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Justin Welby: the anguish I face over gay marriage

April 19th, 2014 Jill Posted in Archbishop Of Canterbury, Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Cole Moreton and John Bingham, Telegraph

The Archbishop of Canterbury has suggested he is powerless to provide blessings for gay marriages because to do so would split the global Anglican Church.

In an interview with The Telegraph, the Most Rev Justin Welby says that the Church had probably caused “great harm” to homosexuals in the past — but there was not always a “huge amount” that could be done now to rectify the situation.

Although indicating that he was sympathetic to calls for the Church to publicly honour gay relationships, the Archbishop says that it is “impossible” for some followers in Africa to support homosexuality. In the interview, the leader of the Anglican Church, which has 77 million followers globally, speaks movingly of the persecution faced by Christians in parts of the world. He indicates that the Church must not take a step that would cut off these groups, most of them in the third world, however much this angers parts of society in Britain.

The introduction of same-sex marriage in England and Wales last month has brought divisions within the Church of England to a new intensity.

Although the Church is legally exempt from carrying out same-sex weddings, it is about to embark on a consultation on the possible introduction of informal blessing-like services. The Church’s attempt to ban its own clergy from marrying people of the same sex has already been openly defied by at least one priest who married his partner last week.

Read here

Read also: Justin Welby’s vision through tears at a grave – Telegraph editorial

The Archbishop of Canterbury's deadly dilemma by Cole Moreton

Cor wot a cop out! by Peter Mullen

Archbishop Welby Struggles with a Greater Truth by A S Haley, Stand Firm

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The consequences of homosexual marriage

April 15th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage Comments Off

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Booklet on implications of same-sex ‘marriage’ placed in schools

April 15th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Education, Gay Marriage Comments Off

From Christian Concern

The Coalition for Marriage has succeeded in placing its booklet informing teachers of the implications of introducing same-sex marriage in every school in Gloucestershire.

The 27-page guide contains sections headed “No promotion of sexual orientation” and “Teachers are free to express opinions, but not to promote political policies”.

Advice has also been given to schools in the guidance issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) which states:

• No school, or individual teacher, is under a duty to support, promote or endorse marriage of same sex couples.
• Teachers, other school staff, governors, parents and pupils are all free to hold whatever personal views they choose on marriage of same sex couples, including a view that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. The Government recognises that the belief that marriage can only be between a man and a woman is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society.
• Schools with a religious character can continue to deliver sex and relationship education in accordance with their particular religious doctrines or ethos.”

Campaign Director of the Coalition for Marriage, Colin Hart said: "We hope that this guidance will help protect children, teachers and parents who believe in traditional marriage. Our own guide also highlights why teachers should not be forced to endorse the redefinition of marriage in the classroom and emphasises that schools should deal with this controversial issue in a balanced and sensitive way.

Read here


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The Church of England enters a new era – married gay clergy are the new reality

April 15th, 2014 Jill Posted in Church of England, Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Colin Coward, Changing Attitude

On Saturday 12 April 2014 Canon Jeremy Pemberton and Laurence Cunnington married. The Church of England now has its first married gay priest, the first of many who will follow his example in the weeks and months and years to come.

Jeremy has confronted one diocesan bishop with a challenge, a bishop who is warmly affirming of Jeremy’s ministry and relationship. Jeremy confronts the House of Bishops with the reality that many partnered lesbian and gay clergy lived in committed relationships and wish to marry (with the drama and media attention surrounding Saturday’s wedding). Other gay priests have already announced their intention to marry.

[...]  A new era has arrived. Many Anglicans had already decided to ignore the Pastoral Guidance and marry their same sex partner and/or bless same-sex relationships. The Guidance has now been formally transgressed.

Archbishop Justin Welby’s warnings about the implications for Anglicans in Africa have been set aside as unproven. Archbishop Justin prioritised the protection of one set of people who are under threat by Moslems at the expense of another group, LGBTI African Christians, a group also numbered in the millions across Africa.

The level of risk for the House of Bishops is now significantly increased.

