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Archbishop of Canterbury: Church of England not blessing gay marriages may be seen as ‘akin to racism’

  • Guest

    Interesting. I agree with him (now I’m tempted to wash my mouth out with soap). It is akin to racism. It’s discrimination based on a genetic trait. Be it the tone of one’s skin, or the orientation one is attracted to.
    However, I’m not wanting to the church to be forced into marrying same sex couples. They should *want* to do it.
    Who wants to get married by a bishop who’s reluctant to perform the ceremony?
    I’m much rather have a humanistic ceremony, since I am a humanist after all.

    • George Broadhead

      As a fellow Humanist, I suggest you use an upper case ‘H’ or Humanist

    • Jesus_Mohammed

      True, no one wants to be married by “a bishop who’s reluctant to perform the ceremony”. But as Humanists we do not, of course, want any bishop, or bishopess, within a 100 metre radius of our same-sex wedding ceremonies, do we! But just as bad as “a bishop who’s reluctant to perform the ceremony”, is that damned, holier-than-thou Registrar/Clerk person down at the local Registry Office who’s also “reluctant to perform the ceremony”! My partner and I found we were saddled with one such! (And after duly submitting a powerful written complaint to the County Registrar, were advised that the person in question had been hauled over the coals.)

  • Cal

    This is good. Many will disagree with him, especially in the developing world but ‘slowly slowly catchy monkey’.

  • Robert W. Pierce

    Blimey, could it be the ever dwindling numbers in the CofE? They know the majority of the younger generation, the future of the church, show little interest or identify as Anglicans and who support of equal marriage. Welby ought to at least allow individual clergy to use their own discretion if they wish to conduct marriages for gay couples if it can’t come to universal acceptance of it, just like the Episcopalians in N. America. Problem solved.

  • RevDrJohnHunt

    1. It was a quadruple lock, not a triple one. —

    2. The C of E, wildly clutching at straws, is drowning: though NOT because of the rain and floods. (Couldn’t they just build another Ark?) Report today explaining WHY they’re suddenly anxious to allow women bishops. —

    Writing on the wall: women bishops needed as C of E “has ‘overfished the shallow pond’ of male candidates”

  • Truth

    I think, by expressly forbidding religions from performing gay weddings, the government played a blinder. By doing so, outdated, bigoted, misogynist, homophobic institutions like the CofE have been further marginalised and made even more irrelevant. So, they should either stop using that old novel to be so selectively ‘anti’ or they must wither on the vine.

    • I agree wholeheartedly, but the same sex marriage bill would have failed had they not done so.

  • Their music is wonderful, their architecture among the most spectacular on the planet. On “the gays”, not so great, but Welby seems to me to be “evolving”.

  • BennieM

    I find the whole idea of church blessings a bit odd. I know it’s not related to same sex marriage, but I remember thinking how ludicrous it was when Charles & Camilla couldn’t have a church wedding so got hitched in the morning in the local registry office then had a big church blessing ceremony in the afternoon. Why was a blessing acceptable but not a wedding ceremony? Religion is really just a load of nonsense.

    • Peter Barrett

      Camilla was not able to re marry in the Church of England because she was a divorcee. Her first husband was still alive. Although the church accepts that marriages break down, the belief that marriage is indissoluble still holds. The church solemnizes holy matrimony, the vows are taken for life and prayers include growing in love together, for better or worse; that no one can break that marriage. If you look at the theology behind holy matrimony, try to understand the mechanics of the church of england and other established churches, you will understand the rules behind it. Charles and Camilla’s union was blessed in church, they did not take their vows in church, they said a public prayer of repentance for the unhappiness and damage they had caused ( to Diana ) It shows your ignorance on the matter to make negative comments on this subject and reveals your lack of understanding of the mechanics of the C of E.: What is your premise for stating that ‘Religion is really just a load of nonsense’.??? That is an insulting phrase to a lot of people, It’s akin to someone saying that what you believe in is a lot of nonsence, in those words and that would be offensive. I think you not only show lack of insight into the Cof E, your comments could be misconstued. You need to back up what you say with why it is like this. Clearly, you have not been trained to discuss a subject objectively.

      • BennieM

        Oh, I fully admit to not having studied theology or religion or to knowing anything about the church of England (having been raised a catholic myself). But the idea that somebody needs to be trained in a subject to be able to express an opinion is rather sinister. I’ve clearly hit a raw nerve, and your comments throughout this thread obviously mean you are in thrall to religion to such an extent that you can’t even accept criticism of it, and you are hardly accepting of gay equality. Same sex marriage is simply about giving gay people the right to marry, it’s not about curbing religious privilege. People like you are trying to make it into that.

        As for my original comment, the church of England wouldn’t marry a couple for whatever reason (Charles & Camilla in my example) yet that same church blessed their marriage a few hours later, thus approving of it. Why not just marry them in the first place?

        Same sex marriage is legal in England, Wales and now Scotland (where I am from and still live), so religious homophobes have lost this battle – one that you yourselves chose to fight.

      • Jean – Paul

        Peter – /You need to back up what you say with why it is like this. Clearly, you have not been trained to discuss a subject objectively.// — Why don’t you give us the example and back up what you say with a slightest shred of evidence that a deity exists before trying to validate the laws and norms of religion? ummmmmm

    • Jean – Paul

      A bit odd indeed. Anyone who has the slightest familiarity with critical thinking will agree that there is no better way to misconstrue reality than to approach it through the eyes of religious faith, aka superstition.

