To want to flounce my current church...

(123 Posts)
trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 03:55:03

and to point out to them that praying for LGBT couples be denied marriage like everyone else and that they should be happy with civil unions is akin to telling African Americans in the 50's to be happy they got their own water fountain?

And also want to tell them what a pile of fucking hypocrits they are?

YANBU. knobs.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 03:57:33

Love the name, Bunty!!!!!

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Mon 04-Feb-13 04:00:09

What bunty said.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 04:03:46

I had to walk out in the middle of the service: I just couldn't listen for a second longer to reanting about 'love' and 'protecting children' and being there for those who don't have the benefit of family 'the widowed and orphaned' guess single parent's don't fall into their little perfect plan either.... blah blah blah. Protecting children!?!?! From what? I'm protecting my child...by not taking him back to what I've shockingly found out to be a toxic environment.

Now I have to find a new church...with an active children's ministry (as requested by DS) shouldn't be too hard....right?

Anna1976 Mon 04-Feb-13 05:52:47

Cripes. What total nutters.

Where are you? What denomination is this? Not for naming and shaming purposes - but for example among the Anglicans there is a fairly big split between churches where that would be utterly unacceptable, and churches where that kind of sentiment would be regarded as right and proper. Anyone with some level of radar should be able to say "oh, yes St X's is a bit like that, why don't you try St Y's up the road, they're much more [enlightened/ family-friendly/ family-unfriendly/ lentil weaving hippy... depending how you want to see it]".

MrsToddsShortcut Mon 04-Feb-13 07:26:19

Sorry, just to clarify. The church led a prayer where they wished for LGBT couples to be denied marriage and be happy with civil unions? Did I understand that right??

angryangryangryangryangryangry

MrsToddsShortcut Mon 04-Feb-13 07:27:12

Oh, and well done for walking out!

lalabaloo Mon 04-Feb-13 07:31:23

No YANBU, it upsets me that this viewpoint is presented by some churches as the norm, as if all Christians agree with this. Good luck finding a new church, are you in an area with a few to choose from?

CabbageLeaves Mon 04-Feb-13 07:33:31

Had same issue in my church - I stood up and confronted the minister. I have stayed because there are a group of us who feel that way and are standing up for it. It doesn't affect my Christian faith. It affects how I feel about a building and the attendees.

My church was far less in your face and more contemplative but with an undercurrent of what you describe.

AuntLucyInPeru Mon 04-Feb-13 07:38:35

I would definitely have WORDS to say about that. Some of them quite long ones...

Pendipidy Mon 04-Feb-13 07:41:53

A lot of Christians believe that.

ImAlpharius Mon 04-Feb-13 07:44:05

And a lot don't.

firesidechat Mon 04-Feb-13 07:44:32

You might not share their view on marriage, but they are as entitled to their view as you are to yours. Like it or not the issue of marriage, as opposed to civil partnership, is difficult for some christians and some churches.

I don't go to church any more for various reasons and would probably have been uncomfortable too about the prayers you mention.

My vicar is taking that line too. He will not see me at a service until the issue is resolved.

I think people who aren't religious don't realise how significant it is to leave a church. It isn't like changing supermarkets.

ohfunnyhoneyface Mon 04-Feb-13 07:48:25

I would also write a letter expressing how you feel.

Jesus preached love and never excluded anyone. None of the gospels provide any evidence of his denouncing homosexuality. It's ridiculous to hide homophobic views behind religion. It's not a religious view, it's an ignorant one, and has no place in this day and age.

Has anyone seen that clip of the minister who stands and makes a speech denouncing gay marriage and then stops half way through to say he has the wrong notes and what he just read was a speech about the need to continue black/white segregation? It's brilliant. Must find link...

NumericalMum Mon 04-Feb-13 07:57:35

YABU for going to church. If you must support organised religion then YADNBU for leaving! I was dragged to church once and particularly enjoyed when they escorted the drunk homeless man out for disturbing the service hmm

fromparistoberlin Mon 04-Feb-13 08:06:14

I know!!!!

I left my old church as mainly they were an unfriendly and insular bunch

but when the head priest did a diatribe on how "god does not want us to be gay" I was almost physically shocked

thanks for posting as you have reinforced I was right to leave

fromparistoberlin Mon 04-Feb-13 08:07:38

"I think people who aren't religious don't realise how significant it is to leave a church. It isn't like changing supermarkets.

I agree with that. leaving my old church was a MASSIVE trauma, noone understood why I was so distraught!

Tallgiraffe Mon 04-Feb-13 08:11:27

Come to ours! Of the two ministers, one is in a civil partnership and the other is my DH grin Seriously though, you will find somewhere sensible and if we all vote with our feet by only attending forwar thinking churches then the jokes will have to close or change.

Not all Christians are anti-gay or anti-women or whatever else garbage is spouted by a ridiculously small minority. Love thy neighbour...

NeedlesCuties Mon 04-Feb-13 08:17:22

Umm, sorry, what?

It's a good thing that your church is praying to protect the current marriage laws.

Nothing against gay couples, who have all the same legal protections via their civil unions as straight people have via their marriages.

But the prayers are against the Gov pushing and pushing to push changes through that aren't needed.

If you're a Christian, have you not read Genesis - ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN becoming one flesh through marriage. Jesus did preach that we should love and respect people, including gay people. But.... the practice of gay sex is not Biblical and thus even as modern day churches we should pray against it.

I know I'm going to get flamed to high doe, but I am as shocked at this OP as she/he is with her Vicar.

BalloonSlayer Mon 04-Feb-13 08:17:46

Our Vicar isn't anti gay but struggles with it as it clearly states in the Bible that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Personally I don't see why that can't be put on the same shelf as "a woman is unclean when she has her period" and "you mustn't eat pork or shellfish" but I haven't studied theology.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 08:23:41

Needles - glad I shocked you Perhaps it's what you need? It's not for the Church to force their beliefs and values on others - I strongly opposed this in America and I strongly oppose this in the UK. What next? Should we also bring back stoning to death? Because that's hugely popular in several books...Leviticus comes to mind...I certainly hope your family members and friends/neighbours are true believers because if they're not you need to get stone hunting. The word homosexual didn't even exist in Greek/Hebrew....but I overstep my point...it is none of a Christan's/Muslim's/Hindu's etc business to force their personal beliefs on others. Full stop.

