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Church of Scotland could ban ministers who have sex outside marriage

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  1. Doesn’t the Cult of England already state that gay ministers must remain celibate?

    Looks like the Cult of Scotland is going to follow suit.

    It’s very sad that in the 21st Century people remain so willing to believe christian, muslim, jewish, hindu, sikh, buddhist etc fairytales.

    Religion is fiction and ‘god’ does not exist. Why do people find these self-evident truths so difficult to accept?

  2. A very predictable proposal from Bible-bashers who seriously believe that approving only institutionalised heterosexuality is not discriminatory. It’s also a tacit admission that some at least of their straight ministers have been on the bang without benefit of clergy – as it were. Some parts of the CoS are pretty liberal inspite of appearances – expect a haemorrage of vocations.

  3. Debi Linton 26 Apr 2010, 1:12pm

    Curiously, this will actually fall foul of anti-discrimination laws, which state that any imposed restriction that directly or indirectly excludes on the basis of (for example) sexuality, counts as illegal discrimination. It is illegal to chose candidates only from one group (married) if that group, either by definition or by chance, contains only straight people.

  4. marjangles 26 Apr 2010, 1:28pm

    Debi, I was just about to post something similar. If their definition of marriage does not include civil partnerships then they are indirectly disciminating against gay people. On the face of it it would appear a neutral law but it impacts gay people more because whereas a straight person can get married and thereby make themselves elligble, a gay person can’t. This won’t help them and their legal advisers should have advised them of such.

  5. Nice point Debi (3). And if the Church hierarchy has declared this purpose in advance, I guess it’s very unlikely a court would fail to view it as specifically homophobic discrimination in any case. After all, anti-discrimination cases have based their judgements on far less tangible situations in the past. For example, the Sexual Discrimination Act was used to require equal like-for-like pay for part-time workers, simply on the basis that a majority of jobs traditionally filled as part-time positions were filled by females.

  6. and again a Church shows how homophobic and backwards it is! it’s also trying to disobey the laws of the land when the bible says that people should obey the law of the land

  7. An example of why separate is never equal.
    You apease people by settling for partnerships, only for them to take advantage of that fact. Everyone should get behind fighting for full marriage equality at this point.

  8. Lady Estelle Darcy 26 Apr 2010, 3:48pm

    who cares they cant do blowjobs to save themselves – kill them!

  9. Dave North 26 Apr 2010, 5:07pm

    Bl@@dy XIANS.

    Where are some lions when you need them?

  10. SimonM,

    I have no wish to challenge your integrity. But I will challenge your thinking, on the basis that you have ‘put it out there’ in a public forum. (I am assuming that what you have written accurately reflects your thinking.)

    Firstly, I think it is debateable whether we can Buddhism a religion. What makes a religion? Is it a set of dogmatic ideologies which find cultural expression in the form of human relations? If so, then I imagine that there are very few ‘hard-lin’ buddhists – at least in the Western world. I prefer to see Buddhism as an identification – an identity which associates an individual with aspects of a particular way of thinking. Buddhism to me is therefore a spiritual ideology and takes many forms: I can also inform you that most versions of buddhist spirituality are not deistic – Buddhism is not about the existence/non-existence of a god or gods. It is an approach to human experience in the world.

    Secondly, use of the phrase ‘self-evident truth’ rings alarm bells with me. I most often hear this (or it’s underpinnings)used by fundamentalist (christians, muslims, conservatives, gardeners, ethicists,…..etc.) where as self-evident is often used as a way to deflect argument and project the notion that your own view is fallible (and in some cases only, capable of falsification). ‘Truth’ is a tricky one – as I interpret this as something to which we can all share, aspire to and someday ‘know’ with fundamental certainty.

    I am wondering if you are a fundamentalist athiest, incapable of respecting the humble, non-militant moderate majority of spiritual people – who do not seek to convert, nor control?

    I am very aware that, in all ‘religions’ there are fundamentalists (including athiesm)- who seek to control, judge, manipulate and hate individuals and societies; I just think we are fortunate this is ‘some’ and not ‘most’.

