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Anti-marriage-equality article from Sydney Anglican church


Dinaberries

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My sister-in-law (husband's sister), who is a deacon in the Sydney Anglican church, posted a link to this article on Facebook, saying that it is "helpful" for "both sides" to read. For those who don't know, the Anglican church in Sydney is extremely conservative and evangelical, and very different from most Anglican/Episcopal churches around the world. Anyway, I read this to my husband, and it inspired an in-depth discussion about how profoundly insulting and mindnumbingly ignorant the writer is, and how even Christians who like to present themselves as intellectuals are still limited to the same tired arguments when it comes to the defense of their views regarding marriage equality (my husband is very disappointed by his sister right now, since his best friend from childhood is a gay man. So my husband said, "You should post this on Snark", which is what he calls this forum. =p

This article has all of the standard anti-equality arguments, from "Think of the children!" to "Heterosexual marriage upholds our society" to hearkening back to the "good old days" when men and women conformed neatly to their social roles, married, had scads of babies, and worshiped Jesus, and everything was totally awesome of course. But then the writer actually implies that by seeking to change the law, gays and lesbians who seek to marry are imposing their views upon everyone else; and at the end of the article, he suggests that conservative Christians should have a new term for the marriage that should apply solely to them, in the event that gay marriage is legalized in Australia. So much grossness. :(

http://sydneyanglicans.net/life/thinkin ... e-ideology

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Is Anglicanism the state religion for Australia? I wondered because of the monarchy thing. But yeah, this is sad but not surprising, given how incredibly conservative the Anglican church is in Sydney. They make the conservatives in the UK Anglican church look liberal by comparison :( You may have heard that in the UK we're having our own issues with the Church of England and marriage equality :/

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at the end of the article, he suggests that conservative Christians should have a new term for the marriage that should apply solely to them, in the event that gay marriage is legalized in Australia.

Fine by me. Fundies always bitch that "marriage" is a sacred word and "civil union" should be fine for gay people to use, because it's the same as marriage (just without dirtying the word with our homo)

I think the opposite is true. "Marriage", as is commonly used both in the present and the past, is not at all what fundies define it as. If they want to have a spiritual and legal union between one "real" Christian man and one "real" Christian woman, who are usually in love, for the purposes of creating an army of "real" Christian babies... that's not the definiton of marriage I know or that history knows. Let them come up with the knew damn word for it.

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at the end of the article, he suggests that conservative Christians should have a new term for the marriage that should apply solely to them, in the event that gay marriage is legalized in Australia.

Fine by me. Fundies always bitch that "marriage" is a sacred word and "civil union" should be fine for gay people to use, because it's the same as marriage (just without dirtying the word with our homo)

I think the opposite is true. "Marriage", as is commonly used both in the present and the past, is not at all what fundies define it as. If they want to have a spiritual and legal union between one "real" Christian man and one "real" Christian woman, who are usually in love, for the purposes of creating an army of "real" Christian babies... that's not the definiton of marriage I know or that history knows. Let them come up with the knew damn word for it.

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Marriage has always been ‘discriminatory’. Not everyone can have it: children, siblings, those already married, those with no-one offering to marry them, and so on.

There are reasons for the above. I have never seen a valid argument prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying, and I'm not hopeful that this article will give me one.

A gay couple must always source its child’s biological parent from outside the relationship, so to call the couple married confirms that biological parenthood is not integral to our understanding of marriage, nor expected of marriage. That in turn suggests that we believe loving biological parenthood is not particularly important to children’s wellbeing.

I guess adoption makes a mockery of marriage, too, then?

it won’t be a private law for some same-sex couples: everyone is being asked to live under a new definition of marriage.

Umm, it won't make a damned difference to anyone unless they wish to marry someone of the same sex. Those are the ONLY people a change in law will affect.

when gays and lesbians want marriage to name their companionship, in a sense we can hardly blame them. They simply continue the same trajectory that has unfolded over decades.

He acknowledges that marriage no longer has the same meaning as it used to but, while he accepts that it's reasonable for LGBT couples to wish to marry, he still disagrees with it (though I can't quite tell why). If it's so important for marraige to not lose its foundation of being an institution that cements biological links, then infertile, childfree and elderly couples should all be prohibited from marrying. They're not, so it *is* discrimination and homophobia to say that we straight childless couples can marry but not LGBT couples.

Given the "Dr" in front of this guy's name, I would ordinarily think it safe to assume he had attended university. The low level of logic and reasoning in his article argues otherwise, however.

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Is Anglicanism the state religion for Australia? I wondered because of the monarchy thing. But yeah, this is sad but not surprising, given how incredibly conservative the Anglican church is in Sydney. They make the conservatives in the UK Anglican church look liberal by comparison :( You may have heard that in the UK we're having our own issues with the Church of England and marriage equality :/

I've been told that Australia doesn't have an official state religion, but I'm not entirely sure. I agree - sad, but not surprising (however, I was slightly surprised that my sister-in-law posted it. I at least thought she was intelligent enough to see how weak these arguments are). Anglicans in Sydney are extremely intolerant and remind me very much of far-right, evangelical Christians in the United States. I was actually brought up in the Episcopal church in the US, and was shocked when I first discovered how conservative the Anglican church in Sydney is. I had heard a bit about what's going on in the UK, but don't know too many details. It surprised me, though, because I was under the impression that Anglicans in the UK would be very liberal.

