Sep 12

Nick Clegg in ‘Bigotgate’ row


Nick Clegg – ‘What did I just say?’

A red-faced Nick Clegg has had to withdraw remarks he was going to make branding opponents of gay marriage “bigots”.

A draft of his speech, circulated to the press in advance of Mr Clegg’s speech to be given to a gathering of homosexual activists last night, had the atheist Deputy Prime Minister saying:

“Continued trouble in the economy gives the bigots a stick to beat use with, as they demand we ‘postpone’ the equalities agenda in order to deal with ‘the things people really care about’.”

An hour later, aides were scrambling around trying to recall the press release, and releasing a sanitised version in which ‘the bigots’ was replaced by ‘some people’

The row brings to mind Gordon Brown’s ‘Bigotgate’ when he described a lifelong Labour supporter, Mrs Gillian Duffy, who happened to mention Eastern Europeans in an exchange on the economy, as ‘just a bigoted woman’.

At the reception, Nick Clegg said:

Contempt for ordinary people – Gordon Brown was embroiled in his own ‘Bigotgate’ scandal after an exchange on the economy and immigration with Labour supporter Gillian Duffy.

‘I am a little bit surprised to see cameras outside the gates for the slightly obscure reason that they expect me to use a word about opponents of gay marriage that I had no intention of using, would never use. It is not the kind of word that I would use.’

Really? Mr Clegg’s speech writers would not write in a word which they knew he would never use.  And homosexual rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, among the guests at last night’s reception in central London, said: ‘Quite clearly, some people who oppose same-sex marriage do so because of personal prejudice and intolerance.’

 Lord Carey of Clifton said:

          ‘There will be many Christians and non-Christians who will be highly offended to be called bigots. People who oppose same-sex marriages are doing so on the basis of deeply-held beliefs and we should not be treated in such a way.

Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said:

‘In a sense, we should be encouraged that Nick Clegg has considered resorting to name-calling, because people normally do that when they realise they have lost the argument.  Marriage is God’s holy institution and man may not change its definition.  Marriage involves love and committment, but at its heart is its sexual expression, being ‘one flesh’ as the Bible puts it.  At the moment, a marriage must be conusmmated to be valid in law, and consummation involves an complete act of ordinary sexual intercourse. 

‘Between them, a pair of homosexuals lack the full set of necessary equipment for that act. Mr Clegg has so far failed to offer the necessary redefinition of the key concept of consummation in a homosexual context.  And any such redefinition will affect marriage for everyone.  The Government have received 228,000 responses to their consultation, the majority of them against it, and they are blindly pushing on regardless.

‘Those in favour of ‘gay marriage’ say that if two people love each other they should be allowed to get married.  Does that apply to a brother and a sister, or a uncle and his niece?’  Nick Clegg has failed to address that point as well.  He and David Cameron have lost the argument and lost their own consultation. 

‘The fact that they are still stubbornly set on pushing ahead with the destruction of marriage and their proposed use of insulting language shows a contempt for ordinary people as deep as that held by their predecessors.

‘The dictionary definition of bigot is ‘One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.’  Without wishing in any way to insult him, that sounds a fair description of Nick Clegg.’

A No 10 source said: “The prime minister is committed to getting gay marriage through by 2015.” 

More on this story:

BBC News

Cristina Odone in the Daily Telegraph

The Guardian

READ: Matt 19:4 And (Jesus) answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

 PRAY: That God continues to sow confusion amongst the Government on this issue.  Pray also that David Cameron and Nick Clegg repent and pull back from their ungodly position.

EMAIL: [email protected]  Search for your MP’s email address HERE.



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  1. Patrick oneill

    David Cameron and Nick Clegg .Two peas in a pod, perhaps as they are so close they might consider a marriage of leaders to hold the unholy alliance together.

  2. Dave Ross

    Mr Cameron had better be very, very careful. If I, a life-long, ardent Tory supporter, am thinking of not voting for his party again, should they put this diabolical proposition through, there will be surely very many more such as I — and Labour will reigh forever — resulting in even higher taxation, increased dependence on the the State, all manner of dubious laws, which limit true freedom and massive public spending, eventually leading to our becoming a third world nation, as we will be bankrupt. The full judgement of God will then be truly upon us.

  3. Helen

    I am not surprised they are worldly people! We are being led by spiritually blind secularists. The Bible says the natural man does not understand the things of God, they are foolishness to him (1 Corinthians 2:14). Its a sign of the times in which we are living, the days of Noah, (Matthew 24). Sadly judgement begins in the household of God (1 Peter 4:17). The church largely has not sounded a clear message ( (1 Corinthians 14:8)therefore we have many schisms and, apart from being spiritually blind, worldly men are confused about Christianity. Many believers do not know their Bibles. Endorsing a homosexual priesthood (forbidden in scripture) is rather akin to doctors not believing their Medical Dictionary!

