Comments: More articles for and against same sex marriage

"in order to provide support for the views of the political elite": ad hominems, Mr Goddard? You think that's going to be persuasive?

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 1 June 2013 at 8:40am BST

"Justice delayed is justice denied." RevDrMLKJr

"Deep in my heart I do believe that we shall overcome the evil myth of heterosexual-supremacy!" ~Rev. Timmy, together in Love at first sight with Earl for 37 years, since 1976


Posted by Rev.Timmy at Saturday, 1 June 2013 at 2:36pm BST

Andrew Goddard is misrepresenting the Bishop of Salisbury when he includes, in his case against him, that the Bishop 'seemingly embraces a proof-texting approach'. What the Bishop actually does is to point out that arguments based on these proof texts, used to condemn homosexual activity, are weak because the texts are not being understood in their proper context.

Posted by Flora Alexander at Saturday, 1 June 2013 at 2:48pm BST

From Goddard, "When those with power seek to pass legislation explicitly contradicting church teaching and thus face strong and united opposition from denominations across the Christian church..."

This is terribly dishonest. There are Christian denominations in the UK willing to marry LGBT persons, and others that are exploring the idea with more open mindedness than CoE. Currently, the religious freedom of the liberal churches is being curtailed by oppressive forces, such as CoE, and that's about to change. World wide, there are even more Christian churches doing same-sex marriage.

From there, the article continues to be lame. Marriage between a man and a woman is unique and must be protected, the Bible clearly condemns homosexual activity. Total drivel. And of course, Goddard doesn't even begin to address the actual harm done by homophobia. Here, he would be linked to the "God Hates Fags" crowd. Jesus said that we can tell the real prophets from the false ones by the fruits of their labor. The fruits of Mr. Goddard's hate is depression, suicide, bullying, etc. I'll stick with +Nicholas Sarum, Desmond Tutu, and MLK. Because the fruits of their labour is liberation, love, compassion, and general good health.

Posted by Cynthia at Saturday, 1 June 2013 at 2:58pm BST

I find Andrew Goddard's bullying and hectoring tone hard to take.

'The teaching of the Church' ? Don't make me laugh ! Why does the C of E try at least to sound authoritative on only one subject - gay sex ?

This hasty riposte just won't wash.

The C of E has acted without honour or integrity in this matter.

The public will not forget it.

Posted by Laurence at Saturday, 1 June 2013 at 5:06pm BST

Many Church of England ministers, like myself, would love to marry same sex couples; and also to be 'married in church' ourselves. Especially after years of marrying couples myself.

I can see that I shall not be offered the opportunity, myself (unless I live to be about 100 ).

SO I shall not celebrate the eucharist or receive it, in the Church of England or RC church,from now on, until such time as this injustice is removed.

Posted by Laurence at Saturday, 1 June 2013 at 5:12pm BST

Brendon O'Neill's essay lost me when he started getting sniffy about the expansion of the definition of Domestic Abuse. To argue that this shows a governmental elite set on undermining marriage by threatening to intervene in the normal ups and downs of family life simply demonstrates his own lack of knowledge of domestic abuse. (The language has changed from violence to abuse because so much harm can be done by a perpetrator without ever lifting a finger).

The emotional and psychological abuse starts long before the physical, and yet the damage can be just as significant. And the definition was especially important as legal aid in family law is now only available where there is abuse - and the old definition would have left (mostly) women stuck in a relationship with no way out, waiting for the first blow to be struck, as financial abuse is also very significant.

Posted by Jeremy Fagan at Saturday, 1 June 2013 at 5:19pm BST

I must agree with those who find Andrew Goddard's piece "lame".
It highlights just how vulnerable the anti gay lobby is on this topic.
They argue marriage "has always been" this or that, and it demonstrably has not been the case. Their view of marriage is as relevant to me today as the levitical priesthood.

