Fantastically brilliant words from Bishop Wilson. Sadly, his eloquent statement will fall on deaf ears among the majority in the CoE hierarchy. Bigotry is what they prefer knowing they have allies on the back benches and in the House of Lords.
I have a word of advice for Bishop Wilson and all who support him. Break away from Canterbury and form your own church.
You know, I think most Christians are probably aware of the theoretical possibilty of splitting off from their current church and forming a new one. It’s kind of a hobby of theirs.
Wow. Good for you, Al. The church desperately needs voices like this to ensure its survival. Religion isn’t (sadly) going to go away and statements like these from senior clergy will have a powerful effect.
Yes indeed! Soon to be Archbishop Welby, if he’s really sincere in having dialogue with LGBT people should take Bishop Wilson’s cue, but he won’t. He’ll defer to the bigots, the very same ones who opposed female bishops. Welby has NOTHING to offer and neither does the CoE as long as it remains vehemently opposed to equal marriage.
The bishop is a good man who uses the wit bestowed upon him to its potential, and he’s got his heart in the right place too. Exactly what you hope for in religious people and even expect in religious leaders.
Such a shame that so many of the latter are such dense, common sense challenged people whose sense of empathy has gone walkabouts. I wish they’d take a step back and re-think their position before they sound like right idiots who are past their best days. They really should take Bishop Wilson as a role model.
And I absolutely love what his parishioner said! A woman after my own heart. Well done.
PS: interesting insight about this about-turn in 1989. In future days the church will rue that this happened.
I wonder if this is what the Gov wanted? Pandering to the critics of this bill by being overly harsh has given the silent advocates for Gay Marriage the kick up the a*** they needed.
Maybe they will finally take a stand and not only ask for this law to be removed from the bill, but to Opt In?
We cam but hope
It probably wasn’t quite what they had in mind, Nivag, but I wouldn’t call what Maria Miller did overly harsh given the hateful rhetoric perpetrated by the CoE since the consultation began and concluded. It’s been an incessant litany of spiteful, mendacious commentary.. She gave them exactly what they wanted, full guarantees and protection from equal marriage. There aren’t enough of them in support to take a stand unfortunately. They fear more for their jobs than doing the right thing. They just don’t care enough to make a difference. I feel no sympathy for any of them, good or bad.
Personally, I hope they hand-wring themselves into oblivion. This kind of state-sponsored, official religion is an anachronism in the modern world. Backward-looking, divisive, irrlevant, hate-mongering. It’s the preserve of Daily Frail reading bigots, racists and homophobes. Shouldn’t we be demaning a complete separation of church and state and the removal of 40 unelected bishops from the House of Lords??
I totally concur, although the unelected bishops in the HoL is now down to 26.
Disestablishment would be desirable but the bigots of course will pin it on gay activists and equal marriage, the usual red herrings that really haven’t helped them of late.
I do not believe the figure has ever been higher than twenty six, this being the number that represented the number of English and Welsh dioceses around the time of the seperation of the English Church from the Roman communion. However the number of dioceses have grown since then – hence the confusion of many.
Jesus wept, were has he been hiding?
Its a pity his voice couldn’t have been hard loud and clear earlier by some of his church brethren
Quite! Part of the blame for the opt-in ban can be attributed to the small minority of Anglican clergy and their supportive congregants for not taking a a more pro-active approach if they really cared enough, but they didn’t. I have no sympathy, the CoE brought this on itself before and during the consultation. Rowan Williams could have diffused the situation by telling Lord Carey to shut up, the ringleader of religious nutter opposition in all this. Instead, he said nothing, allowed it get out of control and should take full responsiblity for the hateful rhetoric that he has never once condemned and neither has Justin Welby.
Although I whole heartedly agree with what you say, I think it is a little unfair to Rowan Williams. I will admit he has not handled the issue of sexuality all that well, however in the late eighties he was one of few to say the Church and the State’s unpleasant attitude towards homosexuals was wrong.
Why was this man not even considered for the top job?
You can see, from what he has written here, that under his leadership, the CofE would certainly be a better, more inclusive place.
I would also be intrigued to see the Osborne Report to which he refers.
Bishop of Buckingham became now a very clear, courageous and – what is most important – very conscious indeed leader of liberal wing in the Church of England. Its only one step towards same-sex marriage in the Church, but significant one. Lets see, where we will be in 5-10 years. Anyway, 10 years ago civil partnerships and gay adoption in the United Kingdom still was for many (even in the Labor party) a ‘very controversial piece of law’, and new Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has reputation of a ‘very liberal’ with his position tolerate gay rights supporters in the Church of England – now we have a Conservative government in favor of gay marriage and a evangelical Archbishop of Canterbury, who is ‘very open to dialog’ on this mater; for not very few people it can mean only one word: progress.
Unless the C of E itself steps into prevent this action, then they should be prepared to lose the families and friends of gay people along with anyone else who supports marriage equality. Many of them will choose to switch to the all inclusive churches for their own ceremonies instead. In 20-30 years’ time, after a few more generations have died away, the C of E will have hardly anyone in attendance. They were given the opportunity to move with the times if and when they wished to, to leave an open door, no-one was being forced to do anything. They have chosen to permanently close that door and speed up the inevitable end of the C of E.
Let’s not forget it opposed female bishops recently. It’s headed for extinction if it doesn ‘t join the 21st century. How on earth could it expect to appeal to a younger generation, especially women? Go into any Anglican church on a sunday and you’ll see how congregatoins have been decimated over the past 30 years. It’s rare to see a church packed. I don’t see it’s relevance any longer, not that I ever did. The CoE has imposed its own demise, thankfully.
I don’t think they quite expected the government to allow supportive denominations to marry us and were overly confident the CoE would win the argument because of those Tory backbenchers and bishops in the House of Lords. It’s fired back on all of them. They’ve now been isolated (Tory back benchers and bishops included) by default of this quadruple lock that will be implemented. They’ve been humiliated and they don’t like it one bit but really can’t retaliate because everything they feared has been appeased, air tight.
Another silver lining in this is that the Tory back benchers voting no to equal marriage will make the quadruple lock more significant and the church will have their staunchest allies to thank for it, a perverse sort of betrayal if you will.
All a bit late, in classic Anglican fashion. Disestablish them. Let them fight it out themselves without requiring everyone else’s attention every five minutes.
It’s so sad seeing sane and progressive men like this being drowned out by the conservative element in the Church. Hopefully their time will come.
Once again, well done Alan – they should have made you the new Archbishop of Canterbury
This should be a no-brainer. At the very least, Jesus was distinctly queer, in that he ignored the customary, arbitrary distinctions between people, reached out in particular to the marginalized, and denied the importance of biological family life,
He specifically did not reject gay men, as illustrated by the story of healing the Roman centurion’s “boy”, and included the distinctly unconventional household of Martha Mary and Lazarus among his closest friends.
And, as Robinson notes, the repeated Gospel references to the “disciple Jesus loved” make clear there was a special relationship of some kind, which may well have been sexual.
Too often, the churches have misrepresented the Christian message as hostile to homosexuality. In reality, we should see Jesus Christ as a queer icon.