Saturday, 1 June 2013

Another Nail in the Anglican Coffin

Andrew Goddard has yet again written one of those narrow, institutionally self-serving pieces that ends up emphasising distance between his Church and society.

I've made a response to it as follows:

The Bishop of Salisbury is probably making the best he can, quickly, of a Christian case for inclusive marriage, whereas you can get more substantial offerings in something like Gays and the Future of Anglicanism edited by Linzey and Kirker (O Books, 2005). Diarmaid MacCulloch is probably quite right that the Bible is constricting in what it says about homosexuality. But for me it is a matter of religious humanism to have gender blind marriage, and the more that someone like Andrew Goddard is successful in boxing in his Church to an exclusive position, the more he is dislodging Christianity from the general culture and the more disestablishment becomes the logical outcome.

If the Church of England will not recognise marriage complete, and will not marry all in its parish, as will soon be the position if the legislation passes, then it has no right to be established in a social sense. A Church born in the corruption of Henry VIII and the State has had social privilege ever since, and holds a bargain that it is no longer willing to keep. If it is now to choose whom it marries it should give way its establishment and, for example, clear the House of Lords of its privileged members and not be the presumed choice or State or royal occasions.

Diarmaid MacCulloch stands at a distance from Christianity, although he has kept his deacon status. He said so much on the television series he delivered a number of years ago. I'm a religious humanist and rather happy that my stance can embrace diversity and reasonable reasoning and change to traditions. Some of your bishops, however, are likely to struggle to keep the link between Church and broader society, rather than see the gap grow ever wider by the rather sterile position repeated by Andrew Goddard. Good for your institutional purity, but no good for anyone else.


Anonymous said...

who cares what you think?

Anonymous said...

It's wierd really. You exit yourself from a church then spend half your time obsessing about it.

It's a bit like becoming a vegetarian and standing outside Ben Brazil restaurants for most of your day, shouting at the customers through the windows. Every now and then they will glance over to look at the wierd guy pressing his face against the glass before resuming eating.

Maybe that's why even the Unitarians didn't want you as a minister. Too much bitterness, not enough goodwill.

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

I will look for a mirror so that I can hold it up for you.

Also, the nature of an established Church is rather like a restaurant that has special privileges in the supply of the nation's food, and therefore everyone ends up in having an interest in what it is doing, especially vegetarians.