows the real sentence is not what it is stated to be.

If instead of introducing civil partnerships the government had tabled a bill for same-sex marriage it would almost certainly have been rejected. Many of the people who voted for it did so simply to correct injustices, e.g. those that could follow the death of a long-term partner who would not be counted as a relative, let alone as next of kin. However, it is now apparent that civil partnerships have been used simply to soften up the public to allow same-sex marriage.

Perhaps David Cameron would like to tell the country whether or not the governments' assertions concerning safeguarding freedom of conscience are cast iron promises - just like the promise he gave before the last general election to hold a referendum on the latest EU treaty.

5 February 2013 at 10:16  
Blogger Albert said...

Thinking Person,

You are right to be frightened. Look at what MPs are being told today:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9849153/Gay-marriage-ban-on-same-sex-church-weddings-may-not-be-legally-watertight-research.html

Those MPs who still vote for this, are playing fast and loose with our freedom. They need to be removed at the next election - whatever Dr Cranmer says.

5 February 2013 at 10:23  
Blogger Liberal Avenger said...

@thinking person. Can't trust those polls can we. Much like the Republicans in the US who didn't want to believe the polls but preferred to see the truth in the size of crowds as evidence of a Romney win, they were wrong. Polls, that are demographically correct, produce highly accurate results.

5 February 2013 at 10:44  
Blogger bluedog said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 February 2013 at 11:00  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace, the more that your communicant looks at the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, the more he is convinced that this is Cameron's Devolution moment. As the heir to Blair and like his mentor, a master of form over substance, Dave always had it in him to produce a piece of legislation that was riddled with contradictions and inequities.

Now we see it.

It is not impossible that the next time the UK has a conservative government, UKIP will be the senior partner in a Coalition with the Conservative Party.

5 February 2013 at 11:03  
Blogger Thinking Person said...

@William - I think most people who are for the bill think it's the right thing to do- they see it as bringing equality. On one level I can kind of understand how they could come to that thinking. However (in my humble opinion) it is overly simplistic thinking which misses the huge ramifications that redefining marriage will bring. The liberal agenda it seems want to promote equality and free speech except when it offends them. We're not having a proper debate.

Time and time again the BBC sides with the pro-gay marriage view. Just this morning on the Today programme when John Humphreys tried to pick apart the argument from the man from The Telegraph who was against the bill without picking apart the view from the pro-gay marriage person.

I wish we were all free to express our views in a responsible and mature way. However it's obvious we cannot. Just look at the majority of tweets with the phrase "gay marriage" in it and you will see. For example, Edwina Curry tweeted in response to a tweet about people who oppose the bill... "You're right. A few old codgers looking for excuses to turn it in. And not the nicest ones either."

Great, so I am an old codger? I'm only 37. I'll get my zimmer frame out then. I'm obviously out of touch with society. I'm not allowed to have my view it seems. I suppose I could have a healthy debate on Facebook, but I'd probably offend someone and get the sack...

@Liberal Avenger
I think we can't trust polls- I agree. Great that we can have a proper discussion really. The problem is, that in a funny way, I envy you. You are able to put your view across on the interweb because you hold the "politically correct" view. You're not going to get people coming down on you with a tonne of bricks.

5 February 2013 at 11:06  
Blogger William said...

Thinking Person

Well put and I sympathise with you as being a teacher you are at the sharp end of this. I agree entirely with what you have said. I would only add that you are arguing against deliberate lies. You only have to read the arguments put forward by the government to see that they are prepared to lie and lie again over this matter. All we can do, it seems, is tell the truth and shame the devil. And, of course, vote UKIP ;)

5 February 2013 at 11:29  
Blogger Thinking Person said...

@William
Thanks for your encouragement.
I've been a member of the Conservative Party for many years. I thought long and hard about resigning as a member over this issue. However at the end of the day most of my views are Conservative. I'm hoping I can do more good in remaining in the party. In my area, singing up to UKIP would be an open ticket to re-elect our Liberal Democrat MP as it is a Con/LD marginal.

I am sure God has a plan in all of this. It's likely that this will become law probably by using the Parliament Act (even though the PA was never supposed to be used for such purposes).

5 February 2013 at 11:35  
Blogger Nick said...

I am sincerely glad my daughter is old enough that she wil not have hear her teachers telling her that it's perfectly normal for two men to sodomise each other and that such a thing constitutes "marriage".

Today is a truly awful day for this country. I am not a Conservative voter (though I could have been persuaded had it not been for this issue), but I am sympathetic to all those Tory supporters who have been betrayed by Cameron. They deserve better than him. I feel he and Clegg have degraded our political system to a point it is no longer credibile.