    1. Michael

      You are right, Helen. When the ungodly use the word ‘bigot’ as a description of people who love and follow God’s Word we should rejoice and not be offended (Matt 5:11-12).
      If we are offended it proves that we have not ‘died to self ‘. Every true Christian (regenerate, born of God’s Spirit) MUST die to self. No exceptions. We should not be in the least troubled if an ungodly person says offensive things about us, provided that we are right with God and ‘walking in the light’.
      Christian, you cannot be offended unless you CHOOSE to be offended. Therefore, choose not to be offended. Put on the whole armour of God (Eph 6). See Mr Clegg’s ungodly sniping for what it is – “the fiery darts of the wicked” which can only bounce off the “shield of faith”.
      Nevertheless, we should pray for Mr Clegg and all the other ungodly people (whether in or without Parliament), that they may be convicted of their ungodliness and granted repentance. In the day of judgement they will be required to give an account for their “ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed” (Jude 1:15).

  4. Rob

    When the church was against votes for women they were sexist bigots. When they were in favour of slavery they were racist bigots. They continue to be against rights for gays – that makes them homophobic bigots.
    Seriously. The cap fits. Wear it.

    1. mark

      Homophobe is a word which was thought up and perpetuated by Gay activists and endorsed by the anti-christian secularists in leadership today, a word which whilst in the English language for the sole purposes of generalising and denigrating an entire (majority) population of people with opposing views – a word I refuse to recognise on that basis of It’s sheer Marxist outlook – a word you can use if anyone disagrees with and opposes your world view by bullying, insulting, and battering it into submission all opponents!!!!

      So if the cap fits… You wear it very well!

      1. Rob

        from dictionary.com

        homophobia (ˌhəʊməʊˈfəʊbɪə)
        — n
        intense hatred or fear of homosexuals or homosexuality
        [C20: from homo ( sexual ) + -phobia ]

        I don’t understand your last line. Are you saying I’m a homophobe?

        1. Stephen

          The Greek word ‘phobia’ simply and only means ‘fear’ as in:
          Arachnophobia: •The fear of spiders.
          Ophidiophobia: •The fear of snakes.
          Acrophobia: •The fear of heights.
          Agoraphobia: •The fear of enclosed spaces.
          Cynophobia: •The fear of dogs.
          Astraphobia: •The fear of thunder and lightening.
          According to the American Psychiatric Association, ‘a phobia is an irrational and excessive fear of an object or situation. In most cases, the phobia involves a sense of endangerment or a fear of harm. For example, those suffering from agoraphobia fear being trapped in an inescapable place or situation.’ (SEE HERE)
          So ‘phobia’ does not mean ‘hatred’. Gay activists have to pretend it does, otherwise they run the risk of people simply denying they have ‘homophobia’ by saying ‘Homosexuals don’t scare me.’
          Bottom line (if the expression does not fall too awkwardly in the circumstances):
          ‘Homophobia’ is just a silly word invented by homosexual activists to bully and browbeat their opponents.

    2. Stephen

      The dictionary definition of bigot is ‘One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.’ That sounds a better description of Nick Clegg and the rest of the gay rights crew than it does of the church. Similarly, the suffragettes were much more bigoted than their opponents, as typified by their arson campaign: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Warson.htm. The campaign against the slave trade was conducted with rather more decorum and respect for the views of opponents, possibly because it was Christians who were organising it.

      1. Rob

        Awesome! I didn’t think anyone would stick there heads above the parapit against women’s rights to vote!

        1. Stephen

          It’s ‘their’ and ‘parapet’ and a criticism of the methods of the suffragette arsonists does not mean one is against women voting. Plenty in the suffragette movement opposed the bigots on their side as well, at the time, as Spartacus makes clear.

  5. Harry Williams

    I wonder if ‘Calamity Clegg’ and ‘Call me Dave’ are going to force Imams to permit homosexual weddings in their mosques when two muslim men want to get married? I very much doubt it – they are too dependent on the muslim vote and a fear that there would be a backlash from the radical islamists apart from the extremely strong revulsion to homosexuals from the muslim conmmunity in general.

    1. Rob

      They are also not going to force vicars and priests to perform homosexual weddings. Read the consultation document.

      1. Stephen

        During the passage of the Civil Partnership Act in 2004 they said civil partnerships would not be allowed in churches and that it would not be a precursor to ‘gay marriage’. Give me one good reason why we should trust the politicians this time?

  6. David


    Whether homosexual activity is forbidden by God is the issue. A male cannot mate with a male and produce offspring. My personal belief is that this is because God did not design males that way. A female cannot mate with a female and produce offspring for the same reason in my view. I hope you allow me to have a view in a society which encourages tolerance and that you do not brand me a bigot for having a view different from your own.

