The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We Are Gathered Here in the Sight of God to Acknowledge an Underlying Biological Complementarity

Greed has collapsed the economy and the poor are being made to pay for it; murder is rife in the Middle East and elsewhere, while the Prime Minister shills for armaments firms; the task of caring for the sick, the disabled and the old is considered purely a question of markets and profits; and Michael Gove is Secretary of State for Education. Given all this, what could be more natural than for the country's moral arbiters to be worried about sex? A few peculiar old men in fancy dresses are, yet again, having the most terrible time over the prospect of gay people being treated as full and genuine members of the human race.

Perhaps it is cruel to expect too much from an institution whose idea of social responsibility is to stand back and let the Corporation of London's hirelings kick protesters off the steps of a cathedral; but the Church of England's response to the Government's plans to permit gay marriage is hysterical even by the elevated standards of Christian serenity. "Such a move would alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, as enshrined in human institutions throughout history" - as in the Bible, for example, where polygamy and concubinage are not only accepted but virtuous, at least until the advent of Paul and his millennial cult of chastity. "Marriage benefits society in many ways, not only by promoting mutuality and fidelity," as in the career of the noted defender of the faith, Henry VIII, "but also by acknowledging an underlying biological complementarity which, for many, includes the possibility of procreation." In Standard English, this last appears to mean that married people sometimes have children, and that married people having children is a rather jolly business. Thank goodness the Church is there to point these things out.

The church is also worried that it might be unable to continue conducting marriages on behalf of the state, which would clearly be too awful given the Saviour's advice on rendering unto Caesar the ceremonies that are God's. The Bishop of Leicester belched out a delightful tissue of disingenuity, stating in the same breath his desire for "a society in which gay people are fully included and their needs are fully provided for" and his desire to see those needs trampled underfoot by a sectarian minority's interpretation of the whims of a demented Bronze Age djinn. For its part, the Home Office extruded a spokesbeing to proclaim that marriage "binds us together, it brings stability, and it makes this country stronger" although, as we now know, not when one partner is a wog on an income of £24,800 or less.


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