We all know they are both political dead meat in electoral terms, but they seem to be causing a lot of damage to the country as they are nudged towards the Exit door.

5 February 2013 at 11:49  
Blogger Liberal Avenger said...

@thinking person. If by "politically correct" (how terribly 90s), that means holding a view held by the vast majority of the population, then yes. My views are in accord with the majority in the UK that supports same-sex marriage. It has to do with values.

@Nick. The "straights" engage in sodomy as well, dear. The last of the real romantics, you.

5 February 2013 at 11:59  
Blogger Nicodemus said...

When you kick the cornerstone of civilized society out of place, guess what happens? It's only a matter of time ... 5 years, 10 years?

5 February 2013 at 12:05  
Blogger Thinking Person said...

@Liberal Avenger
You're perfectly entitled to your views. I apologise for using an antiquated phrase, but I think you understood what I was trying to get at. Whether or not the majority of the UK supports SSM we have a situation where one side of the argument is able to put forwards their view and one who cannot for feat of being called "bigots".

You're certainly right in saying that straight people can engage in anal sex. However, it's fair to say that it's less common and not the preferred method!

5 February 2013 at 12:07  
Blogger Preacher said...

IMO Romans verses 1&2 really sums the whole situation & God's response to it - Judgement!.
In their hedonistic rush to satisfy themselves, they abandon God & get worse & worse in their craving for physical satisfaction. This move by Cameron shows a fallen dissolute man who approves of & encourages men to turn from God & attempt to fulfil their empty lives with the opiate of self.
The SSM bill is simply a method of testing the water to see how he can deceive the electorate & use law to silence those who oppose him with the fear of prosecution.
If this bill is successful the only option open will be to by non acceptance i.e challenging it by non compromise. This will take a strong people, individual courage & standing together.
Man cannot live in unity with Cancer, whether it be physical or spiritual. Both will eventually kill the host body. One physically, the other spiritually & eternally.

5 February 2013 at 12:13  
Blogger Liberal Avenger said...

@thinking person. Welcome to the rough and tumble world of free-speech. You are free to have your opinions and others are just as free to mock and ridicule those opinions.

Each and every incremental step towards equality that gays and lesbians have made in the past 40 years have been greeted with howls of society's collapse. It hasn't. It won't.

5 February 2013 at 12:15  
Blogger Thinking Person said...

@Liberal Avenger
Free speech and democracy is a bit of a mess, but it's the best we've got and I will protect it to the end. Although I think you're right to say that people "are just as free to mock and ridicule those opinions" I would prefer that people engaged in intelligent dialogue- listening to both sides of the argument. I think it's fair to say that that isn't happening on either side of the debate!

My concern is that some of us can't express our view against gay marriage because it could result in being sacked or other issues. There was the story of the Trafford Council employee who had his pay docked for asking the question on his Private Facebook profile "Is gay marriage a step too far?"
If only we could try and talk and listen to each other- kind of what we're doing here. Unfortunately I'm having to write this under a different Google account. It's madness.

I see where you are coming from with moving forwards to having full equality. I truly believe that gay and straight people (and all orientations between) should be respected and treated both as human beings and UK citizens. However marriage is what it is- for a man and a woman to be joined together. You can change the definition if you want, but in my mind it's like changing any other definition. You might like the definition of a banana- but at the end of the day, I am afraid to say, it is a fruit whether you like it or not.

5 February 2013 at 12:26  
Blogger Liberal Avenger said...

@thinking person. If you want to hold a minority opinion, fine, but then you have to deal with the consequences of that. Free speech does not absolve you from the consequences of that speech. Do I care what Preacher thinks of gay men - nah.

5 February 2013 at 12:35  
Blogger Thinking Person said...

@Liberal Avenger
The consequences of it? What if I get sacked for holding a particular view? I'm not being homophobic or putting forwards a hateful view. I have friends who are gay and know many gay people. My view doesn't stop me from respecting them or being a friend. It's also fair to say that not all gay people are in favour of the bill.

I am surprised that a liberal thinker such as yourself should say that there should be consequences for having a particular view. I totally respect your point of view and I'm interested in what you say.

Not quite sure what you mean by your last sentence "Do I care what Preacher thinks of gay men".

5 February 2013 at 12:39  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Liberal Avenger:

I am heartened to see someone who believes the will of the majority is an important thing. Very often in this very debate we have had "the tyranny of the majority" trotted out as a reason for justifying any lack of formal mandate, or - Parliament forfend! - a referendum on the issue (my preferred option).

