Thought for the Gay

Many on the liberal left are quite surprised by David Cameron’s forthright support for the equal rights of Gay people, especially so given the reaction of most Church spokesmen, who have been ranting on the radio.
Radio 4’s PM programme showed some of this anger with Eddie Mair curious as to whether they really see their “right to refuse” under threat, only to be beaten back by the, usual, casually ignorant argumentum ad antiquitatem, which includes the notion that, “We, the church, OWN marriage and the rest of you sheep don’t know what you are talking about”,
i.e. “We do not want to read the proposed law that protects our right to be the fastest shrinking irrelevance in the world of UK institutions, because we are not interested in “rights”, we actually want (divinely) to lead everybody into a world of homophobic nostalgia”.

Quakers, on the other hand, are all for Gay marriage.
While some may argue that they have been a shrinking and tiny irrelevance to the main Church (of England) for many decades, I am a supporter, a member even. The reason I am proud of the Quaker stance on this, as with many other issues, is that they spend a serious amount of time listening to what each other and the rest of the world thinks. In many ways they are a century ahead of the game with regard to all organised religions. Part of the reason for this is that they are so open and tolerant that members welcomed in include many atheists, agnostics and Buddhists. In fact they are so far removed from the original puritan image that it is painful to hear people making banal assumptions that Quakers wear dull grey clothes, eat nothing but porridge and abstain from alcohol whilst keeping themselves to themselves.
The recent history of Quakers includes a massive and quiet, sometimes secret, role in masses of peace and mediation services; a reshaping of British Laws; a lead role in the development of pacifism; anti-slavery action (still active to this day) and the strong pursuit of freedom from tyranny world wide. The listening to our consciences in a quiet manner, without the interference of priestly leaders and hierarchical dogma preservers, is what led to an acceptance of the need to embrace Gay marriage, in law, many years ago. Finally the law makers appear to be catching up with this Quaker demand…

To witness the Tory bigots and their church spokesmen allies talking about this issue in terms of their tradition and that it was established long before the church was even founded, is most amusing – and should be embarrassing for these sad lost souls, when Quakers have actually thought about the real issues and have reached the opposite, and loving, conclusion.

The religious society of Friends is an awkward title for today, but if they can cause a quake in the world of equalities and community good-doing that has been hijacked by demagogic, hierarchy-loving religious dinosaurs, then they will continue to have my support…

and finally, a gratuitous picture of a typical traditional Christian:-

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