Parish withdraws from Anglican Church over same-sex marriage

An Anglican parish in Dunedin has voted for disaffiliation with the Anglican Church due to opposition to the ‘abomination’ of homosexuality and opposition to blessing same-sex marriages.

Several other parishes around the country have taken similar action.

ODT:  Parish to leave church

A Dunedin parish opposed to the blessing of same-sex civil marriages has withdrawn from the Anglican Church, its minister saying homosexuality is an “abomination”.

St Matthew’s in Stafford St this week voted to disaffiliate from the church.

The decision means those in the parish who supported the move — it is understood  79% voted for disaffiliation — will have to find a new place to worship.

Bishop of Dunedin the Rt Rev Steven Benford confirmed the move yesterday. He said St Matthew’s voted to disaffiliate at a special meeting on Monday, in what was “a result of the General Synod resolution on the blessing of same-sex civil marriages passed in May 2018”.

In May, Dr Benford sent an email to his congregation in response to the move to allow priests to bless same-sex marriages and civil unions.

The vicar (or is that ex-vicar?) would not discuss the matter, but has previously made strong anti-homosexual comments.

St Matthew’s vicar, the Rev Stu Crosson, declined to discuss the matter yesterday.

But earlier this year Mr Crosson wrote the move to allow the blessing of same-sex marriages “appears to me to be a step into false teaching, contrary to the unified witness of scripture, a denial of what it means to be faithful, human, image bearers, in our maleness and femaleness and as such an idolatrous step away from our God”.

Mr Crosson said to bless something God called an abomination and the apostle Paul described as “inviting the wrath of God” seemed destined to invite the judgement of God upon the church.

To ‘restore’ the parts of the Bible they choose.

In a May document the parish suggested aligning itself with the Global Anglican Church, a movement that describes itself as “a global family of authentic Anglicans standing together to retain and restore the Bible to the heart of the Anglican communion”.

The parish could also “plant a new church in Dunedin, not under the Anglican banner”.

I’m not sure how well they have thought through the implications of de-affiliation.

Anglican diocesan registrar Andrew Metcalfe said yesterday the church and its buildings were owned by the Anglican Church.

A process would begin to deal with matters such as how to deal with paid staff at the church, he said.

The church would look for advice from Canterbury and discuss how it dealt with the churches there that disaffiliated.

“It is, for them and for us, unknown territory in many ways.

Perhaps they should have checked this territory out before deciding to disaffiliate. They are now shorty of a venue, and may also be short of staff and finances.

It may be a challenge trying to stick to archaic Bible based principles in a modern world.

 

Homosexual conversion therapy

TVNZ’s Sunday had an item on what is commonly referred to as gay conversion therapy in New Zealand. Mostly religious groups offer therapy that claims or implies people can be taught not to be homosexual.

Usual religious coercions like promising heaven for complying and threatening hell if the ‘sinning’ continues are used.

TVNZ: ‘Pray the gay away’ – Homosexual conversion therapy happening in NZ

Therapy is being offered to “cure” people who find themselves attracted to the same sex, where their attraction is contrary to their own religious beliefs.

TVNZ’s Sunday programme spoke with three gay men about the conversion therapy they’ve been through.

Undercover footage of this therapy, or “spiritual healing”, or “praying the gay away”, shows the claims being made about its potential to cure same sex attraction.

One therapist says: “Your attraction can absolutely be changed. We need to rewire your brain, and it is completely doable.”

Another therapist who Sunday spoke to undercover claims: “No one is born that way and so if that’s the case, it must be possible to change. Alcoholics change, thieves change, all sorts of people change.”

Of course once you’re dead there’s not much chance of complaining for being given false expectations or hopes.

But there’s a real chance of hellish suffering from guilt and failure while homosexuals are subjected to psychological mistreatment while they are alive.

It’s difficult to appreciate what it’s like for a homosexual person living in a disapproving environment, especially a religious one.

I think the best way of understanding what it might be like being a homosexual subject to conversion therapy is to imagine what it might be like as a heterosexual being given coercive therapy to turn you homosexual.

