A little rant

I thought I would warn everyone from the start that this is a rant, hence the title of the post.

Second point to note: this is a rant primarily against religion, so if you’re religious and can’t take a bit of criticism then it’s probably best to move on to another post.

Right, I take it that only those who are interested are still around so I’ll delve right in …

If you aren’t already aware I live in the UK and I’ve been increasing frustrated at the insistence of the church to get involved in things that it really shouldn’t. The latest addition to that frustration is the church’s latest attempt to cast aspersions on certain peoples’ chosen way-of-life …namely, the question of gay marriage has risen it’s head again with the PM David Cameron coming out in support of it.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, is the main protaganist in today’s story.  He has put in his tuppence-worth of not-so gracious opinion, saying that the plans were:

a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right.

Ineteresting use of the term Human Rights, there Cardinal!  So it’s okay for you to subvert the human right of the gay population to live free of persecution from people like you, but it’s not okay for the Government to try to make things easier for them?  Hmm.  Not a very caring and religious attitude, if you don’t mind my saying.

He wasn’t finished, though.Far from it.

Apparently he feels that allowing gay marriage into law would:

shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world

What drugs are you on that you would even consider this a serious comment on the subject?

I think it would show the world that this country isn’t a bigoted country (difficult, I know, with people like our good Cardinal around), but a country that accepts the rights of all human beings regardless of their colour, creed or sexuality.  Surely the church, of all organisations, should be greeting this with open arms instead of throwing those arms up in the air in despair.

Then he says that:

Same-sex marriage would eliminate entirely in law the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child. It would create a society which deliberately chooses to deprive a child of either a mother or a father.

Yet another ridiculously conceived opinion. It sounds as though he’s afraid everyone will turn gay overnight.  What a stupid thing to say, really. I mean, consider it for a second: if that happened there would be no children, so precisely what point is he trying to make?  It’s lost on me!

He accused ministers of attempting to “redefine reality” and “dismantle the universally understood meaning of marriage”.  My understanding of marriage is that it is supposed to be the ultimate declaration of one’s love for one’s partner. Why should the fact that said partner is of the same sex, make a blind bit of difference?

And while we’re on the subject, the actual law is not going to force the church to perform these marriages. Far from it. Currently the civil partnership ceremonies take place at a local register office and the plan is for the marriages to be performed in the same venues.  So, quite why the church is getting so “het up” about it is beyond me!

O’Brien is but the latest of several senior clergy who have denounced the so-called “madness” of the government’s backing for marriage to include homosexual couples.

Back in January the Anglican Archbishop of YorkJohn Sentamu, said that governments did not have the moral authority to redefine marriage.

Well, Johnny baby, my question to you is: just what exactly gives YOU the right to dictate what is and is not good for the people of this country?  Just because you’re a leader in the church does not equate to you knowing the first thing about what I will or will not accept.

The whole issue smacks to me of the church behaving like a spoilt child. After all, it’s lost a lot of its power in the recent couple of hundred years and they’re obviously using this as a means of trying to cling on to the last bit of power it thinks it has.  Unfortunately, in the process they’re alienating a lot of their own congregations.

I am fed up with the church insisting that it knows what’s best for everyone … it doesn’t.

Final note. To those religious-types who actually read this and are now incensed to the point of wanting to send me messages: Before you jump on your high horses, please consider the fact that, unless you have something constructive to say, you’ll be wasting your time.  And if all you’re going to do is preach some inane drivel … it will be straight in the bin where it belongs. Thanks awfully!

7 thoughts on “A little rant”

  1. Personally, I’m against gay marriage. I think it’s a nonsensical idea. I do agree with many Christians that people are trying to redefine marriage in our time. I think it would make more sense and be much more peaceful for everybody if we allowed homosexuals to have civil unions so that they can have full rights and be treated equally. In the UK, it sounds like you are saying civil unions are already okay. It seems then, that in the UK Christians want to keep a difference between what marriage is and what civil unions are. Why is that so bad? Why are you personally upset about that? And why do homosexuals want so badly to be able to use the same word, even though “marriage” has always referred to a man and a woman, and not 2 men, and not 2 women. Why do homosexuals want to use that word so badly?

    But regardless of what happens with gay marriage in the UK and US and elsewhere, my main concern would be that pastors would have the choice to not marry gay couples. And in some places that is already starting to become not acceptable. I see a day coming when I could be fined or thrown in prison for not marrying a gay couple, because it’s supposedly discrimination. We aren’t there yet for the most part, but that certainly seems to be the direction we are going. That is what I fear. There are certainly churches out there that try to be too controlling of what people do in society. But on the other hand, there are a lot of people out there that want to control what the church can and cannot do or what it should have to do. The Church is losing more and more of its rights.

