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Archbishop of Canterbury: Gay bishops are fine, so long as they are celibate

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  1. Heavens above.

    Who would have thought?

    Yet another christian bigot…..

  2. So let’s get this straight… Gay clergy are fine as long as they’re not gay?

  3. Archbishops and Popes are fine, so long as they are silent.

  4. More inhuman religious sexual abuse, this time the Anglican church interfering in the sex lives of adult homosexual employees.

    It’s discriminatory to impose celibacy only on homosexual bishops plus it’s surely a form of sadism, a special punishment doled out for being a homosexual.

    If there are homosexual bishops who support a church with nutbag attitudes like this then perhaps they want to be humiliated and controlled in this way, they disgust me for shoring up such a bigoted homophobic institution.

    It might be understandable that a bishop who was out cruising at every opportunity might not be observing expected standards but that would be very different to physical expression of love within a committed homosexual relationship with ones partner.

    Will Dr Williams himself personally be fitting the chastity devices on the genitals of his homosexual bishops or will they be expected to don them themselves?

  5. Just picture Rowan and wife Jane porking in bed at night all hot,sweaty and out of breath… and then try to take his pious pronouncement on celibacy for homosexual bishops seriously.

  6. Speechless . . .

    Hypocrisy which reveals the true face of christian bigotry

    “Lets not do God” . . . if it means suspending logic

  7. This a******e is beneath contempt and comment.

  8. Celso F Lopez 25 Sep 2010, 1:55pm

    I gree with Edith, #comment 3#. Shut it Williams.

  9. I thought celibacy was a catholic thing.

  10. Actually, the deity they call God didn’t utter one word about homosexuality and Jesus Christ never mentioned it either. These bigots use Leviticus to justify discrimination, a passage that wasn’t even spoken or proved to have been spoken by a supreme deity, assuming there ever was one. The Anglicans should join the roman cult, they have a lot in common, equally homophobic and in the case of the C of E, kow-towing to so called “christian right wing bigots in Africa and elsewhere. I say lets call for the disestablishment of the state cult, take away any power they have and stop using our tax pounds to support them.

  11. HelenWilson 25 Sep 2010, 4:08pm

    Dr Rowan Williams, supports the sexual and emotional abuse of gay clergy – That should be the headline because that’s what he is saying.

    To deny someone the right to be a sexual being is just as much sexual abuse as the other kinds. We must ask what is next from Dr Williams, will female bishops need to be sterile and have to be genitally mutilated before they take the post!

    He will be appointing a witch finder general next!

  12. Screw you Williams … Why is being gay so wrong … They’re scared of love I tell you

  13. You’ll notice that with the possibility of gay marriage looming ever closer, the language has changed, it’s no longer sexual relations outside of “marriage” that are condemned and disapproved of but sexual relations outside of “heterosexual marriage”

    “David Virtue the conservative US commentator, said “The Church doesn’t have a problem; Dr Williams does. The Church has been consistent for 2,000-plus years, add 4,000 if you wantto include the Old Testament. It has never blessed or approved of any kind of sexual relationship outside of heterosexual marriage. (The Times)

  14. The Times religious correspondent, Ruth Gledhill, is a total hero. She denounces Williams’ position from the pulpit (ok, her blog) as ‘both confusing and rather revolting’. And then there’s the leader piece. You know you’re in trouble when even the right wing, poor-decimating capitalists at the Times are on higher moral ground than you.

  15. Robert at 320 is right
    Rowan has decided to support homophobes over people who are LBG and he’s pathetic now

  16. Oh, have you got something against gay sex then, Rowan, luv? See it as third-rate and unacceptable do you? You’ve got a problem mate. And, get this, your opinion really doesn’t count.

  17. Pavlos, @5, somehow I suspect that Rowan and the woman he lives with do not get “all hot,sweaty and out of breath”. I suspect that at most it’s the kind of stultified dead sex that would make the rest of us cringe with pity, or make us laugh. But it’s more likely that they don’t even do it, that they live together as just a couple of “companions”, like two maiden aunts.

    Do we have every right to speculate as to Rowan’s sex-life. You blooody bet your life we do! If he thinks he has the right to talk in public about what gay and lesbian people may do in bed, then we have the same right to talk about what HE does, or does NOT do, in bed!

  18. There is no uncontroversial evidence that heterosexuals are born that way. Whether or not the heterosexual lifestyle is a choice or genetics makes them the way they are I am anyway still disturbed at the very real possibility of Jane giving Rowan a cheeky finger up his bottom at the moment of his orgasm during marital sexual intercourse. To maintain standards, especially now as Rowan is Anglican Archbishop, for my peace of mind I suggest they should never do this again (even if they never did it during the heat of their youthful sexual activity together}.

  19. This man has stepped outside all credibility. Except for reading prayers and collects, he has lost the right to have his voice heard in any church.

  20. HelenWilson 25 Sep 2010, 10:11pm

    I understand Mrs Williams is only with him because of his eyebrows, oh what a turn on LOL

  21. Well, I suppose it is easy for him to say, he’s probably never had it for forty odd years.

  22. 21stCenturySpirituality 26 Sep 2010, 7:23am

    I’m not an atheist but I do wonder why people chain themselves in flawed, literalist interpretations of a complex book which, according to the culture that produced the texts from which it was compiled, actually has several layers of meaning, of which the literalist interpretation is the most shallow and which actually falls apart completely when you begin to penetrate and understand the other layers. I think we need to be very careful about putting any book on a pedestal and binding ourselves rigidly and inflexibly to one interpretation of its contents, or unquestionningly accepting what other people insist is the correct interpretation as we do with books like the Bible and the Koran, et al. Religion & spirituality do offer humanity some wonderful & amazing ideas and concepts and beatiful ways of thinking and being in the world but there is also another side of it which is primitive & parochial, exclusivist & separatist. And that is a side of it that we need to be honest about acknowledging and to move away from.

  23. Bishops becoming gay is fine, so long as they stop peddling their nonsense

  24. We cannot find any condemnation in scripture for committed monogamous same-sex relationships.
    There is no distinction made between homosexual behavior that is part of the consensual acts of adults and other forms of such behavior.
    “in order to comprehend what the Bible says about gay and lesbian relationships, we must pass over the references to homosexual rape, male sexual abuse of boys, and homosexual prostitution, same-sex orgies by heterosexuals, Pagan sexual rituals in temples, etc. We would be left with only those references relating to consensual sexual activities within homosexual partnerships. There may not be any of these. The Bible may be as silent on loving, committed same-sex partnerships as it is about planes, trains and automobiles.”
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibi.htm

  25. Of course the trouble with the Archbishop is that he doesn’t really believe or accept that lesbian & gay people are authentic, it is not simply about who and what they are according to Rowan Williams who seems to believe that lesbians and gays have made a deliberate choice of life to be lesbian or gay.

