Church of England, founded specifically to undo sanctity of marriage, will not recognize same-sex marriages

Originally published at: Church of England, founded specifically to undo sanctity of marriage, will not recognize same-sex marriages | Boing Boing


What kind of shit apology is that!?

“We’re sorry we discriminated against you for so long, also, future sorries cause we’re gonna keep doing it :+1:!”


To be fair, Henry VIII only actually got divorced – in the technical sense – twice (from Katharine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves, wives 1 and 4). He had two more of his wives beheaded (Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, nos. 2 and 5) and one (Jane Seymour, wife 3) died after giving birth to his son, later the ill-fated king Edward VI. We don’t know what would eventually have happened to the sixth wife (Catherine Parr) because, probably just as well as far as she was concerned, Henry died first.

This of course doesn’t detract from the fact that the people in charge of the Anglican church (which after all is all about venerating a chap who used to go about in the company of twelve other lads) are a bunch of despicable bigots. Perhaps the King should start a new chur … oh well.


There are so many, just choose a good Church (assuming such thing exists):


I’ve been reading a lot of Shakespearean history / biography lately, and the creepiest thing (IMO, as an American) is how much the early church resembles the MAGA cult. In both cases, it was something new, which existed basically to oppose or destroy “the old order”. They made police-state rules as they went along, and they couldn’t wait to tear down the existing culture, destroy cultural artifacts and books, and replace the former society with a police state.

Once you see it, you can’t un-see it.


There is more to Henry VIII’s divorce; it was also about succession to his throne, too: the big problem was that Pope Clement VII was literally under the guns of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Chuck was the nephew of Henry’s wife, Catherine of Aragon, who had failed to produce a male heir.

So, yes, he was a horny old dude, but succession was a big deal. No heir meant Charles V had a big role in deciding who got to sit on the throne next.

Also it is worth noting that the Episcopal Church of the United States, which broke with the Church of England during the American Revolution, has whole heartedly embraced gay marriage and LGBTQ humans.


The mnemonic for remembering what happened to whom is:

Divorced, beheaded, died,
Divorced, beheaded, survived.


Ah, the Anglican Church, continuing their headlong rush into total irrelevance. Cool guys, cool. This is why 13% less of the population now identify as Christians in the UK than 10 years ago.

I knew the church had been in conflict between the various branches over gay issues - the African branches of the church being extremely homophobic (thanks, colonialism!), for example, but I had kind of assumed that in the UK they were doing same-sex weddings as they had seemingly done a quick turn from being overtly hostile to allowing gay clergy, etc. in recent decades. But no, it was all just empty gestures, I guess.


which “early church” are you talking about? The christian church that existed before Nicaea?

I think further clarification is needed here. Henry was not seeking divorce from Catherine of A. He wanted the marriage declared invalid because she was the widow of his older brother. Aprox. 24 years previously he’d asked for and received a special dispensation from the Pope in order to marry his brother’s widow since it was not typically allowed.

The case with Anne of Cleves was, again, not a matter of divorce. Both parties agreed that the marriage had never been consumated (i.e., they’d never fucked) and a petition to annul the marriage was successful.

All these details and many more are freely available via wikipedia.


Absolutely. Remembering who was which wife is the real challenge here.


Sorry that wasn’t clear. Since I’ve been reading Shakespearean history / biography, it would be the state-sanctioned religious authority under Elizabeth I and later James I, let’s say from the period 1560 to about 1620 or so, which is really the area of focus of what I’ve been reading. I’m not even sure if the state-sanctioned church had a name at that period – I don’t recall any author referring to it as “Church of England”, for example.

