Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Illiberality of a Local MP

The MP for the constituency next to us has just written to David Cameron saying Churches, which refuse to conduct gay marriages, should be stripped of their licence to perform any marriages.

An interesting piece of illiberality from Mr Mike Weatherly MP for Hove, from the next door constituency.

There was an interesting exchange between Piers Morgan and Rick Santorum in the US. Morgan, who is apparently an English Catholic, accused Santorum who is a Catholic of bigotry because he upholds the Church's teaching on marriage.

I think just because we disagree on public policy, which is what the debate has been about which is marriage, doesn't mean that it's bigotry. Just because you follow a moral code that teaches something wrong doesn't mean that -- are you suggesting that the Bible and that the Catholic Church is bigoted? Well, if that's what you believe, fine.

I think that -- I shouldn't say fine. I don't think it's fine at all. I think that is -- that's contrary to both what we've seen in 2,000 years of human history and Western civilization and trying to redefine something that has been -- that is seen as wrong from the standpoint of the church and saying a church is bigoted because it holds that opinion that is biblically based I think is in itself an act of bigotry.
MORGAN: Well, I'm a Catholic, too. I just think, unfortunately, we're in a different era. We're in a modern world. And the fact --
SANTORUM: I don't think -- Piers, I don't think the truth changes. I don't think right and wrong change based on different eras of time. Things are -- there are some truths that are in fact eternal and are truth and based on nature and nature's law. And that's what the church teaches and that's what the Bible teaches and that's what reason dictates. And if you look at it from all of those perspectives, I think it's a legitimate point of view. I certainly respect people who disagree with it. But I don't call them bigoted because they disagree with me.
An interesting parallel!
Mr Weatherley, a Conservative MP, maintains his own form of bigotry, which is unable to even attempt to understand, not just what Christians have always taught and believed about about marriage; there are a large number of Evangelical, Coptic Orthodox and Catholics in his constituency but there is also the sizeable Orthodox Jewish community and not an inconsiderable number Muslims, all who hold to a traditional notion of marriage: that marriage is primarily for the begetting and raising of children. Mr Wearherly wishes to push those who believe that to the margins of society.

44 comments:

Mike said...

A most interesting letter:
“Several campaigns are currently calling for, variously, the creation of a right to a Marriage for same-sex couples and the creation of a right to a Civil Partnership for opposite-sex couples. Such proposals may seemingly be the next logical step in the campaign for equality but, if enacted, would still leave us with a messy compromise. As long as religious groups can refuse to preside over ceremonies for same-sex couples, there will be inequality. Such behaviour is not be tolerated in other areas, such as adoption, after all.
I suggest that it makes little difference if unions are called Marriages, Civil Partnerships or some other term (such as simply ‘Unions’). Until we untangle unions and religion in this country, we will struggle to find a fair arrangement.”

We have been warned! We are noisily told that if the law is changed to allow so-called gay ‘marriages’ in churches no church will be forced to conduct such ceremonies. Now we have the first MP to tell us that such a compromise ‘is not to be tolerated’ because it creates ‘inequality’. Don’t hold your breath to see how long that compromise lasts before the Equality Brigade demand an end to it. And Mr Weatherly has a crafty way of dealing with it. If churches won’t conduct such ceremonies then they should not be allowed to conduct any marriage ceremonies’.

Note, also that this is a Conservative MP! If a Tory MP can come out with this, what can we expect from the Liberal Democrats and Labour?

And: “there are a large number of Evangelical, Coptic Orthodox and Catholics in his constituency but there is also the sizeable Orthodox Jewish community and not an inconsiderable number Muslims, all who hold to a traditional notion of marriage.” So whose views does Mr Weatherly think are more important? No prizes for guessing why he courts the gay vote and ignores the Christians in his constituency.

For an example of how noisily people are claiming that no church will be forced to conduct so-called gay ‘marriages’ see the reaction in Scotland to an MSP’s motion to the Scottish Parliament on that subject:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-14435856
http://www.christianstogether.net/Publisher/Article.aspx?ID=274860
http://www.patrickharviemsp.com/2011/08/greens-reject-antiquated-opposition-to-equal-marriage/

nickbris said...