    Quote:
    Are you still pro women bishops?
    “I’m pro.”
    So why do you make more of a plea for them than gay bishops?
    “The answer is, partly what I said before, that the question about gay people is not about their dignity or the respect they deserve as gay people, it’s a question about a particular choice of life, a partnership and what the Church has to say about that.
    Those issues don’t arise where women are concerned [unless of course they are gay]. That’s simply about who and what they are.”
    (Times Magazine, Ginny Dougary interviewing Archbishop of Canterbury)

  26. According to the following article in the Guardian, it appears Mr Williams has sold out to the conservative evangelicals

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/sep/25/rowan-williams-backs-gay-bishops

  27. You’ll all be delighted to hear that the Church is having a special recruitment drive today: eg

    http://www.shieldsgazette.com/news/Parishioners-urged-to-flock-back.6549923.jp

    Clearly this will totally work.

  28. Rowan Williams is a duplicitous liar because it was not fine with him for celibate gay Jeffrey John to be made a Bishop.

  29. Williams has “sold out” to the conservative evangelicals because they are the largest/wealthiest section of the church. What’s the point of going to church if you are a liberal Christian? Other than displaying a vague sense of loyalty to Christian “culture”?

  30. Oh, for sure, Pavlos, Rowan Williams, Ratzinger, and all such deluded fools who believe in pixies in the sky, think that homosexuality, lesbianism, and bisexuality is “a lifestyle choice”.

    One of the reasons for this categorization of theirs is that many of them KNOW that their “heterosexuality” has been a choice, a “lifestyle choice”, because, in reality, their real underlying sexual orientation is same-sex!

    This is partly where they get their notion that our being true to ourselves is only “a lifestyle choice”.

    Over the years I’ve had gay sex with many a Catholic priest and many an Anglican vicar. All of them totally closeted, of course.

  31. James Lees 26 Sep 2010, 2:48pm

    It is not true to say there has never been gay marriage in the Christian Church. The rite of adelphopoesis (making of brothers) was just that – the wonderful Saints Sergius and Bacchus were probably married.

    Gay marriage continued in the SOuth of France until well after the end of the Middle Ages – it was called ‘affrerement’ (grave on first e – again the making of brothers – and the graveyards show that men who were joined in this way were buried together.

    In most of the Church, gay marriage was probably banned by Pope Gelasius 1, inventor of the papal airbrush and he successfully gave the impression that it had always been banned – not true.

  32. he used to be a liberal so did he believe it was choice and all that other crap back then? for a while he’s been doing the best he can to set equality back cos he’s an ignorant loser

  33. I actually feel sorry for this guy. I think he wants to do the right thing, but is constrained by the scripture etc.

    And its really confusing re whether str8 anglican priests and bishops can marry . and of course the church is still fighting about women

    Here in the USA the first diocese to take a dump on the Episcopal church was the Pittsburg dioceses, the only one without women priests.

    Bottom line- keep the pressure on, Wlliams has said he’s going to retire. Your chance is coming. We should only be so lucky here in the USa re the church of the molestation (catholic) and the church of slavery and segregation (evangelical southern baptists for the most part.

    Let us know if you have a sewer pit that needs filling, We could round up 50000 pieces of s#!t really quickly.

  34. another John 27 Sep 2010, 7:46am

    “I think he wants to do the right thing, but is constrained by the scripture etc.”

    I think I agree with you here Steve but why should scripture be a constraint? For many (but admitedly not all) Christians, scripture has to be the sole arbiter for our faith. Some would say that the reason why there is such confusion in the Anglican communion is because elements of it have gone against scripture and have incurred the displeasure of the Almighty.

    I say let us have leaders that are true to scripture and that means both acting lovingly towards our gay brethren while pointing out that sex should only happen in marriage as traditionally defined as the lifelong union between a man and a woman.

  35. In response to another John @34:
    Is marriage really defined in the Bible as a lifelong union between a man and a woman?… clearly and exclusively between a man and a woman? could you provide references please.

    There are a handful of passages in the Bible that condemn non-consensual same sex acts, same sex rape, male sexual abuse of boys, homosexual prostitution, same-sex orgies by heterosexuals, Pagan sexual rituals in temples…
    but the Bible really doesn’t have anything to say about consensual same sex or about marriage between two men or between two women, it is not condemned, it is not even addressed.

    The Old Testament does condemn priests with eye defects, they may not approach the altar, although I see old beardy-face, fluff-ball-haired Rowan Williams wears glasses…tut! tut!

  36. another John 27 Sep 2010, 12:50pm

    “Is marriage really defined in the Bible as a lifelong union between a man and a woman?… clearly and exclusively between a man and a woman? could you provide references please”

    Pavlos: as you know this question has been posed a number of times in these forums and, from what I can make out, for each of the texts frequently quoted in these debates that seem to present homosexual practice in a bad light there have been seemingly credible refutations (as well as counter arguments). As a result, I have modified my position because I would be lacking integrity if I were to quote the Bible out of context or misinterpet its content.

    HOWEVER: I believe on balance homosexual practice is presented in an unfavourable light in the Bible, which it should be bourne in mind were not written primarily to condemn homosexual practices. I think one of the reasons we don’t have too many texts along the lines people of the same sex should not have sex with each other is because the natural law of God takes mixed sex sexual relationships as a given (without denying some people have same sex attractions – a consequence of “the Fall”) and that “heterosexualism” has in the main been accepted by most until up to recently.

    While wanting to be sensitive to the feelings of practising gay folk (some of who are my friends) who may see nothing wrong in what they are doing, I believe the only sexual relationship commended in the Bible is mixed sex marriage (affirmed firstly in Genesis 2v22 and reaffirmed by Jesus in Mark 10v6-9)

    Obviously, time doesn’t allow us to enter into a full debate on this subject (and I am assuming your question was asked sincerely else I wouldn’t bother at all) but can I suggest your listen to a two part sermon that does attempt to answer your question and then get back to me with your thoughts:

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=41007143356

    While, sadly, I wouldn’t recommend a number of conservative christian discussions on this subject because of rabid and homophobic undertones, I did feel the preacher in this case did what I would hope any decent preacher would do and that is to be truthful to the biblical text and respectful of those who see things differently.

    PS the OT presents a strict criteria for being a priest and I for one would be barred :-)

  37. another John 27 Sep 2010, 1:38pm

    “Archbishops and Popes are fine, so long as they are silent.” (Edith (3))

    I couldn’t agree less. The church desparately needs leaders who lead. The scripture analogy is poignent – sheep that are not properly shepherded go astray and those outside the flock fail to join because they don’t see the point.

    While I am not the greatest fan of our present English Anglican Archbishop or our Pope, I have been overall encouraged by their recent lack of silence. I hope that more truth will be revealed to these men and they will proclaim it on the roof tops.

  38. But another John, I am not feeling confused on this matter or seeking an answer, nor am interested in inheriting the kingdom of God, so I will skip the sermon you linked to. I am not a Christian nor a person who places any trust in Bible scripture and it’s various translations and interpretations but here’s a thought for you.

    God stated in Genesis Verse 18: “It is not good for the man to be alone” (NIV). This shows the importance that God gives to committed relationships. For a heterosexual, the only suitable companion is a person of the opposite gender. For a homosexual individual, the only suitable companion is a person of the same gender. To say that gays and lesbians should not form committed relationships is to say that it is good for people to remain alone. This is a direct contradiction of God’s statement; it implies that God is a liar.

