Saturday, September 17, 2011

Serving two masters

I'm getting this one in before it becomes illegal for me to do so! My server this morning asked me if I was packing my bags ready for a jail sentence.  He then gave me a potted version of the latest outrage from the British state. The Gospel for tomorrow is really quite apposite. It's almost as if what we need to here at this very moment comes bouncing off the page. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and His justice.  Note, please, it's the justice of God not some confection of man that we have to seek.
It's a source of considerable frustration when something appears in the media which is obviously just plain wrong. Many thanks, by the way, to all those who sent me links this week to a multitude of web sites (and other media) where something masquerading under the patronage of the Catholic Church is just plainly not that. I don't dwell on these sites by the way. I'd rather not help spike their web counters. Phrases like 'I get the full support of my wonderful parish pastor' tend to get the skin creeping particularly when it involves flagrant disobedience, not to some bit of minutiae, but rather to something that is rather essential. In the case of the laity they are entitled to their opinion. As far as some of the clergy go it's quite reasonable to think that they don't remember, or worse still don't care, about who is actually paying their accomodation and three square meals.
In the United Kingdom we are going to be watching with interest what the Church's response to a new piece of legislation is. As far as I can make it out this is what's happening. A political conference today will announce the beginning of the legislation process to permit single sex couple to be married under the same laws governing other marriages in this country. I suspect the battle against this one is already lost and, short of the Royal Assent being withheld, it will pass into law in the next year. The bigger problem is that several politicians are already mooting that the new laws should be used in conjunction with existing anti discrimination legislation thus making it compulsory for all licenced celebrants to be available to witness such 'marriages'. It's unlikely that this would be applied without exceptions for faith groups.
It's quite possible that the Church could follow the pattern elsewhere of marrying couples after civil registration however the problem won't stop there. There are an associated group of laws targetting 'incitement to hatred' and it seems that, at least technically, it will become illegal to publically speak against single sex 'marriage'. To say that it is sinful would be inciting discrimination or hatred. This has already been used against some civil celebrants refusing to 'do' civil unions. There's also been a botched attempt at prosecuting an evangelical preacher. So now we wait, in hope, for a response from the Church. For the time being I'll operate on the Gospel principal of serving God rather than mammon (Matthew 6) and hope that it might catch on.


  1. Ahh Tyranny of the pansie, methinks that Aristotle would have described Lyne 'featherbrained' fetherstone as an Intemperate woman.

    Funny how liberality and democracy are lacking in the liberal democrats, its a pitty that the conservatives are no longer essentially the political wing of COFE.

    Still such a law might mean that I could claim poltical asylum in America.

  2. I know of no political party in the UK which is supporting same-sex "marriage" without also supporting the right of Churches and religious bodies - and individual clerics - to say No. That individual politicians say otherwise is neither here nor there. There are, if I may be forgiven the expression, always a few who want to be "more Catholic than the Pope".

    So don't pack your toothbrush for a visit to court yet, and don't plan on asylum in the USA or anywhere else.

    Besides . . . are you sure the Americans wouldn't do the same?


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