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To thjink that MPs should not legistate on whether the church of england should hold same sex marriages

(191 Posts)
ReallyTired Mon 11-Jan-16 13:02:01

I feel its right that religious organisations are not forced to hold gay marriage cermonies. Freedom of religion is as important as equality for homosexuals. I feel that the matter of same sex marriages should be a matter of conscience for a religious leader. No synagogue, mosque or church should be forced to support gay marriage.

However I am unhappy that the church of england has been banned by MPs who may not even be christian from holding gay marriage cermonies. I feel that the matter of gay marriage should be decided by the general synod of the church of england. Our local priest offers to bless civil partnerships and I am sure she would be very happy to conduct a same sex wedding.

I would like homosexuals to be offered a list of churches where the priest would be happy to bless a gay marriage. I do not like homosexuals being shut out of our churches. (Assuming that the homosexual couple has a connection with a church or that its their nearest church which is prepared to carry out a blessing. As far as possible homosexual couples should meet the same criteria rules as hetrosexual couples.)

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 13:13:16

Did you follow the reasons why there may be government action?

If the Church Synod should decided not to that decision will be enshrined in law. As happens when church and state are intertwined.

LurkingHusband Mon 11-Jan-16 13:15:18

As happens when church and state are intertwined.

Back atcha !

Now the recent news that some CofE figures wanted the church disestablished makes sense ....

MaidOfStars Mon 11-Jan-16 13:16:24

However I am unhappy that the church of england has been banned by MPs who may not even be christian from holding gay marriage cermonies

I don't think they've been banned. I think they've received assurances that should they decide not to hold marriages between same sex couples, they will not be held in breach of equality legislation.

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 13:19:10

Not sure Queeny will like that, though, Lurking smile She is, after all, the church embodied!

MaidOfStars Mon 11-Jan-16 13:19:41

Sorry, have I missed some recent developments? I can't find a news link. Any help?

ReallyTired Mon 11-Jan-16 13:28:06

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20677276

We need a law that allow relgious freedom of conscience. I feel the church of england should be allow to decide for itself whether it supports gay marriage or not. The church of england is an international organisation and many American members are more liberal than England. Consversely any African bishops are conservative.

I feel that the decision on whether to allow gay marriage needs to be decided in each provinces of the Anglican Communion.

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 13:30:57

I feel the church of england should be allow to decide for itself whether it supports gay marriage or not. That is what they are meeting to decide, right now!

I feel that the decision on whether to allow gay marriage needs to be decided in each provinces of the Anglican Communion. It doesn't have provinces. That's the point. That is the schism they are trying to avoid.

JeanneDeMontbaston Mon 11-Jan-16 13:33:38

Freedom of religion is as important as equality for homosexuals.

So what do you suggest for homosexuals who also want freedom of religion? Especially for the rather large number of Anglicans to whom that applies, including a fair few Anglican vicars?

I don't think this is an issue where there's a neat, simple answer that will please everyone. The C of E has a head who isn't an autocrat, but first amongst equals. And the C of E has links to the State, as others say, so the State has to have some role in this debate. I just don't see how you can say the C of E should decide this 'for itself' when 'itself' isn't a single entity speaking with one mind.

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 13:36:14

You may have misunderstood what the CofE is. Basically it is HRM Queen Elizabeth, a single entity, defender of the faith and all that!

nextusername Mon 11-Jan-16 13:58:51

The Church of England is supposed to be a broad church for the benefit of everyone in the country, should they wish. I agree that those within the C of E whose conscience tells them that gay marriage is fine should be able to take part in a church marriage. The C of E is like an "umbrella" organisation for a wide range of churches, whether evangelical, liberal, traditional etc. It's meant to be an organisation where debate and different views can happily co-exist in an essentially tolerant British way, not a "one size fits all".

ReallyTired Mon 11-Jan-16 14:07:39

The queen is nothing more than a figurehead when it comes to church affairs. Its a historial accident that she is the head of the church of england.

The church of england structure of government is similar to the catholic church in that we have bishops and archbishops.

"Anglican Communion
Further information: Anglican Communion § Provinces

Member churches of the Anglican Communion are often referred to as provinces. Some provinces are coterminous with the boundaries of political states, some include multiple nations while others include only parts of a nation. Some, such as the Church of the Province of West Africa, have the word "province" in their names. These member churches are known as "provinces of the Anglican Communion," and are headed by a primate, who may also be referred to as a primus (for example, the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church), presiding bishop, or moderator.

The word "province" is also used to refer to groupings of dioceses within a member church. The Church of England is divided into two provinces: Canterbury and York. The Anglican Church of Australia has five provinces: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia, and an extraprovincial diocese. The Anglican Church of Canada has four: British Columbia and Yukon, Canada, Ontario, and Rupert's Land. The Church of Ireland has two: Armagh and Dublin. The Episcopal Church in the United States of America numbers, rather than names, its nine provinces."

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecclesiastical_province

The church of england in different parts of the world are already allowed a lot of freedom.

This link is from the church of england website. Look at page 13.

www.churchofengland.org/media/38963/gsmisc910.pdf

The church of england is a world wide group of mostly english speaking (protestant) christians. There is a lot of diversity of belief.

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 14:16:47

Yes.... and?

Independent Provinces have long been fought against. That's why the Synod meets, to decide what the entity as a whole will do, what it will and will not condone, make part of its everyday practice. Provinces becoming independent is, as I said, the schism they are trying to avoid, most pressingly on this issue. The church has no intention of becoming factionalised. Though this issue may well break it.

