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After yesterday’s vote, I won’t be voting for the Tories again

The marriage Bill has opened a chasm between its supporters and opponents

By on Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Home Secretary Theresa May said she supported the Bill as a practising Anglican (Photo: PA)

Home Secretary Theresa May said she supported the Bill as a practising Anglican (Photo: PA)

I have just been sent a book to review: How to Get More Out of Holy Communion by St Peter Julian Eymard, published by Sophia Institute Press. Opening it at random (something one should not do) I alighted on the following passage: “We are tormented by a great sadness. It is fixed in the depths of our heart and will not be dislodged therefrom. There is no joy for us on the face of the earth that is not fleeting and that does not end in tears; there is none and there can be none. This sorrow comes to us as an integral part of our heritage from Adam, through whose sin we are exiles from our native land and from our Father’s house.”

This passage reminds us of the larger, eternal context of our lives, despite a sense of frustration and of sadness at the current local context: the sorry state of affairs our Government has got us into over yesterday’s debate on the proposed Bill to redefine marriage. What is obvious to those who have any historical perspective, who have an understanding of the common good, who want what is best for children and future generations, and who foresee the unintended consequences of this disastrous piece of legislation, is that yesterday’s vote – 400 in favour of redefinition, 175 against – marks the start of a formal and unbridgeable chasm between them and their opponents.

My father used to quote to me, “Man proposes; God disposes.” In this instance man has proposed a piece of folly; God, whatever those who use his name to support their ideas might imagine – for example, I heard Theresa May, the Home Secretary, say on the radio yesterday that as a practising Anglican she supported the Bill – will make his own dispositions clear in time. In the here and now, as with William Oddie’s recent blog on this subject, I will not be voting for the Tories in the next election or indeed again; the party that used to defend the preservation of what was tried, tested and true in our ancient institutions (and surely marriage comes into this category) has gone for good. As William Oddie commented, if this stance brings Labour to power in 2015 it could not be any worse.

A young priest got in touch with me early last week to suggest that the Catholic Herald promote parish Adoration during yesterday’s debate, to remind Catholics that nothing good can be achieved without prayer. As it happened, the Herald was about to go to press so it was too late to include this idea. Nonetheless, although prayer is not the only practical remedy against coming events which one is powerless to prevent – the legislation still has several hurdles to overcome at the committee stage, though it is unlikely its opponents will be able to do more than merely modify it – prayer is still the final, most powerful and most consoling one. As St Peter Eymard reminds us, we are in exile from our native land and from our Father’s house during our time in this world. The Bishop of Shrewsbury suggested in a recent interview with Luke Coppen in the Herald that we must be prepared to face persecution in the future. Why should this surprise us?

  • Peter

    “Why should this surprise us?”

    Precisely.  

    Being persecuted is part of being Christian and puts us in solidarity with our brethren overseas who face much worse persecution.

    This of course is all the fault of creationists who gave atheists the oxygen of respectability by making it easy for atheists to refute their indefensible creationist beliefs.  

    Emboldened by their successes, which they naturally attribute to reason and science, the atheists are now setting the secularist agenda in Britain which is in direct confrontation to Christianity.

  • Maccabeus

    The ingenuous, not to say proud, arrogant and superficial embrace of all things modern by all Christian denominations over the last 50 or so years is now coming to a head with a vengeance. God is angry with us, and rightly so. We have favoured appeasement rather than the tough business of standing firm for the faith. We will therefore reap what we have sown, and we have sown foul weeds in recent decades. It is therefore time to intensify our faith, rediscover it, slough off the detritus of modern ‘feel good’ christianity and pick up our crosses. We and our families are in for a long and painful haul.

  • Nat_ons

    “Do not put your trust in princes,

       in mortals, in whom there is no help.” Ps 146 : 3.

    It has to be hyperbole that would seek to cast off permanently a whole set of – often decent, even Christian – souls simply because of one (more) political catastrophe. Moreover, it has to be among the oddest of Christian traits ever to consider placing any trust in human leadership in the first place – whatever the party colours that may be publicly espoused. What is rather more important is this: it is the practice of the catholic church in communion with Rome that – once again – gives the surest example in our dealings with mortal flesh and its political leaders; one may have to live obediently with worldly authority but one must never let its passing rule replace the sovereign rule of God’s reign (on earth as in heaven).

