George Conger

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Anglican bishops in West Indies denounce Obama blackmail over gay 'marriage'

George Conger
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May 2, 2013 (AnglicanInk.com) - The Anglican bishops of the West Indies have urged their governments to hold fast and resist pressure from Britain and the United States to legalize gay rights and gay "marriage."

In a statement released on April 25, 2013, following the House of Bishops meeting in Barbados, bishops of the Church the Province of the West Indies (CPWI) reiterated their belief in marriage “definedas a faithful, committed, permanent and legally sanctioned relationship between a man and a woman.”

“The idea of such unions being constituted by persons of the same sex is, therefore, totally unacceptable on theological and cultural grounds,” the bishops said. The CPWI consists of eight dioceses: the Diocese of Barbados, the Diocese of Belize, the Diocese of Guyana, the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Diocese of the North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba, the Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Diocese of the Windward Islands.

The 23 active and retired members of the house of bishops observed that the push to redefine marriage was coming from abroad. There have been “trends within countries of the developing world and international forums, and in which these countries exercise a controlling interest, in which matters related to human sexuality have been elevated to the level of human rights and are being promulgated as positions which must be accepted globally.”

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Failure to accede to these new orthodoxies “results in the threat of various sanctions, including the withholding of economic aid,” they said, explaining that there has been in the US and Europe  “a re-definition of gender to accommodate gay, lesbian and transgendered people, and the creation of a plurality of definitions which leaves the issue of gender to self-definition, thereby dismissing traditional definition of male and female.”

This was accompanied by the “passage of legislation among a number of metropolitan nations whereby marriage is defined as a human right in which any two persons may be joined, inclusive of persons of the same sex.  The ‘marriage’ of persons of the same sex is justified as a human right on the basis of marital equality with heterosexual unions.”

Government had no authority to define marriage, but should provide the“legal framework for protecting” marriage while also protecting homosexuals “against abuse and injustice.”

Pressure on Caribbean political leaders to act according to the dictates of the political and moral sensibilities of overseas governments was intolerable they said. “The dangling of a carrot of economic assistance to faltering economies should be seen for what it is worth and should be resisted by people and government alike.”

Nor was the West in a position to dictate its morality to the people Caribbean.

“The threat and use of economic sanctions are not new experiences for us, neither is the claim to a superior morality convincing for peoples who have known the experience of chattel slavery in our past.  While claiming to invoke human rights as the basis for such imposition, we submit that the same principle must allow us the right to affirm our cultural and religious convictions regarding our definitions of that most basic of social institutions, marriage,” the bishops said.

On 6 Dec 2011 the White House released a memorandum from Pres. Barack Obama entitled “International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons” that directed US government agencies to push the administration’s support for the gay agenda working with overseas governments and organizations.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron at the October 2011 Commonwealth heads of Government meeting in Australia threatened countries that ban homosexuality with losing aid payments unless they conformed to his government’s standards.

Below is the full statement:

Provincial Statement on Same-Sex Unions

April 25, 2013

The House of Bishops and Standing Committee of the Church in the Province of the West Indies meeting at Bamford House in Barbados extend greetings to the faithful of the Province and the leaders of our nations charged with responsibility for governance.

In the course of our deliberations we have taken note of the fact that our nations are facing serious economic and social challenges which are currently taxing the human and material resourcefulness of our peoples, a situation complicated by developments in the global economy.

We have taken note also of trends within countries of the developing world and international forums, and in which these countries exercise a controlling interest, in which matters related to human sexuality have been elevated to the level of human rights and are being promulgated as positions which must be accepted globally. Frequently, failure to conform by developing nations like our own, results in the threat of various sanctions, including the withholding of economic aid.

More specifically, there is a re-definition of gender to accommodate gay, lesbian and transgendered people, and the creation of a plurality of definitions which leaves the issue of gender to self-definition, thereby dismissing traditional definition of male and female. Additionally, there is the passage of legislation among a number of metropolitan nations whereby marriage is defined as a human right in which any two persons may be joined, inclusive of persons of the same sex. The “marriage” of persons of the same sex is justified as a human right on the basis of marital equality with heterosexual unions.

While we acknowledge that there is a diversity of family patterns within our Caribbean region, these have been understood by our people to be between a man and a woman, whether defined in terms of the natural order of creation or on the basis of religious beliefs which see these grounded in the purpose of God.

We reaffirm marriage as “a creation ordinance, a gift of God in creation and a means of His grace. Marriage, defined as a faithful, committed, permanent and legally sanctioned relationship between a man and a woman, is central to the stability and health of human society. It continues to provide the best context for the raising of children”. (1) Characteristic of our patterns of cohabitation and family life is the notion that such unions are based on a relationship between a man and a woman. The idea of such unions being constituted by persons of the same sex is, therefore, totally unacceptable on theological and cultural grounds.

While we recognize that the role of the Church and the State are not the same, the Church’s task being distinctly different from the State, the Church’s mandate is informed by pastoral and doctrinal concerns and in drawing the attention of the faithful to the source and purpose of marriage, and in solemnizing such unions. The governments have the responsibility of providing the kind of legal framework for protecting, but not defining, this most basic social institution on which the stability of society and the socialization of its members rest, as well as protecting the members of such unions against abuse and injustice.

We are conscious of the fact that our political leaders within our Caribbean region are being subjected to pressures from nations and institutions from outside of our region. Frequently they are pressured to conform to the changes being undertaken in their redefinition of human sexuality and same-sex unions, under threat of economic sanctions and the loss of humanitarian aid. We urge our leaders of government and of civil society, as well as the people of our nations, to resist any attempt to compromise our cultural and religious principles regarding these matters. The dangling of a carrot of economic assistance to faltering economies should be seen for what it is worth and should be resisted by people and government alike.

The threat and use of economic sanctions are not new experiences for us, neither is the claim to a superior morality convincing for peoples who have known the experience of chattel slavery in our past. While claiming to invoke human rights as the basis for such imposition, we submit that the same principle must allow us the right to affirm our cultural and religious convictions regarding our definitions of that most basic of social institutions, marriage.

FOOTNOTE

1. Civil Partnerships: A Pastoral Statement from the House of Bishops of the Church of England, 2005, para2.

This article originally appeared on a href="http://AnglicanInk.com">AnglicanInk.com and is reprinted with permission.

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