Thinking Anglicans

Civil Partnerships in Ireland

The Evangelical Alliance Ireland writes:

Evangelical Christians and the Civil Partnership Bill 2009

The Irish Government has published a Bill that will establish Civil Partnerships for same sex couples to give them rights, obligations and protections once they are registered with the state. Many of the rights are similar to those currently offered to married couples under Irish Law. In response to this Evangelical Alliance Ireland has just produced a four page paper. Read this document here. [PDF]

The government proposals can be found here. Or in more easily digested form here.

A recent Associated Press report: Irish lawmakers open debate on gay rights bill.

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Erika BakerFather Ron SmithRobert Ian williamsmynsterpreost (=David Rowett)Fr Mark Recent comment authors
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Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

I take my hat off to the Evangelical Alliance. What a gracious and well throught through response!

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Erika, I wish I could agree, but the Evangelical Alliance’s insistence on the duty to model their superior heterosexual lives in the faces of any gay or lesbian couple unlucky enough to wander into one of their churches does not strike me as in any way compassionate or loving. Oh, sure, it’s better than being pointed out from the pulpit and denounced as a sodomite. Half a loaf, and all that. But I can’t say it’s a good thing.

Lois Keen
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Lois Keen

I am struck once again with the unwarranted, unearned and undeserved position of privilege and self righteousness I have as a female affectioned toward the opposite sex. I never have to make the decisions LGBT persons are being expected to make. I will never be asked to give up what LGBT persons are being asked to give up, in order to be acceptable, presumably, before Adonai, or in the church. I am sick to death of the self righteousness (in the correct and not pejorative sense of that phrase)of others who also are in my unwarranted, unearned, undeserved privilege of… Read more »

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

I agree with Erica. This should be welcomed as a first sign of an Evangelica awareness of the world as it actually is. What a pity the EA in England doesn’t have such a gracious attitude.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Charlotte,
it’s just so refreshing to see a religious group agree that it has no business to interfere in civil affairs. That I don’t like their faith position goes without saying, at least I can avoid evangelical churches. I can’t avoid national legislation.

Charlotte
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Charlotte

I see what you mean, Erika.

There’s a history here. Ireland used to be even more under the thumb of the Catholic Church than we in the US were under the thumb of the Christianist Religious Right. Now the Irish press has revealed the abuses of power, child molestations and coverups that took place over many years in the Irish Catholic Church.

So perhaps some Anglican Evangelicals in Ireland are learning from this sad history not to seek political power for themselves or enact into law their own morality.

American Evangelicals have yet to learn that lesson.

peterpi
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peterpi

As a gay activist here in the US, I have to agree with Erika. I’ve met American evangelical Christians, and I would be stunned if they becme this calm and rational. I praise the Irish Evangelical Alliance. They recogize that not everyone shares their view. They make their points, but recognize that this is coming down the tracks, so they lay out the issue in a straightforward manner, state their objections in a calm rational fashion, and end up not opposing the bill. As far as “half a loaf”, my understanding from the EAI position paper is that marriage can’t… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

One of the most striking things about this position paper from Irish evangelical believers is its acceptance of an end to ‘Christendom’. This clues us to a possible generational shift, maybe? Or, at least it would be cue to a generational shift in leadership if it were being published by a USA evangelical group? Canary in the global change coal mine? A corollary shift dimension then follows, relocating the main believer arena of stress or struggle or vexed yet shared discernment. Citizen life is no longer the automatic pilot core arena in which such traditional believers seek to be superior,… Read more »

Oriscus
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Oriscus

Well said, Rev. Lois! Not sure if I could’ve distilled my own feelings down quite so well. I’m going to have to save that to my Commonplace file.

Narnia
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Narnia

A significant point about the statement from Evangelical Alliance Ireland that has not drawn much notice is that they are arguing for the civil rights of people who do NOT share their own perspectives. This is a pretty rare thing, and almost unknown on either the left or the right. Irish evangelicals, who have seen the devastation done by religious systems (as well as atheist systems) that attempt to impose their values by law, are in favour of a secular liberal state in which the religious voice has as much respect as the non-religious. Supporting the rights of those who… Read more »

Jim Pratt
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Jim Pratt

drdanfee,
I don’t think we can read so much into the statement. As several commentators have pointed out, evangelicals in Ireland operate in a much different context than evangelicals in the US (or even in England). In Ireland, the Christendom paradigm means Rome.

Nevertheless, I find it encouraging that any evangelical group is willing to seriously consider the human rights aspect, and engage in dialogue rather than condemnation.

