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Scottish Episcopal Church “bound by canons” to oppose gay marriage

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  1. Jesus said – Love thy neighbour. Jesus said – No unto others as you would have done unto you. Jesus said – Whatsoever you do unto the least of my brethren, you do unto me. I wonder if the bishops would like to point at the place where he required them to be bigoted, when he required them to worship their own canonical documents over their holy texts? Or shall we write the whole thing as bronze age dogma, written around the campfires of desert nomads who couldn’t explain why the sun rose, and therefore irrelevant to the modern law of the land.

    1. “When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.” Emo Phillips

      1. Most members of the gay community are bikes, they have been ridden more times then any normal person.

        1. Jealous some Neal?

          1. Sounds more like personal experience. The desperation of those with no personality, I suppose. Or his mother abandoned him.

        2. I hardly think you’re in any position to comment about ‘normal’ people, Neal.

  2. I look forward to seeing an anti-equality religious group respond to a consultation like this by saying:

    “Our faith teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, we recognise that others, including other faith groups, have different views. Freedom of religion means supporting their right to hold different opinions and to perform rites according to their faith.

    “Furthermore, we cannot identify any negative consequences to society from legalising same-sex marriage. Consequently we support marriage for any two people, provided that faiths, including ours, can refuse to perform weddings for two people of the same sex in the same way that we can currently refuse to perform weddings for people who do not share our faith.”

    Unfortunately, I will be waiting a long time for anti-gay religions to demand the same freedoms for pro-gay faiths that they demand for themselves, or the same separation of civil law and faith which permits Scotland to enjoy religious diversity.

  3. Dear Scottish Episcopal Church: Go ahead and oppose gay marriage *within your church*. *My* church supports gay marriage. Stop imposing *your* beliefs on my faith and on those who chose no faith. Civil marriage is absolutely NONE of your business.

    1. Your church would appear to be totally Apostate and not interested
      in the authority of Holy Scripture ?

      1. or perhaps interprets them more rationally, humanely and in more context … rather than feeding their own bigotry

        1. Using human reason! How dare they use a hallmark of their tradition!

  4. The Scottish Episcopalian Church’s opinion on civil marriage equality is completely irrelevant.

    Civil marriage is a civil contract. It is entirely outside the church’s remit.

    The church would throw a tantrum if outsiders tried to interfere with their policymaking. So why on earth are they trying to impose their religious beliefs on all of society?

  5. Am I reading a different story to everyone else?

    I thought I read that the Episcopal church had said that they are reviewing their approach to marriage and that their canonical law may be changed. This has not been completed by the time of the Scottish government consultation being complete, thus their response is based on current Episcopal canonical law.

    Now I know this doesnt guarantee the canonical law will be changed, and if it is not then they deserve criticism …

    Nonetheless, the fact they have openly and honestly said this is what our rules say, we may be changing them but that has not yet been concluded completely, but as they currently stand we can not agree to this (unless our rules change) …

    Whilst its not the open arms to equal marriage I would like, it does leave the door open to the possibility …

    1. Stu, you are reading correctly although the cynic in me would suggest that this is a stalling tactic,

      “look we have this really important and deeply difficult review of our canonical stance on this issue but have to oppose it at the moment (awfully sorry but our hands are tied) but maybe we might be more supportive after our review (might not though). We expect our review to finish some time after the rapture as certain things won’t be totally clear till then. Any chance you chaps up there could just shelve this till then – save a lot of hassle”

      Maybe my jaded view comes from living amongst the duplicitous and wacky Ulster fundies but I have a hard time taking anything a church says at face value. It has rarely turned out for the best before,

      But I live in hope.

      1. @Dave G

        I fully understand why you are cynical …

        Equally, there are good examples of some Christians supporting human rights including LGBT rights (in their entirity) … I wouldnt like to rush to condemn something that (post canonical law review) turned out to be a new very supportive regime …

        However, if they remain totally opposed to equal marriage (after their review of the laws) then they deserve full condemnation …

        1. Having worshipped among the Episcopalians, I see this as a further turning point in their liberality. I daresay they may favour the change, even to the extent that ceremonies may take part in church.