CabbageLeaves Mon 04-Feb-13 08:25:23

Ohfunny. Please an you find a link to that smile

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 04-Feb-13 08:26:34

I am trying to compose a letter to the Bish to ask what I should do. I can hardy bear to go to church at the moment but I can't not either. My PP is an especially bigoted man and to make things worse other members of the parish keep giving little announcements at the end. A few weeks ago it was about how 'they' are responsible for abortion as 'they' are destroying marriage so there isn't a safe place to raise children. Yesterday was how 'they' are winning in a marriage poll on an MPs website and we must all vote no otherwise 'we' will lose. (incidently, the MPs poll is now being won by the 'no' camp).

I can't talk to my PP as in addition to being a bigot, he is not to bright and on the sauce. He is deeply unpopular even with those who share his views.

I am going to ask the Bishop what there is within the diocese for LGBT Catholics because right now I am effectively being excluded within my own parish. I am a firm believer that you should attend your own parish rather than shop around but I don't know how longer I can do that as I have to brace myself before I walk through the door.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 08:28:51

And also..I guess Rosa Parks should have been glad that she at least had a designated seat on the bus? Or that there were at least schools for blacks? of hell...damned ungrateful people...we let them live on our plantation for free damnit!!!!

Why should people who are 'different' have less civil liberties than the next person? Why are people so threatened by it? What IS the threat?

It's bollocks.

marriedinwhite Mon 04-Feb-13 08:31:08

Soo pleased we have an enlightened lady priest. I would be looking for a new church too. A church should be liberal enough to allow the congretation, its community, to review the facts and reach its own decision. Thankfully my church looks at the scriptures and deduces they were written at a point in time where all the variables were different than today and accepts the fact that mankind has built up a wealth of knowledge since both creation and Christ.

Jesus would have denied nobody. God made us all. Neither would want another human being to be denied the rights available to all the others.

I find it interesting, in my experience, that the more liberal and intellectually searching views tend to prevail where the worship is traditional (higher Anglican) than where the worshsip is more relaxed and modern (evangelical/pentecostal). That provides and interesting comparison and paradox ime. Where it seems more informal, there is an assumption the underlying values are more liberal. They aren't but the charisma seems to sweep people along rather than the facts or the opportunity for intellectual debate where the views of all are considered and valued.

GinAndSlimlinePlease Mon 04-Feb-13 08:33:36

gosh, I totally agree with you op and ohfunny.

I've just joined a new church and they are taking an anti gay marriage p.o.v. It makes me see red. It isn't at all in line with the teachings of the gospels about love. it makes the church seem bigoted. In fact, it is bigoted.

Luckily so far it's been confined to one prayer angry and some leaflets. which my dh stopped me from binning/tearing down

What makes me angry is that the church buildings are used by lots of non Christian. They are getting entirely the wrong message about christianity.

I think I might email the priest.

firesidechat Mon 04-Feb-13 08:39:09

As a christian I do have mixed feelings about this.

However pretty sure that you can't compare marriage to stoning. Marriage between a man and a woman has been the norm and the law in this country for centuries. It's not just a religous matter and it's not only religous people who have some concerns. It is a big change and not everyone is going to welcome it with open arms. In lots of cases I'm sure it's not triggered by homophobia either.

I also think some churches may be worried that they will have to marry homosexuals against their conscience.

Don't think this issue is as simple as some people would like it to be.

marriedinwhite Mon 04-Feb-13 08:43:04

Churches will not be obliged to conduct gay marriages. I prefer to think of it as conducting marriage between two people who love each other - I don't recall dh and I being referred to as heterosexuals when we married.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 08:44:09

Fireside

I realise that to some it is a big change and understand that some churches are not going to want to be forced to marry LGBT couples...and I fully support their right to do that because it is their right to not have their beliefs infringed upon (though you could start to argue that if that's allowed for churches then Drs should be allowed to refuse patients based on sexual orientation etc etc and the whole thing unravels out of control)

However, I do not support the Churches in thinking they have a God given right to force their personal and collective beliefs on others. Who the HELL do they think they are?

I don't believe it is a simple issue....

I want to move churches - I feel this congregation is hypocritical - 'we love you, as long as you are like us and think exactly like us'....can't abide it.

I live in Leicester....anyone know of a good church with a good active children's ministry?

JakeBullet Mon 04-Feb-13 08:48:24

YANBU at all trust.

Our priest spoke about this yesterday but it was obvious that he felt uncomfortable about doing so. He said about three times that he would welcome anyone who felt unhappy about the church's stance to come and meet him for a private talk. After his homily he spent about a minute just with his head bowed in prayer....he obviously does not feel its right and nor do I. I am in the Catholic Church though which is about 100 years behind everyone else.hmm.

I am not gay but I have friends who are both in and out of the church. The ones out of the church frankly couldn't care less what the church thinks but I worry far more about my gay friends IN the church. Our priest says love should be celebrated in all it's forms and he doesn't care if that's gay or heterosexual love. However he also has to toe the Vatican line etc so it's a hard line for him to cross.

I don't agree with the church, I did not sign the letters to the coalition which the local Bishop has prepared and I will be talking to one of the priest about this.

firesidechat Mon 04-Feb-13 08:53:22

I want to move churches - I feel this congregation is hypocritical - 'we love you, as long as you are like us and think exactly like us'....can't abide it.

trustissues75 - this is one of the reasons that I don't belong to a church anymore. I ended up feeling that I and my family just didn't fit in anymore. That and total burnout too.

My general experience is that C of E churches are more tolerant of different opinions, but even that varies.

beals692 Mon 04-Feb-13 08:54:56

"Has anyone seen that clip of the minister who stands and makes a speech denouncing gay marriage and then stops half way through to say he has the wrong notes and what he just read was a speech about the need to continue black/white segregation? It's brilliant. Must find link..."

