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Church of England ‘threatens to obstruct democracy’ with equal marriage opposition

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  1. The church lies? Is that actually a revelation to anyone?

    1. Is it even news!! Churches have been telling lies to protect their notions of their power and influence for centuries!!!

      If Christ came back tomorrow they’d be in a hell of a rush to denounce him.

      1. Paddyswurds 26 Jun 2012, 5:22pm

        @ASAndy…
        ….”came back”..?? From where and is there any proof that such a person ever existed or was anything other than fiction, dreamed up by the Romans; Emperor Constantine to be exact around 347 CE.
        Given that the so called “old testament” prophesied a messiah for the Jews it was easy for any nut case to say I am the “son of god”.
        Today we would send for the dudes in the white coats to whisk such a fool off to the local asylum, although the police all over the western world hear equally ridiculous claims from drunks every weekend.

  2. Fantastic, well written response.

    In the eyes of the Bible, surely divorcees marrying is far more offensive to God than two gay Christians marrying?

    Afterall, Jesus seems to have said nothing about gay people, but denounces divorce quite plainly. “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder” or something like that.

    So the Church has to cope with non-religious people marrying, people of other faiths marrying…so why can’t it cope with two gay men marrying.

    Surely they’re not inferring that homosexuality is somehow a greater sin than not even believing in their god.

    The logic is all wrong, which further strengthens the point that it is bigotry and homophobia that inform their stance…and not scripture.

    1. Paddyswurds 26 Jun 2012, 5:34pm

      @Jake…
      ….of course it is bigotry and homophobia. They know as well as the rest of us that the whole buybull shyte is fiction compiled from the oral tradition of illiterate herdsmen in the deserts of Palestine thousands of years ago. Oh, don’t get me wrong, they will still use the picked out bits as well as the bits they invent, that suit their bigotry and homophobia against us, but that is only a veil to hide the real hatred that is in their corrupted hearts.
      In the not too distant future, Mankind will scorn and denounce these fools for their blatant hatred and indeed will start to prosecute any public utterances of such hatred. I feel that laws will be enacted to force religions into their churches and the privacy of their own homes and public displays of the hatred that is religion will rightly be prosecuted vigorously. The tide has, I am glad to say, already turned……..

  3. It’s even more worrying that a foreign head of state (the Pope) is doing so much to try and meddle in our domestic legislation.

    1. Damned right, Matt! I’ve ALWAYS been suspicious as to where the loyalties of Catholic MPs lie – the People, the State, the Queen (ALL British), or to the Bishop of Rome aka “the Pope” (a German masquerading as an Italian/Roman) And btw, Im NOT being Xeno/Theo-phobic, before anyone suggests such; my HUSBAND (as I, family, friends have ALWAYS called him) is a half-German, ex-catholic himself. :D

  4. it continues to amaze me how any gay person who cares about their rights can embrace Christianity where virtually every significant Christian institution is campaigning against the right to marry based on an entirely false legal argument. false

    1. In fairness, Christianity is more than just what those big wigs at the top say about LGBT issues.

      30,000 verses about love…6 supposedly about gay people.

      1. The join a gay friendly church if people must embrace fairy tales. Gay membership of the C of E or the Church of Rome is enabling their bigotry.

      2. and quite a few verses advocating for genocide, infanticide, and rape.
        Religion is about the dictatorship of a supernatural concept -god- over the human mind and human society. It has no place in politics, and the sooner tthe church is disestablished and the non-elected bishops are booted out of the house of lords the better for us all.

    2. Harry -it’s quite simple. Gay Christians cherry pick the bits of the bible that they want to believe, in exactly the way that homophobic bigots cherry pick which bits of the bible they want to believe.

  5. Disestablish the mischief-making bigots now. It is long overdue. Even those who support the Monarchy no longer have to accept the pre-Enlightenment fiction that the sovereign is Divinely Annointed. In practice he or she is king or queen on the say so of Parliament and the Privy Council and it has been that way since 1689. Time some of our weird British institutions were made to catch up with the reality behind them.

  6. Great to see a well thought out, authoritatively written and frankly honest legal opinion from the NSS.

    Whilst some Christians like the Bishops of Salisbury, Buckingham and Grantham are much more honest and upstanding in their support of equality – it is not surprisingly that those who (wrongly) feel their power and leadership is threatened, by granting civil rights equality to LGBT people in marriage, such as Sentamu would lie, deceive and manipulate.

    The fact is that “Quite properly, the State maintains its own definition of marriage and leaves religions to define marriage for their own purposes.” but certain so called Christians prefer to lie and deceive than accept the truth or behavve humanely and responsibly.

