WIshy Washy

Archbishop of Canterbury Knows People Think Opposing Marriage Equality Is Evil. He’s Still Against It.

The great thing about the Anglican hierarchy is that, unlike their Catholic counterparts, they are often so even-handed that they verge on parody. Case in point: Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Anglican Church. In remarks that were more apologetic than forceful, Welby acknowledged that many young people think opposition to marriage equality is “wicked.” Yet he still opposes it.

Speaking at the opening of a religious group’s new offices Wednesday, Welby was admirably versed in reality. “We have to face the fact that the vast majority of people under 35 not only think that what we’re saying is incomprehensible but also think that we’re plain wrong and wicked and equate it to racism and other forms of gross and atrocious injustice,” Welby said. “We have to be real about that.”

Unfortunately, that was as far Welby could go. Instead, he tied himself in knots trying to prove his opposition to the UK marriage equality law wasn’t homophobic. “The bill was clearly, quite rightly, trying to deal with issues of homophobia in our society” Welby admitted. “As I said at the time in the House of Lords, the church has not been good at dealing with homophobia – it has at times, as God’s people, either implicitly or explicitly supported it and we have to be really, really repentant about that because it is utterly and totally wrong.”

This might be one of those times, and Welby seems to know it. In the end, he decided that vacillation is the best response. “I haven’t got the answer one way or the other until my mind is clear on this,” he concluded. “I’m not going to get into the trenches.”

Perhaps the archbishop should know best that when it comes to right and wrong, you can’t be neutral.

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  • mykelb

    Archbishop, In the words of my wise grandmother, “Either shit, get off the pot, or shut the fuck up.”

  • lailaichong

    @mykelb: so philosophic

  • jwrappaport

    This from the church founded on the family values of Henry VIII.

  • andy_d

    There is a difference between CIVIL and RELIGIOUS. The Archbishop has every right to oppose Same sex marriage ceremonies performed in the churches he oversees. He DOES NOT have the right to dictate CIVIL marriages. Parliament did that and approved them. This AoC is as bad as the Popes.

  • Winter79

    @andy_d: One thing that a lot of people don’t get about this situation is that’, strictly speaking, full marriage equality in the UK WOULD force the CoE to marry gay couples.

    Because it’s an established church, the CoE is obliged to perform weddings for any heterosexual couple who meets the legal requirements – even if neither party is even Christian. The only exception, ironically, is in cases of divorce – individual priests are allowed to opt out if either party is trans, but I think the church is still obliged to find a substitute in that case. Within those parameters, if a Sikh and a practitioner of Voodoo decide they want a CoE wedding for whatever reason, the church can’t deny it to them.

    The fact that this requirement will not be imposed on the church regarding SSM is, strictly speaking, an inequality. It’s not one I care about that much, because I don’t think we should have an established church in the first place. But it is one that the church themselves worry about a lot, for what I hope are obvious reasons.

  • 2eo

    For an organisation that has directly invested in arms companies and believes that kid fuckers should be prosecuted to take a stance on any social issue just further isolates them.

    I’ve never met a younger [under 35] person who is a christian in Britain. That’s not hyperbole, I mean literally never.

  • tallskin2

    andy_d ……..The Archbishop has every right to oppose Same sex marriage ceremonies performed in the churches he oversees.

    No, he doesn’t. The churches and cathedrals were built and paid for by the people over centuries. His organisation are merely caretakers for the current era.

  • Kieran

    @jwrappaport: LOL

  • Ogre Magi

    Aren’t christians wonderful

  • 2eo

    @tallskin2: This, as someone who has repeatedly pushed for the dismantling of the church of England, a complete disintegration and returning money and resources to the descendants who they stole it off is an absolutely just thing to want.

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