Saturday, 10 February 2007

columns of opinion

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about Gays, marriage and Rowan Williams.

Background: Rowan Williams remarks at launch of National Marriage Week. Andrew Brown’s observations on this.

Stephen Plant writes in The Times about Charles Wesley’s hymns: Churches must ask why the English Hymnal is out of tune.

Martyn Percy writes in the Guardian’s Face to Faith column that Anglican dioceses should be more expressive of their catholic identity.

…Bishops have a vital role here in presiding over diversity while maintaining unity. This is why the key to some of the current divisive Anglican dilemmas may lie in dioceses and provinces becoming more expressive of their catholic identity, and celebrating their coherence amid their diversity. A diocese is a part of a larger, organic whole - a branch of the vine. Therefore, exercising its freedom and expressing its particularity is less important than maintaining its connectedness. Naturally, such restraint need not impose limits on diversity. It merely asks that the consequences of exercising one’s freedom be more fully weighed.

As the Anglican primates meet next week in Tanzania, there will be much to contemplate. How to hold together amid tense, even bitter diversity. How to be one, yet many. How to be faithfully catholic, yet authentically local. In all of this, an ethic of shared restraint - borne out of a deep catholicity - may have much to offer the Anglican communion. Without this, Anglicans risk being painfully lost in the issues that beset the church - unable to see the wood for the trees. Or perhaps, as Jesus might have said, unable to see the vine for the branches.

In the Tablet Tina Beattie asks Has liberation theology had its day?

In the Church Times Giles Fraser explains: This is what is wrong with rights.

Earlier in the week, Andrew Brown wrote on Comment is free about Shuttered windows to the soul.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 10 February 2007 at 9:06am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion
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'Opinions' may be informed by facts... & humour !

Do listen to Out on Air on bbc radio 4 at 8pm tonight --from Mrs. Dale to Sandy & Julian -apparently !

Soundeth good !

Posted by: seeker on Saturday, 10 February 2007 at 10:38am GMT

Thanks for that. I hadn't noticed they had used that piece on CiF!

Posted by: Andrew Brown on Saturday, 10 February 2007 at 11:20am GMT

I applauded Rowan's acknowledgment of the "..."prosaic heroism" of earlier generations of married couples..." when I read it in the Telegraph earlier this week.

My heart was saddened that for many marriage is still reduced to the tenets of baby conceiving and rearing. This overly simplistic model of marriage has many things to condemn it. At one level, it is misogynistic, men marry those filthy women so you can use their wombs to create children for the glory of God (aka soldiers in our next war). Women, have children, or you have no worth - we don't love you for your personalities, other gifts or talents. You exist purely to breed children. I sometimes think that this misogynistic form of theology thinks that Eve was sent out with Adam so he had a convenient womb to hand, and when Adam had purified himself enough, Eve was to be expunged as an undesired annoyance.

If women only exist to placate men until men no longer need women, then the bible would not talk about the feminine traits of God or God's reconcialiation plans for the feminine.

What is overlooked are the many psychological and emotional benefits of marriage. God asks us to marry each other to help us learn how to be married to God. He asks us to accept that we enjoy the other's company, to put aside our own needs to help the other, to realise that there are different gifts and talents and you can either compete or complement each other, to share a discovery that the other found without you, to rejoice in another's success and wellbeing, to dream and fulfill visions, to learn to be true to yourself and to another.

These are non-sexual benefits of marriage. They can apply as much to a homosexual marriage as to a heterosexual marriage. I rejoice in life-long homosexual relationships in that they remind us that we exist for more than the potential seed of our loins.

If life long marriage and its lessons bring stability to heterosexuals, isn't it cruel to deny the possibility to other? We are not talking about illegalising monogamy or marriage; we are talking about expanding who is able to partake of this stable nurturing form of family life.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Saturday, 10 February 2007 at 9:48pm GMT
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