    A sincere concord with one’s fellow fallen men, yes; but never a signing away of one’s soul to the Prince of this world (or the wayward lead of his mind-darkened servants). 

  • http://profiles.google.com/liamronan49 Liam Ronan

    “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.”

  • Mir81

    ‘Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools …. who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator.’ Read Romans 1: 18-32
    As the days darken; pray, pray,pray 

  • Peter

    “It is therefore time to intensify our faith, rediscover it, slough off the detritus of modern ‘feel good’ christianity and pick up our crosses.”
    At the heart of it the problem is not spiritual because there are plenty of good, holy, prayerful and mystic people in Britain, who are Catholic and non-Catholic, Christian and non-Christian.

    The problem is intellectual.  The atheists have been able to come up with convincing lies which have reinforced and consolidated the foundations of secularism which are now railed against believers.

    For instance they claim that science refutes God, but it is a deceitful claim because the God they refute is not the Christian God who creates ex nihilo, but a Platonic demiurge who creates ex materia.

    The Church should no longer tolerate these lies and take the fight to the atheists.  The early centuries of Christianity are full of intellectual battles between the Church Fathers and heretics.  We need to rediscover that edge if we are to survive.

  • http://profiles.google.com/liamronan49 Liam Ronan

    Yours is a  most peculiar, if not blinkered, take on the grave and appalling spiritual decline of the past 50 years I must say, Peter.

  • WG Grace

    Me neither. UKIP is the only way to go now. That, or emigrate.

  • JabbaPapa

    Emigrated in 1977 — the UK Government of the day was as shambolic as every single Government I’ve seen since …

    OK, my father’s decision not mine (98p/£ taxation does not encourage) ; but only one of my 4 siblings has ever moved back to Blighty after we jumped ship.

  • Jonathan West

    I will not be voting for the Tories in the next election or indeed again; the party that used to defend the preservation of what was tried, tested and true in our ancient institutions (and surely marriage comes into this category) has gone for good.

    You write as if marriage has been an unchanging institution through all of time. Of course it hasn’t. Even in the last few hundred years there have been major changes, for instance on laws concerning inheritance, community property, tax (Margaret Thatcher was prime minister and her husband had to fill out her tax return!), divorce, civil marriage and marital rape.

    So the civil institution of marriage has been regularly changed down the years, and since the civil institution is defined by the laws which govern it, we can say also that the definition of marriage has also been changed on a regular basis.

    And there are significant differences between cultures and countries concerning the laws about marriage. So we can’t even say that marriage as it is now is constantly and consistently defined across the world.

    So with the civil definition of marriage varying both in time and place, I do wonder what exactly it is that you are getting all upset about. The civil institution of marriage is not the same as the sacrament of marriage, and Catholics treated the sacrament as valid according to Catholic teaching even in those days when legal (civil) marriage was a monopoly of the Church of England.

    Nothing at all is being changed about the sacrament of marriage, and nothing is being done to remove the legal protections of civil marriage from heterosexual couples. Therefore, the argument that marriage is being undermined is invalid.

    Back in 1957 the Wolfenden committee , when considering the legalisation of homosexuality, came to the following conclusion.

    “Unless a deliberate attempt is made by society, acting through the agency of the law, to equate the sphere of crime with that of sin, there must remain a realm of private morality and immorality which is, in brief and crude terms, not the law’s business.”

    It seems to me that you can only reasonably argue against same-sex civil marriage if you consider Wolfendon to be wrong, that private morality is a proper subject for legislation, and that because of what you regard as their failings in private morality same-sex couples should be denied the legal protections of civil marriage.

  • Jonathan

    Crikey JabbaPapa, you spill a lot of ink over a nation you choose not to live in.

    Perfectly entitled, of course. Just interesting!

