This Anglican is for Marriage Equality

Following the CofE Bishop’s Response to the matter of single-sex marriage, I was a little… irritated.

For many, both members of the Church, and non-members, they find it difficult to see how the fact that there are provisions in law is not the same as equality. This is no-more obvious than when it’s seen in a Christian context. They say that it’s not inequality if they can have secular “marriage”. I wrote the following response:

The inequality is blindingly obvious. It’s not one form of love for any perceived “them” and one for a perceived “us”. It’s equal or nothing. And no, Single-sex partnerships do not have the right to be blessed in church. Single-sex unions cannot marry in church. THIS IS NOT EQUALITY.

If you want to go to town over a few verses from the Bible, then feel free, however, I will suggest that a hermeneutic that finds this difficult and yet does not allow, say, slavery, is a flawed hermeneutic.

When I stand before a couple, and they marry each other (note, marriage in church has nothing to do with the priest), it is not my place to judge that marriage. We do not demand that heterosexual couples prove that they adhere to any of the other rules of the church before opening our doors to them, I don’t see why any couple is a special case.

When I offer God’s blessing upon a person, a congregation, a couple, I don’t stop to ask if they are worthy, deserving, or any of those other morally-presumptuious words, because simply put, God is MUCH BIGGER than that. It is HER blessing I’m pronouncing. It is HIS grace that they leave with. I may be a conduit, but I believe that if God wants people blessed, s/he is quite capable of doing that. God’s love is way bigger than that. I want to offer that love to everyone. There is no-one beyond it, there is no-one undeserving of it

If blessings can be given to animals, inanimate objects, and the 101 things we are asked to bless, then what’s the problem with blessing love? Surely, on a scale of things, it’s better to bless the hope and expression of love than, say, a book.

Love is, after all, what Christianity is about.

My First Grandchild, by Edwina Slack

I had forgotten just how sweet it is,
To hold a tiny baby in my arms,
To feel the silken head resteing against my cheek,
The fragile fet pressing against my side,
Child of my own dear child, my thankful heart
Echoes the murmmuring lullaby I sing.
I see the blue eyes close, the lashes lie,
Like strands of gold upon the petal face.
I hear the gentle breath of sleep, and feel
It’s feather softness cool upon my skin.

Modern Poetry Idea

Recently I attended a beat-poetry evening, called Voicebox run by Un-deg-Un. There I had the pleasure of meeting the youth poet for Wales. I was not brave enough to share any of my work, beliving them to be unpolished, and unfinished.

They were definately too short.

However, it has occured to me that I write these.. rather odd short stories. Where I use words, and illeteration in order to make them stand out. Perhaps, then what I need is to check the lines, and to see what changes will be needed to make them fit a beat. Perhaps a simple, hidden beat, but a rythem of poetry.

Perhaps there is even a rythem hidden in them allready.

The idea struck me while I was writing the short story “Hell”, which was in turn fired off by a random post on facebook.

The story itself is too short, really, to be a short story. Less than 1000 words. This, however, does not necesssarily make it too long for a beat poem, or even an element of modern poetry. What that means, then, is me breaking that age-old rule that I have had of not going back to the things that I have written to make drastic changes (other than editing for sense, and for spelling).

I shall muse over this if I ever have time, and seek other advice. Perhaps I will even post the progress of “Hell” as a poem here for people to see the process.

We live in interesting times.

~Phil

Hell.

They sell hell is something you carry around with you. That it is not a place. There are many people who think that they have been to hell, or are in hell. This is, perhaps, true. Though it is only, really, a pale version of hell. An idea that is part of the genius of the Devil. Part of the way in which his mind works is to convince people that he does not exist; that his role in the world is something other. The beneficent opposer, the one who has been sent by God to tempt the world, or the one who, for the want of one mistake, lost everything that he had been given. The true origins of the devil are not as simple as that. He is everything that people think he is. He has lived many lives, and has betrayed each and everyone of them Continue reading

Nelson Mandala’s Inaugaration Speech

To commemorate the death of Nelson Mandela, and listening to the way he tried to live his life, I could find no better tribute than his own words:

We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free.

Their dreams have become reality. Freedom is their reward.

We are both humbled and elevated by the honour and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, to lead our country out of the valley of darkness.

We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom.

We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success.

We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.

Let there be justice for all.

Let there be peace for all.

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.

Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves.

Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.

Let freedom reign.

The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement!

http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Inaugural_Speech_17984.html

In The Beginning.

[Writing a new version of the 9 lessons and Carols service with modern readings, we needed a new opening to it. I had long felt that the rather brief reading of Genesis 3 didn't really give the scope of the view of God, so I wrote a paraphrase. Here it is, in case someone finds it useful. Please keep my name on it, but feel free to use it]

It all begins with God. When there wasn’t anything, no light, no time, no earth, there was God. With but a word God brings everything into existence; from nothing to everything.

God stood on a planet he had made, the planet that would later be called earth. With a word he called light and darkness into being, and made the first day. He made the sky, and separated the water from the earth. He gave the earth the power to bring forth plants in all their wondrous variety. He set the sun in the sky, placed the stars, so many that it’s near impossible to count. He makes the animals, all kinds, from the birds in the air to those that walk on land, swim in the sea, and everything in between.

God then made two people from the earth. He made these two earthlings to resemble himself, and gave them the job of tending to the garden that he had made. A beautiful garden at the center of the world, a paradise, or an Eden.
Continue reading