Saturday, June 16, 2012

It Took The Church 200 Years To Apologies For Slavery. When For Marriage Equality

image taken from Archbishop website
In 2006, at the peak of remembering the 200 (culminating in 2007) years since the abolition of slavery, the Church of England finally yielded and rendered what we now know is a pure lip service apology. The out-going Archbishop, Mr Rowan William told synod that year,
"'The Body of Christ has been involved in slave-owning'... The Body of Christ is not just a body that exists at any one time; it exists across history and we therefore share the shame and the sinfulness of our predecessors, and part of what we can do, with them and for them in the Body of Christ, is prayerful acknowledgment of the failure that is part of us, not just of some distant 'them'.
Following him, The Rt Rev Tom Butler, Bishop of Southwark went further and spoke directly mentioning the famous Codrington estates; where the Church of used slave labour and later received a compensation for closing it. Mark it, the Church received a compensation for stopping slave labour. Rt Rev Tom Butler said, "We know that the church owned sugar plantations on the Codrington estates." 

It was not until 199 years by 2006, at the Church of England General Synod in London that the House of Bishops voted unanimously to issue an apology at last. Codrington estates had the worse condition and highest death rate of slaves working in it.

Giving credit to whom it is due, it was the work of one Bishop - the same lone voice - Dr Beilby Porteus, Bishop of London that in 1783 berated the Church for its complicity in slavery. Today, the entire Britain and indeed the world, is looking up and asking, where is our generation's Porteus?

Are we going to wait until 2211, another 200 years before the Church of England accepts its fault in denying freedom of association of marriage to all? But I have a bad news for them? The Church may not have that much time again!

In 200 years, the Church of England, and Christianity in general, especially in Britain, has depleted, all because the Church continues to be found wanting at every page-turning in history. What it does not realize is that each time it does this deliberate mistake of hold on to 'tradition', it loses a chunky part of believers, not just members. Because for generations gone, people always look up to the Church to do what is right. To execute justice, to endorse fairness. But each time failure follows. From the time of Martin Luther in Germany, to the very latest division in the Churches today, it is usually linked to injustice.

From access to the Bible, to abortion, to women ordination, to child molestation and abuse, to slavery, to apartheid, to HIV, to inquisitions and anti-semitism; the Church can never see beyond its own toe. Though it sells Christ, it lacks the very resemblance.

And in all the above, The Christian Church has always argued there is justifications to not make amends and bring equity until it is usually too late. Marriage is not created by The Christian Church but it has the right to have its versions as Islam does as well as different other cultures, faiths, sects, etc. To claim that marriage has an age-old definition of one-man-one-woman is to belittle and disrespect all other different types of marriages that exists in all these other different places.

But if the Church will survive longer, it would change its mind now and move to the side of justice, equity, fairness and respect; this is what unconditional love is. The Church cannot afford to wait even 20 years let alone another 200 years before it comes to terms with its wicked and selfish ways.

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