Churchmen’s attacks on gay marriage lack any credibility

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

A CHRISTIAN columnist in a national newspaper recently expressed concern that senior clerics in the Catholic and Anglican Church were simply not clever enough to challenge younger militant secularists.

He has a point: George Carey, by some distance the most intellectually challenged of recent Archbishops of Canterbury, has been the most vociferous of leading Anglicans. Now David Cameron can’t believe his luck at Keith O’Brien’s response to government support for gay marriage.

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The Cardinal, leader of the Catholic Church of Scotland, has unleashed an asinine rant (Yorkshire Post, March 5).

Cameron’s proposals, according to the Cardinal’s full statement to the Daily Telegraph, are “a grotesque subversion of a universal human right”.

Just what human right is being subverted? Marriage between a man and a woman is not being threatened or even devalued.

What the Cardinal calls “a universal human right” is the right to disadvantage those who define the basis of marriage as love as much as gender.

More revealing about O’Brien’s mindset is his equating the government’s reassurance that churches would not be obliged to conduct same-sex marriages to a promise that, if slavery were legalised, no-one would be obliged to keep a slave. Where is the credibility of someone who sees no moral distinction between slavery and people of the same sex wanting to be called “married”?

From: John Watson, Hutton Hill, Leyburn.

SO David Cameron says “I support gay marriages because I am a Conservative”. I wonder how many Tories there are in this country who agree with that statement? I certainly don’t and I have voted for his party all my life.

I thought the Conservative Party stood for the ideals and moral principles which, in my case, were taught to me by my parents when I was growing up, not seeking popularity by pandering to sections of the population whose questionable lifestyles are different to our own.

I am not a Roman Catholic but I agree wholeheartedly with the Cardinal who doesn’t support single-sex marriages. Where is it all going to end?

If such people want to live together, so be it, but to use the marriage ceremony which has been a cornerstone of a civilised and Christian society to cement that relationship would not be right.

From: JW Slack, Swinston Hill Road, Dinnington, Sheffield.

IT was good to read Leo Winkley’s column (Yorkshire Post, March 3) arguing for religious education to be given much greater prominence on the school curriculum.

It is surely vital for all young people, irrespective of background, to be knowledgeable about all the basic faiths and to be encouraged to question their validity and the effect they have had throughout the world both in the past and in the present day. The world is in turmoil as ordinary working people start to question the way they are being treated by those who represent religious and political ideologues, who argue amongst themselves but yet hold a firm grip on power and the wealth of their own countries and continue to scheme to maintain the status quo.

Sadly, religious beliefs are often a large part of the problem – yet for centuries, indeed since man first appeared on this planet, he has observed the heavens, developed farming and learned how to use materials found in the ground, developed machinery, transportation on land, sea and air, and now can trade with any other country on the globe electronically – but he still does not know how to treat his fellow man.

Burial mounds through the ages have revealed a concern about the hereafter and there is also evidence of tribal bullying, torture etc and fortunes made out of slavery and exploitation, much of which was done by so-called Christians. Whatever we may or may not believe, it is time to give serious thought to why we are here and what we can contribute to create happy and creative relationships and treat everyone with respect by ensuring each receives the care, attention, respect and a fair share of wealth whether in money or in kind.

To ignore a subject which addresses the issues of being a caring and responsible citizen and able to recognise greed and selfishness and wolves in sheep’s clothing is really not an option.

From: David Weston, Elland.

THE article by Hull MP Diana Johnson (Yorkshire Post, March 1) on women bishops confused secular equality and “rights” with long-standing theology.

Nowhere in the Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament is the ordination of women authorised. Jesus undoubtably treated women fairly and lovingly but chose 12 male Apostles to establish his Church.

We rest our case.