    1. Rob

      “My personal belief is that this is because God did not design males that way.”

      That is exactly my point. It is your personal belief. I fully support your right to have whatever view you want. Why on earth would you want to impose it on people who don’t share it?

      Why should everyone have to conform to your view? That is when it becomes bigotry

      1. Stephen

        No, it’s his personal belief that men cannot bear children because God did not design males that way. The inability of men to bear children is imposed on all mankind by the Almighty, not by David!

  7. Lydia

    Hi I heard this on radio 4 today, and laughed. the reaon being is because we are getting to them, their only way for him to deal with this, is to call us all bigots, I say bring it on, because the more the light is shone on these sort of people the more they will be exposed for what they really are, un-godly soulless men.

    I remember gordon brown saying the same thing about a woman who dared to mention immigration, so let them show themselves for their true colours, and they will surely hang themselves.

    1. Stephen

      Good comment.

  8. DAVE


  9. Andrew

    Dear Rob, you seem to have a strong intolerance and hatred toward christians only, rather than the secular politics of the day which far more account for slavery and woman not being able to vote. Are they also Bigots? Remember it was a Christian William Wilberforce and the Christian worldview that abolished slavery? Also you make the fallacy of judging us all by what you call the “Church” As a born again christian are you assuming i advocate slavery or that woman should not vote? This is irrational and a false charge. If you are going to judge people as general, then logically you should have to include the atrocities of evoltionists and atheists like Pol Pot and Karl Marx who killed millions in the name of their philopsphy meaning that according to your own logic all evolutionists and atheists are evil.
    Do you see the irrational and contradictory consequences of your own argument?
    To even demand “rights” you have to assume an ultimate moral standard that atheism and evolution cannot account for, if we are all evolved pond scum what does it matter if you have no rights? Richard Dawkins says you only exist to pass on your DNA in the blind dance of life. If people you disagree with have evolved from apes the same way you have how can you prove that your worldview is any more moral than yours as both have evolved and your an atheist. Don’t claim logic or common sence as you have already shown that your not being rational in your worldview.
    The irony is you want borrow moral standards from the religious worldview such as rights and marriage, that your world view has no absolute or objective justification for.

    1. Rob

      Andrew, I’m surprised that you felt able to make a judgement on my level of tolerance based on four short sentences. At no point did I say that I was talking only about the church. This is the Christian Voice website therefore that is where I directed my comments. As it happens I don’t have intolerance to any group, only towards intolerance itself. You can believe whatever you want, that is absolutely fine. It is when your beliefs impact on the rights of others that I have a problem. What possible impact could gay marriage have on you? How could it possibly affect your liberty in any way whatsoever?

      The idea that it was Christianity that abolished slavery is laughable. When was slavery abolished? When did Christianity start? What? Did they have more important things to do in the intervening thousands of years? Yes Wilberforce was a Christian, but then so were the people supporting slavery.

      You have made massive assumptions about my worldview based on no evidence, despite that, I will take my evolved ethics any day over a ‘morality’ which says that rape within marriage should be legal.

      1. Stephen

        ‘Gay marriage’ will devalue every real marriage, the necessary redefinitions of conusmmation and adultery will redefine those concepts for everyone, and the resulting images of gays getting ‘married’ will coarsen everyone’s cultural environment. No man is an island. What the wicked do affects us all.

        We do not support husbands forcing themselves on their wives, or vice versa. There are complex dynamics in a marriage and domestic violence statistics show there are as many overbearing wives as husbands.

        Equally, a marriage establishes a binding consent to intimate relations, after the dictum of the Apostle Paul:

        1Cor 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

        In a thriving marriage, this area will be approached with sensitivity by both parties. The other and rather unpleasant side of the coin is individuals of either sex using the withdrawal of conjugal relations as a weapon against their marital partner.

        1. Monika McPherson

          I don’t pretend to follow the reasoning here regarding rape within a marital context. Whilst saying you don’t support a spouse forching him or herself on the other, you then impute a binding consent to intimate relations.

          Are you claiming that marital rape is therefore an impossibility, and that if sexual relations are withdrawn by a spouse then the other can insist upon them?

