Archbishop Of Canterbury: Church Of England “Scratching Its Head” About Gay Marriage

…With same-sex marriage, where once more we’re used to being alongside people who are gay; many of our friends may be—indeed we may be—wrestling with that issue ourselves, and the Church is scratching its head and trying to work out where it is on all that, and what to think about it.

What’s frustrating is that we still have Christian people whose feelings about it are so strong, and sometimes so embarrassed and ashamed and disgusted, that that just sends out a message of unwelcome, of lack of understanding, of lack of patience. So whatever we think about it, we need, as a Church, to be tackling what we feel about it.”

Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams, on the battle over marriage equality within the Church of England—which some say may lead to disestablishment of the denomination as England’s official fath—during a discussion with a group of Christian teenagers.

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  • Mike in Asheville

    Ever the politician and never the man of Christ.

    And, by “man of Christ” a true believer who follows the teachings of Christ’s love, not the so-called faux Christians who ignore Christ in favor of the Mosaic laws of the Old Testament and the letters of Paul (et al) of the New Testament. As Dostoevsky wrote in the “Grand Inquisitor” a modern Christ would be crucified once again, this time by the wayward followers of Christ.

  • ousslander

    The same guy who thinks england should accept Sharia law

  • Clueless

    Rowan Williams is one of the greatest allies of the queer community in the church.

    As for the sharia law he was responding to the fact that Jewish communities in the UK are allowed Talmudic courts so why shouldn’t Muslims ?

  • Pete

    The US Episcopalians, affiliated with the Church of England, generally has been very supportive of gays, with religious ceremonies, gay bishops, gay clergy, and here in DC some predominately gay congregations. Too bad their British cousins still have such backward “feelings” on the subject. His job should be to LEAD to the good, not to lick his finger to see the way the wind is blowing.

  • Clueless

    @No. 4 I think I agree with most of what you are saying but as primate of the Anglican church Williams cannot impose his own convictions on the other bishops. On the other hand he can and does push for reconsideration of the official stance on marriage equality.

    I hope that when he resigns (and when the African, anti-gay Sentamu of York will likely take over) Williams will be more vocal in his support of full equality, just like at the beginning of his “reign”.

  • Frank

    Anglican schmanglican…marriage should be, and in many places like Belgium, is matter of civil law

  • Daez

    @Frank: Marriage should be religious in nature. Civil law should dictate civil partnerships. All couples (straight/gay/bi/transgendered/whatever) should be granted a civil partnership by the state and those wishing to turn that into a marriage should have to go through a religious ceremony.

    In short, the government has no right/need/obligation to stick its nose into the marriage business.

  • Oh well

    I always thought he was pandering to the large and extremely bigoted African component of the church (except of course the South-African one, which is pro-gay marriage), but then recently the Church of England came out in opposition to gay marriage in Britain, and that cannot be blamed on Africa.

  • Daez

    @doug105: Wow, so you mean to tell me a few bleeding heart liberals can take versus completely out of context as well and make them say whatever they want them to. This is the exact crap that we get on the fundamentalists about.

    The book was written with many versus that when taken out of context can be read to say just about anything you personally want them to say. Hell, I’m an atheist and I still give some respect to the fact that you need to read anything as a whole to truly understand what it is saying.

  • Clueless

    @ No. 8 But the African bishops and congregations did play a huge role in determining the outcome of that conference, so yes I would say that those institutions (and the people pandering to them) are to blame.

    @No. 7 Why should marriage be a religious institution ? Protestant Christianity does NOT as a religious sacrament (although it is ordained by God, but Jesus was never married nor did he perform marriage ceremonies), although certain strands have made more out of it than it is. Both Calvinism as well as the American pilgrims saw marriage as a social contract witnessed by the community and blessed by God but these marriages were not religious ceremonies.

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    @doug105: Let me reply that I am not a Christian, nor of any religious following other than the natural order I observe. That said, I also read a fair amount about religion and religious criticism.

    I clicked the link you posted, alas, I could stand viewing only 6 of the, apparently, hundreds of snippets, as they are as misguided and falsely associated with the written words of the teachings of Christ as the ones used by Christian zealots to give false guidance. As with so many quotations faux-Christians use derive, for example, from Leviticus to condemn homosexuality, this anti-biblical web-site misreports and misassigns the words of Christ contrary to the actual words.

    If one is against Christianity, then use the actual basis to make your argument; The Evil Bible is as phony a reading of the Bible as those who use the Old Testament and the non-Jesus portions of the New Testament.

    I stand by what I what earlier: good Christians follow the teachings of love that Christ taught.

  • R.A.

    @Oh well:

    You are right, Africa is the big prize for European churches with declining membership in their own country.

    Certainly African homophobia plays into this, but I think it’s as much or more the competition from Evangelicals that is driving this race to the bottom.

  • Making up stuff is fun!

    @Oh well: @Clueless: @R.A.: Those damn negroes, always ruining white people’s stuff. Amirite, my fellow bigots? [email protected] high five!

  • Some Random Guy

    The Church of England is scratching its head about gay marriage?

    That’s fine – the Roman Catholic Church is still scratching its balls about gay marriage.

  • Oh well

    @Making up stuff is fun!, before you make things up, maybe you should read what I said. I took pains to point out that the South African church is pro-gay marriage (bishop Tutu is one of our greatest friends), and that the church of England CANNOT be let off the hook to blame their opposition to gay marriage in the U.K. on the other African churches, who by the way are huge anti-gay bigots. Not every criticism of Africa is based on racism, you know, or am I only allowed to say something if I am black? Jeez!

  • Making up stuff is fun!

    @Oh well: So you’re not a fellow [email protected]? Fine, then. See you at the upcoming race war.

  • Global Traveler

    I have a BS degree math and computer science. When I was in college we used to say that you could prove or disprove anything using either statistics or the bible.

  • R.A.

    @Making up stuff is fun!:

    There are serious historical answers to questions about race and gay-hatred, but I’m really not going to bother with all the typing if you’re just here to drop bombs.

  • Mk Ultra

    Civil unions and marriage are not the same. And no matter how many legal loopholes you try to cover up, there will always be room for discrimination.
    The church certainly doesn’t own the word “marriage” and they are certainly NOT going to get to keep it for themselves.
    As far as I’m concerned, if you want a civil union, get one.
    But don’t you dare tell the rest of us what we should want.

  • robert in nyc

    @Daez: Well, in the case of the UK, the secular government introduced civil marriage in 1836, thereby redefining marriage form which the rights, benefits and privileges are conveyed.

    In the U.S., if the government were removed from marriage altogether, how would one receive the 1100 big government federal benefits, rights and privileges and the hundreds of state benefits? Civil marriage is a civil issue, has no religious element and no mandate to procreate. Marriage, in various forms has existed long before the Abrahamic cults came along and changed it to in favor of the the patriarchy and subjugated women as property up until recently. Civil Partnerships will never be the universal norm for legal unions and there is no worldwide demand for them.

  • Clueless

    @No. 14

    Because by saying Africa I of course meant one, single ethnicity …

  • jack

    Don’t you just love how straight forward bishops speak?

Comments are closed.