MP hits out at bishop's views on gay marriage

SALISBURY MP John Glen has criticised the Bishop of Salisbury after he appeared to liken those opposing gay marriage to Christians who defended slavery and Apartheid.

The Salisbury MP said he was “deeply saddened” by the reference, which was made by Bishop Nicholas Holtam in a letter to Labour Peer Lord Alli.

Bishop Holtam, the only serving diocesan bishop in the Church of England to give his support to gay marriage, was responding to Lord Alli’s request that he clarify his position on the issue as a member of the House of Bishops for members of the Upper House.

Mr Glen, whose letter was published in The Daily Telegraph, said growing congregations in Salisbury objected to gay marriage “not because they object to homosexuals, but because they believe marriage should follow the biblical pattern affirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19”.

He told the Journal: “Many of my constituents were extremely surprised to read of the bishop’s views and I felt responsible as their elected member of parliament to gently challenge where he was coming from, particularly the lack of regard he had for the authority of scripture as a senior minister in our church.

“I believe the bishop knew very well how his views would be taken in terms of influencing the debate. To give the impression that people opposing same sex marriage should be compared to those who in previous eras used the Bible to oppose slavery and uphold Apartheid was a thoroughly misguided one and one that doesn’t sit well with most people’s understanding of history.”

Bishop Holtam said that he views gay marriage as a “matter of justice” adding that Christian morality comes from a “mix of Bible, Christian tradition and our reasoned experience” and that Christians have had to “rethink the priorities of the Gospel in the light of experience”.

Mr Glen accepted that with both Houses of Parliament having debated the issue “thoroughly” and large majorities being in favour of gay marriage, the argument against it has been lost.

He said: “While I have made my case strongly I now have to have the humility to recognise that I have lost the argument and we will have to move on.

“But for many across my constituency they remain mystified as to why this was necessary and why it was brought forward at this time, and I fear they will punish my party nationally at the next election.”

He added: “I retain great admiration for all that Bishop Nick’s achieved in his ministry among the poor in London and I look forward to working with him united on most other matters including the plight of Salisbury’s needy and homeless.”

Comments (12)

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11:07am Wed 19 Jun 13

geoffp says...

"Many of my constituents were extremely surprised to read of the bishop’s views" - Really?

I've lived in Salisbury most of my life, certainly far longer than John Glen and I have yet to meet a single person who thinks that gay people should not share the same rights as everyone else does.

Perhaps John should try meeting some of his constituents rather than than spending his time with what can only be described as bigots who are trying to force their obsolete, limited world view on the rest of the population.
"Many of my constituents were extremely surprised to read of the bishop’s views" - Really? I've lived in Salisbury most of my life, certainly far longer than John Glen and I have yet to meet a single person who thinks that gay people should not share the same rights as everyone else does. Perhaps John should try meeting some of his constituents rather than than spending his time with what can only be described as bigots who are trying to force their obsolete, limited world view on the rest of the population. geoffp
  • Score: 0

5:56pm Wed 19 Jun 13

hillyanne says...

I live locally,too, and (many) people I speak to are very disquieted about this same -sex marriage debate.Like me,they wonder why Cameron chose now and why it wasn't mentioned in the election manifesto.They, too,were amazed to read the Bishop of Salisbury's article in last week's Journal.
I live locally,too, and (many) people I speak to are very disquieted about this same -sex marriage debate.Like me,they wonder why Cameron chose now and why it wasn't mentioned in the election manifesto.They, too,were amazed to read the Bishop of Salisbury's article in last week's Journal. hillyanne
  • Score: 0

7:15pm Wed 19 Jun 13

Grampie says...

hillyanne wrote:
I live locally,too, and (many) people I speak to are very disquieted about this same -sex marriage debate.Like me,they wonder why Cameron chose now and why it wasn't mentioned in the election manifesto.They, too,were amazed to read the Bishop of Salisbury's article in last week's Journal.
There were a lot of things not mentioned in the Conservative manifesto, including the bedroom tax,
ruining the NHS, poorer local services, cutting the armed forces, cutting the number of police, cutting the number of fire fighters, cutting tax for the wealthy, abolishing the agricultural wages board, so on and so forth. Karl could do a bigger list than me.

One part of the government made a pledge not to increase tuition fees, yet when in power agreed to do it.

Most people I speak to do not care less, unless such marriages become compulsory.
[quote][p][bold]hillyanne[/bold] wrote: I live locally,too, and (many) people I speak to are very disquieted about this same -sex marriage debate.Like me,they wonder why Cameron chose now and why it wasn't mentioned in the election manifesto.They, too,were amazed to read the Bishop of Salisbury's article in last week's Journal.[/p][/quote]There were a lot of things not mentioned in the Conservative manifesto, including the bedroom tax, ruining the NHS, poorer local services, cutting the armed forces, cutting the number of police, cutting the number of fire fighters, cutting tax for the wealthy, abolishing the agricultural wages board, so on and so forth. Karl could do a bigger list than me. One part of the government made a pledge not to increase tuition fees, yet when in power agreed to do it. Most people I speak to do not care less, unless such marriages become compulsory. Grampie
  • Score: 0

9:47pm Wed 19 Jun 13

karlmarx says...