Or in the context of a political blog, as a right winger try to imagine what it might be like getting therapy that tries to convert you into a leftie, or as a left winger try to imagine a conversion to the right.

I’m neither so I can imagine what it would be like getting therapy for converting me to a fixed political belief (shudder).

It is unlikely to feel anywhere near as much as what homosexuals must experience, but trying to convert an innate sexuality must really risk causing severe difficulties for the subject (one of those interviewed came out of therapy and attempted suicide).

 

 

Disgraceful sermon, disgraceful pastor

The US seems to be heading down a slippery slope of intolerance and violence, greased by President Trump.

But we are not immune from exteme rhetoric here either. It’s very sad to see this sort of un-Christian preaching in New Zealand.

NZH:  West Auckland pastor preaches gay people should be shot

A West Auckland pastor has delivered a sermon calling for gay people to be shot.

Westcity Bible Baptist Church pastor Logan Robertson agrees his comments are hate speech but is unapologetic.

Footage posted online at the end of July shows Robertson making highly offensive comments against homosexuals.

My view on homo marriage is that the Bible never mentions it so I’m not against them getting married,” Robertson says.

“As long as a bullet goes through their head the moment they kiss … Because that’s what it talks about – not homo marriage but homo death.”

Bullets weren’t mentioned in the bible either Marriages as they are today didn’t exist then either.

WestCity is independent and has no association with the Baptist denomination of New Zealand.

I expect this is isolated religious nuttery.

As they should.

Stuff: Auckland police look to speak with pastor who made violent anti-gay remarks

Detective Senior Sergeant Marcia Murray said on Wednesday police intend to speak with Robertson.

“We recognise that members of our communities will be concerned and fearful about those comments and we would like to make it very clear that we are treating this matter very seriously.”

This is not an isolated outburst.

PASTOR’S LONG HATE SPEECH HISTORY

In the most recent video, published on Sunday, Robertson said he did not believe women should be allowed to vote.

He also said newly appointed Labour leader Jacinda Ardern should leave parliament and “get in the kitchen where women belong”.

Religious positions abused can be dangerous as well as disgraceful.

Bill to wipe historical homosexual convictions introduced

Signalled earlier in the year by the Government, Justice Minister Amy Adams has introduced a Bill to Parliament that “will allow men convicted of specific homosexual offences decriminalised by the Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 to apply to have the convictions wiped from their criminal record”.

This was initiated by a petition presented to MPS last year – so sensible petitions can be effective.

The Criminal Records (of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill was introduced to Parliament today.

“The tremendous hurt and stigma suffered by those who were affected can never be fully undone, but I hope that this Bill will go some way toward addressing that,” says Ms Adams.

“This Bill introduces the first ever expungement scheme in New Zealand.

“Allowing historical convictions for homosexual offences to remain on a person’s criminal record perpetuates the stigma which such convictions carry. A person can be further disadvantaged if they are required to disclose their conviction or it appears on a criminal history check.”

Ms Adams says the scheme will be open to applications from men with convictions for specific offences relating to sexual conduct between consenting men 16 years and over, or by a family member on their behalf if the person is deceased. The application process will be free for applicants.

“The scheme requires case-by-case assessments of the relevant facts to determine whether the conduct a person was charged with is still unlawful today. The decision will be made by the Secretary for Justice, without the need for a court hearing or for applicants to appear in person,” says Ms Adams.

“If a person’s conviction is expunged, the conviction will not appear on a criminal history check for any purpose and they will be entitled to declare they had no such conviction when required to under New Zealand law.”

Copy of the Bill:  www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_74442/criminal-records-expungement-of-convictions-for-historical

It’s taken a long time but it’s good to see this being dealt with. It was abhorrent law in the not very distant past and the least that can be done now is to wipe any convictions.

Some history:

Male homosexual sex became illegal in New Zealand when the country became part of the British Empire in 1840 and adopted English law making male homosexual acts punishable by death.

