Saturday, December 08, 2007

"Evangelicals Undermining the Sanctity of Marriage" ...

... is not the headline you see but perhaps it should be, according to this quite fabulous Church Times article by our friend-across-the-pond, Giles Fraser:

Which party really wants a divorce?
Lord Carey has said some pretty foolish things in his time. But few can be as absurd as his claim that gay people undermine the institution of marriage — a claim he repeated last week in From Calvary to Lambeth on Radio 4, when he took on Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

A newspaper cartoon in the United States also recently addressed this subject. Two fancy New York women are talking over lunch. One says to the other: “It isn’t homosexuals that are threatening my marriage. It’s the straight women that are sleeping with my husband that are the real problem.”

Dr Carey’s position is even more ridiculous when one recalls that the gay people who most upset conservatives such as him are the ones who are so anti-marriage that they want to get married themselves.

A few years ago, a set of statistics was published that suggested that Evangelicals have a higher divorce rate than atheists. According to the now-notorious findings of the Barna Research Group, 27 per cent of born-again Christians in the United States.
I do not remember anybody at the time asking whether Evangelicalism is actually bad for marriage, but there is certainly a prima facie case. It is true that Evangelicals are the ones calling for divorce in the Anglican Communion. Traditionally, they are the ecclesiological splitters: serial offenders at always finding another pretext for division. Once again, they are leading the way towards a messy separation.

So why are Evangelicals so divorce-minded? If I were going to speculate, I would suggest it might have something to do with a rigid mindset that is unable to tolerate compromise or disagreement. As any half-decent therapist will tell you, this sort of attitude leads many a couple to the divorce courts. For conservative Evangelicals, it always seems to be: my way, or the highway. Thus they have become the masters of the threatened walkout.

The Anglican Communion is a bit like a marriage. We are united with others, for better and for worse. We are called to love each other, even when we don’t see eye to eye. And, above all, we are called to stay together and work things out — with a good marriage-guidance counsellor, if necessary.

All this “You chose to walk apart” stuff, often directed at progressives, is as childish as “You started it,” or “You are the one who changed.” The plain facts are: liberals don’t want a divorce; many conservative Evangelicals do. This alone speaks volumes.

Totally makes sense to me! Bravo, Giles!


Anonymous said...

Right to the point! So well written.

Muthah+ said...

Why do we continue to raise the issue? It is clear that +John David is going to split along with +Bob and +Jack. But does that not allow us to do missionary work in those dioceses? Does that not mean that we no longer have to recognize their fiefdoms? They have not observed our borders. I would be up for such missionary work

Anonymous said...

When a relationship (among people and factions in the Church)is sick unto death it is time to end it. Notwithstanding the progressive metropolitan pockets which thrive on egocentric agendas, the statistics prove that MOST of the Church is sick and getting sicker.
It's time to end it. We've gone past "for better or worse" and we have now reached one member looking to the other and wondering "why bother"?

RonF said...

“It isn’t homosexuals that are threatening my marriage. It’s the straight women that are sleeping with my husband that are the real problem.”


I see this argument a lot. Straight people get divorces and do other things that threaten marriage, so therefore the idea that creating same-sex "marriage" will threaten marriage is irrelevant.

I don't see the logic of the argument. It's not an either/or proposition. The fact that a great many straight people do things that threaten marriage doesn't have anything to do with whether or not what gay people do is desirable. If you have one thing that threatens marriage, permitting something else that does doesn't make sense, and certainly does not mean that what they want to do does NOT threaten marriage.

I wish I had a better education in formal logic. There's got to be a name for the phenomenon wherein Person A, being criticized for their actions, say "well, Person B is doing something wrong as well, so why are you worried about me?" I know we don't let the kids in my Boy Scout Troop get away with this. It's no more justifiable in adults.

BTW, the woman's problem is not the other women - it's her husband.