    So what are the realistic choices for gay men, lesbian women and various other intersex people? In reality people cannot change their orientation to become heterosexual through therapy or by any other deliberate means, that leaves only imitation of heterosexual behaviour (living a lie) or celibacy which contradicts the word of God in Genesis that “it is not good for a man to be alone”.

    Peace & love.

  39. @Pavlos.Yea,thanks for that image,which will haunt my sleep for weeks to come,lol.This man is as atrocious as his counterpart in Rome.So,it’s ok for his hetty clergy to bang their brains out,when they’re not pontificating about celibacy in it’s gay clergy,but that same gay clergy cannot enjoy the same.Time for a radical re-think about secularism!

  40. another John 27 Sep 2010, 4:40pm

    Pavlos: thank you for your comments, given as usual with your customary courtesy and good humour.

    I respect you may not wish to follow my suggested link but I suggested it to help answer your earlier (fair) question. I felt this man did it better than I could have given the forum space available and that he had thought through some of the issues better than me.

    Your are right in your scripture citation and I acknowledge the anguish that some gay folk may have realising this cannot be gotten through traditional marriage or only in a way that until recently was disapproved of by society and even against the law.

    I must remind you that there are lots of celibate heterosexuals out there, and are prepared to wait (sometimes indefinitely) for the right life-long companion and our sympathy must also be with them. My reading of scripture is that if we trust God he will compensate for whatever it is we are missing.

    While I follow your argument, I don’t feel that it can justify same sex relationships (other than platonic). The reason I think this can be found in the passage you quote. Adam had around him all sorts of animals and at that time he could communicate with them in a freindly way, but whatever relationship existed with animals it could not satisfy his deepest needs for companionship (and of course beastiality is taboo). God’s solution was to create a woman for his life-long companion.

    I recognise some are not attracted to the opposite sex but are to the same sex but I put that partly down to sin coming into the world (introduced by the eating of the forbidden fruit – although I am open to other reaons why there is same sex attraction).

    I know some Christians argue for same sex marriage and use scripture to do so. I cannot in all conscience do for the reasons I have given but far be it from me to treat in any way untowardly those who think differently.

    Finally, I hope and pray you do inherit the kingdom of God, even though it is not currently on your radar, but of course that is not my call. Thanks for the peace and love. I wish it for you too!

  41. OMG, This all gets so tired, and some comments as well…. As I love to say constantly STUDY HISTORY! So you have real irrefutable ammunition to deal with these religious morons. And for the religiously undereducated especially so!! And not just study the rubbish one sect with an agenda hands you, study all of it, religious and secular. I would especially point you toward the ancient history department at Columbia University. If the real history of Jesus of Nazareth is going to be an example of anything the church’s position toward gays and women is total and absolute BS and always was!!.

    As far as this lying sack of dirt in Canterbury who probably knows full well what rubbish he is spouting, well I think it is ok to be the Archbishop of Canterbury and long as you take a vow of silence since none of them have said anything worth listening to yet.

  42. ‘another John’ does at least have a mind that’s not closed and vicious. He’s spoken before with respect towards LGBT people, and, in my opinion, he’s very different from some of the more rabid fundies that occasionally grace Pink News.

    another John said: “I recognise some are not attracted to the opposite sex but are to the same sex but I put that partly down to sin coming into the world (introduced by the eating of the forbidden fruit – although I am open to other reaons why there is same sex attraction)”

    But that would mean that animals sin, John – is that what you believe? More than 400 species of animals exhibit atttraction to the same sex. It’s just a normal variation of sexuality – less common than heterosexuality, sure, but normal all the same.

  43. idiot john – same-sex attraction is like opposite and no-one asks why that is
    the bibull is a load of nonsense anyway

  44. another John 27 Sep 2010, 9:13pm

    Iris: it is always good to hear from you. You see I am following your advice to engage in these forums and I do so from time to time. It is always helpful, I feel, to understand the perspectives of others. I try to be selective in the topics I tackle though and I try not to repeat points. As you know religion is a subject that interests me so that tends to be the one of the topics. Interestingly, it crops in so many guises. I suppose the mainstream judaeo-christian tradition found in the UK is a major obstacle (if you wish to call it that) to gay folk obtaining full gay equality.

    But back to your question, I can’t speak about animals and will need to check out the facts first before I do. I believe sin is a term that can only apply to humans and it comes from the notion of missing the target. Whether my dart misses the board altogether (quite possible with me) or yours hits the tiny ring surrounding the bull, we both miss the target (assuming we are aiming at the bull). So have all of us when it comes to God’s law.

    I have come to a view that same sex attaction is something a minority of our population have, often from an early age, although I wouldn’t go as far as saying there is a “gay gene” or suchlike that is the cause (I don’t believe we have the evidence to say that).

    But it does beg the question why are some people attracted to members of the same sex if, as I believe, it is God’s purpose that they should be attracted to the opposite sex (while being morally pure) and for most to marry and be faithful in marriage?

    Putting it simply (and this I believe is mainstream Christian teaching)… When God created the heavens and the earth, everything was perfect harmony and as God wanted it to be. Then something happened to change all that. There were wars that took place in the heavenly realm this led to the downfall of Satan and his tempting of Adam and Eve, who made a conscious choice to disobey God. From that point onwards a curse was laid on the earth even though men and women could still live happy and productive lives, especially if they sought after God. But that curse has many consequences: the result of the human tendency to do wrong or self-destruct, famines and earthquakes, death and disease etc. It also leads to profound questions such as why do the innocent suffer? There is an answer but I don’t think we will find it this side of eternity.

    Whether a “gay tendency” in some humans and, as you point out, some animals, was part of the consequence of “the Fall” I can’t say for sure, but it could be a partial explanation. That is, of course, if you accept this account of the creation story. I hope it makes sense and is of some help.

    Btw I am not an ardent creationist and I believe there is a place for synthesising faith and reason, just as the Pope pointed out when beatifying John Henry Newman.

    And as Pavlos says – peace and love :-)

  45. The seven-day creation; the Garden of Eden; Eve created from Adam’s rib; the forbidden fruit eaten; the flood; the rainbow, and onward ad nauseum.

    Biblical science explains life. Christian opposition to homosexuality (as if “opposition” were possible) is an extension of Biblical science.

  46. Then God says “it is not good for man to be alone…and will make a helpmate for him.” Then God made the animals and brought them all to Adam from which to choose a helpmate. “But the man did not find a suitable helpmate from among them”(Gen. 2:18).

    So in the beginning it really didn’t seem to matter to God too much who or what Adam took as a mate though did it, it was Adam who was being the picky one then.
    God, “So then Adam, what about a chicken?..would that do?…a nice plump sow? … maybe an attractive hippopotamus?…no?