I think this is the one you mean:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49QFe9qomC4

MaryBS Mon 04-Feb-13 08:58:49

YANBU. There is a church local to me in our diocese that I avoid. Last year a friend who goes to that church circulated a link on FB for a petition against LGBT marriage, on the recommendation of that church. The same church that was horrible to me and my autistic son AND rejected my attempts at Christian mediation. Its never just the one issue they are judgemental on.

Thankfully my own church is a lot more tolerant (even if some of the congregation aren't).

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 09:05:32

fireside

I'm sorry you've not been able to find a church in line with your values. It's frustrating.

Going back to your original post - you mention about others outside of the church being opposed to it too..on what grounds? How does it threaten marriage between a man and a woman? I've actually heard people BLAME the LGBT community for ruining marriage already...but how? How are they accountable for that? Since when did a couple's responsibility to each other and their relationship have anything to do with anyone else's sexual orientation and their right to be who they were born as with all the civil liberties of anyone else? I know my marriage didn't break down because of the gay couples a passed down town - no, that was because I married a personal with huge character and personality flaws and because of my own failings not to spot the signs/ignore them just so I could live the fairytale. My marriage failed because I didn't understand love.

There have been a lot of things in hour history that we've had difficulty abandoning just because of dogma, not because of rational thought - allowing women to vote? read even? It is still a widely held belief amongst many people that women who were raped must have been asking for it (I think the conviction rates for rapists actually brought to trial says it all) but just because it is a widely held belief, should we not challenge it? Isn't it a violation of civil liberties to rape someone?

You could try the Unitarian church, there's one in Leicester, I used to go to the one in Hinckley.
Look them up, I can't do a link as on phone smile

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 09:13:38

Oh Belas!! Thank you for finding and posting that link. I actually cried. How do I get that man over here to set up a church in Leicester. That's exactly how I felt and thought when my pastor broke into fervent prayer...I felt I was transported to 1950's America and was witnessing an argument against African American's being treated equally...to me it's exactly the same argument.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 09:14:59

Beals...sorry...not Belas....my typing is terrible this morning...must get some tea.

Monster...I've been looking into the Unitarian church and thought I might try out the one in Leicester next weekend. Do you still live in the Hinckley area?

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 09:16:39

Oh and the person that asked...it's Living Rock Church. I really thought it was a good place to be...but as someone else said...it's rarely just this one issue and much of it is veiled...I wonder if I stayed longer if I would slowly start to see the signs of the whole men being in charge and women should be barefoot and tied on a rope between the kitchen and the bedroom attitude?

Maryz Mon 04-Feb-13 09:18:51

That is a great speech beals.

It's interesting that the audience obviously had no idea what he was getting at - either that or they agreed with the first part of the speech and were flabbergasted by his ending. There was a rather bemused silence when he finished.

mrsjay Mon 04-Feb-13 09:19:43

Im not really religious well not at all ,but yanbu how can a church preach about tolerance and loving 1 another blah blah, but deny people a marraige, I guess it is all about a man and woman procreating isn't it ? but come on churches like the rest of the world need to evolve and move on,

weblette Mon 04-Feb-13 09:19:50

I found this article both interesting and heartening.

OP YANBU

No I live in Northampton now and we don't have a proper Unitarian church here so I moved to church of England.
They are very welcoming and their views are not so old fashioned.

ReallyTired Mon 04-Feb-13 09:24:16

I am sorry that you are having problems with your church. It is hard to leave a church and it does feel like leaving your family. I think you need to pray and think what God wants you to do.

I left a church because the priest refused to baptise my daughter inspite of us having a 90% church attendence. She put all kinds of stupid obsticles to make infant baptism impossible for those who didn't meet the criteria for her middle class social club. Ie. She wanted us to attend to baptism classes, a service of thanks giving, have a visit from someone from the church. Dd missed the service of thanksgiving because of diahorrea and vomiting. She was only newly potty trained and I felt it was inappriopiate to take a two year old with diahorrea to church. We were told that we would have to wait 3 months and attend the baptism classes again.

The awful woman refused to say prayers for a 30 year old man with anorexia who have had a heart attack because she felt that anorexia was self inflicted. The man had two small children who potentially faced losing their Daddy. Having pychiartic problems did not fit in with nice nominal christianity.

We made the decision to change church and it was the best thing we did. No church is perfect and if you want a church with good youth work then you may have to roll up your sleaves and set up a youth group. It typically takes six months to settle into a church. I have to admit that leaving my old church does feel like a brevement as I miss my friends.

BalloonSlayer Mon 04-Feb-13 09:25:22

"I don't recall dh and I being referred to as heterosexuals when we married."

- no but you were referred to as "This man and this woman" which is exactly the issue the priests are talking about.

I am not sure why I seem to be arguing the point away from the OP. because I do hope gay people do become able to get married in Church. It's just that I understand that some priests can feel that marriage is between a man and a woman without being homophobes.

firesidechat Mon 04-Feb-13 09:26:57

I don't actually know the precise reasons why some people struggle with this and you've made me want to discuss it with my friends now. It could be a general feeling that society is breaking down and that there need to be strong foundations in place that don't change. Marriage in this country has always been between a man and a woman and sometimes big changes are scary. Not saying that I agree or disagree with this because I'm a bit confused myself.

This issue seems to be taking up alot of time and energy and I can't help feeling that this country has greater problems that affect a larger percentage of people than gay marriage does. I also realise that for homosexuals who want to get married this is the most important issue in their lives and really matters to them.

As to not going to church, this is a deliberate policy rather than a problem with finding somewhere. Lots and lots of my christian friends have done the same thing. Have you read "So you don't want to go to church anymore" by Jake Colsen. I would highly recommend it.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 09:33:39

Needles

To go back to your question - as a Christian have I not read Genesis regarding man and wife becoming one flesh - I take it you're referring to Genesis 2:24?