    (PS – 98p/£ taxation might be an appropriate solution to that obscene wealth you’ve mentioned elsewhere…)

  • JabbaPapa

    One person I’ve met down here was subjected to a tax régime of 107p/£ when *he* made the decision to emigrate, under the same idiotic Government …

    What other recourse do I have, than help burn up a few pixels, when I am deprived of any voting rights whatsoever in the Country of my National origin ???

  • sclerotic

    Let me get this right. Something over half the conservative MPs votes against gay marriage and a couple of dozen labour MPs do the same, so you will either explicitly or by default give your support to Labour – yes I know UKIP is the hope and salvation of us all but Farage wont even commit himself to seeking a Westminster seat.

  • OldMeena

    Yes, for Catholics the Sacrament of marriage remains unchanged unless the Catholic Church itself chooses to change it in some way.

    Do not present-day Catholics think they are being rather silly and self-important when they talk of “persecution”?
    They seem to be comparing themselves with the English Martyrs and others in past years, and others too in the present day in strongly religious, but also non-Christian, countries, who are really being persecuted. 

    The truth is that Catholics in the UK are simply not getting their own way when it comes to some civil legislation which affects large numbers of people, most of whom are not Catholics. And that is all.

  • OldMeena

    I think Mrs Phillips may be a “cross bunny”, and wishes to show it to herself.

  • Jonathan

    107p/£?! Wow.  I thought it was only Sweden that made that mistake.

    Perhaps we should learn from the French and introduce an MP for our compatriots over the seas?

  • Peter

    And did you pray? I think you will have proved one thing. Nothing fails like prayer. See the Templeton experiment  http://www.templeton.org/pdfs/articles/060331Reuters.pdf

  • Peter

    Another Peter?

  • Jonathan West

    You’re not being persecuted. You’re being ignored. There is a difference. Perhaps being ignored is worse!

  • http://www.kremlin.ru/ The Great Stalin

    One MP? There are MILLIONS of British expats around the world. And most would vote Tory or UKIP, that’s why we socialists took the right to vote away from them.

  • Jonathan West

     The Church should no longer tolerate these lies and take the fight to the atheists.  The early centuries of Christianity are full of intellectual battles between the Church Fathers and heretics.  We need to rediscover that edge if we are to survive.

    Bring it on!

  • Nesbyth

    That’s an interesting point I hadn’t realised.

  • JabbaPapa

    It’s “phil” again.

    I strongly suspect that he is under demonic influence.

    Please pray for his exorcism.

  • JabbaPapa

    You write as if marriage has been an unchanging institution through all of time

    You write as if your personal fantasies were accurately representative of reality.

    FACT : Human reproduction is grounded in stable child-caring heterosexual relationships, AKA marriage.

  • JabbaPapa

    Happy marrow-sucking under your mouldy bridge, Meeny !!!

  • Nesbyth

    Sarah Teather’s statement as to why she could not vote for the same-sex-marriage-bill is worth a read.

     I’ve always had respect for her as she has always come across (on Question Time for example) as a politician of integrity. And now I will add the adjectives brave and honest. It must have been an extremely tough decision for her as a Liberal

     I hadn’t realised she was a Catholic till I read her statement. Pity Iain Duncan Smith couldn’t have come to the same conclusion.

    http://cvcomment.org/2013/02/05/sarah-teathers-statement-why-i-voted-against-gay-marriage/

  • JabbaPapa

    You will not enjoy the experience.

  • whytheworldisending

    Human laws change. God’s laws do not. Homosexual practices spread serious and potentially lethal diseases – in addition to AIDS. Using the law to try to legitimise something which is a dire threat to the health of humanity is gross recklessness. The laws of nature are infinitely more powerful than any man made law, and laws encouraging homosexual practices increase the rates of infection, cross-contamination and mutation at a time when AIDS, tuberculosis and flu pandemics pose a real danger, not just to the godless, debauched and promiscuous, but to everybody on the planet. Look at how many non-smokers died from breathing in other people’s smoke. That was a scandal which governments only recently got round to addressing. Look at how many haemophiliacs died because of the actions of homosexuals in spreading the AIDS virus which contaminated their blood products, and the callous way UK governments fought against them in the courts in the hope that they would die before having to pay them any compensation. The Same-Sex Marriage Bill is an insult to all the innocent victims killed by diseases spread by practicing homosexuals.

