Sunday, 21 December 2014

it's all down hill from here

Today was a day for picking tomatoes.
It was a day when we continued to reflect on the fact that we live in a fragile world. The Hostage Crisis earlier in the week was oveshadowed by an act of gross cruelty in Pakistan.
Children murdered by so called people of conviction. What sort of men pick as their victims the softest targets.
In the midst of that a family tragedy saw the death of eight children in Cairns...a woman their mother and aunt has been charged. There will be no joy out of that case.
And the deck chairs on the ship of State...have been shuffled . one has to smile at the comment that the number of women in the Cabinet of the Commonwealth has been doubled. Great! one would be tempted to say. Till we realise that it only required ONE more woman to achieve the doubling.
Still gross underrepresentation by any standards.
And in the mean time Christmas fever grabs the community.
It fees like downhill!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

No one for a moment suspected that this was more than a political witchunt

Don't hold your breath waiting for any Liberal politician to say "Sorry" for anything, 
(there will be nothing from Abbott, Morrison, Abeds, Pyne or Brandis....all children of the Howard) to say:
 They have form; caricaturing the weakest, blaming those not at fault. Thumping the lectern....saying "Little man  that I am, I will not say sorry for anything!!")
I turn my back on this awful government, along with my indigenous sisters and brothers. 
A Government which lacks compassion, cannot admit wrongdoing....and on top of that lacks compassion for those who are least powerful.
(Guardian story here)

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Food and other issues


I do understand about food
don't get me wrong
but in the end
no tomato
or banana
is going to hold you and say
I will
at least
try to love you

Sunday, 7 December 2014

My goodness and my new hero

Today I was cheered by someone interjecting into a sermon
"I am really angry....I didn't come to church to hear about politics"
(I had been suggesting we could better spend our energies educating the children of refugees rather than incarcerating them)
she continued "and I want you to stop!"

You mean someone was actually listening!

Even more cheered by the brave CC who then also interjected :

"Keep on going!"

But what would he know,
after all he has given up a lucrative money-raking career to advocate for indigenous people

It's good to be in a church where there is diverse opinion. (And I said that in my response today....we are not in the business of shutting each up!)

It would also be wrong for me to keep quiet, when I should speak out.

I was told on the way out of Church )by the interjector's spouse) that the Archbishop of Canterbury never speaks about politics.
So it was interesting to hear on the news Archbishop Justin "steps into austerity row with radical report"

Let me make it clear I have been no Justin Welby fan....but he's getting his act together. And I will be writing to him tonight!

I had also noted that Margaret Thatcher hated Bp David Jenkins, not because he was a radical theologian but because he spoke out as Bishop of Durham about the rape of NE England by the South in the name of economic rationalism [this is the same Thatcher who said 'there is no such thing as society'...... that of course absolves you from caring for your neighbour...if you don't have any neighbours.   because there is no society!]

She also hated and ridiculed  that saint, Abp Robert Runcie,  because he alone spoke out against the insidious violence that Britain inflicted on the Argentinians...in order to bolster their own waning political ambitions. (read Runcie's powerful deathbed reflection here)

Can I reiterate what Archbshop Justin said in the Daily Mail (itself only slightly less right wing than Andrew Bolt) today
I have seen the hunger that stalks our country... it shocks me more than Africa: Stop wasting food and feed the poor, says THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY



Saturday, 6 December 2014

An outstanding memory

When we were children ( we fondly reminisce) we looked forward to the amazing Christmas party at the now defunct factory where my father used to work. I imagine he paid a shilling a week so that his 5 children could have a fun-filled afternoon playing party games, eat bizarre party food we were never allowed in post war England, and then of course get an amazing present! [usually much more exotic than our parents would ever give or get us]
We used to think ti was just great!
So today we had our extended Clark family party, I'd wondered all week how many people might be there would there be ten or would there be 40.
Well there were certainly 35+.  This is a picture of the Christmas Pinata...how Australian and Cumbrian folk enjoy this South American tradition I don't know.   But the kids enjoyed
I am left thinking if our family kids (there will be one more next year) remember Christmas parties as I have done and think...Christmas was just great. Then we will have done well.. We did well today.
I felt exhausted...but it was very great to be surrounded by our loving, odd, and zany family....and kids beating the Pinata! (In the next year we we will welcome a Spaniard....so maybe the Spaniard won't be quite so mad!)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Not unconvinced