Fine by me. Fundies always bitch that "marriage" is a sacred word and "civil union" should be fine for gay people to use, because it's the same as marriage (just without dirtying the word with our homo)

I think the opposite is true. "Marriage", as is commonly used both in the present and the past, is not at all what fundies define it as. If they want to have a spiritual and legal union between one "real" Christian man and one "real" Christian woman, who are usually in love, for the purposes of creating an army of "real" Christian babies... that's not the definiton of marriage I know or that history knows. Let them come up with the knew damn word for it.

I completely agree. I do find it laughable, though (the idea of being unwilling to share the term "marriage" with gay and lesbian couples), since it comes across as incredibly petulant and childish. However, if people like him want to hang out in their little club with other Christian couples, my husband and I would happily stand as a married couple alongside other married couples of various sexual preferences. And the "traditional", "Biblical" marriage thing is getting really old since their definition of marriage is a pretty modern one; and it isn't even Biblically accurate.

I guess adoption makes a mockery of marriage, too, then?

I forgot to mention in my initial post, but that's another thing that really upset me. By this person's "logic", adoption is dangerous to society and an affront to the traditional family unit. Also, what does that say about people who grow up in single parent households due to the death of a parent? My sister-in-law, who posted this, grew up in such a household, since she and my husband lost their mother when they were very small. I don't see how their growing up with only their biological father is different (in the way this writer is arguing) than being raised by a gay couple, with one of the partners being one's biological parent. At least in the latter case, the child has two parents instead of one. I would have thought that my sister-in-law would appreciate that non-nuclear families are perfectly valid.

Umm, it won't make a damned difference to anyone unless they wish to marry someone of the same sex. Those are the ONLY people a change in law will affect.

That is one of the parts that I found most upsetting. He is trying to reverse the argument that same-sex marriage affects no one but those who wish to marry partners of their own sex. It's not working, and it's just offensive and patronizing, not to mention ridiculously stupid. Even a child could see that the legalization of gay marriage will have no effect on the people it doesn't concern.

He acknowledges that marriage no longer has the same meaning as it used to but, while he accepts that it's reasonable for LGBT couples to wish to marry, he still disagrees with it (though I can't quite tell why). If it's so important for marraige to not lose its foundation of being an institution that cements biological links, then infertile, childfree and elderly couples should all be prohibited from marrying. They're not, so it *is* discrimination and homophobia to say that we straight childless couples can marry but not LGBT couples.

Yes, yes, yes to everything you said. It's interesting that I have yet to encounter an argument against marriage equality that can avoid this.

+1

Thank goodness for this community. It's great to encounter some sanity after reading intolerant bullshit.

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As far as marriage being discriminatory, I'm reminded how, here in the antebellum (pre-Civil War) United States, slaves were not allowed to get married. That's because they were property. Consequently, the slaves came up with their own rituals to memorialize a relationship (i.e., "jumping the broom"). The slaveowners simply didn't recognize them, because the slaves were property, and had no problem busting up families.

This kind of anti-gay marriage thing just makes me want to puke.

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Sadly, I'm not at all surprised. This is pretty much the issue dividing Anglicans right now. I think Rowan Williams was too soft on the issue.

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Sadly, I'm not at all surprised. This is pretty much the issue dividing Anglicans right now. I think Rowan Williams was too soft on the issue.

Yep. I can only hope that his replacement isn't a conservative.

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I didn't read that, I'm so bored of hearing stupid arguments trotted out again.

Australia doesn't have a state religion. There are actually fewer anglicans than catholics according to the census, and it numbers the same as people with no religion.

Whenever it's polled, most Australians (~75%+) are in favour of gay marriage. I'm so embarrassed it hasn't happened yet. The politicians are going all over the place. A few months ago, the party (narrowly) in government announced official support for gay marriage. I can't remember the PM's opinion, but she is an atheist and unmarried. The Minister for Finance is openly gay and has said she thinks we need change. I like to think it'll happen soon, but who knows. The numbers in Parliament are very precarious and the leader of the Opposition is catholic and a bit of a psycho.

I'm a bit biased because I live in a pretty non-religious place, I didn't realise the Anglicans in Sydney were like that. Is that common? I thought it was more a Catholic opinion.

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Gillard personally does not believe in gay marriage, but I believe she has stated that this has nothing to do with party policy, and she would not let her beliefs affect any decisions about conscience votes.

I still don't get how the fuck a defacto-unioned atheist can go along with the separatist line.

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I was raised in an Anglican family (my father was ordained) in Queensland. I remember Dad implying that Sydney Anglicans were ... different. Clearly not in a good way.

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We need to be clear that Sydney Anglicans are not typical of Anglicans across the country. I have attended some very liberal Anglican churches and some very loony ones.

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I grew up in the Sydney Anglican diocese- in a church that was famously conservative in an already-very-conservative movement. It's not quite frumper-wearing, etc, but in other ways, it's worse. They don't ordain women and, in the church I grew up in, women weren't even allowed to lead the service or help give Communion. I have a thousand stories.

I left the church about 7 years ago, largely because of their stance on gay rights and on gender issues, and the fact nobody seemed anyone near as concerned about pride or greed or gluttony. Plus, our Bible Study reading this bookwas a pretty good final motivation to leave.

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Marriage has already changed so much. It used to be a form of slavery; women had little say in who they married, all of their property and the proceeds of labor were owned by the husband. You were allowed to beat, rape, and in some places even kill your wife.

If someone from Jesus' time came to the future and saw what we consider marriage, a love match of equals, they would not recognize it. So an argument from tradition does not work here.

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