The Diseased Imaginings of a Tainted Mind
As a socially-liberal Christian, there are now many reactions around the world in reaction to the USA’s acceptance of single-sex marriage. It’s odd that similar results in other countries have not produces such reactions.
I have, of course, been in debate over this issue for many years, and many friends have sent me a link from a website that offers 40 (yes 40!) questions aimed at those of us that support single-sex marriage. Having read them, some of them were quite thought provoking, but generally their tone is designed to lead people into a “gotcha”. That is, that in order to answer the question as frased, you have to agree with the posters argument.
So, to help all those that find these questions difficult, here are my responses.
1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?
Following the CofE Bishop’s Response to the matter of single-sex marriage, I was a little… irritated.
For many, both members of the Church, and non-members, they find it difficult to see how the fact that there are provisions in law is not the same as equality. This is no-more obvious than when it’s seen in a Christian context. They say that it’s not inequality if they can have secular “marriage”. I wrote the following response:
The inequality is blindingly obvious. It’s not one form of love for any perceived “them” and one for a perceived “us”. It’s equal or nothing. And no, Single-sex partnerships do not have the right to be blessed in church. Single-sex unions cannot marry in church. THIS IS NOT EQUALITY.
If you want to go to town over a few verses from the Bible, then feel free, however, I will suggest that a hermeneutic that finds this difficult and yet does not allow, say, slavery, is a flawed hermeneutic.
When I stand before a couple, and they marry each other (note, marriage in church has nothing to do with the priest), it is not my place to judge that marriage. We do not demand that heterosexual couples prove that they adhere to any of the other rules of the church before opening our doors to them, I don’t see why any couple is a special case.
When I offer God’s blessing upon a person, a congregation, a couple, I don’t stop to ask if they are worthy, deserving, or any of those other morally-presumptuious words, because simply put, God is MUCH BIGGER than that. It is HER blessing I’m pronouncing. It is HIS grace that they leave with. I may be a conduit, but I believe that if God wants people blessed, s/he is quite capable of doing that. God’s love is way bigger than that. I want to offer that love to everyone. There is no-one beyond it, there is no-one undeserving of it
If blessings can be given to animals, inanimate objects, and the 101 things we are asked to bless, then what’s the problem with blessing love? Surely, on a scale of things, it’s better to bless the hope and expression of love than, say, a book.
Love is, after all, what Christianity is about.
This article is quite an interesting one for me, touching as it does on so many parts of my own personal interest. I don’t have time to write a full description of it, so you will just have to read it yourselves.
29. ‘A brother, being tempted by a demon, went to a hermit and said
‘Those two monks over there who live together live sinfully’. But
the hermit knew that a demon was deceiving him. So he called
the brothers to him. In the evening he put out a mat for them,
and covered them with a single blanket, and said, ‘They are sons
of God, and holy persons.’ But he said to his disciple, ‘Shut this
slandering brother up in a cell by himself; his is suffering from
the passion of which he accuses them.’
Source : Ward, Benedicta: The Desert Fathers London: Penguin Classics, 2003, p. 43
Dear People who use “Christians think/say/believe”,
Can you please, please, please cite your source? It’s getting both boring, and tiresome to not only have to correct you repeatedly, but to also have to ask you “Where did you hear that?” or, “Who told you that?”, or say “Do we now?”.
I know that there is a current media image about what Christians Believe and it’s not really helped by some some people, however, please be aware that Christianity is a belief that is made up of denominations. Tarring everyone with the same brush is much like saying Everyone in the West Believes or Everyone in Russia thinks. It is both inaccurate, and factually incorrect. Being as most of these articles seem to come from people who claim that they are basing whatever anti-Christian/anti-faith rant on the line in question, it would be useful for the rest of the world if you could actual verify your facts about Christianity to the point where you named a denomination.