A recent survey announced on Southern TV last week said that the people of Brighton were the happiest in the UK. I suppose that means we have more freedom to elect nincompoops and destroy civilisation from within.

One of our MP's wants to restrict families from having children to save the Planet and to turn us all into Vegetarians.Another wants to ban Churches from performing marriages unless they are same-sex same orientation.

How long will it be before Witchcraft and Bestiality is put on the menu in this happy happy City.

To cater for the expected hordes coming in to take advantage of these new"freedoms"the City Council may have to ease up on the Laurel & Hardy parking regulations.

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

Why is the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony governed by the State?

Do we need a license to Baptize?

Do we need a license for Extreme Unction?

Priests need to take their sheep before the altar and marry them, the State's permission be damned.

We need to dump wishy-washy Catholics that speak Church Law prefaced with "I think"

Speak with authority, as Daniel did with the Judges that accused Susanne.

*

Physiocrat said...

I fear that most of the other local MPs would take the same view. Whether they really believe this or are just interested in winning votes is another question again.

This is just kite flying anyway. The Church of Sweden has been performing '"gay" "marriages" ' for a few years, but there has not been a rush of couples to the altars.

Katherine said...

You make some valid points, but your affirmation that your concept of traditional marriage is also embarced by the Muslim religion make the case for the other point of view. "Traditional" is reduced to no same sex unions. Muslims with four wives, Evangelicals who divorce and remarry, Orthodox Jews who refuse intermarriage all are embraced.

It does lead to the theory that there is more than a theological objection but a hostility to gay people in society.

Michael Petek said...

The effect of Mr Weatherley's proposal would be to suppress the civil effects of marriages conducted in church. We would be in the same position as mosques which are not registered as places for the celebration of marriage.

Malcolm said...

Katherine,

How many Muslims with 4 wives do you know in Hove or Brighton?

Yes, there are divorced Christians but there is a unanimity amongst the vast swaithe of belieivers that marriage is, as Fr Ray says, for the procreation and education of children.

Far from an attack on gay people, opposition to this, and similar measures, is actually pro-child, and pro-religious freedom

p.s I'm a gay constituent of Mike Weatherley

Dilly said...

Katherine

Big problem with your argument in the context of Fr Blake's post
Traditional Muslims; Orthodox Jews; and divorced Evangelicals are not trying to dictate who can marry in a Catholic Church. They make their own arrangements for their non-Catholic ceremonies.

John Nolan said...

I suspect Mr Weatherley thinks he can pick up votes in what is well known as the gay capital of England. All the gay people of my acquaintance are educated enough to know that the term marriage when used literally means the union of a man and a woman and don't have a problem with that. To suggest that their relationships are blighted because they can't walk down the aisle clutching bouquets to the strains of Lohengrin is a tad patronizing, don't you think?

William said...

Saint Mike at 5:08pm has it right. The Church does not need the permission of the state to administer the Sacraments. The day could indeed come when a Catholic marriage is not recognized by the state. Holy matrimony will, however, always be one of the seven sacraments and there is absolutely nothing the state can say or do about it.

John L said...

Why would one expect anything different? This was always the obvious result of legalising gay marriage. Christians who believed reassurances about Christians being allowed to practice their religion free from interference when gay marriage was introduced were just cowards hiding their heads in the sand. The cowardice I'm afraid began earlier than this, when gay marriage was not challenged on the grounds that the state should not be legitimising sexual perversion. If homosexual activity is not perversion, then the gay position - that there is no difference between heterosexual marriage and gay relationships, and that acknoweldgement of such difference is unjust discrimination - is correct.

Aaron said...

I have just written an e-mail that I will send to Mike expressing my disapproval!

Honestly, I would have expected a Conservative MP to have appreciated the importance of Christian freedom, especially regarding the sacraments.

georgem said...

