Sunday 28 October 2012

The Noisy Minority

Hugo Rifkind is described (in this week's Spectator) as "a writer for the Times", so we know he is usually best ignored. His pompous piece in the Spectator, though, makes him appear like a self-confident leader writer for the Thunderer of old - except that in those days someone would have checked his grammar. "People .. who want to antagonistically get married &c". Tut, tut.

But it is not his grammar which needs correcting so much as his assumptions. He writes for a very noisy minority. We have a duty to get the voices of the less noisy (even silent) majority heard whenever possible. What follows I have sent to the Editor, but I have little hope of its appearing in the Speccy, so here it is for you, my select readership.

'Hugo Rifkind has written that “Gay Marriage is going to happen, and that’s a fact”. Then he says that civil gay marriage will not inevitably lead to churches being forced to conduct gay marriages – “There surely cannot be many people, gay or otherwise, who want to antagonistically get married in a place that really doesn’t want them.” Where does Hugo Rifkind get his news? Has he not read about the boarding house owners who were plagued with gay couples determined to make them toe the PC line? Once the State admits to gay marriage, the pressure will immediately be on the churches to follow suit – most especially the Church of England as the Established Church, but after them all the rest of us..


He asserts that the only real argument against gay marriage is the Christian one; and since I am a Christian that means he can safely ignore anything I write. But perhaps part of the reason I am a Christian is because the Church’s stand on gay issues [as also on abortion on demand and assisted suicide on demand] seems to me entirely consonant with being human. He might not have noticed, but historically Humanism began in the Christian world.


Gay couples can already have a Civil Union, with all the benefits which accrue to married couples. Why do they want to hijack the language of Marriage? (though in fact many of them do not). A union between two women or two men may be the equivalent of marriage; but it is not the same. “I am in favour of gay marriage even if gays aren’t” he writes. There is generosity of spirit for you! What Mr Rifkind believes, everyone must believe.


I suppose any argument from design carries no weight with him; but in case he has not noticed, the union between a woman and a man can result in procreation, the union (however achieved) between same-sex couples cannot. It is the first reason for marriage, God given as many of us would say. Which is why the language of marriage  - husband and wife, father and mother - must be protected. Or does he want us to go down the route of Brighton City Council and forbid us to say or write "father and mother"? Try as he may, he is the one who is going to fail in the end, by ignoring human nature.'