Gay Marriage: Christian Values are Forbidden in England


Sean Gabb

Note: When I saw this, I had to rack my brains to remember when I wrote it. I then looked closer, and realised that it didn’t follow my own habits of spelling and punctuation, and it showed a certain Slavonic tinge. It’s a transcript of something I said some while ago in a Skype interview. SIG

First, I should say that personally I have no problem with gay marriage. But there are people in my country who take a different view on this matter.

If you are a devout Christian, your basic principle is that the truth has been revealed by God and he revealed it in the bible and through various branches of church tradition.

Both the bible and overwhelmingly the foundations of church tradition regards the only legitimate form of sexuality as the which is contained with a heterosexual marriage. That is the traditional position of the Anglican Church, of the Roman Catholic Church, of the various Orthodox Churches, and of the Protestant Church.

There is no point in telling people: “oh, but this is 2016, the world has moved on since then. We now believe that gay people should be allowed to get married!”. That is an entirely worthless argument, because we are talking about truths revealed by God. These are not abolished by changes in human fashion.

Therefore, if you are a mainstream Christian you believe that homosexuality is a sin; you are very hostile to the idea that these relationships should be given the blessing of the state and that marriages should be formalized which are the equivalent of the marriage of a mans and a woman; and you are very hostile to the idea that homosexual couples should be allowed to adopt children on the same basis as heterosexual couples; and you will refuse to allow your children to be told in the state schools that there is nothing wrong with homosexual relationships.

This is not because a Christian is a bad person or intolerant, it is simply because he believe in certain truths revealed by God which cannot be changed simply because social fashions have altered in the past fifteen years.

Now, when you have a solid block of Christian opinion of that sort, even in the most liberal countries there must be that discussion of the question whether the state should allow something or not.

But there are some cases when the state should step back and just leave people to go with their lives.

For example, I do not think that private businesses should be forced to provide services to homosexuals. If you are a baker and a devout Christian, it is outrageous that you should be forced by law to bake a cake for a gay couple. It is an interference into people’s private lives to force them to provide such services. I also think it is deeply inadvisable for state schools to teach children that there is nothing wrong with homosexual relationships. The state should as far as possible be neutral in these aspects.

And when it comes to the freedom of speech there should be no controls.

Therefore, if you are a devout Christian you should have the right to go into a market square on Saturday morning and to preach the gospel as you see it. And if you want to call homosexuals to repentance, to save their souls you should be at perfect liberty to do this so long as you don’t call a riot.

I do not think that Christian preaches should be arrested by the police and charged with criminal offenses simply because they have read out and preached commentaries on Leviticus or any other chapter in the bible which takes a negative view of homosexuality. It is a matter of freedom of speech and freedom of conscience and freedom of religion – traditional western values.

I am very disturbed that the British government during the past fifteen years has started to arrest people for saying and doing things which have always been legal in this country and always, to some extent, been honored and respected.

This is a sinister change in our national life.

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18 comments

  • May I ask politely ask what you and all your other armchair warriors are going to do about not only this,Sean, but all the other things which you should be free to do but no longer are?
    Winston Churchill once said” If you will not fight for the right when you can win without bloodshed…”””he then takes the reader down several stages of severity. I will leave the rest to your imagination.

    • I will take up a six inch kitchen knife, and tie it to a broom handle. I invite all my followers to do likewise, and to meet me outside Parliament. The politicians will behold our might and tremble, and will then repeal every Act of Parliament made since 1987.

      Alternatively, we can use our remaining freedom to rattle our chains.

      You decide.

      • I wish you hadn’t blown the gaff on our plans, Dr. Gabb. We had it all worked out, too.

      • 1987? Why not 1879?

  • I’m no expert, but I’m not sure that Christian teaching has anything to say about homosexuality. But I don’t think this is about homosexuality – it strikes me as political; the fact is that homosexuality is being promoted by the government, and that anybody who objects is branded ‘homophobic’ (as though that were the worst crime one could commit) or worse.
    I am opposed to homosexual marriage on the grounds that in my opinion, marriage is, or should be, about children, not about the participants. The experience of ages has taught us that children fare best when raised in a stable loving environment with committed parents. Civil partnerships are fine, to give homosexual couples the same legal rights as others, but pretend marriages are not. And raising children in all these weird modern relationships is something I find troubling. I have never quite got my head around it – are both partners in a male/male ‘marriage’ called husbands, or is one a wife? And are female/female couples both ‘wives’ or what? I find it very confusing, and if I do, any children raised in such a home certainly will.
    My view on homosexuality as a whole is generally that it is none of my business what people do in the privacy of their own homes, and it is certainly none of the government’s.
    But the government has made it so – do not forget that one of Mr Blair’s first acts as PM was to invoke the Parliament Act, which is normally reserved for grave constitutional matters, to enable homosexual men to legally bugger sixteen-year-old boys. And this from a government consisting of a disproportionate number of homosexuals. I find that very unsettling.

