The Archbishop on Same-Sex Marriage on LBC

Perhaps the most interesting part of the hour long phone on LBC with Justin Welby this morning was the full answer to the final question.

A gay christian listening to you though may have heard the message that he or she can’t marry their partner in their church because of the conniptions it would give to some African, dare we say less enlightened people, in Africa.

Well I don’t think we dare say less enlightened actually. I think that’s a sort of neo-colonial approach and it’s one I really object to. I think it’s not about them having conniptions, getting irate, that’s nothing to do with it. It’s about the fact that I’ve stood by a graveside in Africa of a group of Christians who’d been attacked because of something that had happened far far away in America, and they were attacked by other people – because of that a lot of them had been killed. I was in the South Sudan a few weeks ago and the church leaders there were saying please don’t change what you’re doing, because then we couldn’t accept your help and we need your help desperately. We have to listen carefully to that, we also have to listen incredibly carefully to gay people here who want to get married and also to recognise that any homophobic behaviour here causes enormous suffering, particularly to gay teenagers, something I’m particularly conscious of at the moment. And we have to listen to that very carefully and work out what we do.

Can you imagine a day when two people of the same-sex will be married in an Anglican church her [in England]?

I don’t know. Personally, I have a real, I look at the Scriptures, I look at the teaching of the church, I listen to Christians around the world and I have real hesitations about that. I’m incredibly uncomfortable saying that because I really don’t want to say no to people who love each other, but you have to have a sense of following what the teaching of the church is, you can’t just make sudden changes.

Yes, he did just say that. Now can all you doubters reconsider?

18 Comments on “The Archbishop on Same-Sex Marriage on LBC

    • Why is that good?? Surely it’s more about getting to the truth, isn’t it, than being glad someone’s got rattled (I haven’t yet listened to the recording so I can’t comment on the content).

      • No, of course it isn’t more about getting to the truth. Sort your ideas out and get your priorities straight. Actually she didn’t get him particularly rattled, she just tried his patience by trying to nag him in her usual bossy, strident tone of voice, and he dealt with it in a commendably courteous and restrained way.

  1. Thanks for this Peter. I hadn’t realised the potential of what might happen to Christians in Africa if gay marriage becomes accepted by the Anglican Church in this country; Justin Welby is not wrong to say it’s not a simple issue!

  2. Okay, I’ve watched the rest of it now. The two points I found interesting with the last point were (a) that the interviewer thought Africans were backward (and kudos to the AB that he challenged that) and (b) that he didn’t realise that people in other parts of the world were being killed because of the liberal church in the West.

    Well, he knows now. And so do lots of other people, hopefully. Apart from Guardian readers (who have made some pretty vile comments) I wonder how the ordinary Brit will weigh up the selfishness of Africans who object to being killed for their faith against the indeniable right of gay people to get ‘married’ in whichever church they desire, regardless of the consequences to others.

  3. As a commentator elsewhere said (and skirting Godwin’s), the logic of this is that Christians in 1930s England should’ve opposed equal rights for Jews to protect Christians living under the Nazi regime from reprisal.

    If we don’t “dare say” that people who advocate the murder and criminalization of gay people are “less enlightened,” when do we “dare say” it? Talk about relativism gone mad: who knew Welby was such a limousine liberal?

        • Race. And the hatred poured out on ++Justin as well. These “loving liberals” are showing their true colours. Anyone who has a different cultural understanding is an ignorant and uneducated savage. Anyone who dares to wrestle with the complexities of an international communion and present a position at variance with the liberal one is a bigoted homophobe. Frankly, it’s shocking and shameful.

          • I was shocked, but not surprised. Poor Justin, he tries to be nice to them, and look how they treat him. They just don’t care about minorities in Muslim countries, do they? I seem to remember putting forward the same argument in an earlier thread, which met with similar treatment.

            The Thinklies are hopping mad, too.

            The pope doesn’t seem to get this sort of treatment, because the catholic church doesn’t waver and wobble.

            Appeasement doesn’t work in the long run.

            • What countries?
              What minorities?
              Christians are the largest group in both South Sudan and Nigeria.

                • OK
                  Putting aside the spin from the article I have now read through all the UN reports, I must say people of faith do not emerge well.
                  I find confirmation that Christianity is not a minority religion in Nigeria but that the authorities are not prosecuting those who murder from both sides despite having video evidence.
                  Soth Sudan does not get a mention in regard to persecution, but as I say Christian animists are in the majority.
                  So what then is your point?

                  • Sorry, I don’t understand the question. Are you saying that JW is wrong?

                    Whether in the majority or not – including here in the UK – Muslim fundamentalists think that we in the West live in a moral swamp. (I am not sure that they are entirely wrong.) They hold us in contempt for not being capable of upholding the teaching of our own Holy Book – gay marriage being the final straw, especially as they are vehemently opposed to homosexuality. They do not distinguish between churchgoers and non-churchgoers who don’t care what the Bible says. They think that Shariah is the only way. You’ve got to see their point.

                    • Christians aren’t obliged to adopt a fundamentalist approach to the Bible. They certainly shouldn’t take moral pointers from murderers, whatever religion they choose to hide behind.

  4. Well… this has echoes of some moments from RW’s time as Archbishop it seems to me. ‘Archbishop Upholds Church Teaching’ isn’t that newsworthy though is it….?

    Did anyone put to him that this is a question of truth… am being too lazy to watch it all.

    in friendship, Blair

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