Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Leave My Queen Alone, For Christ's Sake

Just in case you're suffering under the delusion that the US is all a bunch of rabid Christers and the UK is somehow immune to evangelical fundamentalism, try this on for size. A Christian group in Britain is lobbying the Queen to repeal all gay-positive legislation, including same-sex marriage.

"The plea to the Queen is being made by the Christian Concern for Our Nation, an offshoot of the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, a group which lists more than 2,000 barristers and solicitors among its members. The petition warns the Queen the rules are a ‘serious affront’ to the Gospel. It reads: ‘The regulations purport to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, but have the consequence of discriminating heavily against Christians of all backgrounds and denominations who hold firm to the very Faith which you pledged to uphold in your coronation oath.’"

Now, I fail to see how giving rights to gays takes away rights from Christians, but I can easily comprehend how repealing gay rights when Christians ask gives special rights to Christians. If you have an imagination at all, it makes you wonder which group these bigots will be coming after next. In addition to being bullying, of course, which I imagine is just what Jesus would have done.

Here at the Pop Culture Institute we are opposed to special rights for anyone; in the case of gays, equal rights do not constitute special rights. This is a distinction which is patently clear to me, yet, obviously, beyond the grasp of thousands of British laywers.

And hitting her in her coronation oath is just a low blow, knowing how seriously she takes it. Before she promised to uphold the Gospel, though, she promised to "govern the Peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon, and of your Possessions and the other Territories to any of them belonging or pertaining, according to their respective laws and customs". There may be a tiny little conflict of interest there, since she's sworn to uphold the Gospel yet must also, in theory, govern a Muslim country like Pakistan.

All I'm saying is, just maybe that oath is a tiny bit out of date.

The Queen is Queen of everybody, not just some tiny special interest group, no matter what it might look like to you on the outside. Also, the Queen has no actual power but is the personification of power invested by the people in Parliament. Duh! Again, you'd think lawyers would know this. Somehow, though, the reading of Scripture seems to render otherwise intelligent people babbling idiots.

Britain is a pluralistic, ecumenical, secular society. End of story. Obviously anyone can petition the Queen or the Prime Minister or their MP in such a society. Just don't be too surprised when you bring forth ideas that are twenty years out of date and they're not met with the same enthusiasm you feel for them. If you're not sure whether you should make a case of this nature, next time replace the word "gay" with "black" or "Muslim" and read through it again. You should feel lucky that, of the three, gay response will be the most muted. At least for now.

There are over 1500 references to poverty in the Bible (mostly in the New Testament) and one vaguely worded reference to homosexuality in the Old Testament. I would have thought a group called Christian Concern for our Nation would be more interested in following the word of Christ. Call me crazy, but if they're really concerned for their nation there's plenty to be done without harassing an identifiable segment of the population, along with their friends and family, starting with "judge not lest ye be judged."

[source: Towleroad (news item), Royal Family website (oath)]
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