  47. But as in the case of Jeffrey John, it is not enough that a gay bishop be celibate as Rowan misleadingly states, they must also repent past gay sexual experience and admit it was wrong behaviour…something Jeffrey John did not do, to his credit.
    Meanwhile Rowan unapologetically carries on doing Jane in every conceivable position as he has always done … though perhaps not so often these days.

  48. @another John (The biography)

    *Fundamentalist Evangelical Christian Crackpot
    (Possibly EX-gay otherwise why would someone spend all their time posting on a gay website)

    * Likes to play courtesy games which he thinks will silence his critics, and give him the upper hand in promoting the usual Fundamentalist Christian anti-homosexual rhetoric

    * Likes to respond to messages aimed at him by creating a textual image of a reasoned, intelligent and thinking fundamentalist Christian. (But most people can see through such a ridiculous oxymoron)

    Let’s get this clear once and for all . . . there is nothing reasoned, or intelligent about fundamentalist evangelical anti-homosexual rhetoric. . . “another John’s” persistent presence on this site is aggressive and proselytizing, borne out of his ongoing and defiant refusal to take responsibility for his own homophobia; which instead he has turned into the subtle art of online LGBT harassment.

  49. another John said: “I believe sin is a term that can only apply to humans”

    Yes, that’s what I was taught at my C of E school, John. You go on to suggest that homosexuality could be a result of the Fall. Leaving aside the fact that I don’t believe in the Fall, I would suggest that, if there is a god, he/she made us as we are and that homosexuality existed BEFORE to the Fall, being just another chracteristic of some people – something innate to them.

    I’ve mentioned WHY this might be before, I think, and I don’t want to go over old ground, but as a very brief reminder – gay people contribute to society as a whole by providing a support network of care.

    You’re entitled to your views about marriage and to hold your idea of marriage, but I don’t think this entitles you to deprive others of their rights. YOU know how great marriage can be for a person – so why would you deny that pleasure, that comfort to others? If you want to uphold your beliefs about marriage, you can do so – no sex before marriage, one man, one woman. You can do all that and thereby not betray your own personal beliefs. In addition, your church can choose who to marry in line with their beliefs. So equal marriage (CIVIL marriage being opened to all regardless of sexuality) will do you no harm whatsoever. Indeed, as we’ve talked about the problems of society before, and you believe that marriage is a strong foundation for a good society, then more marriages can only be a good thing, right? Your own marriage cannot and will not be devalued by others’ marriages. Your life will be just the same.

  50. another John 28 Sep 2010, 3:59pm

    Iris: I agree we are to some extent going over old ground and I feel sometimes we just have respect the other person’s position and agree to disagree. I appreciate that you are able to do this.

    I feel though that I have not responded to your reasonable challenge about whether traditional marriage would be devalued if we allow same-sex marriage and that it would not make any difference to me or society if that happened – indeed (I think you are saying) it could be a good thing to open up marriage to gay couples because it might further strengthen their union, and no doubt that will have a positive overall affect.

    By way of response, I would sincerely thank you for challenging my perceptions. I also can see that while I have a view on how marriage ought to be defined, your view is different and your hope is that it will be the one society eventually will accept (which, if I were a betting man, I think will happen in the next few years). After all, civil marriage already encompasses those who commit adultery and divorce their former partner to marry their new one – and that too contravenes my earlier understanding of what marriage should be.

    Whatever happens, I and others need to live with it and I have no doubt there will be those gay folk who want to marry (you for example?) who it will be difficult to envisage will undermine one’s own marriage or the fabric of society by doing so.

    As for whether one’s life will be detrimentally affected, I am not sure. Not part of this discussion I know, but the equalities agenda has often worked against people of faith and this could worsen. I can imagine those who honestly believe same sex marriage as not being equal to mixed sex marriage may have to face unpleasant consequences. Several years ago I resisted a proposal to an equal opportunities policy for an organisation I was responsible for that would insist on one recognising same sex relationships as being equal to marriage – I feel it would be harder to do so if these changes occured.

    But I don’t have a crystal ball. As a preacher and pastor, I can only proclaim God’s standards as I understand them. I don’t stand in judgement or anything like that and genuinely want to understand different points of view.

    Finally Iris, can I ask you a question? Why can’t you be content with having a civil partnership? And if this gives you and your partner less rights than married couples, why don’t you campaign for CPs to be strengthened rather than change an institution that has in the main stood the test of time even though sadly marital breakdown is all too common?

  51. It’s a matter of equality, there is no such thing as partial equality, you either have equality or you don’t.
    A system of apartheid based on sexual orientation is not acceptable.

  52. Before I answer your question, John, let me please say that what follows is NOT meant as an insult or criticism of any person who has a CP. This is my own PERSONAL view and is NOT meant to disparage other people’s CPs or opinions. I feel stringly about equal marriage so I may use strong language, but that does NOT mean I’m making an attack on anyone else’s relationship. This is MY view.

    Ok, John, you ask “Why can’t you be content with having a civil partnership” My response is why SHOULDI be? I’m a human being just like you and I should be entitled to the same choices under law. I don’t expect to be segregated off like some subhuman simply because I’m gay. Would you like it to happen to you because you’re a Christian?

    I will NEVER enetr into a CP. If I choose to marry my girlfriend and the UK still doesn’t have equal marriage, then I’ll go somewhere that does allow me to marry her. I strongly object to the state implying that my love for her is worth less than a straight couple’s love – because that’s how I see it. CPs are, to me, demeaning. They’re the separate drinking fountains of the American South. Yes, it’s the same water, but it leaves a very bitter taste…

    We don’t bar black people from marriage, we don’t bar divorcees, we don’t bar the infertile and the elderly, we don’t bar people who are in a wheelchair, we don’t ban people with green eyes – but we DO ban people for no other reason than that they love somebody of the same gender. That’s discrimination. I don’t agree with any discrimination. I would support the fight for marriage equality even if I was straight because I feel it’s a gross injustice and offensive.

    If your fear is that other people gaining rights will dimish yours as a religious man, then I don’t think you need to be afraid. You’ll still be entitled to your opinion about what constitutes marriage, you’ll still be entitled to believe in what you wish. I think you’ll find that, if/when equal marriage is introduced, it’ll all pass without very much impact at all on your life. There isn’t a limited supply of rights – we’re all entitled to them and there’s enough to go round.

  53. Oops! Should be “I feel strongly….” (obviously so strongly I’ve lost the ability to type!)

    “…rather than change an institution….”

    John, Christian marriage may have always insisted on one man, one woman, but other marriages didn’t. I don’t want to change Christian marriage. Please think about this: marriage existed BEFORE Christianity; it included marriages between people of the SAME SEX. Civil marriage is a legal contract and it’s wrong to ban anyone from it because of their gender, race, sexuality etc.

  54. another John 28 Sep 2010, 10:13pm

    Iris: thank you for your refreshingly frank comments presented with your customary grace (hope I don’t upset JohnK (48) (point 2) too much – lol:-)). How you express your feelings also helps explain why some are hostile to my comments although I really don’t wish to do anyone down. As for what impact any change will have on me, that is immaterial and I will take my chance. This is, in the great scheme of things, but a small issue when it comes to my hopes and fears for the people of this world.