Ren Aguila
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Ren Aguila

Narnia, you said: “A significant point about the statement from Evangelical Alliance Ireland that has not drawn much notice is that they are arguing for the civil rights of people who do NOT share their own perspectives. This is a pretty rare thing, and almost unknown on either the left or the right.” And indeed it is rare. Those who argue in a calm and reasonable way for the integrity of marriage have to be forced to go into hysterics because, these days, political correctness sometimes takes precedence over rational discourse. Not that there is no turning back, of course,… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

This statement from the Irish Evangelicals seems to me to be a loving and careful understanding of the real needs of the LGBT community, whose situation is being treated respectfully by the legislation being proposed by the Irish Government. This is a first step for gays in a country which has recently faced a major public scandal where the RCC has been found wanting in it’s public stance on the problems of enforced celibacy, which has occasioned serious abuse from some of it’s clergy members. A more open and accepting public acceptance of differences in sexual orientation is surely much… Read more »

Gary Paul Gilbert
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Gary Paul Gilbert

While civil partnerships in Ireland will give many of the rights of civil marriage to same-sex couples and are thus to be celebrated as progress (at the municipal, provincial, and national level), they fail to treat same-sex couples and their children as family because they omit parenting rights. Same-sex couples in a civil partnerhip will have a harder time to take care of their children, something which is clearly not in the interests of the community. An unfair burden will still be placed on same-sex couples when they want to access their benefits because they will have to explain to… Read more »

Robert Ian williams
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Robert Ian williams

Give me back the old Catholic Ireland of De Valera…no diviorce, no contraception and large families.

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

Give me back the old Catholic (sic) Ireland of De Valera…no diviorce, no contraception and large families.

Posted by: Robert Ian williams on Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Those were the days !

And plenty of ‘orphanages’ for the over-flow of unwanted children, who were often abused and used as unpaid skivvies in these institutions. Also high mortality of women and infants.

I am feeling nostalgic already.

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

RIW: “Give me back the old Catholic Ireland of De Valera…no diviorce, no contraception and large families.”

Is that also the Catholic Ireland of the Magdalen Sisters; censorship; massive complicity in child abuse and silence in the face of both Hitler’s fascim and later of IRA terrorism? How delightful that was for everyone in mid-20th c. Ireland, which must be why so many hundreds of thousands emigrated in the decades following independence!

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Give me back the old Catholic Ireland of De Valera…no diviorce, no contraception and large families.” – Robert I Williams – Sadly, Robert, you are doomed to permanent dis-appointment – in your longing for past times. We in the Anglican Communion are looking to the future – not the detritus of past inequities – based on an out-dated understanding of gender and sexuality. You see, Robert, even your former out-posts of Roman Catholic misogyny and homophobia seem to be hearing the call of the Holy Spirit to live in the present, rather than burying one’s-self (and one’s neighbour) in the… Read more »

Robert Ian williams
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Robert Ian williams

There was no pornography in Catholic Ireland…. there was a stable society.
The author of the book of the Magdalene sisters was exposed as a fraud.

People emigrated because the state was originally part of the UK, but was treated as a colony. ireland was under developed because of British Imperial policy not Irish lethargy.

Furthermore thousands were emigrating from
Britain at the same time.

Abuse occurs in all institutions were there are sinners. However the abuse was shamefully handled.

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest

“Give me back the old Catholic Ireland of De Valera…no diviorce, no contraception and large families.”

Amen! Back street abortions, domestic violence and misery and grinding poverty are the defining hallmarks of the Good News, and it’s about time someone had the courage to say so! More power to your encyclicals, RIW!

Robert Ian williams
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Robert Ian williams

Why does everyone look to materialism… our Blessed lord incarnated amongst the poor.

Would you want to be born a Prince in the dysfunctional House of Windsor, or be happy in a family of twelve?

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Would you want to be born a Prince in the dysfunctional House of Windsor, or be happy in a family of twelve?” – Robert Ian Williams –

Spoken as a good loyal Welsh Roman Catholic, eh?

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

RIW “Would you want to be born a Prince in the dysfunctional House of Windsor, or be happy in a family of twelve?” Thank you for putting it so succinctly. I shall impress on my girls that these are the two options available to them and ask them to choose wisely. Before I speak to them – my older daughter is currently chosing her A’level subjects. Do you think I should advise her against academic subjects and ask her to concentrate on home economics and childcare instead? Or, in the unlikely case that she chooses the Prince Charles option, should… Read more »