Thinking Anglicans

SORs: follow-up and analysis

Ekklesia has Victory goes to equality in House of Lords vote.
The BBC has Blair proud of gay rights record.

The Daily Mail has How agencies could beat gay adoption laws and also Gay adoption laws forced through by the Lords.

…Equalities Minister Meg Munn admitted the nine Catholic adoption societies in England would be released from the demands of the Sexual Orientation Regulations if they forego cash from state-run social services and instead rely entirely on collections from supporters.

The announcement caused speculation that the Catholic Church could launch an appeal to England’s one million Catholic churchgoers to make up the £10million agencies get from local councils.

Miss Munn revealed the breakaway option in a Parliamentary written answer.

She explained how regulation 14 of the gay rights laws allows religious organisations exemption from the discrimination rules, as long as they are not run on commercial lines.

They can discriminate if it is necessary to comply with doctrine or the beliefs of members…

The Parliamentary written answer to which reference is made above can be found here.

The Evangelical Alliance issued this press release: Christians should continue to deliver public services until the law stops them.

Craig Nelson has an excellent detailed and critical analysis of the bishops’ contributions to the House of Lords debate at More on the House of Lords debate – the bishops’ speeches. It’s worth reading in full, but predictably he selects this quote from the Bishop of Winchester as winning the prize:

“I greatly regret the fact that the Government chose not to do so, but, rather, chose to legislate to coerce the churches and others to accept as the norm for this society—the regulations ask us to accept this and to collude in the Government’s promotion—alternative patterns of living and of family life that many people conscientiously believe are less than the best, less than the most healthy, and less than God’s will for humankind.”

Keith Porteous of the National Secular Society has much harsher things to say about the bishops:

“As it turned out, only three of the bishops turned up. They probably realised that a show of brute power would seriously jeopardise the survival of the Bishops Bench in House of Lords reform. But they clearly tried to field their top brass. This included the Archbishop of York, who even apologised for the absence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and two senior bishops. All voted against the Regulations…

…“Their remarks were torn to shreds by several speakers in a way that would have been unthinkable just a year ago. The most effective attacks came from three non-aligned Christians, two peers who happen to be gay and a baroness who was chief executive of Childline. To murmurs of approval they lectured the prelates on love and discrimination. It was unforgettable.

“Lord (Chris) Smith spoke of the humiliation of a gay couple being turned away from a bed and breakfast, and the reality of gay and lesbian people being removed from GP lists because of their sexuality. In one of the most powerful speeches of the evening, Lord Waheed Alli spoke of his father, a Muslim. The Koran openly says that Jews should be killed, he told peers. As a Muslim, if he truly believed that, then there should not be a law against it, according to the arguments of the bishops. ‘The sight of children holding up homophobic placards outside the Lords seems a good argument for these regulations,’ he told peers. Baroness Howarth of Breckland concluded ‘Gay people deserve that as much as any of us, just as Wilberforce said that every black person deserved equal treatment.’

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Göran Koch-Swahne
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Terry Sanderson in the link to the National Secular Society wrote: “They walk away from this confrontation with a reinforced reputation for bigotry. It is well deserved.”

Amen to that.

drdanfee
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drdanfee

As I explored the attitudes and statements, along with eventually coming across other links, I pondered afresh Canterbury’s past comments, Nobody is arguing for an unintelligent reading ….

See: http://chrispaul-labouroflove.blogspot.com/2007/03/homophobia-special-disgusted-of.html

Even when the conservatives narratives are sometimes a tad more measured and/or moderated on the right, the intention and negative tone is astoundingly clear.

sheila
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sheila

I think that this comment from Lord Smith is also very moving: “Secondly, some people listening to the discussion tonight might be forgiven for thinking that the point of view expressed by the noble Baroness, Lady O’Cathain, is the point of view of all people of faith and all people who take Jesus Christ as their Lord. That is not true, either. For me and many Christians, the Christ whom we look to is someone who talked about love and inclusion, who accepted and drew in the people who did not fit into the mainstream of society and did not… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

These bishops are becoming a farce, an embarrassment and pathetic.

