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Church accused of 'scaremongering' - Comments

gos's Avatar Comment 1 by gos

Marriage benefits society in many ways, not only by promoting mutuality and fidelity, but also by acknowledging an underlying biological complementarity which includes, for many, the possibility of procreation

The first two are beneficial to individuals and possibly to society. They, of course, are equally a part of homosexual marriage.

But explain to me again how "acknowledging an underlying biological complementarity" (the only part of this list that clearly applies to heterosexual marriage more than homosexual) benefits society...

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 13:57:25 UTC | #947052

Daryl 's Avatar Comment 2 by Daryl

A religion accused of scaremongering? Isn't that a stock in trade? Give us your (time/money/children/innocence) or you will be consigned to a place of fire and brimstone, pain and agony, torment for all eternity.......... but he loves you.

We need George Carlin now more than ever.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 14:00:51 UTC | #947053

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 3 by Ignorant Amos

I vote Marcus Small for next Archbishop of Canterbury, he would have no truck with this sort of C of E nonsense.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 14:13:49 UTC | #947054

CarolineMary's Avatar Comment 4 by CarolineMary

The best thing i saw was the headline on the Times, today (sorry, Pay site, I refuse to link).

"Gay marriage plan could divorce Church from State".

I can't be the only person thinking well, let's DO it then.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 14:18:15 UTC | #947055

SeanSantos's Avatar Comment 5 by SeanSantos

Under current law, anyone who is resident in England has a legal right to marry in his or her Church of England parish church irrespective of religious affiliation and the minister of the parish is under a legal duty to conduct the marriage.

It seems like this is the part that CoE actually should be objecting to, doesn't it? Of course as long as they benefit from being intertwined with the government, they are going to find that they have this obligation thrust upon them. A pretty pickle, no? Without their privileged position, the Church would die, but the strings attached to those privileges may force them to change, and to look bad doing so.

This is one of the core strengths of the USA's 1st Amendment; when churches here engage in scaremongering about being forced to perform these marriages, you have something very well known and clear to point to that explains why that won't happen.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 14:21:52 UTC | #947056

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 6 by Alan4discussion

Comment 1 by gos

But explain to me again how "acknowledging an underlying biological complementarity" (the only part of this list that clearly applies to heterosexual marriage more than homosexual) benefits society...

I think this Op quote is theist obfuscational verbosity in full flow!
Noun 1. complementarity - a relation between two opposite states or principles that together exhaust the possibilities
ungradable opposition - an opposition that has no intermediate grade; either one or the other
2. complementarity - the interrelation of reciprocity whereby one thing supplements or depends on the other; "the complementarity of the sexes"
reciprocality, reciprocity - a relation of mutual dependence or action or influence

The concept that the underlying properties of entities (especially subatomic particles) may manifest themselves in contradictory forms at different times, depending on the conditions of observation; thus, any physical model of an entity exclusively in terms of one form or the other will be necessarily incomplete.

It would seem that this is the very definition of theist dissonant "reasoning"!

@Op .. .. .. .. which includes, for many, the possibility of procreation

... .. a lame claim dressed up in exuberant verbosity, that marriages without procreation are somehow invalid, but that this, for unexplained reasons, only applies to same-sex marriages.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 14:22:01 UTC | #947057

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 7 by SaganTheCat

But explain to me again how "acknowledging an underlying biological complementarity" (the only part of this list that clearly applies to heterosexual marriage more than homosexual) benefits society...

I heard this argument used the other day on TV by a woman clearly briefed to avoid any reference to the religion she was covertly representing. as wordy-nonsense arguments go this is quite a doozy

there were references to "thousands of years" of this alleged definition but rarely does one hear of other aspects of marriage that have survived millennia, such as ownership of women, nuptial rights of men that have very recently been accepted as barbaric.

the "underlying biological..." wibble was backed up by the fact that the purpose of marriage is to raise children, which is fine if you're also demanding the banning of adoption and banning marriage for infertile couples.

i do love it when the thinly veiled religious argument continuously flip-flops between its idea of tradition and its idea of science hoping the observer is far to thick or forgetful to realise they're the same lame arguments used to enforce slavery, ant-gay laws, anti-mixed marriage laws, anti-female ordination or any other symbol of their growing irrelevance they cling to

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 14:29:55 UTC | #947059

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 8 by Alan4discussion

There seem to be various article and quotes about this!

Church of England warning over gay marriage - - video. - Church of England warning on gay marriage

The Church of England was accused of carrying out a "masterclass in melodramatic scaremongering" as it delivered an uncompromising warning to the government against pressing ahead with a controversial proposal to legalise gay marriage.

Introducing same-sex marriage could lead to the church being forced out of its role of conducting weddings on behalf of the state, the CofE claimed in a potentially explosive submission in response to the government's consultation on gay marriage, which closes on Thursday.