I am sure that I, like many, if not most, South Australians am disappointed about the loss of ABC production facilities from Adelaide.
The loss of State based 7.30 reports on Friday nights is really serious. More serious than we begin to imagine in a country which is voraciously dominated by the two East coast metropolises!
BUT, I am almost convinced by Mark Scott's explanation that we need to get real about the way we want News delivered.
Indeed I am well locked in to ABC Just In...which is not about my son Commodore Justin Stephen Clark...but about well documented local TV
Simon Royal is better than your average bear! May he not be cast on the scrap heap of political expediency!

BUT I do have to admit....I have stopped reading Print Media
I DO check the ABC for headlines  and Just In (sometimes even News Corp)
As always Australians are punching above their weight.
BUT, I also listen to enormous amounts of BBC ( as you can)....they have thrown nothing away for 50 or 60 years. How great it is to hear Kenneth Williams at his maddest but also such stuff as Round the Horn, the Burkiss Way...and so much more.
The BBC seems to have paid for this by the Licence Fee...despite my  general admiration for Gough..... this was a mistake. He got rid of it
But it meant that we lost a stream of simple funding which would have continued to enable...Blue Hills, The Mavis Bramson Show....and oh so much more
It can never be reintroduced. But let's try and dig out the archives ...as the Brits have done


This will be a new period for us. But I hope that the ridiculous Canberra Government don't emasculate the creative potential of our nation


Friday, 21 November 2014

These are a few of my most deeply disturbing things....about PUP

Now forgive me if I have got this sort of wrong and this may be an essay in naivete
But Australia is a democracy!

We got really worried about J B-P in Queensland...when it became so person focussed that Peterson could essentially do what he liked.
I actually think that he had the welfare of the State at heart, but he didn't do too badly out the deal. As did other very strongly State focussed politicians such as Henry Bolte in Victoria, and indeed Tom Playford in SA who though a liberal conservative was derided by his colleagues
as a socialist.
This, I suggest, is essentially because he sought the welfare of everyone. I suspect he was a selfless human being and what we might have called in previous generations a Christian gentleman. Indeed a Gentle  man.

It is interesting to read about Playford's relationship with the young Don Dunstan
"So, after a late session of parliament at night, Playford would give Dunstan a lift home in his car. As Dunstan's home was situated on George Street, Norwood, it was only a small deviance from Playford's normal route to his home in Norton Summit. The topics that the two discussed were not ever completely revealed, yet Playford, according to Dunstan, would talk to him in a paternalistic manner.[134] The two built up somewhat of a relationship and developed a respect for each other, but due to the strength of their respective views (Playford was a liberal conservative, Dunstan a libertarian socialist), did not establish the same type of bond that Playford had with earlier Laborites." from Wikipedia
He was a pragmatist, no doubt, but also was seeking the benefit of the whole State.

What of Clive Palmer?
The multi-millionaire  would-be politician who can't be bothered turning up to acquit his Parliamentary duties.
Quite frankly I would have thought that if you are not going to go to (the admittedly often tedious) debates and votes in Parliament...then don't presume to get yourself elected.

I must admit that THE most disturbing thing about PUP is that it is named after a person..Palmer himself
Oh who was the last person to name a political party after themselves...that's right Pauline Hanson!!