  • The book was written by man. By very definition it’s riddled with human error. The book is just mans feeble mind trying to understand the word of God. There lies the problem with absolutism and fundamentalism. Nothing good can ever come from a mind with the inability to process information and adapt to it. When you base your worldview on a false premise (the Bible being the actual verbatim word of God) with the inability to change with new information you’re stuck in an endless loop of insanity. Never growing, never changing, never evolving. It’s contrary to human nature. Jesus loves fags for this simple fact, gays help with our planets over population problem. In the past it wasn’t, now it is. Things change over time and so should people’s interpretations.

  • I fear Sean Gabb has got the wrong end of the stick here.

    This debate is all about whether Gay marriage is recognised in law. So given that it’s the State itself which determines whether a person is legally married or not, it has no choice but to take a view one way or the other.

    Gay Marriage must have the same legal status as heterosexual marriage. It’s discriminatory for the State to prohibit Gay Marriage whilst recognising heterosexual ones. It’s up to individuals whether or not they recognise the marriage in terms of their own religion etc, and no one apart from Registry Officers whose contract of employment requires it, should be required by law to perform the ceremony. A different issue arises with the Church of England because it’s the established church, and therefore part of the State, so it’s right that the CofE should be required to provide a vicar to perform the ceremony if requested.

    And it is not, as Sean Gabb suggests, outrageous that a baker should be forced to bake a cake for a Gay Couple if he is offering the same service publicly to everyone else. The issue of the cake in Northern Ireland however was not about baking it or selling it. The question there was whether the baker should be forced to publish pro Gay Marriage propaganda in the form of icing on the Cake.

    In that latter respect, I think the baker was in the right, and hope he wins at the Supreme Court or at the ECtHR. The refusal was nothing to do with the sexuality of the person buying it, the refusal was in relation to the nature of the cake itself. The baker would have refused to ice the cake in that form whoever had requested it.

    But claiming the right to refuse to serve Gay people with a cake which you would sell to anyone else, would be no different from sanctioning a business refusing to serve black people. It’s quite right that the law prohibits it.

    • I believe our ancestor bequeathed to us the laws of England in order to protect our hard-won freedom, not to FORCE us to accept what ever programme the government wants to engineer.

      To discriminate may be defined as ” the freedom to differentiate for the purposes of selection”.

      What has happened is that political party “democracy” FORCES the voter to choose one or other “package” at election time or not to vote at all in which case he still gets someone’s “package” as Russell Brand discovered..
      The voter may not discriminate between the policies he likes or does not like and exercise that freedom by opting out of a particular policy. In other words we live under a totalitarian system and we should not be surprised at the increasing loss of individual liberty. Therefore it is not “quite right that the law prohibits it”. Every totalitarian system has LAW. It rather depends upon what you believe the function of law should be

    • “And it is not, as Sean Gabb suggests, outrageous that a baker should be forced to bake a cake for a Gay Couple if he is offering the same service publicly to everyone else.”

      “But claiming the right to refuse to serve Gay people with a cake which you would sell to anyone else, would be no different from sanctioning a business refusing to serve black people. It’s quite right that the law prohibits it.”

      I have to disagree on both counts. Freedom of contract is very precious. For the State to command a person to do business with another person is iniquitous. Any business should have the right to do business, or to refuse to do business, with whomever they choose, for any reason or for no reason at all. Commercial considerations are the only ones that matter, and those only to the individual concerned. It is none of the government’s damn business.

    • Ron,

      I agree with you partly.

      In my view, marriage is not the proper business of the state. It’s a matter for the Established Church and other religious groups whether they wish to solemnise marriages or not. The idea of a ‘state marriage’ seems rather sinister to me. It is, or should be, an entirely private institution.

      On the other hand, if local authorities wish to legalise solemnised marriages through a civil registration process, perhaps for the purpose of public administration, then all well and good, and if the state wishes to maintain a centralised record of these registrations, then fine. I agree with you that, if this service is made available, then it must be an equal privilege available to all who qualify.

