Saturday, 5 March 2011

More of the same...

It's a bit more-of- the-same I'm afraid, but I thought some readers might be interested by two recent items in the news, one about a leaked report from the Church of Scotland on the "threat to unity" cause by vicars in same sex unions, the other a case that I have not seen mooted in the UK media about an openly  gay Methodist minister in Wisconsin who is facing expulsion after informing the church that she has entered into a civil partnership and conducted a blessing for another couple.

What struck me with both cases is that, despite the more moderate reaction of the majority, it is the extremes that people focus on. It seems that in the Church of Scotland case,  19.4 % said they would leave the church if a ban on openly gay clergy was lifted, but then 10% would leave if it was not lifted - so I suppose a large majority sat somewhere between those extremes?  In the Wisconsin case the priest concerned  is, from what I have read, extremely well thought of and respected and has been praised for her "courage" even in the report which calls for her dismissal.

So, a priest who remains closeted but had "casual" sexual relationships would probably be tolerated  in both churches, one who is open and honest about a committed relationship has to be thrown to the lions. And that really is  more of the same...

1 comment:

  1. Sue

    I recommend that you spend this Sunday contemplating the meaning of the 11th Commandment: 'Thou Shalt Not Get Found Out.' It is the one that many of our more ‘morally’ proscriptive brethren put a good deal of effort into upholding - believe me, when you’ve peeled back as much of the veneer of ‘respectability’, and seen what is far from pleasing beneath, as I have, as a social worker, you realise that ‘having a bit on the side’ is condoned in preference to being honest about one’s personal life. There is something curious about the manner in which religion is used in diverse societies as a means of creating an outward image of morality. There was a marvellous article in The Economist the other week about the present preoccupation of both politicians and particularly the church in Uganda with homosexuality. The country is beset with corruption at all levels of society; and although the HIV infection rate has slowed, it nevertheless made its impact in Christian populations – the ones (ironically) – so vehemently ‘orthodox’ when it comes to homosexuality; well, with exception of mother-baby and blood transfusion transmission, you don’t get HIV leading a life bound by conservative Christian morality. It seems that as long as you parrot the party line about ‘conservative’ morality, many – though obviously not all – do what they like in private. Appearance is what counts – as the above demonstrates.

    Have a good weekend! (Out tonight at some pub off the Euston Road... I asked my partner if he wanted to come, but when he learned it was an informal get-together of 2nd & 3rd year Theology & Religious Studies PhDs from LSE, KCL & UCL, plus friends and partners, he said he would forego the pleasure! Can’t think why?!)

    S.

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