Now as I understand it Mr Palmer is a member of the Lower House, yet he is the one who apparently calls the shots in Senate.....how dare he? 
Well he dares I guess because he is extraordinarily wealthy and is calling the shots. He is, no doubt, bankrolling PUP...the party named after him.
But let's not pretend this is DEMOCRACY
this is what is called PLUTOCRACY...the rule of the rich.
In an alleged democracy, plutocracy has no part to play
It is, and was always going to be, a farce.
But an individual....as rich as he is...and a member of the Lower House....as limited as he is has NO RIGHT to direct Senators .
His personal charisma is fine, but we should be deeply worried if his personal wealth is dictating the agenda . That is NOT how Democracy works.

The new guard

It was good to attend a commissioning of a new priest at St Richard's Church, Lockleys last night. It is a church with which I have had quite a long association having been a best man in a wedding party there decades ago. My parents in law both are/were worshippers there, and indeed the last service I attended was the funeral of my father in law..
They have a new priest, Sue, who has an infectious personality and it looks like she will work really well in that parish.
One of the Wardens said that their last three priests...a wise young man with a pony tail..(David C-G) ...a  fine and highly educated African priest (William) ...and now a woman (oh horror!!!)....gives testament, and indeed it does, to that little corner's community life. The Western suburbs of Adelaide.
Sue is one of the 'new guard'...perhaps it is more that I am feeling that I am one of the 'old guard' ...even though I feel 18 inside I am sometimes 70 outside...how I got to be so old I don't quite know!
In conversation with one of my older parishioners the other day it was observed that the Anglican Church may be passing out of existence. I suggested that my observation is that it is rather reshaping...to some the new shape is almost unrecognisable.
But to others, me included, I am quite excited that the new guard will have the joy of being a community priest amidst folk who are and have been faithful for not only years but decades...I think of Heather and Marguerite, of Ken and Barbara (the last time I saw her she was in the process of delivering the middle S Clark...who is about to deliver herself in a few weeks).
Sue will be a great joy to Lockleys....and they are lucky to have her!  Perhaps it is prayer rather than luck that got her there.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Simple A..B..C of the media

Like many/most people I have time shifted most of my media encounters. I listen to BBC radio at night, and catch up with ABC and SBS programs through iView and SBS On Demand. I can see all sorts of other thing on You Tube. I seldom say any more..."I have to be home by 8.30 to watch "Giggle and Hootch""   We almost always watch 'And live from New York....it's Saturday Night Live' the cutting edge , must watch satire, comedy, political/social commentary that is available online within an hour of it's being broadcast in NY at 11.35 p.m. each Saturday Night .
I am particularly struck by the BBC, and the depth of its quality radio...which goes back now over 40 years. They have simply kept everything...and continue so to do. [Today it is easier because of digital technology ]
I am struck by how good that is.
Of course the BBC has largely been able to be funded by the iniquitous "licence fee"... once present in this country, and there is no way it will ever be able to be reintroduced ( politically)  in Australia.
So there is now little or no radio drama, almost all comedy has disappeared or been destroyed; both commercial and ABC;...what a pity Mavis Bramson and the Naked Vicar Show have disappeared. I even imagine that there are those who would long to hear replays of Blue Hills!

So now we are facing, yet again, cuts to ABC funding. What concerns me about this is the loss of culture.  
Economic decisions seem little concerned with the preservation of culture..
They do seem concerned with limiting political criticism...some Liberals are convinced that the ABC is out to get them.  It is surely part of their Charter to critique the sitting government...and think Mr Bernardi at al are being just a little bit precious

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Leaving us behind


 our children quite rightly left us behind
we wanted them to stay
and enjoy the joy we knew
but, looking blankly,
they never got it
the fun, the excitement
the rage

I am glad they found their own
and will find
that their kids too
will look blankly
wondering what all the fuss is about

In old age we might all sit around
with grandchildren and great and greater grandchildren
realising that each must its own discover
 

Friday, 7 November 2014

We have got lost

Some where along the way Facebook,Twitter, etc. etc. have all got very confused
We should be mindful that the Media Manipulators (aka spin doctors) are more interested in their outcomes than ours
Personally I am interested in  truth and justice! [ Not THE AMERICAN WAY] I want truth and justice for the disenfranchised, the indigenous, the poor and the real people

Ungracious

I am vaguely scandalised, but not surprised, by the lack of grace of the militant right (let's name it for what it is) who cannot extend to Gough Whitlam what better commentators have done.