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, which campaigns for gay rights, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Many bishops in the Church of England today will be rather pleased because once again they are not talking about global poverty or the HIV pandemic - they are talking about the subject that obsesses them, and that is sex.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 14:34:59 UTC | #947060

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 9 by Cartomancer

by acknowledging an underlying biological complementarity which includes, for many, the possibility of procreation

But why procreation? Or, rather, why procreation by coitic means, since procreation is eminently possible through other channels. Surely there are more important, worthier things to protect in law and culture, like love and respect and companionship. Things which don't harm the environment by clogging it up with yet more resource-guzzling people the planet can ill afford?

Yet this phrase amuses me. "underlying biological complementarity". What it means, I think, is that one party has a hole in the middle and the other party has a sticky-out bit (with both possessed of an equal number of additional holes and sticky-out bits in the form of nostrils, fingers and so forth). Which seems a very odd basis around which to construct one's social conventions to me, but then again I'm not an elderly addled bigot in a dress.

If we are playing at that game, though, then I think two men have much greater "underlying biological complementarity" than a man and a woman. After all, between them they have an equal number of holes and an equal number of sticky-out bits to put in those holes if so minded. Such a relationship is far more equal and complementary, because it gives rise to more potential hole / sticky-out-bit combinations and possesses a much greater symmetry in its construction, with both partners able to participate to the fullest in all ways. Furthermore, with both parties experiencing similar social, cultural, hormonal and phenoytpical conditions in their lives the psychological compatibility and mutual understanding is so much greater. How often do you hear men saying that they don't "get" how women think? Or women saying that men are a mystery to them? Men are from Mars, Women from Venus, as the books and songs tell us. Well same-sex relationships have none of that, both participants understand their own gender's psychology and biology intimately, making for a much closer bond.

So, you see, by the church's own logic same-sex marriage is much superior and should thus be fully endorsed in canon law and also the only form of marriage offered by the state from now on.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 14:46:50 UTC | #947061

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 10 by aquilacane

All church ceremonies are to be considered theatrical in nature and non binding. Only a state witnessed certificate of civil partnership will be accepted. Furthermore, it is unlawful for a charitable organization to refuse service to a member of the public due to race, religion disability or sexual orientation. All churches must make imaginary rituals available to the public with equal opportunity for all. Thank you. That would nice.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 14:47:54 UTC | #947062

sunbeamforjeebus's Avatar Comment 11 by sunbeamforjeebus

Surely this is the time to disestablish this ridiculous organisation of petulant old men in dresses.Let them become a private organisation that can do what they will behind their own closed doors.Suggest this to them ,together with taxation and see how quickly they pipe is, and has always been about power and money.Threaten to take either away and we will soon see how serious they are.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 14:49:15 UTC | #947063

Jumped Up Chimpanzee's Avatar Comment 12 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee

Comment 1 by gos

But explain to me again how "acknowledging an underlying biological complementarity" (the only part of this list that clearly applies to heterosexual marriage more than homosexual) benefits society...

Society benefits because without marriage human beings will forget how to procreate, and if homosexuals are allowed to marry then heterosexuals will obviously no longer be able to get married, or will turn homosexual, and the human race will come to an end before God has got round to ending it anyway with the rapture, which will be a bit of an anti-climax and make the Bible look a bit silly because not all the prophesies would be fulfilled, and all the people in Heaven will laugh at God and Jesus, and the Devil will do a little dance, and then nobody will know quite where to go from there...

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 15:04:51 UTC | #947065

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 13 by drumdaddy

Fear is the horse that they ride.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 15:38:46 UTC | #947066

justinesaracen's Avatar Comment 14 by justinesaracen

Wow, J.U. Chimpanzee.

I had no idea it was as serious as that.

I wonder if Ellen and Portia had any idea of the cataclysm they may have unleashed.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 15:45:50 UTC | #947067

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 15 by SaganTheCat

I think Cartomancer's logic has turned me

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 16:13:06 UTC | #947069

baldy's Avatar Comment 16 by baldy

The Church of England - Purveyors of guilt and misery by divine appointment for over 500 years. Big savings on souls. For more information visit your local branch or, for full (gory) details get our brochure from any "good book" store. No gays. N.B. Churches with similar specifications also available.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 16:27:46 UTC | #947072

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 17 by Stafford Gordon

A whinge a day keeps the dole queue at bay; much more of this sort of thing and they'll be out of a job.

People standing up for, and thinking, for themselves; what ever next?

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 16:45:38 UTC | #947074

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 18 by strangebrew


The Church of England has said it could be forced to stop conducting weddings on behalf of the state if gay marriage is legalised.


Arrange into a well known phrase so beloved of hysterically frothing religio-nuts when they cannot get their way and no one is paying them any attention!