The House risks looking impotent if it fails to act against married gay priests in accordance with the Pastoral Guidance.

The House risks the wrath of those who believe the bishops may fail to uphold the doctrines of the Church about gender, sexuality and marriage.

The majority of UK citizens think the Church of England is prejudiced by refusing to celebrate the ministry of lay and ordained LGBTI people and refusing to affirm and celebrate loving, faithful same-sex relationships.

The House of Bishops will come under intense pressure at the General Synod meeting in July. There will be calls for a debate, a Private Members motion will probably be tabled and there will be pressure inside and outside the Synod chamber and in fringe meetings.

The Church of England enters a new era. If the House is pushed into taking punitive action against Jeremy (unlikely since he is a hospital chaplain) or any other gay or lesbian priest who marries, it risks alienating those members of the Church of England, General Synod and the House of Bishops who welcome and affirm LGBTI ministry and relationships and celebrate the gifts of partnered lesbian and gay clergy.

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Same-Sex “Marriage” & Obamacare: Similarities?

April 15th, 2014 Jill Posted in Ethics, Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Joseph Backholm, Family Policy Institute

What do Obamacare and same-sex “marriage” have in common? More than you might think.

In both cases, people created well intentioned policies that ignored immutable laws of the universe. In both cases, support was generated by intentionally withholding relevant information and accusing those who asked critical questions of wanting to harm their neighbors.

Of course we hope everyone will have high quality health care.

But Obamacare couldn’t deliver on its promises because the idea that you can provide insurance for 30 million people who don’t currently have insurance, while reducing the cost of insurance for those who do have it by $2,500 a year, all while reducing the federal deficit violates economic realities. Nothing is free.

Of course we don’t want the government telling people who they can form relationships with.

But same-sex “marriage” can’t succeed because it is based on premise that, with respect to marriage and parenting, men and women are interchangeable; a belief that is biologically, physiologically, hormonally, and neurologically false.

Still, unlike Obamacare, there has been a feeling, even in conservative circles, that same-sex “marriage” is here to stay.

Maybe that was presumptuous.

The now well chronicled ouster of Brendan Eich from his job as CEO of Mozilla for making a 2008 contribution to California’s Proposition 8 campaign could be a watershed moment in this entire conversation.

Through his forced resignation, the tolerance assassins have (once again) served notice that if you want a high profile job in the private sector, you have to agree with them about marriage and sexuality-or at least never have done something public that would indicate otherwise.

It’s the kind of “accountability” that every totalitarian government adopts.

The public has soured on Obamacare because reality is not conforming to the promises made.

Could the same be true for the same-sex “marriage” movement as well?

Read here


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First gay church wedding held in Bournemouth

April 14th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage Comments Off

From BBC News

A same-sex couple have been married in Bournemouth, in what is believed to be the UK's first gay wedding ceremony held in a church.
 
Jan Tipper and Barb Burden were married at the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) on Sunday.
 
Gay marriage became legal in England and Wales last month but the move was not supported by the Church of England.
 
Reverend Dwayne Morgan, who officiated, said the church had "taken pride in celebrating diversity".
 
While many same-sex couples have married since the law changed on 29 March, he said this was the first ceremony to be conducted in a religious building.
 
The couple said it was "very significant" to them to be married in the church they had attended for 15 years.
Ms Burden said: "Even though we've been together for almost 19 years, it didn't feel right for us to have just a blessing or even a civil partnership.
 
"We've hoped for years for the opportunity to legally marry and, once it became possible, we knew it was time for us to tie the knot and to do it before God in our church with our friends and family."
 
MCC was established in Bournemouth in 1979 and is associated with the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, which has churches in over 40 countries.
 
Read here
 
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Gay Anglican priest marries his boyfriend. He’ll be the first of many

April 13th, 2014 Jill Posted in Church of England, Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Damian Thompson, Telegaph

Well, that didn't take long. As my colleague Edward Malnick reports, a gay Church of England priest – a canon, no less – today married his boyfriend. Canon Jeremy Pemberton, 58, a divorced hospital chaplain and father of five, wed his long-term partner Laurence Cunnington, 51. We're not told where, but obviously it wasn't in a C of E church. That's against the law. But they may well be able to have their marriage blessed in church because that's only "against the rules" as opposed to illegal.
 
