Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Conservative reaction to Times letter and ban on adverts

Robert Booth reports in the Guardian that Boris Johnson faces legal action over banned anti-gay bus adverts

…The groups behind the “Not gay … and proud” adverts, which were pulled by the London mayor earlier this month, said they were likely to seek a judicial review of the mayor’s decision on the grounds that it breached their rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression as guaranteed under the European convention on human rights.

Anglican Mainstream and the Core Issues Trust, whose supporters advocate that gay Christians seek counselling and treatment to curb or even reverse homosexual instincts, said it might also take legal action for breach of contract against the advertising company that booked the adverts, CBS Outdoor.

“Since Boris Johnson intervened, there seems to be a much broader issue about freedom of speech at stake and that is weighing heavily upon us,” said the Rev Lynda Rose, a spokeswoman for Anglican Mainstream. “We feel it is not right that people are not able to express legitimate views that are not an incitement to hatred.”

In their latest press release (links below) AM and CIT state:

Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues Trust reject absolutely the accusation of Boris Johnson that they are intolerant, labeling homosexuality a disease. They affirm the right of individuals to seek change, and to reduce homosexual behaviours, feelings and desires, using both pastoral support and counselling, and psychological therapies administered by professionals. They are actively considering an action for judicial review against the Mayor on the basis that his decision was unlawful, and an interference with their rights under Articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, guaranteeing freedom of religion and expression.

And in relation to the letter to The Times of last Saturday the Guardian reports:

The row over the adverts blew up during the government consultation on opening up marriage to same-sex couples, which continues until June, and Anglican Mainstream and the Core Issues Trust are set against the proposals. On Tuesday, they accused liberal bishops of imposing a “neo-pagan worldview” by supporting gay marriage and claiming there should be “a recognition of God’s grace at work in same-sex partnerships”.

On Saturday, a group of Church of England bishops wrote to the Times complaining that recent statements by church leaders had given the mistaken impression that the Anglican church was universally opposed to the extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples.

“The fact there are same-sex couples who want to embrace marriage should be a cause for rejoicing in the Christian church,” said the letter, signed by the Very Rev Jeffrey John, dean of St Albans, the Right Rev Alan Wilson, bishop of Buckingham, and 13 other senior clergy and lay members of the General Synod.

In response, Anglican Mainstream and the Core Issues Trust issued a statement warning that the liberal clergy were trying to “unacceptably redefine Judeo-Christian belief”.

“They do not have the standing either to rewrite or reinterpret the clear teaching of the Bible, which the Church has always understood to prohibit any and all sexual relations outside the union for life of one man and one woman,” said Canon Dr Chris Sugden, executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream.

The press statement mentioned above is headlined Evangelical groups accuse rebel liberal bishops of bully-boy tactics and neo-paganism. It can be found at Anglican Mainstream, at Core Issues Trust and as a PDF.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 8:51am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | equality legislation
Comments

"The press statement mentioned above is headlined Evangelical groups accuse rebel liberal bishops of bully-boy tactics and neo-paganism"

I should think so too! You can't get more bullying than writing a polite letter to the Times!

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 9:45am BST

Those who would prevent sexual minorities from having civil equality and who are horrified at the possibility of blessing of same sex marriage now portray themselves as the victims of bullying. It just goes to show that you do not have to be gay to be a drama queen.

This is the same tired old rhetoric that falsely claims the Bible standard of marriage is between one man and one woman. The groups that proclaim their faithfulness to the Bible, again, knowingly misrepresent the Bible. Any person who has read the books of the Bible even once knows that the standard for marriage in the large majority of biblical texts is the joining of one man with as many women as he can afford to have as wives. And Jesus' teaching about a man and a woman leaving their homes to be joined together is clearly a teaching about heterosexual divorce, not a treatise on human nature.

I said many times that when parliament votes for equal civil marriage, the CofE will have to manage the crisis within the Church, a crisis of their own making. The rest of us will have to deal with the fact that the Name of Jesus will be dragged through the mud many more times, as the proponents of discrimination against sexual minorities use his Name to justify their beliefs, all the while hurling insults against anyone who disagrees with them.

Is it any wonder that young people in the UK and the US tend to equate Christianity with hatred and hypocrisy? How about not bearing false witness against your neighbour, Anglican Mainstream?