What exactly is one flesh? What does the Bible mean by this? Could it also mean that generally when men and women have intercourse they often produce one flesh....a combination of them both? And how does this verse denounce homosexuality? I see no adjunct to say that no other union of any type is allowed...perhaps the one flesh meant that the union of sexual love is very different from parental/child love - given that it is mentioned that a separation from parent is a natural progression towards a sexual union.

What does Jesus say about homosexuality? Do you know? I'm interested in your thoughts?

JakeBullet Mon 04-Feb-13 09:38:04

There is also the issue that Genesis is largely a myth written down by the people of the Exodus time of the Bible. Or am I wrongconfused ?

I can sort of see that marriage was always about the procreation of children but I still feel that love is love and should be celebrated.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 04-Feb-13 09:40:04

I can understand that some priests and laity believe that sacramental marriage should be between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others etc. However, the bill is not about an idealised state of marriage, it is about the treatment of civil marriage in law.

I would estimate that my priest has spoken out about gay marriage around 30 times in the last two years. He has not mentioned divorce, adultery or contraception once in the same period yet these are all things that, according to Catholic doctrine, threaten the idealised state of marriage. I can only conclude that it is much easier to condemn 'them' rather than his divorced/living in sin, contraception using adulterous congregation.

ReallyTired Mon 04-Feb-13 09:42:35

*28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.e 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’f 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’g There is no commandment greater than these.”

32“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.*

I think that worrying about homosexual marriage or what the old testament says is a red herring. I feel we should be concentration on these important commandments.

Jesus never discussed homosexuality. However he did mix with prosicutes and undesirables.

hackmum Mon 04-Feb-13 09:43:45

If we're following the example of the Bible, then we should probably acknowledge that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, and David also had multiple wives. So by that logic polygamy is OK.

PissStickMeg Mon 04-Feb-13 09:44:08

Trust, Jesus was clearly so horrified by homosexuality that it rendered him speechless on the issue smile

EllieArroway Mon 04-Feb-13 09:45:03

No, you're not being unreasonable in the slightest. They are. Fecking bigots.

We keep hearing that's it's religious people who are opposing gay marriage in this country. Actually, it isn't. Virtually every churchgoer of every denomination I have ever spoken to is pro-gay marriage. It's the men in long dresses and funny hats that are against it, not their flocks.

So yes, flounce. And slam the door loudly.

ReallyTired Mon 04-Feb-13 09:52:03

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. mathew 7.5

I think that the church should worry less about who is shagging who and how we can love our neighbours better.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 10:05:45

MrsTodd...you understood...they led a prayer to protect children and marriages and our nation from the government possibly making the "wrong" decision. There was lots of clapping and yessing and shaking of hands in the air....I felt physically sick to be honest. I wonder what these people, some of who I call friends, who smile so brightly at me and welcome me would say if I said..."Well, actually, I'm bisexual; I was born that way and I'm ok with it. You still love me, right?" Cue the gradual turning of backs over the coming months I'm sure.

trockodile Mon 04-Feb-13 10:24:30

I agree with you trust. I currently attend an international baptist church in Germany-there are some lovely people but I know most of them are very much of the "hate the sin, love the sinner" approach which I feel is patronising and demeaning (oh we are all sinners but my marriage is blessed by God approach)-love is not a sin and I cannot get my head around people who want to say it is. So much harm has been done to GLBTQ people with this approach/conversion therapy etc. I just cannot conceive that their options are -live life alone in celibacy, deny your sexuality and date/marry-not only harming yourself but your opposite sex spouse or be forced to leave the church and accept that you are a sinner. This is not what is talked of in the bible when we are told that Jesus came to give us life in all it's fullness.

(And breathe...!) I make no attempt to hide my views, often posting quotes/links to Facebook etc and have had 2 or 3 people with gay family members ask about it and mention that they wish people would be less judgemental-but so many people within the church are so sure that they KNOW exactly what God feels and thinks even though they make little effort to verify the verses or understand the context-or even think logically about the fact that very little of the bible makes sense when taken literally today. The spirit of Jesus message to us-(examine your own lives/love God and each other/do not judge others-and when asked about other people and what was to happen to them -"Mind your own business!") are all things we can apply in our lives.

I still go to this church but can feel myself withdrawing and having less respect for the leadership. When we move back to UK I will not be going to a similar church-the very thought of it makes me feel ill. DS (7) knows my views and that other Christians think differently but I will not expose him to homophobic views by a church leadership as he gets older. Not quite sure where we will go, I have found a couple of inclusive C of E churches, a Unitarian church and I think a fairly new Oasis church. (Steve Chalke has recently released a video/booklet talking about inclusivity/acceptance within evangelical churches). If anyone has any other suggestions for the Bristol area I would love to know.

With reference to Equal Marriage I think -a)there are lots of important issues which the government deal with-they are capable of dealing with more than one thing, and if it is so unimportant then let us get it passed quickly with a minimum of fuss. b)many churches and Christians (and other religions inc Orthodox Jews) support equal marriage so why should the views of these against it take precedence and c)No where in the bible does it say that it is a sin to perform a marriage ceremony for same sex couples-Even though IT WILL NOT HAPPEN the worst case scenario is that vicars will have to obey the law? I am sure that vicars marry all sorts of people who they do not necesarily agree with, why is this different?

trockodile Mon 04-Feb-13 10:28:36

Sorry that was long! Meant to say liberal Jews as well as Quakers, Unitarians etc support equal marriage!

Tiggles Mon 04-Feb-13 10:39:46

The creation story is believed to have been written when the Jews had been exiled to Babylon. They were worried their God would not go with them. However, as God, is God of all creation, he was with them wherever they were.

As it has been shown that being gay is genetic, as opposed to a 'lifestyle choice' I find it very hard to believe that a God would create people who could never be loved/love others (in a gay relationship) and that by being in a relationship they are constantly sinning. As 'man was not meant to be alone'.