"Karl could do a bigger list than me."

There's one under way in this weeks
view from the commons Gramps.
"Karl could do a bigger list than me." There's one under way in this weeks view from the commons Gramps. karlmarx
  • Score: 0

1:05am Thu 20 Jun 13

karlmarx says...

It appears to be more of a dispute between the believers of one of the many religious books available and, those who work for whichever book it is. Although what that has to do with people being given the choice of who they want to marry is beyond me.
It appears to be more of a dispute between the believers of one of the many religious books available and, those who work for whichever book it is. Although what that has to do with people being given the choice of who they want to marry is beyond me. karlmarx
  • Score: 0

12:38pm Thu 20 Jun 13

Grampie says...

I am glad I am not religious. I have too much to worry about as it is.
I am glad I am not religious. I have too much to worry about as it is. Grampie
  • Score: 0

10:28pm Thu 20 Jun 13

aldonreaper says...

If you criticise an MP for fiddling his taxes your just troublemaking however an MP can criticise you for freedom of speech, thats tory democracy
If you criticise an MP for fiddling his taxes your just troublemaking however an MP can criticise you for freedom of speech, thats tory democracy aldonreaper
  • Score: 0

2:06pm Fri 21 Jun 13

geoffp says...

Why are you 'disquieted' hillyanne? Perhaps you could explain to me how gay people being allowed to marry will negatively affect your life...
Why are you 'disquieted' hillyanne? Perhaps you could explain to me how gay people being allowed to marry will negatively affect your life... geoffp
  • Score: 0

8:03pm Sun 23 Jun 13

Tabago says...

Mr Glen forgets that god did not intend for people to get divorced either, Matthew 19.
But they legalised that a 150 years a go.
As a christain i dont believe in Divorce, but at least Mr Glen and the odd few of salisbury residents who seem to have a problem with gay marriage, Has had that choice because laws have changed. So come on guys whats good enough for you is good enough for the rest of us !!!!
Mr Glen forgets that god did not intend for people to get divorced either, Matthew 19. But they legalised that a 150 years a go. As a christain i dont believe in Divorce, but at least Mr Glen and the odd few of salisbury residents who seem to have a problem with gay marriage, Has had that choice because laws have changed. So come on guys whats good enough for you is good enough for the rest of us !!!! Tabago
  • Score: 0

8:05pm Sun 23 Jun 13

Tabago says...

Mr Glen forgets that god did not intend for people to get divorced either, Matthew 19.
But they legalised that a 150 years a go.
As a christain i dont believe in Divorce, but at least Mr Glen and the odd few of salisbury residents who seem to have a problem with gay marriage, Has had that choice because laws have changed. So come on guys whats good enough for you is good enough for the rest of us !!!!
Mr Glen forgets that god did not intend for people to get divorced either, Matthew 19. But they legalised that a 150 years a go. As a christain i dont believe in Divorce, but at least Mr Glen and the odd few of salisbury residents who seem to have a problem with gay marriage, Has had that choice because laws have changed. So come on guys whats good enough for you is good enough for the rest of us !!!! Tabago
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Mon 24 Jun 13

geoffp says...

@Tabago therein lies one of the biggest problems with religion. People claim to adhere to 'God's' word in the bible, without realising that the bible has been edited by so many people with their own agendas that they are adhering to the will of other people who lived in the ancient past and could not possibly comprehend modern society. And that's before you take into account those aspects of the bible people these days tend to ignore (eg divorce).

It's high time all religion was removed from the state, especially when it comes to creating discriminatory laws.
@Tabago therein lies one of the biggest problems with religion. People claim to adhere to 'God's' word in the bible, without realising that the bible has been edited by so many people with their own agendas that they are adhering to the will of other people who lived in the ancient past and could not possibly comprehend modern society. And that's before you take into account those aspects of the bible people these days tend to ignore (eg divorce). It's high time all religion was removed from the state, especially when it comes to creating discriminatory laws. geoffp
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Mon 24 Jun 13

karlmarx says...

The various translations are a bit suspect as well, depending on which sect is doing the translation. They all have their own hidden agendas for their version of translation.
It comes down to the old Tory mantra of freedom of choice. Although in the case of gay marriage this choice is not available due to a mis-translated over edited book written by various authors many centuries ago.
The various translations are a bit suspect as well, depending on which sect is doing the translation. They all have their own hidden agendas for their version of translation. It comes down to the old Tory mantra of freedom of choice. Although in the case of gay marriage this choice is not available due to a mis-translated over edited book written by various authors many centuries ago. karlmarx
  • Score: 0

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