    I doubt whether my views will hold much sway and I recognise that even without the changes you long to see today’s civil marriage is a far cry from the Christian ideal. My own dilemma is weighing my antipathy to same sex marriage and (in your case – and there are others too) wanting to hug each of the happy couple when eventually they are able to marry!

  55. No problem, John :) You’re entitled to your views, and I’m glad you’re interested enough to hear other people’s which are often very different to yours.

    You mention your hopes and fears for the world. I’m sure we share many of the same concerns, but I HONESTLY don’t think that allowing people of the same sex to marry will in any way make the world a worse place. I could write a list of my own worries about the world, but people being treated equally wouldn’t feature anywhere. Every human being is entitled to be treated equally and fairly, and, to my mind, a society that neglects to do so is setting the scene for dissent and persecution. If a society implicitly (or explicitly) conveys the message that some people are worth less than others, then how can that society be settled or move forward? It’s not good for people to be manipulated into having ‘an enemy’ or to feel justified in treating other people badly.

    I appreciate the words in your last paragraph and I think I see the dilemma you have, but could you not separate your own personal views based on your religion and the way you believe you should live your life, from the way other people choose to live theirs and their own beliefs? That way you’re not undermining your own convictions nor breaking what you believe to be ‘god’s rules’. Accepting that other people think differently is not condoning their view, I don’t think. We’re all different and have different priorities and different views, but we also have many things in common. I prefer to focus on those :)

  56. The Anglican Church is fine, so long as its representatives are expelled from the legislature, our Head of State is no longer its Supreme Governor, its senior shamans are no longer appointed by the Prime Minister, and tax-payers’ money does not finance its schools or other institutions.

  57. Quyote by John: I doubt whether my views will hold much sway and I recognise that even without the changes you long to see today’s civil marriage is a far cry from the Christian ideal. My own dilemma is weighing my antipathy to same sex marriage and (in your case – and there are others too) wanting to hug each of the happy couple when eventually they are able to marry. EndQuote

    John: its just going to take time to change the rest of your mind. As a str8 person I am thrilled to see gay couples marrying in a few states here in the USA. Thrilled to see the smiles on their faces when they say “I do”, as in the big mass gay marriage we had in washignton DC a few days after the law was passed.

    In fact I’m more thrilled to see these marriages then I was of my two married children. One of whose marriages was illegal till the year my wife and I were married, because her husband in japanese.

    Because in recent times, there has been no barrier to them marrying their opposite sex partner. While I think we all understand the travail and yes terror gay people suffer at those who claim to speak for God, and believe in books of whihc my religious leader said “you can write anything you want, and if you just put “in the beginning…..” at the front, it becomes ‘true’.

    The more you think about this issue, the more you get to know so many of the really wonderful gay people out there, the more you will realize that the Christian thing to do is grant gay people civil marriage equality.

    And while the church should be protected against being forced to do ceremonies against their will, things over time will change.

    Just look at the now 7 countries in western Europe with marriage equality. With eg Finalnd moving from partnerships to marriage, Denmark adding adoption rights under their partnership bill. Canada with marriage, and our neighbor to the north hasn;t collapsed.

    And so very catholic Latin America becomeing the next bastion of equality for gays. Mexico with marriage (in mex city, recognized nationwiwde, Marriage in Argentina, same wiht columbia but under common law. And equador, Uruguay and Brazil (most of it) with partnerships.

    And so many other places.

    Peace and think about it. How does gay marriage hurt your marriage. IMHO it helps set a standard. And embarrasses the str8 community, where in the USA, 50% of marriages end in divorce, while the anecdotal evidence re gay divorcing is minimal. Especially since they may move from where they can marry to where they can’t. And then there is a big stink because if they want to divorce the law doesnt say yes or no.

  58. another John 1 Oct 2010, 4:50pm

    Steve: I just checked this thread, which I thought had run its natural course and have taken note of your post.

    Much of what you say is quite right and echos much of what Iris is saying. I admire people like her for sticking her neck on the line and being a genuinely decent person at the same time as is no doubt the case with many gay people (there is no reason to suggest the demographic on niceness should be any different to straight folk).

    I meant what I said about wanting to give folk like her a hug for much the same reasons as you have articulated. I have been asked before if having gays marry (notwithstanding the semantics of what that means) would affect the current institution of marriage or untowardly society in any way and to be quite honest I can’t say it will for sure. The 50% divorce rate you mention has far bigger other causes than anything that is at all gay related.

    My dilemma remains though – while I am pretty sure for me that getting on with my life, helping the poor, being a good dad, husband, neighbour etc. has to be my focus (sadly too often people from my end of the Christian spectrum don’t always give that impression), I can’t be entirely comfortable with something that is inconsistent with my beliefs and that of course includes sex outside of marriage just as much as same sex marriage.

  59. another John wrote

    “My dilemma remains though – while I am pretty sure for me that getting on with my life, helping the poor, being a good dad, husband, neighbour etc. has to be my focus (sadly too often people from my end of the Christian spectrum don’t always give that impression),”

    “I can’t be entirely comfortable with something that is inconsistent with my beliefs and that of course includes sex outside of marriage just as much as same sex marriage”

    JohnK’s response

    If you have a dilemma with gay marriage . . . book a session with a counsellor

    If you are uncomfortable with gay marriage . . . stop visiting gay web sites.

    If gay marriage is inconsistent with your beliefs . . . stop posting on pinknews and join the Christian institute site

  60. another John 4 Oct 2010, 12:38pm

    JohnK: Some of my wiser friends might suggest I should not be casting my pearls before swine. After all, it would seem that many of your comments directed toward me have been personally insulting, foolish and inaccurate, in fact betraying your own bigotry and childishness … but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt (at least this once)!

    I don’t quite know why you have responded in the way you have or whether or not you are acting in character. Maybe in the past people who you perceive as thinking similar to me have upset you and in any case have stood in the way of your seeing a more enlightened agenda being played out … so you see us as enemies.

    I certainly don’t want to antagonise anyone and I don’t feel I need to defend my record of befriending and respecting gay folk and standing and working with them when real homophobia is encountered. I would like to understand the issues though and listen to the perspectives of those who see things differently, for this does have a bearing on the work I do in the community.

    I am happy to be corrected but as I understand it Pink News reports on gay issues and tries to do so fairly and also invites comments. I am not aware you need to be gay in order to comment. I try to make my comments respecfully, especially mindful of the target audience. If I do step out of line I will try to be quick to make amends.

    It would be a sad day if I only engage with Christian Institute forums and you only engage with Pink News ones because it this would be tend to reinforcing one’s own prejudices and not being challenged by alternative points of view. Surely we should be seeking a greater understanding? In this thread, for example, the big majority have attacked a good man, imo sometimes unfairly. Balanced needs to redressed just as if something equivalent were to happen on a Christian Institute forum.

    As for my beliefs, I am always happy to be challenged and have been. I have been grateful for folk who have done so on this website providing their argument is reasonable (and prefereably respectfully made). It may come as a surprise to you but I have, as a result of engaging with this website, become more empathetic to the hopes and fears of gay folk.

