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Fixation with gay rights can “fragment” society, Rowan Williams says

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  1. “we have to have some way of putting it all back together again and discovering what is good for all of us”

    And equal rights for all people irrespective of race, gender, sexuality, disability or background isn’t good for all of us?

    *jaw drops in amazement*

    1. friday jones 27 Mar 2012, 10:42pm

      “And equal rights for all people irrespective of race, gender, sexuality, disability or background isn’t good for all of us?”

      Well no, not “all” of “us.” It’s bad for the guys who are currently enjoying all the spoils. It’s bad for guys like Rowan Williams.

  2. would someone just give this idiot a red hat and fishing rod and put him outside with all the other gnomes please….

  3. I firmly predict that society will carry on quite happily. The only thing that’s going to fragment in the near future over this issue is the Church of England, where the pendulum appears to have stopped swinging entirely.

  4. Rowan, honey, I’m sure that a slightly bigger threat to society is deluded old men unflinchingly following the orders of their imaginary friends and forcing those actions on the general populace

  5. Fixation with gay rights will “fragment” church.

    1. Or rather . . .

      A fragmented church fixates on issues of equality which it cannot fix . . . especially with regards the accession of women and gays to the Bishophood.

  6. Another Hannah 27 Mar 2012, 9:51pm

    Despite all the long winded pompous language this man really is a bit thick!!! Certainly will be a fragmented society if there aren’t equal rights. Racial equality is acheived, but if I don’t get equal rights and reasonable treatment, as in the more advanced part of the world, I’ll be off and working as hard as I can against GB and the Anglican church. You can’t get much more fragmented than that. What an idiot.

  7. The Church of England has a long history of favouring the oppresion of women, gay people and non-white people. All that Williams’ statement shows is that nothing has changed.

    1. I seem to recall that Lord Shaftesbury, a prominent Tory and an equally as prominent C. of E. Christian, was, with William Wilberforce, also a deeply committed evangelical Christian, heavily involved in the abolition of the slave trade – a trade that mainly involved non-white people, I believe!

  8. What better example of “identity politics” is there than the segregation of LGBT in terms of marriage equality? LGBT are just seeking equal not special treatment, They aren’t the ones playing the game of “identity politics”.

    If I said that black people should sit at the back of the bus I would be playing “identity politics” not black people.

    1. Don’t bring the colour argument into it, people are born black or white or chinese, people aren’t born gay. You choose to be gay, its your choice!

      Therefore if your segregated, then its down to choice not down to the way your born.

  9. Oh dear- he s trying to make out that the Church of England’s difficulties are our fault. And he also seems to be saying that the pendulum is swinging back- and that gays are beginning to go back into the closet. Can’t see either of them as being correct. By saying that he is going to become more vocal in the coming months- does that mean he is going to try and stir up feelings against us? Has the Church of England learned nothing?

  10. Helen Wilson 27 Mar 2012, 9:57pm

    The fixation on religious morality being imposed outside the church is destroying society and also distorting what society is.

  11. Mumbo Jumbo 27 Mar 2012, 10:00pm

    Projection on stilts.

  12. Paddyswurds 27 Mar 2012, 10:00pm

    What will fragment society is the religious bigots who fight against equal rights for all. These same arguments were made down through the ages when the Abrahamic cults had their backs to the wall. They fought tooth and nail against the idea that the Sun was the centre of our system, They fought against the idea that the Earth was round, they excommunicated Galileo for inventing the telescope, the fought against the emancipation of Black people, they fought against emancipation and education of women, they fought against the vote for women, They burned women all over the world as witches, then there was the Crusades, the Spanish inquisition,… And this idiot has the gall to say equality for Gay people will fragment society????.

  13. Another Hannah 27 Mar 2012, 10:03pm

    Well as ever working as hard, concientiously and diligently against he UK, C of Eand RC as I can with my high intelligence tests, and 100% psychometric tests. Has this thickie actually thoght what would have happened in the war if some of the LGBT had worked against Britain instead of for it? It isn’t just Alan Turing, some computer languages were written by trans. peopel for example. Our establishment are just tooooooo thick. I don’t think we’ll ever win anything again!!!!!

