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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Sunday, May 09, 2004


Morality games
CNN is reporting the rather surprising news that the Episcopal Bishop of California to strip the liscense to officiate from a retired gay bishop who "married" his partner. Generally, I'd consider this good news, but it doesn't sound like any opinions have changed. The unfortunately named Bishop William Swing, who made the decision, is still apparently "one of the faith's most outspoken proponents of allowing gay and lesbian Episcopalians to have their unions blessed." But not married, apparently. Or anything even close:
Couples who want to have same-sex blessing celebrations in the Diocese of California must have their requests preapproved and ensure that their celebrations do not resemble traditional marriage ceremonies.
You'll forgive me if I don't understand the logic here. If there is a reason to have a clear demarcation between "traditional marriage ceremonies" and these "union blessings," isn't there a reason not to bless those unions? It seems remarkably inconsistent to hold a middle ground on these sorts of things. Either the Bible is outdated and the church must find other guides for morality--and therefore gays should be able to marry if they want to--or we should go by the Book, and homosexual unions ought not be blessed at all. I don't see any logically consistent middle ground there.

Except that, of course, these decisions are not made on the basis of any scheme of morality, but based on politics. The church has to stay somewhat opposed to homosexuality, else the laity will become restless--and heavens, those backwards brown Episcopalians will get even more fussy. So a few shreds of traditional morality must be clung to, and meaningless gestures like sanctioning a retired bishop must be done every once in a while. But the GLBT types know where we really stand, right? They understand the game we must play, yes? Good. Let's carry on, then.
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