December 11, 2012

Sirens and Asparagus

It is now reported that the English Parliament, while edging towards approval of same-sex marriage, is responding to appeals by at least some in the Church of England, to make it part of the law that the Church of England (and that of Wales) be explicitly prohibited from performing such marriages.

Needless to say present law of the Church of England (and Wales) does not allow for same-sex marriages, although there has been occasional movement in that direction. It appears that some fear that if something is not forbidden it will become mandatory.

This particular "lock" or "lockout" forbidding England and Wales to perform same-sex marriages even if their governing bodies decide to do so seems a bit like our American "fiscal cliff" -- a law put in place to prevent a body from doing what it very well knows it might one day choose to do, but is unwilling to do or fearful of doing.

The fact that there seems to be a need for such an external restraint is testimony to the lack of resolve -- and the pressure for change -- within these institutions, and a sad sign of a kind of double-minded immaturity and unwillingness to deal with reality.

Odysseus bound to the mast comes to mind, knowing he has no power to resist the sirens' song, but wanting to hear it all the same, while his deaf crew row with wax-filled ears.

Of course, it also reminds me of Alice: "I'm so glad I don't like asparagus, for if I did I should have to eat it, and I can't bear it."

Is it any wonder the Church of England -- coming to resemble both of these -- lacks credibility?

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG


JCF said...

Hear, hear.

Erika Baker said...

It seems there are valid legal reasons for this fourth lock:

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Erika, I understand the necessity for the "legal" reason, but only because of the need to maintain opposition to SSM. The C of E could remain "open" to SSM, but then it would be in the position of having to marry all SS couples (as they do mixed-sex couples -- this is part of the Establishment). This way, they can rest assured they never have to marry any SS couples. This is what I meant by the asparagus and wax analogies.

Of course, there are other solutions to this dilemma, including accepting SSM -- but that is the what they refuse to do, for now. This will make it all the harder to do so down the road.

Erika Baker said...

I agree, Tobias, and I am particularly amused by those who now want the church to bless Civil Partnerships so it does not appear to be homophobic.
Once we have marriage equality, who will still get civil partnered?

They just do not understand how much damage they're causing themselves.