Feedback on the above article:
Rob Carr (01/08/2012 23:19)
Really interesting perspective from Tom. What do readers think about it?
Tim Moore (02/08/2012 20:14)
I believe same-sex marriage can be compatible with scripture, so I don't share Tom Harris's position. I think his stance is a brave one which I respect: it's a position that hasn't featured much in the debate on equal marriage so far.
Tom Harris is showing he can maintain a position on scripture, while realising his public role is not to impose a certain interpretation of it on society.
John Joy (Guest) (03/08/2012 10:08)
I am immensely disappointed in this article. It appears he has bought the argument that the Bible and Christians are against homosexuality, without looking into it at all deeply. The Bible clearly is very much against sexual intercourse between two people of the same sex, just as it is against adultery. It does not look at questions of sexual orientation. God loves people of a homosexual orientation just as much as he loves heterosexuals, and Jesus died for them both. That does not mean he approves of sex between people of the same gender any more than he approves of adultery between heterosexuals. Now marriage is very much to do with sex, and the Bible no more condones marriage between two men (or two women) than it does between two people who are already married to someone else. Perhaps Tom Harris will think on this point.
Cornelius Harding (Guest) (03/08/2012 11:51)
I have to say the problem with this whole debate is that it is imposing a certain interpretation of the word marriage on society. If politicians honestly wanted society to decide what they believe the word marriage means they would either a) hold a referendum (which they wouldn't do because every single referendum on this has led to the populous of a state rejecting changing the marriage definition) or b) simply stop having the state use the term marriage. If this is about equality in the sense of letting gay people and straight people have the same privileges from the state then let the term marriage be dropped and simply have civil partnerships. No married person is going to believe they aren't married no longer simply because the certificate from the state says civil partnership. It is a simple way out of this situation but the church of england won't take it because it fundamentally signals a secular state and the need for disestablishment of the church, and those in parliament won't take it because they want they're liberal social view to dominate and be rubber stamped by the state (in a way they want a new but different 'theocracy').
emma green (Guest) (03/08/2012 17:24)
I too am a "recovering Evangelical"but for different reasons to Tom. We have now moved onto the fringe of the RC's- we are far to radical to ever be mainstream! anyway. i agree with Tom that the Bible is full of imagery and not always to be taken literally. If two people love each other and are committed to each other why does it matter what gender they are? if God loves eeveryone as we claim then He surely wants the same for gay people as for non gay people. It would seem to me a very cruel God who condemmed people who were born gay to a less than equal share of His kingdom would it not?
Dawn (Guest) (03/08/2012 22:07) To John Joy
It worries me when people feel they know so clearly
what God wants or believes. If two people are in love, why would
God be against them being happy in their relationship and expressing their love for each other? If your answer is that it says this in the bible so
that is all there is, you condemn people to shame and unhappiness. If yours is a God you cannot ask the question why... that is a tragedy. All love is valid and a blessing.
Charles (Guest) (06/08/2012 10:27)
I remain Evangelical and so for myself and my own interpretation, were I homosexual (which categorically is not wrong) I may require myself to abstain but I’m a Liberal (not LD of course) and won’t force that choice on any other believer whose relationship with God is between them and God. Particularly as I hold that view without ever having it tested by having to wrestle with exclusive attraction to men.
I wholly agree with your point that it is wrong to legislate against homosexuals. In fact it is a great injustice that the State discriminates against people on their sexual orientation and I am a passionate proponent of the State-sanctioning of homosexual marriage. I can disagree with peace over many things with my fellow Christians (who of course don’t all share any one position) but this is an area where I sometimes feel embarrassed of the stands of my brothers and sisters. Discrimination against a subsection of citizens by a State and by civic society is wrong and I will stand up to it where I see it, which I do on this issue.
The problem that the CofE has is that it is Established. I have a problem that a parish church is required to marry non-members and non-Christians if they qualify by living in the parish and I would have the same issue with the CofE being required to marry homosexuals if the individual parish didn’t want to. However, this is not a reason not to a reason not to pursue marriage equality, rather it is another mark against Establishment.
Joe Russo (Guest) (20/08/2012 11:59)
Paul is always slightly problematic as he seems not to have ever fully shaken off his Pharisaical background. One of the alternative translations that Tom refers to fleetingly is that Paul is not condemning homosexuality per se but rather the practice of keeping young boys as sex slaves, which is obviously abominable. The German versions of the bible (Einheits) go for the term 'Lustknaben'. Anyway... interesting article. I think Tom is absolutely right in saying that there is a need to put the bible in its proper context and always ask whether the context has changed sufficiently in modern times.
fiona( Guest) (Guest) (03/05/2013 10:38)
If two people of any combination gender wise really love each other and that this culminates in evercloser physical intimacy- I cannot see that can be wrong in the sense that it is harmful for Adults or children growing up in this environment. Casual sex between people can be unsafe both physically and psychologically whatever your sexuality.The true issue is not the letter of the law but the spirit. Much of the above debate seems to have got tangled up in pharisee arguments about interpretation of "the law" and what is allowed or not. Love is the moral issue at stake here. Ican almost imagine jesus asking the crowd in response to their arguments , What do you think is the greater sin Sleeping next to a wife or husband that you do not love or someone of the same sex that you do.. We have to ask ourselves what are we trying to achieve by this law or what are we trying to protect. By the way I am hetrosexual and married.
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