Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Probably an unwise question to ask, but ....just who is prepared to sacrifice whom and what?

The Archbishop of Canterbury has come in for a great deal of flak over his LBC phone-in comment last week about the possible, even likely, consequences for Christians in some parts of the African continent of any acceptance by the Church of England of same-sex marriage [see here]
Andrew Goddard makes this measured defence from an evangelical perspective at Fulcrum

To play devil's advocate for a moment, who really  seems to be prepared to sacrifice whom here? It's an arguable point.

In contemporary Britain, acceptance of those who are gay in terms of their equal rights under the law is (quite rightly) not an issue; if we are to believe the polling data, neither is complete social acceptance for the rising generation. However, in contrast, what we are beginning to see throughout western culture are alarming signs of the gradual imposition of an absolutist definition of 'equality,' the proponents of which will tolerate no opposition and are prepared to destroy freedom of speech, employment rights and freedom of contract in order to achieve their goal.

Given that now to express any reservations, for whatever reasons, about society's validation of same-sex marriage, civil or ecclesial, carries the risk of being regarded by society's 'progressive' opinion- formers as ipso facto 'homophobic,' the future prospects for any kind of sane, constructive, theological and ethical consideration of this issue within our already highly-secularised Church are looking particularly bleak.

In terms of the global politics of the Anglican Communion (note: politics not theology - for political lobbying is where all the energy is expended these days), Archbishop Welby has been accused of sacrificing gay people on the altar of expediency, yet it would have been far more 'expedient' in the present media climate in Britain for him to keep silent. It is to his eternal credit that Archbishop Welby chose not to keep his mouth shut over this, despite those who are now so concerned , in their inimitable way, to question his integrity and his intelligence.

But, of course, what Archbishop Welby's critics are really saying is that, regardless of the facts, it was 'inappropriate' of him to mention the subject at all. He was guilty of a failure of self-censorship - in the present cultural atmosphere, the ultimate crime ....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments will not be published