      • Peter Narrett

        It’s amazing, you think religious faith is superstition. Why, is it so important that you want church weddings? I understand, it’s for the music, the bells and the romantic architecture and not to forget that word ‘equality’ . I have a question… Are men and women equal physically? That question is nothing to do with being gay, which I know is not a choice, it’s not a lifestyle choice, it’s innate and who we are. However, I can’t for the sake of me understand this need to be so confrontational over such a diverse issue as Christian marriage. I don’t think that Jesus would want that. If you want the church to recognise same sex unions then it is a matter for prayer, understanding on both sides.
        If that’s too difficult, then there is now same sex civil marriage enshrined in law. I think arguing and confronting any church without fully understanding the theology or Christian message shows unwillingness to embrace something new.

        • Jean – Paul

          Why is believing that religious faith is superstition so amazing? Faith is based on myths much as faith in Odin, Poseidon or Osiris used to be.

          From my point of view, it’s amazing that you pretend to know something you really do not know. How could you know what Jesus would want. Do you know what Peter Pan would want?

          Pretending to know something you don’t know, that’s what faith is… and the problems faith is causing in the UK are similar to those caused by other faiths that insist on usurping political power, i.e. Islam.

          What exactly is new about the Christian message? The myth of redemption through human sacrifice is as old as the hills, and the Golden Rule existed centuries before Genesis was composed by some bronze age nomad.

          To quote from your original comment: /// Clearly, you have not been trained to discuss a subject objectively.///

          • Jean – Paul

            btw, is it Peter Barrett or Peter Narrett :P

          • Peter Narrett

            Whatever you say Jean/Jean-Paul, you must be correct about faith and religion, i.e. Christianity and Islam…they irritate you as do opinions that differ from your own. I’m not going to say that you are narrow minded or unreasonable because that is what you want, an argument. Keep to your views, that’s fine, but allow others who don’t share your them to hold their own. This sort of bigotry towards those accused of the same isn’t anything new. Why would you understand someone else’s faith? It doesn’t conform to your trendy view of equality. As I pointed out earlier, you have been successful in getting marriage redefined ( I disagree and when you say opened up to all) I thought civil partnerships were fine… However, leave those who have the faith you seem to despise, i.e. Christian, Islam etc to their views points so long as it doesn’t interfere with yours,. My guess is this, if you push too hard, you will cause much discontent and unrest. Life isn’t equal, it isn’t fair. Men and women whether they love each other or a member of the opposite sex are still a different sex. I personally think , however, that you will knit pick and argue until you are blue in the face. That is the way you are presenting yourself, as someone who comes across with spite and the odd little venomous quip, which is only amusing to yourself. You are entitled to your views, but you cannot discuss politely or with respect for the other person. How can you expect the same?

          • Harry

            What you have written peter would make more sense if the mainstream churches had not (metaphorically) moved heaven and earth in an attempt to stop gays having the basic civil right of marriage.

            Sadly the day of live and let live has gone: we now realise that the churches are not merely trying to preserve their own rights to restrict marriage to what their own doctrine said (that was never in doubt) but to stop marriage being made equal for the secular majority.

          • Peter Barrett

            I agree with you there Harry. Secular marriage being made equal as it has been as apart from ‘traditional’ christian marriage; the former has been enshined in law now and was voted for by a majority. Perhaps the best way forward is to live and let live, what a lovely life if that could happen. The church doesn’t need the protection of the quadruple lock, it would have to pass its own changes before a synod. I think what is happening is there is unrest within the Cof E, there are some, both laity and clergy who would like to see the solenmization of marriage offered to both same sex as well as opposite sex. At the moment, I think you maybe very right that the church in trying to preserve it’s own right to restrict marriage to what it’s own doctrine says ( as you say, never in doubt) in order to stop marriage being made equal for the secular majority may have caused itself unrest.

            Such a shame that people cannot live side by side, recognising that each has its own different opionion on things in life without segregating the other. I have always thought that it would be nice one day to see people living together, mixing freely whatever their sexuality, ie, not having to hide who they are.

          • Jean – Paul

            the whole point of debating and critical thinking is that some ideas are better than others, Peter. But if you are going to whine and resort to ad hominem, then I’ll leave you to your delusions.

      • sJames6621

        add” for power mongering and control freakism”

  • rumbelow

    Until the Anglican church revises it’s homophobic interpretation of scripture it will remain impossible to take Welby too seriously, As Robert W. Pierce pointed out in his comment , allowing individual clergy to follow their own conscience on whether they conduct same sex marriages would at least indicate some sincerity on Welby’s part.

    Until the Anglican church can accept that ordinary consenting same sex relationships are neither described nor condemned in scripture, and until the church shows willing to distinguish between ritual same sex acts as part of pagan worship, as well as abusive and commercial same sex acts as described in scripture and today’s ordinary consenting loving same sex relationships not addressed by scripture then it will remain intrinsically an anti-gay and homophobic organisation.

  • Jones

    He is right. I’m sure (and hope) that in a few decades time the gay rights battle will be compared to the civil rights movement of black people. Because that’s what it is, equal people fighting for equal rights.