Mike Weatherley MP answers ConHome's Twenty Questions for the Class of 2010

Q. Which non-Conservative politician do you most admire?

A. Lembit Opik - not really because of his policies but the way he got notoriety with ease (although if I was to emulate his 'notoriety' I'd prefer it was due to political successes rather than gaffes!).

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/parliament
/2010/08/mike-weatherley-
mp-answers-conhomes-twenty-questions-for-the-class-of-2010-.html

Hmmmmm.

Pétrus said...

I am really incensed by this.

Surely the member for Hove is just trying to appeal to a chunk of his constituency who are banging their drum quite loudly.

I am all for equality but if we take his logic to its reductio ad absurdum then Catholics should be allowed to marry in other places of worship. Surely we should be allowed a Catholic wedding in Westminster Cathedral, or Finsbury Park Mosque? Why not the reverse, if we have to allow others to marry in Catholic churches lets not stop anyone. When is the first Raëlian wedding ceremony at Mary Mags?

Dilly said...

Georgem

A quick google will show how Mr Weatherley gained notoriety.

nickbris said...

We should all know by now that a Tory MP wll never do anything for nothing,he has been professionally got at by lobbyists,even if it is just a dinner at Drakes

Pétrus said...

I have taken the time to draft a letter to Mr Weatherly.

I have posted it on my blog below :

http://menarelikewine.blogspot.com/2011/09/faith-venues-and-same-sex.html

Keith Sharpe said...

As I have argued in my forthcoming book, The Gay Gospels, (www.thegaygospels.com), and in an article to appear in the Argus later this week, the Christian Churches' current position on gay marriage is entirely disingenuous. The Catholic Church teaches that the reason marriage is reserved for opposite sex couples is that all sexual acts must be 'open to procreation'. And yet it is perfectly willing to marry the infertile, the post menopausal and the elderly knowing that their sexual acts are not open to procreation, and to turn a blind eye to the widespread disregarding of its teaching on contraception amongst the catholic faithful. Churches which actually approve of conraception are even more hypocritical from a gay standpoint. Once it is admitted that the real purpose of marriage is to bond together two people who love each other there can be no legitimate objection to marriage for gay people who can only love persons of the same sex. In the light of current understanding of human sexuality it is the churches which are lacking in liberality and generosity of spirit rather than Mr Weatherley.

Katherine said...

Katherine

Big problem with your argument in the context of Fr Blake's post
Traditional Muslims; Orthodox Jews; and divorced Evangelicals are not trying to dictate who can marry in a Catholic Church. They make their own arrangements for their non-Catholic ceremonies.


What you call a big problem in my argument is not part of my argument at all. I said nothing about the proposal of the Tory MP. What I took notice of was the suggestion that "traditional marriage" was something embraced by Catholics, Muslims, Evangelical Protestants and Orthodox Jews against those who would legalize same sex marriage.

I am a Catholic and I affirm the Catholic understanding of marriage. But I think the suggestion that divorce, polygamy and a prohibition on extracommunal marriages are not deviations from the essence of the Catholic understanding of marriage but same sex unions are, lead one to ponder that what is really going on is a hostility to one particular group.

Just another mad Catholic said...

@Mr Sharpe


The reason that Sodomy is an unnatural act is because it frustrates the natural purpose of sexual union, as any natural law theorist would argue the purpose of the marital act is for it to achieve the end towards it is directed i.e. procreation. This is not something you have to be a Catholic to realise, any biologist would agree with you.

Now any act which frustrates this purpose is by definition unatural and therefore imoral, this includes masturbation, sodomy and contraception.

As for Holy Mother Church marrying the infertile; it is perfectly moral to the couple to engage in the marital act SO LONG as one party is not marrying the other BECAUSE they are infertile; also as Catholics we believe that God may grant this couple children who are concieved natrually (see Genesis 1,7 1st Samual and Luke Ch 1 for details).