I can understand the church having problems actually marrying gay people in church - it would mean rewriting all the church canon (law) - not an impassable obstacle, but as there are people who are unable to even accept women as priests/bishops, I think them allowing gay marriage to be changed is a big uphill struggle. The problem being the minority rather than the majority - e.g. with the women bishop vote the current clergy (those who have studied theology) mainly thought it was a good idea, it is more areas of the laity who have been brought up to believe religious dogma without actually ever challenging it, or knowing where it has come from, where the church is going to struggle.

mummytime Mon 04-Feb-13 10:48:10

I think the interesting thing is how cross the C of E became when it was proposed that they be banned by law from performing "gay marriages" rather than it being left to their conscience like other churches and religious groups.

I do think it could have been avoided if "Civil Partnerships" had become the normal legal bit for everyone, then you could have a religious service on top according to the rules of that religion. And also Civil Partnerships should be between any two people who want to be committed, regardless of sex.

But then I have had arguments with Christian parents at DCs junior school (C of E) who oppose the children visiting the Hindu temple.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:20:24

Mummy...the parents opposed their children visiting a Hindu temple? Wow. Their choice I guess but why do people get so uppity about other religions? Why do they feel so threatened? Is their faith that weak? Can they not get over themselves a little and recognise that other religions aren't just going to poof into the ether just because they bury their heads in the sand and choose to ell their children that they are right and everyone else is wrong?

gordyslovesheep Mon 04-Feb-13 11:27:52

Yanbu my lovely mum, a committed Christian and socialist who firmly believes in equality is struggling in her conservative church right now ...she has no liberal options locally and just keeps speaking up ...repeatedly...to be ignored or talked over

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:35:48

gordy...how very rude of them....ignoring or talking over? They do ascribe to being Christians right?...

TuppenceBeresford Mon 04-Feb-13 11:37:37

When I was first converted homosexuality was a big issue for me, and I read and re-read the Bible trying to find loop-holes that would make it OK. Believe it or not I'd always been quite a liberal person and had a "live and let live" attitude. But no matter how hard I tried I just could not reconcile my own views with what the Bible said and eventually I realised I was trying to make the Bible fit in with my own values instead of living my life in the framework of what God teaches us; just picking the bits of the Bible that were easy to subscribe to and ignoring the bits that were challenging and might make my life difficult.

None of the Christians I know hate gay people. Just because you don’t agree with somebody’s lifestyle-choice doesn’t mean you hate them. If I hated everybody whose lifestyle wasn’t compatable with Biblical teaching, then I would have a lot of hatred and few friends.

Why would I condem my friends who are in gay relationships any more than those who are unmarried and living with heterosexual partners, who get drunk, don’t keep Sunday as the Bible commands etc? They all are sinners in need of grace… just like me. But love covers a multitude of sins.

My greatest wish for all my friends in these kinds of situations are that they would repent and come to Christ – not because I want them to be “the same as me” but because I love them and want the best for them. I am not any more deserving of God’s grace than they are.

I know a gay Christian who lives a celibate life – that is the sacrifice that he has made in order follow Christ, and yes I know it’s a big thing to expect of anybody. But I also know a former Jehovah’s Witness who has been rejected by his own family for becoming a Christian, and I’ve met Christians who live in Muslim countries who risk their life to follow Christ. In the New Testament, Stephen, Peter and many others died for Christ’s cause. They did so because He gave up his life for them – He is worth it!

I know it’s not easy, but the Bible teaches us to take up our cross and follow Him; nowhere in the Bible are we promised an easy time on this earth as a Christian. I understand that this is not an easy thing to hear and it probably seems easy for me to say, as somebody who (so far) has not been called upon to make great sacrifices for my faith. But I have to be prepared to do so if the time comes – and I have a promise from God that if I do, He will give me the strength to endure whatever I have to face!

Jesus tells us to hate the sin but love the sinner.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:41:03

But tuppence....could you please tell me where in the Bible it explicitly and unequivocally says that homosexuality is a sin? Because I've had a hard time finding it.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:43:35

And I'm not suggesting that the congregational members of my church either hate or love people who are LGBT I've not personally asked them - what I am saying is that they have not right to try to influence the government to blanket force their views on the rest of the nation.

Tiggles Mon 04-Feb-13 11:58:38

smile Tuppence, I came from a very evangelical background, and have become more liberal as I have got more involved in real life.
For me, and I'm not trying to alter your view, I came to believe that the bible was written over time by people trying to understand their God. They didn't always understand correctly (hence their are still theologians trying to understand more about God) e.g. Paul thought Jesus' return was imminent and told people not to get married as they needed to devote themselves to the church's work. We'd have a problem 2000years later if nobody had got married and had children.
Jesus himself reiterates many parts of the Torah law, such as adultery, but with homosexuality he was silent, which does leave it open to interpretation by later cultures. Adultery is a sin which ends up hurting people, homosexuality doesn't. In my understanding he was (compared to the culture of his day) very open to women and their ministry (especially as described by Luke) yet he didn't choose any to be any of his specific named disciples. I think that would probably have been a step to far in his day to have been taken seriously. But if he came today, would that be different? In my opinion, probably yes. If Jesus shows acceptance and inclusion of people then we as Christians should too.

Tiggles Mon 04-Feb-13 12:02:04

Trust Lev 18:22 in some translations specifically says the PRACTICE of homosexuality is a sin e.g. the new living translation:Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin."
however, translations which are considered more accurate tend to just say "'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable"

However, it wasn't so long back, 100years, 200years? that the same viewpoint was held by the law in this country, let alone a race living several thousand years ago.

Tuppence you might be interested in rereading the passage where Jesus heals the centurion's servant, but know that the phrase used which is now usually translated as "favourite servant" or similar, in the original, had the force that "partner" does today. Semantically it doesn't mean "gay lover" but that's the phrase that was used at the time.

Read it again. The centurion's lover faithful servant is desperately ill. The centurion faithfully believes Jesus can heal him, but knows them to be outcasts, so doesn't ask Jesus to visit. But He does - he accepts them as they are and does not challenge their lifestyle.

If Jesus could visit a gay couple, I will not condemn one. He did not accept people who were still sinning (eg at the temple market) but did accept those whom others falsely believed to be sinners (eg lepers).