    • Peter Barrett

      Let’s not forget those who want to become a book, those who want to marry a horse or a donkey… Equal rights for all… What a world

      • Jean – Paul

        Running out of reasonable things to say, are we?

        • Peter Barrett

          How you want a good argument Jean Paul… I know your type…

          • Jean – Paul

            Oppose all religions,
            because they all are full of nonsense,
            and they all are based on superstition,
            and fear of the unseen.

            You have yet to prove the existence of a deity and you are carrying on as if nothing you say needs evidence. You have no idea how ridiculous you are.

  • Sparkyu1

    That would be because it is – the church rejecting gay people and gay unions just because of the sexuality of those involved is bigoted – just as if they’d rejected them because of their race

    But the same applies if you make a separate not-really-a-marriage-because-we’re-bigots blessing as opposed to your normal marriage blessing.

    And if people think you are a bigot Welby, it’s because you are – along with the bigoted church you lead. Stop scrambling for better PR in the wake of the hate you peddle

  • Jesus_Mohammed

    We have to applaud this Jesus-Believer for so adroitly negotiating the tightrope! He’s deluded, but at least he’s walking the rope – unlike the other deluded ones, in Rome, Cairo, and Tehran!

    • Lanrob

      He is going to fall of very soon

      • Peter Barrett

        Why would you say something like that?

    • Peter Barrett

      Judgmental and offensive statement. You could be offending a lot of religious bodies by this one statement. Also, if you are going to state that the Archbishop is deluded, please state why you think this and state it is in your opinion. You do not like it when the same is said of what you believe in.

      • Harry

        I think, Peter, you may be misguidedly assuming that most gays care in the slightest about offending god-botherers who have campaigned so vigorously against gays’ human rights. Your assumption is incorrect: we don’t.

        • Peter Barrett

          Harry, I am not casting any aspersions about gay people. I tend to think about people in general irrespective of their sexuality. That is where I think people are becoming very sensitive about this whole issue. Actually, I am appalled at the way the whole thing has been handled. I feel that the David Cameron is to blame for a lot of the division that has happened as a result of the same sex marriage act 2013. He is a man who was determined to bring about same sex marriage and who told the church to get on with it. He also made a bland statement about letting the Queen know how thankful he was that she had signed the bill. The monarch merely acts on behalf of her advisors. The feelings of many church goers have not been taken into account. I don’t say this lightly; gay and straight church goers, I might add. Why the hysteria about the church’s attitude now that marriage has been ‘redefined’? It is because, certain factions are unhappy that the church does not and will not solemnize marriage. For those people who say it is only a matter of time, they need to understand the mechanics of the church, read the scriptures and try to understand the reasoning behind. Sexuality is very complex. It is not before time that same sex relationships were recognised and that has happened with civil partnerships… I hear your argument that other countries don’t recognise it, however, many do and have similar arrangements. I personally think it is sad that so many people see fit to attack the church or England and come out with a string of rhetorical abuse, without fully understanding scriptural arguments and the main basis of the christian marriage.. I don’t expect it something that people will like, iit is a simple enough message, there are many people both gay and straight who live good christian lives without this persecution of people with religious beliefs. It is not good. You have won the battle of same sex ‘marriage’, perhaps when people are in it, they will see it has little difference to civil partnership and wonder what all the fuss was about. It’s more than a word to some and I feel that is not being respected. Isn’t it time to leave the C of E alone. It isn’t a political matter, there are many in the church who really should be left alone to their faith, whether you like it or not.

          • Jean – Paul

            Try to snap out of it, will you?

          • Peter Narrett

            Hit a nerve hey Jean-Paul….is the garden not as green as you would like???? Snap out of it yourself. You have got your equal status. You think faith is like superstition, so why would you want equal marriage recognised by such a church? Bit of a contradiction in terms hey?

          • Colin

            I’ve just read the whole thread. Let me state from the outset having been brought up a catholic, alter boy crap as well. I have no understanding as to why people need a god of any sort. To me it shows their character weakness and these people need help.
            The past is gone and religion holds the planet back. No one has met a god.
            Why do we use electricity it wasn’t around when simple books were written by fallible men.
            To me you are pushing your agenda and taking the high road. Others seek change to foster equality, inclusiveness, self esteem, participation, self realisation for themselves and society. Not one church does this. Why are there so many churches…speaks for it’s self.
            Get rid of churches and invest in community centers which should be open 24 hours a day.

          • Harry

            Please don’t be silly. The believers’ anti-equality views have not been taken into account (the only way they’d have been satisfied would have been for the whole Bill to have been dropped) because they are in a small minority and more importantly because human rights are not subject to majority vote.

            No-one is persecuting believers – they have the rights of freedom of speech they always did have. But the right of freedom of speech does not mean that people are free from criticisms if what they say is bigotted and offensive.

            This is a political matter – the Church of England issn arm of the State and the sooner it ceases to be one the better: the state should not sponsor bigotry.

          • Peter Barrett

            You are being silly. You are not satisfied with what you have got. If you had read the article by the Archbishop of Canterbury correctly, you would see what it is saying. There is absolutely nothing in it that is offensive or bigoted.

