Saturday, September 7, 2013

You Can't Compromise With A Fanatic

Juicy Ecumenism, the Institute on Religion & Democracy's blog, tells a story that first appeared in the September 3, 2013 Telegraph:
Several weeks ago, a lesbian couple in Gosport, England, took their son to St. Mary’s Anglican Church to be baptized. The retired Rev. Gebaur was officiating services while the parish looked for a new priest and expressed a willingness to perform the baptism. All seemed well until the Rev. asked the couple who “the mother” was for the purposes of the baptism certificate.

The couple responded that they both wished to be listed as the mother. The Rev., obviously not an enlightened modern, pointed out that this was a biological impossibility, and suggested that for purposes of the certificate the natural mother be listed under the line reserved for “the mother.” The couple apparently could not stomach being confronted with this truth, and later reported that they were appalled and stormed out.
As Juicy Ecumenism points out, Rev. Gebaur was not making an issue about this being a lesbian couple, he just needed to fill in the forms correctly. As much as infant baptism makes me wants to screech, "Popery!  Popery!" (well, not really, but watching too much Monty Python causes strange reactions), if you consider infant baptism necessary for the salvation of the soul of the child, then that is going to definitely take precedence over whatever the sins of the parents are.  But the "parents" insisted that both of them are the mother -- a biological impossibility.

But not to worry, a troublemaker like Rev. Gebaur who were trying to fill in the forms right has been overruled in a fit of Humpty-Dumptyism:
However, Ven Gavin Collins, Archdeacon of the Meon, said today he was happy for the christening to go ahead as planned - with both named as the mother.

He said: “Having spoken to Aimi Leggett today, I’m pleased to report that the baptism of Alfie will go ahead on the date planned at St Mary’s Church, Warsash.

“We have addressed the legal issue. As I understand it, her partner Victoria has full legal co-parental responsibility for Alfie. We can therefore enter their details onto the baptism register as ‘mother’ and ‘mother’, as they would like.

“I’m pleased that this issue has been resolved, and we look forward to welcoming Aimi, Victoria, Alfie and their friends and family. I’m sure it will be a great occasion as we welcome him into the Christian family.”
Muslims were at the beginning quite insistent that no living thing could be represented in art; this was part of their fierce hostility towards idol worship.  Within the Greek Orthodox Church, there was a bit of a struggle as to whether the worship of icons was a problem.  Certain pieces of religious art at some churches were being given a reverence suggesting that praying to these particular icons would be more efficacious than simply praying to God, no matter where you were.

Others within the Greek Orthodox Church disagreed, and considered this a form of idolatry.  Those who believed that the icons should be destroyed to discourage this idolatry were iconoclasts -- "icon breakers" -- from which comes our word iconoclast.

As Muslim armies started to overrun parts of the Byzantine Empire, iconoclasts became increasingly insistent that the worship of icons within the Greek Orthodox Church was part of the reason that the Muslims were winning.  This was not the actual cause; it was that the Sasanid Empire and the Byzantine Empire had exhausted each other in war, and neither was strong enough to resist the Islamic armies marching out of Arabia. The Sasanids fell immediately; the Byzantine Empire took centuries to collapse.

I do find myself wondering if in another fifty years, as Islam slowly takes over what used to be the West, if a similar argument is going to be persuasive: that by abandoning Christianity's core values on what constitutes sin (of which homosexuality is only one small part, and no worse than the others), we made the Muslim success inevitable.

6 comments:

hga said...

As I've noted elsewhere, I'm highly uncertain about the "Islam über alles" thesis after reading David "Spengler" Goldman's works on the closing of the Muslim womb.

It appears that in the modern world, educating Muslim women results in a fertility crash, and in the places of most interest we're only seeing significant fertility in the U.K., Egypt (which may well starve) and Pakistan.

This is something the leaders of e.g. Turkey and Iran are acutely aware of, and is driving more than a little of their hurry.

Rich Rostrom said...

Hmm. I wonder if the Byzantine Iconoclasts were influenced by the Islamic ban on representational art, which ultimately derives from the same Old Testament source.

Rich Rostrom said...

Iran has had the largest decline in fertility of any major nation - down about 70% in the last 30 years, to well below replacement (1.7 children/woman).

Other Moslem nations have had major declines though still above replacement (Syria, down 50% to 3.0).

The only Moslem nations which still have high fertility are Afghanistan and Yemen.

Clayton said...

I would like to think that this is going to solve the problem...but I fear that much of the remaining reproduction is disproportionately the fanatic Islamists.

asdf said...

Soon, you'll find a hetero couple baptizing a baby, and the man declares himself the mother. By the new definition, why not?

Windy Wilson said...

ASDF, It's only a matter of time. the only question is will it be reported in the press as homophobia or sexism?