  • Jonathan

    One is definitively enough then.

  • Jonathan

    Wow.

  • JabbaPapa

    Is zero “enough” ???

    You’re just uncritically cheerleading for the statu quo

  • Jonathan

    I’m just kiddin’.

    On the other hand… come home to Blighty!

  • Frank

    Keep up the good work Jabba. If this is the same person as Fr. R I seem to remember asking if he was an impersonator at the time.

  • Steve D’Arcy

    No representation without taxation

  • Hugh

    “they claim that science refutes God” not really. But science has shown previously upheld beliefs in what the Bible told us to be false, and christians have altered their positions accordingly.

    I was only thinking today about Luke 24, when Jesus is taken up into heaven. In the time that this was written, people actually believed heaven to be “up there”, and so this account made sense. Today, of course, it doesn’t.

  • mahatmacoatmabag

    Greatings Tovarisch Great Stalin , long time no see ( since I am banned on the DT  unlike Phil & the Moluscs ) .
     
    If I still had the right to vote in UK elections I would vote for the Monster Raving Looney party, at least they are honest about their abilities unlike the corrupt crackpots of the big 3 parties like Wee Ed Wotsisname,  Dave ‘closet gay’ Camerclown & Clegg the liberal Dreg

  • mahatmacoatmabag

    greetings Jabba,  are you still active on the DT battling Phil & the moluscs ?

  • JabbaPapa

    It is objectively sinful to expose oneself to such manifest spiritual evil.

  • waltersandson

    “In the time that this was written, people actually believed heaven to be “up there”, ”

    And now you are able to tell us that it is sideways!

  • liquafruta

    They will probably be very grateful not to have your vote as they are trying to get rid of those who perpetuate the image of quote ” the nasty party”. And if you transfer your vote over this matter to any of the other parties you will find yourself in exactly the same boat, except of course if you are intending to follow  the Blessed Nigel of Farage…. 

  • kinkysox

    I’m not surprised in the slightest by the Bishop of Shrewsbury’s words. He knows what he’s talking about.

    Our Lady warned us about coming persecution – many, many times.

    The Conservatives will lose more than they gained – a lot more. They’ll have no-one to blame but themselves.

    Jesus, mercy!  Mary, help!

  • Hugh

    Sideways has been fully explored, and space exploration has now got quite a long way “up”, but still not spotted heaven. 

  • teigitur

    Well I for one am glad you do “spill ink” on here.

  • teigitur

    Most people do not attend Church bthere its true. But the ones who do put us to shame. They are inspiring. Many of them now attending in the EF.

  • Peter

    Was Our Lady British?

    The Church has been persecuted for ages around the world.

  • Peter

    Let,s see if Catholic teachers are ignored when they refuse to teach same sex marriage.

  • Jonathan West

    If you’re concerned about sexually transmitted diseases, then promiscuity is the issue you should be looking at, not homosexuality. That being the case, you should be supporting any measure that encourages stable long term exclusive sexual partnerships, whether same sex or different sex.

    Therefore you ought to be all in favour of the same sex marriage bill.

  • Jonathan West

    You haven’t actually addressed my point. But this is normal for you, I’m used to it by now.

    But to answer your point, there has been much more variety in child-rearing arrangements over the centuries than you would suggest. The 1950s nuclear family is only one possible arrangement.

  • AlanP

    Over the years I have heard hundreds of people say “I’ll never vote such-and-such again” because of something they objected to.  This is irrational (and as a non-Tory I have no interest in you not carrying out your promise).  When we vote, it should be on the basis of what we judge the party, or candidates, will do in the future.  We often have to “read between the lines” and make the best judgement we can.  By 2015 “gay marriage” will be law, with no prospect of it being repealed.  Let’s concentrate on what is an infinitely more important issue, namely the 200,000 abortions-on-demand every year, and seek out a candidate who seriously intends to raise the profile of this subject.
    And, in response to some posters, the merits or otherwise of “gay marriage” has NOTHING to do with the morality or otherwise of homosexuality.

  • JabbaPapa

    TROLL — Not me.

    Ban this moron’s IP please !!!