            It does seem to me that you really don’t like a differing opinion over the subject of marriage. It actually isn’t a political matter, it involves the church as well as the state



            You make the accusation that ‘the state should not sponsor bigotry’, you should be ready for people to speak back to you in defense of how they feel. It is not bigotry to hold a differing viewpoint to your own. The definition of bigotry ‘intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself.’ I accept your viewpoint, I don’t agree, I’m not intolerant of it and I have explained why I feel this way. I think you are extremely intolerant, accusing and offensive in what you say. That is bigotry.

        • Peter Narrett

          It’s obvious that you don’t care about offending ‘God – bother ears’ as you call them…name calling isn’t right. One is allowed a point of view and to believe in traditional marriage. I think you will find that many of the people you are against have campaigned for not against gay human rights. Archbishop Ramsay of Canterbury campaigned with vigour against the criminalisation of homosexuality in the 1960’s. Many Christians rightly abhor the past treatment of governments toward gay people and rightly so. However, speaking up for marriage which many believe to be a sacrament has caused much angst and you are wrong when you think people who stand up and oppose same sex marriage as being against you, they are not… They just don’t see marriage as an equal issue. All that is asked is that you respect their belief in the same way as you want to be respected. No one really wants bad feeling. That’s how wars are started. I believe that now is the time to stand back, enough is enough, you have same sex marriage enshrined in law, but the Cof E does not solemnize those unions. It is not homophobic. The Church of England website explains why it believes this and is a good site to read.

          • Harry

            Have you any other arguments against marriage equality than it “causes angst”?

            And their entitlement,i repeat, is not respect but tolerance. No-one is criminalising the sort of nonsense about marriage spoken by the diminishing Christian community in this country.

        • Lisa

          But these ‘God-botherers’ you speak of have to care about what gays think about their opinion in regards to their religious beliefs?

          • Colin

            We have to deal with those who oppose us. Don’t for a second think a sound bite or two has changed anything in any church for decades. We hear it every day, in newsmedia, in parliament by old bigots. And they use religion to their ends and religious leaders do not speak out or show leadership in any way.
            Human rights first. Get silly gods off this planet please. Two hours in a community center will make you feel a hell of a lot better than in a church service.

  • John

    I kind of get the impression that Welby is slowly trying to get the CofE to accept gay marriage. He can’t come out and support it directly yet but he realises that they are fast becoming outdated. I don’t know his motives (it’s probably just PR) but he is sowing the seeds. It’s only a matter of years before the CofE officially changes its position on gay marriage.

    • Peter Barrett

      If you are correct, then the CofE could well disestablish. This is a contentious issue within the church. One won’t see it happening in the Roman Catholic church. Would you be happy to see the gospels rewritten to accommodate ‘ ‘same sex marriage’ a term which by the way is a contadiction in terms to most people who believe in the sanctity of marriage.
      We all have choice, and that choice is now much simpler than its ever been. With the introduction of the same sex marriage act (2013), gay marriage is enshrined in law. Marriage has been re defined, or to save argument extended to all; surely, it is only right now that the argument has been won to be magnanimous in victory and allow those people who belong to the established church to hold their views. It is called religious freedom. Which side is now being bigoted? No one has the right to judge, only God can do that. We all have choice, and as from March, people can marry whoever they want. That is a good thing for those who believe in absolute equality, although I suspect something else will now be on the agenda. It’s time not to criticize those who support traditional marriage, ie marriages which are solemnized in church. Perhaps, one day soon, blessings of all lifelong relationships will be offered. It is important to remember that this is a matter enshrined in the canon laws of the church and the land and cannot be easily compromised upon over night. Until that time, wouldn’t it be more helpful to love our neighbours as they do us, to stop condemning and to look at the bigger picture. I know for a fact that many of those, both gay and straight who have had a problem with ‘marriage’, the institution being altered, have had their reasons, have not been listened too and many, not all, are not homophobic. To accuse them of being so is a gross insult.

      • Jean – Paul

        /// No one has the right to judge, only God can do that./// Of course we can judge… that’s what minds are for ! The Enlightenment was better than the Dark Ages, right? Some ideas are better than others.

      • Cal

        Goodness, you’re a bore.

  • Flossy

    What?!?! One form of discrimination (racism), and another (homophobia), might be seen in the future as the same thing …. discrimination? Check out the big brain!

    • Peter Barrett


  • David Greensmith

    Aw bless. He thinks that refusing to bless same sex marriages will make the CoE appear irrelevant. He hasn’t twigged that they already are.

  • Olterigo

    Blessings? How about the Church of England address the approach of its many branches in Africa supporting openly incarceration and death penalty for LGBTs?

    • Jean – Paul

      good one, Olterigo.

  • Philip Breen

    On the basis of Welby’s arguments, which probably apply to all Christian denominations in the first world, will the Catholic Church look to find a way for change too, or is that impossible?

    • Jean – Paul

      I expect the Catholic Church will reform its theology immediately following the Islamic Reformation.

      • Peter Barrett

        What an uninformed and non sensensical thing to say!

        • Jean – Paul


          • Peter Barrett

            It shows ignorance and lack of knowledge… ‘the Catholic Church will reform it’s theology immediately following the Islamic Reformation’????????????

          • Jean – Paul

            a tad too fine for you? What are the chances that Islam will reform its theology? Islam will never, not ever, reform its theology. And neither will the RC Church. Shall I spell it out for you?

            Your own lack of knowledge outside your own culture is appalling.

