The Church of England and complementarity

The Church of England tries to dismiss Cameron’s latest drive for gay marriage:

However, the uniqueness of marriage is that it embodies the underlying, objective, distinctiveness of men and women. This distinctiveness and complementarity are seen most explicitly in the biological union of man and woman which potentially brings to the relationship the fruitfulness of procreation.

This argument simply doesn’t work. Because other things that embody the underlying, objective, distinctiveness of men and women are korfball and mixed-voice choirs. Sure, you could play korfball with all-male or all-female teams, as indeed you could make up a choir with all-male or all-female voices. But it wouldn’t be the same, eh?

Incidentally, I can’t be the only person that was amused by the use of the adverb ‘explicitly’ to describe ‘the biological union of man and woman’ 😀

I’m so sorry

First it was Diane Abbott, and her idiotic comments about white people.

And now it’s David Cameron, with similarly ill-advised comments about Ed Balls and Tourette’s syndrome. Cameron has since ‘apologised‘; I put that word in inverted commas because he didn’t actually apologise at all:

Downing Street later put out an apology saying the remark was made “off the cuff”. A spokesman said: “The Prime Minister would not have meant to offend anyone. He apologises if any offence has been caused.”

That’s not an apology. It’s the worst form of mealy-mouthed political formulation you can imagine. Perhaps it’s true that Cameron didn’t mean to offend anyone. But his words, even if off-the-cuff, are offensive to people who don’t suffer just from Tourette’s but must also face the constant misunderstanding of what their condition means. Cameron’s clumsy use of their condition to score cheap political points is incredibly damaging to sufferers’ attempts to have their condition better understood by society.

Secondly, the form of words is utterly inappropriate. You can’t be sorry if someone else is offended. You’re either sorry or you’re not. Placing conditions on your own apology serves to show only that you never intended to give it. It’s not my fault I’m offended by your inappropriate language. It’s your fault for saying it.

So Cameron needs to try again. Yet if he can properly apologise then we should forgive him. As Luke tells us:

If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.

It’s to the eternal shame of our politicians that they don’t seem able to apologise properly.