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  • RSS Spirit of a Liberal

    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

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  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Return to Guruk July 24, 2017
      . . . a.k.a Port MacquarieI've spent the last week-and-a-half in the Australian coastal town of Port Macquarie, which since 2002 has been home to my parents, Gordon and Margaret Bayly (pictured with me above last Thursday, July 20).I was happy to see that on the local council's new-look signage for the town the aboriginal word for the area – Guruk […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Photo of the Day July 23, 2017
      NEXT: Return to GurukImage: Michael J. Bayly (Flynns Beach, Port Macquarie).
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
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    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • Christmas at Litmanova December 29, 2016
      The Marian Shrine of Litmanova, Slovakia.Christmas 2017A forest chapel at the Slovakian Marian shrine of Litmanova.Stunning painting of the Sacred Heart inside the forest chapel.
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Not Our President November 16, 2016
      To hear the simplistic denial of those who scream out with naiveté “give Trump a chance” as they condemn others engaged in selfless protest against a certain political and social tsunami in the making, is to ignore his life-time public embrace of policies that tens of millions reject as not just destructive, but evil per se. They are not mistaken.Those in st […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

    • Another World is Neccessary: Anarchism, Christianity and the Race from the White House July 30, 2008
      I’ll be presenting at the upcoming Jesus Radicals conference in Columbus, Ohio. My session (on the relationship between Church and State) will be on Friday afternoon. If you’re in the area, drop by. I’d love to meet some of the folks who frequent this site. Here’s the info: August 15-16, 2008 St. John’s Episcopal 1003 W Town Columbus, OH [...]ShareThis […]
      Mark Van Steenwyk
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    • What's up? July 25, 2017
      I haven't been posting as much lately for a number of reasons. I've had some health issues and also worries about the house, the cats, and finances. And then Sitemeter retired its site, and you'd be surprised at how hard it is to write blog posts when you no longer can see proof that anybody ever visits the blog.I haven't posted much late […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

Marriage and Religious Freedom: UK Civil Partnerships

The successful, unexpected amendment to the UK equality bill which will lead to allowing civil partnership ceremonies to be conducted in religious premises has drawn extensive comment, much of it predictable.  On the right, the Daily Telegraph has headlines screaming that clergy “will” be sued for refusing to conduct them.  (Note the certainty here “will be sued”, not “could be sued”.  Also predictable, is the argument that this is somehow an attack on “religious freedom”, an argument which is so often used to justify restricting the freedom of sexual minorities.  Fortunately, there is also more sensible commentary available, notably that by “Ekklesia”.

This is a progressive, faith based web site that generates a daily list of news and commentary pieces, which I get routinely by email subsription.  Today’s list is dominated the civil partnership implications.  I thought the two most important ideas were from Sharon Ferguson, director of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM), and from Ekklesia itself, in an editorial comment. Rev Ferguson points out very simply that this does not restrict religious freedom: it extends it.   There is nothing in  the legislation that will compel any one to do anything.  No religious minister had yet been compelled in law to marry contrary sex couples against there will:  none will be compelled to marry same s-sex couples.  However, those ministers who do wish to bless civil partnerships in church, will now have the freedom to do so – a  religious freedom which was previously not open to them.  As Ekklesia points out in a separate report, there are now several religious groups who want that freedom.

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