(With apologies for the wealth of links in this post, but I wanted to give them as a means of reference & elaborating on points.)
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
- New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
The arguments against Equal Marriage are becoming more and more ludicrous and increasingly detached from reality. Surely this is a good thing ... if these people make themselves known, we can begin to get them the specialist help and attention they sorely need. Clearly, they are incapable of coherent thought, have lost their grip on reality, and pose a significant threat to themselves & others.
Here are some of the more ludicrous arguments given publicly recently (in most cases, I've copied the text from the headlines or subheadings of articles that are linked at the end of each bullet point ... some, but not all, words are my own):
- Firstly, the seemingly particularly hateful Lynette Burrows, who claimed in a debate at Oxford University that children should be with "straight sluts and drug addicts," rather than "Sodomites"! http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/30/lynette-burrows-children-should-be-with-straight-sluts-and-drug-addicts-rather-than-sodomites/
- Lavinia Sealy, the Conservative chair of Surrey County Council says she is “fundamentally opposed” to equal marriage and that it will have “negative consequences for “families and children” – she also claims “there are lots of gays in the media” and “if anybody speaks out, you’re rubbished.” http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/30/surrey-council-tory-chairwoman-says-same-sex-marriage-is-dangerous-to-children-blasts-gays-in-the-media/
- Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has told students in Surrey that allowing gay couples to marry would be like sanctioning incest. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/28/exclusive-defence-secretary-philip-hammond-links-incest-with-same-sex-marriage/ although he's now saying that he didn't claim that, with some opposition from the students he was speaking with http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/28/philip-hammond-denies-same-sex-marriage-incest-claims/
- Anthony Ozimic, a member of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, a lobby group opposed to abortion rights, says the teaching of equal marriage in schools would lead to the “promotion” of gay lifestyles. He claimed allowing schools to teach their students about the topic will “confuse and mislead children about the nature and meaning of sexuality,” and that marriage has always been “heterosexual”. He also described same-sex marriage as a “category error” and that homosexuality is “not natural” and said “homosexuals are promiscuous”.
- Just this morning, I was made aware of this guy, who says "David Cameron is an anti-Christ", the UK is evil and all those who support Equal Marriage "will go to hell". He feels so strongly about Equal Marriage that he's planning on sleeping rough on the night the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is discussed in Parliament ( https://twitter.com/kleephotography/status/296902362658910209/photo/1 ). He's also recorded this particularly interesting video about his feelings on the matter http://youtu.be/m9bTtLPBAfU
- We all know the Catholic church's official stance of being particularly strongly against Equal Marriage (or equality for women, or transparent accounting, or accountability for it's leaders). Their homophobic views are often not mirrored by those in the pews (who have often been pressured into signing the petition against Equal Marriage, en masse, during church services), and who have been writing into the Catholic publication, The Tablet, stating their disapproval. Nevertheless, these views are sidelined, while their leaders bombard the press with letters and press statements that are increasingly ludicrous (and, I hope, futile!).
One of the most recent statements comes from Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, of San Francisco, who stated that 'gay marriage is like male breastfeeding'?! http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/archbishop-says-gay-marriage-male-breastfeeding290113
Their own Pope Benedict said in a speech that "gay people are not fully developed humans" http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/pope-says-gay-people-are-not-fully-developed-humans280912
Indeed, he dislikes gay people so passionately, that he used his speech on World Peace Day to describe same-sex marriage as "a threat to justice and peace," adding that "it will spark harm for society." http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/12/14/pope-uses-peace-day-message-to-attack-same-sex-marriage/
They changed tack a little recently, when they pushed out a document, stating that they recognised "that gay couples make loving parents but they must be banned from marriage." http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/29/catholic-church-we-recognise-that-gay-couples-make-loving-parents-but-they-must-be-banned-from-marriage/
Although, sense & reason should depart shortly, because there's been a last-ditch call to action by the Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Rev Peter Smith, who says “the time to act is now,” and has initiated the printing of another million postcards (coercing faithful members to litter letterboxes, churches & streets) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9830044/Gay-marriage-Catholic-Church-tells-priests-time-to-act-is-now.html
In addition, they've issued a document which alludes to teachers in Catholic schools being demoted or dismissed if they are in a same-sex relationship ... The document states “a partnership of intimacy with another person, outside a form of marriage approved by the church…can be removed from office.” http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/28/catholic-church-warns-gay-teachers-they-risk-the-sack-if-they-marry-or-enter-into-civil-partnerships/
Perhaps the silver lining in all this is that now that these comments are coming out in the open, people can finally get to see these people for the deluded, discriminatory, hate-filled manipulators of power that they are.
To expand on this, this is a very compelling and enlightening video by Roger Ross Williams, featuring the Revd. Kapya Kaoma, speaking about how money donated by American evangelicals helps to finance a violent anti-gay movement in Africa, and sheds light on the desire for power over politics, finances, entertainment and spirituality. http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/01/22/opinion/100000002020130/gospel-of-intolerance.html?WT.mc_id=NYT-E-I-NYT-E-AT-0130-L20&nl=el
Roger Ross Williams is Director of the film, "God Loves Uganda" (http://www.godlovesuganda.com/), a feature-length, in-depth look at the evangelical campaign to change African culture with values imported from America’s Christian Right.
Compare the above comments with the comments from somebody like Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who recorded this message ( http://youtu.be/NV-9EjzmpE0 ) for the OUT in Africa film festival a few years ago, where he speaks about the blessing of our sexuality, or this video where he speaks about homosexuals ( http://youtu.be/Zhu_ryd3Dak ).
Consider also the very measured study by Matthew Vines, looking sensitively & sensibly at both sides of the discussion ( http://youtu.be/ezQjNJUSraY ).
Bear both of these people (and hundreds of thousands of others who offer support & love because of their faith) in mind, in the light of the Scripture verse at the top of this post, and the one below:
15 ‘Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
- New International Version - UK (NIVUK)