Mr John Stringer, writing over at Stuff.co.nz yesterday, thinks he is very important indeed.
So important, in fact, that he has the right to dictate to members of the community, and presumably his former congregation in his role as an Anglican minister, what to believe.
He plainly tows the ‘small government’ line of Conservatives the world over, and this is something I have no objection to, but to borrow a line from Aaron Sorkin: "I like you guys who want to reduce the size of government... make it just small enough so it can fit in our bedrooms."
Y’see, Mr Stringer makes the fatal flaw of dreaming that the ‘Church’ (presumably meaning his own brand of Protestantism, and not the Church of Scientology, for example) still holds sway over society.
He skewers the Marriage Equality bill as ‘social engineering’, yet wanders blindly in to the flagrant truth that he himself is infringing on the liberties of society, that a section of our community might enjoy the same privileges as others before them.
He further claims the chastising of personal freedoms will be the obvious result should the bill pass, imagining Lady Liberty shackled and adorned with a halo of gay pride rainbow flags.
Marriage Equality, put simply, promotes liberty for those who seek it, and equality of oppourtunity for a lifelong commitment. The obvious consequence to the conscience vote is this: a pre-prescribed gender formula for an institution existing long before any Church declared it as their intellectual property is entirely arbitrary.
The Conservative line is getting boring very quickly, each of its apologists wallowing in the mire of obscurantism and untruth, or as a Romney’s pollster put it last week : "we're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.”
Case in point: Mr Stringer writes on his personal blog that churches “will disobey the law because it violates their conscience”, somehow leaping and bounding over the fact the bill does not compel any portion of society to conduct gay marriage ceremonies.
Just as a Mormon church will not be compelled by any law to perform a gay marriage ceremony, the Anglican Church is not compelled by any law to perform a Jewish marriage ceremony.
The principle is the same.
The post goes on to extol the common thread of religious opinion: that gay marriage is wrong.
That’s his obvious right, but Mr Stringer’s dedication to veiled eyes in the face of overwhelming evidence is simply stunning, but indicative of an attitude that can be brutally culled with the use of Hitch’s Razor: “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”
There exists a marvelous separation of church and state, yet Mr Stringer insists on building a ramshackle bridge across The Great Divide, and then complaining when things don’t go his way as he’s shimmying across. And for all the claims of Conservative views being infringed upon, I’d like to ask where exactly, in law, these abuses of power are taking place.Update 6/8/12: Stuart Nash, who I've tipped for the Labour leadership role, wrote an eerily similar post on the priorities of gay marriage to my own one a few months ago. Quid pro quo Mr Nash!
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