    Nevertheless, it would be entirely wrong for me to modify my beliefs in the same way as a branch might bend with the wind, just in order to go with the flow. For me, the issue of truth must always remain paramount as does speaking (and acting out) the truth in love.

  61. But it would be reasonable for you to examine your beliefs maybe, another John, to see whether they truly represent what Jesus was trying to achieve rather than representing the imposed ideas of people throughtout the ages. God’s word, interpreted by human beings who hold a position of privilege and thus ‘must be listened to’, provides you with a rather filtered and amended version of Christianity, in my opinion.

    I know that born-again Christians/evangelists/traditionalists stress that they base their beliefs on the Bible, but, with respect, I think that’s untrue. I believe that some (and I don’t necessarily mean you, just a general statement) honestly think they’re following the Bible but don’t realise that some person or persons has placed distorting spectacles on their eyes. If I could send you back a few centuries, you’d see the Bible interpreted in a different way, and if I could send you forward in time I think you’d see a different view again – including the acceptance of a loving, consensual relationship between two adults and the disbelief that any Christian could ever have denigrated their love or suggested it was wrong.

    That’s not a slip in standards, it’s a return to the true message of Jesus which was one of inclusion not ostracism, love not hate.

  62. Sorry – obviously I mean ‘two adults of the same sex’ To me it’s so obvious I forgot to specify!

  63. another John 5 Oct 2010, 12:00pm

    Thanks Iris for this fair comment. In much of what you say, you are quite right of course – even Christians who put particular emphasis on bible authority (evangelical) as opposed to church tradition (catholic) or human reason (liberal) often don’t get it right due to not seeing the big picture, cultural prejudice etc, and sometimes, regretably, with disastrous comments.

    All this I am aware of and much more. When people like you, who I genuinely like and respect, challenge me over my beliefs, I do listen. When I was 18, a fresh, new convert, I actual thought I knew it all. Many years on, I realise I know hardly anything and recognise the need to seek and strike the right balance.

    I have come to a view that for simple folk (and I would like to be regarded as that even though I think deeply through the issues) that the key to a successful Christian life is to trust and obey God (first and foremost), and the basis of that trust and obedience is to be found in God’s word, the Bible.

    I have to be true to all this. To quote Martin Luther, the great protestant reformer: “here I stand, I can do no other”!

  64. Another john wrote
    “Nevertheless, it would be entirely wrong for me to modify my beliefs in the same way as a branch might bend with the wind, just in order to go with the flow. For me, the issue of truth must always remain paramount as does speaking (and acting out) the truth in love.”

    If a branch is rotten you call in a tree surgeon and chop it off.

  65. another John 5 Oct 2010, 6:09pm

    JohnK: You are right, unless you are ok with DIY. Sometimes though, you prune of even lop perfectly good branches in the interest of the whole tree. But most analogies breakdown somewhere. 30 years ago say most would have felt aghast at the prospect of gay marriage. Not now. Times are a changing as Bob Dylan once said. I’m all for changing with the times providing the changes are beneficial. Just think what could have been if Germans living in the 1930′s stood against the changes being urged on them by Hitler.

    Iris: I had a thought comparing me as an 18yo know-it-all and now. In fact in terms of the fundamentals of the faith such as encapsulated in the Apostles and Nicene Creed, that you will recall from your CofE days, my beliefs have changed v.little. You could say these are axiomatic and my faith stands or falls on their veracity.

    I suppose “traditional marriage” was until quite recently always generally taken for granted and I don’t think it occured to anyone to include this in statements of faith. The challenge for Christians now is recognise that change is taking place on an unprecedented scale in our society and decide how to respond. On balance, and hearing what others say, and trying to recognise all my prejudices etc., and notwithstanding the real love etc. that can occur outside of traditional marriage including same sex relationships, the lifelong exclusive union between a man and a woman is the only one the Bible commends as far as I can see, even though I recognise not everyting is crystal clear e.g. King David for example had more than one wife and he was a man after God’s own heart.

  66. another John 5 Oct 2010, 11:05pm

    Iris: forgive me for butting in before you get to respond to my earlier post(s), but you have got me thinking, for which I thank you once more. Let me first preface my extra “flash of inspiration” with a I don’t want to appear pompous, pretentious, inappropriate, arrogant etc. comment.

    Your “the true message of Jesus which was one of inclusion not ostracism, love not hate” comment (and especially appreciated from one who claims to be agnostic) got me thinking what would Jesus say/do if confronted with a gay couple who are clearly in love. No longer the 18 y/o who thought he knew everything, I can’t be sure. But I am sure of this:
    1. while every age interprets the Bible differently is true, it is more to do with application due to changing circumstances rather than interpreting its content which has not changed as much as you suggest.
    2. when I was recently criticised for working with gays and muslims among other groups, by one member of my own church, I responded that rather than harming the Christian cause I was helping ensure the Christian message of compassion to the poor etc. got out to the people we are meant to help and gays and muslims are important partners and moreover many are my friends.
    3. Jesus mixed with all the people the religious establishment wanted to cast aside and he was called “the friends of sinners”. I have no doubt some of these would have been gay and accept the possibility that when he healed the centurion’s servant, it might have in fact been the centurion’s gay lover.
    4. When Jesus preached, he told people they needed to repent from sin (ie. from doing anything God disapproves of or missing the target (ref. earlier post)) and doing what God does approve of.
    5. If anyone loved the sinner (i.e. all of us) but hated the sin, it was Jesus.
    6. I am beholden to follow Jesus’ example.

  67. Hi John – I appreciate your replies. I DO get where you’re coming from and I understand that you sometimes feel you’re wrestling with reconciling your religious beliefs to your own general feelings (didn’t know how to describe that but I hope you understand what I mean). All I would say is that Jesus had time for people at the edge of society, people whom others scorned or shunned. I believe this was because he considered them EQUALS and certainly no worse than the people who shunned them – possibly even better (eg the centurion’s ‘pais’ that you mentioned). I think he was angry at those who presumed to judge and to put themselves above others.

    The Christian Church says we’re all sinners so how about we all try to live the best life we can and let others do the same? What would Jesus do if he met a gay couple today? Well, I think he would embrace them in just the same way as he would any other loving couple.

    Your reply above is, maybe unwittingly, based on the assumption that being gay and living as a gay person is a sin. I don’t think it is. More importantly, for you at least, I truly don’t believe Jesus would think it a sin either. And – being a bit bold here! – would he, in fact, think that the persecution and attempts to limit gay people’s human rights instigated by some religious people is the real sin?

  68. And I don’t mean to sound pompous or arrogant or any of those other things either :D

  69. another John 6 Oct 2010, 10:52pm

    Your point is well made Iris and much appreciated – I don’t detect any pomposity and arrogance either :-) The enthusiasm with reflect on what Jesus would have done makes me think the Lord may be touching your heart and bringing you back to those Christian roots that were once so strong. I hope so just as much you hope I might come to terms with gay love :-)

    Quite a bit of my community work does bring me in contact with those on the edges of society such that I truly want to make a difference and in a modest way try to do so. It is also why I appreciate what you say. I sometimes think that one reason folk who visit this website are often incensed by the remarks of religious folk is that they do appear to put themselves above those they deem as sinners and they are not convinced the compassion is there, which is a great shame of course.