Personally, I am of the opinion that any such referendum would probably win SSM, but would demonstrate that a sizeable minority (probably in the region of 44%) were not in fact "on board" with Progress. Whilst the issue is balkanised to pressure groups which can be written off as the "moral minority", this is not at-all apparent, and many people will rightly fear for their continued employment if they "come out" for Holy Matrimony (as I am now resolved to calling marriage) as the union solely between one man and one woman, whether they do so for explicitly religious reasons or not. This isn't just teachers - though the pressure is assuredly most accute in that profession - many businesses and offices have moved to a place where they have privileged particular identity groups; especially LGBT, despite the fact that it is not at all clear how one's sexual attraction should have any bearing at all on one's ability to be an accountant.

But there we go, nobody - not even you - said this was about rationality.

What it is about, though, is giving the all-important appearance that opponents of Progress are less numerous than they may actually be, so that they may be written-off and disregarded as quickly as possible. Because if the population as a whole wakes up to the fact that Progress is so contended, its basis as self-evident doctrine goes up in smoke.

5 February 2013 at 12:40  
Blogger Preacher said...

Liberal Avenger.
You have no idea what I think of 'Gay' men. My post refers to many people who suffer from the delusion that they will find satisfaction in pursuing booze, drugs, sex etc, & the evil that is inflicted on them by those that encourage them on the route to self destruction for personal gain & power, who in my opinion have the greater sin.
take the blinkers of tunnel vision off, wake up & smell the coffee.

5 February 2013 at 12:47  
Blogger Liberal Avenger said...

Thining Person.: The example you give has nothing to do with gay marriage. It is actually about privacy and free speech - which just happened to be about gay marriage but could have easily been about abortion, the death penalty or even what political party you support. You can't use this against gay marriage per se.

When the consequences of free speech are discussed it is meant in the context that your free speech means others have the same right to their views to critique you.

You remain free to hold the view that those in a same sex marriage are not really married. Just as some religious people see those not married in a church as not really married. And some Catholics view people who have been divorced and remarried as not really married. Definitions of what constitute a "real" marriage already vary. But within civil law, all citizens should have the same access to marriage.

5 February 2013 at 13:28  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Liberal Avenger ...

I've avoided taking the bait until now, but " Just as some religious people see those not married in a church as not really married"

Really? I've never met one solitary person who believes that. Marriage pre-dates the church by quite a few millenia. Are you sure you're not just making stuff up now & demonstrating your real prejudices.

5 February 2013 at 13:38  
Blogger Liberal Avenger said...

@AnonymousInBelfast. With polls showing support for same sex marriage over 70% for those under 30 years of age, perhaps this is generational issue.

Let's discuss the teachers fallacy about same sex marriage. One wonders how Catholic schools discuss divorce, which is legal, but their faith suggests is immoral. Same-sex marriage would be dealt with in exactly the same way.

I'm unsure what you mean by offices have "privileged particular identities: especially LGBT". Evidence clearly shows that many LGBT feel unable to come out at work for fear of possible negative effects or worse. GLBT have a vested interest in people being employed on their abilities. There are many many workplaces that remain very hostile to LGBT.

I'll posit a different perspective. In a few year's time, we will all look back and think - what was the fuss all about. But then, I have a generally optimistic view of humankind. You can't stop, progress, they say.

5 February 2013 at 13:48  
Blogger William said...

Liberal Avenger

"But within civil law, all citizens should have the same access to marriage."

I haven't meant a single person who disagrees with this statement either.

5 February 2013 at 13:51  
Blogger Liberal Avenger said...

@rebel saint. Whether marriage predates the Church by a few millenia is not my point. There are people who see "real" marriage as being a Church marriage. I come from an Italian family - I'll happy introduce you to plenty of people who view marriage as a religious ceremony.

5 February 2013 at 13:53  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Liberal Avenger:

"Let's discuss the teachers fallacy about same sex marriage. One wonders how Catholic schools discuss divorce, which is legal, but their faith suggests is immoral. Same-sex marriage would be dealt with in exactly the same way."

A good example, but on the other hand, as far as I am aware there is no prominent movement seeking to outlaw criticism of divorce as immoral (which would presumably be "apoluphobia"?). Consequently, a RCC school is comparatively safe to teach that divorce is immoral in the eyes of the Church. A position which undoubtedly is at odds with the majority, but nevertheless (as yet) unchallenged. I wonder if you think said schools will get away with teaching that same-sex marriage is immoral because same-sex activity is fundamentally immoral? If so, I applaud you for your optimism.