Though the bland Prime Ministers of the past, Howard, Abbott, and Rudd ...poll driven politicians....sat there (almost bemused) yet WE know that the life after Gough is different
Noel Pearson nailed the change that has occurred.
"This old man"....he not only played one....he drew the nation to a new vision. Every Government since has lived out of the reality that Australia should be better. Have greater vision and seek a better future. I don't think Johnny Howard had a clue about this. And T Abbott is, as Pearson suggests, more interested in re-election than the welfare of the Commonwealth.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Why don't you give me a call?

Me: Good Afternoon
Telephone: I wonder if I could speak to the financial decision maker
Me: We don't make any decisions.
Telephone: Oh...Oh... Have I rung a business?
Me: No!


Hang up!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Too smart for one's own good

I, like a lot of people I suspect,  have stopped watching the ABC's Q&A. We began to feel that there was too much posturing going on, and not enough Q & A.
I occasionally give in because of the quality of the panelists (It's unlikely that if any of the panelists are surnamed Morrison, Abetz or Brandis that I am going to watch...the recipe: Ask a question...direct it to one of the same...they begin their spiel....they don't answer the question asked...they go on and on and on and....if I haven't already, I then turn off)
Last night (27/10) promised to be a little bit better so I managed to watch ...for 30 mins!
I am fascinated by Geoffrey Robertson (we all loved the intelligence of his various Hypotheticals on our ABC!)
BUT I was put off last night. He is just too smart, and he knows too much. Even worse...he knows he is smarter than your average bear.
And then becomes dogmatic, and declamatory, he brooks little or no opposition. And let's face it ...we Ozzies don't like that. We can be convinced that we are wrong but we don't like being told we are as thick as two planks...simply by virtue of the fact that we live at the end of the world!
G Robertson rather alienates people that way...even though I agree with most of what he has to say!
Maybe we do need to discipline ourselves to applaud the expansive mind rather than decry it!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The end of a great life and indeed an era


Like the death of Kennedy, and Armstrong's walk on the moon I remember quite clearly where I was when The Governor General sacked the legitimate Prime Minister of Australia. Edward Gough Whitlam.

It is interesting when you try to find a picture on the web....there are hundreds of excellent pictures. He was a very photogenic man.
There will be many discussions about his contribution to our national life. He seems to be one who polarised people. One of my friends, Joyce Townend, and also here (along with some of my family and friends including my mother  who was another) who seemed to think that Gough was a Bodhisattva.
Certainly the difference I feel between, say, Menzies...the towering Tory...and Whitlam is that Gough was charismatic, imaginative and above all idealistic. Menzies ran government (for far too long...but he had gone by the time I became an Australian...thank goodness)
We have much to be thankful for from the few years Gough was PM. Universal health coverage, a whole generation and a half of free tertiary education. As a teacher and (as in the picture above) the solemn commitment to return to our indigenous peoples the land that Europeans just assumed they could take.
Whitlam poured sand into the hands of Aboriginal patriarch Vincent Lingiari AM saying  that the land, presumptuously taken by the colonial plunderers, should and would be returned.
From Little Things, Big Things Grow we were reminded by the wonderful song of Paul Kelly



Wednesday, 15 October 2014

vote for the black guy

It's fantastic living in the Western Suburbs of Adelaide. There has always been ethnic diversity here, and long may it remain. Last Sunday the non-S (ie K) Clark & I were doing authentic Vietnamese in Ferryden Park. One of the local government signs I passed said 'Vote for the black guy!'
I did note that if it said 'Vote for the White Guy' there would be hell to pay...however
I have noted at other times: the rules for voting for the Senate or the LA when you don't want to vote for a party and have to chance a choice between a wide range of others. my (partly tongue in cheek) rules are these
  1. vote for the woman
  2. vote for the black guy
  3. vote for the gay person
  4. if you can vote for all three then you are doing well
I would want to add
5 don't vote for a gun-toter.  though I am a member of the Royal Hawaiian Gun Club....we are better offer without them

