The Kirk’s claim (your reports) that the Bible “promoted” (sic, doesn’t it still do so?) heterosexual marriage is both naive and irrelevant. The arcane marriage rules of the ancient Jews are hardly relevant to modern Christians; do men still marry their dead brother’s widow?
More relevant would be Jesus’s own teaching, but unfortunately he was rather vague on the subject. There is no evidence he himself was married (unusual in itself) or that he encouraged marriage. Indeed, questioned by priests on the matter, he appeared to suggest that marriage was irrelevant in the face of resurrection.
The reason for this attitude was his expectation that the world was about to be turned upside down by the appearance of the kingdom of god, a belief continued by St Paul.
Consequently, an appeal to the Bible is no guide at all to this dispute over homosexual marriage. If the Kirk still believes in the coming kingdom, why is it bothered about people’s sexuality?
Quakers, Jews and liberal Protestant churches accept the SNP’s gay marriage proposals and rightly see the issue as being about civil rights and not some perceived morality.
The Kirk insults our intelligence by claiming homophobia a sin, insisting it ministers to all “regardless of sexual orientation and practice” and refusing to marry gay members.
It is regrettable secular society has moved on in the UK and its tolerance is exemplary yet our church leaders foam at the mouth over legislation which is so manifestly fair-minded.
The very people one might expect to support diversity and inclusiveness misuse biblical language to insist discrimination against gay people must continue on hallowed ground.
(Rev) DR JOHN CAMERON
St Andrews, Fife
Elizabeth Skinner’s comments (Letters, 3 December) that sex is “a response to a physical stimuli” and “sex should not be confused with the spirituality of love” epitomise the trivialisation of sex prevalent in our culture.
This decoupling of sex from loving committed permanent relationship is at the root of many of society’s ills, including family breakdown, soaring STD rates, mass abortion, and absent fathers, leading to huge emotional hurt, societal harm and financial cost.
If sex is indeed just “a response to a physical stimuli”, surely it doesn’t matter what provides the stimuli: a person of the same or opposite sex, adult or child, machine or animal?
Christian theology stands in stark contrast to this impoverished view. Sex is a wonderful means of uniting a man and women in marriage, creating a unique bond at the deepest psychological and spiritual level.
The more this sexual bond is created and then broken, through promiscuous sex or successive failed relationships, for example, the less effective it becomes. So a sexual encounter could be a factor in a subsequent marriage failing, leading to huge upset to the children and adults involved, belying the myth that consensual sex “doesn’t do anyone any harm”. Sadly, many regard sexual “freedom” as so vital that such collateral damage is deemed to be a price worth other people paying.
If I shared Ms Skinner’s impoverished view of sex, I’d support gay “marriage” as well.
Reading the latest batch of letters from those advocating same-sex “marriage” (Letters, 3 December) I am struck by just how selfish their motives are.
No mention here about the joy, love, lifelong commitment and responsibilities of raising children, living as a family. All of those are the essential elements which give a proper marriage true meaning, breadth and depth.
No. This well-orchestrated campaign to foist same- sex “marriage” on our apathetic society is about self- indulgence and nothing else; gay rights without responsibilities. We are already failing far more children than any so-called civilised society should, without walking into the trap of deliberately creating the circumstances to fail innumerably more.
The debate in these pages about love and marriage has been entertaining as well as enlightening, but as a happily married man, I still think George Bernard Shaw said it best: “Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.”
Westgate, Leslie, Fife