Friday, 29 January 2010
Equality Bill: church press coverage
Today’s Church Times has three mentions of the bill.
There is a full news report of Monday’s debate, written by me, Bishops win in Equality Bill fight.
There is a leader, titled Opportunities not yet equal.
And there is comment on the secular press coverage of it in the Press Column (subscriber only until next week) by Andrew Brown.
THE Government’s defeat in the Lords over the Equality Bill was covered on remarkably simple left/right lines: for the right-wing papers, the issue was simply one of the freedom of the Churches from the oppressions of Harriet Harman and the European Union; for the Left, it was just as simply the freedom of gays to be employed…
The Church of England Newspaper devoted its entire front page to the bill. The main news story is reproduced over here.
Catholic Herald Anna Arco Government suffers Equality Bill defeat
More to follow.
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Friday, 29 January 2010 at 8:44am GMT
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Church of England
| equality legislation
The dizziness that has set in about all of this really stems from the unnamed elephant in the rooms, that is, failing to deal with an empirically-based and modern notion of sexual orientation. The dodge that saves the intellectual (and moral) day is still intended to be the facile sermon, that our unchanged sticking point is all just about immmoral sexual behaviors. A footballer save ploy used frequently by leaders (and even sometimes, by believers). Remember the JJ business?
Real life and real church life undermines the familiar yet sidestepping convenience of precisely that specific distinction. We all know about it, too. The traditionalists in church life barely have a functional positive notion of human embodiment that will suffer heterosexual orientations (except for always falling back on how making babies must continue, regardless) - let alone any positive functional notion of sexual orientation as a continuum subsuming the transitional closed box categories. It's all juggled by church life jugglers.
Alas. Beneath the fiddled details of church life, idealizing habits to sidestep and distract, and preachments as usual? Our trend for the moment looks a bit clearer than one would have anticipated, namely that more and more everyday folks can now get a good whiff of how all this smells. Straights only cheese rather similar to the old males only-males first cheese that used to be the Big Cheese, even God's Big Cheese? Ripe, very ripe stuff.
I don't mind common prayer with these sorts of believers/leaders; just don't want to be mistaken as somebody who tattoos a limited and disconfirmed Ptolemaic Cosmology of Sex on all the open spaces of my body.
"The Archbishop of York and the Bishops of London, Winchester, Durham, Chichester, Exeter, Liverpool, and Hereford all voted for Lady O'Cathain and against the Government, as did Lord Carey"
- Simon Sarmiento, in Church Times article -
From this list of objectors to the Government's amendment of the Bill in question; it is easy to see exactly WHO, among the Bishops in the House of Lords, is intent on blocking the Government's aim to oulaw discrimination against employing various L.G.T. or B. persons within the religious denominations of England. It is significant that Bishop Harries (formerly Bp. of Oxford) voted with the Government.
So much for these particular Bishops, ensconced by non-democratic privilege in the House of Lords who thumb their aquiline noses at the proceedings of the democratic House of Commons!
What does this say about the out-dated and hierarchical prerogative of the Established Church on matters relating to the denial of common human justice?
A vast army of people are beginning to see that they have been denied a basic human right -- the natural right to marriage -- and that the churches are continuing to play a pro-active, obscurantist role in denying them that right. The anger of noisy fundamentalists is impressive, but it is nothing in comparison with the tsunami of quiet indignation that is gathering force as this realization spreads and deepens.