Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Voices of Faith: Bishop compares anti-equality to supporting apartheid or slavery

Click image for more
Voices of Faith
The UK currently offers civil partnerships but the Parliament is debating full marriage equality (the House of Lords should vote on Tuesday; the House of Commons already approved it.) On the eve of the Lords' debate, the Bishop of Salisbury (Church of England) has come out with this letter:

 Bishop Holtam told peers that allowing gay couples to wed would be a “very strong endorsement” of the institution of marriage....
In a letter sent to Lord Alli, a gay Muslim peer, and published in The Daily Telegraph, Bishop Holtam distanced himself from the Church of England’s official opposition to same-sex marriage, saying: “Christian morality comes from the mix of Bible, Christian tradition and our reasoned experience. 
“Sometimes Christians have had to rethink the priorities of the Gospel in the light of experience.

“For example, before Wilberforce, Christians saw slavery as Biblical and part of the God-given ordering of creation. Similarly in South Africa the Dutch Reformed Church supported Apartheid because it was Biblical and part of the God-given order of creation. No one now supports either slavery or apartheid. The Biblical texts have not changed; our interpretation has.”....

“Indeed the development of marriage for same sex couples is a very strong endorsement of the institution of marriage.”
The Church of England is more conservative than its American cousin, the Episopcal Church. Officially, the CofE is opposed to marriage equality but more and more members are speaking out in favor.  (It also has its cassock in a twist over allowing women priests to become Bishops). Bp Holtam is the first "Diocesan" Bishop to break ranks with the official view although a couple of lower ranking ("suffragen") Bishops are also outspoken supporters (including the Bp of Buckingham, Alan Wilson, whom we have featured before.)

It is widely rumored that several of the CofE bishops are deeply closeted.  We know how that story ends.

No comments: