Tuesday, 5 February 2013

This debate will not change minds

The House of Commons debate on  the second reading of the Government's same-sex marriage legislation continues. You can follow it on a live blog at The Telegraph website here There are a few surprises among those opposed to the bill, but my immediate reaction is one of dismay at the shallowness and the sheer sentimentality of the arguments of those supporting the measure, including the utterly fatuous (neo-Marxist even?), 'being on the right side of history' - a comment made, disturbingly enough for the future, by the Labour Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper. 
For those of us who are going  through the mill of the Anglican culture wars, there are no real surprises about the insubstantial nature of the arguments in favour of change, only a terrifying sense of deja vu.
This debate will change nothing - the bill will be pushed through, and we will all have to live with the consequences - whatever they turn out to be. And at the end of the process, no glaring injustices will be rectified and no additional legal rights will be conferred, yet many may be put in peril. We will be entirely in the hands of the ECHR.

One of the most realistic assessments comes at the end of Peter Mullen's post on the CEN website 
"...So what will happen? The Act will come into force. There will be a rumpus lasting no longer than a thunderstorm on a summer’s day. Then it will be forgotten. In six months’ time – less – people in general will ask whatever all the fuss was about. It will all be over bar the shouting – until the next “progressive” innovation. The incest laws? Marriage for brothers and sisters? And if for them, brothers and brothers? Before you scoff, remember, everyone would have scoffed twenty years ago if you had said that the decriminalisation of homosexuality would lead to same-sex marriage.
The church has been very slow to – in David Cameron’s phrase – wake up and smell the coffee. The church and English traditionalists generally have lost the culture wars. We have flirted with the ideas of our opponents until these have penetrated our institution and destroyed it. On the general condition of western civilisation, Gertrud Himmelfarb said, “The counter-culture is the culture now.” Even more pertinently, C.H. Sisson wrote, “Since King Charles raised his standard at Nottingham, the Tory party has been a party of reaction.”
After today’s vote, it will not even be that..."
[Read it all here

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