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Church in a knot over gay marriage

Seems to me Roman Catholic cardinals, senior Anglican churchmen and obedient parish priests are getting themselves in a right old knot over the gay marriage issue.

Several knots, in fact. They should take up crocheting.

For a start, it’s most people’s understanding that government plans to legalise same-sex marriage have little or nothing to do with churches – any churches. And as for God – I’d be surprised if He were even remotely interested where or how the deed took place, so long as love was at the heart of the matter.

As things stand, churches – or their vicars and priests, anyway – can turn any couple away from a planned splicing at the altar, as they see fit.

The Government has no plan to change any part of that. If truth be told, it couldn’t even had it wanted to. So why all the fuss?

Marriage isn’t a solely religious preserve. Neither, if we’re honest, is a church wedding – which these days has more to do with a great backdrop for photos and a grand day out than divine approval.

If two people want to make their vows before God, there are many ways of doing so, without ever having to darken the door of a reluctant priest. So what’s the big problem?

Marriage is about a legally, honestly binding contract between two people who love each other enough to want rights and protections, recognised by the state, to last for life... or at least until the divorce.

Is my life diminished at all if two people of the same gender make those promises to each other, believing in lasting commitment? Not one iota. Good luck to them.

Last week Cardinal Keith O'Brien, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, said the “grotesque” plans would “shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world” if implemented. A bit hysterical, if you ask me.

The Pope has denounced the marriage plans and cardinals and archbishops have warned legalised gay unions will seriously reduce the significance and sanctity of marriage.

Each to his own opinion, of course, but to be honest chaps – and I speak as a divorcee – I’d have thought heterosexuals had already managed to do that very well indeed, without any help from you or David Cameron.

The toughest knot to untangle presents itself when we remember how, for more years than any of us can bear to dwell on without fury, disgust and sorrow, senior churchmen have had to be cornered into saying anything at all about the long-term sexual abuse of young boys by priests and so-called Christian carers.

And even when the Church did raise its shamed head to speak apology, it did so in a muffled whisper.

So, what exactly is the point here? Sex without strings, love or responsibility – and so long as you’re not found out – is fine, but marriage is to be avoided?

Sounds to me that what we have here is just another bunch of men terrified of commitment.

Have your say

I notice the supporters of bigotry and religion have spectacularly failed to reply to a single question posed about how they justify using the bible to promote homophobia, given it's twisted views in other areas that they choose to ignore.

Comes across as kinda avoiding the issue.

Again, Leviticus, the bible section oft quoted as being anti homosexual is also anti women, children and common sense.

How do you intellectualise ignoring certain sections and focusing on the ones you find handy to support your views?

Posted by LD on 29 March 2012 at 13:12

Cheers Bob! Yes, a good discusion - and for the most part, I think, quite civil (if you'll excuse the pun!), which isn't always easy on such topics!

Posted by Ian1 on 24 March 2012 at 22:28

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