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Jun 2012, 2:15pm

    A well written argument from a legal standpoint and one that the government must recognise and uphold. I put my faith in the legal reasons for introducing equal marriage and as the article states, the CoE hasn’t provided any evidence to support it’s specious claims, not one legal shred of evidence.

    THe CoE is most definitely confusing the issues. Religious marriage and civil marriage are NOT the same, otherwise the latter would not have been introduced in 1836 and which in fact redefined marriage in the UK, circumventing religious marriage as the only legal union for hetero couples.

  8. The Church is entitled to hold a theological opinion. Theirs doesn’t remind me much of the Jesus I read about in the Bible, and as an atheist I’m not too concerned about Jesus’s opinion anyway. But I do think the Church is entitled to say that they think same-sex marriage is wrong.

    But the CofE erred badly by incorporating mendacious legal non-arguments. Are their lawyers delusional? Or are the bishops “sexing up” their lawyers’ findings?

    It was bad enough when they came out with similar garbage about religious CPs. They were utterly humiliated in the House of Lords debate, but now they have repeated this foot-shooting strategy over marriage.

    The Ten Commandments don’t say anything about gays, but they do say not to bear false witness. Lying over legal matters undermines people’s faith in justice, and harms the innocent. That is what the church has done here, Do they really think Jesus approves?

    1. Cardinal Capone 26 Jun 2012, 2:50pm

      Actually, ironically, the C of E said in the House of Lords debate on that that the opponents of religious CPs were wrong legally.

  9. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Jun 2012, 2:53pm

    I love what Keith Porteus Wood said….”The Church has now added ‘obstruction to democracy’ to the long list of arguments in favour of disestablishment.” Can the CoE really be that stupid to hasten its own demise? All I can say is, let it keep on opposing the inevitable and maybe disestablishment will come to fruition without much effort.

    1. It’s not THE CHURCH it’s a part of THE CHURCH actually a lot of us in “THE CHURCH” want gay marriage.

      1. The people are the chruch; without people, the illusions would not exist.

  10. The Queen is appointed by the God of the Anglican Church. All state authorities (parliament, courts, police, etc) derive their authority from the Queen. It’s on the Queen’s behalf that you can be arrested. It’s on the Queen’s behalf that you can be incarcerated.

    You cannot have a secular society AND a monarchy. In such a secular society, where would the monarchy derive its right to rule from??

    And the powers that be are not going to give up the monarchy without a fight!

    1. Monarchy is a form of government, not a religion, though it has been closely tied to religion for most of its existence. This does not mean however that it has to be, or that it ought to be, only that co-existence are possible.

      Correct me if I am wrong, but the Belgian monarchy, Danish monarchy, Spanish monarchy, Norwegian monarchy (and others I could mention) are not linked to an established church in the manner which the British monarchy is. Thus, effectively, they are secular (and in many cases popular) monarchies. Whether we should or should not have a monarchy in Britain is another question – but there is nothing to prevent disestablishment of the Church of England whilst retaining a monarch as head of state.

  11. Kornelijus Norvidas 26 Jun 2012, 4:00pm

    Same-sex marriage debate is new part in the State-church separation story. But what can be realistic alternative for secular state? The answer is just one – and bigots are angry. Very.

  12. Anti-gay Christian supremacy is on the rise, and you know how that kind of madness went on during World War 2.

  13. GulliverUK 26 Jun 2012, 4:44pm

    On Thursday 14 June, the consultation deadline, seven Oxford academics, including the authors, Professors Leslie Green (Philosophy of Law) and Diarmaid MacCulloch (History of the Church); the Rev Canon Dr Judith Maltby, Dr Adrian Kelly, and Will Jones, M.Phil., submitted a response to the church’s position, addressing each of these arguments in turn.

    This ^ is worth a read.
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/68797147/Response%20to%20CofE%20%2818-06-2012%29.pdf

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Jun 2012, 6:17pm

      Fantastically presented I might add. It clearly debunks the arguments of the CoE distinctly and succintly. It’s a brilliant analysis of equal marriage and should be taken very seriously by the government and those who represent us.

    2. Great article with well presented arguments. A fine balance of logic and humour.

      “Some of the arguments put forth in the church’s submission are historically inaccurate; others are logically incoherent; a few are outright silly.”

      “Clearly, the ability to procreate is no longer a prerequisite to marriage, if it ever was. Indeed, it would be objectionable in the extreme if the state limited marriage to those who could procreate. Moreover, it is now possible, and acceptable, for unmarried people to have and to rear children.”

