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Church of Ireland Synod: Gay relationships cannot be ‘normative’

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  1. The church bullying gays? Surely not. Really PN, is it news?

    1. bobbleobble 14 May 2012, 11:01am

      Of course it’s news. We need to know who are enemies are as well as our friends, we need to know what our enemies are saying about us so that we can counter what they say and we need to know when gay people are being badly treated so that we can offer support to them.

      1. Paddyswurds 14 May 2012, 11:17am

        @bobblebobble… …
        … …We are already well aware that the Abrahamic cults are our enemies and all of them would see us dead in an instant ( while pretending otherwise for nefarious reasons) if they thought they could get away with it…….

        1. bobbleobble 14 May 2012, 11:47am

          But as I said, we need to know what they’re saying about us so that we can counter it.

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2012, 1:05pm

        The problem is nobody is really countering them adequately and persistently. They get unlimited coverage in the media and we get precious little as if they’re the majority opinion in the country. Our opponents are very well organised, are all on the same page, same message and persist getting their message out on a daily basis. That’s why the C4EM petition has only gathered 55,229 signatures.

  2. Stephen Spillane 14 May 2012, 11:03am

    As a Gay member of the Church of Ireland and signatory of the 8anoway open letter, this saddened me. But this is not the end of this motion as will come back at Synod next year. It will be up to those of us who want an inclusive church to get involved and make it an inclusive church. We can no longer stand on the sidelines. There are Bishops (Paul Colton in Cork, and Michael Burrows in Cashel and Ossery), clergy and others who do support LGBT membership of the church.

    Yesterday I attended a beautiful service for IDAHO which did start with an apology for this motion.

    This debate will continue and just like the debate on female it will be up to those who want to change to get involved and do something about it!

    1. “Yesterday I attended a beautiful service for IDAHO which did start with an apology for this motion. ” wtf?

      1. You are in a relationship with an abusive church, what are you waiting for before you leave? Do they have to gouge out your eyes before you realise you are being abused and leave?

    2. Harry (twitter: @hsmall) 14 May 2012, 1:24pm

      Why on Earth do you bother? Just leave the ridiculous, backward institution, one what is more based on a silly fairy tale, and live your life without fantasy.

  3. “faithfulness within marriage is the only normative context for sexual intercourse”

    With 2 out of 3 marriages failing?

    1. Fallacia McWhirter 14 May 2012, 12:51pm

      1 in 2 ending, surely? Also, divorce isn’t necessarily a failure, it can be a good thing, e.g. in an abusive relationship, but clearly the definition in the C4M petition is wrong, since it excludes divorce.

      1. Of course divorce can be a good thing sometimes, but that’s not taken into account when people declare “a union permanent and lifelong […] of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side. No room for ambiguity there – or divorce.

  4. As if I give a rats f\/ck what these brainwashed bible thumpers think.

    1. Fallacia McWhirter 14 May 2012, 12:54pm

      You do, since you read the article and made a comment that shows it upset you.

      1. Actually I don’t as I see them as irrelevant.

  5. Paddyswurds 14 May 2012, 11:14am

    I am unable to see why any GLB person could possibly be in any way associated with any organisation with such hate filled ethics, which are specifically designed to cause the maximum hurt and distress to its GLB members.
    That is heaped upon my question or wonderment as to why any even mildly intelligent person would feel a need to be associated with the hatred that is the Abrahamic cults in general. Indeed one is tempted to say “well serves you right for being so deluded into thinking that these people have any respect for you in any way, although they will try to persuade you that really they do “love and respect you, we just hate that you are a dirty faggot, but we keep you here for your money” Get real people, abandon this foolishness and get on with your lives……….

    1. Fallacia McWhirter 14 May 2012, 11:35am

      It’s not hate based, it’s fear based. The opposite of love is fear. Their need to pass such a motion is grounded in their insecurity. They are afraid of gay people getting married. That is a phobia.

      1. Paddyswurds 14 May 2012, 12:11pm

        @Fallacia McWhirter… ..
        .. …” The opposite of love is fear.” The opposite to Love when I went to school was Hate.
        We were told not to hate our neighbour but to love ones neighbour as one loves oneself. We were never told to “fear” our neighbour. Don’t forget that one could fear one whom we love as for instance in the case of someone in a abusive relationship, where one is deeply in love with the abusive partner who is also feared; Indeed the Abrahamic cults are wont to assert that one should love and fear “god”.
        As for your sentence “They are afraid of gay people getting married.” makes no sense and you appear to be making excuses for these hate fill bigots. Just to say they fear us because we want to get married is nonsense and without explaining why. No they hate us for how we are born plain and simple, just in the same way they hated Black people when the bitterly opposed Wilberforce and Emancipation, and when that failed they went on to opposing interracial marriage. …..