  • If anyone would like to be married in a church (legally and not just a blessing), we’d be glad to marry you and your partner (same or opposite sex) in our registered church building in Bournemouth.

  • Lanrob

    The Archbishop of Canterbury.

    The Archbishop of Canterbury has told the Church of England it may have
    to accept changes that many members do not like for the sake of unity – as it
    prepares for a battle over wedding-like blessing services for gay couples.

    What you are doing Justin Welby is forsaking God and the Gospel for
    which millions have died to

    Protect and safeguard, You Justin Welby have betrayed all these Martyrs
    of the past and the martyrs dying as we speak.

    Jesus died for all sinners including Homosexuals so that we all could be
    saved upon repentance, but He did not die so that YOU Justin Welby or any other
    pastors should Bless Gay marriages. Surely the Blessing of Gay marriages
    is a sin against the Holy Spirit and you know what that means, it is
    also an abomination.


    King James Version (KJV)

    2 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a
    vain thing?

    2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the
    rulers take counsel together, against the Lord,
    and against his anointed, saying,

    3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away
    their cords from us.

    4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

    5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex
    them in his sore displeasure.

    6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

    • Peter Barrett

      ”Jesus died for all sinners including Homosexuals so that we all could be
      saved upon repentance” We are given a choice, however, we cannot choose to serve God and the Devil.. We have to make a choice, if we choose him and repent of all of our sins, we are saved. The christian message is very clear and that is to lead our lives accordingly. Christian marriage is about a man and a woman, it isn’t uniform, it is about the bedrock of family life. Even for those couples who don’t conceive, it is about honour and love.

      Christian weddings

      Christian marriage

      Christians believe that marriage is a gift from God, one that should not be taken for granted. It is the right atmosphere to engage in sexual relations and to build a family life. Getting married in a church, in front of God, is very important.

      A marriage is a public declaration of love and commitment. This declaration is made in front of friends and family in a church ceremony.

      The history of marriage

      Marriage vows, in the form “To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part”, have been recited at UK church weddings since 1552.

      But before the wedding service was written into the Book of Common Prayer, marriages were much more informal: couples could simply promise themselves to one another at any time or place and the spoken word was as good as the written contract. Marriage predates the Bible.

      There were early same sex unions in history. They were called Adelphopoiesis.

      ”Adelphopoiesis, or adelphopoiia from the Greek ἀδελφοποίησις, derived from ἀδελφός (adelphos) “brother” and ποιέω (poieō) “I make”, literally “brother-making” is a ceremony practiced historically in some Christian traditions to unite together two people of the same sex (normally men) in church-recognized friendship. Similar blood brotherhood rituals were practiced by other cultures, including American Indians, ancient Chinese as well as Germanic and Scandinavian peoples. Documented in Byzantine manuscripts from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries, prayers established participants as “‘spiritual brothers’ (pneumatikous adelphous) and contained references to sainted pairs, including most notably SS Sergius and Bacchus, who were famous for their friendship.” [1] In the late twentieth century, the lapsed Christian tradition gained notoriety as the focus of controversy involving advocates and opponents of secular and religious legalization of homosexual relationships in the West’

      ”The term Christian values historically refers to the values derived from the teachings of Jesus and taught by Christians throughout the history of the religion. The term has various applications and meanings, and specific definitions can vary widely between denominations”

      The Church of England believes in family life and the solemnization of marriage of one man and one woman. Prayers are offered for the procreation of children.
      I do feel before making any adverse comment, people need to learn and to read up as they expect others to understand where they are coming from.

      • Jean – Paul

        Give it a rest will you. All you need is a healthy respect for universal human rights. Religions hijacked morality, but we can be good living human beings without delusions.

        • Peter Barrett

          Come on, give it a rest yourself. You are an insult to gay people. You are just out for creating a cause, I think if it was about fresh air, you would be getting steamed up! Many of my gay and straight friends get on, live their lives without all this angst, and are able to enjoy life, discuss sensibly and survive. I’m glad I don’t come across you every day!

          • Jean – Paul

            Some ideas are better than others. They are meant to be challenged, not tolerated. Like any religious nutter, you are opposing a so-called divine law to human rights. Get a life, and start to think for yourself.

          • Colin

            Respects mate. Look Barrett or Narrett is a troll. Leave him to his bile. Save your arguments for someone who seeks understanding rather than bigotry.

          • Jean – Paul

            hey Colin… I see what you mean. He likes the sound of his voice, I guess. Not too many paying him any attention.

    • Jean – Paul

      good grief, what is this? A sermon in PinkNews? Scientific knowledge of human sexuality is better than superstition based on fictional characters (Jesus) and so-called divine scriptures.

    • David dasilva

      nothing there about gays or homosexuality I see..