The Offences Against The Person Act of 1867 changed the penalty of buggery from execution to life imprisonment. In 1893 the law was broadened so that sexual activity between men constituted “sexual assault” even if it was consensual. Penalties included life imprisonment, hard labour and flogging.

Sex between women has never been legally prohibited in New Zealand.

In 1961 the penalties for male homosexual activity were reduced, reflecting changing attitudes towards homosexuality.

In 1968 a petition signed by 75 prominent citizens and calling for legislative change was presented to (and rejected by) parliament.

The Act was introduced by Labour MP Fran Wilde in 1985. Originally, the bill had two parts – one decriminalised male homosexuality, while the other provided anti-discrimination law protections for lesbians and gay men.

The first part passed narrowly (49 Ayes to 44 Noes) on 9 July 1986, after an attempt by opponents to invoke closure and end debate was defeated by one vote the previous week; the bill might have failed if a vote was taken then as several supporters were kept away from Wellington by bad weather. Three National MPs voted for the bill, and other National MPs (including Doug Graham) would have supported the bill if it had been in danger of defeat.

The second part failed, but was incorporated into a supplementary order paper added to the New Zealand Human Rights Act 1993.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_Law_Reform_Act_1986

This is one example of a number of awful laws and prejudices of the not very distance past that have changed significantly in a more tolerant and sensible society.

As a civil society we’re not perfect yet, but this is another good step forward.

Stuff from last year: Homosexual Law Reform 30 years on – what was life like for the gay community pre-1986?

Russel Norman’ s clash of principles

Russel Norman appears to be choosing one principle over another in his clash with Colin Craig over Norman’s comments at the Big Gay Out

Colin Craig looks determined to press ahead with legal action against Russel Norman, claiming he was defamed by what Norman said. The allegedly offending words:

“Now the thing about Colin Craig is he thinks that a woman’s place is in the kitchen and a gay man’s place is in the closet.”

Both Craig and Norman have just been interviewed on TVNZ’s Breakfast. Their positions appear to be entrenched, with Craig promising to carry through his legal threat if Norman doesn’t apologise.

He says Norman “couldn’t be more wrong. The statement is factually untrue.” And Craig wants to see the standard of political debate raised a lot higher than it is at the moment.

In response Norman quoted Craig on gay issues saying it was it was “disgusting politics of hate, of saying these people are different” and that he is “Standing up for the kind of place we want to live in”.

TVNZ: Colin Craig should apologize for ‘disgusting comments’ (2:54)

Newstalk ZB reports that Norman is supported by his co-leader:

The other Green Party co-leader, Metiria Turei, is supporting Russel Norman’s stance.

“I think Russel and right and the Green Party is right to stand up for women and for gay men and to identify offensive language, offensive statements, when we see them.”

And Craig…

…says he’ll announce his next steps on Friday, but court action is the likely path.

“I am very determined to raise standard of debate and I think I’ve shown that through previous actions but we’re just going to keep on and we’re going to make sure people are accurately debating, that robust discussion is honest and fair discussion.

Norman has highlighted controversial things Craig has actually said about homosexuals but is not claiming his Big Gay Out comments were intended literally, they were representative of offensive attitudes.

Whether it is defamation or not looks to be up to the lawyers.

But there seems to be a clash of principles here for Norman. He is claiming a principle of standing up to people like Craig who like make “offensive” comments.

And Craig is claiming a principle of standing up to politicians like Norman who say untrue things about opponents and wants better standards in political debate – something the Greens have stood up for in the past.

Greens have stated Party Values:

As a party and as members of that party, we aim to:

6. Engage respectfully, without personal attacks

In this case Norman is making personal attacks on Craig, and it appears has falsely claimed what Craig thinks. This is a political tactic that annoys the Greens when aimed at them, but they appear to have decided to delve in the dark arts of politics.

This is an interesting clash, ignoring one principle to stand up for another.

Homosexuality, abortion, birth control and population

Fifty years ago (1964) the world population was about 3.2 billion people.