And it is no accident the Queen is head of the church. I am sure Henry didn't go through all of that just for fun. Modern day monarchs may choose not to interfere, giving autonomy to the church, but that still leaves her with some authority, as head of church and state.

LurkingHusband Mon 11-Jan-16 14:40:26

The queen is nothing more than a figurehead when it comes to church affairs.

Has anyone told her ? From the available evidence (including approved press releases) I was under the impression she takes her spiritual role very seriously.

Its a historial accident that she is the head of the church of england.

"Accident". How can one monarch making himself head of the Church in England, and that act then being perpetuated by centuries of opportunities to change it (including this countries only civil war) be characterised in any other way as carefully maintained ?

It makes me laugh when people use - and fall for - the old "accident of history" crock. If it really was, then change it. But if you don't change it, don't tell me it's not deliberate. An awful lot of the "reasons" why sex equality isn't, is because of "accidents of history". Yeah right. It was an "accident" that women couldn't vote ??????

ReallyTired Mon 11-Jan-16 15:32:16

"
Has anyone told her ? From the available evidence (including approved press releases) I was under the impression she takes her spiritual role very seriously.
"

The queen is a devout christian in her private life. She supports the church of england. That does not mean she throws her weight about. She take her duties as a queen seriously. Prince Charles has stated in the past that he wants to be a defender of faiths rather than defender of the faith. Prince William is not an ardent church goer at the moment.

""Accident". How can one monarch making himself head of the Church in England, and that act then being perpetuated by centuries of opportunities to change it (including this countries only civil war) be characterised in any other way as carefully maintained ?"

There are strong arguements for the disestablishment of the church of england. I doubt that Mr Corbyn is in favour of an established church with the queen as a head. However most people have great concerns.

In the past the church of england was extremely powerful. Monachs remained head of the church of england to have power of the realm. The church still has power, it is thanks to a bunch of bishops in the house of lords than many mumsnetters still recieve tax credits.

anastaisia Mon 11-Jan-16 15:35:40

I think that if religious organisations want to hold private wedding ceremonies that are valid within their own community to bless or acknowledge a union before their congregation and their god, then they should be allowed to set their own criteria for that.

If they want to facilitate legal ceremonies, overseen by a registrar and forming part of a legal contract then they should have to offer that to everyone eligible under legislation - and shouldn't be allowed to restrict who they provide that state sanctioned service to based on prejudice.

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 15:36:06

Ah! So now history is important, not an accident. OK.

You do know you are arguing in a weirdly cyclical manner. Not fully exploring your misconceptions, flip flopping your apparent stance, and just making more and more statements that some of us are having a go at unravelling?

Just thought I'd check.

JeanneDeMontbaston Mon 11-Jan-16 15:38:49

But, anastasia, I don't think these ceremonies are 'valid within their own community', are they?

I agree with you that there is a significant problem, in that the C of E has extra-religious functions. I'm just depressed by the idea that most Anglicans might believe equal marriage is wrong.

hefzi Mon 11-Jan-16 15:46:10

Isn't it looking increasingly likely anyway that the Anglican Communion will come to an end over this very issue at this Synod? There's already a sort of sub-group of the Church in Africa and some of the more conservative North American dioceses because of this. I wish, like women priests, they'd ultimately leave it up to conscience, but somehow, it seems to have gone further than that this time.

hefzi Mon 11-Jan-16 15:47:43

Jeanne I don't think most Anglicans in the UK do, actually - but it's probably a closer run thing when we count all Anglicans in the world. There are some extremely entrenched views in the developing world about homosexuality, as there were in the UK a generation ago.

JeanneDeMontbaston Mon 11-Jan-16 15:52:04

hefzi - yes, I know.

I really hope they don't leave it 'up to conscience'. It's a get-out clause. Mind you, it is disturbing that this is a bigger issue than women priests.

OurBlanche Mon 11-Jan-16 15:52:25

That about sums it up, hefzi.

Our local, gay, Anglican vicar is keeping his fingers crossed. But is not really all that hopeful. He has been quite vociferous on the matter. As his congregation is manly older, rural, English people he might have been taking something of a chance. But he has been overwhelmed by the support he has got from his older congregation.

The younger, non English parishioners have been less enthusiastic.

hefzi Mon 11-Jan-16 16:10:21

Jeanne I think I'd rather leave it up to conscience than destroy the Communion over it: I know it's a cop out, but I think the Anglican church has the power to be a force for moderation and tolerance - and this won't happen if the more conservative countries leave altogether. Don't forget, some of the Christian countries in Africa have penal codes that criminalise homosexuality - at least it's not like some of the Islamic countries, where it carries the death penalty, but it does make it problematic to ask churches in those countries to perform gay marriage where it is completely illegal.

There's very much a feeling that homosexuality is not "African" and whilst this is clearly arrant nonsense, we also need to be wary about imposing our norms on to others: particularly where these norms are only very recent in the UK. Being gay at all was illegal within living memory, remember - I don't think these churches leaving the Communion will help change to happen in these countries, unfortunately.

JeanneDeMontbaston Mon 11-Jan-16 16:21:12

No, being gay 'at all' was not illegal within living memory. You are thinking of sodomy laws, right?

I think social norms change slowly, but I think this is one area where it is actually important for a religious and social body to set a tone. Christianity is about acknowledging what you believe to be right and true. It's not a policy statement. IMO.

But, that said, I do take your point that it is hard, and certainly take your point that the Church could be a force for good.

Tamponlady Mon 11-Jan-16 16:25:03

Oh so if your religious you get to descrinmante and not enforce equality laws isn't this what the Isis nuts think because they are. Religious the law should not apply to them hmm

All love is equal

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