    Putting aside our differences regarding the gay issue and how Jesus might have responded for a moment, what gives me heart is that Jesus managed two things at the same time that is unique. On one hand he is pure compassion and knew exactly how to deal with the outcast etc. from a vantage of love and on the other he is utterly sinless and gave his life (or from another angle had it taken from him by those who couldn’t stand his goodness) that we might have life – and that he is God incarnate makes it all the more wonderful.

  70. another John 7 Oct 2010, 9:36am

    Iris: still putting aside our differences over the gay issue, realising these are pretty fundamental, another point did occur, and I hope you will bear with me for making it (it is ok my side as it is relevant to a forthcoming sermon I will be preaching).

    You will recall the story of Jesus and the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8vv1-11). When the scribes and pharisees brought the woman to Jesus, they had hoped for an outright condemnation or an opportunity to trap Jesus. Instead Jesus invited the accusers that those without sin should cast the first stone. Before that he wrote on the ground. We don’t know what he wrote but it is possible that it was a list of the sins of the accusers. Interestingly, no one took Jesus up on his offer and all walked away. While Jesus did not condemn the woman, he did tell her to go and sin no more.

    In my prison visits, I came across recently an inmate who told me his story. He was an asylum seeker and did not wish to return home because he feared he would be persecuted. When his claims were turned down by the British government, meaning he could not claim benefits, rather than beg or engage in criminal activity, he forged documents so he could work. It got me thinking about the greedy financiers, for example, who helped precipitate the current economic crisis. I ask you, who is the worse sinner?

    One day the “meek and mild” Jesus that people like to pontificate on, who died for our sins and rose from the dead, will be coming back to the earth as king and judge. The message he preached was one of compassion but it was also one of ones need to repent (turn) from sin. I have no doubt many Christians are guilty of lack of compassion of a failure to care for the vulnerable etc., which may be every bit as bad or worse than any sexual sin, but sin is sin in whatever way it is manifested. None of us have a right to judge but God has and will. As a preacher, I must present a balanced message!

  71. Indeed, John, no-one has the right to judge. In the story you mentioned, I accept Jesus’s ‘Go and sin no more’ verdict because, assuming god exists, etc etc, then He is the one to make that judgement, not anybody else.

    Your story about the asylum seeker was interesting, and it raises many points in my mind. I don’t have time to write much now, but an example that occurred to me was during the Second World War. How many people lied about the whereabouts of Jews in hiding? Lying’s a sin, but were THEY wrong to protect their neighbours?

    I know whenever I mention this the more rabid fundies accuse me of suggesting that we shouldn’t have any values, but I hope you understand when I say that things are rarely black and white. Therefore something technically a sin may have been done for a good reason, and not always a selfish one at that. What would Jesus’s opinion be about that?

    Being gay (yes, I need to repeat this :D) is not a sin, and I’m confident in that. That’s not a matter of my convenience or to absolve me of guilt. I would feel the same if I was straight. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT AN ATTCK ON YOU: – One day I’ll be able to properly describe how abhorrent I find the idea of labelling being gay a sin. To me, it’s just as bad as religion-based racism – absolutely disgusting. I know I’ve said that before, but one day I hope I’ll say it eloquently enough for you to fully comprehend what I mean and why it shocks me so – and it’s NOT because I’m gay myself.

    Thanks for your replies :)

  72. Another john wrote

    ” . . . still putting aside our differences over the gay issue, realising these are pretty fundamental, another point did occur, and I hope you will bear with me for making it (it is ok my side as it is relevant to a forthcoming sermon I will be preaching)”

    So John . . . perhaps your real presence on pinknews, is more concerned with gathering research for your “Ant-gay” sermons; which perhaps you preach freqently at the Evangelical fundamentlaist Christian church you attend.

    Which church do you belong to . . . ?

  73. another John 7 Oct 2010, 5:04pm

    JohnK: I know you are intrigued about my motivation etc. but I can assure you that I have never preached an overtly “anti-gay” sermon in my life. However, I try not to duck issues and will try to address these in a balanced way when these arise. The sermon I was alluding to is lessons we might learn from the story of Jesus and the woman caught in the act of adultery. Because issues based around equality and sexuality do arise in the course of my work, I do value insights gained, including from those who think quite differently to me. While my views might be deemed as “traditional Christian”, they are less rabid than you might suspect, and since April, when I first came across this website because a friend of mine was imo being wrongly attacked, these have become even less “extreme” because of what I have learnt. Fyi my background is “Plymouth Brethren” but these days I mix with Chistians from many shades :-)

    Iris: I appreciate the grace in which your replied, although with JohnK coming in again I wonder if I should buck the stereotype and be less polite :-) I can only imagine the anger you feel when folk like me imply or say that being gay is sinful and I admire your restraint. These days I tend not to say so much and not in such stark terms.

    In fact, being gay in itself is not sinful for, as you and others have pointed out, folk who are gay may often have been born that way. My issue is with gay practice. But here again I need to be careful for reasons we have discussed in the past. While some passages in the Bible, for example the Leviticus one and some of St. Pauls writings, seem to be “anti-gay practice”, there are often credible arguments, some have been rehearsed in these forums, why none of this clearly support the thesis “thou shalt have a gay relationship” unlike, for example, “thou shalt not commit adultery”.

    My argument has been and still is that nowhere do I see same sex marriage (the only context where sex is allowed) commended in the Bible (main reason) or, at least until recently, in mainstream Christian tradition. The only commendation I can see is mixed sex, exclusive, lifetime marriage between a man and a woman.

    Btw, about whether to lie in order to protect life or uphold a justice, personally I would have no compunction, and in fact people in my own church did just that to save WW2 Jewish refugees. As for life often being shades of grey rather than black in white, this is something I am becoming more mindful of as I get older – the challenge is deciding which and when :-)

  74. another John 7 Oct 2010, 5:26pm

    “thou shalt have a gay relationship” should read “thou shalt NOT have a gay relationship” :-)

  75. Plymouth Brethren – A conservative evangelical Christian movement

    WHO ARE THEY ?

    http://www.brethrenonline.org/faqs/Brethren.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_Brethren

    ARE THEY BONKERS ?

    Recent Article – A cast-iron case for a secular society
    By Richard Dawkins

    “. . . So imbued with discriminatory thinking have politicians and judges become that they are shocked when citizens ask for equality before the law. When the hapless Ed Balls was at the Treasury, the Plymouth Brethren told him that they and their more fundamentalist offshoot – the Exclusive Brethren – were the victims of religious prejudice at the hands of that unlikely source of bigotry, the tax authorities.

