Monday, June 2, 2014

Ancient ideas about marriage. . . indeed!

It may come to a surprise to some of you, but I have no interest at all in “Marriage Preparation”.
The whole Roman Catholic “Pre-Cana” scheme leaves me cold – especially since it includes the prohibition of contraception and (by implication at least) of pre-marital sex. The idea of celibate priests counseling couples about their married life is absurd.

I’m not sure I have ever married a virgin. If I have, I apologize here and now! But most couples I have married have lived together for months and often for years, and I am convinced that their marriages will be the stronger and more lasting for that. It is time that the Church abandoned the ancient ideas of marriage and recognized this fact.

When a couple asks me if I will marry them, I ask them to come and see me, so that we can talk the whole thing through. I ask if they have been baptized and why they would like to be married in St Clement’s. I tell them about the church fees and about what they have to do about the music. I ask them to come on a Sunday to talk with me and the organist about what music they would like at the wedding.

And then – that is that! And quite enough too.

So saith The Rev’d Canon W. Gordon Reid, Rector of St. Clement's Episcopal Church, Philadelphia. . .

There are many things that could be said but I will hold my tongue.  Suffice it to say that with rectors like the good Canon Reid there is hardly any reason at all to seek out a church wedding except that you like the ambiance of the place.  He apologizes for ever presiding at the wedding a virgin (or, God forbid, two).  He finds no sense in restraining sex to marriage (or, we might wonder, extra marital sex).  He applauds cohabitation as the real premarital preparation but, if it is so grand, why bother with the wedding at all.

Lutherans do not speak of marriage as a sacrament but we attach a sacramental understanding to the marriage of one man and one woman, God's creative design and the image of His Son's redemptive relationship to His Church.  Roman Catholics, of course, go very much further as do the Orthodox.  However, even many liberal Protestants attempt some manner of churchly ideal to the relationship between man and woman.  Except, it seems, Fr. Reid.

So there is the picture of the Christian liberal view of marriage, optional, non-sacramental in any way, for niceness but not necessity, unrelated to sexual behavior, no mention of children, and, with some allowance, not prohibitive of consensual sex outside of marriage either.  It would seem that having thoroughly capitulated to the power of unrestrained desire, such a Christianity would have little to offer husband or wife (or, for that matter, any other version of marriage).

What Fr. Reid has left us with is a Church that is merely a location, with nary a word to say about the character of the life together for those who enter into Holy Matrimony.  It seems that he wants churches not only out of the marriage business (except to provide a venue for a fee) and to shut up about the subject as well.  With such embarrassment or shame at what the Church has said up until modern times, Ft. Reid has his work cut out for him.  We can only be encouraged by the fact that his quest to relieve marriage of ancient (Christian) ideas will be aided by the self-centered, godless, and pleasure seeking people who find that marriage is likewise too encumbered by responsibility, duty, sacrifice, self-denial, fidelity, and faithfulness.  Lord, help us from those who would help the faith by such unfaithfulness!!

A little something to think about as the wedding month and wedding season hits full stride!




5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The idea of celibate priests counseling couples about their married life is absurd."

Would he apply the same logic to counseling couples on adultery, drug abuse, gambling, alcoholism, porn?

Anonymous said...

Please allow me to give you some background material on your source, this taken from Virtue On Line:

PHILADELPHIA: Homosexuality, Group Sex, Orgies, & Sadomasochistic Acts Haunt St. Clement's Rector
"I've whored around like a bull in a field of cows," said Fr. Gordon Reid

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
April 16, 2012

[Rev. Gordon Reid] The priest of the Anglo-Catholic parish of St. Clement's Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, PA, which is deeply embroiled in a lawsuit over the hiring of a gay curate, has a long history of homosexual activity that includes sex with hundreds of partners, group sex orgies, extreme sadomasochistic sex acts and prostitution.

An investigative report in the Sunday People, a British newspaper dated November 8, 1987, details the activities of the Rev. Gordon Reid, when he was Provost of Inverness Cathedral in 1984. It is a shocking account of what Reid said in a tape-recorded interview to a reporter posing as a young man who wanted counseling. The young man was subject to the sexual advances of Reid. In the tape-recorded conversation, Reid admitted to engaging in sexual activity with hundreds of partners, in group sex orgies, extreme sadomasochistic sex acts and prostitution.

When confronted, Reid, now 68, claimed his statements were just "fantasies", but shortly thereafter he resigned from his position at Inverness Cathedral, a scandal that "rocked the Episcopal Church" in Scotland, according to one newspaper account.
...
Consistent with his present activities, Reid is a pathological social climber who loves to be around the wealthy and connected. It has been noted that with his charm and connections Reid was almost guaranteed his eventual rise to a bishopric.

The newspaper articles (copies of which VOL has obtained) says that the "respected" cathedral Provost secretly donned leather gear to act out gay sex fantasies, and actually boasted, "I have been like a bull in a field of cows."

The article said the Canon took part in gay oral sex and claimed, "It's natural to fellows. They love having it done."

For many years the former theological chaplain has indulged in acts of sexual perversion with countless others to satisfy his depravity.

Reid loves to dress in leather gear for sickening sadomasochistic sex acts. The newspaper article said he has been a homosexual since his teens and even boasted to the newspaper's investigators of indulging in every form of deviation, including group sex.

...

Reid also boasted of his affairs with gay policemen and of how he abused his chairmanship of a local police authority to get sexual kicks. "The kind of sex I've had with bikers and policemen has been absolutely fantastic. I've had sex in full leather gear with somebody else straight off a bike. We just took off enough to manage which was great."

Reid revealed that as a young man he charged older men to have sex with him. "I was a whore but it was good fun. I enjoyed it. I was really doing anything with everybody."

Reid has been very clear about his sexual desires. "I want a good looking young man as first choice and an ugly young man as second choice."

He advised one 25-year old man who sought sexual advice to drop the female sex. "Be 100% gay." The counseling session ended with a sex video of sadomasochism. "I have four - all sorts of terrible whippings and tortures. Are you into that?"

...

Following his resignation from Inverness, Reid left the Church in Scotland and moved from one clerical position to another in the European chaplaincy of the Church of England, with relatively brief stays in Ankara, Turkey; Stockholm, Sweden; the Isle of Gibraltar and Milan, Italy before applying for the position of rector of St. Clement's Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.

Fr. D+
Anglican Priest
(utterly unlike Reid)

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't he be defrocked? I mean, isn't it wrong to place him in another congregation?

Anonymous said...

Oh, he should most certainly be defrocked, and probably burned at the stake as well. But in the very modern Episcopal Church, such medieval things as correction never happen. This is why the Episcopal Church 8is dying, and it cannot expire too soon. As things stand, it is a grave hazard to souls.

Janis Williams said...

Mr. ( I cannot for the life of me call him Canon, Father, etc.) Reid - or should I drop the male qualifier? is convinced the marriages performed for those who cohabited are stronger for it? Does he not read? Stats are against that.

Maybe defrocked and shot from a cannon into oblivion?