To be frank I am tired of gay people's appeal to emotion in their attempts to further corrupt the morals of society ,If you are a Christian sir (as you appear to be) then you are modernist heretic plain and simple, God condems homosexual acts as an aberation in scripture, tradition and in his laws both natural and divine.

georgem said...

Neat bit of sophistry to advertise your book, Keith.
Any mention of the sacramental aspect of marriage? If you need help with that, try a Catholic website.
I'm afraid that the gay lobby falls into the trap of believing that the louder and more aggressively it shouts the truer its message. Sorry, it don't work that way.
What beats me is why anyone who rails against the Catholic Church's teaching would be so anxious to push for a church service. It seems totally illogical to me.
The stats for lifelong commitment among gays are not that promising - dissolution of civil partnerships in 2010 showed a rise of 44% over 2009.
No mention of gay "marriages" in mosques, I suppose.

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

Faithful that are prepared for the sacrament of Holy Matrimony in Holy Mother Church fulfill the command to go forth, be fruitful and multiply.

Their end is the procreation of children for the greater glory of God.

Heaven.

When the Prodigal Son fell in with hogs, eating the corncobs that were the food for the hogs, he could not be filled by them.

The hogs represent Demons, the corncobs represent Sin.

When someone chooses sin, in this case homosexuality (including transsex, gender, lesbian, so on), that person has been lead to diabolical, partaking of sin like hogs at a trough.

Their end is Death.

This sin cannot produce, nor fulfill.

When the State gives them more and more ‘Rights’, it will have to do so ad infinitum.

Because the State has chosen Sin also, its ultimate end will also be Death.

*

berenike said...

Keith! You must write to The Vatican (tm) IMMEDIATELY!

Why have none of those points ever occurred to theologians before? Why have none of your points ever occured to me before?

There will be [facepalm] all over the Official Church Hierarchy when They read your brilliant analysis!

:)

Physiocrat said...

St Michael,

Fascinating hermeneutic on the story of the prodigal son.

Just two small points, though. Corn, like potatoes, tomatoes and tobacco, was unknown outside America until the sixteenth century, so that is an anachronism. But as I have never liked anything made of maize, you could be right. About it being the devil's food, though I had always thought it was sulphur.

Homosexual orientation is neither a sin nor a lifestyle choice. The church refers to it as a disorder (not the same thing as a disease).

Sexual acts outside of marriage are a sin.

Marriage is something that takes place between a man and a woman.

It is a good thing to hold to the church's teaching and to leave the matter at there.

Aaron said...

@Keith: the Church's teaching on marriage is premised upon sexual complementarity and openness to the fecundity of life in mutually giving sexual acts - the transmission of life.

What the Church resolutely does not teach is that marriage is "reserved" for opposite sex couples as the most expedient way to produce children: marriage itself as a sacrament is a good, irrespective of whether those unions are blessed by God with children.

Our Lord himself has this to say on the good of marriage: "Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one'? So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder." Matthew 19:4-6

Gay men and women lack both the sexual complementarity and openness to the fecundity of life to fruitfully enter into marriage. It is for this reason that the Church encourages gay men and women to express their love fruitfully in chaste, celibate friendships, uniting themselves to the Lord's Cross.

What the Church will never admit is that the "real purpose" of marriage is to "bond together two people who love eachother" as though the most august sacrament of Marriage is a sort of glue that Holy Mother Church applies to any two creatures that express romantic interest in eachother.

"A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another." John 13:34. This is the summary of the argument: we are absolutely not entitled to love one another as we see fit, but as Our Lord and His Church commands, for that is the only way that we will truly be free and enjoy friendship with God.

saundersoncross@gmail.com

Keith Sharpe said...