Since then acceptance of homosexual relationships, same sex marriage, oral contraception, male and female sterilisation and safe abortions have increased substantially.

The world population this year will be about 7.2 billion people. It is projected to be over 10 billion in another fifty years.

Source: http://www.geohive.com/earth/his_history3.aspx

Pope: being gay is ok, acting gay is a sin

I usually avoid religion, but this news is a positive step (for a Catholic pope). Pope Francis seems to be a modern and enlightened pontiff – to an extent. But he showed he had limits – that put gay people in an impossible situation.

Pope: Who am I to judge gay people?

Pope Francis says gay people should not be marginalised, instead they should be integrated into society, in some of the most conciliatory remarks by a pontiff on the issue of homosexuality.

‘Who am I to judge?’

In response to a question about reports of a “gay lobby” in the Vatican, after it suffered a string of scandals over paedophile priests and corruption in the administration of the Holy See, Francis said:

“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?

“The problem is not having this orientation. We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worst problem,” he said.

“You see a lot written about the gay lobby. I still have not seen anyone in the Vatican with an identity card saying they are gay,” he joked.

Sounds very good. But it only went so far, there are still some very conservative limits.

In fact there is a major catch – he won’t judge people for being gay but judges gay behaviour as a sin.

Francis defended all gays from discrimination but also referred to the Catholic Church’s universal Catechism, which says that while homosexual orientation is not sinful, homosexual acts are.

“The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says they should not be marginalised because of this (orientation) but that they must be integrated into society,” he said, speaking in Italian and using the word “gay”, instead of “homosexual” which previous pontiffs mainly used.

So that’s contradictory – being gay is ok, acting gay is a sin.

It’s like saying being Catholic is fine but praying is forbidden.

And another conservative church position is still entrenched.

‘No’ to women priests is definitive

Addressing the issue of women priests, the pope said, “The Church has spoken and says ‘no’ … that door is closed.” It was the first time he had spoken in public on the subject.

“We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity, there must be more …,” he said in answer to a question.

“But with regards to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says ‘no’. Pope John Paul said so with a formula that was definitive. That door is closed,” he said, referring to a document by the late pontiff which said the ban was part of the infallible teaching of the Church.

So the pope has caught up with the mid nineteen hundreds. Can he modernise the Catholic Church any more than that?

Blaming it on the marriage bill

Bob McCoskrie is blaming the deregistration of Family First as a charity on his views of the marriage bill – NZ Herald reports:

Family First NZ says it will be deregistered as a charity because of its views on gay marriage.

He said the decision was highly politicised and showed groups that think differently to the politically correct view will be targeted.

There’s some irony calling the decision “highly politicised “, it’s likely the decision was in part because of the highly political nature of much of Family First’s activities – see Family First stripped of charity status.

Also in the Herald:

Homosexual rejected, heads to tribunal

A homosexual man is taking the Anglican Bishop of Auckland to the Human Rights Tribunal after being rejected for training as a priest.

A hearing begins today following a complaint from the man, who says he feels discriminated against because of his sexuality.

It is understood the man – who is in a sexual relationship with his partner – has wanted to enter the church’s training programme for priests for years.

But after applying to enter after years of study, he was rejected by the Bishop Ross Bay, who approves entrants.

Bishop Bay told One News last night that he was simply following the church’s doctrines.

The man was rejected “by reason of the defendant not being chaste in terms of canons of the Anglican Church,” the bishop said.

That would appear to be unrelated, but in a discussion on this on Kiwiblog – Leave the churches alone – a swarm of commenters are blaming this on the marriage bill too:

Urban Redneck:

Social liberals who thought homosexual “marriage” was all about “love”, “commitment” and “equality” better wise up soon.

These homo-fascists will not stop until all opposition or disapproval of their sordid lifestyles are criminalized or eliminated thru the legislative and enforcement power of government.

Scott:

Don’t worry DPF – the churches will get hammered and will lose their status as charities fairly soon. And this is already happening.

