Comments: Equality Bill: media coverage

re churches being 'forced' to hire gays - guess what? They already have. Open the closets!

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Monday, 25 January 2010 at 1:27pm GMT

It is interesting to watch religious organizations grapple with the issue of human rights and traditional religious teaching. Fundamentalists, the Vatican, and conservative Anglicans share a common characteristic in the debate—a penchant for preaching coupled with a complete inability to listen to voices outside their faith group. Archbishop Williams is typical, though not unique, in claiming that on same sex issues (1) The church has read the bible a particular way for two thousand years and (2) same sex blessings or ordinations are not a matter of human rights. He is partially right on the first point in that perhaps we have been consistently misreading the bible all these years, as we did on other issues past (e.g. slavery). On the second point, some humility in grappling with how the wider culture has come to understand sexual issues might be in order. Keith Porteous Wood from the National Secular Society is quoted by BBC News: "For every discrimination there's a victim, and it seems entirely unreasonable that the churches should be permitted to discriminate, on grounds of sexual orientation …”. Instead of dismissing such views as “secularism” church leaders in western democracies might actually try listening and understanding what such a view is about. It might go a long way to explaining in the increasing irrelevance of most forms of institutional Christianity in democratic nations.
In fact, it is a bit of syndrome. The more precarious and fragile Churches become, the less ability and political will there is within them to dialogue and adapt. Conservatives in the Canadian context see the battle of gay and lesbian rights as a stand for the gospel in a godless secular world. What they fail to consider is that the world sees an aging organization that has little ability to connect with the values of a society struggling to rid itself of irrational prejudices. What the church is offering in terms of social justice perspectives can be more readily had in other quarters without the baggage of religious phobias. –Chuck Inglis

Posted by Chuck Inglis at Monday, 25 January 2010 at 2:03pm GMT

"not about bishops"

ROFLMAO

Posted by Malcolm+ at Monday, 25 January 2010 at 3:29pm GMT

I think it would be most interesting if Queen Elizabeth, as Supreme Governor of the Church of England would weigh in on this topic by standing up for the rights of all her citizens (subjects) and making it clear that she does not favor the position that many of her own bishops are trying to force down the throats of the general population. I have no doubt she holds opinions on this topic. Certainly she has had many gay friends over her life time. Her own mother certainly had many friends who were gay.

Posted by Chris Smith at Monday, 25 January 2010 at 9:50pm GMT

Please do not be surprised or shocked at this.

The truth is that homophobia is pervasive and vicious even in its most attenuated forms, such as happens in religious circles.

The fact is that even the milder forms of homophobia that strenuously deny they are homophobia are pernicious and harmful to the target group.

Being as the CofE is as it is, this kind of thing is what we should expect.

Posted by Craig Nelson at Tuesday, 26 January 2010 at 7:27pm GMT

How interesting that the Church should be seen to be more oppressive than the Government seeks to be - on issues of discrimination against the LGBT community. One might have expected the Church to work according to the principle of Christ in the Gospels, whose invitation is to ALL people - not just the socially acceptable and 'sinless'. No wonder the pews are emptying rather than filled.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 26 January 2010 at 10:50pm GMT
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