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Will UK Force Churches to Perform Gay Marriage?

Concerns Grow that UK will Force Religious Groups to Participate in ‘gay marriage’

ICC Note

UK churches fear that they could be forced to perform gay marriages. Christians in the West are coming under increased pressure due to the growing influence of secularists.

By Hillary White

04/27/2012 UK (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite government assurances to the contrary, concerns continue to grow that religious institutions will be forced to participate in “gay marriages” in the UK under soon-to-be issued rules. Secularist campaigners are openly questioning the right of Christians to be involved in the debate, while one Catholic bishop warns that the pressure is growing to keep Christianity strictly a private matter.

This week, the Catholic Education Service (CES), was criticized when it contacted 385 Catholic secondary schools asking that a letter issued by the bishops encouraging opposition to the government’s same-sex “marriage” plans be read out in classes. The CES also asked for participation in the petition being circulated by the Coalition For Marriage. As of this week, over 470,000 people have signed the petition, which is asking the government to retain the legal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

Maeve McCormack, policy manger for the Catholic Education Service, told the Telegraph the bishops’ letter “was an explanation of marriage and a positive affirmation of marriage, celebrating the huge value that it brings to society – we are proud of the fact that these kinds of values are taught in our schools.”

But two secularist campaigners have responded with press releases questioning the legality of Christian educational bodies becoming involved in the debate. Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said in a media release, “This is a clear breach of the authority and privilege that the Catholic Education Service has been given in schools.” Richy Thompson of the British Humanist Association, said, “The Coalition For Marriage petition is very deliberately a political document and for this reason we question whether the CES has broken the law.”

In an impassioned keynote speech at a conference on religious freedom at Oxford University earlier this month, Bishop Philip Tartaglia of Paisley, Scotland, warned that the government’s push for “gay marriage” will herald genuine persecution of Christians dissenting from the zeitgeist.

 

Those Christians who refuse to “bend to become a religion of the state,” he said, will soon no longer be tolerated by the powerful of British society, politicians, judges and celebrities.

Bishop Tartaglia did not hesitate to name the source of the current conflict between the Church and the state in Britain. Shortly after his elevation as bishop of Paisley in 2005, Bishop Tartaglia said that he quickly realized that “the advance of the homosexual agenda, in concert with equality legislation was beginning to have a problematic effect on the freedom of the Catholic Church to operate in the public sphere.”

The bishop said that several cases in which courts ruled against Christians in conflict with homosexuals demonstrated to him that “with the support of the courts… the power of the courts and of the political establishment, that religious freedom and freedom of conscience could be set aside in favour of the advance of the homosexual agenda.”

Bishop Tartaglia asked, “Will society continue to afford the Catholic Church and other religious bodies the oxygen and the vital space to be themselves and to express themselves in the public square, or will my Church be forced to conform to a publicly acceptable form of religiosity, a kind of patriotic Church?

“Or worse, will we be driven to the margins of society, and perhaps denied the legal right to carry out our mission and to express our faith in public?

...

Leslie Pilkington, a Christian psychotherapist who is facing professional discipline for helping homosexuals leave the gay lifestyle, told LifeSiteNews.com that the failure of the churches to clearly articulate the moral objections to homosexual behaviour has significantly contributed to the current situation.

Pro-family campaigners have questioned whether the focus exclusively on the goods of marriage from both the Anglican and Catholic Churches in Britain, and the refusal to address homosexuality directly, comes from the long history in both communions of tacit and even overt support for the homosexualist political agenda.

As early as 2005, the Anglican Church of England voted to allow homosexual clergy to “marry” members of the same sex and live together openly. This March, the current Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, announced he was retiring from the position, after a ten-year tenure plagued with arguments over the acceptance of homosexuality that have all but fractured the Worldwide Anglican Communion.

The last three Catholic Archbishops of Westminster, Cardinals Basil Hume, Cormac Murphy O’Connor and the incumbent, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, have actively endorsed significant points of the homosexualist program, including allowing the continuation of “gay Masses” in London that have been the subject of criticism from faithful Catholics around the world.

...

“As a Church we are very committed to the notion of equality so that people are treated the same across all the activities of life,” Nichols said. “The Church holds great store by the value of commitment in relationships and undertakings that people give. Stability in society depends upon the reliability of commitments that people give. That might be in offering to do a job but especially in their relationships with one another. Equality and commitment are both very important and we fully support them.”

