Bishop Sentamu’s Friendly Bigotry

Picture 29England's second most senior cleric, the Archbishop of York Dr. John Sentamu, has declared his opposition to same-sex marriage. No surprise there. What's surprising is the polite way in which Dr. Semantu expresses his concern. From the Beeb:

Dr Sentamu pointed out that bishops in the House of Lords did not seek to obstruct the introduction of civil partnerships between same-sex couples in 2004.

"We supported civil partnerships because we believe that friendships are good for everybody."

He said the Church also had no opposition to plans to allow civil partnership ceremonies to take place in places of worship, if agreed by the religious denomination in question.

… He said: "If you genuinely would like the registration of civil partnerships to happen in a more general way, most people will say they can see the drift. But if you begin to call those marriage, you're trying to change the English language.

"That does not mean you diminish, condemn, criticise, patronise any same-sex relationships because that is not what the debate is about," added Dr Sentamu.

So the opposition's about language. And religious freedom. Which isn't to say Dr. Sentamu doesn't feel passionate about it. According to the Telegraph, the Archbishop …

… says the Government would face a rebellion on any changes in [marriage] legislation. His intervention may serve as a rallying cry for traditionalist Tories who oppose Mr Cameron’s plan.

“The rebellion is going to come not only from the bishops,” he says. “You’re going to get it from across the benches and in the Commons."

… “Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman,” says Dr Sentamu. “I don’t think it is the role of the state to define what marriage is. It is set in tradition and history and you can’t just [change it] overnight, no matter how powerful you are.

Unless, perhaps, you're King Henry VIII?


  1. Rick says

    So here we have a toothless African presuming to tell native Britons what they can and cannot do in their own country and that of their ancestors.

    Just how deeply sick can Europe become?

    Economic collapse (a report just yesterday that half of all Spaniards between 18 and 24 are unemployed), birth rates so low that the white race may be facing extinction in two generations…..and clowns like this from the most backwards precincts of the Third World preying like vultures on the dying beast and being given license to do so by white people who have become so pathetically hyper-sensitive to charges of “racism” that they will let him get away with it.

  2. Alex Parrish says

    Odd that a bishop in a church created by a king who wanted to change the definition of marriage would find a problem with this. The definition of “marriage” has changed and morphed many times over the centuries and only a fool would deny that. Personally, I don’t give a rat’s ass what the anglican church thinks about it. They, like their roman catholic colleagues, have succeeded admirably in making themselves irrelevant.

  3. Caliban says

    So to recap, a man whose family at some point in their history CHOSE to switch from their native religion to the Christian religion imposed by missionaries (possibly by force or in exchange for “charity”), now wants to again impose those religious values on CIVIL law.

    Cram it, Churchie!

  4. James UK says

    @ Rick. It’s clear to us all that you are a racist troll. It’s highly unlikely that it will ever get better for you, so feel free to run that razor blade up and down your wrist at your earliest convenience.

    @ Brandon. John Sentamu is a bigot and there is nothing polite about it. He is content for civil partnerships (read unions) to be legislated for, because clearly for him, civil partnerships are about friendship, not marriage. They are a bone thrown to LGBT dogs. Civil partnerships are self-evidently not the same as marriage and unworthy of the same respect. Homosexuals are to be pitied and are deserving of charity. They are not to be accorded equality whether in church (Jeffrey John) or outside it. His view is a right wing Anglican view of homosexuality not dissimilar to that of the Roman Catholic view of homosexuality as fundamentally disordered.

    That John Sentamu is a better communicator than Timothy Dolan should fool no-one. Just as Dolan is a bigot, so is Sentamu.

    And clearly, as you alluded to, Sentamu appears to have forgotten that the Chuch of England separated from Rome over a state definition of marriage law, so that Henry VIII could divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn.

    A bigot and a poor historian. Not unlike one of the GOP presidential candidates.

  5. S.C. says

    Matrimony is the religious bit, do the religionists say “holy marriage” or “holy matrimony” when they conduct a wedding? Marriage is, and always was, a civil contract.

  6. peterparker says

    Given that he looks like Andree Leon Talley in that get up, I don’t think he has a whole lot of room to lob judgement at gay people.

  7. says

    I agree with STUFFED ANIMAL that “F*ck you” is still “F*ck you” regardless of how polite.