Campaigners predicted that Canon Pemberton would be the first of many. I think they're right. After all, it's not as if Mr Pemberton's boss, the Bishop of Lincoln, Christopher Lowson, is handing him over to the Inquisition. Over at the Mail, my old friend Jonathan Petre reports that "Bishop Lowson confirmed he had told Canon Pemberton of the House of Bishops’ statement [telling gay priests not to marry] but would not say if he was planning disciplinary action".
 
I'm no expert on Anglican canon law, but I'd guess that the punishment facing Mr Pemberton is the withdrawal of his licence to officiate at services (he doesn't have a parish). Technically he could be defrocked, but that would involve a messy legal process… by which time other priests will have tied the knot. The Rev Andrew Cain, for example, who was the first clergyman to declare his intention to marry, and who explained why in our Telegram podcast (click here).
 
That will be an interesting case. Mr Cain is the Vicar of St Mary with All Souls in Kilburn and St James in West Hampstead and known to parishioners as "Father Andrew" – ie, he's an Anglo-Catholic. North London is full of High Church priests with same-sex partners. If only a few of them defy their bishop and get married, then the Diocese of London faces a public relations as well as a legal nightmare.
 
Likewise, Chichester. I once went to a party in Brighton where a bishop turned up with his much younger Italian boyfriend. None of the other clergy present were bishops but they were all gay. Those were the days of the "gin, lace and backbiting" subculture, which wasn't a great advertisement for gay men or the C of E. The culture now is more open, but many homosexual clergy are still uncomfortable about their relationships – they feel that the General Synod forces them to be hypocritical or secretive. This is a Church, after all, that enjoins celibacy on gay priests but not gay laity, a compromise that I can't see surviving for much longer.
 
Read here
 
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Church of England faces ‘crisis’ as gay priest weds

April 12th, 2014 Jill Posted in Church of England, Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Edward Malnick, Telegraph

A priest has become the first in Britain to defy the Church of England’s ban on gay clergy marrying.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton, 58, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed his long-term partner Laurence Cunnington, 51, on Saturday afternoon.

Campaigners expressed delight that the couple had taken advantage of Britain’s newly-introduced gay marriage laws and urged bishops to “bless” their partnership. They predict he will be the first of many gay clergy to marry.

But a leading member of the Church’s conservative evangelical wing called for “discipline” of any clergy seen to be breaking the rules. He warned of a “crisis” if the leadership failed to take action.

Canon Pemberton, who has five children, is a chaplain at Lincoln hospital and also works in the Church’s Southwell and Nottingham diocese. In 2012 he was a signatory to a letter to The Telegraph from dozens of clergy warning that if the Church refused to permit gay weddings in its own churches they would advise members of their congregations to marry elsewhere.

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The Rise Of The Same-Sex Marriage Dissidents

April 12th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Gay Marriage Comments Off

by Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist

Just days after being named CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich was forced out because he is an opponent of same-sex marriage. After declining opportunities to recant his views, he “voluntarily” decided to step down. Responses have been all over the map.
 
A writer at Slate actually tried to justify the termination as a good thing. Libertarian Nick Gillespie said he was “ambivalent” about Eich’s removal but that Eich’s resignation simply “shows how businesses respond to market signals.” And even conservatives weren’t rallying behind Eich on the grounds that marriage is an institution designed around sexual complementarity so much as by saying that even if he’s wrong, conscience should be protected.
 
At the end of the day, they’re all wrong. Or at least not even close to understanding the problem with Eich’s firing. Political differences with CEOs, even deep political differences, are something adults handle all the time. Most of us know that what happened held much more significance than anodyne market forces having their way. And Eich shouldn’t be protected on the grounds that one has the right to be wrong. See, Eich wasn’t hounded out of corporate life because he was wrong. He was hounded out of corporate life because he was right. His message strikes at the root of a popular but deeply flawed ideology that can not tolerate dissent.
 