The Rt Rev Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester

"We continue to be supportive of the gay community and want to see that inclusion in our society increased and developed," he said.

Short version

We thought we were throwing the dog a bone but it has now got completely out of hand.... We want to increase and develop provision for the 'teh ghey cure' ... a mission in every parish!

"I think the difficulty we have here is the substitution of equality for uniformity, that is to say that there can be no distinction at all between men and women."

Short version

How are we supposed to perform misogyny if no one can tell the difference between sexes.

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall

The Church also warned that in spite of ministerial assurances that churches would not have to conduct gay marriages, it would be "very doubtful" whether limiting same-sex couples to non-religious ceremonies would withstand a challenge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).


A successful legal challenge brought at the ECHR could make it impossible for the Church of England to continue its role conducting marriages on behalf of the state, it said.

So they are screwed!

If they refuse to marry a gay couple...they will get royally spanked at the ECHR in front of the world for being bigoted homophobics...quite rightly to!

The Government’s plan to introduce same-sex marriage is one of the most serious threats to the Church of England in its 500-year history

I really hope so...I really do...because they are simply not up for the challenge...simples.

If this forces a state/religion split...then at least parliament will get rid of a gang of disreputable old farts without a valid clue between them.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 16:56:02 UTC | #947076

fsm1965's Avatar Comment 19 by fsm1965

Comment 4 by CarolineMary :

The best thing i saw was the headline on the Times, today (sorry, Pay site, I refuse to link).

"Gay marriage plan could divorce Church from State".

I can't be the only person thinking well, let's DO it then.

Similar to my reaction - if this brings about disestablishment, then do it yesterday...

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 17:12:24 UTC | #947080

TerryStokeB's Avatar Comment 20 by TerryStokeB

What fun it is to read all this. These sinister, bigoted, overdressed, self obsessed control freaks think that they can force people to conform to outdated prejudices. The days when the church could kill and burn those that did not hold to their confected dogma are long gone. Let the church conform for a change. The mormons had to concede that black people have souls, the catholics could not refute our solar centric planetary system now let the C of E gracefully concede defeat.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 17:25:59 UTC | #947082

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 21 by strangebrew

When you consider this whining tantrum...methinks the C of E might have over egged the hissy fit...cos if it does go through they will have to split with state...cos legally they have not a hope in hell of denying gay marriage in church....which according to a few web sites it looks to be a certainty!

The dumb muppets have stuck a whole Wellington boot in their gobs while simultaneously shooting themselves in the same fucking dumb can ya get!

They just committed operational tax ' the hilt...they will no longer be state sponsored!

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 17:26:52 UTC | #947083

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 22 by Alan4discussion

There is a statement of the UK government "position" here:-

Government defends gay marriage law change plans -

Downing Street has defended plans to change the status of civil ceremonies to allow gay and lesbian couples in England and Wales to get married.

It said it was confident safeguards to stop religious organisations being forced to take part in services would not be overturned by European courts.

The Church of England has said the move would "alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as the union of a man and a woman".

Ministers plan to pass the law by 2015.

In its 11 June response to a consultation on the issue, the Church of England said plans to exempt religious organisations from performing gay marriages would be unlikely to survive legal challenges in domestic and European courts.

However, Home Secretary Theresa May has said she believes ministers can create safeguards to protect the concerns expressed by religious groups.

"The government is not going to ask anybody to do anything that is against their conscience," she said.

"We want to ensure that we can put into place a framework that makes sure that those people who don't want to host same-sex marriages are not required to do so."

So the politicians are flip-flopping as usual!

Analysis - Clive Coleman BBC News legal correspondent

If the state sanctions marriage between same-sex couples, and one of those couples is deeply religious and wants their marriage ceremony to take place in a church or other place of worship, could they bring a legal challenge?

The answer is yes, and the basis is article 9 of the Human Rights Act which protects freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Any such challenge would be likely to end up at the European Court of Human Rights and would be against the UK government's decision to legalise only gay civil marriages, and ban religious ones.

However, critically, that would not compel religious institutions to carry out same-sex marriages.

It would be more likely to allow religious institutions to choose whether to marry gay couples, and indeed allow individuals within those institutions to choose whether to conduct religious ceremonies.

That would lead to a patchwork landscape for those seeking a same-sex religious marriage, with couples having to shop around.

It could also lead to ructions within a religion where the governing body remains against same-sex marriage, but individual members of the clergy decide that they are content to perform a religious ceremony.

Those who conduct a ceremony get paid fees by those being married, those who do not, lose trade!