          1. Stephen

            Why would a decent, loving spouse – of either sex – want to be so hurtful? A couple might agree on a break, as the Apostle suggests, but the only reason I can see for the unilateral withdrawl of conjugal relations is if their marriage was headed in a divorce courts direction. And that was precisely why the law on rape within marriage was changed as it happens, to stop estranged men turning up on their ex’s doorstep demanding their non-existent ‘conjugal rights’.
            On the related issue of domestic violence by women against men:
            ‘Data from Home Office statistical bulletins and the British Crime Survey show that men made up about 40% of domestic violence victims each year between 2004-05 and 2008-09, the last year for which figures are available.’
            See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/sep/05/men-victims-domestic-violence
            It is a bit of a myth that women are all as pure as the driven snow. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

  10. Raj

    Right Honourable Gentlemen? David Cameron Nick Clegg EXPOSED Documentary


  11. Ian Scott

    Dear Rob
    Ever heard of “survival of the fittest” – Hitler mentions it in “Mein Kampf” as being his total philosophy taken straight from Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species” – He then applied it to 6 million Jews, thousands of blacks, the mentally and physically handicapped …… anyone he deemed as “sub-species”. The philosophy of ALL atheists should be to live exactly how they want to and get what they want, if they are honest, and tread on the weakest, because in nature the weakest hold everything back. The atheist believes that life has no purpose or meaning and everything is down to blind chance and accident. Why worry about the starving in Africa, come on, remember “it’s the survival of the fittest” and they are obviously ‘the weakest’. You atheists want it all ways and you adopt some of the Christian morals when it suits you. But where on earth did morals come from and that thing called “conscience” that troubles us so? If you are a true atheist, then what is truly wrong? If you can steal something or go off with someone’s wife and not get caught… then get on with it. Come to think of it, that’s how most of the secular leaders, politicians and royalty operate anyway! When they say they are sorry, the only thing they are sorry about … is being caught out.
    The Book of Romans states “The fool says there is no God” . So Mr. Dawkins, you may be bright and have knowledge, but you have no WISDOM …. and that my friend makes you a Fool.

    1. Rob

      Ian, Hilter never once mentioned Darwin in Mein Kampf. He did however, mention the anti-semitic rantings of Christian Martin Luther. You say that The philosophy of ALL atheists should be to live exactly how they want to and get what they want, and yet it isn’t. Does that fact not jar with you? Just one small example, atheists are massively underrepresented in the prison populations.
      Please don’t accuse me of adopting Christian Morals. Ethics are innate in social animals, even my dog has a limited sense of fair play and doesn’t like to see others suffer. Morality is an series of imposed dogmas, ethics are based on thinking and reasoning, cause and effect. With morality you can end up with killing of homosexuals being okay (Christian Rwanda) With ethics that is not possible.
      Finally, just FYI – I’m not Mr Dawkins but if you want a verse from your bible how about Matthew 5:22
      ” But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

      1. Stephen

        And here is the verse on which Ian based his assessment of you:
        Psalm 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

      2. The other Rob


        You quote a verse and say it’s from ‘my bible’.
        NO IT’S NOT.
        In ‘MY’ Bible (KJV) Matthew 5:22 reads as follows:

        “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…”

        WITHOUT A CAUSE, see?

        I don’t know which new psuedo-‘bible’ YOU are quoting from, but I guarantee it isn’t mine.

        1. Rob

          So not only can you pick and choose verses to support your position, you can also pick and choose bibles! In what way is that objective morality?
          Oh, it was the New International Bible by the way.

          1. Stephen

            Which says (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A22&version=NIV):

            Matthew 5:22 New International Version (NIV)
            22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[a][b] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[c] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
            a.Matthew 5:22 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a fellow disciple, whether man or woman; also in verse 23.
            b.Matthew 5:22 Some manuscripts brother or sister without cause
            c.Matthew 5:22 An Aramaic term of contempt

            So, Rob, even if you omit ‘without cause’ which is in the Greek Received Text you are not ‘adelphos’, because you are not his brother ‘from the womb (delphos)’ either physically or spiritually. Of course, if you repent of your foolishness and sin and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ it will be a different matter.

  12. Bob Hutton

    We shouldn’t be surprised by Clegg’s outburst as he is under the control of the devil, as also is Cameron and all who support homosexual perversion.

    Romans 1 v 32 makes it clear that giving consent to these perverts puts a person under the wrath of God.

    1. Rob

      Seriously Bob, this is 2012, not the 15th century.

      1. Bob Hutton

        It makes no difference what “century” we are in – the Word of God is crystal clear.

  13. Brian Eggins

    Gay Marriage
    In the opposition to this there has been too much emphasis on the religious aspect.
    It is basically a biological issue. Many species are created and evolve with two sexes – male and female in order that they may relate, attract each other, then mate to produce progeny in order to propagate the species. With humans in most societies this relationship is called ‘marriage’. Those in gay relationships cannot do this so it is not marriage.
    If gay couples themselves wish to call it a marriage, let them do so. Humpty Dumpty said that a word may mean whatever one likes! Bu why should we all have to accept their definition?
    The ‘equality’ agenda is going too far. As George Orwell said in Animal Farm, “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others”.