I think the only interesting thing we can find here is in the final paragraph. Goddard's close ally Graham Kings is clearly agitated that Nick has told the truth.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Saturday, 1 June 2013 at 5:36pm BST

I am disappointed by Andrew Goddard's attempt to smear Nicholas Holtam, a consistent advocate of justice and equality, as someone 'whose commitment to the crudest form of Christendom politics leads them to advocate new forms of “civic religion” by providing a theological gloss to legitimate the desires of those in secular authority who want to use their state power as they see fit'.

As for Andrew G's claim that 'Clearly some Christians historically have been supportive of slavery and more recently of apartheid but they represent a small minority of Christians. Their stance is one taken against the wider church and often based on their conforming to and offering ecclesial legitimacy for their dominant cultural context', is he not aware that Church of England leaders have apologised for the Church's support for the slave trade?

Posted by Savi Hensman at Saturday, 1 June 2013 at 8:14pm BST

I've read a few things from Goddard in the past with varying degrees of interest but am not a regular devotee of his offerings. This item however struck me merely as tedious - little more than a weak bundle of assertions of someone who knew they haven't got much.

The main critique of Bishop of Salisbury seems to be that he is undermining a terrifically unanimous and unquestioning edifice of united opposition to allowing same sex couples to marry.

It's a valid criticism, of course.

I imagine that there are a number of bishops and other clergy who'd love to endorse the official position out of loyalty but are struggling with the sheer inanity of arguments being proferred and the fear that by not speaking out the Church will saddle itself with its risible and rather threadbare, if sanctimoniously delievered, strictures. Personally I think they're right to dissent from the party line because the party line is difficult to understand on any rational level.

Posted by Craig Nelson at Saturday, 1 June 2013 at 10:36pm BST

"Personally I think they're right to dissent from the party line because the party line is difficult to understand on any rational level."

Exactly, it isn't rational. It's a phobia, homophobia. And it is playing out rather hysterically in CoE leadership, with the shining exception of +Nicholas.

Posted by Cynthia at Sunday, 2 June 2013 at 1:02am BST

In other news : another 'openly gay' bishop.

Slowly but surely, 'right is done.' And there is no answer to that. No possible response to ethical behaviour which has integrity.

Even the Bible-bashers for the most part read it very little, do not know Bible langauges, rely on commentaries, and are far more led by the spirit of the age and media than they like to say. And the acceptance of not simply divorce, but re-marriage after it- serial 'monogamy'

So gayness is nothing compared to the wide swathe of their compromises with post-modernity.

Posted by Laurence at Sunday, 2 June 2013 at 9:50pm BST

Andrew Goddard's assumption that it is out of order for a bishop to express his support for same sex marriage seemed a little peculiar when I read it.

But now it seems that the Archbishop of Canterbury disagreees with Goddard as well.

Lord Alli is reported today saying:
“I said [to Archbishop Welby] that I knew there were people in the Church – such as the Bishop of Salisbury – who were supportive of gay marriage and I asked him if I went to see him and asked him to do a piece would he have your blessing? He said ‘Absolutely. And that goes for any bishop.’”

Posted by badman at Sunday, 2 June 2013 at 11:05pm BST

Yes Laurence, very encouraging news from North America.

I also do agree that the majority of the Bible believers don't read the Bible (by which I mean the whole book ~ collection of books ~) intensively.

There's also a difference between reading the Bible devotionaly for uplift and so on and serious study. Very few have read Leviticus in its entirely more than a few times. Even fewer have engaged in comparative study of the legal strictures at different parts of the Old Testament. And of course the number of believers who are truly conversant with both the biblical langauages and a range of other foreign langauages is very low, even in the ministry [on this point I do agree with R.L. Dabney - Southern Presbyterian minister at the time of the American Civil War - of course I vehemently disagree with his views on racialism, the minstry of women and his biblical defence of slavery].

Posted by Craig Nelson at Sunday, 2 June 2013 at 11:18pm BST

My surmising is that the Archbishop of Canterbury has licensed the bishop of Salisbury to speak at large on the issue because this is a much saner way of dealing with the debate. He's right - it is.

Posted by Craig Nelson at Sunday, 2 June 2013 at 11:59pm BST
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