Comments: Church Times: ignore this marriage report

It is interesting to see the editorial in the Church Times (rumoured to have been written by a member of the Commission!) telling us how awful the new study document is.
Yet what's this from cseitz:
"The report itself is extremely well done."
Well, I have no claim to distinguished academic credentials, but even I can see that it is poorly drafted. In the same review cseitz says
"It reflects the ethical and cultural insights of Professor O'Donovan et al as refracted through scripture and tradition."
Perhaps loyalty to his friend blinds him to the truth? Why else would he take the position of attacking any and all who might disagree with his position thusly:
"That people reject it out of hand and in hysterical terms only shows how even basic theological discourse is now impossible."
I suspect that cseitz may have fallen into the trap he ascribes to others "imbecilic rambling and not worth the effort. End of story."

I have been to the Fulcrum web pages and was surprised not to find a paean of praise for the Commissions offering from Graham Kings, telling us how "wise" it is .....
I bet we will soon .....

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 12 April 2013 at 3:32pm BST

Broader questions surely need to be asked about the membership of the group that produced this report. These are meant to be theologically literate people supposed to be the CofEs leaders in matters of faith and doctrine. And yet the report is muddled, badly written, a hotch potch of different styles (did they pick a paragraph from each member and glue them together?). If this sort of B- (if that) nonsense is not only composed by its authors but then propagated by the House of Bishops, how very depressing our Church has sunk so low.
The parts of the report that fly off into realms of poetic fancy are nauseating, and simply not clever. Clear thinking is usually pretty straightforward and easy to follow.
So there are in fact 2 issues. The content of the report itself - which others have commented on. And the need to have a brand new set of cleverer and clearer people to sit on this body. The current membership should largely be replaced.

Posted by Neil at Friday, 12 April 2013 at 4:14pm BST

"I have been to the Fulcrum web pages and was surprised not to find a paean of praise for the Commissions offering from Graham Kings, telling us how "wise" it is .....
I bet we will soon ....." Martin Reynolds

"I do think it is profound and well written, as to be expected from Prof Oliver O'Donovan" Graham Kings on (public) Twitter 11 April.

Posted by Laurence Cunnington at Friday, 12 April 2013 at 4:48pm BST

Dear Church Times,

Not to worry, the whole world is ignoring the ¨marriage report¨, that is except for a few fellas, and they are fellas, who are scrambling to force square and rotting wooden pegs into cement holes...damaged thinking, beliving and publishing smears the integrity of many LGBT Christians at The Anglican Communion.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Friday, 12 April 2013 at 5:55pm BST

As if making my point, a reader might wrongly conclude that mine was the attitude I said belonged to those attacking the report. The entire thread was up in arms that such a report would emerge.

"There is one position: alter the word marriage so that it conforms to the end desired. Anything else is imbecilic rambling and not worth the effort. End of story."

I also find curious these claims to know that certain members on the commission are really the authors, as you breathlessly put it: "rumoured to have been written by a member of the Commission!".

Posted by cseitz at Friday, 12 April 2013 at 8:15pm BST

cseitz: when you're in a hole, stop digging. [Conversely, KEEP digging, and bury homophobia in its well-deserved historic ash-heap all the faster. Your choice. I might address this friendly advice to those who produced "Men, Women and Marriage", also!]

Two things, about which there can be no doubt:

1) God created LGBT people *as* LGBT (made to be partnered *as* LGBT), and

2) The position that denies this is headed for history's ash-heap.

An idea about which there IS doubt: whether the adherents of the position identified in (2) take LGBT-*affirmative* Christianity with them to the ash-heap, also.

I really wish they wouldn't (ergo, PLEASE STOP DIGGING!!!)

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 13 April 2013 at 2:19am BST

If the Church of England were not established, this would be funny because the report reads like a Monty Python parody of silly church leaders.

It makes me think that freedom from religion is just as important as freedom of religion. Churches should not dictate government policy, nor should majority religions be able to deny other religions their freedom to treat all couples the same regardless of the legal sex of the spouses.