Friday, 10 October 2014

Reservation(i)

We don't always tell everyone everything every time, do we?
We reserve the right, for example, about how much information we share with children about intimate sexual relationships.
I felt, as a parent who had been told virtually nothing about male sexuality by my father...a book was left on my bed when I was about 11.. ,  that I should be more open with my children. My impression is that my kids knew enough, and didn't particularly want to talk about it with me and indeed used to get annoyed with me because I was so open....hope I still am!

You know the joke:
"Dad, where did I come from?" asks the 10-years-old. 
The dad was shocked that a 10 year old would be asking a question like that. He was hoping to wait a few more years before he would have to explain the facts of life, but he figured it was better a few years early than a few days too late, so, for the next two hours he explained everything to his son. 
When he finished, he asked his son what prompted his question to which his son replied, "I was talking to the new boy and he said he came from Port Augusta
It is not always necessary, to tell everyone everything every time! We reserve the right to pick the time, and, perhaps,  to limit the information.
There is a continuing case which has come before the courts (see here) in which a minister of another church talks about one of the Roman Catholic 'dogmas' of "reservation". The practice of, seemingly, saying one thing whilst knowing another...the specific dialogue in the court went as follows:
Yesterday, Fr X agreed under cross-examination that it was not a sin for a Catholic to lie in order to protect another person from harm or for another “proper purpose”.
He said he was familiar with that Catholic doctrine, known as wide and strict mental reservation.
Asked whether he had created such a mental reservation for himself when swearing, on The Bible, to tell the truth in court, he replied: “I can’t answer that question.”
Asked whether that answer itself was a form of mental reservation, he replied: “Not as I understand it as part of my duties.”
I will leave it up to you, dear reader,  to make what you can of this 'mental reservation'
The lawyer at least questioned this
Mr Harris asked whether holding such views would make Fr X “a hypocrite”, in the event the allegations in the newspaper reports were true.
“Very likely, many people would conclude that, also that this is a weak person who has behaved at odds with his professed or stated views,” Fr X said.
Again, I leave it to you, dear reader to draw your own conclusions about...appropriate reservation, hypocrisy, truth, ethics and morality.


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Sunset


The sky has bent its beam tonight.
western suburbs,
brightened city.

What better place to be
than the church's city
sun, sunrise, sunset


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Faith in ourselves (i)

I haven't normally and/or ever felt the need to defend the ABC;  its policies, its reporting and any  particular strengths, weaknesses, biases or general inadequacies.
Last night (Monday 6/10.14)  it was instructive to watch about 2+ hours of broadcast.
The 7.30 Report noted that the current Federal government  didn't really like the ABC. There was the suggestion that no matter what was reported the ABC would be opposed to the right wing government ...commonly called the 'Coalition'. 
But it moved on; the wonderful Australian Story, once again delivered a high quality story about Jack Rogerson, an autistic child who has been so loved by his parents; and so supported by friends, family and community (including the wonderful Jesuit school at Riverview....I think the Society of Jesus would be cautious about claiming particular credit for Jack....but they seem to have got their act together.)
The real people who got their "act together" were: Jack himself; Ian Rogerson, a former media person;  and the extremely impressive Nicole Rogerson. [This all begs the question about what happens to those kids whose parents don't have what the Rogersons had ..financial resources, intellect, insight and capacity...] .  But it was a profound insight about what might happen when faith is bigger than fear!
Well done ABC     more to come!