  14. Keith Farrell 27 Mar 2012, 10:04pm

    I cannot figgure this man out, is he for equal rights, or for apartheit. Give us equal rights or ……….

  15. Oh Dr Williams, you’re most probably not a bad man but do, please just shut up.

    1. @Rehan

      I agree, Dr Williams probably is not a bad man.

      The shame is that he does such a good job of appearing that he is inhumane and seeks to promote segregation (although I suspect deep down in his heart he agrees with equality …).

      Which rather begs the question – why can he not be honest either to himself or society in general and stop peddling a diatribe of inhumanity that contrasts significantly of what his opinions were prior to becoming Primate?

  16. What a deluded old man…and I don’t mean physically old. I mean old and atrophied in his heart and mind

  17. And we thought Lord Carey was bad.

  18. john richards 27 Mar 2012, 10:31pm

    I’m sure he said the same thing about the Suffragettes.

  19. Robert White 27 Mar 2012, 10:32pm

    Yes, young ones, cleave unto me and my viewpoints lest I be left behind.

    Well duh on the whole “if you don’t sit fixated on my world views we will not stand together” thing.

    You have yet, however, shown any evidence that this is a bad thing™ or that you are the one who is correct to stand your ground in the devide you preceive.

    In later news, watter not only wet but annoying to those who decry bathing.

  20. Traditional marriage needs a man and a woman, Gay marriage defines what it is, is a marriage between two gays.

    Homosexuals, and such like cannot be defined the same as a man and a woman, as they are not the same, they cannot be equal as man and woman, as they are not equal to man and woman.

    That is why everyone should be involved in campaigning against what the Goverment are doing. Mind, IF they do it, they will live to regret it as they wont be power again, Dave and his one side Equality Minister are taking a big risk with their positions, as they will be voted out if they go ahead with this.

    One again, Marriage = One Man & One Woman – support this by signing at

    1. Your posting of a petition against marriage equality on a LGBT website shows just how desperate you are.

      You’re trying to canvas the support of gays against gay rights !

      Probably not the greatest strategy, eh ?

    2. So who are you lot going to vote for, then? All the mainstream parties support equality. So that leaves the fascist parties, which does suggest some synergy between religionists and right wing extremists

    3. Dr Robin Guthrie 28 Mar 2012, 1:32am

      “Traditional” biblical marriage = subjugated women and polygamy.

      Go read your bible f***wit.

    4. David Wainwright 28 Mar 2012, 4:47am

      C4M, 8 Marshalsea Road, London SE1 1HL / Tel: 0207 403 7879 / Contact Us
      © 2012 – Coalition For Marriage

      1. David Wainwright 28 Mar 2012, 4:49am

        Lets all phone these people number above , maybe pay them a visit and let them say these things to our faces .

        1. Apologise – “misunderstanding”

          the above should say

          Do not phone them
          Do not give them the oxygen of publicity they need
          Do not antagonise them, they have already lost

      2. @David . . . we are not going to phone you

        We are not going to give you the oxygen of publicity, by giving you the fight you imagine will bolster your numbers

        You have already lost the fight, Get used to it.

    5. “Traditional marriage needs a man and a woman”

      No, it doesn’t.

      How is the taste of failure?

    6. Assertion is neither argument nor evidence.
      Now bugger off.

    7. Maybe we should start post the website for equal marriage on the C4M website, give them a taste of their own medicine

      1. I don’t believe they allow comments there. Happy to troll on this site but afraid of any discussion on theirs. Clearly know that their arguments can very easily be torn apart

        1. No they prevent any comments which do not toe their party line from having any publicity on any website etc that have links to them. They are cowards that are unwilling to engage in debate – they have their position and they do not believe anyone should have the right to point out the errors of their position. They believe indoctrination is more important that facts or evidence. They lack courage. At least PN allows dissenting views and opportunity for debate – PN and LGBT people are not afraid to debate their positions or feel insecure that their argument may lack substance.

