Why vs Why: Gay Marriage

Why vs Why: Gay Marriage

Rodney Croome & Bill Muehlenberg, Pantera Press

The Uniting Church’s 13th Assembly recently resolved for the church to have a discussion on marriage within the Uniting Church, including exploring its implications for public covenants of same-gender marriage.

It did that specifically noting the desire for respectful conversation within the diverse community of the church.

An alternative would have been to line two opposing viewpoints up and let them slog it out with rhetorical techniques, selective research and hint that, if you don’t have the same view as me, you must clearly be wrong.

The first is the way that our church has chosen. The second is reflected in this book.

In choosing Rodney Croome to present the “Yes” case and Bill Muehlenberg to present the “No” case the publishers weren’t looking for subtlety, nuance or balance — just an argument.

Croome is a spokesperson for the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group and is a board member of Australian Marriage Equality and the International Gay and Lesbian Law Association.

Muehlenberg is Secretary of the Family Council of Victoria and was National Vice President of the Australian Family Association and National Research Coordinator at Focus on the Family.

Each writer presents seven points as to why their case is correct and then has a chance to rebut their opponent’s argument.

I came to the book having already spent some time pondering my own view as a person of faith, mindful of a range of views that are held within the church and within broader elements of society.

I found nothing new in this book and was disappointed with the shallowness of the two arguments. Croome was disappointing. Muehlenberg profoundly so.

If you haven’t yet done any real thinking about the issue and would like a simplistic introduction to the ends of the spectrum of views then this could be just the book for you.

If desire a respectful conversation within the diverse community of the church then I’d be looking elsewhere.

Gordon Ramsay ministers at Kippax Uniting Church, Canberra, and was a member of the recent 13th Assembly.

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