“Morning, Vicar. We’d like to get married. Oh, can you sprinkle the sprog with some of that holy water while you’re at it. Oh, and Grandma’s dropped dead. Perhaps you can fit in a few words over the box.

“We’ll have had hatch, match and dispatch all in one, then, ha, ha.

“Oh, can you bless our nanny goat?”

OK, bit of hyperbole. But it’s true that the Church of England is now going to allow people to get married (heterosexual couples, that is – but of course) and have their baby done at the same time.

Which just shows up the hypocrisy. On the one hand, same-sex partners should not have sex, because sex is for the married. They can’t get married in the UK (they can have a civil partnership, but that doesn’t count as marriage, you see), so they shouldn’t have nookie. It’s a sin.

Yet the unmarried can have sex if they’re opposite-sex couples, and that’s OK. All right, strictly, it’s not, but it is, if you follow me. Some traditionalists don’t think so, of course, and for once I agree with them. If the church stands for what it believes are biblical standards, then it should stick to them. Then we’ll all know where we stand. (Preferably, outside the bloody church!)

However, as you would expect, the church denies that all this goes against its teachings on the “sinfulness” of sex outside marriage. Well, in that it wouldn’t shy away from baptising a baby born a bastard these days, yes. It would, of course, baptise that sprog whether it had been born within or without wedlock. But by making it a family affair, where little Petunia or Justin can attend Mum and Dad’s wedding, the church is recognising (not merely noting) that people actually shag when they’re not married.

By association, it’s condoning it. There’s no getting away from it.

Of course, it’s dressing it up to make it sound all very jolly. The BBC story linked to above says, “They hope that by combining the two sacraments, the Church will be meeting the needs of real families who might have been discouraged from having a church wedding.”

Yes, get them into the church at all costs. Bugger the bible. Let’s have more shows, lovely costumes, music, big white dress specially cut to accommodate the bump, because the next one’s on the way.

The church has got to do something to keep the interest up.

“But of course I’ll bless your nanny goat, my son. If you want to bring the billy in, we can do a wedding. Do you keep hamsters?”

– Andy, Pink Triangle

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