    8. Jock S. Trap 28 Mar 2012, 12:23pm

      But we’re not after Gay marriage. We’re after being treated equally in marriage. We all pay taxes so we should have the right to choose marriage if we wish to do so.

      Marriage = 2 people wanting a commitment and celebrating it. How can that be wrong?

      Let’s not for get it was religion that redefined marriage in the first place so it is Not tradition at all.

    9. Jock S. Trap 28 Mar 2012, 12:25pm

      Only religion divides love and denies it to others. Yet happy to create wars, famines, torture etc.. etc.. etc. You’d think that instead of dividing the world the church would welcome a stable loving society.


  21. friday jones 27 Mar 2012, 10:40pm

    Yes, as long as we’re focusing all of our efforts and attention on upraising straight white cissexual men, we’re all pulling TOGETHER! Like galley slaves in a Roman galley perhaps.

  22. The Canon seems to have a better handle on it than his befuddled boss.

  23. Actually, Rowan, it’s prejudice, particularly religious prejudice, that fragments society. Equality will lead to more people understanding and respecting each other. Because of your own prejudice, however, you don’t want to admit that there are people different to you that deserve the same attention and rights as you do. You think you are entitled to decide who gets treated like a decent human being and who doesn’t. That is the self-righteousness of privileged people like you.
    I’m glad this bigot will hopefully be out of the public sphere soon.

  24. here’s me thinking the bigoted and the hateful have fragmented society!

  25. Robert in S. Kensington 27 Mar 2012, 11:51pm

    We haven’t been a theocracy since the reformation. What next, only the church can decide who is entitled to a civil right? Who elected him or any of them to represent the people? House of Lords, take note.

  26. Well, the best way to stop focusing on LGBT rights is to simply agree to them and end the discussion. If his suggestion is that LGBT people should just accept second class citizenship, he can go soak his head.

  27. Singapore Sam 28 Mar 2012, 12:20am

    Well his pendulum has certainly swung from left to right, or rather from liberal to conservative.

  28. Craig Denney 28 Mar 2012, 12:21am

    I wonder how many former Archbishops of Canterbury have ended their days in the nut house?

    1. Dr Robin Guthrie 28 Mar 2012, 2:05am

      As with most “learned men” in the church. He keeps up the pretence of belief to keep his pension going.

      There are far too many contradictions in that religion for a man of his academic learning to simply ignore.

      It just would not look good for him to admit that he is an athiest.

  29. Paula Thomas 28 Mar 2012, 12:59am

    There is a rule of thumb I apply to stories like this one: replace ‘Gay’ with ‘black’ and replace ‘LGBT’ with ‘BME’ and see how they read then…

  30. Does he mean the CofE and the RC “fixation” with preventing “gay rights” fragments society.

    The only ones fragmentting society as far as I can see are the various religions who still have their privaleged historical wealth and status to consitenty resist equality.

    Society has always been fragmented but it’s a much , much , much better place to live in now than it was years ago for the majority of society.

  31. Even if your premise is right, Rowan, and standing up for equality will alienate the bigots in our society and make them feel bad, that’s not our problem. It’s THEIR problem. Equality harms nobody – it only makes bigots unhappy. If the bigots then wish to participate in civilized society, they’re going to have to get over their bigotry. It’s that simple.

    So which is it, Rowan? Which is more important – equality or the bigots not feeling uncomfortable because of their bigotry?

  32. Dr Robin Guthrie 28 Mar 2012, 1:59am

    Morning Ex ArchBish.

    May I ask you how you and your wife “do” sex.

    You see, I need to know in order that you can be categorised, and compared with passages in some dusty old texts I may have mis-translated, however that is besides the point.

    As the owner of a p3nis I sincerely hope that you have not discussed this topic with your wife as you clearly know Corinthians.

    “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” (I Corinthians 14:34-35)

    Do you let you wife into your church Ex ArchBish. T

    Then you are a filthy sinner, out to “fragment society.”