The power that the head of the church wielded, and the subsequent power that major and minor authorities had to control, dominate, and destroy what was otherwise a completely functioning society (harmless festival days being declared heretical and smashed, new “sins” being created that basically took existing “normal” behavior and criminalizing it) just really echoes strongly in my mind with the MAGA cult. I hesitate to say that the US is headed toward some kind of Reformation, and yet… /gestures everywhere


Protestantism was a fundamentalist movement. Its leaders wanted to return to what they believed to be pure and correct Christianity, abolishing Catholic practices that they believed to be heretical or corrupt, such as indulgences, praying to saints, filling churches with paintings and statues, holding elaborate ceremonies and accumulating wealth and bling.


The point.

The basic problem is that ones choice of religion was intertwined with who you believed was the proper king. Lots of catholic parties (The Spanish King, the French King, for instance) were interested in putting someone else in the throne, who as a bonus, would be catholic. Indulging in those plots would of course be treason.

One might suspect that had these plotters succeeded, a whole host of people would be burned at the stake, and be drawn and quartered. Such books as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs kept this fear alive. There would be an inquisition, and there would be violence. And there might be years of civil war, though Shakespeare might have exaggerated the cost of such things.

Is it truly rational to believe that a change in government will necessarily involve losing everything? A few hundred years of the “rule of law” and largely peaceful regime changes says “no”.


Yes, that’s exactly why I’m seeing correlations. MAGA is also a fundamentalist movement that wants to return to what they believe is a pure and correct America, abolishing liberal practices they believe to be heretical or corrupt, such as civil rights, equal rights, workers’ rights, scientific evidence, and so on. I would say that both the early Protestants and the MAGA crowd were always okay with wealth and bling, as long as they were the ones accumulating it.


In Germany in the 16th century, Luther’s Reformation meant that large swathes of the country (especially in the northern parts), including the resident nobility, went over to Protestantism. This in turn implied that the idea of a single official religion for everybody in the Holy Roman Empire was no longer tenable, and after some unrest the “Augsburg Religious Peace” of 1555 established the principle of cuius regio, eius religio in most of the many individual states that comprised the Empire, i.e., the religion of the ruler of a state determined the religion of their dominion and its denizens. This came with a right to emigrate if the local religion changed and one wasn’t happy with the new arrangement, so by and large, religious persecution of Protestants by Catholics and vice-versa in the various states was avoided.

Then of course there was the Thirty Years’ War, which started out as a religious conflict between Protestant Bohemia and the Roman Catholic Habsburg emperors. The Peace of Westphalia, which concluded the war in 1648, established – among other matters – the equal coexistence of the Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed (Calvinist) faiths and assured minority rights for Protestants in the Imperial Diet in religious matters. The Catholic church did not like this idea at all and refused to accept the Peace, but since it was a political rather than a religious arrangement the Pope was not in a position to do a lot about it.

Today the Protestant church in Germany is split into a variety of “district churches”, most of which do allow the celebration of a same-sex union in a public church service although not all of them go as far as calling this “marriage”. The Roman Catholic church of course doesn’t stand for that sort of thing at all.

The main difference between Germany and England is that in England, the Anglican church is the official state religion and therefore once you get married in an Anglican ceremony you are also married in the eyes of the secular state, which obviously sucks if the state church refuses to let you be married. In Germany, where we haven’t had a state religion since the Peace of Westphalia, what counts for legal/tax/… purposes is a civil ceremony at the registry office (where same-sex marriage has been allowed for some time), and anything to do with a church is strictly optional with no legal bearing whatsoever. It used to be that you had to have the civil ceremony before your church wedding but that is no longer the case.


Its worth noting that convenient royal divorces are only one of the two legs of Hank 8’s decision to break with Rome. The other being his reappropriation of all lands owned by the church which arguably made him the wealthiest man in Europe at least temporarily. So divorce and theft are the founding principles of the Anglican church.


I think we are losing perspective here. The issue is should be can the King marry a same sex partner. Have they spoken on that?

If I recall, by rule and being the spiritual leader and highest rank in the church, as well as on the doctrine of fallibility, if Charles wanted to marry a same sex partner, he could, because God doesn’t allow him to do wrong in the eyes of the church or kingdom.

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