Monday, January 30, 2006

Nuclear Submarines: Gay Partnerships

I am having a slobbing night in tonight! This involves some quality fair trade beer, questionable television and generally doing nothing. That said the questionable television has been very thought provoking, and that was just “The Good Life”. The main item for discussion today was a programme entitled “Gay Vicars” on Channel 4. This was an exploration of the viewpoints of those in the Church of England (CofE) as they struggle with the issue of homosexual relations, in particular their being recognised by the Government, which leaves the states’ church in a tricky situation when it hasn’t come out with the same view! The film focussed on some clerics who were going through the process of registering their relationship, those who were part of a campaign group who didn’t want the church to do anything over them and finally a hetrosexual bishop who wanted to see the CofE recognise and bless gay partnership blessings. With such a vicious mix of people then of course it could have been edited in a very nasty way to illustrate the randomness of many viewpoints, instead it was prepared to engage with them. The people representing the pressure group against recognition were very interesting. My initial thoughts were that they were a gay couple, as they were two old men sat beside each other in clerical bands – obviously very comfortable with each other – and so when they started to complain and argue against homosexual relationship is decided that they were either suppressed themselves or were actually against homosexuality. That said, they put up a staunch case against which was a time warp in reality – that Homosexuality was wrong and was merely an idea that can be condition out of a person. Ultimately they were sat there arguing the toss over an issue of personal choice. Therefore they were willing to put the Anglican Communion on the line – therefore global Christian connections – over an issue that is less of an issue than nuclear weapons, global warming, or even capitalism. Now there would be a cause to argue over! This point, was well picked up on by a fascinating dude who was a gay vicar leading a mixed race church in South East London. His common sense and conviction that his job was to share Gods love to all was immense. The eloquent and intellectual way he illustrated his love for the Anglican Communion, followed by his undying urge to open out the church to those of all sexes was an inspiration. But that true inspiration came from a Rowan Williams-esque (appearance wise) Bishop – the Bishop of Worcester. He very deftly and humbly outlined his view that we needed to embrace all of Gods people and all of their relationships to truly illustrate the love of all gods people. This was humbling from the slow and thoughtful way he delivered it, yet it was delivered in a deeply loving way. This wasn’t a stream of bile against other viewpoints, instead it was a deep routed statement from a heterosexual that homosexual relationships are just as important – a viewpoint that is rarely lifted up for all to hear. This man spoke the truest love, one that was for a love he couldn’t have because he was hetrosexual. A humbling and exciting set of interviews. Overall it was a fascinating programme. This was a true exploration of the meaning of Gods love for all people in the world. This idea that we can suddenly limit the love of a god who gave his son for all mankind was a contradiction well raised subtlety. It was raised by questions surrounding how the denominations, which claim to be a vehicle for the outpouring of Gods love through worship, mission and praise, can claim to limit this love due to theological discussion. This is a theological discussion that hides other things though. One thing that I wasn’t able to fully grasp was how a homosexual marriage would be able to undermine a heterosexual one. For what marriage fundamentally is, is a union between two loving people declared in front of the state (and if it was in a church service setting) and then the God in whom they believe. This is then recognised by all as a wonderful moment for the couple. For if homosexual marriage was allowed then the world wouldn’t change, instead we would truly be a more tolerant and loving society. For the illustration of how we, as a Christians in the “Real World”, treat a group so often on the edge of society is a true representation as to how well we are doing as living out Gods message of love. After that hardcore, interlectual programme I am relaxing with a viewing of the marvellous “Supersize Me” on More4. This channel, transmitted through the Freeview Digital Vision medium, is rapidly establishing it’self as the alternative questioning channel that has been lacking for so long. I have greatly enjoyed it. It reminds me of BBC2 before Gardening shows really took it over. Take Care Y’All John

1 comment:

  1. i wish i'd seen that programme - sounds intriguing! having not seen it i cant argue with you, which is a shame... hehe!

    Rachel xx

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