It’s difficult to explain what’s wrong with Featherstone’s move from a scriptural perspective because most people have either not read or have rejected scripture. It’s easier to argue against from a political perspective although many would hold up the burqa ban as an equal and similar case to Featherstone’s.
They’d be wrong.
The burqa ban has basis in security but even there, many would argue that it’s the state imposing its own view of the world on a Muslim requirement of its women, just as with honour killings, having hands chopped off and that sort of thing. I’d argue that that is physical harm v inconvenience.
Islam being an alien religion to western Europe does strengthen the case against the burqa but it is much more difficult to argue that no religious symbols should be worn by anyone. I’ve no problem with Muslims wearing crescent pendants round their necks or facing Mecca at lunchtime or whatever. Nor with Christian pendants.
As for private worship, providing it is not a sermon urging the murder of other human beings who don’t agree – most people are not so much against that. As for the proliferation of mosques all over the land until they outnumber churches, many would not argue against it although I would.
As for those mosques issuing loud cacophony multiple times a day in some foreign strangled language which sounds like a man having a vasectomy without an anaesthetic, that’s another matter altogether – that comes under the heading of disturbing the peace. Immediately atheists point to church bells but those of us still true to our roots point out that that has always been the religion of this nation – “always” meaning at least since the nation became the modern English.
Anyway, all these things can be argued about but what is past argument is the quite nasty and dangerous precedent of imposing gay civil unions on churches and forcing clergy to pretend they’re marriages.
You need to understand the essential nature of what marriage is in Christian eyes and what once was western European eyes before denying that this move of Featherstone’s is an abomination. The word sanctity is the critical word in marriage within a church. The whole idea is that it is the union of a man and a woman for the purposes of procreation and creating a base unit of the society, under the auspices or with the approval of [the grace] of G-d.
I’m not arguing here whether that should be the model across the whole of society or not – that’s another post. The point is that that is what Christian marriage is all about and to pretend to “marry” two gays in a church is anathema because it denies the factor of grace. No minister or priest has any scriptural back-up for doing such a thing and is duty-bound to refuse or to leave the church.
The question of whether such a church has a place in today’s sick society is another question altogether and that’s the only legitimate question in this which Featherstone is entitled to ask. She knows full well though that there is still a rump of people in this nation which would reject the banning of the Christian church outright and what’s more, would fight for its retention too, irrespective of whether they personally are good Christians or not.
This is a Niemoeller question.
With politicians being essentially gutless, she won’t do that. Instead, she picks on the churchgoing population which is a small percentage of the nation and imposes new beliefs over the old within the church itself. She’s not interested in the church, she’s not Christian, she just wants to continue the state’s intrusion into the affairs of other people who are doing no harm to her or to anyone else.
This blog is full of posts about the state, either national or local, intruding in other people’s affairs. Longrider has said many times, for example, that the state should butt out and let people live their lives the way they want. This move of Featherstone’s is a clear case of the state coming in and deliberately intruding on a quite clear concept held dear by this faith and imposing an opposite concept of PCism upon it.
Worse than that, it is seeking church approval of something it clearly is not entitled to approve because there is no scriptural basis for that approval. It’s not unlike Ernst Stavro Blofeld, in OHMSS, seeking the aristocratic title. He doesn’t need it from a financial point of view but desperately seeks official acceptance by the club, just as Paxman sought Garrick club membership and was blackballed.
Yet it’s not just that, is it? It is connected, this move of Featherstone’s, to the whole severance of church and state in the monarch’s oath and to the eventual isolation of an emasculated and irrelevant church whose utterances will result in incarceration of its dwindling band of proponents and while that is happening, in a Henry VIII sacking of the church and a stripping away of any property it has accumulated, for redistribution to the oligarchs at the top and the residue being spent on pointless wars or parachutee salaries.
That’s what this is about. And with the brakes now removed and the essential decency of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, which is too tolerant for its own good, resulting in its own demise [can you imagine Islam acting like this], the stage is then set, not for a brave new world of love and tolerance, free from G-d but in a descent into bloodiness and oppression, as the global socialist dream is imposed, a dream which pays homage to a different god, variously known, through history, as Ea, Set, Ishtar, Kali, Beelzebub and whatever other name is assumed at the time – Maitreya.
And yes I have done my reading and yes, I do know the purportedly different stories of those respective names and they all come to the same entity in the end. The modus operandi is exactly the same, whereever it’s been found. The only thing we need to know is that is not a world in which we’d want to try to live because it is a barbaric world of cruelty and absolutely no protection for whoever the puppets at the top of the state decree is the enemy on that particular day.
Just read history- it’s all there. You might start at the French Revolution, fuelled by the Rationalists and by the true lowlifes of the time. Schiller:
“The attempt of the French people to gain possession of the rights of man and to win political freedom has only shown its incapacity and unworthiness, and has swept back along with it a considerable part of Europe into barbarism and serfdom…. In the lower classes we see only lawless instincts which hasten to their bestial satisfaction now that the restraints of society are removed. So it was not moral control, but external coercion, which hitherto held them back. So they were not free men, as they declared, oppressed by the state! When civilization degenerates, it falls lower than barbarism can ever reach, for the latter can only become a beast, while the former lapses into the devil.”
For “restraints”, you could read “constraints”. Every person in these islands who does not believe in a Christian god has nevertheless been protected by that god through the type of society which respected fundamental rights and though Them up top rode roughshod over those rights and though the official Church colluded with and fought the State for all the wrong reasons, nevertheless the JCT was still there and people knew it. The writers of the American Constitution were, by-and-large, Christian men, not pagans and there was a spirit which bound almost all people in that land which lent itself to that sort of document.
Those who would have us descend into another dark age of oppression and complete state control are either blind or disingenuous. I for one do not wish to have to survive my old age in a William Burroughs dystopia where no one’s ever heard of protective models such as the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes. I don’t want a world where the libertarian cry of “do as thou wilt” becomes licence for killing, raping and pillaging – humorous in a Pythonesque setting, not so humorous in real life.
What truly rational people would wish to return to such a land?
Coming back to Featherstone and Niemoeller – if you, the people, allow her to get away with this, then the scene is set for state interference in absolutely anything private and the sky’s the limit for the arbitrariness of the legislation which will bind you so tightly you’ll need a laxative and diuretic just to survive. The gays don’t need this legislation – they’ve chosen to form civil unions as they wish and in our society, there is tolerance of that. Many times I’ve said that that’s their affair and nowt to do wi’ me.
Trying to force ministers of the cloth to call black white though is entirely another question. The battle lines have been drawn. The result will be the vilification of, eventual rounding up and charging of people like myself who flatly refuse to bastardize the definition of marriage to mean other than what it actually is.
And there’ll be those who will nod on with approval.