Monday, 6 October 2014

A nice dilemma

If you've been to the funny, but lovely, little town of Bath then you will have been to the square wherein the Abbey is located (it is the major feature of the town).  There is a curious article in Church Times (here) about Evensong having to be cancelled because the activity outside  the Abbey was too loud.
It reminded me of one of the profoundest religious experiences I ever had in Paris (here sorry the picture has disappeared if you need one ...here you go)
My dilemma is this:
What is more authentic; the people who sit on the steps of the Basilica ( a truly amazing place...no doubt), or the people who are inside at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night.
I must admit I went in and I was overwhelmed that the 400 or so people who were there at the dead of night were probably not going to turn up on Sunday morning; many of them clearly gay and Bohemian. What ever either of those terms might mean in today's world!
Isn't this the dilemma for Bath ( and indeed the Church where I work)? Is Evensong or busking the more authentic expression of life?
I think I know the answer. It is not always comfortable...or if you were in Paris confortable !

Friday, 3 October 2014

Caution about intolerance


Although it looks as though Abbott will pressure the Speaker of the House, and the President of the Senate to backdown on not allowing  women wearing Islamic religious dress to sit in the Gallery opf the Parliament; It remains to be seen if that will actually happen. 
I suspect it will. But we shall see.

The Abbott machine has obviously sussed out very quickly that the community is "not very happy" about the arbitrary erosion of religious freedom

One of the great problems is that the non religious community is pretty unaware of what such things are all about. And often use such issues for expressions of fear, intolerance and....frankly    ignorance.
Most of us, for example, are not aware that there is a variety of religious garb...quite a good article on the ABC News website here.

I also have often made the observation that you don't have to go very far to find that the sort of criticisms that today are offered about Islam, or Judaism, Hare Krishnas...could just as easily be fired at Christians.
The typical characterisation of "cults" for example...that people sell up their lives and give their money to the faith body; make acts of commitment and ultimate obedience....could just as easily be aimed at many Christians.
Indeed I make the observation : would nuns of the most conservative Christian traditions (like the one that Senator Bernardi and Mr Abbott belong to) also be banned because their bodies and faces can't be readily identified.



I know that lots of modern nuns don't wear habits at all. And most people don't understand what they are all about it. Some of it is anachronistic (see below)...but in a pluralistic and democratic society people are allowed to choose to be religiously conservative ...even if you or I would not choose to be so.


Friday, 26 September 2014

Authenticity

Having been a University Chaplain (University of Adelaide, South Australia), and now a priest in an inner city church of a University town (Adelaide, South Australia http://stmarymags125.blogspot.com.au/) it is interesting to cogitate upon what University students might want in a church.
One person once said to me about a big evangelical church which they used to attend that it was a "meet market" and a "meat market". Lots of uni students went there, and young people like to go where other young people go!  Indeed that guy met his wife there!

But I also want to add another dimension, which is true both of our church (St Mary Magdalene’s Adelaide, and  of the Cathedral Church of St Peter, Adelaide):
that social outreach is important.
A very Anglo Catholic principle.
The incarnate God is met in the incarnate people!
Two decades or more ago a group of ‘earnest’ (quite the wrong word to describe the lovely kids who were uni students in the 80s) but genuine Christians ….sat around for weeks wondering about how they should put their faith into practice. Finally they just decided they needed to DO something. That something was putting on a slap-up meal for all comers on Saturday nights. That has continued for nearly thirty years. Diocesan parishes and schools volunteer every week.
Really looking forward to my first Christmas here, when the parish will outdo itself with a proper Christmas dinner for those who we are called to love.
I am impressed by the quality of University and young professional volunteers who staff this wonderful ministry.
It strikes me that most freshers get this as authentic Gospel…and so do I

Tomatoes

Jon Lamb writes:

It’s tomato planting time
Our recent run of warm weather has encouraged topsoil temperatures to rocket past 16oC, the recommended minimum temperature for planting tomato seedlings in the ground. 
At Kent Town, the topsoil is currently hovering between 17oC and 18oC with more warm weather forecast.
For tomatoes, cucumbers and other summer salad lines, it’s all systems go.

