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Comment: As Quakers we rejoice at the Government’s bill to make same-sex marriage legal

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  1. Thank you, Mr Parker. It’s nicve to have a reminder that not all religions are as hateful and divisive as many might think listening to the rhetoric from some Christians recently.

    I do hope you speak out to the national media to show that equal marriage is NOT an attack on religious freedom, and that, indeed, banning EM would affect the religious freedom of people like the Quakers.

    1. Common sense 25 Jan 2013, 11:50am

      Quakers spearheaded the drive to allow religious celebration of civil partnerships and were the authors of Lord li’s amendment to bring that in. In 2008 our national body unanimously agreed that the time was right for equal marriage and that we as Quakers wish to celebrate these in outer meetings. This has all been amply publicised and widely reported not least in Pink News.

  2. They seem the most like the teachings of their messianic character – not sure how they feel about the OT (which is where the problems are).

    The problem is the “no true scotsman” concept, of course, that there is no such thing as a “real” christian and these guys are just as valid as any other.

    Still, if I had to have that in my life (I really don’t) might give them a long look. After all, every denomination cherry-picks somewhat, at least these are cherry-picking the good/humanist bits.

    1. technically, the Old Testament is supposed to be superseded by the teachings of Christ Himself. So any denomination that calls itself “christian” and which adheres to any laws drawn from the OT is effectively not a “true” Christian.

      So how the Society of Friends (Quakers) “feels about the OT” doesn’t really have much bearing on anything.

      And yes, there IS such a thing as a “true Christian”. Someone who follows, to the best of their abilities, the teachings of Christ. Not the teachings of a church, or the dogma of some religious hierarchy, but the actual teachings of Christ, which are to be found in exactly 4 places in the Bible: the Gospels. Period. Nowhere else.

      There’s no “cherry-picking” when you follow strictly that. There might be questions of interpretation of minor details, but that’s it.

      The Bible is not some monolithic, consistent literary work by a single author. It’s a compendium of religious writings that cover at least two completely separate faith groups.

      1. Laughing a little at this because, no. And here is where the cherry-picking comes in. Luke 24:44 (KJV since most common here):

        “Then He said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me’.” Words of Jesus, also both son of god and god itself, as given in the bible and endorsing the Old Testament.

        The scribblings of that raving hatemonger Paul in Timothy and Romans are also used to endorse the fire and brimstone viciousness of the OT.

        And no, there is no “real” christian. The Westboro Baptists are christian, the Quakers are christian.

        Nice try though (actually, not, since in churches in the UK people who call themselves christian are routinely read and indoctrinated in bits of the OT).

        1. thank-you for demonstrating that you don’t actually understand what it is you are quoting.

          and thank-you for placing yourself in exactly the same position as those who would use the Bible to inflict hatred on others. You are doing the exact same thing: misinterpreting.

          It just goes to show that there is as much hatred and misunderstanding on both sides of the issue.

        2. Nope. He is absolutely correct. There are are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations grouped as Church, Biblical, and Mystical forms. Each of these then subscribe to various Christologies of gnostic, adoptionist, and Pauline. There is no one ‘Christianity’ rather many ‘Christianities’. A gnostic mystical Christian can quite easily argue that the message of Christ is as a human representative of love and acceptance in the embrace of God. Quoting the bible means nothing to such a Christian and before you try and presume superiority over them I’ll remind you that this is amongst the earliest and most deliberately side-lined form and who have been engaged in disagreement and conflict with Pauline Christians from the start. The OT was only attached to the NT to verify three messianic claims – no other reason. So yes, he is absolutely correct. The NT is the only go-to source for Christians. Any ‘Christian’ who disagrees technically ignores the new covenant put in place by its messiah.

          1. Every christian is a damned cherry-picking hypocrite. But I am sure that the christians who aren’t according to YOU interpretation would be fascinated to know that they are not.

            SO by all means toddle off and argue about what you facile psychotic filthy desert djinn wants and who it likes the most.

  3. Craig Denney 25 Jan 2013, 11:21am

    I know a Quaker and she’s a homophobe!

    Will ‘all’ Quaker churches be holding same sex marriages or just a few?

    1. That There Other David 25 Jan 2013, 11:32am

      Good question. They don’t have the same rigid hierarchy as other churches. However, there will be homophobes in every congregation, but that doesn’t mean homophobes are in the majority. Your lady friend may have to accept that her fellow Quakers choose differently.

    2. Common sense 25 Jan 2013, 11:37am

      There is no creed and no imposed beliefs in Quaker meetings so I suppose there could be a few homophobic Quakers. I have never met one in all my years of being a Quaker but then I do not know every single member in Britain Yearly Meeting.

      As for the ubiquity of marriage services in the society of friends – yes it is for all meetings in the countries where CPs or marriage is legal for gay people.

      1. Craig Denney 25 Jan 2013, 12:11pm

        “I have never met one in all my years of being a Quaker”

        Really? Quakers are politicians, councillors and such like.
        Everybody knows they are not so good.

        1. Common sense 25 Jan 2013, 1:10pm

          Some might not be good people. Of course that is true. Bu I wonder why you posted that?

          1. Craig Denney 25 Jan 2013, 3:01pm

            Christians do lots of things in the community and Quakers run the communities via being politicians, councillors and such like, but when it comes to doing things in the community like running youth groups and old peoples homes, Quakers do nothing.