"You can't stop, progress, they say."

They do indeed, which is precisely why it is so important to isolate and discredit anyone who opposes Progress.

But you also can't stop time, and there is Someone inexorably drawing closer at the end of it.

5 February 2013 at 14:01  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Liberal Avenger...

Please point me to ANY source/article where someone says those married outside of a church are not really married? I have never EVER heard anyone say or argue that; and I suspect I have attended more religious services/seminars/conferences/debates than you have had hot dinners.

I don't even know why I have allowed myself to be sucked into your sill arguments.

It is an indication of just how far removed from reality we now are that we are even having a debate about whether 2 people of the same sex can be married.

5 February 2013 at 14:04  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Liberal Avenger

The 'cause' of homosexual liberation is a caboose on a much bigger train. It has been carried along by the privatization of sexual behavior, and the concommitent separation of sex from marriage and children. If you can't see that massive damage that has been inflicted because of that change, then you are blind. I have only to catalog the list of illegitimacy, and divorce, and fatherless children, and abortion, and STDs, and disposable relationships, and falling birth rates. Where will the next generation come from? Whom do you think will raise the next generation upon which your future depends? Currently your country is importing women to have children lest your population start to fall? A nation that is so invested in the pursuit of its own selfish pleasure that it won't reproduce itself is a nation in terminal decline.

carl

5 February 2013 at 14:08  
Blogger Thinking Person said...

His Grace just tweeted a link to an article on The Telegraph which raises much of my concerns. What do people think? Is this negative spin or is there some truth?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9686306/Primary-school-teachers-could-face-sack-for-refusing-to-promote-gay-marriage.html

5 February 2013 at 14:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

TP: "Are the polls showing the vast majority of UK citizens are for gay marriage?"

No, not the vast majority. They consistently show that the majority of UK citizens are for it.

"If I say I am against gay marriage it could be held against me in the future- particularly as I am a teacher."

I completely understand. I've had issues at work in the past simply due to the suspicion of being gay. It's not great, is it?

"I think a lot of people who are against this bill aren't speaking out for the same reason- they're scared to do so."

Even now, I choose to maintain a private life at work just in case I run across someone who quietly discriminates and my career suffers.

5 February 2013 at 17:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

TP: "You are able to put your view across on the interweb because you hold the "politically correct" view. You're not going to get people coming down on you with a tonne of bricks."

Some of us who are gay used to live in fear of bricks being thrown through the windows simply for being gay. It's not great, is it? Mind you it's changing, and very rapidly. What was once politically correct is now politically incorrect.

5 February 2013 at 17:29  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Interestingly, at a time in English history when religious belief of various shades brought men to the battlefield and the kingdom became a republic, Parliament passed a law requiring all marriages to be carried out before a civil registrar. Under the Commonwealth, marriage was not regarded as a sacrament but as a civil contract. When I got married, the Anglican vicar took great pains to explain that the legal part of the ceremony, when we retired to the vestry to sign the register, was quite separate from the religious part, the exchanging of vows etc.

5 February 2013 at 18:15  
Blogger len said...

I think the acceptance of homosexuality within a Society are a good indicator of the moral state of that Society.Christians should not be too surprised at the way things are progressing(or should that be descending) in our Society the Bible spells it out quite clearly.The Bible calls these “perilous” times . . .

2nd Timothy 3:2-4, “.people will be..lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”(It would seem homosexuality is prevalent when the above are predominant.

It would seem that when society is breaking down and the rise of homosexuality is one of the indicators of that' breaking down' of Society.
Three important trends demonstrate moral decay. They are the "rise in immorality," the "decay of religious belief," and the "devaluing of human life."

Russell Kirk put it this way:

It appears to me that our culture labours in an advanced state of decadence; that what many people mistake for the triumph of our civilization actually consists of powers that are disintegrating our culture; that the vaunted 'democratic freedom' of liberal society in reality is servitude to appetites and illusions which attack religious belief; which destroy community through excessive centralization and urbanization; which efface life-giving tradition and custom.



5 February 2013 at 18:22  
Blogger len said...

I think Christians should remember that God is in control and that the rise of decadence in our Society may be God`s Judgement on it...One thing is sure as this world gets darker God`s light will get even brighter..we Christians must not hide the light for fear of being politically in- correct(Political Correctness is an invention of men for that very purpose.. to shut up Christians and the Gospel)

We Christians are very much 'behind enemy lines' but God remains faithful to all who place their trust in Him(even in the Lions den!)