  • Peter Barrett

    Why is there so much criticism for the Cof E? Quite rightly, the official stance is they are against homophobia and quite rightly. Unfortunately, I suspect that is not true of everyone, however, we do not live in a perfect society. Equality is now law in this country and that is something to be thankful for. However, there are many who believe that christian marriage is not uniform, it might be equal in it’s meaning between a Man and a Woman, that is the belief of many in the church and it should be respected. From next month, same sex marriage is available to all, it’s a civil marriage. It’s between two people and that’s all that should matter. Please let’s stop arguing for the sake of arguing. Same sex marriage was voted overwhelmingly for. It really is time to stop the ‘bitchy’ remarks and calling the church as a institution a whole realm of insulting words that are not true. It might do us well to remember that David Cameron also made it very clear that religious freedom must be respected. You don’t have to agree, but respect and tolerate you must as the person who believes you are wrong must also do…

    European Convention on Human Rights[edit]

    The ECHR guarantees in Article 9 that subjects will have:

    The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance[…]

    The freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

    Its only when we respect and are kind to each other that we find mutual ground, and we are able to move on. We need to begin to understand each others differences. If we don’t it is easy to see how wars were started.

    • Colin

      church of england, catholic church and muslim religions all hold society back, cause wars and killing and do nothing to face issues in the world. That’s why. Also they live in the past and will let this planet die rather than face reality. Population explosion, pollution of water table, human rights, equality. They would rather wear their funny outfits, stand in churches and avoid reality.

      • Jean – Paul

        Delusional, everyone of them, none as dangerous as Islam.

  • Peter Barrett

    I really would urge anyone who wants to criticize the Cof E to read the The Church of England: A Christian presence in every community thoroughly. There are going to be things that you won’t agree with and there will be things you might understand. It is useful in finding out why it is wrong to blandly accuse the church of being guilty of things it isn’t.,-family-and-sexuality-issues.aspx

    The mind of the Church has been expressed formally on two occasions. First, on 11 November 1987, the General Synod passed by 403 votes to 8 the following motion at the end of the debate initiated by the Revd Tony Higton:

    ‘That this Synod affirms that the biblical and traditional teaching on chastity and fidelity in personal relationships in a response to, and expression of, God’s love for each one of us, and in particular affirms:

    that sexual intercourse is an act of total commitment which belongs properly within a permanent married relationship;

    that fornication and adultery are sins against this ideal, and are to be met by a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion;

    that homosexual genital acts also fall short of this ideal, and are likewise to be met by a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion;

    that all Christians are called to be exemplary in all spheres of morality, including sexual morality; and that holiness of life is particularly required of Christian leaders.’

    Secondly, in December 1991, the House of Bishops published a statement Issues in Human Sexuality (CHP 1991). This endorsed the traditional Christian belief that the teaching of the Bible is that heterosexual marriage is the proper context for sexual activity between two people. It went on to declare that what it called ‘homophile’ orientation and activity could not be endorsed by the Church as:

    ‘… a parallel and alternative form of human sexuality as complete within the terms of the created order as the heterosexual. The convergence of Scripture, Tradition and reasoned reflection on experience, even including the newly sympathetic and perceptive thinking of our own day, makes it impossible for the Church to come with integrity to any other conclusion. Heterosexuality and homosexuality are not equally congruous with the observed order of creation or with the insights of revelation as the Church engages with these in the light of her pastoral ministry.’

    It also argued that the conscientious decision of those who enter into such relationships must be respected, and that the Church must ‘not reject those who sincerely believe it is God’s call to them’.

    Nevertheless, because of the ‘distinctive nature of their calling, status and consecration’, the clergy ‘cannot claim the liberty to enter into sexually active homophile relationships’ (Some Issues 1.3.19-20).

    In July 1997 General Synod passed a private member’s motion moved by the Archdeacon of Wandsworth to:

    commend for discussion in dioceses the House of Bishops’ report Issues in Human Sexuality and acknowledge it is not the last word on the subject;

    in particular, urge deanery synods, clergy chapters and congregations to find time for prayerful study and reflection on the issues addressed by the report.

    The 1987 Synod motion and Issues in Human Sexuality are the two authoritative Church of England statements on the issue of homosexuality.

    As a member of the Anglican Communion, the Church of England also respects the teaching of Resolution 1.10 on Human Sexuality of the 1998 Lambeth Conference (the ten-yearly meeting of all bishops of the Communion) which expresses the declared mind of the Anglican Communion as a whole.,-family-and-sexuality-issues/human-sexuality/homosexuality.aspx

  • Peter Barrett

    Not everyone who doesn’t agree with same sex marriage is a bigot or homophobic; many see redefining ‘marriage’ as wrong and unnecessary, especially now we have civil partnerships which offer everything that marriage does.–Mr-Cameron.html

    I’m a gay man who opposes gay marriage. Does that make ME a bigot, Mr Cameron?


    PUBLISHED: 22:56, 12 June 2012 | UPDATED: 12:55, 15 June 2012



    When David Cameron committed the Government to supporting same-sex marriage some months ago, he declared: ‘I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative.’

    His argument being that the party should support a long-term commitment in any relationship.

    The unexpected policy shift caused uproar in the Tory Party in Parliament and across the country.

    A poll by Catholic Voice of 550 gay men and women suggested only 40 per cent identified the change in marriage as their priority

    Now, a submission by the Church of England into the Government’s consultation on gay marriage has warned of an historic division between the Church’s canon law — that marriage is between a man and a woman — and Parliament.

    It suggests the schism could even lead to ‘disestablishment’, a split between the Church and the State, and the removal of the Queen as Supreme Governor of the Church.


    Despite the opposition of every major faith group — notably the Catholic Church — Mr Cameron is arrogantly pressing ahead with an issue which excites his chums in the metropolitan elite, but which disregards the sentiments of millions of ordinary people who, as poll after poll has shown, are against it.