Been there, done that!!!  And looking forward to a garden that actually has some light.


Monday, 22 September 2014

The rubber hits the road

Last week as I was going home on Saturday night: in intended to stop in at the Collective (see below  important work),  I was waylaid by an important pastoral concern.   We stopped in at the Collective and had some soup. After I had been to the chemist, with my concern, and dropped her off...I witnessed an act of violence....a 20 year something guy...smacking a young woman across the face. Not once, or even twice!
I blocked the road with my lights on high beam...another youngish guy waved me through as if this is just what happened.
Thank goodness the taxi driver  on the other side of the road rang the cops (I hope).
Cannot help but think..........this is not like my last parish.!And the rubber  is hitting the road



The Collective of St Mary Magdalene
Week by week volunteers from parishes and schools meet with coordinators to offer a free meal to all-comers on Saturday nights. We probably don’t get how important this is. It allows some of the needs of people who are hungry to be met. It allows us who are well-supported, to be able to volunteer out of our wealth and good fortune to offer some sustenance to others. This is a good thing.
But it is of course not only the food (though that is important)  but the human contact. I have been struck in the few weeks I have been here how people know each other, and things about each other’s lives. So that there are meaningful and friendly conversations. How careful the volunteer coordinators are, also,  to respect the dignity of the guests. I think this, too, is just as, if not more, important.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

On being a charlatan

I don't know that I quite understand this image to the side.
But it might give us all some cause to think about the sort of image that we present, and the image we try to present to the world
We talk a lot, and expend a lot of energy (well I know that I do) trying to convince people that I am other than I am.
Yesterday I had an appointment with someone who had clearly forgotten I was  "duly appointed".....he managed to fake it quite well. He had lost track of the time, and his earlier appointment had cancelled. (I had sort of wanted to cancel too! but didn't because it's usually better tp get it over and done with 
But he faked it...I faked it ( I pretended Felicity, that I had done more practice than I had!) And I was sort of glad to get it over and done with....but he also "faked it well" so (were it not for the fact that I, too, am a charlatan) he could have got away with it. And it was OK
Are we all charlatans? I know I am!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

More about same-sex marriage

I had a very thoughtful and charitable letter from A who "respectfully disagreed" with my views about same-sex marriage.
I think it is now better to call it "equal marriage"
I wrote in reply
A
Thanks for your response to my blog
I have made a number of posts over the years …you may not have tracked them all down
On my blog a link might be:
http://stephenclarks.blogspot.com.au/search?q=gay+marriage
I have a high view of marriage, [ this may surprise you] and part of my discussion about equal marriage opportunity is about encouraging commitment, morality and in particular an environment in which children may be nurtured  with the assurance of love and security. This latter principle is one that is explicitly stated in the Anglican marriage services.
It does seem to me that the gender of the parents is secondary to the parents’ commitment to love each other. This is the primary environment out of which children will know that they are loved. And in that love to allow the children to know that they are loved.
We are all well aware that many homosexual people live immoral lives…..I want them to live committed, decent lives.
Sorry,
I could also re-write that statement : We are all well aware that many heterosexual people live immoral lives…..I want them to live committed, decent lives.
I have experienced a couple of extraordinary things in the last year. A homosexual couple (male) who have embraced twins into their lives. They seemed to think it was going to be a breeze, and it wasn't…my observation is that it has transformed their relationship. They are deeper people, more loving, more capable of embracing carefully the lives of the fragile.
Most gay people do not “choose to be gay”…they are born that way.
Did God want them to live a life doomed to failure? With all due respect, I don’t think God is like that. God does not make life particularly hard for 10%…!
It is not as if we have a God who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses! (Heb 4:15)
I do not think homosexuality is a weakness, any more than heterosexuality is. We struggle with both! We are after all made in God's image. Male and female God created us, ...is is too presumptuous to say "gay and straight" God created us!