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John Mason MSP on gay marriage

John Mason's motion relating to a forthcoming consultation on civil partnerships and gay marriage provoked attacks from across the political spectrum and prompted concerns amongst fellow Christians about his 'perfectly relaxed' stance.
 


John Mason2In an interview with Christians Together, Mr. John Mason MSP speaks into the reactions to his tabled motion relating to civil partnerships/gay marriage.

The motion which was and is designed to protect the freedom of thought, practice and  expression by individuals, churches and other organisations in relation to same-sex unions was attacked by fellow MSPs while also alarming the Christian community.

In reponding to the criticism from pro-gay colleagues, the elected representative for Glasgow Shettleston and committed Christian stated that he was 'perfectly relaxed' about gay marriage.

 John Mason MSP speaking on his motion relating to civil partnerships. 
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Footnotes:
The national vote at the May 2011 elections for the Scottish Parliament saw the Scottish Nationalist Party under leader Alex Salmond come to power in what was a humiliating defeat of and for the other parties.
John Mason and fellow MSP Dave Thompson both serve in the SNP's majority government, and both share Christian convictions.

Consultations on the possibility of radically redfining marriage
are set to take place in the autumn in Scotland, England and Wales

Recent history
In the year 2000 when the new Scottish Parliament was stil finding its feet, Scotland was rocked and split over the repeal of legislation which prevented schools teaching that homosexuality was a normal and acceptable lifestyle. Bus tycoon Brian Soutar funded a referendum under the banner of 'Keep the Clause' while the late Cardinal Winning of the Roman Catholic Church led the ecclesiastical charge. The Christian Institute were also very active on the issue which affected similar legislation in England and Wales also.
In the final event and in spite of these efforts the repeal of Section28/Clause 2A went ahead.

Christians Together, 16/08/2011

Feedback:
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Laurence Scott-Mackay (Guest) 20/10/2011 08:22
Still no direct and detailed answer to what rights under the law you "Christians" would grant to gay people under the law.
Jenny 20/10/2011 08:39
how "direct and detailed" were you looking for? No-one here is a legislator.
Plus you must be perfectly well aware that the chances of Christians being in a position to lay down legal rules are currently zilch!
Speaking for myself, I would let gays live their own lives unmolested as they like - but:
1) not redefine fundamental social concepts like marriage, and
2) not be able to criminalise people like Christian registrars and B&B owners for disagreeing with them, and
3) not be able to teach children at an impressionable age that the gay lifestyle is equivalent to the heterosexual. At the very least, the health risks involved ought to be acknowledged.
Editor 20/10/2011 11:30
Laurence, God does not force our society into His way of thinking and it is no job of Christians to take on that role. Individuals and societies need to decide for themselves.

If of course our whole nation (and Parliament accordingly) was composed entirely of Christians (which of course is not the case) then - as Curlew observed - marriage and free speech would be protected and children would be taught the ways of God.

But whatever the case, individuals and nations have a freedom to choose: they can choose their own rules or choose to follow God's pattern for healthy living and a healthy society. (You may be aware that the normal life expectancy for practicing homosexuals is well below that of those in heterosexual relationships.)

Forced compliance is not part of God's purposes, nor - in spite of examples from history of coercion - is it part of the agenda of followers of Christ.

In this context, Christianity differs from Islam and Judaism: both of these would seek to establish a theonomic state i.e. an imposition of what these religions see as right.


Peter Carr 20/10/2011 12:54
"Forced compliance is not part of God's purposes..."

With God He has given us free will, the right to choose, but He also makes it abundantly clear to all human beings that with choices come consequences!!

Wrong choices in God's eyes will lead to dire consequences, that will one day become very clear.

Deut 30: 19 "This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live..."

laurence scott-Mackay (Guest) 20/10/2011 20:51
Ok - Finally some answers:
So you would like to:

1. Have "Clause 28" Back so now you support dear old kind and christian maggie who ripped our society apart - I I can really see Jesus supporting that one.
2. You want to give public servants the right to discriminate against the people who pay their wages. What about blacks and catholics if someone is from the free church or the orange order should they be allowed to so I do not want to marry a catholic I know that my long dead grandmother would support that as she thought catholic's were only fit for burning - She was of course a member in her day of the wee Free Church. - Lovely people once yoiu get to know them. I particularly liked the time when they through out Lord Mackay for attending a Catholic funeral. - I just find it so hard to understand what they have been thought that would make people think that Jesus would want this- he is unconditional love.

So in summary so far the "Christians" would like to wind the clock back to 1980. Well I suppose it is a step up on 1950 which is where I thought we might end up.

My favourite song from the 1980's is Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence if you want to get in the mood. At least the music and the hair was great!

Jesus was a rebel so much so that the Jewish establishment asked the Romans to kill him - why do you not get that do you not see that your sate of mind means that you would not actually like Jesus.
Tartan Paint (Guest) 21/10/2011 07:46
Laurence, if you want to get a better handle on who Jesus really is, I suggest that you also read the book of Revelation!
Jenny 21/10/2011 09:12
Laurence, ranting doesn't advance discussion even slightly.

why not engage seriously with one or more of the serious points made above?
John Parker (Guest) 21/10/2011 09:51
Laurence, you suggest that Christians don't know Jesus. But the question is "Do you know Jesus?"

We can have all these discussions/debates/intellectual arguments/etc. But the question you need to ask yourself if you find yourself awake in the middle of the night is "Do you know Jesus?"

I would (very kindly) challenge you to read (or read again) the book of Mark to get a deeper knowledge of Jesus.

But right in the middle of that book he asks Peter the trillion dollar question:"Who do you say I am?" Mark 8:27-29

Every debate under the sun boils down to the answer to that one simple question. And it is a question that Jesus puts to everyone everywhere.

A mere man who said the sort of things that Jesus said would either be(as C.S. Lewis put it) "a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would the Devil of Hell. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill his as a demon; or you can fall at HIs feet and call Him Lord and God."

As one quiz-master put it: "The decision is yours."

Peter Carr 26/10/2011 18:01
Dear ********,

I phoned your home today and spoke with ***********, who kindly suggested I e-mail you. I am contacting you on behalf of CARE for Scotland. I'm contacting you about the Scottish Government's current consultation on legalising same-sex marriage and whether civil partnerships should be registered through religious ceremonies. CARE believes it is really important that the Government receives as many responses as possible from people and organisations unhappy with the proposals. We would suggest that your leadership (ie elders or deacons) submit a response on behalf of the congregation and that you encourage
individuals within the congregation to do so too. Please note that anyone without access to a computer is free to send in a letter expressing their views on the consultation's proposals.

I attach to this e-mail
* CARE for Scotland's comprehensive briefing on the consultation which
offers advice on responding to the consultation questions
* the leaflet we have produced to encourage a response to the
consultation.

The leaflet is for distributing within the congregation. We would be pleased to send you as many as you think you can effectively use. Please do let us know how many you think you could use and what address to send these to.

Please feel free to contact us at the CARE for Scotland office if you think we can provide any additional help, advice or information.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

Rosalyn Goodfellow
Campaigns Assistant

CARE for Scotland
Challenge House
29 Canal Street
Glasgow G4 0AD
Tel 0141 332 7212

Find out more at http://www.care.org.uk/scotland

Editor 27/10/2011 08:26
Thanks Tartan for that. I spoke with CARE last week and there is now an article in the course of preparation. Watch this space.
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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Christian Life > Christians and Politics > John Mason MSP on civil partnerships debate