    I’ve see the same sentiment in action in the south. They’ll be all sugar and nice with a smile…but say the nastiest things with a little ‘upswing’ in their voice at the end….and it comes off so sweetly awful. I guess hatred and bigotry is always the same.

  8. Jacques says

    “I don’t think it is the role of the state to define what marriage is.”

    Alrighty then, but the state can’t sanction what it can’t define. So, I guess he’s arguing for the state to get out of the marriage business and leave it to the churches. No prob. There are LOTS of churches out there, and these days anyone can start one to suit their needs just like old Henry did.

  9. Hue-Man says

    “… says the Government would face a rebellion on any changes in [marriage] legislation.”

    He’s absolutely right – the rebellions have carried on non-stop in Canada for the five years since marriage equality was legislated. Angry Anglican priests caused the Stanley Cup riots in Vancouver, flipping over and igniting police cars. It’s not safe to go out at night with vigilante heteros facing off against married lesbians. It’s not too late for the Brits to avoid rebellion.

  10. says

    …….the “changing the English language” thing is hilarious. and then kinda sad because you know legions of utter plebes will say “hey, ya! the gays is changing OUR LANGUAGE!”

    what a world.

  11. atlanta guy says

    @ James UK: The headline is obviously meant to be ironic to make the point that — even dressed up in sweet talk — bigotry is still bigotry, so maybe cut Brandon some slack. But regarding Rick, I agree with you 100% … he’s a racist troll.

  12. Dallas says

    It is the role of the state to tell the state church what to do. That was the reason for creating the state church in the first place.

  13. atomic says

    “That frock looks like a repainted Key West boat house.” ROFLMAO This is why I read this site!

  14. says


    Re.Hitchens. Religion never believed it had God on its side. What it had was Power — whcih it used ruthelssly to murder and subjugate. Today its’ fading fast.

  15. Ausländer says

    For eight hundred years the Church refused to have anything to do with marriage. There was no liturgy which dealt with marriage. Obviously, the Church accepted the state’s definition of marriage then.

    For the the past 150 years or so, marriage has once again been, in England, an entirely civil matter (albeit with sometimes elaborate religious services obscuring this fact).

    Marriages are simply civil unions – so why are we now saddled with two classes of civil unions? Time to grow up!

  16. MikeW says

    Sentamu is an idiot plain and simple. I’ve never heard him open his mouth in public without him making a FacePalm Sunday out of it.

  17. says

    Myself and billions of other English-speakers, call the middle of the week “Wednesday.”

    This doesn’t mean I am a Pagan, celebrating “Woden’s Day” every seven days.

    The religionists shouldn’t have the monopoly on words, phrases or common parlance.

  18. coemgenus says

    Despite “Rick”‘s opening racist rant – the real point here is that a priest of a withering religion is trying to hold back the rising waters of modern social evolution. They have never managed it – despite how brightly they dress, how “relevant” they force themselves to become & how many speeches they make in Parliament.

    Don’t worry about it – more people still go to the footy on a Saturday than take part in ANY of the competing forms of “Christian” social gatherings on a Sunday.

    Your average Brit takes one look at this joker in his frock, has a laugh and goes off to watch “Eastenders”.

  19. Jay says

    The Archbishop is also a liar who is trying to rewrite history. The Church of England did oppose civil partnerships and did oppose the plans to permit them to be performed in churches. Just another liar in religious drag.

  20. Jack says

    Why do Anglican and Catholic bishops continue to dress up in medieval costumes? It is probably because they think that their “gladrags” give their sometimes bigoted and sometimes banal comments some real significance.

  21. Jerry6 says

    If I remember my High School History correctly, Slavery was a popular and wide spread Social Structure going back tens of thousands of years prior to the invention of the Archbishop’s God, and right up to President Lincoln. He abolished it and he was not known as a devotee of Sunday Church. “Wide spread social structure” is no excuse for continuing an obvious disgusting social practice; such as your Business of “Your One God Is The Only God.”

  22. says

    Just to put on record, the Same-Sex Marriage Bill will pass the British House of Commons with a massive majority, probably around 500 votes in favour and 100 against. If a referendum were held, it would pass by 2 to 1 and maybe even a little more. Sentamu is spitting into the wind in one of the most gay friendly societies on Earth.

    Pity us over here in Northern Ireland, who are probably going to have to struggle for a decade or so against the most overtly homphobic political party in Western Europe and the complexities of our post-conflict political checks and balances to get same-sex marriage.