This was highlighted to me by an extremely academic priest friend of mine (married with children so no particular bias in this issue) and since then I've had no doubts.

You cannot read a translated book and hope to have insight into the original without expert guidance and useful footnotes.

Scholes34 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:24:15

Can I ask a question, because I don't know the answer? Where does a civil partnership fall short of marriage? What does a marriage offer - legally or personally - over a civil partnership?

trockodile Mon 04-Feb-13 12:31:27

Tuppence -why should this particular verse of Leviticus be seen as so important that it takes precedence over the other verses which very few rational people follow? There are huge discrepancies and discussions about what Paul said about homosexuality (temple prostitutes/married men/translation issues etc) but none of the prohibitions refer to a committed partnership the way we would understand it today.( Incidentally this is also true for heterosexual marriage.)
What it comes down to is the fact that we can not know the mind of God.

As for the concept of "Love the sin, hate the sinner" I cannot find it quoted anywhere that this is what Jesus commands. This is a good article on the subject,

www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-patrick-s-cheng-phd/love-the-sinner-hate-the_b_526355.html

But particularly this quote:

"First, "love the sinner, hate the sin" is an unbiblical concept. Many people think that this is a divine command, but it actually doesn't appear anywhere in the Bible. Although God clearly "hates" sin in the Bible (sane in Hebrew and miseo in the Greek), God never demands that we carry out this hatred on God's behalf. God is perfectly capable of addressing the sins of others without needing our third-party intervention. Those who truly believe in "hating sin" probably should focus more on hating their own sins (i.e., first taking the log out of their own eyes, as Jesus says) instead of hating the sins of others. (See Matt. 7:5 and Luke 6:42.)"

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:33:02

www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN05882.pdf

There you go Scholes....first chapter in the index. Basically LGBT partners are being denied choice based on their sexual orientation - the choice, and privilege to call each other wife and wife, or husband and husband, and the choice to have a religious ceremony if it is important to them. There are other issues too.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:34:36

Trock...to add weight...

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone....

gordyslovesheep Mon 04-Feb-13 12:35:48

Trust they are high Anglican and more traditionalists than openly right wing...lots of.older congregation members and few families and young people

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 04-Feb-13 12:37:16

Civil partnership differs in terms of consumation and it isn't recognised once you step out of the country, even if you go to another country that has equal marriage or some form of civil partnership.

The main problem is that words matter, it's viewed as 'marriage lite' and it forces those in one to 'out' themselves in a way that they wouldn't have to if they could use the same words eg the police officer who was shot dead in Mancester. People might be 'out' or they might not or they might not be out to everyone and by having o use a different word, that choice is removed to a certain extent.

Tiggles Mon 04-Feb-13 12:37:31

Trokodile I have always believed (and it is only my assumption) that the term love the sinner, hate the sin, came because of Jesus' treatment of the women caught in adultery, the woman is dragged to Jesus so she can be stoned (note the man isn't dragged with her). Jesus says that whoever has commited no sin should throw the first stone. The eldest walk away first. When the whole mob has left, Jesus tells her to go BUT to sin no more. i.e. he saved her from stoning because he loved her, but he didn't love the sin.

Scholes, I don't think there is any difference between a civil partnership and a marriage in terms of 'legal benefits' received, just the name. I don't understand why if 'gay marriage' is approved therefore why civil partnerships need to be retained. Anybody any ideas?

Scholes34 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:38:33

thanks trust - shall read and digest.

Badvoc Mon 04-Feb-13 12:38:36

I am currently struggling with my church and its attitudes. It's not a very welcoming church.
The vicar is useless, and pastoral care is nil.
He only speaks to me when he wants me to do something.
Am very fed Up.
It's nomination time for parochial church council in April and my time is up. I don't think I will stand again. I am current,ynthensecretary but someone else can do that.
Feeling very low about it all sad

trockodile Mon 04-Feb-13 12:43:52

Part of the problem with Civil Partnership is the fact that it is not recognised internationally afaik. There are other issues too, but at the end of the day it is discriminatory.
LittleMissGreen-I believe that Jesus telling the woman to sin no more indicates that he understands sin and that he has the right to judge. All he tells us to do is love.

slug Mon 04-Feb-13 12:43:59

BalloonSlayer, perhaps you should direct your struggling vicor this way

trockodile Mon 04-Feb-13 12:46:31
mummytime Mon 04-Feb-13 13:13:42

Interesting, but the Census one is a bit spurious. As the Census is secret, and anyway has to list the people in a house, and their gender. Also you don't have to prove what you are saying (you are legally expected to be truthful), so I don't see why a gay couple couldn't say they were married if they felt strongly or had been married overseas.

I actually think the "consummation" bit of married seems a bit out moded nowadays. But I do think there should be an "adultery" for civil partnerships, although "Unreasonable Behaviour" is more often used in divorce as it is easier to prove and covers a wider range of behaviours (eg. cyber affairs).

Funny to think I agree with Peter Tatchell.

trockodile Mon 04-Feb-13 13:27:26

I think the census is just an example-ie any official form where you have to differentiate between marriage and CP-eg work/kids schools etc so could be subject to discrimination. Not sure though.
Yes, it is scary who you sometimes agree with inadvertently-Boris Johnson said something about why don't they just "whack through marriage now?" -think it is one of the few times I could think-"Well said Boris!"

Lariflete Mon 04-Feb-13 14:56:01

This makes me especially angry I have written to the two Bishops who wrote the original pastoral letter and have not had a reply from either so far (I wrote 1 year ago).
I pointed out that only two places in the New Testament condemns homosexuality. One also condemns prostitution, theft etc. and of this list all the other groups are free to marry.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 04-Feb-13 14:58:37

Lari, was that the Bishop's of Westminster and Southwark?

I wrote to them and have been ignored.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 04-Feb-13 14:59:20

I used correct apostrophes in my letters blush

ethelb Mon 04-Feb-13 15:14:55

@lari was that catholic or anglican?