I have said for a long while that I would upload my final year essays. Many of them might be of use to some people. They are Christian in basis, but the topics are varied. There are essays that cover scriptural studies of the Antichrist, through to ethical studies of the place of the Bible in Ethics, and of course the ethics of homosexuality. There is an interfaith essay on the current state of the Pagan-Christian dialogue, and what future hope there is for this dialogue to improve, if any, as well as a look at the place of Baptism in the Christian faith, and through a study of the 4th century liturgy where our symbols have come from. Finally, there is the dissertation that surprised many. The one that looks at culture, and asks if theology can truly be taken from it with any legitimacy. The Dissertation asks this question with direct reference to the book Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, and gives examples of how theology might interact with the theology that is currently being explored in popular culture.
If your still unsure who your going to vote for, make sure it’s not the Conservatives.
No, really. Don’t.
If you’ve been wondering about their motif of family, and this idea of wholesome Britain, and wondering precisely how that’s going to play, well, it’s going to play badly if your Gay.
Philippa Stroud claims to have been responsible for several of the Conservatives policies, and is proud that her Christian Life impact on her political life. As much as in some cases that might be a good idea, you know, equality for all, social security, free healthcare, that kind of thing, Philippa, however, thinks that Homosexuality is the result of demons, and will quite happily pray for you to be cured at her Church.
No, this is not America. This is Britain. Somehow some of that ancient medieval belief is still alive in the UK, and is being held onto by a leading Conservative. If your vote was ever going to count for something, make it show that we, here in the UK stand for equality. Don’t let the Conservatives get in. Even if you are a long-time conservative, write to your MP, demand that they publicly denounce this kind of behaviour.
Do Not Let Philippa Stroud ruin things for all those people who’s life is tough enough.
Amidst calls for another reformation in the Catholic Church, the American Episcopal Church is busy forging ahead on it’s own. The news that’s making the headlines is of course the consecration as Bishop of Canon Mary Glasspool. This is not because she’s a Woman, the presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church is Dr Katherine Jefferts Schori, a woman. It is more because Canon Glasspool is in an openly Gay Civil Partnership.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, fearing for a split in the Anglican Communion, has repeatedly asked for “gracious restraint” in this matter. Now that the decision has been made to go ahead with the consecration of Canon Glasspool, a statement from the Lambeth Palace (as quoted in the Church times) says that this raises “very serious questions, not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole” (Dember 11, 2009, Church Times). The usual responses have been seen from the Fundamental Christian groups, getting all hot-and-bothered about the way that it might affect them. It of course, raises big questions about the communion, as many African Bishops are against Single-Sex marriages. With this going ahead, it is going to leave the traditional Anglican Communion in tatters, especially if there are no sanctions brought against the American Episcopal Church for going against the communion.
The problem is that someone had to do something. Someone had to say that those three lines in the Bible that have been used for oppression had to be changed. We’re not still fighting for Slavery. We worked out that was wrong. Glasspool is the height of all the arguments that the Anglican Church in the UK have been arguing over. Single-Sex Issues, and Women in the Episcopate. Here, in one woman, we have both. The world will hold it’s breath as she gets ordained, and all the liberals pray that she doesn’t screw up. A good example will ensure that others will be able to follow her.
The one thing that isn’t being said that there was also another development in the USA this week that shows that, despite the most vocal Christian opposition, it is busy actually being more liberal than the rest of the world. Clergy in Washington, Iowa, Vermont, and Massachusetts are able to preside at civil same-sex marriages, and bless them. Essentially, it is possible for Clergy who’s conciousness allows to marry single-sex couples. Yes, that’s right, AMERICA is allowing clergy in some states to bless single-sex marriages.
Yes it may be up to individual faith-communities who they see as married and who they don’t but the LAW of America say that they are married.
The fuss about Glasspool means that this little gem is passing by the fundmentalists. While they are busy pointing up at the Bishop, they are missing the fact that America is working through it’s very own grass-roots revolution.
Now, if only the rest of the Anglican Communion could start moving forward, we may yet be able to avoid a split, and embrace this reformation with open arms.