    1. I have no problem with a church refusing to marry gay couples.

      The point of my post was really the fact that the church was trying to impose its will on people, as it always does. My problem with the whole fiasco is that the church “conveniently” left out the vital detail that they are not actually going to be forced to marry gay couples. Choosing instead to make it appear that this would be the case … of course the parishioners would be sufficiently outraged, although one would hope that they saw the error of their ways when the full truth came out. The whole thing was nothing more than a convoluted attempt to gain as much publicity as they could – and of course the tabloid press duly obliged.

      Why is gay marriage such a problem anyway? Why should gay people be treated any different … preventing them from marrying in the same way as a heterosexual couple is surely telling them that they are some how different to the rest of society and, as such, should be prevented from publicly announcing their love for one another. How is that conducive to a society that supposedly prides itself on being accepting of all people? Quite simply it doesn’t and nothing anyone says will change that.

      As far as I’m concerned a gay couple has as much right as you or I to get married. If it were to become law that the church HAD to perform the marriage service to gay couples it most certain WOULD be discrimination – no “supposedly” about it! I would argue that even if it isn’t law, to refuse to marry someone purely because of their sexuality is grossly discriminatory. Would you refuse to marry a male & female couple, of whom one or both is bisexual? I would guess not because you would have no obvious sign that they were bisexual.

      If a minister / pastor doesn’t want to be part of it s/he doesn’t have to be. The plans here in the UK are for such marriages to take place at register offices, much as the civil partnerships are currently, so the church has nothing to be frightened of.

      As for the church losing more of its rights, I think you can guess what my response to that would be 🙂

  2. I don’t think all discrimination is a bad thing. I would not marry everyone that asked me too. I would never marry a gay couple. I would not marry people that were underage, or if one of them was underage I would not marry people who had just gotten divorced from someone else. I would not marry people who are not Christians. I would not marry people who are sexually active together before marriage, unless they stopped doing so until the marriage. I would not marry people who are think were rushing into it without really being prepared for it. Etc. Etc. Maybe hearing that bothers you even more, but it’s the truth. Unlike many Christians in our country, I’m not just concerned about gay marriage, but about all marriages. We should strive for all marriages to be healthy and honoring to God.

    I would marry a man and woman even if they had bisexual feelings and told me about it. I don’t believe we are guilty based on what we desire. We are guilty based on our actions. If I’m tempted to commit adultery, that is not sin, it’s not good, but it’s not sin. If I actually give in and commit adultery, that is sin. Nothing wrong with being bisexual, or even homosexual. It’s not good, and eventually when Jesus returns to this earth, he will take those desires and temptations away. But in the meantime we have to resist our sexual sinful temptations just like all other sinful temptations.

    1. A fairly typical ‘christian’ response.

      There are some very confusing contradictions in your reply – firstly, how can you as a man of the church suggest that not all discrimination is bad? Discrimination, by it’s very nature is always a bad thing.

      You said that you don’t think that there’s anything wrong with being gay, yet you have such difficulty accepting gay marriage … to me that suggests that you DO actually think there’s something wrong with it. Otherwise, surely, there wouldn’t be a problem?

      I don’t think any ‘proper’ thinking adult would expect you to marry an underage couple (one thing we can agree on!). I can even understand your reasons regarding sexual activity – understand, but not agree.

      And you are even discriminating against people who have divorced.

      People make mistakes all the time. Surely you’re not suggesting that they should remain married and be unhappy for the rest of their lives? Don’t they have the right to be happy?

      Or maybe you’re saying that they can be happy, so long as they don’t re-marry … some people might want to marry to enhance their happiness. Who are you to deny them that right?

      As for the return of big “J” … I think if that were going to happen there’s been plenty of occassions in the last couple of hundred years that would have been ideal for that – why didn’t he do it sooner?

      Actually that last question was a rhetorical one … I don’t need an answer. I’m not going to be drawn into a theological debate (it would only ruin my evening). I respect your right to your opinion (if I didn’t I wouldn’t have approved your comment) but I can’t find much that I agree with!

      I think we should draw a line under this one … we’re obviously never going to agree.