          1. However the consultation seems quite conservative, however this could be the treading of careful ground. It states that the church could change canon law to approve of same sex marriage, at the moment the canons uphold the traditional view of marriage. The document at the moment upholds what is reality, and makes little mention of what could happen.

            The SEC is in the Porvoo communion – where one of the other churches has changed the canon law.

            However the SEC is also part of the Anglican communion and that presents numerous problems.

            It is a wait and see game.

            However I have more faith in the SEC then their southerly neighbours the C of E, to follow their own conscience than bow to the Windsor report.

          2. One should have more faith in the SEC than in its fellow Scottish churches as well. While the Roman Catholic Church has a ban on gay priests, and the Church of Scotland is being split over the appointment of one gay minister, the SEC has for years been allowing priests to enter civil partnerships and bless gay relationships. My own experience suggests that SEC numbers have been going up in recent years because of the relaxed attitude adopted towards openly gay Christians.

            While the RC hierarchy and CofS have outright condemned gay marriage, the SEC has simply pointed out that it goes against its current canons. I imagine it has adopted this line to ‘test’ the response of the small number (yet financially significant) of conservatives within the Church, as well to avoid upsetting the applecart too much within the Anglican Communion. However, as with women priests, canons can and likely will be changed.

          3. Well said Piskie. I wish I was still with the Episcopalians, however I now live in the heart of FinF country.

  6. The bible also said the first humans were Adam & Eve – who went on to have two sons named Cain & Abel. If the bible was correct then where did all the people come from.

    My point is people use the bible as an excuse for anything to disapprove. It’s in the bible so it must be true. Yeah, right. Just a thought.

    1. Incest.

      Which is why the arguments “If we allow the gays to marry what’s next brothers and sisters?” or “marriage is about producing children, if gays are allowed to marry then sisters will marry sisters and brothers will marry brothers” are extra fun to hear.

      1. I concur, it would have been incest in order to propagate the planet. This really pisses the fundies off when you say it to them. They go into a hissy fit and totally dismiss it. They also believe that the world is only 6,000 years old, among other things.

    2. Except there is no description nor condemnation of same sex marriage in scripture, there is no description of homosexuality per se in scripture.

      1. The word marriage doesn’t even occur in either testament, it is merely implied from the supposed creation of Eve out of a bone from Adam’s side and the “wedding” feast at Canaa. Marriage has and always has been invented by men since the dawn of civilisation and changed accordingly to suit their own ends.

    3. Cain and Abel were both male and the bible gives no mention to any further children after that.

      1. However logic dictates that if Eve was the only woman then she and one or both of her sons partied like there was no tomorrow.

        1. The bible talks of other sons and daughters after Cain and Able (Seth being one – daughters obviously not important enough to have names). Adam and Eve lived for approx 930 years so had plenty of time.

          Doesn’t get round the brother/sister incest problem though.

          Another similar problem though is that as everyone except Noah’s family was wiped out in a flood 4000 years ago and all humanity is descended from them. Unfortunately there was not enough time between the flood and the pyramids to have had enough people procreated to build them never mind have enough to have masters and slaves.

          Still waiting on this bloody rapture !!!

          1. Some say that they had as many as 64 children, can you imagine people actually believing that nonsense? They’ll wait a long time for any rapture assuming they haven’t had any during sex and enjoying it while they’re at it.

  7. History will show who and what organisations opposed equality, in the same way that history has shown who opposed the notion that the earth orbits the sun.
    Hardly compassionate if you have to be dragged kicking and screaming to acknowledge equality.

    1. Maybe I am being more patient or understanding …

      I dont think they are being dragged kicking and screaming.

      They are at their own will examining the internal rules they have which prohibit them from endorsing equal marriage (which if we are honest, is a new concept for the UK, although it should not be) …

      The fact they are willing to examine the rules, using the processes for rule changes that they have as an organisation demonstrates that some within the organisation recognise the value of changing the rules.

      Now, I am more than happy to let the process of rule changes take its course (provided the period of time is not prohibitive) and see what the outcome is …

      I will condemn them, if they do not change the rules and fail to support equal marriage – but I think its only reasonable to give them the opportunity to work through their organisational processes.