      Where I take issue with what you say is in the implication that marriage itself should be available to all types of romantic partnerships. That can only be true if a religious organisation wills it, so it’s a matter for the Established Church entirely (and other religious of course, where these solemnise marriages on a comparative basis to the Established Church).

      If the Church decides to recognise homosexual partnerships, and call these ‘marriages’, then I would have no objection. Equally, if the Church decides not to, then I would take the view that it’s a matter for the Church, not for its state parent institutions to intervene.

      Civil partnerships are a separate matter. My take on those is that they should be sex-less and freely available to formally signify any human relationship – father and son, sisters, homosexual couples – where it is considered that there is some administrative or financial advantage to the registrants in doing so. So it would work rather like powers of attorney, tying together the financial and property affairs of two people where this is considered beneficial. A typical example might be where an old lady has no issue and wishes to leave all her assets to her sister. In that situation, why not let them enter into a civil partnership so that they can avoid inheritance tax on the estate?

      That type of system would also work well in accommodating the needs of stable homosexual couples who wish to be treated in the same way as a married couple from an administrative and tax point-of-view.

      Regarding the legal case in Northern Ireland, I understand why you make the distinction between the questions of provision of services and free expression, but in this country we have also ancient traditions of freedom of contract and freedom of association. I accept it’s unpleasant, but if a service provider wishes to deny service, then generally-speaking (barring obvious exceptions, such as life-threatening situations), he should be free to do so, for any reason or no reason. The judgment in that case is an infringement of our freedoms.

    • But claiming the right to refuse to serve Gay people with a cake which you would sell to anyone else, would be no different from sanctioning a business refusing to serve black people. It’s quite right that the law prohibits it.

      The law should prohibit neither.

      • Oops, I nearly said “right behind you”!!
        Right with you. The law should prohibit neither. I don’t give a damn why homosexuals think the way they do and they can be as homosexually free as they like but don’t impose their way on us.
        The current situation is misuse of the rule of law which in the English sense should be there to protect our liberty, not take it away.
        Readers are hopefully aware of the right of a jury to “nullify” a politician-made law, so that however a judge may direct the jury as to the law the jury may acquit. This is our last bastion against tyranny, thanks to the supreme courage and doggedness of the famous Messrs Penn /Bushell so well-known to barristers.
        If any reader is on a jury please remember this power and don’t be brow-beaten by a judge. They are still forbidden from directing a jury how to vote.
        Our enemies seem therefore to have the upper hand as they control political parties and the media and this priceless information is less well-known than it ought to be. Pass it on, please.

        WANTED: courageous men and women of standing who will stand as Independents in order to start the recovery of our legal constitution and separation of powers and with it our liberty as individuals to decide for ourselves what our social policy should be, not be forced to accept it from “on high”. see http://www.camrecon.demon.co.uk .

        • This of course is where democracy truly resides – in the jury room, not Parliament. We may elect politicians to make the laws, but it is the jury of our peers who decide how those laws are to be applied. A friend of mine smashed a car window in order to rescue a dog from the baking summer heat. The law says that is criminal damage. But can you imagine a jury convicting in such circumstances? The jury in effect has to ask itself the question “What would I do in similar circumstances?”.

  • [quote]”If you are a devout Christian, your basic principle is that the truth has been revealed by God and he revealed it in the bible and through various branches of church tradition.”[unquote]

    The position of a devout Christian is that the truth is found through Jesus Christ. That, quite simply, is all that Christianity is.

    A true Christian holds that belief in Jesus is the only way to truth and ultimate salvation from eternal damnation. Christians believe that those who reject Jesus or fail to put their faith in Jesus shall go to Hell. This is a literal belief, not just a metaphor or some kind of moral or civic sentiment. This is what real Christians actually regard as physical truth.

    It follows that the Old Testament is of lesser importance to Christianity than the New Testament. To Christianity, the Old Testament is an historical and cultural artefact, albeit an anthology of vital spiritual import, to be accorded the deepest respect – it is, after all, the Hebraic account of the Word of God. But Christianity is not a legalistic faith, so anti-homosexual passages such as those in Leviticus are not necessarily of importance to Christians. It is the New Testament that is the foundational document of the Jesus Cult, (which is what Christianity in the conventional sense essentially is), as it contains an account of the words and works of Jesus, the Nazarene exegeses of his teachings, and the scholarship and other works of key early figures in the Nazarene Church, especially Paul. A key teaching in the New Testament is the New Covenant (delivered through The Sermon On the Mount), in which the contrast with the more rigid, Old Covenant can be seen.