        1. Paddyswurds 14 May 2012, 12:19pm

          …..these people have a pathological need to feel superior and in control of other human beings and will always hate something or someone….. Control was the very reason religion was invented in the first place and was predicated on the observation of how children were controlled by coercion and trust in parent or adult superior.

        2. Fallacia McWhirter 14 May 2012, 12:58pm

          It is a common misapprehension that the opposite of love is hatred. It is fear. It’s obvious when you look at it.

  6. Sad, but not surprising; this church has hardened its views.

    Several CofI cathedrals held IDAHO services yesterday. People who had a home in the church then will be wondering if they do today.

    I have heard it said that gay people in the CofI must wait patiently; that they have support; that speaking up will only increase homophobia.

    This is a horrid argument. I do not believe in God, and am not a member of a church. But I understand that for those who do, church is home; it is community, family, belonging.

    LGBT people can no more thrive inside a rejecting church than they can inside a rejecting family. Keeping silent while being rejected for an essential part of yourself is heart-breaking.

    Dan Savage says, give your parents a year when you come out; if they don’t come round, leave communications open, but get on with your life.

    Churches have had years to adjust, and some have. If gay people move on to affirming churches, that is not impatience but self-preservation.

    1. Atalanta, good thinking.

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2012, 11:20am

    Really? Well, what about hetero couples who can’t procreate, as well as hetero people who marry later in life in their senior years who can’t? What does this cult’s ethos have to do with civil marriage. There is no law in the UK which mandates procreation for religious or civil marriage. End of!

  8. Fallacia McWhirter 14 May 2012, 11:29am

    Is there such a word as “normative”? The meaning is unclear to me.

    Anyway, this is irrelevant to most people. It’s not news that there are many bigoted people stuck in the 17th century in Northern Ireland.

    1. Paddyswurds 14 May 2012, 12:22pm

      Oxford Concise…normative of or establishing a norm

    2. Can normative ideals be rationally discussed or defended or are they merely expressions of biased emotions without rational content.
      I suspect in this case it’s the latter.

  9. Clearly there are gay Christians and there are non-gay Christians who believe strongly in LGBT rights and equality.

    However, the COI said they felt a need to apologise for hurting LGBT people. Other churches have felt the need to do similar in the past. Those where it has been seen as meaningful and honest is where words have extended into actions. Where the churches have made it clear through their acts that they do not seek to demonize and subjugate individuals due to their orientation or all LGBT people due to their orientation.

    Treating LGBT people as unequal due to how they were born is inhumane, immoral and bigoted.

    I do not believe the COI discriminate on grounds of race – they should not on grounds of orientation. Whilst they continue to do so any words of apology to LGBT people are meaningless.

    Those LGBT people and supporters of LGBT rights in COI should demonstrate their disgust at this development by using their feet and finding a church which supports human rights

  10. Sad to see that the vote wasn’t even particularly close, suggesting they’ve a ways to go yet.

    I can see that for some folk it’s tempting to write off such dinosaur institutions as irrelevant to modern life, however in their death throws some of these organisations will still do harm to the cause of gay rights if the LGBT community simply stands by and observes.

    After some reflection I’ve realised that since the legalisation of the age of consent I’ve grown apathetic about fighting for gay civil rights. I’m now signing petitions even if some disagree in their impact : it can’t hurt. I’ve responded to the government consultation ( I’ve begun to make arrangements to attend pride events for the first time in my life. I’m making a point of wearing more “gay” accessories, and discussing the issue of equal marriage whenever the opportunity arises.

    If anyone has any other suggestions on how to fight our corner I’d welcome the advice.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2012, 11:58am

      What concerns me Paul in regard to the homeoffice consultation are that those who signed the C4M petition will have signed the government’s equal marrriage survey. When you consider the C4EM petition has only managed to get 55,229 signatures, a dismally low number, I can’t say this bodes well for us. I sense a lot of apathy among the LGBT community. Nobody is speaking up to counter the bigots. Miliband, Cameron, Clegg, none have really said anything. All we are subjected to is an almost daily barrage of negative comments coming from Tory MPs, religious bigots, all getting more than ample coverage in the media giving the impression that there is no demand or necessity for equal marriage. All of those wonderful Out4Marraige videos need to be aired on the t.v. channels although I doubt the BBC would entertain any of them. I just keep geting an uneasy feeling that this equal marriage campaign will fail. Where are our supporters when we need them? Why aren’t they speaking up?.

  11. Fallacia McWhirter 14 May 2012, 11:37am

    The passing of such motions is fear based. Fear is the opposite of love. Their need to pass such a motion is grounded in their insecurity. They are afraid of gay people getting married. That is a phobia.

