Sunday, 12 December 2010

All Frilly Surplice And No Knickers

One of the dimmer Tynwald layabouts had some objections to the Marriage and Civil Registration (Amendment) Bill which went through in April. Apparently the chump was worried it might lead to a spate of ‘wacky weddings’ which would make the outside world laugh at the island.
Oh Eddie, really! The world laugh at a place populated by folk who not only let you take executive political decisions while skulking in a government broom cupboard but even pay you, even though you can’t get elected? As if!!
The sadder thing was that the main hold-up to a fairly modest bill was the Bishop needing an assurance (which he got) from fellow unelected political rejects and chancers that if a clergyman was to be illegally passed information from a confidential register of transgendered people, and refused to conduct a marriage of that person, then neither the clergyman nor the faith-biased and homophobic civil servant would be prosecuted.
Some people wonder why I laugh when Manx church leaders or government departments try to tell us they want to stamp out racism, sexism or homophobia.
But a few weeks ago I noted another blatant example of the kind of tasteless tat that passes elsewhere for a ‘dignified’ church ceremony. Take a look at, where some herbert spent £1,000 having his dog blessed in a village church. And there was me thinking those ‘bring your pet to church’ Sundays local bunny-huggers love so much were a bit over the top.
It does make you wonder about all those Manx church pretensions to high mindedness and solemn dignity. As one of the more personable senior clergy once grumbled to me over a decade ago, he’d never known a place like the Isle of Man for rich, thick and sentimental punters, and church advisors who’d sign him up to fulfil their oddest whims at the right price. “Anything that can’t run away, they want me to pray over. If it’s got legs, wings or fins I’ve been asked to christen, marry or bury it. If it doesn’t move they want me to bless it.”
By comparison, I’ve yet to hear of any Manx gay couple with such poor taste that they wanted to get married in a church. Some people just have to much taste, and self-respect.
Which makes Manx Christian objections to gay marriage ( and even the long overdue, yet to be implemented, arrangement for civil partnership ceremonies) all the more risible.

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