  33. The “pendulum” can never be swung back.

    How would he feel if his own relationship with his wife were the subject of a public national debate, lead by supposedly caring people, focussing one whether it is abnormal, an abomination, immoral, unnatural. obscene, grotesque and a shame on the UK etc etc? And whether it is a threat to the family, children and the whole of society.

    With those current attitudes being voiced during the marriage equality debate how on earth can the pendulum be swung back. We can’t swing back say the marriage equality debate, the Church and some members of our “soceity” have trashed us and they’ve been found out and they need to be challenged by all of us.

    They are the ones that are fragmentting society by these continued vicious attacks on gay people.

    1. Even most of those in the US who do think that giving women the right to vote in the 19th amendment was wrong and divisive do not think that the pendulum can or necessarily should be swung back to deprive women of those rights of equality.

      The Archbishop also demonstrates a complete misunderstanding (in my opinion deliberately so) about human rights. He seems to ignore the fact that rights are not granted to people by governments or organisations. Rights are inate. Rights can be suppressed by states, organisations, religions or individuals – but even when those rights are suppressed they do not mean the rights do not exist. If I were to be religious and lived in a state that did not recognise my faith then my right as a human being to express my faith would still exist even though the state I lived in suppressed that right. If I was detained without trial by a state, that would not mean my right to freedom and to a fair trial did not exist. Suppressing equality is wrong.

  34. David Wainwright 28 Mar 2012, 4:42am

    And to think how we were all so enthusiastic about this MAN prior to his enthronement , he was billed as a reformer and a hippie , what a disappointment he has proved to be having missed the opportunity to make historic reforms he will go down in history as a ditherer and waste of space. A real shame as the buildings are quite nice , they just need better management cue Jeremy Josephs .

    1. Spanner1960 28 Mar 2012, 6:25pm

      Oh please.
      The Church has enough trouble with paedophiles already without JJ.

  35. The Christian religion is fragmenting society with their hate, just look at what the Christians have been doing.

    Also how come Anonymous did not expose this? Could it be they wear the mask of the Christian Catholic Guy Fawkes because they are Christians who are the one who are baiting the hook against LGBT people?

  36. What part of the ideal of social justice does he not understand?

    Apparently, all of it.

  37. The rich man in his castle,
    The poor man at his gate,
    God made them high and lowly,
    And ordered their estate.

    If you believe that’s one of the bright and beautiful things about God that keeps society cohesive, well then you’re not really going to be enthusiastic about social change, are you?

    Poor old duffer, he really keeps putting his foot in it. The only good thing is that not many people are likely to pay him much attention.

    1. Shockingly he’s only 61 yrs old.

      1. Blimey – that really is shocking!

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Mar 2012, 12:14pm

      It’s his swan song as he enters the dustbin of history. He’ll be remembered only for his bigotry and utter stupidity. Where is archbishop Desmond Tutu when we need him?

  38. Fixation with gay rights can “fragment” society, Rowan Williams says….

    ….and coming from someone in an organisation obsessed with gays and what they get up to, I’m sure he has a unique position on the subject.

  39. Clearly what he means is that people banging on about how they want their identity recognised on their own terms reveals the fragmentation that already exists in society but that white, heterosexual, cisgendered men like him don’t notice because they don’t have to deal with it. And of course we can’t have that, can we?

  40. Marcel Wiel 28 Mar 2012, 8:08am

    Spoken like a real hetero. Rowan Williams joins long line stupid old bats who will be trotted out for the foreseeable future when news editors need a homophobic quote so their copy seems ‘balanced’

  41. Too true, Rowan. Fixation for centuries on the identities of powerful white straight men was so much better. But we got the funny idea when you first got Canterbury that you might challenge some of that hokum. You are such a damp squib.
    You have said you are leaving. Could you just belt up and go now, please?

  42. Nutjobsareeverywhere 28 Mar 2012, 8:38am

    Jog onto retirement bish

  43. Society is like a snake constantly shedding its skin. The old skin dries out, it fragments and falls away, and the snake carries on just fine. Change is painful Rowan, get used to it.