    Even some of the Prime Minister’s admirers concede that the policy has less to do with offering equality to the gay community and more to do with decontaminating the allegedly ‘toxic’ Tory brand.

    Perhaps the Prime Minister has calculated that anyone who stands up and argues against his proposals will be branded a homophobe and a bigot.

    Angry: The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has called the Government’s gay marriage proposals ‘completely irrational’

    Well, Mr Cameron, I am a Conservative and a homosexual, and I oppose gay marriage. Am I a bigot?

    And what about Alan Duncan, the first Conservative MP to come out as gay? Mr Duncan, the International Aid Minister who is in a civil partnership, is implacably opposed to gay marriage.

    So is Dr David Starkey, the celebrated historian, who is openly gay.

    The Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, meanwhile, who was the first Cabinet minister to enter into a civil partnership, is contemptuous of Mr Cameron’s motive for smashing down centuries of traditional Church teaching in reference to marriage.

    More from Andrew Pierce…

    ANDREW PIERCE: Handbagging for Hattie, high priestess of PC10/02/14

    ANDREW PIERCE: Ed faces new mutiny over union reform03/02/14

    ANDREW PIERCE: Bonfire of the quangos? More a flaming cheek27/01/14

    ANDREW PIERCE: Red Ed’s very uncivilised sabotage bid20/01/14

    ANDREW PIERCE: Why won’t the teaching unions meet Michael Gove halfway?13/01/14

    ANDREW PIERCE: MP for Double Standards Simon Hughes does another U-turn23/12/13

    ANDREW PIERCE: Tycoon woos Labour – and Ed’s old flame15/12/13

    ANDREW PIERCE: Don’t bet on Tom to stop union lottery08/12/13

    ANDREW PIERCE: Why so many sports stars are terrified to admit they’re gay04/12/13


    ‘This isn’t a priority for the gay community, which has already won equal rights with civil partnerships,’ says Bradshaw. ‘This is pure politics.’

    He’s right. It’s yet another sop to the wretched Lib Dems, even though they number only 57 of the 650 MPs at Westminster.

    The introduction of same-sex marriage became a policy commitment at the Lib Dem conference two years ago, even though there was no reference to it in their election manifesto, or in their four-page manifesto written for the gay community only six months earlier.

    At the time, the former Lib Dem MP Dr Evan Harris hailed the policy as ‘creating clear blue water with the Tories’.

    Few Conservatives took the idea seriously — until Mr Cameron’s bombshell announcement at the last Tory conference that he backed it, too.

    In spite of the furore caused by the Church of England’s intervention this week, Downing Street is insisting that Mr Cameron, who has so far performed 34 policy U-turns in power, has no intention of backing down on this issue.

    Even gay rights campaigners are puzzled by the Prime Minister’s conversion to the cause.
    Stonewall, a powerful pressure group for gay equality, has not called for gay marriage.

    While the organisation — of which I’m proud to be a member — supports the idea of gay marriage, its priority remains tackling homophobia in schools after research showed that gay men in the 16-to-24 age group are significantly more likely to have attempted suicide than other young men.

    So who — apart from Mr Cameron — is clamouring for gay marriage to be allowed?

    The Treasury estimates that six per cent of the population, or 3.7 million people, is gay. Yet I understand the Government’s Equalities office, having approached a polling company to test the opinion of the gay community, then decided not to go ahead.

    Were the officials worried what the conclusions might be? None of my gay friends want gay marriage to be written into law.


    Married: Kieran Bohan and Warren became the first gay couple to be wed in a religious building, but do other want the same?

    A poll by Catholic Voice of 550 gay men and women suggested only 40 per cent identified the change in marriage as their priority.

    Certainly, at Westminster yesterday, Tory MPs were appalled by the Prime Minister’s perverse set of priorities.

    As one senior Tory figure told me: ‘In the week we have been demanding a policy shift to kickstart economic growth. We get instead an entirely predictable row about gay marriage.

    ‘What sort of message does our preoccupation with fringe issues like gay marriage and Lords reform send to people who are worried about their jobs?’

    The Tory Party HQ, I can disclose, has warned the Prime Minister that this issue has triggered the biggest revolt among grassroots members since Tory MPs dumped Margaret Thatcher in 1990.


    Literally thousands of the party’s foot soldiers are refusing to renew their subscriptions. Some major donors have closed their cheque books.

    So Tory rebels will be emboldened by this astonishing warning by the Church of England, which for once is showing clear and principled leadership, that it could be forced to abandon its traditional role of conducting weddings on behalf of the State.

    Certainly, the Archbishop of Canterbury has dismissed as worthless the assurances of the Prime Minister and the Lib Dem Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone — nicknamed ‘Featherlight’ by her despairing civil servants — that churches will not be ordered to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies.

    Under fire: The Tory Party HQ has warned the Prime Minister that this issue has triggered the biggest revolt among grassroots members since Tory MPs dumped Margaret Thatcher in 1990

    Mr Cameron seems to have learned nothing from the follies of the Labour government when it comes to imposing an equalities agenda on Britain’s leading faiths.

    In 2007, Labour passed legislation which effectively ordered Roman Catholic adoption agencies to place children with same-sex couples.


