So news fly out of England that the non-inbred half of the UK Parliament voted on gay marriage and saw it good. Good news; but the facts portion of the BBC article on the thing was a bit puzzling. There are parts of the bill that are probably concessions to the bone deep stupid factions of the Parliament; bits like
Making it unlawful for religious organisations or their ministers to marry same-sex couples unless their organisation’s governing body has expressly opted in to provisions for doing so
The legislation explicitly stating that it will be illegal for the Church of England and the Church in Wales to marry same-sex couples.
Now, those could be bones tossed to the, er, zombies of churches and parties; but I have an alternative idea. They are a brilliant ploy of the pro-gay side, and the anti-gays totally fell for it.
If I understand things correctly, the Church of England has the same problem as the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church has with its relations with reality: their positions, including the one on gay marriage, are lagging behind mostly because of a loud, hateful minority of priests and parishioners. The Church also has a minority (majority?) which disagrees: people of conscience, courage and commitment. (Which is what the previous people are, too; but these aren’t people applying good qualities to bad causes.) Occasionally they’re religious too; but what matters is they are good people. Then when one group says march on to progress and the other says hold still in the mire, well, if you start this holding still you’re going to stay in that status quo.
Now, suppose a vicar of this latter sort is outraged by this law, and decides to go rogue and church-marry a gay couple, and then take whatever punishment falls on him/her. It’s the law now, not a church canon but an actual secular law. Crime, police, courts, punishment. What do you think the law would dole out? A fine? Prison time? Or the Church’s most horrible media disaster of the decade?
Do even the anti-gay people want to see a clergyman sent into the slammer over a theological disagreement?
As for the pro-gay people, well, I think this would be a glorious cause, whatsit, a cause celery, and I’m waiting with anticipation for it.
Just a theory, mind you. Not a likely one, but it tastes better than the alternative.
(Freefloating footnote: With the CoE and with the Finnish Church I’d just like to see the progressives get themselves together and go on an intolerant rampage of punishment and dis-employment against the hate speech and hateful stupidity brigade. I’m not a big fan of big-tent leadership when that tent is spread wide enough to cover snakes and trolls.)
(Also, somewhere in the reportage the Hon. MP for Dickweed-upon-Asshole expressed fears this bill might lead to stomping on the freedoms of the bigotedly religious. Oh, if only! — it’s the part of the very liberal one to say, “I like your scare scenario! Do you have any more good ideas?”)