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US: Washington National Cathedral to start marrying gay couples

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  1. While I applaud the move towards full equality for all, I believe it’s cynical. Church attendance is at an all time low. Is this simply an exercise in stemming the haemorrhage?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 9 Jan 2013, 12:30pm

      Yes, but attendance isn’t anywhere near as low in America compared to Europe. it’s one of the most religion-oriented western societies, just look at its politics, infested with religious nutters, especially in the republican party. You can’t even get to be president unless you profess a belief system, usually ‘christian’. Almost every speech a president makes is punctuated at the end with “god bless America”. I’m not aware of any other western democracy where that occurs. Very odd for a country that is supposed to have no state religion.

      1. So how do you explain the re-election of a pro-gay-marriage president? I think you’ll find that even America is fast becoming a nation of sceptics. They have seen, over and over, the hypocrisy of preachers who are tax dodgers, adulterers and closet gays. Religion in America (as elsewhere) is big business. Perhaps, in a recession, people are less inclined to fund hypocrisy and bigotry. Perhaps people are actually becoming kinder … and increasingly viewing religion as judgmental and divisive.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 9 Jan 2013, 2:08pm

          The re-election had more to do with fiscal policies, the economy, jobs and the republican party’s eye on austerity cuts to social programmes such as social security, medicare and medicaid while protecting the wealthiest 1% who pay next to nothing in taxes, and some corporations paying absolutely nothing.

          Obama’s election didn’t necessarily mean that it was the death knell for religious nutters in and outside of the political system. They are still very powerful and will continue to influence the republican party. There are now an even larger number of right wing hate groups, approximately 1400 of them and almost all religion based.

          1. I lived in Florida for five years. I detected a distinct shift in attitude. Trust me, financial policies,etc aside, Obama would NEVER have been re-elected if the nation’s conservative Christians still held any significant political sway. If I believed in conspiracy theories, I would put money on a gay rights orgaisation funding the Westboro Church nut-jobs. While they continue to demonstrate at soldiers’ funerals, even right-wing Christians will start to doubt the wisdom of being affiliated to ‘faith’.

        2. Maybe so, but still the one thing no-one in any position of power is able to be in the USA is an atheist. Gaad is still invoked with a regularity that is startling to most people in the UK.

          1. It is getting less so. You cannot keep having people like ‘god-fearing, anti-gay-marriage family-men’ like Swatznegger being exposed as adulterous hypocrites and catholic priests molesting children without organised religion continuing to be discredited and damaged.

          2. I’m glad you say this – it isn’t the impression one gets from the relentless barrage of articles on PN, but I’m aware that it is a huge country and it’s possible we’re really only hearing about the lunatic fringe.

          3. I rest my case …. the priest who has to call for 911 after becoming trapped in handcuffs. :)


          4. Much good sense on this thread but Obama possibly owes his re-election to the Republicans failure to put forward a viable candidate. Romney was an embarrassing clown.

  2. Jock S. Trap 9 Jan 2013, 12:21pm

    Excellent. So good when some take the lead to decency!

  3. Robert in S. Kensington 9 Jan 2013, 12:25pm

    Good news. I urge all Anglican clergy in favour of equal marriage to leave the CoE and start their own branch of the Episcopalians. Now that would send Canterbury into a tail-spin.

  4. It is about ceremony two adult people choose to celebrate their commitment to each other and to express love. Even love of God, which is beyond me but still. My wedding is no one else’s business. Huge business in it’s own right thou. And right so. It’s for Life. Amen.

  5. Pavlos Prince of Greece 9 Jan 2013, 12:35pm

    And when in Westminster Abbey and St. Paul Cathedral? It will be very symbolic act; one Conservative 2011 has claim, that Cameron wish ‘see gay couple marrying in Westminster Abbey’ Ironic, that exactly that now will happen in ‘conservative’ America. Yes, I know, Abbey is for Royals only. But who know – maybe, some time in the future, if monarchy still exist, and Church of England too …

    1. The rules with St Paul’s and St Peter’s (the abbey), as with most UK cathedrals, are different because of ancient conventions and hierarchies.

      1. Pavlos Prince of Greece 9 Jan 2013, 4:46pm

        Well, ‘old’ not necessary means ‘bad’. But, as once has written one Sicilian duke Lampedusa in his novel ‘Il Gatopardo’: ‘time by time some things must be changed, and only so all can rest as it was before’.

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