OP YANBU I haven't been to church since I moved away from my last one (the priest there was foul and I stopped going) and I haven't ventured into the local one for fear I will have to listen to a load of bidding prayers for politicans voting against gay marriage angry again.

The Christmas sermon at my parent's church was grim, the priest banged on about threats to family life with all the children on the altar ffs.

I keep on yearning for the wonderful priests I had in my parish as a child. i feel that church has just gone away and I am very very sad about it sad

ghoulelocks Mon 04-Feb-13 15:25:58

My church has at the moment a lesbian rector and gay supporting priest, the last priest was gay. About 1/2 the servers are gay, sunday school is run by a lesbian couple, a few same sex families in the congregation...and it's very stuffy high church anglican on first glance! Maybe I haven't noticed it's a lgbt church??

Seriously though, for all who think christians are anti-gay we are a large thriving city church (4 sunday school age groups totally nearly 100 children) with a congregation of generations of local family who just don't bat an eyelid at other's family lives.

trockodile Mon 04-Feb-13 15:48:46

That sounds great Ghoule-would you mind naming it? (Or dropping hints as to area etc!)

ghoulelocks Mon 04-Feb-13 15:51:41

It's London...

ghoulelocks Mon 04-Feb-13 16:24:17

Take it you're not in West London then...

amicissimma Mon 04-Feb-13 16:54:55

Tuppence, try Acts 10 v 28b (NIV or similar)

trockodile Mon 04-Feb-13 16:57:06

We're moving back from Germany-am looking for something in Bristol. Maybe someone else will be near you-seems a few of us have had enough of Christianity being defined by homophobia. Thanks Ghoule.

DumSpiroSpero Mon 04-Feb-13 17:01:12

YANBU. We left our church after 10 years regular attendance, wedding, our confirmations & DD's baptism for much the same reason.

We'd been a little hmm about a few other things but it was being asked to pray for acceptance of the gay & lesbian community then 'told' to sign a petition against gay marriage on the way out that finally made our minds up.

Very sad as on a personal level we had lots of friends & support there but couldn't in all conscience continue going.

RichardIII Mon 04-Feb-13 17:04:14

I can't see what writing to bishops will achieve.The church is supposed to take it's party line from 'him upstairs' not bow to congregational popular demand.

weegiemum Mon 04-Feb-13 17:09:08

Partly over this, we have left our large Baptist evangelical church in Glasgow (there were a lot of other issues!) and moved to a small local "community" baptist church. Lots of African and Iranian asylum seekers, many very 'broken' people. Where what we find is love, acceptance, a healing hand to hold, a chance to get involved though we're not perfect.

Two of the most generously Christian people I know are in a CP. I can't condemn them, because they're much "better" Christians than me!

RoadtoSussex Mon 04-Feb-13 17:21:34

OP, did it begin with E and end in M by any chance?

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 17:25:56

RoadtoSussex - you mean the church? No, it's called Living Rock and I have no problem in naming them. They have open doors to the public therefore I'm not giving out delicate information...

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 04-Feb-13 17:26:59

The Bishops wrote to us. We replied. The letter defined marriage in the most hideously offensive terms, basically reducing married women to walking genitals. There was no allowance for the Vatican's declaration that sex has a unitive as well as a procreative value.

On a local level, there is supposed to be LGBT pastoral care. That has been spelled out very clearly from 'upstairs', or at least neither O'Conner or Nichols have recanted Cardinal Hume's instructions. Although Vincent Nichols has spoken out against equal marriage he has been broadly supportive of LGBT ministry in his own diocese, although obviously that is slightly up in the air at the moment.

The catechism is clear in its opposition to 'homosexual acts' but is equally clear that LGBT people should be treated with compassion and respect and 'unjust discrimination' should be avoided. This isn't happening in many parishes atm and is an issue for the Bishops. This is not so much about sexual morality but about a failure of compassion and the isolation of people within their own parishes.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 17:32:51

Walking genitals?! hmm I smell the use of Religion as a method of labelling, dehumanizing and subjugating....How vile!

ethelb Mon 04-Feb-13 18:29:38

@trust it was the letter last March. Here is a video

archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/roman-catholic-bishops-letter-on-gay.html

The letter is written out underneath.

I am looking at getting married in the next couple of years in the catholic church (Inshallah grin) and this has really put me off.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 18:50:09

Hm...TBH I imagined worse...which is probably for the best since my blood pressure is already elevated.

ethelb Mon 04-Feb-13 19:08:26

@trust just as well.

Weirdly in my entire catholic education no one mentioned the fact than female and male genitalia can slot in together as a reason to get married.

Though he does appear to be overly concerned with it, despite being an archbishop and all.

I am considering composting a "one year on" letter to the bigot next month, regarding my dimished mass attendance despite being one of the few practising female catholics of child bearing age in mass each time I do manage to pull myself together and go.... hmmm.

(BTW a MN thread was featured last year in the Tablet (liberal catholic magazine) about open disent from catholics about the letter against gay marriage)

MadHairDay Mon 04-Feb-13 19:30:59

OP you could try Holy Trinity Leicester - I know some folks who were there a few years back and it was good apparently, thriving children's work etc.

So sorry to hear of your experience.

All this makes me so sad. I want the church to be what Jesus expected. A community of people loving one another and reaching out to their community. sad

ethelb - I'm confused - you said:
I am looking at getting married in the next couple of years in the catholic church (Inshallah grin) and this has really put me off.

Why would you, as a Muslim, want to get married in the Catholic Church?

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:37:28

MadHair - thank you for the tip. I'll go check it out smile

gordyslovesheep Mon 04-Feb-13 21:46:20

Humpty if one partner is Catholic that can be the reason - I know plenty of non Catholics who married in Catholic church

Mum2Luke Wed 06-Feb-13 17:48:50

I have nothing against Gay couples but what is wrong with just a civil ceremony - doesn't it give the same rights as married couples? If not, why not? Why is getting married in a church any different? God is everywhere!!

God created Adam and Eve to pro-create which 2 gay men or 2 gay women cannot do on their own. It is in Leviticus 22 of the Bible.