  11. sorry, post 10 should read:

    “call* Buddhism a religion”


  12. Tim Hopkins 26 Apr 2010, 6:48pm

    Unfortunately the ban on sexual orientation discrimination in employment does not fully apply to employment for religious purposes – there, discrimination is allowed by the law if it is necessary to avoid clashing with the strongly held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion’s followers (I’m quoting from memory, but that’s pretty much the way the law puts it).

    That probably means that if the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland voted in 2011 not to allow sexually active civil partners to be ministers, but continued to allow sexually active married people to be ministers, that would not be unlawful discrimination.

    The option that the Pink News article mentions is just one of a number of options discussed in the Kirk’s consultation paper on the issue, including equality. Presbyteries and kirk sessions have been asked to discuss these options and then have a secret ballot.

    Pink News is slightly wrong in suggesting there was a Church-wide secret ballot last week. Each presbytery is organising its own ballot – last week’s was the Greenock & Inverclyde presbytery if I remember right. There will certainly be different results from different presbyteries, and the results will be in a report to be presented to the May 2011 General Assembly, which will decide what to do next. That will not be decided simply by totting up the ballot votes from prebyteries, not least because some of the ballot questions are multiple choice, but you can only vote for one choice as far as I can see, so it’s possible for some questions that no choice will have an overall majority. The way forward will be decided by a vote of delegates at the general assembly.

  13. Johan Roberts. 26 Apr 2010, 6:49pm

    I would love to see how they are going to prove or disprove that someone has had sex outside of marriage before letting them into their oh so sacred club.

    Smears for the women and cotton buds down the urethra for men perhaps.

    Day by day, “organized” religion shows itself up for what it is.

    A club for like minded bigots to band together with the added bonus of an unprovable deity being behind the reasons for their bigotry.

  14. richard – atheism isn’t a religion though

  15. #10 Richard… would you agree that religion is a construct of the human mind, and if so in what way isn’t self evident that it is mythological?

  16. I agree with simonM. and richard #11 being spiritual is not about religion. you don’t need a belief in any of the fairy tale stories that simonM listed to have a spiritual life. Richard, you remind me of a religious fundamentalist, you say one thing passively as if you are a nice man ‘i have no wish to challenge your integrity…’ then you go ahead and attempt to completely annihilate simonM’s integrity. Hypocrite, like all the other nutter religious fundamentalist, who are incapable of accepting your belief is not a truth but a fiction written by a man not a god. But like you say, thankfully there’s only a few of you.

  17. #15 c: “isn’t it self evident”

  18. Serious question…. Why are the religious myth crowd so obsessed with sex?. It is a fact if life for all living things on this planet, much as breathing, eating and elimination. So who made it their remit. ? serious answers not biblical texts…. we’ve had enough of those.

  19. Hi All,

    Chester – I am arguing that atheism, as an indeology, when taking forms of culural expression: there are common norms, values, modus operandi; is not so far from a religion, I am just saying that it is not so clear cut!

    Patrick – I am arguing for an interpretive approach to all empirical phenomena. So, for example, moments of spiritual connectedness, aforesights are empirically realisable. However, how we theorise about these is intepretative in a way that many questions of the social sciences are…..and indeed in the natural sciences……e.g. it was only ‘normal science’s’ faith in the law of conservation of momentum that led to the discovery of the neutrino – because things just didn’t add up otherwise.

    Jay6pac – I would suggest you read my ideas again – specifically about the relationship between religion and spirituality. The key phrase, you use, being that I remind YOU of a religious fundamentalist – I’m ok with you taking responsibility for that. I would also point out that I am posing the question “I wonder if you are a fundamentalist atheist……..?” in which i am hoping for a reply, based on the argument presented, rather than a set of projections and assumptions. I am open to the possibility that SimonM is not at all. In fact, my hunch is that he is not……(apart from this is an intuition and not more concrete). My intention was to offer, or pose, a narrative in which the question ‘Am I so different from what I am fighting against?’ is considered. I think asking that question is healthy and humbling to all of us every now and again: I think I have challenged SimonM’s argument – this is a far cry from challenging his integrity.

    Finally, I don’t claim truth at all. I am presenting a perspective, whilst being totally open to others. But things don’t have to be either truth or fiction – this is dogmatic dualistic thinking. I am open to options: I am agnostic and my sense of personal spirituality has buddhist influences, yes, but many others too that are in my awareness.

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