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 17:45:16 UTC | #947085

Stonyground's Avatar Comment 23 by Stonyground

I am bemused by all this hysterical squawking and would be very interested to know the real reasons behind it. I wonder what on earth it is that they are afraid of? Even if they won this round, they must know that defeat on this issue is inevitable eventually. Every intelligent person can see their pathetic doomsaying for what it is, other countries already have legalised gay marriage with no dire consequences.

With regard to human rights legislation, they seem to have hung on to their exemptions involving blatant sexism in the workplace. This is illegal under UK law anywhere else. Would their blatant discrimination against gays be any different?

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 17:53:49 UTC | #947086

RichardofYork's Avatar Comment 24 by RichardofYork

A quote from His Eminence Cartomancer . " but then again I'm not an elderly addled bigot in a dress." That sir is pure class

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 18:03:56 UTC | #947088

Quine's Avatar Comment 25 by Quine

Comment 9 by Cartomancer:

... since procreation is eminently possible through other channels.

And getting more so all the time. See this on multiple parent procreation. And, a while back processes were shown to artificially get stem cells to undergo meiosis to haploid sperm cells, so expect to see lesbians start heading to the tissue lab instead of the sperm bank soon.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 18:15:30 UTC | #947090

xsjadolateralus's Avatar Comment 26 by xsjadolateralus

This is a symptom of what happens when you let religion have reign over something like love.

How in the world did this happen? AHH, yes! Evolution via natural selection.

Religion poisons everything. Equality is the antidote. Why give religious people the power to say who you can love and who get's benefits from that love? I think it's another case of religion attaching itself to everything it can make use of. It has some sort of authority over love because it knows it can use it to it's benefit to create an inequality for those who they hate. Why do we give them this power? Why is marriage not completely 100% secular? How did this happen? Why aren't we changing it in spades?

Ahh, yes. Most of you atheists are married! You silly lemmings. You signed up for this, now you can't complain. You joined the club, now you're upset with it's rules. Well, don't join the fucking club, then. Make your own and make sure it's equal. Don't stop until that happens. Don't try to change the religious club, MAKE YOUR OWN WITH EQUALITY BUILT IN!

It's the same with the religious nations we find ourselves in. Let them have it. IF all non believers left the major countries and moved to say Africa, or Antarctica (anything starting with an 'A') we would be on our way to creating a truly equal future, where religious people can't ride our backs and benefit from our science. They don't want it, no problem. Atheists need to wake up and realize that their strategy so far has been majorly focused on conversion. We never thought of how many we may convert simply by creating a place for people to gather, live, thrive. Find our own place and make the rules is the takeaway here. Let's invade Canada and watch them convert nearly 100% in the matter of a couple years.

Again, you joined the club, now you complain about the rules that were set forth before you joined. Silly you. Stop joining bigoted clubs.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 18:32:12 UTC | #947091

Chris Roberts's Avatar Comment 27 by Chris Roberts

Marriage is about love, surely?

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

1 cor 13 4-8

Guess they forgot about this one, especially as the church of the lord - the god who loves everyone, remember, but he keeps record of your wrongs, he is self-seeking, easily angered and dishonours others with impunity. Just like the church of England then.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 18:35:00 UTC | #947092

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 28 by Mr DArcy

For the benefit of those newer to this site than myself, let me cite Leviticus 18. 22 which is most often used as justification for Christian opposition to homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." KJB

Of course other "abominations" include eating shellfish and wearing clothes of mixed fibres. Anyone collecting sticks on the Sabbath is worthy of stoning to death. And "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" Exodus 22. 18. Among other good advice! All no doubt are unfailingly obeyed by all Christians. I would hope that the ABoC, Rowan (backwards) Williams, or the Bishop of Leicester never consider eating the odd prawn cocktail. Since the CoE version of hell is much milder than the hellfire guys, it seems to be more of a warm bath than the lake of fire. (You just never get to see the 3 Old Boys upstairs, and have the eternal opportunity of fawning over them).

Yes these CoE clerics certainly have a lot to teach us about stupidity. As Marx put in in the 1st Preface to Capital, the CoE would rather part with 38 of its 39 Articles than part with 1/39 of its income! How true!

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 19:09:02 UTC | #947093

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 29 by Vorlund

I see so the best way to maintain its centuries old role as the established church it has to be careful to appear the respectable but inscrutable vicarage garden party waiting silently by the question mark, pondering weak tea and sponge cake while muttering about persecuting people in a 'nice way'. A far cry from the centuries old role of hell fire scaremongerer and witch burner in chief.

Soon, very soon we'll be seeing the lights go out.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 19:14:46 UTC | #947094

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 30 by strangebrew

Comment 29 by Vorlund

Soon, very soon we'll be seeing the lights go out.

To be honest they started flickering intermittently a while back!

'Catweazle' is jumping ship before the darkness and panic really sets in...but he better get a wiggle on!

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 19:35:33 UTC | #947096