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Gay Dean: Church of England’s attitude on marriage equality is ‘contemptible’

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  1. Lynda Yilmaz 15 Aug 2012, 4:54pm

    Good for him. I particularly liked the comment about the Church’s lack of support for gay Christians in Africa.

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Aug 2012, 5:07pm

    He is right, it is utterly contemptible as well as unchristian. If and when equal marriage passes and Nick Clegg’s support of religious denominations wanting to participate is included in the legislation, I think that will do even more harm to the CoE and putting it in a very unfavourable position. Younger people of faith who support equal marriage will leave in droves and join those denominations who support us. Opposition is going to make the major faiths even more irrelevant and out of touch as their congregations dwindle.

    1. Well, quite. Isn’t it true that the established churches’ opposition to marriage equality about losing power and influence? And what are they if they are not a powerful vested interest? A hollowed out bucket!

  3. What this man is doing is actually what you call leadership.

    I like the bit where he says “When we love somebody so much that we really do care more about them than we do ourselves, then we have found the greatest thing in life – the holiest part of us.”

    I have cousins who are highly religious which they ram down our throats at family functions. I can tell you that there is no indications that the husbands at least love their wife’s more than themselves. In fact they tend to treat their wives somewhat as inferior.

  4. Bravo Dr. John. There is a report, commissioned in 1989 by the House of Bishops of the Church of England. Where is it? It found that there was no biblical justification for not supporting ‘permanent homosexual relationships’. It has been suppressed, not because of any theological disagreement, but because it was felt that the results would be ‘disturbing to the faithful’.

      1. 144 pages of drivel.

        1. But interesting enough to have been suppressed, doug…

          1. If you say so.

      2. Gosh – this takes me back 25 years. At that time I lived in the North of England and was on one of those Diocesan Boards of Social Responsibility that was looking at this whole issue. We were so hopeful that it would lead to a change. What happened? In brief, the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher appointed George Carey in direct contravention of the favoured candidate Dr Habgood.
        Carey knew he was the also ran and never got over it but pursued a narrative of victimhood from then on. Thus the report was simply shelved. The subsequent Archbishop Rowan Williams has allowed himself to be wrongfooted by the bigots.
        25 years down the line I am out and happy and never likely to set foot in a church again. Faith, such as it was, has simply evaporated but it stills fills me with anger that decent people in the church are so gutless.

      3. Thank you Iris, this is the one.

  5. Cardinal Capone 15 Aug 2012, 5:42pm

    It’s about time that the liberals did more to stand up to the increasingly pentecostal-like fundamentalist take over of our national church that some people believe is going on.

    The problem I suppose is that those on our side naturally do not believe in imposing their views on everyone, whereas it is in the nature of the more fundamentalist sort to want to do precisely that.

    Until people become more intolerant of intolerance, bigots will always have an easy ride in controlling the church.

    1. Isn’t that what people say every time a church person stands up and is counted about LGBT issues. It seems as though every time this happens, some people think it is the first time.

      What about prior commetns by Dr John or the Bishop of Salisbury or the Bishop of Buckingham or the Bishop of Wakefield or the Vicar of Lancaster or the Parish in Sussex recently in the media or the Archbishop of Wales or Desmond Tutu or the Quakers or the Unitarians or the MCC – and I could go on.

  6. Don’t think he’s going to get very far. The homophobia in the CofE is so entrenched now its more or less what binds them all together. Jeffrey John is in a minority-the majority being either blatantly homophobic-or just keeping their mouths shut.

  7. I don’t believe in any of this hokum but his position shows how he and his enemies in the church can’t even speak the same language. He appeals to a fairly classical Christian theological position – incarnational and Trinitarian – and they to arbitrary and selective Biblical literalism. He is brave, but the break-up of this ghastly church cannot be stopped. It should certainly be disestablished ASAP.

  8. Glad he has finally realised what the rest of us have known for a long time, his religion is morally contemptible and has no place in a free society.

    1. I don’t agree. It is not about religious belief per se, but rather the abuse of power by vested interests in our society that is proving to be hard to burn out. They are like a cancer and the sooner we cut them out the better for all of us. As for people of faith, well I wouldn’t condemn them because if we do, then we lower ourselves to the level of the bishops in the established churches.

    2. someone else’s beliefs have no place in a free society? that just doesn’t make sense. if we live in a free society, then someone should be free to have religious beliefs. duh.

      1. I am not saying that having a personal faith is wrong, but organised religions have no place in a free society, because their very existence relies on controlling and separating their ‘faithful’ from ‘the others’.

        1. de Villiers 15 Aug 2012, 9:48pm

          You have made your fascist views on the imprisoning and execution of Christians very clear on other discussions

    3. You know Sevrin, I have little time for organised religion (though I do admit I rather like some of the buildings and appreciate the some of the ceremonies – on a historic/artistic level anyway) and I think many if not most unwittingly display the priority they place on influence and money rather than charitable values; but, all the same, surely in a free society people should also be free to believe in whatever nonsense they choose?

      It seems to me the real issue is not what people [are allowed to] believe, but the degree to which their beliefs can be imposed on others.

      1. Quite!

      2. de Villiers 15 Aug 2012, 9:49pm

        I agree entirely.

      3. Exactly, Rehan

        Unfortunately some of those who do try to impose their views/beliefs on others do sully those who do not seek to do so.

      4. organised religion was always used as a tool to control subjects, so its no suprising that those in charge of it are placed near the top in terms of power and wealth

  9. Jeffrey John would make a great Archbishop of Canterbury, but, then perhaps one is dreaming ?

  10. He’s simply turning up the heat.

  11. The God stuff is all nonsense of course but these strong words are an effective fight against the morally stagnant organisation from within.

  12. @Peter E
    I agree with you. Dr John is a fighter and as champion. It would be good for him to be a bishop, we need more muscle where it counts. There is no New Testament reason or reference as to why there should not be same sex marriages. Perhaps our gays priest are more dynamic and attract bigger congregations, so the heteros are frightened of losing their jobs.

    1. Fr. Mike Donaghy 20 Aug 2012, 7:14pm

      I would love to see Dr Jeffrey John become an Anglican Bishop in the Church of England. He has fought and suffered for the LGBT Equal Rights cause. He is a good and capable Priest and Dean who has been treated very unfairly.

      There is no hope of me becoming a Roman Catholic bishop but I will continue to fight for change in the R/C church too. Together, we are winning over hearts and minds, but sadly it takes generations to produce change.

  13. Fr. Mike Donaghy 20 Aug 2012, 6:56pm

    I agree with those who commend Dr Jeffrey John for his outspoken stance.

    I am an openly Gay (celibate) Catholic priest and I worry about being sacked because I am proud to be a Gay man too.

    Oh, we do have a long way to change yet, both in the world and in the Christian Church.

    Good for you Jeffrey; you have led the way, but I will follow.

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