February 19, 2014


Linda Woodhead writes at Thinking Anglicans to point out the factual error in the English House of Bishops Pastoral Guidance to which I alluded earlier. Contrary to the bishops' assertion, the present day does not mark "the first time" that there has been "a divergence between the general understanding and definition of marriage in England as enshrined in law and the doctrine of marriage held by the Church of England and reflected in the Canons and the Book of Common Prayer." As Woodhead notes, Archbishop Davidson said almost exactly the same thing over a hundred years ago (1907) in relation the the changes allowing a man to marry a deceased wife's sister. And as Woodhead and I have pointed out, the changes in how divorce was handled, and remarriage allowed, also brought about a dissonance between church and civil practice. (And, one might well add, eventually a dissonance between church practice and the teaching of Christ, about which the Pastoral makes much noise but to which it also appears almost totally oblivious, since Christ "taught" nothing at all about same-sex marriage, but did have something to say about divorce and remarriage, some of which was even read in churches round the Communion just last Sunday!)

To rely upon a falsehood as a point in argument is bad practice. One cannot reason to true results from false premises. Garbage in, garbage out.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

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