Saturday, 15 December 2012

Egan, O'Neill, hell, and rose vestments: weekend comment and round-up

Bishop Philip Egan's letter to the Prime Minister:
"You have said you are an enthusiastic supporter of marriage and that you do not want "gay people to be excluded from a great institution." Yet I wish respectfully to point out that behind what you say lurks a basic philosophical misconception about the nature of 'equality.' Equality can never be an absolute value, only a derivative and relative value. After all, a man cannot be a mother nor a woman a father, and so men and women can never be absolutely equal, only relatively equal, since they are biologically different. So too with marriage. Marriage, ever since the dawn of human history, is a union for life and love between a man and a woman. It is a complementary relationship between two people of the opposite sex, the man and the woman not being the same, but different. They are not, in other words, absolutely equal but relatively equal. This is why gay couples, two men or two women, are not being ‘excluded’ from marriage; they simply cannot enter marriage.
By enabling gays to 'marry' and by equating the union of gay people with marriage, however well-intentioned, you are not only redefining what we mean by marriage but actually undermining the very nature, meaning and purpose of marriage. Marriage, and the home, children and family life it generates, is the foundation and basic building block of our society...." 
Read it in full here
There isn't one of our serving Anglican bishops who either could, or would, have written anything like it... (likewise, when David Cameron got his first in PPE at Oxford, he clearly skipped the 'philosophy' bit... or, at least, he perhaps absorbed more of John Rawls than was good for him)

Brendan O'Neill at Spiked from a libertarian left-ish point of view also writes of the nightmare of 'equal marriage': 
"...The elitist nature of the gay-marriage campaign can also be seen in the way it is treated as something that shouldn’t be publicly debated, an issue on which no dissent can be brooked. As a Guardian editorial put it yesterday, gay marriage is ‘beyond argument’. There is no ‘countervailing argument’, it said, echoing other observers who have decreed that ‘there are some subjects that should be discussed in shades of grey, with acknowledgement of subtleties and cultural differences - same-sex marriage is not one of them’. Some argue that debating gay marriage is ‘futile’ because the idea that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry has become ‘utterly conventional’ - except to a tiny few who ‘aren’t wholly onboard as the train of change comes whistling through’. Gay marriage backers talk about the ‘inevitability’ of gay marriage; it’s a ‘social juggernaut’, they say. This suggests that what is really being hammered out here is not a political, social policy, open to discussion, but rather a new convention, and an ‘utterly conventional’ one at that, which you reject at your peril because no ‘cultural differences’ are permitted. Those who remain stubbornly unconventional in relation to gay marriage are branded dinosaurs, bigots, ‘knuckle-draggers’.It seems clear that the radical civil rights imagery cynically wheeled out by gay marriage advocates disguises that this is in truth a highly elitist, debate-allergic campaign. That is because, fundamentally, gay marriage speaks to, not any public thirst for the overhaul of marriage, but rather the narrow needs of some of the most elitist strata in our society. The benefit of the gay marriage issue for our rulers and betters is twofold. First, it allows them to pose as enlightened and cosmopolitan, as bravely willing to to enact ‘civilising measures’, in contrast with the bigots who make up the more traditional, religious or lumpen sections of society..." 
Read it all here

On more of a seasonal note 'Windowdressing' from Fr Levi [here] - a familiar story to most parish clergy these days; and he's right, "We have work to do, people; we have a lot of work to do."

A  real Advent theme - Hell - some interesting links from La Nouvelle Theologie [here]

On a Advent liturgical theme, tomorrow is Gaudete Sunday - 'Rose and Blue' from the NLM [here] [Nota bene: rose, not pink]

Lastly, something to forget all the nonsense (literally) going on around us: the great Marie-Claire Alain playing Bach's Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns Die Stimme, BWV 645

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link, Father; I was wondering why my stats were up this morning :-)


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