Can I just make the following brief points in response to comments about my post?
1. Homosexuality, like heterosexuality, is not a choice. It is a fundamental personality orientation with which individuals find themselves. Actually this is official Catholic Church teaching since the 1986 CDF pastoral letter written by J. Ratzinger.
2. It is not true that any biologist would agree with church teaching on 'natural law'. Research now reveals that homosexuality is entirely natural in the sense that it is a minority variant prevalent throughout the animal kingdom. Aquinas et al could not have known this but we do.
3. Statistics for lifelong commitment amongst gay people are skewed by the particular difficulties posed for such relationships precisely by the overt hostility and lack of social support given in the environning culture. The statistics on lifelong commitment for straight and married couples are not so impressive now either.
4. God does not 'condemn homosexual acts as an aberration in Scripture. Leviticus is about patriarchy, ritual purity and preserving male domination and female subjugation. St Paul is concerned about idolatry and exploitative fornication, not same sex love. Jesus commanded love of neighbour as oneself. Approximately 10% of the neighbours are created homosexual. The church is still coming to terms with this fact.

David Lindsay said...

Now that the debate is open, let us make the most of it. Any marrying couple should be entitled to register their marriage as bound by the law prior to 1969 as regards grounds and procedures for divorce, and any religious organisation enabled to specify that any marriage which it conducted should be so bound, requiring it to counsel couples accordingly.

Statute should specify that the Church of England be such a body unless the General Synod specifically resolved the contrary by a two-thirds majority in all three Houses, with something similar for the Methodist and United Reformed Churches, which also exist pursuant to Acts of Parliament, as well as by amendment to the legislation relating to the restoration of the Catholic hierarchy.

That would be a start, anyway. The marital union of one man and one woman is a public good uniquely and in itself, and the taxation system, among so very many other instruments of public policy, should recognise that fact. It should recognise marriage as a unique public good, to which civil partnerships are not comparable. And it should recognise marriage as a public good in itself, whether or not there are children, a related but different public good of which other forms of recognition rightly exist.

But will any Party Leader say this, as once they would all have done? What do you think? David Cameron, having proved himself the heir to Margaret Thatcher's legislation for abortion up to birth, which was opposed by John Smith, is doubtless also the heir of John Major's legislation to make divorce legally easier than release from a car hire contract, to abolish the fiscal recognition of marriage simply as such (in a Finance Bill against which every Labour MP voted at the time), and to end the situation whereby, by recognising adultery and desertion as faults in divorce cases, society declared in law its disapproval of them even though they were not in themselves criminal offences. But Ed Miliband? Over to him.

Just another mad Catholic said...

Mr Sharpe

1) May I suggest you re-read St Paul's letter to the Romans Chapter 1 something about

2)Leviticus is the Holy word of God written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost the third member of the Most Blessed Trinity, if you do not assent to that proposition then you seriously endanger your soul

3)Apart from Holy Scripture ALL of the Fathers of the Church condemmed sodomy in the most stringent terms, citing Holy Scripture.

4)The Pagans Plato and Aristotle also condemmed sodomy

5) Whether Orientation is as you claim "a fundamental personality orientation" or not does not factor in to the question of whether the act is moral or not. Such people (as I'm sure Fr. Blake would testify) are to be pitied, shown mercy and encouraged in thier battle against this abnormal vice.


Unless Sir you repent of your SIN and are joined in Communion with the Sea of Peter then at your death you will most assuradly be cast into hell with the reprobate.

Aaron said...

@Just another mad Catholic:

1. I would note that sodomy extends to a number of sexual vices and is certainly not the preserve of homosexual men and women as you seem to suggest (e.g., heterosexual couples practise acts of sodomy).

2. The Catechism teaches that there are Five sins which cry to heaven (1867) of which Sodomy is only one: the blood of Abel; the sin of the Sodomites; the cry of the oppressed, esp the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan; and injustice to the wage earner. All are to be pitied: sodomy is not a special case.

3. I do not think that it is your place to assume that any person is guilty of the sin of sodomy, as you seem to; and I certainly do not think that it is your place to be telling who will "assuredly be cast into hell with the reprobate."

I would suggest that you work on your Christian charity because at the moment you read/sound less like a Catholic and more like a certain kind of zealous Evangelical: as Catholics I think we are better than that.

4. I think we should avoid assuming what our Parish Priest would testify to or otherwise... probably best that we speak for ourselves.

best,
a

pelerin said...