  44. Is Canterbury aware it is missing the village idiot?

    It would appear not!

  45. The thing that annoys me about this, is that the only fragmenting of society comes from the refusal of certain people and groups to accept other people. They way he talks you’d think we’d caused it. Years and years of oppression and we finally stand up and say ‘no more’ and he says this will cause a fragment!! If he got with the programme and supported an inclusive society there would be no discussion of this.

  46. Singapore Sam 28 Mar 2012, 9:08am

    The real social problem is increased and aggressive religiosity, in particular of the Abrahamic faiths, not those seeking to address social injustice.

  47. “This is who I am, these are my rights, I demand that you recognise me.”

    Accurate description of Christians denying hotel room to gay people, refusing to preform civil partnership or counselling to gay couple. They should really listen to Archbishop Rowans

    “Once we (Christians) start saying this is my identity and that’s it then I think we are in danger of really fragmenting the society we belong to.”

  48. In a sense he’s right; but only in the sense that until full equality is achieved society will be fragmented. So the sooner people like him get out of the way, the faster we can fix the cracks.

  49. Darth Dacre 28 Mar 2012, 10:03am

    The documents disposed by NOM in the US show that it is extremist religious organisations that are deliberately seeking to drive wedges between parts of society and fragment it.

  50. I am still waiting for an apology from the Anglican Church for all the hateful lies I was told in my youth. For example, I was told that gay relationships don’t last – I have been with my wonderful partner now for 17 happy years. I was told I would end up a lonely old man – perhaps, but not while my partner is alive. I was told I was not welcome in my church – I still go to a gay friendly anglican church. etc etc . When I get an apology Rowan I might not be so angry!

  51. A ridiculous old upper class privileged white man who has lived a cloistered and protected existence actually has the bloody hubris to try and assert insight and authority on the subject of rights for women and minorities?

    I’ll be over here laughing myself silly.

  52. Darth Dacre 28 Mar 2012, 10:25am

    I hope the PM appoints a replacement that supports equality. Especially a woman, now that women bishops are allowed.

    That would be a real first for the UK, a woman Archbishop of Canterbury. Maybe we should start a petition!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Mar 2012, 12:10pm

      A petition to disestablish the CoE would be far better!

    2. John Antrobus 28 Mar 2012, 5:54pm

      Women Bishops aren’t allowed.

      1. Ah … women bishops are allowed in the Anglican church of which the Church of England is merely one part …

        The Church of England Synod is looking at proposals for women bishops in their denomination.

        Since the Archbishop of Canterbury is leader of the entire Anglican Communion including for example the Anglican church in New Zealand (which has female bishops) – why should a female bishop from NZ or elsewhere not seek to be leader of the Anglican Communion?

  53. There are some great women theologians at Oxbridge with gravitas and who believe in equality who would make excellent Archbishops of Canterbury and York. It really is time the national church modernised and appointed from amongst them. Come on Cameron, stand up for equality. Thatcher appointed Carey against the wishes of the church, so make a stand for equality!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Mar 2012, 12:09pm

      In a modern 21st century society, there shouldn’t even be a national church. What is the point, what is the relevance? Religion isn’t innate, it’s chosen, a lifestyle even. I’d like to see a national movement to disestablish the CoE once and for all. Since it refuses to adapt and move with the times, it has no justification for its position in the national life of the country.

      1. I think you will find that recent studies show that religion is innate. Studies of the thought processes of very young infants indicate a belief in a force controlling the environment on their behalf…. Magical thinking is part of psychology…. But as we mature we should grow out of it!

  54. Does he mean his own mind is fragmented and fixated. As far as society at large goes, it would not describe it as fixated with these issues. Sure, they push on in the background, sometimes forwarded as they raise issues about inequality, discrimination and oppression. But if society is fixated about anything it’s on money, child safety, terrorism and fear in general. This is a far greater problem for a society which has no idea where it’s headed after 25 yrs of unparalleled growth in wealth and inequality.