 
Read also:  The Hounding Of A Heretic by gay activist Andrew Sullivan, and an update here
 
 
 
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Canadian economist never knew he would become centre of a U.S. firestorm over his research on same-sex parenting

April 10th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Gay Marriage, Religious Liberty Comments Off

By Tristin Hopper, National Post

In a Detroit courtroom this month, a British Columbia economist was called to the stand to help build the State of Michigan’s case that overturning its ban on gay marriage would be a mistake.

For four and a half hours, Douglas Allen was grilled by prosecuting attorneys on his small body of research on same sex parenting. Specifically, he was there to defend a trio of statistical studies purporting to show that same sex parenting does not compare to its heterosexual equivalent.

Then, in the final 30 seconds of the cross-examination, attorney Ken Mogill threw Mr. Allen an unexpected theological question: “Is it accurate that you believe the consequence in engaging in homosexual acts is a separation from God and eternal damnation from God?”

In an answer that would soon be called a “bombshell” by Detroit media, an off-guard Mr. Allen replied “without repentance, yes.”

Within days, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman effectively legalized Michigan gay marriage, and ruled that Mr. Allen’s research represented a “fringe viewpoint.”

Within hours of that, four Michigan counties had begun handing out marriage licences to same sex couples.

Read here

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Gay Marriage And Child Abuse

April 10th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Alan Craig

“I am writing to inform you of the gay wedding between Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow taking place this Saturday,” gushed the PR agent’s email from Essex that dropped into our GayMarriageNoThanks inbox a few days before the first gay marriage day on 29th March.

“We… actively invite protesters to turn up and be interviewed,” burbled the blurb. “The national press already confirmed are Sky TV, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror, The Sun. A significant number of regional publications, radio stations and TV channels are also confirmed…

“Stars of The Only Way Is Essex are among the many celebrities set to make appearances at the wedding of the gay dads,” the puff piece went on. “Elton John has been invited,” they oozed.

Clearly the event was to be an exercise in spin, hype and mirrors. The Drewitt-Barlows were legally bound together in a massively publicised Civil Partnership ceremony in 2006; they cannot therefore legally be married until more laws are changed, probably later this year. So there was to be a celebration, a party and a booze-up, but no wedding. The event was a fake.

We decided to go anyway. Having confirmed with the PR agent that no children would be in the media zone outside the event, and that we came in peace to explain our opposition to gay marriage not to protest, we set off with our GMNT posters (one shown right: ‘I want my Mum’) and arrived just before it started.

Surprise, surprise: Sky TV was not there. Neither was The Daily Mail. Nor The Sun. Not even Elton John.

Read here


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Russian lawmaker proposes constitutional amendment banning gay ‘marriage’

April 9th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Catherine Briggs, LifeSite News

The leader of one of Russia’s political parties has introduced an initiative to modify the country’s constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Igor Zotov, the sponsor of the measure, is the head of the Russian Pensioner’s Party, in addition to being a Lower House MP. His proposal would change Article 38 of Russia’s constitution, inserting the line “Motherhood and childhood, family and marriage as a voluntary union between a man and a woman are under the protection of the state.” Currently, the constitution mentions the “family,” but without defining it.

Zotov said that recent influence from the West and the growing prevalence of same-sex “marriage” necessitates the constitutional amendment.

The proposed change to the constitution has yet to acquire the 90 signatures necessary for it to be introduced for official hearing, though Zotov says he has received support from some Duma deputies.
 
Zotov told the popular Russian newspaper, Izvestia, that he “got this idea from the members of the Pensioners’ Party branches in Chelyabinsk and Sverdlovsk.”
 
“These people,” Zotov continued, “were extremely concerned over the processes that are currently taking place all over the world, in particular by the fact that the laws allowing gay marriage have been passed in 15 different countries and four regions within larger nations.”
 