5 February 2013 at 18:29  
Blogger NickPheas said...

"It is not at all clear that teachers will be given the option of teaching about the new definition of marriage in the purely factual way suggested."

Presumably the vast bulk of them will be teaching things like Maths, Science, how to speak Frech or read English?

"Suppose a primary school teacher is required to use the book King and King which tells the story of two Princes who fall in love and marry."

Is this actually likely? That a primary school teacher should be required to use a particular picture book in his/her class? Serious question. I'd always assumed that in reception classes there would be a lot of latitude about what books might be read from.

5 February 2013 at 20:52  
Blogger Bigland said...

Presumably the vast bulk of them will be teaching things like Maths, Science, how to speak Frech or read English?
And many of those will also be "teaching" PSHE.

As for the other subjects, I can recall the message coming round after 9-11 that we had to show Islam in a good light. Suddenly the symmetrical patterns of Islamic art were being studied in Maths.

6 February 2013 at 08:06  
Blogger Tohru Honda said...

Romans 1:22-28

I have a great love and respect for gays who want to spread the gospel to the world. I say let them go right on ahead! However, there is something they need to know first. And this because they are to represent the church of God.

It is true that little children cannot sin in the eyes of God. The reason for this is because they cannot comprehend the reasons why what they’re doing is wrong. However you should note that little children are nevertheless, born with a sinful nature. The purpose of this life is to turn our sinful nature into something godly.

So are there those born with attractions to the same sex? Because men are born with sinful natures, the answer would be yes. The challenges gays would have then is to love the commandments of God more than they love their own nature.

For this reason the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans chapter one, that they who praise and worship the creature more than God are “given over to a debased mind to do that in which is not convenient, and receive in themselves the payment of their sins that is just.” Meaning that if we love our sinful nature more than God, we’ll do worser and worser sins until we commit something horrendous as having sex with the same gender.

Now I’m not saying this to demean homosexuals in any shape or form. We all have our weaknesses, and all those who are unwilling to change their weaknesses are dead before God. But it is vitally important for all gay men to hate their lustful desires after men, even as God hates it. And likewise the lesbian woman, hate all her lustful desires after women. If they can do this, enduring with all patience and longsuffering until the end, I believe they can overcome.

If people who struggle in this arena never feel compelled to marry the opposite gender, then so be it. But I recommend that gay men look at how much women love them, and recognize that they actually do love them too. Or else why do gay men enjoy spending so much more time with women than men? Which men they think they love because of their own lustful desires, not understanding that love is NOT about lust?

And likewise I recommend the lesbian woman to look at how much men love them, and recognize that they actually love them too. Or else why do lesbians enjoy spending so much more time with men than women? Which women they think they love because of their own lustful desires, not understanding that love is NOT about lust?
I love all those who claim to be homosexual, but I and God will always hate the abomination. And those who struggle in the sin should learn to hate their lusts also, and beg God to teach them what love really is.

I’m sorry if that’s harsh against gays, but the call unto repentance is always hard against those who love their sins.

6 February 2013 at 19:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Tohru: "Or else why do gay men enjoy spending so much more time with women than men?"

Stereotype.

"Which men they think they love because of their own lustful desires, not understanding that love is NOT about lust?"

I'm sorry to disabuse you but the love is the same. As the relationship gets older, the lust eases off but the love remains. Just like heterosexual relationships. Similarly, in the first six months or so, we can't keep our hands off each other but that eases off too. Just like heterosexual relationships.

8 February 2013 at 20:06  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"I’m sorry if that’s harsh against gays, but the call unto repentance is always hard against those who love their sins."

No god, no sin.

8 February 2013 at 20:06  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

No God - no thing!

8 February 2013 at 21:14  
Blogger len said...

To say" there is no God" doesn`t make it so.However hard you try.

It is better to face reality now because you WILL eventually meet Jesus Christ.

Leaving aside religion what is not to like about Jesus Christ?.He loved you enough to die for you.Jesus Christ want you to be the person God created you to be not what the World has made you.

10 February 2013 at 08:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "To say" there is no God" doesn`t make it so.However hard you try."

Actually, it was a reduced form of a conditional. If there is no theistic god like Tohru imagines then there is no related theistic sin either. He assumes one and gets the other yet his assumption is mightily contested. Pull that assumption out and the whole thing collapses into a heap of nothingness.

The same is true in reverse: To say there is a god doesn't make it so. But I can add more too! To say there is no god like yours doesn't make it so but there might be a god of a different type instead. Perhaps Allah. Perhaps a deistic god which doesn't care any more about humans than it does about snakes.

10 February 2013 at 09:12  

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