I know I am going to get shot down in flames but I am a committed Christian and feel the government should help couples have tax breaks as they were supposed to be putting through a bill but it got shelved as usual.

I have gay friends and they know exactly how I feel and respect that.

Maryz Wed 06-Feb-13 18:01:33

Mum2Luke.

You need to re-read your first sentence and really think about it.

"I have nothing against Gay couples but .... I just don't want them to be allowed to get married. I have gay friends and they know how I feel about it".

How about:

"I have nothing against black people but ... I just don't want them to sit on the same seats as me on a bus, they have their own seats. I have black friends and they know how I feel about it".

It's very simple. It's a question of equal rights. You can get married because you are heterosexual. Why can't gay people? If the only reason is that they are gay, then that is wrong.

SDeuchars Wed 06-Feb-13 18:28:22

Mum2Luke, I ... feel the government should help couples have tax breaks as they were supposed to be putting through a bill but it got shelved as usual.

What's the relevance of this (unless you missed a word out)? If tax breaks are given to couples, won't it be to all couples? Or did you mean only to married couples? or heterosexual couples?

SDeuchars Wed 06-Feb-13 18:38:14

Mum2Luke, what is wrong with just a civil ceremony - doesn't it give the same rights as married couples?

A civil ceremony is a wedding (a marriage ceremony) that does not take place in a church - a wedding in a church is a religious ceremony.

I think you meant civil partnership which is legally similar to marriage but can only take place between same-sex couples and can only be conducted as a civil procedure. According to the BBC, "it offers the same legal treatment as marriage across a range of matters, such as inheritance, pensions provision, life assurance, child maintenance, next of kin and immigration rights." However, those legal rights only pertain in the UK - marriage is mutually recognised between states but the 11 countries that have equal marriage do not recognise UK civil partnerships (and nor do countries where marriage is defined as being between one man and one - or more - women).

sarahtigh Wed 06-Feb-13 19:16:08

I have grave doubts that even if gay marriage is allowed it will be recognized as legal everywhere in the world, obviously those countries that accept gay marriage will be fine but they are a tiny minority

I am sure even legally married gay couples will still have problems in many countries and will be liable to be arrested and charged, if homosexuality is counted as a crime elsewhere it will still be a crime regardless of what UK government legislate

I also think if gay couples can marry heterosexuals must be allowed to enter civil partnerships too, it must be fair both ways

stickingattwo Wed 06-Feb-13 19:17:43

YANBU - I've been recently to a christening, a wedding and a funeral where the priest/ ministers saw fit to drone on about the awfulness of gay marriage and how we must all protest blah blah blah and quite frankly I am SICK of the naked bigotry of it all. It's about equality and churches do not have the right to try to dictate other people's civil liberties.

And as for quoting Leviticus - what about all the other stuff Leviticus says? Menstruating women are 'unclean'? a mans life is worth more than a woman's? Tattoos are an abomination? Stoning people to death, slavery? That nonsense about mixed fibres being worn? Seriously.

Adam and Eve weren't married.

stickingattwo Wed 06-Feb-13 19:36:52

Nice one Horatia

demisemiquaver Wed 06-Feb-13 20:05:27

lots of good comments here , HOWEVER, am hoping that any clerics not happy to conduct same sex marriages dont get sued as in possible test cases , and that folk remember that they too are entitled to their opinion [and btw that doesn't have to equate with homophobia ...just uncertainty with a new law...too manyseem to think it's the same as gaybashing which it obv isn't]

trockodile Wed 06-Feb-13 20:19:09

So do you think that pastors should also be allowed to refuse to marry inter-racial couples because they believe it to be backed by the bible?
Here is an example
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2068512/Kentucky-church-bans-interracial-couples.html
Or a black couple?
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2184864/Mississippi-Baptist-church-apologises-refusing-host-wedding-black-couple.html#axzz2K0X6VD1l
As it stands no one will be forced to perform a religious marriage ceremony but I cannot understand why people are (generally) not allowed to be racist in this country in the name of religion but homophobia is considered acceptable

demisemiquaver Wed 06-Feb-13 20:35:40

trockodile get off your hysterical high horse- you cant possibly equate these things..it's ludicrous : an elderly cleric with some doubts is now to be branded a racist homophobic by folk like you [shades of 'burn the witch!' here ]

trockodile Wed 06-Feb-13 20:50:08

No high horse or hyperbole-genuine question. And I am not saying people/clerics cannot have questions/doubts/bow down to a "party" line (although I think it is a bit patronising to suggest elderly clergy need some sort of let out clause).
However i feel there is a difference between people who say "I'm not sure that I agree/homosexuality feels wrong to me/I am not sure what God thinks" etc rather than people who state that they know without a doubt what God thinks on the subject/condemns other people to hell/refuses to accept any evidence that homosexuality MAY be genetic rather than a lifestyle choice and generally contribute to a society of inequality and bigotry.

Parker231 Wed 06-Feb-13 21:54:17

Mum2Luke - why shouldn't a gay couple have exactly the same rights and options as a male/female couple ? And why should a married couple get a tax break and not a couple who chose to live together but not married ?

cory Wed 06-Feb-13 23:11:24

So how do you feel about heterosexual women who've had hysterectomies marrying, Mum2Luke? They are hardly going to be in a position to procreate, so is their marriage contrary to the will of God? Or post-menopausal women? Should men have their sperm count tested before the vicar agrees there are no impediments?

mummytime Thu 07-Feb-13 06:32:47

Why should couples get a tax break? I can justify one for parents; children are expensive but society does need and will benefit from them.

The most offensive wedding I've ever been to had the Vicar preach on "Matrimony means the making of mothers"; it had most of the Christian female guests fuming in the ladies after the service.
The prying into the sex lives of the couple enshrined into English marriage law is extremely anachronistic nowadays.

trockodile Thu 07-Feb-13 08:10:11

Must say I agree mummytime- it is no business of the law, or indeed the church as to what consenting adults do together and if or how they have sex.

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