Thinking Anglicans

Archbishop Jensen on same-sex marriage

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy, says Jensen

ALLOWING same-sex couples to marry could lead to the acceptance of polygamy and incest, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, has warned.

Writing in the church’s newspaper, Southern Cross, Dr Jensen said the push for same-sex unions to be enshrined in the Marriage Act was not a drive for the extension of rights but the redefinition of ”one of the indispensable foundations of community”…

The full text of Archbishop Jensen’s article in Southern Cross titled Real Marriage can be found here (pdf).

Reaction in Australia was quite strong, see these letters, and also this report: Jensen gay marriage comments alarmist: AME.

Australian Marriage Equality convenor Alex Greenwich hit back at the comments, saying any amendments to the Marriage Act would only mean that celebrants outside the Anglican community could perform same-sex marriages.

“The Archbishop should acknowledge we live in a secular, multi-faith society, and as such he must understand that his views should not be imposed on those religions that want to perform same-sex marriages, such as the Quakers and progressive Synagogues,” Mr Greenwich said in a statement on Saturday.

“Not one of the alarmist predictions made by the Archbishop have come to pass in any of the countries that allow same-sex marriages to take place, including Catholic Spain, Portugal and Argentina.”

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Gerry Lynch
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If the Archbishop’s strongest suit is a non-sequitur, it shows he knows he can’t win the substantive argument.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Isn’t it interesting that the opponents of the recognition of same sex relationships up to and including gay marriage always end up with these same predictions, I’m just surprised that he didn’t include paedophilia and sex with animals!

The article is so week in it’s arguments and so full of tendentious statements, and inspite of himself so full of (perhaps unconsious?) ignorance and prejudice that surely no one outside his immediate coterie will take it seeriously?

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

It’s amazing that it’s always the same arguments, too, no matter where the issue comes up…we’ve seen these across the USA as well.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

It’s worse than all that. Gay marriage will comprehensively destroy straight marriages. There will be infidelity and adultery, there will be divorce. The well established purity and holiness of all straight marriages will be seriously undermined. There will suddenly be pornography aimed at straight people. We might hear unbelievable tales of straight men abusing children and raping women. Some sheep might be worried. The very moral fibre of our society is at stake. Legalise even one single faithful and stable gay couple you will have opened a Pandora’s box that makes Dante’s picture of hell look like a summer picnic.… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Canada, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal… yes, Your Grace, all well-known hotbeds of polygamy and incest, unlike such nice conservative anti-gay societies as, erm, Saudi Arabia.

The more church leaders spout such rubbish the more they write themselves out of a place in public life in the 21st century.

parodie
Guest
parodie

Doesn’t the Anglican Communion already accept polygamy in some places? Does it then follow that same-sex couples are already allowed to marry?

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Further to my previous comment (and apologies for the typos) I would like to think that both Archbishop Bensen and Bishop Philip Richardson, Bishop in Taranaki (see ‘White Collar Crime’ blog earlier) might read and learn from this in the Independent:-

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/gay-born-this-way-2297039.html

Unfortunately some Christians choose to remain wilfully ignorant in order not to undermine their fixed views, and others don’t want to engage with these sorts of reports because it means that they will have to get down off the fence and confront the consequences of their liberal instincts.

Lois Keen
Guest
Lois Keen

The Archbishop and his followers can’t persuade on the merits of the argument and so he/they resort to lies, innuendo and fear mongering. It’s too bad of them.

RJB
Guest
RJB

I might have some respect for Archbishop Jensen and his ilk if they would only come out and say what they no doubt really mean, viz. sodomy is a crime against nature and an abomination before God. Few would agree, but at least it’s a moderately coherent argument. Instead, however, they come out with this tendentious piffle. It’s positively embarrassing.

Oddly enough, the ‘homosexuality leads to polygamy’ argument doesn’t seem to run the other way, as neither Mormons nor Muslims are famous for recognising same-sex marriage.

