The comments to my last post on this subject have been interesting.
Let me start with Margaret:
I also am puzzled by this insistence that “committed” equally “right”.
Ahab and Jezebel were “committed” but it was never “right” for a Jewish king to marry outside the faith. Similarly Samson and Delilah were “committed” at least at the beginning — but it was never right. There are a string of “committed” relationships that are deemed “wrong”.
Of course in the New Testament we have Jesus saying that people will leave their fathers, mothers, wives and children for the faith. (eg Luke 18:29) So much for marital commitment being absolutely essential for Christians. And then of course we have the example of Pauls teaching about leaving partners who will not accept the christian spouse’s conversion …
So exactly how has commitment got the allure that it has ended up with? an allure that has even sucked in a theologian of the stature of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
I’m glad that Margaret gave some examples of how non-homosexual relationships can de-legitimise themselves for a wide variety of reasons.
And then Dr. Deborah Pitt (whose back and forth with the Archbishop of Canterbury started all of this) weighs in again:
I’ve enjoyed the dialogue and agree with the comments re ‘committed’.
If I may, I’ll quote from my letter to AbC:
I am not saying that the quality of devotion (in homosexual relationships) cannot be as high, perhaps it can for all I know. But that does not make the relationship intrinsically right. There are many adulterous heterosexual unions that are marked by great qualities of devotion, commitment etc. That does not make them right, though. There is honour among thieves. That does not make robbery all right. Certainly not for the victims. As for ‘absolute covenanted faithfulness’ as a criterion for the rightness of a relationship, well, the Mafia operates by a similar code. (I am not likening homosexuals to the Mafia, just that the criterion is not an absolute good.) The attainment of such an ideal is less likely with homosexual relationships, which are remarkable for their promiscuity, for some reason. Neither will the strong tendency to promiscuity be helped by friendly legislation for homosexual marriage or acceptability by the public. (Nothing, by the way, prohibits a homosexual couple from drawing up their own legal contract if they want to )
I have two comments to this:
- I was amused at her invocation of the “Mafia” relative to homosexuals. Sad to say, in the political realm, the analogy is all too real. Any group of people who use intimidation, bullying, and the threat of silencing and incarcerating their opponents through the use of hate crimes and anti-discrimination legislation the way they do certainly deserves a gang type of analogy. They have poisoned any hope of meaningful dialogue, even where matters of public policy aren’t involved (i.e., the church.) And that doesn’t consider their MO in the Anglican/Episcopal world…
- Her comment of “Nothing, by the way, prohibits a homosexual couple from drawing up their own legal contract if they want to” is absolutely correct. As I noted a long time ago, LGBT activists had a choice regarding their course of action regarding legal equality for their relationships; the one they chose speaks volumes of their idea. And, I might add, Christians’ response on this speaks volumes for our idea too…