    Both sects believed that God decides when you died. To their members, compliance with the state’s requirement to take out an annuity at 75 forced them to second-guess God by blasphemously betting on the date of their deaths.”
    Source

    http://richarddawkins.net/articles/2938?page=2

    CONCLUSION
    Fruitcakes . . .
    Bascially, loads of nuts but with out the fruit.

  76. another John 7 Oct 2010, 6:43pm

    Frankly JohnK, having given you the benefit of the doubt before I am disappointed in your evident lack of integrity and discretion.

    While your first two references are helpful up to a point, they do not provide anywhere near an accurate and balanced view of what many PBs (including me and some I associate with) are about and, as for Richard Dawkins, he is no authority on the matter.

    I may be a little biased but for perhaps a more accurate and balanced consideration of the Plymouth Brethren (worts and all – yes there is lots in PBism that I find completely unacceptable) have a look at an article that I wrote and posted on the Internet a few years back.

    I’ve just done a search to see if it is still available and I came across an earlier but mostly intact version of what I wrote:

    http://issuu.com/peebs.net/docs/who-are-the-brethren-barber-2001

  77. another John 7 Oct 2010, 6:58pm

    Just did a further check and I note the latest, maybe more readable version of my paper, is elswhere on the Internet.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20040222142053/http://freespace.virgin.net/john.barber1/brethren.htm

    At the time there was little available in book and electronic form that imo covered adequately what I felt needed to be said. Since then a book titled “Gathering to his Name” by Tim Grass, a masterful study, has appeared and I can recommend it.

    Make my day JohnK and research your facts before letting loose further tirades and then bear in mind that this particular PB draws on many other traditions also.

  78. @Another john

    Thanks for link to more information about the Plymouth Brethren . . . I confess to knowing very little about the movement.

    Contrary to the impressions I may give, I am very interested in understanding the wide variety of Christian movements in the UK; and their unique vicissitudes.

  79. Hi John – just quick for now. You said “The only commendation I can see is mixed sex, exclusive, lifetime marriage between a man and a woman.”

    Ah, you probably knew I was going to say this but what about those men in the OT who had more than one wife? :D Does/did god commend polygamy then?

    As for same sex relationships, no there’s no marriage described but I think that the story of David and Jonathan is an – albeit not explicitly pointed out – example of same sex love. I know you think it was merely platonic but I read it differently, and did so even as a child (with no knowledge of gay relationships). I’m too tired to give many examples because I’ll have to look up the specific verses, but I believe David says Jonathan’s love for him surpassed any women’s. I remember being very engrossed in the story as a child and I’m sure there are other quotes too, if I could remember.

    And – just HOW many wives did David have? ;)

  80. another John 7 Oct 2010, 9:53pm

    “And – just HOW many wives did David have?” Answer 8

    Iris: From what I can make out, it is quite likely that at some point this was all at the same time … but then what about Solomon his son, who at least to start off with was also one of the OT’s good guys, who was reported as having 700 wives and 300 concubines? Hardly bears thinking about :-)

    Yes, as I admitted earlier, seeing such info in black and white does challenge the dogma that the only marriage God approves off is a. between a man and a woman, b. for life and c. one at a time only! I think we have discussed at length David and Jonathan before. At the least I would say: the Bible doesn’t make it clear either way that there was a homosexual element or not but it does demonstrate that a deep love can exist between members of the same sex which would seem perfectly wholesome.

    Gosh I’m tired too – I’m off to bed!

  81. another John 7 Oct 2010, 10:01pm

    About David and Jonathan: soon after they first met, we read: “And it came to pass, when he (David) had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1Samuel 18v1). When David learnt that his friend had been killed in battle he said: “I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women” (2Samuel 1v26).

    I agree these are perhaps two of the loveliest verses in the Bible!

  82. I’m glad we agree on that, another John :D Your first quote there was the one I was trying to think of last night – beautiful and, to me at least, touching and romantic.

  83. @Another john

    It seems a little odd that a conservative evangelical like your self, belonging to the ultra conservative sect called the Plymouth breathren . . . should spend everyday posting messages on a gay website.

    Another john – perhaps your motivation here is either:

    1.An attempt to work through your own confusion concerning your sexuality, and an attempt to reconcile your homosexual feelings with your religous beliefs

    or

    2. An attempt at a recrutiment drive for your ultra conservative sect. . . which I might add is dying the death from dwindling numbers; and lack of interest in you particular brand of fundamentalist christianity.

    Another john . . . Perhaps you will now confirm your true motivation

  84. another John 8 Oct 2010, 4:50pm

    JohnK: I am sorry to disappoint you but neither suggestion is correct!

    As for true motivation, I have already posted on this.

    Re. my posting habits, this has tended to be in fits and starts since discovering Pink News in April. Like most of us, I get lots of emails daily, including general updates like those that Pink News send out. I try to skim through and follow up if anything is of interest. If I feel I can contribute I do and I generally respond to any reasonable come back.

    My work as a minister and community activist means gay and equality issues are important and relevant to my work. I genuinely feel that Pink News often provides an important perspective on these matters, although often not ones I share.

    Now wouldn’t life be boring if I only visit Christian websites concerning these issues and then go away feeling good because my views / prejudices are merely reinforced!?

  85. “. . . My work as a minister and community activist means gay and equality issues are important and relevant to my work. I genuinely feel that Pink News often provides an important perspective on these matters, although often not ones I share.”
    Three points . . .

    1.I am intrigued how gay issues are important and relevant to your work as a minister

    2.If Pink News provides an important perspective on gay issues, why are you posting on Pink News boards; when you have made it quite clear that homosexual relationships are against your teachings

    3.Moreover, If homosexual relationships are against your teachings; why are you posting twice or and even some times three times a day on Pink News boards.

  86. another John 8 Oct 2010, 10:05pm

    JohnK: I think I have gone as far as am prepared or need to go in answering your questions. I would much rather confine discussion to the topics that are raised in these forums than pander to the curiosity (some of which I suspect is mischievous) of nosey people about my habits and motives. You have made several points and asked several questions and I have tried politely (unlike you) to respond and now it seems you are criticising me for posting too much!?

  87. Another john – on a previous thread you wrote the following . . .

    “About my past attractions, these have been mainly to the opposite sex although some for the same sex. That has not been a problem for me personally as my inclinations are predominantly straight, I haven’t struggled in this area as some have and because of what I believe. I suppose, if anything, I should have been bolder in the past (after all enjoying friendship is one of the greatest of life’s joys) but now that I am married, I take seriously the vow of fidelity, so taking my being attracted to someone onto a physical level is a definite no no.”

    A few comments

    1.You state that you have been attracted to the same sex sexually in the past

    2. You state that you haven’t struggled in this area as some have because of what you believe

    3. You use Pinknews to constantly explain why same sex sexual attraction is forbidden

    A few more comments

    *Because you constantly keep reiterating the forbidden nature of same sex attraction, on gay website; it is quite clear that the only person that is not convinced about this is yourself.

    *We do not come on to pink news to discuss whether or not our sexuality is wrong – you do

    *Moreover, If you were comfortable with your sexuality; you would not constantly be trying to convince others that they are wrong.

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