Fred Schwartz
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Fred Schwartz
peterpi - Peter Gross
Guest
peterpi - Peter Gross

Every time I hear arguments like the archbishop’s, I think of the following scenario: Earl and Eve meet each other during the social hour after Sunday Eucharist. They start dating, and fall in love. After talking it over with their priest, they arrange a date for a church wedding, and go to the registrar’s office to get their civil marriage license. While there, they see Alan and Adam also getting a marriage license. Horrified, Earl and Eve look at each other and exclaim “Oh, darn (or very, very strong words to that effect)! Those homosexuals have ruined everything! We may… Read more »

Nat
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Nat

Lies and innuendo are always the last result of those too intellectually dishonest to learn.

And vegetarianism will lead to eating stones…

What utter, head-in-the sand rubbish.

Tobias Haller
Guest

Polygamy! Next it’ll be lay presidency!

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Did I hear somewhere that in certain African countries there are two ‘Mothers’ Unions’, one for the monogomous and another for the polygamous? I believe this is reported as being sensitive to the cultural context.

Jim Pratt
Guest
Jim Pratt

peterpi,
yes they do have a very dim view of humanity, and they see themselves as the chosen few to save the rest of us by keeping us on the straight and narrow (pun intended)

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Check out the stats on marriage and divorce in Massachusetts, one of the places in the US where same-sex marriage is legal. Now check them out for states such as Texas, where the state constitution bans same-sex marriage and civil unions.

David Shepherd
Guest

This archbishop’s words are, of course, alarmist. His strained logic assumes that somehow a further minority of Australian citizens who wish to legitimise their polygamous or incestuous arrangements will ‘piggy-back’ on a completely different cause by mimicking its victorious march towards legal recognition and its language of struggle against oppression.

Shame on him! Let him name a single minority cause has ever advanced its goals by this means in the course of Western political history…

Okay, let him name three in the space of five seconds!

Father Ron Smith
Guest

The Archbishop of Sydney, who at the same time cries ‘alarm’ at the prospect of monogamous same-sex relationships; compares them to the promotion of heterosexual polygamy. Does he not know the difference between the words ‘monogamy’ & polygamy’?

Really, this is just one more example of his oxymoronic claim to ‘Anglican orthodoxy’, while pushing for Lay-Presidency at The Eucharist, and denying the priesthood of women!

Moore College, Sydney has a lot to answer for – including it’s influence upon the Anglican Church in Nigeria.

Counterlight
Guest

Last time I checked, more than a century of polygamy in Utah has not made that state more open to same sex marriage.

MarkBrunson
Guest

Why is it that conservative heterosexuals have so little self-control? I mean, all it takes is legalizing gay marriage and they entirely lose it, and can no longer tell the difference between sexual relations between a partnership of two people in love, and a disordered relationship with one’s sister. Tell them two people of the same sex can have a legitimate sexual relationship, and they no longer are able to tell the difference between a reasonable spouse and a barnyard animal! I think these conservative, straight “christian” types are dangerous because they just can’t tell right from wrong like the… Read more »

David Shepherd
Guest

Mark.

There was a modicum of irony in my earlier remarks.

At the risk of stating what others have said in pedantic terms. Of course, it was alarmist. Of course, ‘incest, pedophilia, polygamy and bestiality’ are not automatic concomitants of homosexual orientation. And no, I don’t agree with his scare-mongering.

Zzzz…

Lister Tonge
Guest
Lister Tonge

Fr Ron:

The only part of your post I feel tempted to argue with is the prefix ‘oxy-‘.

But I won’t.

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

We await Muriel Porter’s book on Sydney Anglicans to appear this summer published by Ashgate with a preface by the Principal of Cuddesdon. I dont think all is well in the diocese despite the tremendous hype that followed Jenson’s consecration ( plotted for many years). Financial problems, the increasing anxieties of the beleagured old fashioned evangelical parishes 9 the few catholic parishes are inured to being beleagured)…and the retirement of Jenson in 2013 with no obvious successor of any stature….

