It’s very rare that I get angry, but at the moment I’m really not overly happy.
On Thursday last week the Guardian published an article by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, setting out his views on same-sex marriage. It’s not the first time he’s done this, but given that he may make the shortlist for Archbishop of Canterbury, it’s fair enough that he lets us know what he thinks.
The day after, Giles Fraser who was Canon Chancellor of St. Pauls and regularly appears on the radio and in the press tweeted, “Absolute rubbish from the Archbishop of York, I’m afraid.” This was then picked up by Ruth Gledhill who wrote an article in the Times on Saturday that The Church of England had been plunged into another row over gay marriage.
Once again the public is left with the impression that the Church is full of infighting and intolerance. Not exactly honouring to God.
I’m growing weary of this same-sex marriage debate that has in fact become a war where dirty words and tactics are increasingly being used.
To make my point, the Coalition for Equal Marriage website has published a flowchart to counter any arguments people may have against gay-marriage. Again fair enough in principle. There is no problem with them doing this until you read the language they are using to counter opposing views. Some of the statements are:
“You are dumb. You are a stupid person.”
“Accept it you’re wrong. Stop being so stubborn.”
“Basically you’re a terrible person. This dead end represents your development as a human being. Game over. You lose.”
Given that this is the flagship site for supporters of same-sex marriage you would hope that they would have chosen their words much more carefully. It’s official supporters include Mumsnet and the Lesbian and Gay Christian movement. Are they really happy to associate themselves with this type of provocative language?
It feels like this whole thing is getting completely out of hand. Ok. It’s time for my rant…
I’m annoyed with David Cameron that he brought up this whole subject when it wasn’t in his party’s election manifesto. I’m annoyed that the Government is having a ‘consultation’ that states that decisions have already been made. I’m annoyed at church leaders who are arguing amongst themselves in public. I’m annoyed that too many people who should know better are so stubbornly entrenched in their views that they make no effort to listen to anyone else’s point of view. I’m annoyed with those who are deliberately trying to antagonise those they disagree with in the hope of provoking a reaction. I’m annoyed with those people who make claims about those they oppose either deliberately or through ignorance that are clearly wrong. I’m annoyed that we’ve had such little real and open debate on this. I’m annoyed that the voices of those who are trying to build bridges are being ignored. I’m annoyed with those who have decided they have the moral high ground and are treating others with contempt as a result. I’m annoyed that some people think it’s funny to belittle and insult those who don’t agree with them. And I’m annoyed that all of this is stirring up more hatred and mistrust when it didn’t need to happen.
Now that this can of worms is well and truly open, there is no going back. We’re in a huge mess. No one appears to want to make any attempt to engage productively with the other side. Where are the voices of reason who are attempting to get some perspective on this and enter into some intelligent dialogue?
Stuart James at eChurch has written an article explaining why he officially is finished with the gay marriage debate. He’s had enough and I don’t blame him. He wrote in a recent tweet that trying to quietly reason in a tornado is futile. That’s absolutely what it feels like.
Jesus said, “ Love your neighbor as yourself” and “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” I see very, very little of this happening at the moment.
I’m tired of this saga and some of the quite frankly pathetic behaviour. I seriously can’t believe there aren’t others who feel this too. It’s about time that the voices of those who long to bring peace and reconciliation to this destructive conflict are given the platform they deserve. Without peacemakers we’re all going to be losers.