Bob McCroskey at Family first has emailed that his organisation is about to lose its status as a charity explicitly because of its advocacy of traditional marriage, as being between a man and a woman.

That’s the trouble when you don’t believe in God. The state becomes your God. So the state In its Godlike wisdom has decided that the views of family first are unacceptable and so it will be deregistered as a charity. Its views, that marriage is between a man and a woman, are now deemed not in the public interest.

This will happen to the churches shortly. Apart from those churches that cave in and decide to ordain homosexuals and become gay friendly and other unscriptural nonsense.

So persecution will occur. The gay lobby will brook no opposition.

Andre:

But without a firm foundation for your laws and customs anything is possible and quite bizarre elitist brainfarts become law as the ridiculous concept of homosexual “marriage” becoming possible so firmly attests

Scott again:

So we believe that happiness and prosperity in a nation and in the people come when we follow God’s laws. When we willfully put in place laws that are against God’s teaching, such as gay marriage, then we can expect our nation to decline and its people to suffer.

When I said:

I don’t see what this has to do with the marriage bill. And if it did, so what?

Is any gay grievance from now on going to be blamed on the marriage bill?

kowtow responded:

It’s all about equality. So it all comes together under the socialist banner of “equality”.

To some any threat to their religious beliefs is seen as a threat to society and anything associated with this is regarded as a part of the same assualt on their church.

With Colin Craig and Family First targeting next year’s election as a way to campaigning for what they believe in this targeting of any gay grievance is likely to continue.

The Queen may challenge conservative loyalties

Newstalk ZB: Queen expected to back pledge promoting gay rights

The Queen is expected to back a historic pledge to promote gay rights and gender equality, in one of the most controversial acts of her reign.

During a live television broadcast she will sign a new charter designed to stamp out discrimination against homosexual people and promote the empowerment of women.

The Queen will sign the new Commonwealth Charter and make a speech explaining her passionate commitment to it.

Insiders spoken to by the Daily Mail say her decision to highlight the event is a ‘watershed’ moment – the first time she’s clearly signalled her support for gay rights.

Time to review our links with the monarchy? Or should we congratulate the Queen on making socially relevant comment?

Promoting “empowerment of women” and homosexual rights may not go down well amongst her more conservative fans.

No sense in Sensible Sentencing Trust

I wonder if Garth McVicar comments as Andre on Kiwiblog, this sounds like his sort of nonsense. No facts, just prejudice.

Lobbyist links gay marriage to crime rise in NZ

Sensible Sentencing Trust leader Garth McVicar has submitted to Parliament that changing the law to allow same-sex marriage will be yet another erosion of basic morals and values in society which have led to an escalation of child abuse, domestic violence, and an ever-increasing prison population.

“The marriage amendment bill will not benefit society at all and will ultimately have detremetal (sic) effect on crime at all levels,” the submission read.

McVicar’s statement said that he considered the bill would be a further erosion of what he considered to be essential basic values and morals that have “stood the test of time for centuries”.

“Furthermore, the bill represents a further decay and erosion of the traditional family that society has been founded on.”

Or maybe Andre is just a repeater of SST talking points.  Which are certainly not based on facts or sense.

Criminologist Dr James Oleson, from Auckland University, an expert in deviance, said he was not familiar with any research that would suggest homosexuals would be responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime.

For McVicar’s argument to be plausible, he said, it would have to be proved that allowing homosexuals to marry degraded morality, and that this produced more crime. “But I’m not sure that’s true.” The more common drivers of crime were economic issues, alcohol, drugs, education and employment and family dysfunction, Oleson said.

But that won’t stop the factless scaremongering being repeated, again and again.

Update: a twitter exchange…

@KevinHague
Most against the Bill seem to be hankering for a Truman Show version of NZ: conformist, God-fearing nuclear families

@PeteDGeorge
They think that marriage equality will destroy everyone’s morals, like, if you get married I’ll rob a bank.

@KevinHague
yes. “#marriageequality then nek minnit sack of Rome” is one of the most common arguments being used by opponents