Wednesday 19 December 2012

Minority opinion rules

The Government last week published its proposed legislation for same sex marriage and included in this Bill was an exemption for the Church of England. A friend of mine who is opposed to the proposal (as I am) said to me ‘we have won’, meaning our Church was legally excluded. I replied that we certainly had not.

Apart from the fact that I cannot accept any assurance from David Cameron, for others of his promises have gone astray, and I cannot believe he is unaware that the European Court could, and no doubt would, overrule such a provision. Already an attention seeking Vicar has called for others to join him in vowing to perform such marriages in Church.

We also have the ‘rent a quote’ Giles Fraser jumping in voicing his opposition to such an exclusion, and in consideration of the consequences which followed his interference with the police when they were trying to clear the steps of St.Paul’s, one might reasonably have expected him to keep quiet. And of course the ever troublesome Richard Harries, ex Bishop of Oxford is making things difficult for his fellow Bishops by making embarrassing statements. (Nothing new there then.)

Of course we have allegations of homophobia and bigotry made against opponents of same sex marriage, notably Nick Clegg and the rather silly Lynne Featherstone, who called the Church of England itself homophobic. But like all liberals their comments are very selective. Notice that no such allegations by these people are made against Islam, which is far more anti than the C of E. We have protests made outside Anglican places of worship, but I have never heard or seen any such protests outside Mosques.

I fully expect an organised set up, where two people will seek marriage in a Church contemplating a refusal, and then with widespread publicity claim discrimination. One thing I am sure of is, that no such stunt would be made to a Mosque.

The majority of priests and people in the Church of England will welcome the exclusion clause, accepting as they do that same sex marriage is contrary to all Christian teaching. In some quarters of course this would be an irrelevance.

Try as I may, I cannot understand how any man, (or woman) who is ordained, can speak and act as some do against their Church, when they take a vow on ordination to observe all the Articles and Formularies of the Church. To me, this is not only hypocrisy, it is total disloyalty. If they want to do their own thing, why not as a matter of honour resign from the Church.

One thing is for certain, and that is there are massive consequences with legal challenges promised. I can imagine the lawyers thinking Christmas for them is bright. Already opinions are being given as to whether adultery can be claimed for same sex couples, and other issues as to what can and cannot follow. The Conservative Party is split wide open as Cameron’s duplicity is exposed in pursuing such a controversial subject on the spur of the moment, without any manifesto commitment or prior consultation. UKIP are naturally delighted, they can be the unofficial true Conservative Party.

It is interesting how minority groups in this country seem to have an influence way beyond their representation. Centuries of tradition, in addition to Scriptural interpretation, are being amended to meet their desires in the case of marriage.

In another instance Christmas celebrations are being muted or totally altered and omitted to avoid offending other faiths and none. In fairness, other faiths do not seem to have any problem with Christmas being celebrated, and indeed many of their traders welcome it for their profit. It is just woolly minded liberals seeking to make themselves feel justified.

I am told the majority of people approve of women being appointed as Bishops, and indeed amongst the general population this may be so, or be indifference. There may well be approval from those who seek membership of Synods, but I have not heard any great clamour from ordinary congregations. However many people do approve, I know one place where it is not approved, and that is in Scripture. My explanation for stating that will have to come after Christmas.

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