  55. “Fixation with gay rights can “fragment” society, Rowan Williams says”


    So why is that hateful, vicious old bigot Rowan Williams trying to fragment society with his fixation on denying a law-abiding segment of the community our full equallity.

    Rowan Williams is bigotted scum.

    And he is anti-democratic in his sinister atempts to impose his cult’s teaching on all of society.

  56. Dr Robin Guthrie 28 Mar 2012, 11:07am

    I notice that the Terrograph are NOT allowing any comments on this story.

    Curious, as I have generally seen on its forums that for every religiously indoctrinated buffoon commenting, at least 3 or 4 people are giving “good as they get” replies.

    Me thinks they are running scared of there own readership.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Mar 2012, 12:05pm

      That is a good sign. I daresay there are some Daily Mail readers who are doing the same. It’s early yet in the equal marriage debate. I think more people will step forward in support of it as it progresses. Negative reporting will eventually be the undoing of the naysayers. They’re in the minority let’s face it. The majority of the British public aren’t even religious.

  57. Craig Denney 28 Mar 2012, 11:42am

    How come BBC news has not reported this story? Is it because it could damage the church?

    I say we should all contact channel 4’s Dispatches Programme and question the BBC’s over inflated level of attention it pays to religious opinion in general and or the news broadcaster sounds more like the Church’s public relations department.

    Contact them here:

  58. Jock S. Trap 28 Mar 2012, 12:20pm

    I question the use of the word “fixation” but even so it really doesn’t take a genius to work out that if Equality was in place there wouldn’t be any “fixation”.

    The church tries to promote itself on morals yet is in the the one devisive thing we have to contend with.

    Some not all I know but what hypocrites.

  59. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Mar 2012, 1:17pm

    Seems to me the CoE and RC cults have been fixated for centuries denigrating, villifying, dehumanising and discriminating against gay people and he has the gall to say the “fixation” with gay rights will fragment society? Religion has been the protagonist in supporting discrimination against gay people. What a hypocrite and this idiot is considered “educated”?

  60. Now, that sounds like a bigoted comment. Seems as if he is saying that it was better before people started demanding to be allowed to be who they are. Diversity was not really welcomed 20, 30 years ago and he wants to go back to that?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Mar 2012, 2:09pm

      That’s why their numbers are declining. Like the roman cult, they refuse to move into the 21st century and what drives them is the fact that they know their power is waning. It’s an act of desperation of an equally desperate cult. It knows it’s losing the cultural war and that’s not going to change in their favour, thankfully. Wait until someone starts the ball rolling to disestablish the CoE. We can expect even more irrational screaming and ranting. Should have been done long ago.

  61. Seems to me the “fixation” comes from those who wish to deny equality…

  62. Shut up please Rowan

  63. Hey Rowan: change is always painful for conservatives, but it won’t kill you or permananently fragment society as you predict. Just remember the US- should they not have emancipated the slaves because it would have split north from south? Well now we have a courageous black president in the US. By your logic he should be on the plantation working for the white master – we wouldn’t want to alienate the racists would we Rowan?

  64. straight white males often feel like this

    1. Spanner1960 28 Mar 2012, 6:23pm

      Oh, so black or Asian one’s don’t?
      Fcking racist.

  65. Showing his true colours now, as a fully paid up member of the white, male patriarchy!

  66. Spanner1960 28 Mar 2012, 6:22pm

    Who’s “fixated’??
    All we want is what everybody else just gets for being a member of the human race.

    Some people are just fixated about what happens when they are dead instead of what they should be doing to help the living.

  67. Don Harrisoin 28 Mar 2012, 6:26pm

    What would have said, if it was about the slave trade?

  68. Paddyswurds 28 Mar 2012, 6:35pm

    “Marxism no longer corresponds to Reality” says ex naz! pope in giant hat, who talks to imaginary people in the sky, to the bemused people of Cuba.
    Just what planet is this man living on.

