Saturday, June 15, 2013

ABC Justin and the march of history

Does anyone else find it faintly amusing that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is supposed to be promoting healing and reunion? His expertise is in conflict resolution. But as Diarmaid MacCulloch comments in the NY Times, the Bishops of the C of E are caught between a rock and a hardplace, with gay people out of the closet and conservatives trying to shove them back inside.
The dilemma was captured in the performance of the archbishop of Canterbury during the Lords debate. A man normally characterized by shrewdness and sensitivity, he delivered an inept speech that began by saying how sad it was that the church had not supported equality for gay people in the past, and then went on to give some bizarre reasons as to why it would continue not supporting equality for them in the future. Having sort of hinted that his colleagues might be best not voting for Lord Dear’s amendment, he went on to vote for it himself.
The least the ABC could have done is abstain.  Don't tell us that there are sterling examples of gay partnerships and then slap us about the face.  promoting healing?  HA.

And then, of course, MacCulloch points out how the Bishops are now claiming to support civil partnerships, which of course they didn't, originally.
They insist that when Tony Blair’s Labour government introduced civil partnerships for same-sex couples, the bishops in the Lords were supportive of the introduction of civil partnerships. Read in detail the parliamentary proceedings at the time, and you will see that this claim has the plausibility of saying the dog ate their homework. But now they’re stuck with supporting civil partnerships, even for clergy, whom the Church of England ludicrously insists have to be celibate. (We are all waiting for the church to issue a code of conduct on exactly what this might mean: Which areas of the body should a clergy couple avoid mutually contacting, and how many inches away from them is O.K.?) 
"We've always been at war with Eastasia". Yeah, not so much.

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