Theology student Nik Jovčić-Sas challenges Lord Carey’s controversial views on gay marriage.
IN OCTOBER 2012, Lord Carey gave a speech to roughly a thousand people saying that if we allowed equal marriage in this country, it would undermine the foundations of society, and claiming that same-sex relationships were “not on the same level” as straight ones.
Outraged by his comments (reminiscent almost of Patriarch Kiril’s of the Russian Orthodox church), KCLSU has lobbied the College to have his window removed from the front of the Strand Campus.
Despite attempts at lobbying, however, the College has shown solidarity, rather than condemnation.
Authority as a Christian teacher
When Lord Carey gave his speech to “Coalition for Marriage” he wore a cross, he wore a dog collar and he claimed the authority of a representative of Christ.
In this article I don’t want to question Lord Carey’s freedom of speech, but rather his authority as a Christian teacher – his views do not reflect Christian teaching, but rather the bigoted views of a bitter man.
My name is Nik, I study Theology here at KCL and I run the King’s LGBT Christian Support Group.
My journey with Theology started when I was sixteen and was trying to reconcile my Christian faith and my sexuality.
No mention of females
I had assumed that my sexuality meant I was damned, and so I looked to scripture to see what God had in store for me and others of my sexuality. It was not long before I realised that things were not as I had been told.
Though many assume homophobic attitudes to be wired into the very DNA of the Christian faith, the Bible has little to say about same-sex relationships.
The only allusions to homosexual acts in Biblical tradition consist of little more than two or three verses in Leviticus and the letters of Paul about cultic prostitution, focussing specifically on male-male sexual acts: no prohibitions of same-sex love, attraction or even unions (and absolutely no mentions of female same-sex sexuality).
So why has the equal marriage act caused so much furore amongst Christian groups?
Little more than scaremongering
The reality of the matter is that this is not really about defending the Christian faith. Instead this is about protecting Christians’ right as the dominant religion in the UK to discriminate against minority groups.
Watch Lord Carey’s speech, and you’ll see that his “theology” (?) boils down to little more than scaremongering (equating equal marriage with someone robbing your home) peppered with theology-esque soundbites (using the word ‘sacrament’ once or twice).
A lot of progress has been made in the last few decades to fight for all kinds of equality (a fight that has clearly distressed Lord Carey: “So many of our current problems revolve around the all too narrow attempt to make equality the controlling virtue”), and this is not the first time that church men have abused their authority to warp the Christian message to discriminate.
Let’s not forget that within living memory, some of the churches of South Africa (such as the NGK) used theology to support the apartheid that the late Nelson Mandela fought against.
But it is strangely this very fact that gives me hope – because in the end, the Church played its vital part in bringing an end to apartheid through with the Rustenburg declaration, the repentance of the NGK and the work of that other great King’s Alumnus, Desmond Tutu.
Apartheid and the fight for equal rights for the LGBT community are obviously quite different, but their goal is in many ways the same: to end hatred and discrimination.
Figures published by Stonewall show that 99% of LGBT people are victims of verbal abuse, a third of lesbians self harm and a gay man is ten times more likely to commit suicide than a straight man – when there is so much suffering, how can we continue to hold up people like Lord Carey as figures to emulate?
We’re missing an opportunity here. King’s is a centre of real Christian learning, and for our university to stand against Lord Carey’s hateful views would be a powerful message to the world.
It’s time for King’s to take down Lord Carey from the window, to tell the world that this is not what we believe, and instead have King’s as a light that shines in the darkness.
I challenge Lord Carey to tell us how he can ground his views in real Christian theology.
Roar! would like to apologise for the errors made in the print version of this article, published on 11 February 2014. This is the correct article in full.