    What kind of prime minister gives a free vote on a ‘fundamental human right’?

    Is it any wonder that the Church doesn’t trust the Government on gay marriage?

    RIGHTMINDS: After Cheryl Cole wades into the gay marriage debate, why pop stars should stay well away from politics, writes DOMINQUE JACKSON

    Now I have to declare an interest in this aspect of the argument: I spent the first two years of my life in a Catholic orphanage in Cheltenham run by nuns and, to this day, I am eternally grateful to the Catholic Children’s Society which placed me in a loving home with my adoptive parents, who cared for me as one of their own. But, disgracefully, societies like the ones that rescued me and thousands of other abandoned children have now been forced to close down because the Catholic Church understandably could not accept the Labour government’s diktat — which ran contrary to its sincerely-held beliefs.


    Reassurances: Home Secretary Theresa May has said that religious organizations will not be forced to conduct same-sex marriages

    As a lapsed Catholic, I am not going to defend that Church’s teaching that homosexuality is a sin, but to force its adoption agencies to close on a point of moral principle was a scandal which has resulted in countless vulnerable children being denied the possibility of loving homes. What madness!

    And for pity’s sake, which gays would have gone to Catholic agencies in the first place?

    Those terribly depressing consequences of Labour’s sweeping changes should serve as a warning as the Tory-led Government presses on with the rewriting of the centuries-old tradition of marriage.

    Ironically, if the change goes ahead, it could provoke legal challenges from the heterosexual community.

    Ministers have ruled out extending civil partnerships, which became law in December 2005, beyond the gay community. So we gays will enjoy rights denied to heterosexuals. What an absurd state of affairs.

    The truth is that no one has been able to explain to me the difference between gay marriage and a civil partnership. I have asked ministers and friends. None has an answer.

    But I do. We already have gay marriage — it’s called civil partnership. Why can’t Mr Cameron just leave it there?

    Read more:–Mr-Cameron.html#ixzz2tJBvKIcL
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    • David dasilva

      Whilst I accept your point of view and the well put together statements, I for one agree with and support gay marriage. My parents were told by doctors when I was 3 years old that it was a 99% chance that I would grow up to be gay, gay is not a choice, gay is natural and genetic and hormonal. I have campaigned & waited over 40 years for the right to be considered accepted and to have the same rights as my brother and sister. When I propose I will not ask someone to Civil Partnership me, I will ask them to Marry me.. I am religious and do not find it difficult at all juggling my beliefs and my sexual orientation. I don’t want a church blessing, I want a church wedding. I would not want to force someone to marry me who is completely against it, I would want to do it somewhere that believes and understands my reasons. Furthermore I find it kind of insane that the Church won’t marry divorced couples/people as this was the whole reason that the CofE was founded in the first place so that Henry VIII could get divorced and re-marry. The CofE stating that they may be out of sync with their African 3rd world counterparts is also slightly worrying (look at the sentence). Even the Pope is now saying who is he to judge. LGBT people still have to fight for equality in parts of the UK and across the world and will continue to do so.

    • Harry

      The answer to Pierce’s rhetorical question is yes.

  • sJames6621

    the church is going to have to do blessings for legally marriedsame sex married couples

    its a matter of survival and will be a great way to disgrace the Roman monstrosity apparently still stuck in the past.

    • Peter Barrett

      It doesn’t have to do that and in fact under Maria Miller’s quadruple lock, they are prevented from doing so. Why don’t you read up the facts before you put such rubbish in your post. The C of E does not accept the same sex marriage bill, it doesn’t have and neither is it expected too by the government.You really are showing your ignorance when you say that it’s a matter of survival…. what tripe! Are you an educated person or are you simply an ignorant elitist gay pillock… pratt or whatever?, you certainly sound like one to me…. thick as they come.
      Personally, I am losing the interest to discuss politely with you lot, You all seem to have a huge chip of the sholder, a grudge that you are being hard done by… ie, you are just heralding the gay cause no matter what….. You are actually giving yourselves a very bad name.. now I know what is meant by vicious queens… get over it, change your frock….

      • Jean – Paul

        now here you go playing the victim card, buddy. zzzzzzzzzzz boring.

        • Peter Barrett

          I think you are playing the victim card Jean- Paul…get over it

          • Jean – Paul

            what are you, a parrot?

  • sJames6621

    Fyi re the idea that jesus restored sight of some blind people

    Some people, most often terrorized n a war, go blind and there is no obvious medical explanation for it. the strange thing is that if you have the walk an obstacle course they never have a problem

    its called psychological blindess – the subconsciouss still sees, bu the link to the conscious mind is blocked. the persons sight becomes normal over a reasonably shotr period maybe a few days if they can relax

  • Peter Narrett

    After Gay Marriage, Why Not Polygamy? | VICE United Kingdom
    After this week’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court on California’s … The idea that after gay marriage is legalised, polygamy will be next – and then …

  • Jean – Paul

    /// Some values and ideas are better than others. The Enlightenment was better than the Dark Ages. Freedom is better than slavery. Democracy is better than fascism. Scientific knowledge is better than superstition.

    While all human beings deserve human rights, not everyone’s beliefs and traditions deserve respect. Political and religious ideas based on racism, patriarchy and homophobia are unworthy of respect. They need to be challenged, not tolerated.///

    —- Peter Tatchell

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