    Dr Brian Eggins
    15 Shore Road,
    Co Down

  14. Ben Sagan

    Hmm, seem to have noticed that rational arguments have been blocked on your site. What are you afraid of?
    Do a few, reasoned statements threaten your beliefs? Please let me know.

    1. Stephen

      You appear to oscillate between being Ben and Rob. I have also seen you posting in various places as Bob T, Paperpig and Robives. Why not stick to one honest identity?
      Some would simply dismiss you as a troll, but giving you the benefit of the doubt:
      We approve rational argument and reasoned statements here.
      We don’t approve unreasoning atheist rants and insults.
      Which I think was where we came in with Mr Clegg, wasn’t it?

      1. Monika McPherson

        Leaving his personality crisis aside, Ben / Rob has a valid point. Surely it would be more honest just to own up to the fact that you don’t post comments you find challenging, no matter how rational, reasoned and moderate?

        1. Stephen

          We should make clear that this is not an atheist forum, it is the Christian Voice website. Comments which are intellectually-challenged, boring, insulting, repetitive, spiteful or plain silly will not be published.

  15. Martin Horan

    If homsexuality is a good thing, why do homosexuals have to hide behind the euphemism “gay”? It shows they actually are ashamed of being what they are. We heterosexuals don’t mind being called what we are. But, there again, we don’t have to.
    Imagine if we were to walk in heterosexual pride marches! Again we don’t have to because people who flaunt pride really show they feel inferior. Besides, we’d be called bigots and accused of intimidating homosexuals if we did. So why does this not apply to homosexuals?
    Not all people who are sick to the teeth of the tail wagging the dog are Christians nor are they all Moslems–who, when it comes to being anti-homosexuality, take the lead!
    HIndus, Jews, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists and others simply consider it unnatural for the very reason that no single human being, animal or insect who ever lived got here through the sexual intercourse of two males or of two females. It’s hardly rocket science.
    Like it or not, homosexuals are a small minority, no matter what their propaganda avers.
    Clegg, Cameron and all their cronies should remember that. If the heterosexual majority are pushed far enough they could easily punish the politicians by changing to another party. There is only one British party who has the guts to be openly anti-homosexual and that’s the BNP. The stupidity of our leaders could force people to vote for them in frustration.
    I don’t like any of the parties and so I don’t vote. But not everyone’s like me. It’s time the government considered the tolerant majority before they are forced to become intolerant. It’s happended many times before in history.

    1. Rob

      Martin, I’m shocked that you consider yourself part of the “tolerant majority” !
      You made many points but just to pick on a couple, don’t heterosexual people “hide behind the euphemism” straight? Secondly, you state that gay people are in the minority. Does anyone deny this? Of course they are. Does that mean they should not have the same rights as you?
      What threat do you actually see from the existence of gay people? Can’t you just turn the other cheek?

  16. Mark

    Surely this is a fight over the title “Marriage”. On the one hand Christianity has “Holy Matrimony”. On the other hand the state has “Civil Partnership” that has been called marriage. It would be quite easy to equalise the relationship recognition that the state offers, by offering only civil partnership at registry offices for both het and gay couples. This would annoy many secular het couples who married in a registry office and would still like to call their relationship “marriage”. There is a blessing service available so that those who remarry due to non-ideal circumstances may be recognised before God after they do the legal bit in the registry office, but this would not cater for secular couples.

    It all depends on whether the definition of marriage includes God or not. Christianity would define marriage as “One man, one woman and one God joining them together, a prophetic symbol of Christ and the Church” (the whole united church, not any particular denomination). The state would attempt to define “marriage” without God, since it knows no god and these days does not attempt to prescribe a particular god in this context. The nail was driven into the coffin of God being essential to UK marriage when marriage was first allowed outside church. We should have had the debate back then but are where we are.

    The argument, as to whether God is an essential part of marriage or not, is quite polarised, depending on whether one believes or not. It is the state’s job to support family life, even without God in the relationship, and to allow certain rights and equalities of rights. It fulfils this with the range of options currently offered, though many people would like more equality in the titles and hence the recognition of their relationships in society.

    According to the Biblical definition of marriage, all partnerships without God (both het and gay) would be no more than state-legalised fornication. I am prepared to have grace about that and not accuse anyone, since I am not sinless and therefore should not judge and because it is the state’s fault for being godless, not the fault of any couple, who may come to believe later on and hence should not be excluded. The difficulty for the church is that not all partnerships can have God added later if the couple come to faith.

    It is a difficult balance between being Holy and set apart and being inclusive and rolling out the good model to a society that is not ready to accept the God who goes with the original model of marriage. That said, a secularist would probably argue that marriage evolved from somewhere on its own, without God! If we humans are less faithful than swans, that probably makes us an inferior species – humans seem to emulate duck society more and more – one partner to look after the kids and as many as possible to provide the seed!