Good to see that Bishop Conry has made a statement saying that as catholics we have a right to abide by the rules of the Faith. (Catholic Herald website)

Physiocrat said...

Aaron, glad you mentioned the ones about injustice to foreigners, orphans, widows and the wage earner, especially since the predominant economic system throughout the world is predicated on these. And usury.

We Catholics really need to be more up-front about these even more prevalant deadly sins, otherwise people get the impression that we are obsessed with sex.

Just another mad Catholic said...

@Aroan

Points 1&2 - Noted although I am focusing on homosexual aspect as that is what mr sharpe is trying to defend, both here and on his website.

3) I am refering to MR Sharpe's views that Leviticus is not inspired scripture, admitedly he does not say so forthwrightly but his comments seem to imply that he thinks that the text is socially constructed rather than divinely inspired.

4) I'm sorry that you think I sound like an American Evangelical (to be honest I take that as a compliment), I am simply warning Mr Sharpe that unless he Repents of the views that he has espoused both here and on his website then he runs the risk of eternal damnation as he does if he dies outside of Communion with the Apostolic See of Rome


4) I used Fr Blake as an example becuase he has blogged before about the unique situation of being a Parish Priest in England's 'gay mecca'. Should he wish to correct me he is free to do so.

Keith Sharpe said...

Since it has been repeated by a couple of people I will respond one last time about the 'sin of Sodom'.

What the sodomites did was offend against the ancient law of hospitality to strangers. This law is the OT precursor to Jesus' NT commandement to love your neighbour. The story explicitly contrasts the sodomites violent attack on strangers with the hospitality (love of (stranger) neighbours) shown first by Abraham then by Lot, his nephew.

This story has nothing to do with same sex love, even if it is the case (which is not certain)that the sodomites were intent on male rape. Would you condemn heterosexuality because some men engage in rape, even gang rape? Of course not.

But the Bible is clear that their sin is inhospitality. Ezekiel 16:48-49 'This was the guilt of your sister, Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food and prosperous ease but did not aid the poor and needy'.

Even more powerful is what Jesus himself said: 'And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgement, than for that city.' Matthew 10: 14-15. Jesus clearly locates the sin of Sodom here in inhospitality and failure to respond to the message of God's love. This text would make no sense if the sin of Sodom is taken to be male anal rape.

For the first 1000 years of Christianity nobody thought this story was any kind of condemnation of homosexuality. Only later was it dragooned into this role to support prejudice (in the absence of any other clear Biblical condemnation).

Finally - if 'sodomy' = sinful homosexuality how can this possibly apply to female homosexuals? This is just nonsense.

For these reasons very few reputable biblical scholars, catholic or otherwise, are prepared to use the Story of Sodom in any religious discussion of homosexuality.

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

"...that we may know them.."

Is a reference to sexual acts, especially when Lot offers his daughters to the crowd of perverts.

The Sin of Sodom was sodomy, their quick punishment was due their lack of resistance to sin; that brought God to great anger.

They no longer resisted sin, and were sodomites in the wrong way.

Do not overlook the obvious.

The Sodomites were punished, and also their sympathizers, the pro-homosexual crowd that might not have been homosexuals, but approved and supported that behavior.

*

Just another mad Catholic said...

Mr Keith

I have presented arguments from the Natural Law (I have mentioned Aristotle but I could mention many more fine philosophers), Scripture (1 Romans 18-31 specifically), I have warned you that you imperil your own soul should you deny explicitly or implicitly the inspiration of Scripture and yet you continue to try and defend your heretical and immoral views by selectively quoting Scripture in order so that you may continue to walllow in sin.


Furthermore in the contents of your book it would appear that (among other things) you defend the blasphomous view that Jesus was Gay.

If you truely have any Christian decency sir you will disavow this work of Blasphomoy, ensure that it is never published and do penance for the rest of your days.

Otherwise Sir the fires of hell await you not only for your own sins but for the sins of those you lead into falsehood and error through your works

Physiocrat said...