    1. Skaro.

      1. Paddyswurds 28 Mar 2012, 7:27pm


  69. What a stupid , arrogant fool he is. He’s the one who’s trying to fragment society. He’s the one with the obsession with minority groups. Martyn has it absolutely right – where does he think he’s going with all that facial hair.

  70. I always thought he was gay anyway…

  71. What. A. T****r.

  72. i know cambridge is no longer what it used to be,Hope some of the students of cambridge protest at the tragedy that a man as this should have any input in young peoples lives.

  73. Right… Also some nice old misogyny…..
    Well, nothing new I guess….

  74. Yet another example of the complete lack of integrity that is Rowan Williams

  75. The Archbishop would do well to consider some learning from John Locke and other eminent philosophers. John Locke, was an outspoken supporter of equal rights within a governed society. He espoused the natural rights of man, namely the right to life, liberty and property, and he articulated that every government’s purpose is to secure these rights for its nationals. He was a social contract theorist, believing that the legitimacy of government relies on consent from its citizens which is given on the basis of equality. Locke’s view of equality was not limited to the political realm; he also promoted religious toleration (the phrase toleration here being important in that it could not subjugate others in society for religious difference, but could rightly excommunicate from their own group).
    Locke describes the state of nature as one “of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another; there being nothing more evident, than that …

    1. … creature of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection”. Equality is the driving force of Locke’s political theory because it is the basis for our consensual participation in society, a requisite for the establishment of any state. As such, equality is not just necessary in the establishment of government but is also a requisite in maintaining a safe and stable nation. Locke describes the responsibility of the government (specifically the legislative power) as “the preservation of the society, and of every person in it”, showing his belief that the obligations of the government are to provide safety and protection to all its citizens equally. Locke wrote A Letter Concerning Toleration, addressing the issue of religious intolerance, a problem that permeated 17th century English society. He was extremely critical of the …

      1. … fervent behavior of people concerning their religious beliefs, particularly of those with “intemperate zeal”. He states; “That any man should think fit to cause another man — whose salvation he heartily desires — to expire in torments, and that even in an unconverted state, would, I confess, seem very strange to me, and I think, to any other also. But nobody, surely, will ever believe that such a carriage can proceed from charity, love, or goodwill”. Locke suspects that many missionaries and evangelizing magistrates are doing so for personal gain. As Black points out “it is a consequence of his mitigated skepticism that Locke advocates a duty of religious toleration”.
        The term ‘homosexuality’ was coined in the late 19th century by a German psychologist, Karoly Maria Benkert. Although the term is new, discussions about sexuality in general, and same-sex attraction in particular, have occasioned philosophical discussion ranging from Plato or Aristotle to contemporary queer theory

      2. Furthermore, the battle for equality is not one that is restricted to the past 10 or 20 years. The issue of womans suffrage goes back centuries in many countries eg Antoine Condorcet’s argument in the 1780s that French women should be entitled to vote. Indeed women achieved some rights to vote in New Jersey in elections in 1776 and in Sierra Leone in 1796. The battle for equality and fairness continues, with some countries only permitting womens suffrage recently eg Kuwait in 2005, and others not yet permitting the right to vote eg Saudi Arabia.
        The rights for equality in other areas eg race also goes back much further than the 20 years the Archbishop claims eg the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded in 1909 in the USA (there are examples of many racial equality measures sought prior to this in the US and elsewhere).
        I believe the Archibishop provocatively tries to sweep away gay rights by using the 20year window as a suggestion that the desire for

      3. … equality is a new thing and a “phase”. The reality is that Plato and Locke sought equality and believed that religious observance should not trump fairness and equity in society. I believe the Archbishop is deliberately using this language in a manner similiar to that used by Southern Baptist churches when they sought to promote racial segregation. The Archbishop should be ashamed of himself.

  76. As ever, when my response to something is along the lines of “WTF!”, Sarah Cheverton at WVoN manages to be a bit more articulate than me. She says “Identity politics are not divisive. The social conditions that create these movements – generation after generation – are.” Simple as.

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