  3. Ok I realize you wanted to stop discussing. But I have some thoughts to clear up some of your misunderstandings about my views. What’s wrong with a little healthy debate anyway? I’m not upset and I’m enjoying the conversation. I hope you can enjoy it too. 🙂

    I’ll try to reply in order.
    Discrimination is making choices, something you do every day. Therefore, not all discrimination is wrong. Making choices based on things you shouldn’t make choices on, for example a boss choosing a worse employee to hire just because he is white instead of black, that is the bad kind of discrimination.

    I don’t think it’s wrong to be gay in the sense of having gay desires. I think it’s wrong to act on them. Jesus was tempted and yet never sinned. We are judged by our temptations, but on our actions. So I would say it is sinful to have a homosexual relationship or have gay marriage. But not sinful if you have those desires and resist them, just as you have desires for another woman other than your wife, but you resist them. In both cases because you resisted, it’s not sinful. You can read some of my other posts about homosexuality if you have more interest in my view, it’s a very common Christian view that makes a lot of sense.

    Yes, I discriminate against those who have been divorced. Christians have a very high meaningful view of marriage. It’s a special honorable thing, and God wants us to be married to the same person for life. If someone came to me who just ditched their wife but wanted to get married, I’d say no, and instead try to help them bring healing to the original relationship. On the other hand, if someone was ditched by their wife, and they’ve been single for years, and they tried to restore their marriage and couldn’t, I would be okay with them now marrying.

    “Don’t they have the right to be happy?” This is a common non-Christian sentiment of Western culture. It’s blatantly false in its intended meaning and goes against God’s truth. Sure technically everyone has a right to be happy. But what is meant by this phrase is very different. We have a right to do what’s right, and doing what is right should make us happy much of the time. We don’t have the right to do what is wrong just to make ourselves happy. Think that statement through and you will realize its full of problems. That kind of statement is all about doing whatever the heck we want in life if it makes us happy, regardless of whether it hurts others, hurts the environment, or sins against God. I totally disagree with that perceived “right” in the sense of what people usually mean by it.

    Who am I to deny people their happiness? They can do whatever the heck they want outside the church, but as a pastor, I have to follow God’s teachings which include his teachings about marriage. A pastor doesn’t function to just do whatever people please, but to teach people how to find full joyful life in God. But I’m not denying people their freewill. If they want to go get married in a bad harmful way outside the church, they are free to do it.

    Jesus talks about his return in Scripture and others do as well. They talk about how the fullness of people have to come to faith in Jesus before he comes. Jesus is patient in coming, so that more and more people can be saved and come to know him. God delights in creating more people, more people to love him and be loved by him.

    1. It’s not that I want to stop discussing, it’s just that I’ve heard all the arguments before and it just stresses me out so much because I find it so frustrating that they’re always the same.

      I guess you would say something similar about my views?!

      You hit on my main problem with all religions – they teach that a particular God wants us to live by certain rules. Who precisely decided what these rules were? Who decided they were right for everyone? Who decided that they were what “God” desires? The Christian scriptures aren’t written as a narration by God himself, they were written down by human beings … years after the Jesus’ death. Who knows how many times the stories changed before they were put to papyrus?

      You have no way of knowing for certain that Jesus didn’t give in to temptation. I accept that your faith in the writings you follow allows you a certain license to say that you believe in the validity of those writings and that means that it is true. Can I would suggest that, just because it’s not written in scripture, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen?

      Is it not perfectly possible that such things were omitted in order to keep the writings consistent with their message? This certainly appears to have happened when the Bible was put together – why were some scriptures left out? It would seem as though it was because the church’s leaders at the time decided, in their wisdom, that they didn’t conform to the message they wanted to convey. Having read some of them there are certainly contradictions that would have been embarrasing if they had been included.

      Each country has its’ own set of laws that its citizens have to live by, and this is fair enough. As long as people abide by those laws, and what they’re doing doesn’t hurt anyone else, then I think people should be trusted to live their lives how they want to.

  4. Yes perhaps our disagreement basically comes down to our views about God, and the Bible. That would take us into a whole different realm of talk. You raised a lot of interesting questions about the Bible, but each one could take a page of response. So I’ll refrain. I could give lots of arguments why the Bible can be trusted, why it hasn’t been tampered with, and so on. But ultimately it still comes down to whether we believe in God’s existence or not, whether we believe the Bible is God’s Word or not. If we don’t agree on such things, we won’t agree about other things as well. But that’s okay, still nice to dialogue and challenge each other. Even if we don’t agree on the Bible, we still have to work together in society to make laws, or not make laws, and figure out how to discuss things. Personally we will live differently by different rules and philosophies of life, but it seems as far as laws go, you and I are “mostly” in agreement.

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