Last year, Archbishop Nichols told an interviewer at the Tablet magazine that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in England and Wales had no problems with homosexual civil unions, a stance that the pope has been specifically mandated against by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

At the same time, evidence continues to mount that the government, despite its assurances to religious leaders, will not fight the pressure of lobbyists to force churches and other religious bodies to participate in “gay marriage.”

Prime Minister Cameron did not reprimand one of his Conservative Party MPs who urged the government to force Christian churches to conduct homosexual “wedding” ceremonies. Cameron accepted without comment a letter last August by Mike Weatherley, the Conservative MP for Hove and Portslade, that said, “As long as religious groups can refuse to preside over ceremonies for same-sex couples, there will be inequality.”

...

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Johnny-Ward/100002466030200 Johnny Ward

    [Persecution: This article, viewed on the web, takes a different, truly disarming approach.]

      GOD TO SAME-SEXERS: "HURRY UP!"

         (written by a friend in 2003)

     
        Even the God of the entire Bible is behind the gay rights movement----and I'll prove it.
       
    (Although this paper focuses on lost persons in the "Northeastern
    Bermuda Triangle" outlined roughly by New York City, Montreal, and
    Boston, I'm sharing it with everyone everywhere.)
        You who
    identify with GBLT (no, not Gay Bacon Lettuce & Tomato!) already
    know about your own history. So for the unlearned I'll include some info
    on it, much of which is on the internet.
          Gay activist John
    McKellar has stated: "The major media are all nonstop advertisements for
    the gay lifestyle, so how far are they prepared to go in denying free
    speech to Christians, Muslims, and Jews?....No major world religion has
    ever accepted homosexual behavior. And if [gay] activists had any sense
    of history, they'd realize their own lifestyle is a symptom of an
    overurbanized, relativized culture heading into decadence."
         
    Thomas Jefferson revealed that in Virginia, "dismemberment" of the
    offensive sex organ was the penalty for sodomy, and he himself authored a
    bill penalyzing sodomy by castration. The same internet article,
    "Homosexuals in the Military" by David Barton, also stated that sodomy ,
    homosexuality etc. were regarded as felonies in early America and were
    even punishable by death in New York, Connecticut, South Carolina, and
    Vermont!
          You GBLTs have traveled far. You are now helping to
    fulfill two big signs that Jesus said (in Luke 17) will characterize
    life on earth just before His return to it: "days of Noah" (physical
    violence) and "days of Lot" (your GBLT ancestors).
          Even the New
    York Times has expressed amazement over the suddenness and pushiness of
    today's campaign for legalizing same-sex marriage, and Prof. David M.
    Halperin wrote that "lesbian and gay studies scholars" have led the way
    in fighting against policies that "criminalize gay sex or limit access
    to abortions."

          I said early on that the Bible's God is
    behind you GBLTs. Yes, He's behind you and even pushing you down the
    dead-end road you have insisted on taking. Several scary Bible passages
    show that God will actually "program" those whose motto seems to be
    "HELL-BOUND AND HAPPY!": "the Lord God...gave them up to desolation" (II
    Chron. 30:7); God "gave them up to uncleanness," "gave them up to vile
    affections," "gave them over to a reprobate mind" (Rom. 1:24,26,28);
    "God shall send them strong delusion" (II Thess. 2:11); and "he which is
    filthy, let him be filthy still" (Rev. 22:11).
         Now that you
    GBLTs have invented strange architecture (closets opening on to main
    streets instead of bedrooms!), have traded limp wrists for clenched
    fists, and are fighting for shame-sex marriage, I wonder if you will be
    happy when you're turned New York into New Yuck, Boston into Bah!-ston,
    and other places into Messychoose-its, Nude Hampshire, Vermin, and
    Cana-duh (where at least the maple leaves will be blushing!). And of
    course I should include Hell-A and San Fransissyco which, appropriately,
    are in Quake-ifornia!
         So what are you waiting for? Since you're
    bent on fulfilling the predicted end-time Noah/Lot days (your way of
    helping to make the Bible even more believable!), and since seemingly
    you'd rather discover the "wrathful Judge" side of Christ instead of His
    "merciful and loving and forgiving" side, can't you speed up your role
    and get it over with? You're holding up the true and everlasting peace
    that God wants to give to the whole world!
     
         (You're free to
    reproduce and distribute this non-copyrighted paper everywhere including
    the internet. You're also free to use a different title with it, if you
    wish.)

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