      1. As far as this consultation goes they have opposed same sex marriage to reflect the present canonical position.
        “Our written submission … is placed within the Government’s time frame and has therefore sought to indicate our canonical position”

    2. Pope John 21st 8 Dec 2011, 1:13am

      The Earth orbits the Sun ??!! Off with your head!

  8. Morgan Johnson 7 Dec 2011, 11:20pm

    Marriage is between a man and a woman and will always be.

    Homosexuals will never be able to marry in church, and the church and any other religious building has the right to say no, as explained by the one-sided Equality Minister.

    We caught up her today and asked her why she is so set on and so interested in homosexuals and so set on trying to implement something that will never happen, and not taking an interested in the ‘other side’ we gave her a new door and desk sign ‘ Lynne Featherstone The Homosexuals Minister’.

    She looked very anxious and her body language was very awkward, rather like that of someone who was only doing something to benefit herself, in the way of votes for her party.

    1. Firstly, the so called facts you trounce … including issues of the Equality Minister relate to England … this story is about Scotland – who have equality and marriage as part of their devolved powers ….

      Secondly, equality will always trump bigotry … and most Christians accept the inevitability of equal civil marriage (and probably religious aspects for those organisations prepared to participate)

      So you can live in your dream world all you like, LGBT people are humans and entitled to human rights – as Hilary Clinton said so emphatically in Geneva yesterday “LGBT rights are human rights” … It will happen …

      1. Beautiful man, just beautiful.

        1. We try …

      2. Morgan Johnson 8 Dec 2011, 12:09pm

        Equality will NEVER trump realism. It will not be accepted.
        As for Hilary Clinton, she is just another one, playing for votes, saying what people want to hear, and people believe them.
        You have Civil Partnerships, What happens once will never happen again.

        1. I suggest you look to Spain, Belgium, New York, Netherlands, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusets, New Hampshire, District of Columbia, Mexico City … where equality has already trumped your so-called “realism” (realism is far from what your attitude is)

          I suggest you also consider:
          Luxembourg, Australia, Germany, France, Nepal, Colombia, Finland, England, Scotland, Uruguay, Israel, Venezuela, Austria, South Korea, Costa Rica, Brazil, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles, Slovenia, Russia, Poland, Italy, Ireland, Cyprus … where in all of these sovereign states there have been debates strongly in favour of increasing LGBT recognition including marriage …

          Seems as though “what happens once”, has happened and is happening much more than once

          Realism – is recognising that all people are born equal regardless of who they end up loving …

          Realism – is a recognition of things as they actually are – something you lack

        2. Realism – an awareness of the things as they really are …

          Clinton clearly has that impassioned awareness

          Morgan Johnston clearly does not

    2. Pope John 21st 8 Dec 2011, 1:20am

      Obviously English is not this contributor’s first language. Or if it is, he/she is more badly educated than even the substantive content of the post would suggest.

    3. “Marriage is between a man and a woman and will always be.”

      Really? LOL!

      Not well up on current events, are we?

      Netherlands, SA, Canada, Spain…. all have equality for gay people. Just ignoring them. You keep doing that, makes winning easier.

    4. Chester3669 8 Dec 2011, 10:21am

      marriage used to include same-sex couples in the past actually
      plus the rest about the minister is made-up nonsense

  9. Jock S. Trap 8 Dec 2011, 10:57am

    If religion means not being able to use one’s own mind then leave me out of it. How limiting. If we were all meant to follow the sheep there would be little point in providing us with a brain in the first place.

    Typical of religion though. Trouble is does their ‘Religious Freedom’ have to trapple on those religions who welcome us with open arms and wish to perform such ceremonies?

    1. @Jock

      I see this as no different to any large organisation seeking to change its “constitution” it needs to internally consult, reflect and adapt … and until and unless the changes are made it has to publically make stances based on the existing “constitution”. It has said that the rules may change … lets hope they do …

      Realistically in any large organisation such organisational changes take time (whether we like that or not)…

      If they do not come up with the goods then lets criticise them …

      It would be worse if they just decided to ignore their rules then they had the mess of not having changed them and this being challenged by either hardliners within or externally either in internal processes or through the courts … it makes sense to try and get the internal workings correct …

      If they dont then we should condemn them …

  10. Pope John 21st 8 Dec 2011, 1:15pm

    The headline is totally misleading…the contents of the article are actually quite positive and allow for reform within the church.