      “Marriage in England, as in the rest of the United Kingdom, is a civil, contractual relationship, governed by civil law. Its religious element, including its celebration by a priest in a church, is a function of positive, not natural or divine, law. Parliament can differentiate legally between civil marriage, which is contractual, and religious marriage. It can modify one without affecting the other.”

      “The main thrust here is that far from being an impregnable

      1. fortress, the English, British and indeed United Kingdom law of marriage is more like a Trollopian country house—one that has been added onto and remodelled, modernized and adapted to suit new circumstances. Far from tearing down the ancient, central hall, the government’s proposal will welcome new, additional inhabitants into it. The issues here have to do with fairness and justice, and the (il-)logical and legal arguments advance by the Church of England should not get in the way of offering hospitality to a new group of beneficiaries of what all parties agree is an important institution.”

        Fantastic report – thanks, GulliverUK!

  14. Jock S. Trap 26 Jun 2012, 4:45pm

    Well written. Totally agree with this opinion. The churches ever desperation is just beginning to show the up not make then look good in any way.

    Churches have deliberately mislead it’s own people by telling what to do in lies. Never mind the lies but since when is telling your followers what to do a democracy?

    Again the church projects it’s own guilt and blames all else.

    There arguments are weak at best but sadly still damaging at worst to all those growing up to such prejudice. They clearly are holding what little grip on society they think they have remaining and the best times will be when they finally see it.

  15. At least they’re consistent in attempting to prevent the democratic rights of the majority in society as well as denying members of their own ranks three right to vote on the issue.

    physician – heal thyself!

  16. The power granted to the Church of England in this country is disproportionate to their representation in the populace. In a democracy they should be irrelevant.

  17. The official Church of England response to the Government misses the key point. For many same-sex couples, equal marriage is not about legal rights, but a recognition that marriage offers something more – that marriage embraces something deeply spiritual which strengthens both the couple and society. In failing to recognise this, the Church of England has impoverished its own teaching on marriage.

    As the recent letter to The Times by senior Church of England clergy noted, “The Church calls marriage holy or sacramental because the covenant relationship of faithful committed love between the couple reflects the covenanted love and commitment between God and his Church… So the fact that there are same-sex couples who want to embrace marriage should be a cause for rejoicing in the Christian Church.”

    The widespread criticism of the statement from within the Church of England that has followed its publication reflects the scandalous lack of consultation in its preparation. There

    1. has been no discussion in the General Synod, or in the dioceses, and needless to say LGB&T members of the Church as represented by our Coalition partners, were also excluded from those discussions.

  18. Interesting commentary from Changing Attitudes which accuses the leadership of the CoE of misleading the public:

    http://changingattitude.org.uk/archives/6056

    “The House of Bishops’ guidelines and teaching are already disregarded by a significant number of bishops. It is therefore dishonest to have submitted a response which fails to reflect this.”

    “The submission is also totally misleading about the European Court of Human Rights case “Schalk and Kopf v. Austria.” The outcome of that case is the exact opposite of that implied in the bishops’ document. The legal office at Church House, not the Archbishops’ Council or the House of Bishops, has to accept responsibility for this serious error.”

    “The response claims in paragraph 15 that “the introduction of civil partnerships … was supported by the majority of our bishops who voted on the legislation in 2004 when it was before the House of Lords”, referring to the final vote. This ignores the fact that in the principal Lords debates on

    1. the Bill (in Grand Committee and Report), the initially successful wrecking amendment was co-sponsored by one bishop and supported by five others. Paragraph 15 is therefore seriously misleading.”

      “we do not know is how the diversity of opinion in the Church comes to be distilled into a document which has provoked many longstanding members of the C of E to abandon their parish church and their active involvement in Christian life and ministry. A very unbalanced Church is evolving as a result of the conservative stance emanating from Church House.”

  19. Worth checking out this argument as to why the CoE (and in particular Lord Carey) is wrong:

    http://queeringthechurch.com/2012/06/13/a-reasonable-and-informed-article-that-proves-the-church-of-england-wrong/

    “Britain has had mutually contradictory versions of matrimony since 1844. Church Canon law is firmly against divorce. The Church keeps its Canon law, and yet lives with the reality of civil law permitting divorce, while the Church doesn’t grant divorces. The accommodation Church and State have reached since mid Victorian times is that its religious ministers exercise their conscience about whether or not to bless any remarriages of divorcees. Some vicars do, some don’t.”