It really begins to sound like evidence for Richard Dawkins that intellectuals cannot embrace religion. Surely, it is possible to do religion without abandoning rational discourse.

Gary Paul Gilbert

Posted by Gary Paul Gilbert at Saturday, 13 April 2013 at 8:05am BST

CSeitz
much of the criticism of the report had to do with its appalling academic basis. For example the strange premise that there are no asexual people, people are either male or female.
A. Asexuality has nothing to do with gender, that's the wrong category. It falls into the spectrum of sexuality that includes gay, straight, bi, asexual and all shades in between.
B. There are asexual people - that is a biological fact.
C. What they should have said is that there are no Intersex people, people are created male or female. And that is also patent biological nonsense.

Is it surprising that the Church Times says that a shoddy piece of writing based on premises like these should be ignored?

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 13 April 2013 at 9:57am BST

JCF:

Another breathtaking 'exposition' on gay determinism and the inexorable march of history?

The reverie of your sexual orientation juggernaut paraded through the First and Second World streets by its devotees (with those in its path will either throw themselves or being thrown under its wheels) is fanciful at best.

It more resembles a tired 'Back to the Future' De Lorean with poor grassroots traction, journeying restlessly through different parts of the time continuum of political fashion.

'MacFly, Anybody home?!'

Posted by David Shepherd at Saturday, 13 April 2013 at 11:38am BST

Perhaps gay and lesbian Christians are now tasting similar medicine to that which traditionalist are currently having to imbibe in the C of E?! Ostracisation, rejection and intolerance of others. Of course, liberal dogmatism wouldn't allow for such a view.

Posted by Benedict at Saturday, 13 April 2013 at 12:49pm BST

I am finding it difficult to ignore this, because I am embarrassed, as a member of the CofE, that the House of Bishops Standing Committee thinks it is all right to sign off a document in which the thinking is confused and based on misunderstandings about gender, biological sex, and sexual preference. And I am distressed about the offence caused to LGBT friends and acquaintances. I wonder if the people who wrote it should get out more.

Posted by Flora Alexander at Saturday, 13 April 2013 at 2:49pm BST

Homophobia is an irrational fear. Because it is irrational, it's hard to convince people with words. Some people's hearts will change by the experience of getting to know, love, and respect LGBT persons within the context of the church.

People who's power or reputations are completely invested in this irrational fear will use all of their intellectual abilities to rationalized the irrational.

Alas. It is human nature. The moral arc of the universe bends slowly, but it bends toward justice - dragging along people such as those who wrote that stupid report and its defenders.

Posted by Cynthia at Saturday, 13 April 2013 at 5:25pm BST

DavidS, if I'm "breathtaking", you've got me guffawing (I hope that was your intention!). Peace o' Christ to you---

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 13 April 2013 at 7:54pm BST

"Perhaps gay and lesbian Christians are now tasting similar medicine to that which traditionalist are currently having to imbibe in the C of E?! Ostracisation, rejection and intolerance of others."

We're way ahead of you. We were illegal for centuries, and subject to imprisonment and the death penalty. Perhaps we should ask Alan Turing about how accepting and tolerant Britain used to to be for gays and lesbians, including those who did their country a great service.

Posted by Counterlight at Saturday, 13 April 2013 at 8:02pm BST

JCF:

'Harmless as doves'. Love you too!

Posted by David Shepherd at Saturday, 13 April 2013 at 10:41pm BST

Benedict actually said: Perhaps gay and lesbian Christians are now tasting similar medicine to that which traditionalist are currently having to imbibe in the C of E?! Ostracisation, rejection and intolerance of others. Of course, liberal dogmatism wouldn't allow for such a view.

Yes, of course, because losing an argument is exactly the same as being denied human rights, suffering discrimination at church and in the work place, and being vulnerable to hate crimes, let alone the imprisonment and whatnot of the very recent past.

Somehow the word "entitlement" comes to mind...

Posted by Cynthia at Sunday, 14 April 2013 at 12:00am BST
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