Despite antagonism from homosexual rights groups, the majority of Russians oppose same-sex “marriage.”
 
Read here
 
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Front page gay marriage kiss sees drop in newspaper sales

April 9th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage Comments Off

From The Christian Institute

A regional newspaper has reportedly lost “thousands of sales” after publishing a picture of two homosexual men kissing on its front page.

The Bristol Post featured the image on 31 March to mark the city’s first same-sex marriage.

Editor Mike Norton said the drop in sales surprised him as the paper received only nine complaints.

“But, clearly, what people say and what people do are different. Of course, I knew that. But I didn’t think it would apply in this case.”

He added: “I’ve decided to ask the internet. I want to hear from the people who didn’t buy the paper because of that picture. Tell me why. I ask only that you are reasoned and honest. But I want to start a dialogue and genuinely understand why the picture put you off.”

Read here


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Backlash mounts against the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Christian photographers’ appeal

April 9th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Activism, Gay Marriage Comments Off

Rod Dreher's 'Law of Merited Impossibility' — Nothing bad will happen to you gay marriage opponents, and when it does, you will deserve it

By Ben Johnson, LifeSite News

By refusing to hear an appeal, the Supreme Court let stand a New Mexico court ruling that states business owners must participate in same-sex "wedding" or commitment ceremonies, even if doing so violates their faith.

The reaction from concerned observers continues to pour in.
 
The high court refused to hear Elane Photography v. Willock, in which the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that Christian photographers Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin were wrong to decline photographing the 2007 commitment ceremony of lesbian couple Vanessa Willock and Misti Collinsworth.
 
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins called the dismissal “a gross violation of the First Amendment.”
“Our nation's long tradition of respecting conscience is likely why 85 percent of Americans, according to a Rasmussen poll, support the right of photographers to decline participation in a same-sex wedding ceremony,” he said.
 
“At issue is the fundamental question of whether the state can pretend to be a god over the conscience,” said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination.
 
“At issue is whether these persons will be forced by the coercive power of the state to participate in something they believe to be sinful. The audacity of the New Mexico Supreme Court in saying that the crucifixion of conscience is the price of citizenship is breathtaking,” he said.
 
Such a ruling “is damaging not only to the conscience rights of Christians, but to all citizens. When we decide, as a country, that state power trumps the rights of conscience, we are treading on self-evident, inalienable rights, granted not by government but by God.”
 
Read here
 
Read also:  Gay activists aim to shut down Oregon health food store over owner’s support for true marriage
 
 
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Elane Photography Case Shows Why We Must Fight Against Government Coercion

April 8th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Religious Liberty Comments Off

By Ryan T Anderson, The Foundry

Today, the Supreme Court declined to review Elane Photography v. Willock—the famous case involving a photographer who politely declined to tell the story of a same-sex commitment ceremony. While neither affirming nor rejecting the lower court’s ruling, the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari means a New Mexico Supreme Court decision against the Huegenins’ right to free expression will stand.
Jordan Lorence, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the Huguenins, explains:
“It is important to note that the Supreme Court did not ‘uphold’ the repressive decision of the New Mexico Supreme Court but merely decided not to hear the case. We don’t know why, but this is not an affirmance of the lower court opinion. The high court’s decision today sets no legal precedent. There are other cases now in the pipeline and probably more to follow that will likely reach the Supreme Court.”
What was the case all about? The Huguenins run Elane Photography, a small business in Albuquerque, N.M. In 2006, the couple declined a request to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony because, as Elaine explains, “the message a same-sex commitment ceremony communicates is not one I believe.”
 
Elane Photography didn’t refuse to take pictures of gay and lesbian individuals, but it did decline to photograph a ceremony that ran counter to the owners’ belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman (an understanding of marriage that New Mexico law upholds). Other photographers in the Albuquerque area were more than happy to photograph the event.
 
Read here
 
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The Archbishop, Gay Marriage and Violence: What are the issues?