    “The Church and George Carey have raised the issue that there is potentially a similar conflict about what constitutes a marriage under Canon law and the proposal to adapt the statute law to remove the male and female couple requirement in civil marriage. Lawyers will need to debate whether what the Church and

    1. George Carey say is an actual conflict between canon and statutory law. Just because the Church of England says there is doesn’t mean that there is. It’s just one Church lawyer’s opinion. Other lawyers are likely to disagree, because lawyers are notorious for disagreeing and disputing the law. We won’t actually be able to truly tell if the legal conflict over the definition of marriage is real until the draft law is published [church opinion is on an unpublished matter currently!], and expert lawyers can then examine the detail.”

      “drags in the Queen’s coronation oath to protect the settlement of the ‘established’ church. This oath is an ancient historical relic from the tempestuous times when the English protestant state wanted to make sure no Catholic monarch or Catholic sympathiser could undermine the protestantism of the Church of England.

      It has no legally binding force on Parliament. It’s a personal commitment made by the Queen, but in our constitutional monarchy, she has to do

    2. as she’s advised by her Prime Minister and has to sign into law whatever laws Parliament passes.

      The Queen personally disapproves of divorce and this is not allowed in the Church’s canon law, but both of her children are divorced or separated, and she lives with the reality that the heir to the throne has remarried a divorced woman. He didn’t have a Church wedding for that marriage because the Queen refused and she even refused to attend his registry office wedding. Many of our monarchs over hundreds of years have failed to keep their coronation oaths and have not obeyed – as the Church’s Supreme Governor – their own Church’s teachings on marriage, as seen in their common weakness for serial adultery. The Church has survived despite these failures, and remained fully ‘established’.

      Divorce in the present royal family and the heir to the throne’s marriage to a divorcee similarly can also be said to undermine the ‘establishment’ of the Church of England.

      However this is all of mere

  20. Keith Farrell 26 Jun 2012, 11:44pm

    I gather the churches here would also like to see the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill (often called the “Kill the Gays bill” in the media) death penalty or life imprisonment Uganda’s Catholic bishops are calling for the revival of the notorious ‘kill the gays’ bill, despite previously opposing it. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which calls for the execution of gays in the African country, was effectively shelved last year by the government, following sustained pressure from international donor countries. Despite repeated claims to the contrary, including some unfortunate mainstream reporting, the last version of the bill contained the death penalty in some circumstances. The Catholic Church had previously been the sole major religion in Uganda in opposition to the bill. But according to the Daily Monitor, at the annual conference of the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC), an ecumenical body which brings together the Anglican, Catholic and

  21. If I was in any doubt about the calibre of people who post on this site it has been removed today.

    2 comments on this articfle about homeless kids 39 on marriage.

    You bunch of selfish twats

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/06/26/video-cyndi-lauper-launches-organisation-for-homeless-lgbt-youth-in-the-us/

    1. Perhaps because most people are on the same page regarding homeless kids.
      Once you’ve covered “They’re homeless and that needs sorting but it looks like Cindi Lauper’s on the case” what’s left to be said?
      Your whataboutery guilt trip might be more compelling if one of us posted “I’m all in favour of withholding the rights of homeless kids and I don’t care what anyone thinks”.
      As it stands I can’t see two sides to that issue.

    2. I agree with supporting homelessness (whatever the orientation of the homeless) and one of the charities I regularly support is connected to homelessness. I do not feel the need to add to this particular story unless comment is added that I disagree with. The comments sections are for debate – not being sycophantic.

      However, my supporting equal marriage does not mean I ignore other issues – I am able to multi task and make support financially, practically and verbally where appropriate.

      1. Stu

        As much nosise about marriage should have been made about our youth living on the streets. Right wing middle class gay men don’t seen to care about homeless people.

        1. Perhaps they weren’t aware of the problem. Perhaps they do a lot of work for charity but they don’t like to talk about it. Maybe they work every weekend in a soupkitchen. Maybe they kick homeless people in the street. Or maybe all or none of the above.
          You can’t jump to sweeping conclusions based on whether they comment on something or not.

        2. I do not choose whether I support equality for LGBT people (including marriage) or whether I support homeless people – I support both.

          I mainly support homeless people financially, but have done so practically and verbally.

          I mainly support equality verbally, but have done so financially and practically.

          I find your suggestion that people who voice support for marriage equality by correlation do not support homeless people to be false, condescending and ignorant. It is formed on your perception without knowing the facts of the individual views of people.

      2. Cardinal Capone 27 Jun 2012, 10:37am

        You support homelessness? Shouldn’t you be opposing it?

        1. My support is for an organisation supporting homeless people.

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