    If Christians truly loved gay people, they would not be afraid of them getting married.

  12. The main thrust of the Bible is social justice. Why these morons focus all the time on anti-gay stuff is beyond me.

    Just remember, like with the story those poor kids in Iran, its the church hirerachy who does all this evil stuff not the ordinary christians or muslims in the pews.

    1. The main thrust of the Bible is power, getting it, keeping it and using it to oppress and it has done that rather well for about two thousand years or so. It has nothing to do with social justice never had and never will. Religion is bunk.

      1. Obviously you have never read it dumbass!

      2. Paddyswurds 15 May 2012, 11:43am

        @Osric.. ..
        … …Hear, Hear!!

  13. Emancipation comes in stages just like civil partnership has come before equal marriage. The New Testament was quite radical in its day saying that women should learn. Now we have women priests in the Anglican church and soon women bishops.

    For some in the church to enforce a 2000 year old document on others is going against the tenants of the document itself, and for the those outside the church to think the Bible says these things is equally ludicrous!

  14. Note to the Catholic Church. Mark 10:14 ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me.’
    And suffer they did at the hands of some of your priests.

    1. the article is about anglican church in ireland

  15. auntie babs 14 May 2012, 12:15pm

    only briefly read it…..but haven’t they rather tied their hands here…

    That canon states that marriage should be regarded as “a union permanent and lifelong […] of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side, for the procreation and nurture of children, for the hallowing and right direction of the natural instincts and affections, and for the mutual society, help and comfort which the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity”.

    Wouldn’t this mean that they have now have to refuse to associate with people who divorce? with couples where one partner has an extra-marital affair, where the marriage does not produce children

    Dem churches gonna be pretty empty places if they enforce this properly but whats the betting that that this applies only to LGBT people and that the phrasing is only there so that they can appease equality laws when they are eventually challanged in the courts on this issue.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2012, 1:00pm

      Most so called ‘christian’ churches do not allow remarriage of divorced people in their places of worship who are compelled to have a civil marriage, one of the reasons why it was introduced in the UK as recently as the 19th century. Religious denominations really have no say in civil marriage so their irrational statements and pandering to fear in regard to equal marriage have no bearing although they are trying to impose a religious belief on it. it’s arguable that civil marriage has religious roots but the fact of the matter is, there is no religious component in a civil marriage ceremony, no clergy are involved, no procreation mandate. The bigots in opposition clearly are incapable of understanding that.

  16. The more society moves towards a more open, equal and understanding place, the more some religions and denominations seem determined to prove (and increase) how out of touch and irrelevant they are.

    1. That is because the truth in the bible is static. It is not relative and does not ‘move with the times’.

      1. Unlike the churches, who always have, no matter what they claim. Very few today defend slavery, absolute monarchy, or condemn the lending of money at interest, or insist that women obey their fathers and husbands in all instances. Those who do are generally considered ’embarrassing fringe sects’ by others nonetheless willing to style themselves as ‘Bible-believing Christians’.

      2. following your logic, bring back slavery, stoning and other forms of cruelty that are so popular in old testament

      3. The only truth in the bible is that the people who use it to gain power over others don’t believe in one word of it, and the people who are oppressed by it are fools to believe any of it.

      4. Of course

        The world is flat and only 6000 years old.

        Get real you dunce.

  17. ‘…The motion was passed by 81 clergy and 154 laity in favour and 53 clergy and 60 laity opposed…’

    still a lot of clergy voted against the motion.

  18. It amazes me that this quote “a union permanent and lifelong […] of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side, for the procreation and nurture of children”, there is nothing there at all which talks about the love two people have for each other. So in the eyes of the CofI two people who don’t love each other can get married and procreate. It is so moronic!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2012, 2:30pm

      It’s also the view of the CoE and Roman cults, among others. But….the thing is, the marriage laws in the UK do not mandate procreation as the purpose for marriage. Not every heterosexual couple choose to procreate, others are infertile. It’s really a contradiction of their beliefs.

  19. Just goes to show that the church is less and less relevant to our modern lives.
    Good thing is that thei stuff only applies to people who happen to believe in the church. All we others can do as we please, we do not need the blessings of the dusty oldfashioned remnatnts of the inquisition. May they all vanish in peace

  20. The greatest “fear” that people have of Gay marriage is that if Gay people are allowed to get married it somehow makes their marriages less valid. They feel this way because they view Gay people as “lessor” humans than they are — which is just pure and outright bigotry.

  21. Craig Nelson 14 May 2012, 2:12pm

    Cannot be normative – for whom?

    Presumably gay relationships are not normative for heterosexuals. Presumably heterosexal relationships are ‘normative’ for same sex couples – in that case give us the same rights as heterosexuals.

