Social Question

jazzjeppe's avatar

Church of Sweden votes yes to gay marriage. What's your opinion on that?

Asked by jazzjeppe (2266 points ) October 22nd, 2009

To put it simple and short, what’s your reaction on gay marriage being okay according to the church (in Sweden)?
My oppinion can be read here (didn’t want to cut&past it here): http://jazzperous.com/we-dont-need-marriage-in-present-form

Read an article in English (don’t forget to read the comments, they are interesting): http://www.thelocal.se/22810/20091022/

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43 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Once again Sweden proves to be more civilized than “The Greatest Country On Earth”.

shego's avatar

I think it’s great. Finally, somebody understands

mammal's avatar

Sweden rocks.

Darwin's avatar

As @pdworkin says, the Swedes are quite civilized. I’m all for it.

MrItty's avatar

… There’s a “Church of Sweden”?

I’m so uncultured

aphilotus's avatar

Go Sweden!

janbb's avatar

I think it’s great!

dpworkin's avatar

yeah, but you’re kwazy

gussnarp's avatar

Hurrah! One day we will look back on the opposition to gay marriage the way we look back on laws against miscegenation.

janbb's avatar

@pdworkin About one sandwich shy of a picnic.

poisonedantidote's avatar

If a church is against gay marriage they should also be just as offended by clothes made of more than one material.

If clothes made of more than one material do not offend you, then neither should gay marriage. Anything else is just plain hate dressed up in a religious excuse.

Sabotage82's avatar

Why do you want to know our opinion? All this is going to do is start a God gay argument.

poofandmook's avatar

go Sweden

@poisonedantidote: eh, I could do without wool…

Qingu's avatar

On one hand, any increased acceptance of gays in society is good.

On the other hand, I have no idea how the Church of Sweden reconciles this stance with their holy book, which is pretty clear in its condemnation of gays.

I guess I don’t see what the point is of a religion “evolving” to be something that has little if anything to do with the actual content of the religion. Why not just… stop being in the religion altogether? Seems more intellectually honest.

Darwin's avatar

@Sabotage82 – Really? Are there folks who think God is gay and are willing to argue about it?

gussnarp's avatar

OK, so I just heard a bit on NPR this morning on the invitation from the Catholic Church to Anglican churches to come back into the fold. The problem is that the Anglican priests are married, so they were discussing the Catholic Church’s rule that priests cannot marry. The person being interviewed (can’t remember who he was) said that the theological reason for priests not marrying is that they are already married to Jesus. So apparently Catholics think that marriage is not between one man and one woman, but between one man and thousands of other men. Can the Catholic Church then be far behind the Swedes?

gussnarp's avatar

@Qingu While I would love to see more atheists in the world, very few people have ever followed the Bible literally ( I would argue that no one has). All religious texts are open to interpretation and always have been, there’s no reason the Bible should be any different.

Qingu's avatar

@gussnarp, just because a text is open to interpretation doesn’t mean you can interpret it any way you desire.

If someone tried to interpret the Merchant of Venice as a staunch critique of anti-Semitism, that would be silly. If someone tried to interpret Aristotle’s texts about the four elements (earth, water, air, fire) as a “metaphor” for the four phases of matter (solid, liquid, gas, plasma), that would be intellectually dishonest.

Similarly, if someone tried to interpret the Bible, specifically Leviticus and the writings of Paul, as saying the exact opposite of what it actually says, that would be silly and intellectually dishonest.

They’re not “interpreting” the Bible. They’re ignoring the parts of the Bible they don’t like. Which is better than following those parts, because they’re stupid and archaic, but nevertheless isn’t really an honest engagement with the content of their religion.

gussnarp's avatar

@Qingu The writings of Paul are a particularly bad example. Paul writes letters to various tribes telling them how to live as Christians, but he gives different rules to different tribes. It is impossible to follow all the rules that Paul lays down because some are self-contradictory. So all Christians have always chosen certain writings of Paul to ignore, why not these?

mattbrowne's avatar

Wonderful !

Qingu's avatar

@gussnarp, I’m not sure I’d agree that Paul’s writings are internally contradictory (bear in mind that many of the letters attributed to Paul in the Bible, such as Hebrews, were not actually written by him). I would say that Paul often uses faulty logic and arguments.

That said, Paul’s writings certainly contradict other parts of the Bible, and the Bible as a whole is internally contradictory like few other books. So you do have a point.

