Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury whose only explanation for his anti-gay stances is that he’s been “taken” by “aliens” (at least according to by V. Gene Robinson), has promised British lawmakers same-sex weddings will never take place in his Anglican Church. After the Coalition government announced plans to let gays add a religious element to their unions, religious groups were quick to retaliate. Add Williams to that list.
But now Dr Williams, who was seen as a liberal when he took up his post, has indicated that on this issue he will ally himself with conservatives in the Church. He told MPs that the CofE believed marriage could only be a union between a man and a woman – and that he would not be changing course. The meeting was set up by Tony Baldry, Tory MP for North Oxfordshire, in order to build relations between the church and politicians. Challenged by Simon Kirby, the Tory MP for Brighton Kemptown, to explain what he would say to a same-sex couple wanting a church union, Dr Williams said he would not countenance weakening its teaching on marriage, and would not be dictated to by the Coalition.
Mr Kirby said the comments would alienate gay Christians and would make the Anglican Church look out of touch. ‘I had hoped he might be more measured in his response and reflect on the cases for both sides of the argument more evenly, but he was very one-sided,’ he said. ‘Public opinion is moving faster than the Church on this issue and it is increasingly in danger of getting left behind.’
Though if I had a nickel for every time a church looked out of touch, well I wouldn’t have to rob the passed plate, now would I?