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Friday, 28 March 2014

The norm!

Photograph: Per Lindgren/Rex Features

TV commentators among others are working themselves into a frenzy as 'gay marriage' day approaches. In a pathetic vote buying move, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has decided that the Rainbow flag will be hoisted over Whitehall to mark the occasion. A sort of metaphorical 'Jolly Roger' designed to say 'up yours' to the over 668,000 Britons who signed the Coalition for Marriage petition only to be ignored by the governing coalition. 

Was it coincidence I wonder that the BBC's Question Time was held in the 'gay capital', Brighton, last night where the audience seemed to think that the only expression of love is marriage. What does that say about hetero-sexual couples who are shunning marriage? Love is love but there wasn't much love shown towards the two brave ladies in the audience who stood against the rest to defend the traditional principle that marriage is the complimentary union of one man and one woman. My impression from the debate was that the audience imagined there was something profoundly wrong with anyone who had not been bitten by the Zeitgeist.  

As predicted each demand has led to another. Not satisfied with civil partnerships, same-sex marriage was being demanded as a right immediately afterwards. Having achieved that goal there are demands that the Church conform. Practicing Anglican, Barrie Drewitt-Barlow who owns a surrogacy company and his civil partner Tony, the 'gay dads' of five, will be among the first to undergo a civil marriage ceremony tomorrow, Saturday, but still intend taking the Church of England to the European Court if necessary so that they can have a church wedding ignoring "the very fact that you take another believer to court means you have lost the battle already (1 Corinthians 6).

Ben Bradshaw MP who claimed to be an Anglo Catholic but now uses that hideous label of duplicity 'a liberal catholic' has "thrown down the gauntlet" to the Church of England, saying it should confirm whether it would defrock a priest for marrying a same-sex partner - story here. The Archbishop of Canterbury has already signalled that the Church of England will mount no more resistance to gay marriage among churchgoers, another step towards the extinction of the Anglican Church in this country as the elderly die out.

One priest who plans to defy the Church makes his position clear in an interview for the BBC here. The Rev Andrew Cain of St Mary's Kilburn and St James' West in north London, is prepared to defy a Church of England ban on the blessings of same-sex marriages and is planning to get married to his civil partner in June. His reasoning? - He says "The generational change as it comes suggests that a more generous acceptance of sexuality is increasing and will be the norm very soon indeed. And I think that once people start to experience same-sex marriages in the way that they experience same-sex partnerships it will become utterly unremarkable. It will be just like everybody else." - Just like the Vicar of Dibley, familiarity makes the situation appear normal, a variation on 'if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself'. 

For the young the situation is already 'utterly unremarkable'. A BBC poll shows that younger people are more likely to support same-sex marriage with 80% of 18 to 34-year-olds backing it compared with 44% of over-65s, suggesting that the young have been successfully brainwashed by a minority with accusations of bigotry if there is any dissent. As a Catholic priest responded to the news, "It is a great irony that those seeking to increase tolerance do not extend that to those who disagree with them."

Adoration of the Golden Calf - Nicolas Poussin, 1629

From an entry dated  February 17, 2013:
"Women want to be priests and bishops, men want to be wives, women want to be husbands, same sex couples want to be married and have children. I want, I want, I want, I want. And our priests say, if that is what you want, have it"! 

'The norm' it seems now requires everything including faith to be adapted to suit current fashion. Even clergy twist the Bible to suit themselves using it as a tool of self justification. As the Rev Andrew Cain said in his interview "The Gospel is always about justice, Christ chose to include people who in His society were excluded and marginalised and the Church should be leading in the inclusion of excluded and marginalised people in the world today. That is what we are called to do". 

I don't recall reading of any rush to same-sex unions as a result of what Christ said or did. That is the new norm! So what will the next generation hold?


  1. Dear Ancient Briton, as one totally out of touch with the vagaries of the modern, liberal, progressive, and inclusive world I pen this few words in the last half hour before the law of this ancient land is once again changed by the minority political elite. After midnight night tonight the following four paragraphs of our Christian heritage will be relegated to the dustbin of history.
    DEARLY beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man's innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of Saint Paul to be honourable among all men: and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.
    First, It was ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy Name.
    Secondly, It was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ's body.
    Thirdly, It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity. Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.
    In England and Wales, in the eyes of the law, the terms husband and wife will no longer exist. The phrase is now ‘partner’. Marriage will not be between a man and woman; couples of the same sex now have equality. However, despite all the tinkering with natural law, the law-makers can not over turn God’s law. No manner of statute law can alter the absolute sacramental truth that it is man and woman who are joined together in the sight of God in the honourable estate of Holy Matrimony. The State may stipulate that in law unions of man and woman, or man and man, or woman and woman can be termed marriage, but the absolute sacramental reality is that it is only a man and a woman can be joined together in the estate of Holy Matrimony.

    1. Dear Cranmer, Did you write this prior to the pronouncement by++Welby that the Church will no longer oppose same sex marriage? In saying so ++Welby is acknowledging that the Government is to be allowed to run the Church; in other words ++Justin is agreeing he has no power and is just a puppet for the State..
      Former oil executive or not ,someone is leaning heavily upon him!
      Notwithstanding all this ,I do absolutely agree with you that the State can never alter the meaning of the sacraments. No-one ,not even the state (or even Justin Welby) can tell anyone what to believe.

  2. Last night I went to bed an abnormal homosexual with my partner of many years snoring beside me (bless), This morning we awake to a new society - one in which he and I are just as boringly normal as Mr and Mrs next door. The ship of has long left, get over it, move on and accept that there is nothing to fear from two people being in love (who just happen to be the same sex). It's been months since I took a look at what is on this site, sadly, however, I knew that if I took a look there would be something negative about us gays. As I say, today we awake to a new, more equal, more just society - I believe that Christ would rejoice at that, and were there to be a new marriage at Cana where Adam and Steve invited him, he'd quite willing attend (unlike the 20% polled by Radio 5 who said they would refuse (that amused me - how representative of the UK population they must be!!)).

    And Ancient Briton - you have pretended in the past to be one who is in agreement with same sex unions and civil partnerships - what tosh - you say that to fly the flag over Whitehall is "pathetic" - you're a bigot and a homophobe through and through (not to mention an Islamaphobist as I read through the postings I have (not) missed over recent months). Shame on you.

  3. well is nothing to do with 'fear' of same sex love It is nothing to do with 'equality and justice in society'
    But it to do with introducing confusion into the pattern of society.Christ invites and calls us to live our lives iconically representing the Holy Family In following this pattern ,it enables us to grow closer to God,as we aim to experience the Fatherhood and love of Mary .God does not despise love of one of another,but the issue is that marriage belongs to the union of male and female. I can understand that same sex persons may want to make commitment to each other and need to have some legal security ,and for this purpose a Civil Ceremony safely secures all the needs.

  4. What arrogance - "a Civil Ceremony safely secures all needs" - no it does not. The love between two people ought to be viewed as "iconic" irrespective of gender. Moreover, your use of the term "confusion" belies that you believe it to be less a love. You are saying that marital love (between man and a women) enables that couple to grow closer to God and to experience the "Fatherhood and love of Mary" (peculiar phrase in itself). By implication you are saying that that is denied those "same sex persons" who "may want to make commitment to each other ad need to have some legal security". What you are suggesting is that there can be nothing sacramental about the love between two people of the same sex; that sacramentality is reserved for marriage only. I disagee, and here's why - marriage is marriage, and from today onwards, that includes man with man, woman with woman, man with woman - and as the Church in Wales, one vestige of dis-establishement is that we accept the State's definition of what this is. To argue otherwise is ignorance and to go on arguing thus is outright prejudice and homophobia.

  5. Deary me..please do not put words into my mouth, and it is not reasonable to pick a noun out of my contribution and add a very different interpretation. Read again "confusion into the pattern of society".
    It is not for anyone to try and measure anybody else's love - if ,in fact ,it can ever be quantified..Those of us who have not married are still part of a family(otherwise the person would not exist) , So it is open to all Christians to follow the pattern of the Holy Family.
    With regard to your reference to sacramental love , it does of course matter in what context you use the word 'sacramental'. However, Archbishop Welby has clearly said that .The Sacrament of Marriage will continue to be celebrated in Church only within heterosexual relationships, but also ,most importantly added that the church extends the love of Christ to every human being.

  6. I should like to add a relevant point from a sermon this morning,which was that the State cannot change Divine Law.

  7. Quite so, simple soul, the state can pass whatever laws it chooses, but it can neither alter a sacrament nor abrogate Christian morality. It is capable of passing laws which ensue in great evil - such as the Abortion Act, which it is about to liberalise still further - and the Church should not acquiesce, but oppose its wickedness at every turn. It makes no difference whether or not we are disestablished.

  8. You guys ought to set up your own sect - it makes every difference in the world that we are a church that holds on to certain vesitges of establishment, perhaps the most concrete of which is arround the law of marriage. Fine if Insider and the like want to take the church off into a sectarian moralistic ghetto but until them the Church in Wales is constrained in its policy on marriage by being a state sponsored (even if disestablished) church. I for one hope that it holds tight to these vestiges - vestiges which have allowed the re-marriage of divorcees. As for simple's comment, "the State cannot change Divine Law", a reading of St. Paul would suggest that God works often through state law and not in definace of it. There's far too much a "them and us", "pure and impure", "evil and good" dualism in these positings and it makes me theologically uncomfortable to read some of the ignorance here shared, and with ignornace often comes discrimination. There - that's what I think. And you?

  9. Disestablished, established, partly disestablished - none of this makes any difference. The Church's teaching remains the same. It is for those who want innovation to create their own sect. Not even the recent Act of Parliament claims to change the Church's doctrine. In fact it explicitly exempts the Church of England and other churches from its own provisions, unless they formally request it. Until then it would be illegal for the Church in Wales to attempt to conduct such a wedding, and the wedding itself would be llegally invalid.