    We have ended up with a few far-left policies as a sop to Clegg supporting the Tories in coalition. Cameron seems to be blind in some areas despite professing faith, to the extent that he supports the destruction of Biblical laws. I’m not sure Labour are any better, especially on the economy. Unfortunately compromise is seen as an ideal attribute for a politician – we’re not short of it in this bunch. Please God would you provide someone worth voting for in 2015!

  17. Rox

    Surely the concept of marriage goes back long before Christianity, and to places other than Palestine ? You would have to be bigoted not to admit that many Ancient Romans were married, or that people were and still are married in China and India, not just the small Christian minorities there.

    This being so, I don’t see that the Christian Church or the Christian God are essential to the institution. As for whether people of various kinds are married or civil partnered, I don’t think it would be easy to stop civil partnered people from saying that they are married if they feel that this is an acceptable term to them.

    There has always been rather a looseness in accepting who is “married” , tact really, when it doesn’t make a great deal of difference. In past centuries, official marriage in England was quite expensive, and lots of people were not officially married, but were universally treated as if they were. The marriages of foreigners entering the country have always been accepted as valid, without any enquiry into exactly how they were conducted. It doesn’t really matter very much, and is mainly the business of the couple concerned.

    1. Stephen

      Well spotted, Roger, marriage goes back to before the Christian church. You know, it goes back even before the Romans, before the Greeks, Babylonians, Egyptians and Hebrews. It goes back, in fact, to the dawn of time in the Garden of Eden, when God said:

      Gen 2:18 … It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
      Gen 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

      Whenever and however one man and one woman are joined together in a ‘leaving father and mother’ ceremony as happens all over the world they are married in the eyes of Almighty God.

      1. Rox

        But you see, your quotation from Genesis doesn’t include the word “marriage”, and people in most ancient civilisations were unaware of Genesis. Therefore, for Mark to virtually insist on a Christian content in “marriage”, or for anyone to object to using this word for other unions, doesn’t make a lot of sense.

        For centuries, Venice celebrated a marriage with the sea, using the words “”We wed thee, sea, in the sign of the true and everlasting Lord” . This was a religious ceremony, sometimes involving the Pope himself. It was obviously not between a man and a woman.

        One only has to cross the channel to France to find words used differently. There, the word “mariage” often means wedding. Most importantly, many couples declare themselves to be “pacsé”. The PACS (pacte civile de solidarité) was introduced chiefly as a civil partnership arrangement for homosexuals, but was also available to heterosexuals (because of equal rights legislation). Because of certain legal advantages it was considered to have, to everyone’s surprise heterosexual couples took to it readily in preference to existing arrangements. No doubt if the alternative was to say that they were “part of a civil partnership”, they would have continued to call themselves “marié”, but with “pacsé” a convenient word, they are happy with it.

        So possibly a solution to the problem which some people in this country feel so strongly about would be simply to coin a convenient word, not “married”, which people whose relationship is formalised in a secular way would be happy to use. Maybe even “wed” might be acceptable ? Or otherwise, something made up (as “pacsé” was), like “civilled” ?

        1. Stephen

          It makes no difference whether people are ‘aware of Genesis’ or not. Almighty God has ordained that marriage is between a man and a woman. The two become ‘one flesh’. And becoming one flesh is something two men or two women cannot do. They lack between them a full set of the necessary equipment. They are trying to solve the puzzle with only half the pieces. It’s like trying to build a car with only nuts or only bolts. It cannot be done.

          1. Rox

            It does make a difference whether people are aware of the Judaeo-Christian Bible or not, of course it does; and it makes a difference if, being aware of it, they accept it or not. One can’t expect to enforce the Christian religion on people who reject it. After all, the whole point of this discussion is that you are objecting to secular ideas of marriage being enforced onto you (which they wouldn’t be, except so far as Christians are expected to accept civil marriage as valid, which I think almost all of them do already, in everyday life at least).

            There are Muslims who expect to enforce Sharia law on everyone else whether they like it or not. Your approach seems not dissimilar. People who got married in ancient China had their own reasons for doing so, and were not aware of Genesis. Nowadays almost everyone in China who gets married pays no attention whatever to Genesis, whether they have heard of it or not.

            You could perhaps built a car without nuts and bolts, using rivets and welding and other techniques, and decide to call it not a car but something else, maybe a Surrey or phaeton. But “marriage” is only a word, and it doesn’t actually appear in Genesis at this crucial point.