April 7th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Global South Comments Off

By Andrew Goddard, Fulcrum

Sadly, but perhaps inevitably, Archbishop Justin’s excellent and wide-ranging LBC phone-in (transcript here and recording here) in which he talked about food banks, Jesus as defining who God is for us, poverty, church and politics, climate change has, in reporting, been almost wholly reduced to one short exchange responding to one of a number of questions relating to homosexuality.

Sadly, but perhaps inevitably, even that answer has then been seriously misunderstood and distorted in the critiques and led, as usual, to more heat than light (Thinking Anglicans has its usual helpful sample of reactions and less helpful range of comments here and here). The incident Justin referred to, in which he connected posssible Church of England actions on same-sex relationships to the killing of Christians in Africa, is one which has clearly, and unsurprisingly, impacted him deeply and influences his engagement with the subject. He has used it before in discussions about sexuality and Church of England policy, but never so publicly. That it should have hit the headlines when said publicly is unsurprising given the combination of its shocking nature and many people’s ignorance about the reality. Both elements were captured in almost the final words of the interview:
 
JO: So, a Christian on the ground in Africa could end up being on the receiving end of violence and abuse because of a decision taken at Lambeth Palace about sexual equality, about gay marriage?
JW: Yes, precisely.
JO: That’s not something I’ve heard before.
JW: I’m afraid it’s only too sadly true.
 
Thankfully, there does not appear to be any questioning of the truth of his personal testimony as to what he witnessed. Nor have people disputed the shocking reason he was given to justify the mass murder of hundreds of Nigerian Christians (“if we leave a Christian community in this area we will all be made to become homosexual and so we’re going to kill the Christians”), of which he clearly said “this is not obviously something I think”. That rationale highlights just how different our contexts are and how serious ignorance and prejudice towards gay, lesbian and bisexual people remains in many parts of the world. There has, however, been much misunderstanding and unfair criticism of what he said. There is a need to set it in context, to engage the broader questions of the nature and the rightness of his pattern of Christian moral reasoning and to consider what place his example should have in our thinking.
 
Read here
 
Read also:  What did Justin Welby say about gays and violence in Africa? by Ian Paul
 
 
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Why ‘move on’ won’t wash over same-sex marriage

April 6th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Julian Mann, Christian Today

Such is the huge social pressure now for accepting same-sex marriage that even its erstwhile parliamentary critics are telling voters to move on. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond claims that now Parliament has made its decision opponents of same-sex marriage will 'get used to it'; the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has conceded that Parliament has "spoken very clearly and we accept that and that's right and proper".

But here is why "move on" is a message socially conservative voters are not going to heed. First, a personal political recollection.

In 1986, when the Westland crisis hit Mrs Thatcher's Second Administration, I, then aged 21, had a vigorous political debate with a friend who later became a Conservative parliamentary candidate. I argued with passionate conviction that the political contoversy over the takeover of the Westland helicopter firm producing the resignation of one of Mr Hammond's predecessors, Michael Heseltine, would be a major issue at the next General Election, which fell in 1987.

It was so serious it could see the 'exocetting' of Mrs Thatcher by the voters with her falling from the sky like, well, a Harrier jumpjet.

He told me Westland would be an electoral irrelevance. The Conservative Government's stewardship of the economy, then in the process of an astonishing recovery, would be the major voting concern.

He was right and I was wrong, which is why I was not cut out to become a politician and he was.

But the difference now with same-sex marriage is the level of disillusionment and even disgust it has caused with the Conservative Party in its natural moral heartland.

Read here


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The weekend when Britain changed

April 4th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Marriage Comments Off

By Andrew Symes

Saturday 29th March will go down in history as the day when same sex couples exchanged marriage vows on live TV and radio, and when a large proportion of the debate was taken up by what Christians believe. The official voice of the Church of England, and the establishment-leaning voice of evangelical and catholic orthodoxy were virtually silent on the weekend itself and in the days leading up to it. Revisionist Christian opinions were given free rein in the media, and the fiction of a church united in doctrine was exposed, as was the delusion of basing a strategy of witness to Christ on accommodating to anti-biblical cultural trends.