            Quakers are more like the conspiring Masons than a church.

            This homophobic Quaker I know, say’s she is not a homophobe and yet she prevents the gay community from growing because she says other religious people would not support change.

            Gay marriage is a good start, but you could of in the passed done things being politicians/councillors but you’ve done nothing in the little parish councils around the country.

          2. Common sense 25 Jan 2013, 9:48pm

            Actually Quakers in Britain do indeed run convalescent homes. They also run a few schools and through Quaker Social Action they are nagged in outreach with youth gangs, prisoners and the homeless in every city in the UK.

            there are quakers in politics now. not very many but maybe more than the proportion of quakers in Britain would dictate. it was not always like that though. quakers were originally banned from politics for the first 300 years of our existence. This is one reason why we have had a tendency to be strong in grassroots movements like the repeal of slavery, votes for women and, in recent years, the fight for gay right. i think you should actually read about what Quakers do before you pronounce on them.

    3. Maurice Nagington 25 Jan 2013, 11:41am

      It is my understanding that all Quaker meetings will be able to and willing to hold same-sex marriages. There may be some individuals who still have reservations, but Quakers function by making communal decisions by “discerning the will of ‘God’”. We made a very clear communal decision about conducting same sex marriages 3.5 years ago. It is not my understanding that any meetings have any intention to go against this communcal decision. All meetings should abide by the communal decision. Even the few Quakers I know who disagreed with this (and it really is afew nationally) agree that as a community we should be marrying same-sex couples because that is what we communally agreed to do.

      Therefore it is my understanding that many meetings cannot wait to begin offering this to their members and attenders who wish to have a same-sex marriage. None will not.

      1. Helen Gibbs 25 Jan 2013, 6:04pm

        We are certainly excited at the idea of celebrating same sex marriages in our meeting house in the fens!
        We will of course follow the practice of our community and seek with any couple their ‘clearness’ as to the commitment they are making to each other. Marriage is a serious step regardless of the genders involved, so we will all seek God’s guidance as we have in the past.
        Wisbech LM, Cambridgeshire AM

    4. Lucky you. According to the BBC religion site there are only 17,000 Quakers in the UK. That (2009) figure is probably inflated because they are every secular liberal’s favourite ‘church’ (they aren’t actually Christian any more). They are certainly not a growing denomination.

      1. Common sense 25 Jan 2013, 9:53pm

        We are not a growing denomination but then we are not a proselytising church. Our numbers have been stable over many years. I wonder why you say we are “not Christian”. Do you mean “not credal”? We hold no central believes but a great many Quakers, possibly a majority, would indeed call themselves Christian.

        1. Started out as a Christian organisation. Now something else. Make great porridge though.

          1. Common sense 27 Jan 2013, 6:12am

            We actually have nothing to do with the porridge company. They chose the name “Quaker” because it suggested wholesome values. I am curious though why you persist in saying Quakers are unchristian. You might be surprised on that front if you ever attend a meeting.

    5. So what do you want then? You (quite correctly) criticise and question Christianity but when it agrees and supports you, it’s not good enough?

      Maybe, just like the religiously dogmatic, you are also victim to hate and bigotry too, right? Are you sure you’re not Catholic or C of E? They hate the Quakers for supporting gay marriage as well. The Quakers and Unitarians are the ones who have most agitated with the government as religious groups to demand their gay congregants get the title ‘married’ but yet, somehow, they’re your problem. Really? How shameful.

  4. That does it! I’m joining The Quakers. (I’ve always liked their oats ….)

    1. That There Other David 25 Jan 2013, 3:12pm

      Cadbury chocolate is a Quaker invention too, even though it’s now ruled by that Phillip Morris Tobacco off-shoot Kraft Foods.

      I don’t love you Phillip Morris.

  5. Reading that has made wish that I believed in God but, having looked deep inside myself, I find that I don’t. Your next challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to persuade humans that it is not a good thing to eat other sentient creatures. Starting from now I give you 200 years.

    1. Not all Quakers believe in God either. Though they are a minority there are quite a few atheist Quakers ( though I believe the preferred term is “non-theistic”). Quakers are the most inclusive group I’ve encountered. Don’t let not believing in God stop you from joining! No one is going to judge you for not believing in God.

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 25 Jan 2013, 4:10pm

    Most welcome news and statement. I thank Mr. Parker for his support. I hope he makes his voice heard in the media as the vote approaches, enjoined by the Unitarians, Liberal and Reformed Judaism.

    1. The Idea of Quakersim is that we hold common actions and one is eqality. Everyone is equal,

      Some can’t believe in a ‘god’ / light but can concentrate on the actions. You don’t just wake up and believe in God one day and equally you may have times where you doubt / don’t believe. That doesn’t mean you can’t act these actions of love, peace, equality, truth. My meeting has a range of beliefs including pagan !

      I am very very happy that we are moving to more equal position on this. No one has the right to judge it is for each to find their way / truth. Ironically Quakers in the early days didn’t think that marriage was a convention that they needed to support becuase it was for God to create the union not some ‘minister.’ As a quaker I have married but I wasn’t initially keen on the idea and it took me 20 years. Quakers took to marriage so that there was no issue of their children being ‘bastards’ before the law and there was no issue with inheritance

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