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“and the retirement of Jenson in 2013 with no obvious successor of any stature….”

– Perry Butler –

But the Archbishop does have a younger brother, does he not? Also, I believe, equally bigoted, and in ‘good standing’ in Sydney

MarkBrunson
Guest

I am sorry, David.

I was confused by

“Shame on him! Let him name a single minority cause has ever advanced its goals by this means in the course of Western political history…

Okay, let him name three in the space of five seconds!”

Which, I think most would agree, seem to be pointing to agreement with him *through sarcasm* that such a slippery slope is a viable and even imminent possibility.

I am terribly sorry that I bored you to sleep.

David Shepherd
Guest

Sorry too. That all of us have ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ labels. Yet, I see a flicker of hope as we both ‘earnestly contend for the faith’ It’s clear that the archbishop’s tone smacks of a political desperation that I don’t agree with. It’s an attempt to build a climate of ‘social contamination’ fear. It’s one thing that gays don’t need. In fact, one thing that no-one needs. That said, I also know that every liberation movement since the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s has employed the same strategy and rhetoric to advance their cause. How many times have I… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

I would agree that those tactics are, indeed, common. Yet, as we also both agree, we are entrenched in sides. Perhaps that is right, too. I think that I have begun to understand that there are those who truly believe that homosexuality is a learned behavior of willful self-indulgence. I no longer try to argue them out of that, but to accept that that is what they believe, firmly, deeply, immovably. In the same way, if you look at the use of “substitute the word ‘black’ for …” you can come to appreciate that we believe it is an immutable… Read more »

Counterlight
Guest

The people who actually practice polygamy in the wilderness areas of Utah are hardly wild liberal anarchist libertines. They are people who completely reject all modernity (including technology and constitutional democracy), who even dress in clothes that were out of fashion in 1870. They have more in common with fundamentalist Islam than they do with the rest of the Western world. They are extreme Biblical and Mormon literalists who (I think correctly) see that the Biblical norm for marriage was polygamy (see King Solomon). On the contrary, lgbt rights and feminism are both bound up with the advance of modernity,… Read more »

David Shepherd
Guest

It’s unfortunate that while one issue dominates the Anglican moral landscape and its witness to the world, other equally weighty matters of justice take second place. So you’re gay. You and others believe innately so. I accept that’s who you and they are. I am campaigning on behalf of any soul who can participate in the constant struggle against the dearth of critical thinking in the world today: the mass-media driven worship of pop culture icons, the fear of scrutinising the polarised right and left-wing divide, the masquerade of ritual externalisms, the pagan temples of ‘got-to-have-it-now’ credit-fuelled conspicuous consumption, the… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

David Shepherd: “It’s unfortunate that while one issue dominates the Anglican moral landscape and its witness to the world, other equally weighty matters of justice take second place.”

Quite: so I hope you address yourself vocally to the people responsible for making such a continual brouhaha about this one issue for nearly 10 years now, the Conservative Evangelical ageing male leadership cadre.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“So, I know how easily the glorious idealism of any movement liberated and segregated from one form of intolerance can descend into their own intolerance of internal dissent.” – David Shepherd –

Indubitably! Just look at ACNA in the United States and Canada.

MarkBrunson
Guest

My point is, schism is merely the boogeyman-word for division – cells, for instance, “schism.” If not, no growth, no life. The Body must grow, cells divide, to live. This is living death, all of us clawing at one another and pretending it’s for belief or our souls. It’s not. Trevor Phillips has it exactly right – on both sides – it’s an attempt to grasp power, to be greater than our powerless Master. It is death – worse, eternal death. Yes, hardliners can divide and separate further, that’s part of the pain and chaos of growth and life, out… Read more »

David Shepherd
Guest

Mark,

Yes, I get that. I totally get that.

MarkBrunson
Guest

David,

I feel very happy and very blessed and a true fraternal bond at your reply.

David Shepherd
Guest

Peace all round.