  22. Right – Because believing in some absurd bloody bronze age fairy tale is normative.

    People who f@nny about with the supernatural don’t get to tell anyone what is bloody “normal.”

  23. Only gay relationships can be normative for persons who are gay.
    Heterosexual relationships cannot be normative for persons who are gay.

    1. Prove that your morality is the only true one.
      Just save your time and ours and sod off.

  24. Dr Robin Guthrie 15 May 2012, 10:25am


    Left-handedness is not “normative” by their criteria.

    Does that mean that everyone can bully, castigate, remove rights from and generally hate left handed people.

    Stupid bl@@y religious bigots.

  25. David Skinner 15 May 2012, 2:04pm

    Praise God!! Amen.

    What is wrong with long term committed sexual relationships between, say, an uncle and nephew, two brothers, a father and son and the equivalent set of incestuous lesbian relationships? Clearly there is no fear of malformed offspring, simply because they cannot produce children – at least in the natural way- and the argument that these incestuous relationships are illegal deliberately and perversely refuses to acknowledge the fact that not so very long ago so were those of homosexuals. Those seeking for their incestuous, polygamous, paedophile and bestial relationships to be celebrated are using exactly the same arguments as the gays : we love one another. Whatever that term “love” means these days.

    1. Freak.

    2. David

      If you want to make it legal to have sex with your nephew – I suggest that you campaign for it. It has no relevance to our camapign for equality of loving LGBT monogamous couples.

      Either that or go back to your planning of Christian terrorism – you do still feel that you need to “take up arms” against LGBT people?

    3. You are right. Some of us have no moral objections to any sexual relationships between uncoerced and undeceived adults, or indeed to civil marriages or marriage equivalents between such. Sorry to shoot your beloved fox.

  26. David Skinner 15 May 2012, 2:23pm

    Dr Robin Guthies, listen here. Whether you write with your left hand, your right hand, your big toe or a pen stuck in your mouth, you have to write ( at least in the Occident) from left to right and from the top of the page to the bottom. This is the accepted convention and believe me; you do do it, – otherwise no would understand a word you were saying. You do this without a murmur.

    You may be homosexual, bisexual, omni-sexual, objectum sexual, auto- sexual or whatever sexual, but in order to create a family made up of the constituents parts of an extended familly that develops into a community and thus into a nation, you need to observe and follow the the universally recognised convention of marriage between a man and woman.

    1. Unless you live in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden. or in a jurisdiction of one of the other countries where same sex marriages are now legally recognised and where they seem to be managing quite well enough

    2. No you do not. What a crock.

      Therefore if you cannot bear brats you are of ZERO use to society. Is that what you are saying…?

    3. Dr Robin Guthrie 15 May 2012, 4:17pm

      “Listen Here”

      How dare you address me in that manner.

      Such rudeness.

    4. Now listen here – Christian terrorist David Skinner …

      Civil marriage has nothing to do with the Bible (the law has specifically said so for nearly 200 years in the UK) so your claims are irrational and irrelevant.

      Now, old chap, do show willing and go and read and understand the difference between mendacious theocracy and civil democracy and equality.

      Toot toot pip!

  27. David Skinner 15 May 2012, 5:34pm

    The institution of marriage goes back much further than even the Bible, the first five books of which were written in 14th century BC; it goes back to the beginning of history. All cultures, all people on earth that do dwell, have taken it as a given that marriage can only be between semen and eggs, between male and female chromosomes, genes , temperaments and personalities. Only this physical, psychological and spiritual relationship of the man ploughing his seed into the woman can produce a system, resulting in family, community and nation. This is a fact of life that no law can change. Let a nation attempt to break this natural law and it will break the nation.
    All is not well in the state of Denmark, neither is it in the rest of the countries cited that have embraced gay marriage. When one breaks physical laws, the consequences are often immediate. When one breaks moral laws, the consequences often take years, decades, even a hundred years to bear their bitter fruit.

  28. David Skinner 15 May 2012, 5:36pm

    Unless one is completely blind and deaf, one cannot help but notice that mankind is not becoming more mature. Though the graph of his technological achievements over the millennia has steadily risen , his own maturity is declining. He is a child in the possession of lethal weapons.
    In any event I have a passionate, consensual, healthy, committed and loving relationship with all of my welsh –cross- dressers . How could anyone be so heartless as to stand up and say that they have just cause to say why I should not also be joined to them in Holy Matrimony?

  29. If you’re an intelligent Christian then Read the “gay clobber passages” online, get the gay christian opinion and the conservative christian opinion on them. ask your priest and make up your own mind after careful consideration. THINK before you judge.

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