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Law, morality and difficult love

April 4th, 2014 Jill Posted in Archbishop Of Canterbury, Gay Marriage Comments Off

by Martin Davie

The legislation allowing same-sex ‘marriage’ in this country came into effect last Saturday and when asked for his comments on the matter the Archbishop of Canterbury declared in an interview with The Guardian ‘I think the Church has reacted by fully accepting that same-sex marriage is the law, and should react on Saturday by continuing to demonstrate in word and action, the love of Christ for every human being.’

Archbishop Justin is obviously correct in saying that the Church of England has fully accepted that the change that has taken place in the law means that same-sex ‘marriage’ has become legal in this country. However, what is not clear is why he thought that this was a point that needed to be made. There had never been any suggestion that the Church of England would bury its head in the sand and contend or pretend that the law had not really changed.

However, accepting that the law has changed is not the same as accepting that the law should have changed. In subsequent comments on the Sunday programme the Archbishop went on to say that the government was ‘perfectly within its rights to make this law.’ This is a problematic statement because whether or not it is correct depends on what the phrase ‘perfectly within its rights’ means.

If what this phrase means is that the government had a legal right to change the law then it is correct. There was nothing that legally prevented the government changing the law relating to marriage in this country providing it could get the change in the law agreed by parliament and that the change received royal assent. These conditions were met and so the change in the marriage law was perfectly legal.

However, saying that the government changed the law in a legally valid way is not the same as saying that the government had the moral right to change the law in the way that it did. Recent history is full of examples of laws that were legally enacted by governments, but were nevertheless morally wrong. Two examples from Southern Africa will serve to illustrate this point.

First, following its election victory in 1948 the National Party in South Africa introduced legislation that entrenched racial segregation in every area of the country’s life. This legislation was introduced perfectly legally, but it was morally wrong in that it gave expression to a racist ideology and led to decades of oppression for the black majority in the country. Secondly, after Zimbabwe achieved independence in 1980 the governing ZANU PF party introduced legislation that led to the confiscation of farms and other property owned by white commercial farmers. Once again, this legislation was introduced in a perfectly legal manner, but it was nonetheless immoral in that it was racist legislation that was designed undercut political opposition to the Zimbabwean government and to enrich the members of the ruling elite. The governments in both South Africa and Zimbabwe were ‘perfectly within their rights’ to do what they did, but what they did was nonetheless wrong.

What this means is that we cannot simply say ‘the law is the law,’ shrug our shoulders and get on with our lives. While accepting on the basis of biblical texts such as Proverbs 8:15, Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2: 13-17 the God given right of ruling authorities to enact and enforce law, the Christian theological tradition has always insisted that unjust or immoral laws have less authority than just laws and should in some cases be opposed. Thus in Summa Theologica I-II. Q 96. Art 4 St. Thomas Aquinas asks ‘whether human law binds a man's conscience.’ His response is to argue that:

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Christian Demonstrations Violently Attacked by Left Wing Radicals in Baden-Württemberg and Cologne

April 4th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Religious Liberty Comments Off

From Intolerance against Christians EU

March 2014: A new governmental sex ed curriculum of Baden-Württemberg has caused outrage among Christian parents. Several manifestions suffered serious attacks by left wing activists which were later identified as LGBT activists. Eyewitnesses reported in shock to the Observatory.
 
Eyewitnesses told the Observatory: Christian parents were shouted at with obscenities. They were spit at, eggs were thrown and little bags with feces or color. Cables of loud speakers were torn out. Pages were ripped out of the bible and used to wipe backsides, then formed into a ball and thrown at the parents. Christians were deeply hurt in this process. At least one banner was snatched from and destroyed in front of the eyes of the parents. Marshals were target with pepper sprays. Shouting by counter-demonstrator made the planned public speaking partly impossible.
Many parents reported to have been shocked at the amount of the hatred and at the inactivity of the police, and that their religious feelings were severely hurt.
 
 
 
 
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