Posted by: karen macqueen+ on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 10:32am BST

There are no records of any religious marriage services in the Old Testmaent or the New.

Jewish people began to add a blessing to the civil ceremony in the Middle Ages. The Early Church invited couples into Church for a Eucharist after the ceremony.

Our current wedding services took over and hallowed elements from earlier secular ceremonies. If the State allows Gay Marriage first and then we follow in due time with a religious certemony , then history will be repeating itself.

Those who desire gay marriage and their supporters do not wish to destroy the concept of marriage but to extend it. I think this should be a cause of great rejoicing.

Posted by: Jean Mayland on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 10:53am BST

If that's what Canon Sugden thinks the bible "prohibit(s) any and all sexual relations outside the union for life of one man and one woman," then Canon Sugden either hasn't read it or is hallucinating.

Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 11:52am BST

A very shallow and hate filled campaign by the Religious Right claiming this as a freedom of speech and religion issue. This is an old pattern of warfare that has failed completely in the United States because most people saw it as a thinly veiled campaign of hatred, hypocrisy and homophobia. The same reactions will apply in the UK. This is never pretty. It is about exclusion of an entire minority within the Church, bearing no relation to the teachings of Jesus. The Right wishes to disenfranchise and exclude.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 4:15pm BST

Karen:
'Any person who has read the books of the Bible even once knows that the standard for marriage in the large majority of biblical texts is the joining of one man with as many women as he can afford to have as wives.'

As you have done, some will interpret every instance of provisional forbearance towards heathen behaviour, such as polygamy, as a permanent licence to continue. In His forbearance, God also permitted Israel to emulate their Canaanite neighbours by establishing a monarchy.

Paul's view of God's forbearance towards heathen cultural practices in the OT:
'And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now God commands all men everywhere to repent' (Acts 17:30).

As you are aware, there were several other heathen customs that were never tolerated in the OT, or NT.

Posted by: David Shepherd on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 6:54pm BST

"the clear teaching of the Bible, which the Church has always understood to prohibit any and all sexual relations outside the union for life of one man and one woman".
Errr... such as Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon to name some of the more famous polygamists in the Old Testament.

Posted by: sjh on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 7:16pm BST

Sugden: "The view expressed by some senior serving clergy, and retired bishops, would redefine Christian belief."

...and when you have neither the facts nor the law on your side, pound the table.

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 9:18pm BST

Further on the discredited 'therapies' -if further evidence were needed.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/04/24/california-pushes-for-a-partial-ban-of-gay-conversion-therapies/

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 9:22pm BST

An interview with the good doctor (of education) at the heart of the bus fiasco; and suspended by his psychotherapy body (psychodrama).


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9218545/The-man-who-believes-he-can-help-gay-people-turn-straight.html

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 10:13pm BST

May many a heart be touched

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/04/25/video-coalition-for-equal-marriage-releases-beautiful-viral-campaign-film/

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 10:30pm BST

Lovely. Christians fighting for their civil right to be able to deny civil rights to others. Just lovely.

Posted by: Randal Oulton on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 11:02pm BST

Another allegation of cures bites the dust !

Spicer's apology

http://www.truthwinsout.org/news/2012/04/24542/

Think of all the harm done.

When will Rowan; and the C of E apologize ?

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 at 11:07pm BST

"As you have done, some will interpret every instance of provisional forbearance towards heathen behaviour, such as polygamy, as a permanent licence to continue."

Except for the fact that the "provisional forbearance" part is entirely eisegesis.

"In His forbearance, God also permitted Israel to emulate their Canaanite neighbours by establishing a monarchy."

Huh? So now you'll be pushing for outlawing monarchy on religious grounds?

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Thursday, 26 April 2012 at 12:20am BST

Mr Shepherd, neither you nor anyone else knows anything on the subject of what the god the Israelites "permitted" because no such "knowledge" can be adduced. The culturally conditioned and repeatedly edited and re-edited material that comes to us under the rubric, "Old Testament" is far from homogeneous and certainly cannot be said to represent the opinions of a god: they can, however be said to portray (from the standpoint of the interests of the power figures in Israel) the forever changing consensus --social, political, economic--of how their "society" will need to operate in order to survive. I have a hard time seeing how the mores of a semi-savage Bronze-Age society need be brought to bear on ours. We have found innumerable instances in which the mores of such a society are not to be tolerated in ours. Can you give me one good reason why savagery against gay people be excepted from that exclusion?

Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC on Thursday, 26 April 2012 at 12:30am BST

The teaching on marriage in the Bible includes the directions in Deuteronomy 21:15-27 concerning a husband with two wives and his favoritism of the after-born son of a loved wife over the first-born son of a disliked wife:

"If a man has two wives, one of them loved and the other disliked, and if both the loved and the disliked have borne him sons, the firstborn being the son of the one who is disliked, then on the day when he wills his possessions to his sons, he is not permitted to treat the son of the loved as the firstborn in preference to the son of the disliked, who is the firstborn. He must acknowledge as firstborn the son of the one who is disliked, giving him a double portion of all that he has; since he is the first issue of his virility, the right of the firstborn is his."

I once did a quick survey of multiple wives in the Old Testament and found around 14 instances, listed by person and citation -- http://inchatatime.blogspot.com/2011/11/multiplatform-evangelism-moment.html?showComment=1321384041778#c1262564307244133291 -- going from Genesis to Second Chronicles.

In these texts, there is certainly condemnation of heathen wives leading their Israelite husbands to idolatry. There is, however, no condemnation of polygamy itself being heathen.

Posted by: dr.primrose on Thursday, 26 April 2012 at 1:19am BST

Send in the clowns . . .

Wait, don't bother, they're here.

Posted by: jnwall on Thursday, 26 April 2012 at 2:09am BST

Bill

Given that our country was never founded upon a prophet-priest theocracy, nor the bearer of the messianic lineage, your sarcastic parallel is entirely inane.

Instead of thinking that I'm 'pushing for outlawing monarchy', you might agree with the eschatological view of Christ's return ocerturning worldly monarchies: 'The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever." (Rev. 11:15) Maybe not.

Nevertheless, in that sense, God exercises a measure of 'provisional forbearance' towards all worldly institutions until Christ returns to judge all.

Posted by: David Shepherd on Thursday, 26 April 2012 at 9:09am BST

The leader of the 'ex-gay' movement has said it does not work.

http://instinctmagazine.com/blogs/blog/world-s-top-ex-gay-leader-finally-confesses-that-conversion-therapy-doesn-t-work?directory=100011

Good on him !

It could not have been at all easy for him.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Thursday, 26 April 2012 at 12:34pm BST

Yet another posting has apparently gone to spam. Could you check on that, please?

ED: checked and found. Sorry again.

Posted by: dr.primrose on Thursday, 26 April 2012 at 5:29pm BST

Daniel:

'The culturally conditioned and repeatedly edited and re-edited material that comes to us under the rubric, "Old Testament" is far from homogeneous and certainly cannot be said to represent the opinions of a god'

The gospel records Christ's referring to the same quality of 8th Century BC material from Isaiah: 'The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted' and declaring its first century fulfilment.

Of course, given your opinions, why not just tell Christ, that any of His messianic claims 'certainly cannot be said to represent the opinions of a god'. Or is your problem with scripture selectively applied?

Your final question equates the challenge to fixed ideas about sexual orientation as savagery. Defending behavioural choices as a possibility is not advocating OT savagery. We are not the 'sons of thunder'.

Posted by: David Shepherd on Thursday, 26 April 2012 at 6:14pm BST

IF Gafcon were tryng to argue that marriage has little or no place in the purest Christian tradition, they might, just, have a point. It would be a pretty hard and Apostolic understanding of commitment to the Kingdom, but believable. Trying to insist the marriage is somehow central the the faith is laughable.

Posted by: Rosemary Hannah on Thursday, 26 April 2012 at 8:52pm BST

Forget the bus!

The whole 'therapeutic' notion it was based and Spicer's 'findings' have been blown out of theater.

Spicer humself has disowned them: "I was wrong."!

He's sory for any loss of time or 'inconvenience'.

oh rich.

When will Rowan Williams have the decency to apologise for misleading us - twice over - apparently ?

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 27 April 2012 at 4:34am BST

People who do not believe in the established church think they should make laws for everyone ... poverty of reflection on power is the mark of this generation.

Posted by: Mark Bennet on Friday, 27 April 2012 at 8:58pm BST
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