But I’m not sure how his admonishment of homosexuals contradicts something else he wrote. Homosexuality is defined as a sin; I don’t see which part of the Bible contradicts this understanding of homosexuality or somehow implies it’s not really an offense against Yahweh.

MissAnthrope's avatar

My opinion: yay!!

gussnarp's avatar

@Qingu I don’t know of a bible verse that says homosexuality is ok, but on the other hand, neither does it expressly say it is not ok. What it says is don’t lay with a man as you would with a woman. Sure, it seems pretty clear, but it’s open to interpretation. Maybe it just means don’t try the missionary position with a man.

Besides, the bible never contradicts its clear instruction to stone people to death for all sorts of minor sins either. So unless we want a world run by the Taliban, Christians have to ignore all sorts of clear statements in the bible that are not contradicted elsewhere in the bible.

Does this add to a pile of evidence that the whole book is a lot of bunk? Sure, but Tom Friedman’s The World is Flat is mostly a lot of bunk too, but there are parts I agree with.

So really, if people feel a need to believe in a God, and they like most of the stuff in the Gospels, then if they want to scrap the rest of the book, then we are better off than if they think they have to have all or none and choose all.

syz's avatar

Kudos to the Church of Sweden.

Qingu's avatar

@gussnarp, I would have zero problems if people looked at the Bible the way you look at Friedman’s book. But you don’t view Friedman’s book as the foundation of your worldview.

But I do agree that this is better than nothing.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Things like this (original question) make me so psyched because I think I just might see some modicum of gay equality in my lifetime! If only the US would dislodge its puritanical head from its ass and get with the times already.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

It’s ironic when straight couples think that gay peole getting married will somehow destroy the sanctity of marriage when it’s half of the straight couples that can’t stand to be married for more than 5 years.

Judi's avatar

I think it’s the members of the Church of Sweden’s business and none of mine.

syz's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic I don’t get the “sanctity” thing anyway. If you really want to “protect the sanctity”, then divorce should be illegal and and adultery should be punishable by death. Kidding. Mostly. But marriage was designed to be a transfer of property, a method of political alliance, all because women were considered chattel and unable to own property themselves. What’s so holy about that?.

Cartman's avatar

it’s seems to be the will of God? How can puny man* question such wisdom?!?

*… or woman; gay, bi, trans or straight.

Sarcasm's avatar

“Cool. Now, make that happen in the U.S.” is my reaction.

airowDee's avatar

WOW, that is truly amazing..although i dont believe in the label gay marriage..its just marriage

augustlan's avatar

Awesome.

fireinthepriory's avatar

My opinion is something to the effect of “Woo-hoo!!!” I’m alway glad when churches realize that they don’t have to discriminate to stay “true” to their religion.

sarahny's avatar

the fact that there needs to be a vote on who can marry and who cannot is sad

Leanne1986's avatar

Glad to hear it!

MissAnthrope's avatar

Sverige är bäst! Jag önskar att jag bodde där!

mammal's avatar

…in fact Sweden rocks so much i even attempted a viewing of mama mia….hmmm… :-l

Judi's avatar

Mammal; I saw mama Mia in Vegas and couldn’t for the life of me figure out what thr hype was about. They had a similar show with the music of Queen called We Will Rock You that was so much better. I was so sad when it went away :-(

benjaminlevi's avatar

Yay for Sweden!

Leanne1986's avatar

@Judi We Will Rock you is awesome! I’m very jealous that you saw it in Vegas as one of my all time favourite singers played Killer Queen in Vegas and I desperately tried to save enough money to fly over there to see her.

Jack79's avatar

First of all, I think that if we really want to be fair, marriage should be banned for heterosexuals, rather than allowed for homosexuals

Secondly, no, I don’t think churches should allow it, because it goes against the rules of the particular religion, and by changing these rules, you change the religion (I think the same about women priests for example). But of course it’s fine if you decide you’re going to modernise your religion and have a new sect, with the same basic ideas as Christianity, but changes to make it more relevant to modern society. In that sense, religion can evolve and move forward with the times, if it so chooses.

Thirdly, as far as the practical concerns go, I believe that if two (or more) people choose to live together as a family, they should be legally allowed to do so, regardless of their sexual preferences. But this should be done through civil weddings, and not religious rituals, which are meaningless nowadays anyway. This travesty of men dressing up as brides and women dressing up as grooms should stop. But at the same time someone who’s been your life partner should be entitled to a pension and inheritance, and any other social benefits other married couples enjoy. And the law should help that happen.

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