Athos
Guest
Athos

It is true beyond a shadow of doubt that Jesus welcomed the outsider, the excluded, and those on the margins. Sinners, prostitutes and pagans all flocked to Him. On this both traditionalists and revsionists agree. But what traditionalists affirm and revisionists deny is that Jesus then went onto demand that sinners practise righteousness, prostitues embrace chastity, and that pagans forsake ploytheism and follow the one living and true God. This is the Christ not only of Christianity but of the universal and undivided Church in both East and West for two millenia. So Jesus is both at one and the… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Yeah. The God of complexity and diversity reigns. No more distilling God to some rarified and unpalatable level. The God who loves to be loved, who seeks out the lost and forgotten, who heals the sick, binds up the broken hearted. We all know the God of power e.g. the tsunami, and now we also remember the God of compassion and mercy. Yeah.

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
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mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Athos, I’m not sure your grasp of Scripture is entirely correct. The Centurion acknowledges Jesus’ authority, but doesn’t offer to give up paganism. And even the case of the woman taken in adultery is less clear cut than you might like – she is told, not to keep her knickers on in future but to ‘sin no more’ – not far removed from ‘your sins are forgiven’ said to the paralytic: in fact, I’d say that to particularise Jesus words to her undermines the thrust of the entire story. She is not told to ‘give up her sinful lifestyle’ though… Read more »

Athos
Guest
Athos

Thank you for your interseting comments David. I think Christ’s inclusive/exclusive claims are most exemplified when He says things like “For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son that whoever beleives [inclusive] in Him [exclusive] will not perish but have eternal life”. It is inconceivable that once folks yielded to these radical claims they were ever the same again. The Christian Church was not known for being inhabited by those who worshiped Christ AND Zeus or who loved Jesus AND promiscuity. In fact Jesus often made His deamnds more onerous than the teaching of the Scribes… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Yet another misrepresentation. Sigh. Apparently the revisionists deny “…prostitutes embrace chastity…” Sorry, this revisionist is calling for chastity. It’s called an attempt at lifelong monogamy, to the same standard called upon for heterosexual couples, with the same compassionate interpretation of the law for those who fail to meet the standard that heterosexuals also fail to meet. We are not asking for more for GLBTs than we are asking of homosexuals, nor are we demanding less of them that we are of heterosexuals. We do not demand that a soul without limbs uses the staircase, but we do demand that they… Read more »

JamesCrocker
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JamesCrocker

Mynsterpreost, I’m not sure your grasp of Scripture is entirely correct. According to Church Tradition, the centurion did in fact give up paganism, nor is he the only example in the Bible of pagans turning and giving up paganism (cf the beginning of the letter to the Philippians ‘how you turned to God from idols’). Even the case of the woman taken in adultry is more clear cut than you think. She is told, not to keep on sinning but to ‘sin no more’ which according to the Hebrew law would generally mean keeping her knickers on in future (marriage… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Athos – you are conflating what Jesus may have said and what the Christian Churches say about him. Lofty refelective theological statements aren’t necessarily the same as present-forward looking endtime statements in a Jewish context. In a worldview where health, death, wealth and sin-salvation are all wrapped up, and there is a great deal uneven and what we would consider unfair about life, Jesus is preparing these people. Claims are made to him about who he is, but he is reluctant to make claims about himself and in using The Son of Man he is using an open, dynamic and… Read more »

Craig Nelson
Guest

As to Athos’s comments, which are interesting, although they use that old trick of superimposing hyper-authoritative talk over one’s opinions so that to disagree agree with them is to be disagreeing with something big (God, The Book, the Universal and Undivided Church of Two Millennia – sorry but it looks fairly divided to me…. and as for Universal, doesn’t that have at least some connotations of being for everyone?). That apart; Jesus invites all to repentance. The thing at issue is whether repentance for LGB people means changing their sexual orientation; which if it is seems to be salvation by… Read more »

Simon Icke
Guest
Simon Icke

It seems at least Cardinal Cormac Murhpy – O’Connor agrees with me! Check out the link to Steve Doughty’s Article in today’s Daily Mail. Excellent article in todays Daily Mail. Thursday 29 March Page 19. It’s gay rights laws that are intolerant, says Cardinal. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=445280&in_page_id=1770 I have been campaigning on this issue for the last three months, indeed I was one of the original protesters outside the House of Lords on Tuesday 9 January 2007 and was interviewed by Times religious Correspondent Ruth Gledhill a copy of that interview is now on the Times SOR Religion Blog and also on… Read more »