    1. Not with reference to this present consultation, they are sticking with the present canonical view which opposes same sex marriage.

      1. So you would like them to not respond?

        or respond stating this might be our position in the future if our changes occur – but because we are following our internal processes for reviewing law, they might not happen …

        or be truthful and say “as our rules are currently, we couldnt support this – but we are honestly reviewing our laws and this may change …”

        Lets criticise it when their rules review is completed … if it does not give equality

        1. Stu they are not referring to any possible future debate on the issue in the actual submission in their response to this consultation, they plainly say they are responding according to present canonical view which is to oppose same sex marriage and that’s it, that is what they are actually saying here.

          1. It does refer to ongoing discussions on these matters which may lead to change in canon law …

          2. “Our written submission…is placed within the Government’s time frame and has therefore sought to indicate our canonical position”

            They are presently opposing marriage equality.

          3. @Pavlos

            Thats true, but its not that black and white …

            Thats why I am prepared to let them change their rulebook before castigating them …

            If I was a chair of a golf club in the 1980s that refused access to women and was repeatedly asked questions about whether a woman could join; then if the rule book was being debated through the recognised process of the constitution of the golf club – I could only answer honestly to the questions by saying “At this time, the rule book states – but we are looking at changing it … the decision on a change will be made hopefully in the near future …”. I see this as a similar situation to that which the SEC find themselves in

          4. Stu there is some mealy-mouthed waffle in the language when talking about their submission to Parliament but they actually seem tome to be saying that within their church whatever discussions may now be taking place or take place in the future these discussions have not been referred to in the present submission to the Scottish Parliament consultation.

            They may consider making changes to their canon via their own separate internal consultation at some unspecified time in the future although this has no relevance to the present Government consultation in any way and will not form any part of the present submission to Parliament.
            As things stand now, they are opposing marriage equality. That’s how I read it, I will back off now.

    2. Thats my reading of it …

      Cautiously welcome the internal debate in the SEC, then criticise if the natural evolution of canonical law does not happen – lets not presume it will not …

  11. This is highly significant.
    The Episcopal Church is considerably more liberal than the CofE.
    If the Piskies oppose gay marriage,
    the CofE, with considerably more evangelicals in it, definitely will.

    The Church is called to stand out in distinction from the world, not be the same.

    We have civil partnerships.
    Let’s leave marriage well alone.
    It will not do us any favours to be pushing it.

    1. Stop the Hate 9 Dec 2011, 2:27pm

      They make it clear they are open to changing their canon law, they just don’t have time before the deadline. That is far from being a rejection in principle to gay marriage. The Cof E may oppose, but so what. Less than 2% of people attend church regularly anyway, and 50% of Anglicans are in favour.

  12. Pope John 21st 8 Dec 2011, 5:13pm

    They’re all heretics anyway.

  13. Vo Dong Cung 8 Dec 2011, 7:31pm

    The Scotish citizen “bound by civil laws” not canons laws

    1. This is true ….

      but the Gleneagles golf club has its own rule book in addition to civil law, and must make amendments to its rule book consistent with its own processes … its only reasonable that the church do likewise …

      I hope they do

  14. And those bloody annoying American right wing hate groups and foes of marriage equality are bombarding the Scottish Government voicing their objections to legalising same-sex marriage in Scotland. They wouldn’t like it if we meddled in their domestic affairs. I hope this doesn’t happen when England begins it’s own consultation in March next year.

    1. Stop the Hate 9 Dec 2011, 2:30pm

      But I doubt they will make any difference as Brits in general are better educated and more moderate than Americans.

  15. I was once bound by a canon. No, now I think of it – my boyfriend and I bound him. He arrived dressed in leather, which was a relief – I don’t think the clerical dress would have done it for me.

  16. It is pleasing to see the Scottish Episcopal Church ‘bound’ as it were by its canons in the matter of marriage because Holy Scripture is very clear and all churches
    should be bound by the authority of Holy Scripture. The Primus, Gishop David Chillingworth needs to realise and appreciate this. Sola Scriptura – Soli Deo Gloria !

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