Why all this discussion about Sodom? It was evidently destroyed by some kind of volcanic action. The area in question is on the edge of the rift valley which commences north of the Sea of Galilee and extends down the Jordan Valley, the Red Sea and down into East Africa. The entire valley is slowly widening and is consequently subject to seismic activity. So it is not surprising that a violent eruption took place in that location. It is not productive to view the event as evidence of the finger of God at work.

The scriptural prohibition against homosexuality is derived from Leviticus 18:22. The suggestion that the inhabitants of Sodom persistently engaged in unpleasant sexual practices seems to be a gloss on the text. It is not a specifically same-sex action and it leaves open the question of what was going on in the other cities that were destroyed at the same time.

Keith Sharpe said...

One last parting comment, for Physiocrat: I appreciate your rational analysis of volcanic activity to explain the destruction of Sodom. As a Christian, however, I do believe the story is explicitly intended to teach the most crucial lesson: if you do not show kindness and hospitality (love) to others you cut yourself off from the love of God. It is a colossal tragedy that in the second millenium of Christianity this true meaning has been distorted simply in order to justify homophobic prejudice.

It is vitally important that the Church returns to the original teaching, which as I pointed out earlier Jesus himself gives us. Some churches are moving in this direction. In today's Argus (leader page Fri 9/9) the Rural Dean of Brighton makes absolutely clear that he believes the Church should bless gay marriages. The denial of the Church's blessing to the unions of loyal committed gay Christians is a denial of the love of neighbour which Christ taught.

Pétrus said...

@Keith Sharpe

You do realise that the rural dean of Brighton is in fact not a member of "The Church"

Richard Ashby said...

I suggest that 'just a mad catholic' should take note of the beam/plank in his own eye rather than fulminate against the specks in other peoples'. That he aspires to become a priest is truly frightening and I hope that those charged with discerning his vocation see his mad postings here.

It realy will not do in this day and age to say that 'because I say so', or 'because it's in the bible' something is true. That will never win converts and indeed will put off all who think for themselves. Unthinking compliance went out with the reformation, or perhaps that hasn't yet got through to some parts of the church.

I shall be very glad to join Mr Sharpe in hell, though I expect to see the 'mad catholic' there as well.

Just another mad Catholic said...

Mr Ashby

It may please you to know that for two years I have been studying the Proofs of God's existence given by St Thomas Aquinas and his natural law theory. Therefore if I wished to I could demonstrate the imorality of homosexual acts without reference to scripture.

I also consider my remarks to be in the same vein as those of Augastine, Anselm, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp et al.

All of the above are Cannonized Saints who at this moment enjoy the Beatific vision.

I am also aware of my status as a sinner and I gennerally go to confession once a week.

BTW it may interest you to know that I am a convert.

Aaron said...

A convert from what pray tell!! I say the money's on Protestant evangelical Christianity...(?)

God Bless,
A

Richard Ashby said...

'Mad Catholic'

I have to say that my response to your calling St Augustine and others to your aid is 'so what?'. I would also suggest that being more charitable to those with whom you disagree might get you some time off purgatory. I am glad that the study of Thomas Aquinas and the natural law theory gives you such intellectual pleasure but you really cannot go around these days asserting something which cannot be proven. You should know that the opposite of 'faith' is not 'doubt' but 'certainty' and it is certainty which brings out the most unpleasant aspects of Christian belief, which are arrogance, uncharitableness, exclusivity and condemnation. I am not sure what being a convert has to do with it except to say that converts are often more Roman than the Pope.

Just another mad Catholic said...

@Aron

From Athiesm

@ mr Ashby

I cite the Fathers as evidence that my position is that of Holy Mother Church and in justification of my polemical attitude towards Mr Sharpe.

In Dommino

Pétrus said...

I received a response from Mike Weatherley to my earlier email. I have posted it on my blog below :

http://menarelikewine.blogspot.com/2011/09/response-from-mike-weatherly.html