          2. Stephen

            You still don’t get it, Roger. God’s laws are in place for all mankind, whether you like them or know of them, or not. Some folks may not be aware of the law of gravity. It doesn’t mean they are bouncing off the earth into space.
            Every proper Muslim wants every state to enact Sharia (that’s the Arabic for ‘law’ BTW). Every proper atheist wants every state to enact Secularist law. Britain has gone a long way down that road and we’re not finished yet.
            The sadness is that so few Christians have enough confidence in the goodness of God to want every state to enact Biblical laws.
            Oh, and you can drill lots of holes for your rivets, but you still need to put the rivets in them. I think we’ll have no more discussion along those lines, tho’ (and yes I know I started it).

          3. Steve McHale

            So does that mean those “sinners” who died unrepentent because the “good word” had not reached them are headed up or down?

            I.e., those who lived pre-the Genesis account being promulgated, or in societies or regions where the Judo-Christian meme took longer to penetrate?

            Several tribes of Papua New Guinea, including the Sambia and the Etoro, believe that semen provides sexual maturation among the younger men of their tribe. To them, sperm possesses the manly nature of the tribal elders, and in order to pass down their authority and powers, younger men of their next generation must fellate their elders and ingest their semen.

            The “good” word of Christianity has only relatively recently penetrated PNG. Does that mean all those who engaged in this ritual beforehand are hellbound homosexuals?

          4. Stephen

            Meme? You’ve been reading Mr Dawkins! It was certainly the plight of those who had not heard the word that drove Christian missionaries around the globe from the first Pentecost.

            As to Papua New Guinea, it’s odd but true that the homosexual men who ran the Paedophile Information Exchange used the tribal customs there to justify their own perversions, arguing that sodomising teenage boys would ‘make men of them’. In fact it emasculated them, driving them to repeat the cycle.

            Going back to the plight of the lost, at least in the day of judgment people who have never heard the word will have some kind of excuse. You will have none.

          5. Phoebe Seymour

            Meme, whilst coined in 1976 by M Dawkins, is now pretty widely used to describe an idea within a culture that spreads almost like a virus from person to person.

            Whilst I see you forced a reference to pedophilia into your response – entirely gratuitously – you do not in fact answer the question asked.

            Your concept of morality surely doesn’t allow of a relativism where sinners can plead their case – here ignorance – on the day of Judgment. Isn’t it a binary issue? If it isn’t, then I imagine quite a few gays worldwide will give a better account of themselves than many Christians. Like those who resort to ad hominem attacks in response to perfectly rational questions that demonstrate absurdity of blind faith. As in, “You will have none”

            So, why not have another shot at answering the question posed. Or, if you don’t have an answer, just say so.

          6. Stephen

            The Apostle Paul says (I’ll put the passage below) that the sound of the glory of God has gone into all the world – and that is why the missionaries went out, as I said, to save the lost and hasten the day. Whether those who have not heard of the saving grace of Christ will have an excuse in the day of judgment we shall have to leave to the Lord, but it is still as clear as day that neither you nor Mr McHale will have any excuse whatever.

            I see you don’t like the link between homosexuality and paedophilia. But Mr McHale raised the Papua New Guinea rites of passage in connection with sodomy, probably ignorant that the Paedophile Information Exchange, whose leaders were all male homosexuals, drew conmfort from the same rites of passage. I researched all of that for my book The Sexual Dead-End so I feel qualified to write about it when someone raises the matter.

            Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

          7. Rox

            I do get it, Stephen.
            God’s laws are in place for all mankind.
            Allah’s laws are in place for all mankind.
            Secular civil rights are in place for all mankind (including homosexuals).
            Marxist theory and capitalism are both in place for all mankind.

            If all mankind insists rigidly on its own favourite system being imposed on everyone else, whether they like it or not, there are going to be dreadful clashes which very few people actually want. One is reminded of the awful wars between catholics and protestants.
            Even the Church of England has to make compromises between different factions, or it wouldn’t work . It is notorious for being rather sensible about this in practice.

          8. Stephen

            Ah, if only all disputes could be resolved over tea in the Bishop’s drawing room.

            But life isn’t like that.

            I’m glad to see you now recognise the awful reality of the three-cornered fight, Islam vs Secularism vs Christianity, now going on across most of the world. As I said earlier, Christians need to have as much confidence in their God and his laws as Muslims have in Allah and Sharia or Secularists have in ‘Reason’ and their laws from the pit of hell. Otherwise most of the Western world is finished.

          9. Rox

            I think to say that secularist laws are from the pit of hell is a little over the top !

            Where I live there are probably Muslims, Christians and atheists in almost equal numbers in some areas, and there is no fight at all. There is no awful reality. What is needed is humanity and tolerance, and a restraint on extremism. Everyday human life is the reality.

          10. Stephen

            So if secularist laws and Islamic laws are not from the Throne of Grace, where are they from?

            I am relieved to learn that there have been no religious clashes in the UK and no disputes in Parliament over law-making.

