David Vance has a nice post on A Tangled Web regarding the Sexual Orientation Regulations which makes a number of very pertinent points - most of which I agree with, but I do take issue with one thing that DV does say.
It concerns the profound impact that the Parliamentary Report on "Sexual Orientation Regulations" will have on ALL of us, and in particular those who try our best to follow the Christian faith. If you think it's tough being a Christian NOW, check this out.
Actually, I don't think it's particularly tough being a Christian in Britain today - certainly not an Anglican and certainly not when compared to being a Christian in, for instance, Saudi Arabia or Bethlehem.
There are 10 basic rules to follow, none of which are particularly challenging. There are no requirements for us to mutilate the genitals of our children, we can eat and drink pretty much anything, we don't have to dress in a certain way, we don't have to cover our faces with hair or fabric, there's no compulsion to go to church regularly and it's OK to dance, sing and generally have a bit of fun. It's really not that hard at all.
To help you stick to these 10 basic rules, Christianity supplies a comprehensive guide book to life which contains countless tips and advice on all sorts of issues - dealing with bereavement, coping with illness, managing debt, establishing trust and maintaining relationships - anything and everything is covered. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard someone say something along the lines of "there's no instruction manual for life". There is, and it's jolly good.
I'm lucky in a way, though. I'm not a regular, weekly church goer - I manage a couple of times a month at best - but there are three churches in my locality for me to divide my visits between depending on what mood I'm in. If I want a more traditional, solemn service I go to one particular church, but it's a bit plain. If I want to enjoy more classical church architecture with more of an aesthetic impact (and better acoustics) I go to another, but it's a bit further away. If I just want something I can walk to I go to the closest, but it's a bit happy-clappy.
All three churches have good congregations though. Not full to overflowing, but certainly well occupied with a good mix of age groups and social classes. I'm fortunate to have several very good friends who I've met through being a Christian - and a fair number of more casual acquaintances - which means my family and I enjoy a healthy social life.
All in all, being a Anglican Christian in Britain today is a doddle - in fact, I'm surprised more people don't try it. I often watch TV programmes where some poor soul is living a miserable, lonely existence and think to myself - get your arse down to your church, mate. Sing a couple of hymns, listen to a sermon - which generally tend not to be particularly preachy these days - and then have a chat with a few of the congregation. Maybe even a cup of coffee. You never know, you might actually make some friends and realise that life ain't so bad after all.