Today’s other “big deal” in church was the fact that priests up and down the UK were reading out a letter calling on parishioners to oppose government moves to legalise gay marriage and to sign a petition to that effect.
That event seems to provoke mixed reaction and, not having poked into the detail sufficiently, I am unclear how relevant some of that reaction is.
There are parishioners who follow the church line all the way. There is also a sizeable chunk broadly in favour of the principle of gay marriage (yep – even within a catholic congregation), and these split two ways.
On the one hand are a fair few folk who just don’t like the church view. Period. More prevalent amongst the younger folk…but support going all the way up the age groups. These most definitely won’t be signing any petitions circulated by the church. Spoke to a few today and last week, who are quite adamant about not signing.
On t’other…probably the largest chunk by far… are those less than impressed by the government tinkering in matters religious. Whether that’s a fair sentiment is the bit I can’t work out, since it feels very much as though the government is playing around with civil marriage, which is within its purlieu – and saying nuffink about the status of religious marriage.
In which case, that particular strand of opinion would, I think, be ill-founded: suggestive more that the gov hasn’t been getting its message across.
Still, it also highlights a very strong reason for not being quite so beastly to religious types. There IS strong support for gay marriage within every Christian denomination: but if people insist on having a pop at each and every opportunity, I suspect that support will dwindle, as people resile into tribalism. We’ll see.