            ‘What is needed is humanity and tolerance, and a restraint on extremism.’

            ‘And next week on Blue Peter we’ll be telling you how to make a power station out of cardboard and how to reconcile the Russians and the Chinese. Bye!’ ‘Bye!’

          11. Rox

            Secular laws are made up by lawyers and parliaments. There is no secret about this. Nobody would ever pretend that they came from the Throne of Grace.

            What about the byelaws on operating taxis ? Would you really expect them to come from the Throne of Grace ? A lot of legislation is like that.

            As far as I know, Sharia law comes from the Koran and from biographies of Mohammed (roughly equivalent to the Gospels, I suppose). But you said “Islamic Laws”. Don’t forget that modern Islamic countries (for example Pakistan and Egypt) tend to have parliaments like anyone else, which make laws in the usual way, and are NOT dependant on Sharia law for everything.

            I never said there had never been any religious clashes in the UK. There were strong religious elements in the Civil War in the 17th century, apart from anything else. As for disputes in Parliament over law-making, isn’t that what Parliament is for, to debate law-making ? You wouldn’t want to abolish Parliament, would you ?

            I’m sorry if you don’t believe that tolerance is possible. Certainly most people are not extremists. The Russians and the Chinese don’t get on particularly badly, and I don’t understand how Blue Peter and a cardboard power station come into this at all. Please explain.

  18. ann farmer

    Believe it or not, Mr Clegg has just issued a rebuke against Yorkshire police for inflammatory statements.

  19. John Campion

    May I be permitted to bring a note of plain logic to this discussion? It is a matter of fact that human beings are, through instinct, motivated to create and nurture children. It is a matter of fact that their love for these children is powerful, lifelong and unconditional. It is a matter of fact that these instincts are held by both men and women. It is a matter of logic, therefore, that the only way in which these instincts can be satisfied is for men and women to enter into a committed relationship that is mutual, serious and lifelong. This relationship, by its nature, involves dependencies that are serious and lifelong; they are both material and emotional. They are deeply satsifying at the individual level and very productive at the society level. Because this relationship is special and important, it is given special treatment by Church and State. It is called marriage. Homosexual reletationships, by definition, do not involve any of the characteristics identified above, and therefore, by definition, cannot be termed marriage. It is, of course, open for homosexual men and women (many of whom are actually bisexual) to get married, as was the case with Oscar Wilde, for example. I am unable to see how equality comes in to the matter.

    1. Steve McHale

      Any number of public law cases brings your various attempts at deductive reasoning undone at the second hurdle, John.

      And from there, the balance of it really falls apart.

      But I’m sure the veneer of logic will appeal to many on the CV website (including the moderator)

  20. peter Hinchliffe

    Its very simple, you are completely free to not like Gays or Gay marriege, its your point of view, or as you will no doubt say its your gods. you can personaly object to as many people and their lifestyles as you want, knock yourselves out.
    Just as long as you do not extend that to interfering in secular society and being able to dictate who has certain rights and who does not, you are a part of society as is your church, but you do not own it, you do not have any more rights than any one else.
    Now of course that is an ideal we are trying to achieve and move closer to, we are not there yet. But in time you will still hold the right not to marry someone of the same gender and you will still have the right not to aprove, however you will no longer have the right to force your view on everyone else, I hope you learn to live with that or your world will seem more and more depresing whilst everyone else just gets on with it.

    1. Stephen

      Now, let me get this right. Christians have to keep out of all discussions on law-making and just let the secularists get on with it, right? Like they did in the USSR? Why don’t we abolish Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition while we are about it, too? (Actually, there is no need to do that, because on matters of morality – which is pretty much all of it – we have a one-party state already.)

  21. IanD

    Stephen wrote:
    “I’m glad to see you now recognise the awful reality of the three-cornered fight, Islam vs Secularism vs Christianity, now going on across most of the world. As I said earlier, Christians need to have as much confidence in their God and his laws as Muslims have in Allah and Sharia or Secularists have in ‘Reason’ and their laws from the pit of hell. Otherwise most of the Western world is finished.”

    No! The legislative authorities, aka “the powers that be” ARE “ordained by God” for the purpose of legislating for the good order of society. Regardless of their religion, they have that God-given position. God holds them accountable for the quality & justice of their laws.

    As Paul wrote to Timothy: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

    1. Stephen

      They have always been ordained by God, and God has always had those who prayed for kings, called them to account and urged them to follow the laws of God. In olden days they were called ‘prophets’. I struggle to see someone who does not have confidence in Almighty God and his laws as a believer in the Lord Jesus who is coming to reign in exactly that righteousness. Such a one will certainly not be blessed, because God’s word says:

      Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
      2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
      3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

      Psalm 119:1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      And so on in the same vein for another 175 verses!

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