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Welby urges Christians to repent of ‘wicked’ attitude to gays and lesbians

Welby urges Christians to repent of ‘wicked’ attitude to gays and lesbians

Speaking to an audience of born-again Christians the Archbishop of Canterbury called them to repent of their treatment of gays and lesbians. The Telegraph reports:

The Most Rev Justin Welby told an audience of traditional born-again Christians that they must “repent” over the way gay and lesbian people have been treated in the past and said most young people viewed Christians as no better than racists on the issue.

Archbishop Welby, who as a young priest once opposed allowing gay couples to adopt children, said the church now had to face up to what amounted to one of the most rapid changes in public attitudes ever.

While insisting that he did not regret voting against same-sex marriage in the House of Lords, he admitted that his own mind was not yet “clear” on the wider issues which he was continuing to think about.

The Guardian reports:

The archbishop of Canterbury has said his stance against gay marriage could be seen as “wicked”. Justin Welby said he stood by his decision to vote against same-sex marriage legislation, but said that could be seen by some as akin to “racism and other forms of gross and atrocious injustice”.

Speaking at the opening on Wednesday of the Evangelical Alliance’s new premises in King’s Cross, London, he said society had evolving views about sexuality, and many younger people thought opposition to gay marriage was “plain wrong”.


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Ceryle Alcyon

From the Guardian article:

Welby said: “What I voted against was what seemed to me to be the rewriting the nature of marriage in a way that I have to say within the Christian tradition and within scripture and within our understanding is not the right way to deal with the very important issues that were attempted to be dealt with in that bill.”

But that’s just the thing. We have already been “rewriting the nature of marriage” for thousands of years. Remarriage after divorce is considered acceptable in the Church. If voluntarily childless marriages–aided by conventional birth control methods–were prohibited, I for one wouldn’t be an Episcopalian. And if anything, the rewriting of marriage began with Christianity, redirecting the focus from reproduction to love, commitment, fidelity, mutual respect, and the morally acceptable gratification of sexual impulses. And these things are just as characteristic of same-sex marriages as they are of opposite-sex marriages. Why is this such a hurdle?

Michael Russell

The ABC displays, in all his comments, the particular truth about the orthodox position: they equate their failure to pay attention to 40 years of discourse on this subject with an absence of discourse at all.

That Welby and others have not been engaged in the conversation is their fault to bear.

The ongoing violence that is done to Holy Scripture in order to justify violence against the LGBT community is indeed a wickedness. To cherry pick, misinterpret, and misapply Scripture for their purposes is done simply to buttress ignorance and bias. The greatest “sin” of their interpretive style to to decouple bits of scripture from contexts that condemn a wider range of sins with equal intensity. One wonders, for example, how we blithely uncouple the “putting to death” those who violate any of the first seven Commandments. Who gave us permission not to execute these miscreants!!!

To suggest that extending marriage chips away at heterosexual marriage is absurd. Indeed the notion that marriage has been “one sort of thing” through centuries is wrong as well. Check this Economist review of a new book on English attitudes towards marriage:

It concurs with Marilyn Yalom’s view in “The History of the Wife” that romantic marriage is a product of the 1950’s and before that marriage was more aimed at personal social improvement and the passing on of wealth.

What is deeply sad and certainly insufferable is that larges swaths of Christians simply held their hand over their ears and went “blah, blah, blah blah” while their whole societies moved through a serious discussion about shedding bias and violence against the GLBT community. And while we must continue to engage them, it is time to share with them that it is their responsibility to catch up with 40 years of conversation, not our responsibility to pander to their deliberate refusal.

Danny Berry

The archbishop’s words about gay marriage “chipping away” at a “cornerstone” of society are deeply hurtful. What! To say that the way we love each other is destructive to the well-being of others? My Lord, perhaps you need to revisit your first undergraduate courses in Logic. Perhaps, again, examining your role as a Christian bishop after making such statements would also be time well spent. The Christian church will never be able to repay all that gay Christians have given to the life of the church. To speak of us in the way that you have is, to my mind, gravely sinful.

Danny Berry

Archbishop, your statement that gay marriage “chips away” at a cornerstone of society is deeply sinful and just plain ugly. The church owes much more to gay people than it will ever be able to replay; but owning and acknowledging the gravely sinful way gay people are treated at the hands of “christians” is a good place to begin.

Bonnie Spivey

Thank you Leonardo. As always, well said.

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