Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Australia, the Anglican Church has issued a resolution calling for a “need for humility and graciousness in discerning the way forward on these issues” and reminding members that “all people are made in the image of God, loved by God and welcome in the community of God’s people.”
Great! They’re finally becoming inclusive and accepting!
I’m just kidding. They’re doubling down on their bigotry, warning everyone in church leadership that they should avoid even the appearance of supporting marriage equality.
In a recent joint resolution adopted by Church bishops, Anglicans lay out the ground rules when it comes to The Gays: No leader can bless a same-sex union, and no building owned by the church (including halls and chapels) can be used as venues for a same-sex wedding.
They’re still debating whether Anglican leaders can offer “informal prayers” for gay couples outside of church, and whether they can even show up at someone else’s same-sex wedding.
These rules don’t just apply to Anglican officials at the top of the pecking order. They are meant for bishops, clergy members, church volunteers, members of parish councils, etc. In other words, according to an article at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s website, “thousands of ordinary Anglican lay people” are now subject to the restrictions. They can’t even attend same-sex weddings.
Muriel Porter of the Trinity College Theological School says this is incredible hypocrisy on the Church’s part:
What is this really about? The bishops claim it is to uphold the Anglican Church’s doctrine that marriage is a “lifelong union between a man and a woman”.
Well, that doctrine has been compromised for decades now. “Lifelong” is now merely an ideal, no longer a doctrinal stance, since the Anglican Church changed its harsh no-divorce rule nationally in 1985. Divorced people remarry regularly in Anglican churches around the country. Numbers of clergy and even some bishops are remarried divorcees. Divorce has not been an issue for Anglicans for ages.
No, these harsh rules about gay people come from an entirely different place. The conservatives who are championing the anti-gay agenda — and sadly, persuading moderate church leaders to come on board — are on a power trip. This is their “line in the sand”.
It’s the age-old religious rule: All sins are equal, but some are more equal than others. They used to oppose divorce, but they’re fine with it now. Hopefully, marriage equality will go the same route within the Church, but until then, their leaders are reminding everyone that the Anglican Church is no model when it comes to ethical, decent human behavior.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Phil for the link)