    [quote]”Both the bible and overwhelmingly the foundations of church tradition regards the only legitimate form of sexuality as the which is contained with a heterosexual marriage.”[unquote]

    [quote]”Therefore, if you are a mainstream Christian you believe that homosexuality is a sin;”[unquote]

    If homosexuality is a sin in Christianity, then this can only be because of the teachings of Christians, including some of those in the New Testament part of the Bible itself, not because of the teachings of Jesus, or the writings of Paul, the founder of the post-Nazarene Church. Paul in particular was ambiguous on the point.

    There is nothing inherently unChristian about homosexuality, and if it is now a sin, that can only be because Christians have formed a social or moral judgement about the practice, not because there is anything spiritually inimical in it. Conversely, there is nothing conclusive that proves Christian support for homosexuality either. Some of the earliest Christian references to homosexuality could be interpreted as criticisms of pederasty; or (like other antiquated practices such as slavery) are prohibitions based on the social and moral standards of the time, rather than spiritual commentary; or, were tribal prohibitions.

    • Of course, the word ‘Christian’ can also refer to somebody who merely follows Christs’ teachings, without any reference to theology. I was raised a Catholic, and to this day I have no idea of the tenets upon which the Christian religion is based. I just don’t get it – I wish somebody could explain it to me. On the other hand, I did once see a tv programme introduced by a Jewish presenter, who opined that Jesus was merely a teacher – one of many – who simply wanted to teach Jews to become better Jews. Now THAT is something I can understand.

      • I’m not necessarily trying to separate Christianity from its theology, it’s just that the premise of the original piece seems to be that homosexuality is in some way inimical to Christianity, that it is a sin. I just don’t see that. My understanding of Christianity is that whether or not you are saved depends, first and foremost, on whether you follow Christ. That is all there is to it. If you do, then your sins, past, present and future, are forgiven. That is the totality of Christianity in a nutshell.

        Christianity is not a legalistic creed in which there are good or permissible behaviours, and bad or prohibited acts. There are the Ten Commandments of the Old Covenant, yes, but Jesus saw these as a relic to be reinterpreted. Jesus’ teachings set down the basis of a community of justice and Jesus himself during the Sermon on the Mount famously spoke of the need to be ‘perfect’, but in doing so he was not laying down a standard. Salvation is not ‘earned’ in Christianity. God isn’t running a business or some kind of meritocracy, where only the best succeed. Everybody is a sinner, without exception. Jesus was just expressing an aspiration that we can all work towards if we put our faith in God, through Jesus. If you follow Jesus, then sinful behaviour recedes, but you remain a sinner spared under God’s mercy through his sacrifice of his only son.

        As an aside, I’ve always thought that Dickens’ purpose in A Christmas Carol was to illustrate this Christian concept of God’s forgiveness, by showing the Scrouge character his ‘sins’ against the New Covenant through visions of his past, present and future. After having these dream-like visions, Scrouge was ultimately saved by transforming himself, but there is no specific legal prescription set down for God’s forgiveness and rescue from eternal damnation. Nobody says to Scrouge: “You must do X, Y and Z, and in future make sure you don’t eat any pork. Oh, and by the way, before I go, God told me to tell you to keep off the booze, especially the brandy.” Scrouge just resolves to treat his fellows with kindness and live a better life and in so strives to live up to Christ’s ‘perfection’.

        It’s against that background that I say that an individual’s sexuality is of little or no relevance or concern to Christianity as long as such practices do not enlarge sin or undermine the New Covenant. Arguably, we can see echoes of a sort of pre-Christian moral formation in some of the Old Testament stories, which I suppose is to be expected as Jesus and the Nazarenes had to find their inspiration somewhere. For instance, the Sodom and Gomorrah tale isn’t really an injunction against homosexuality, rather it’s a warning against the enlargement of sin and social destruction.

        So, to go back to your comment, I am not trying to divorce the faith from its theology. Far from it, I think my understanding of things here is manifestly theological, however though I like to think I am knowledgeable in this subject, I am not a believing Christian, and I imagine that some Christians will disagree with what I have to say.

  • “we are talking about truths revealed by God. These are not abolished by changes in human fashion.”

    Well, no. These “truths” are revealed by people claiming to speak for God, not necessarily by God. And people claiming to speak for God are just as inclined toward changes in fashion as anyone else.

  • ROMANS 1
    16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

    17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

    19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

    20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

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