Stephen Green, “think tank”

Ekklesia have been causing a bit of a stir with their call to rethink the legal status of marriage. Not exactly within MWW’s remit, except for the fact that Stephen Green of Christian Voice responded with a confused press release in which he referred to CV (ie, himself) as a “a prominent Christian think tank”!


(Thanks to Simon)

12 Responses to “Stephen Green, “think tank””

  1. Blu_Matt says:

    It’s hardly a “think tank” if (a) you don’t think, and (b) have everything handed down to you in a single book.

    “Repeat-ad-nauseam tank” might be more accurate.

  2. Andy A says:

    It’s odd that I don’t recall (I may be wrong) their coming up with this before civil partnerships. It’s not really opposite-sex couples’ cohabitation that worries them: it’s gays. But they can sweep them all into the same net with the this-is-a-threat-to-marriage argument. Quite how, I don’t know. Do you hetties out there feel that your marriage is under threat because there are a couple of blokes in the next street who have set up home together and are going to ‘tie the knot’ at the town hall next Saturday?

  3. Andy A says:

    Tank’s for the mammary … i.e. Green’s a tit.

  4. Stuart says:

    ‘Prominent Christian (wink) tanker’ might be nearer the mark.
    Re Ekklesia – can see what he’s getting at with the ‘covenant before god’ argument but think Andy may be right that there’s a subtle sidelining of gay relationships here (maybe unconsciously so in Ekklesia’s case I’d accept).
    Citing the divorce rate is nonsense though – as marriage counsellors have said for years, the point is firstly that only certain types of marriage break down fast (e.g. young kids who get pushed into it) and secondly that most divorcees remarry within a year or two, so what’s really going on is a demand for better marriages.

  5. Marc says:

    Yes – we should have a campaign for better marriages for all.

  6. Ha! I agree. The state has no business in my sex life. If I wish to register my partnership with the state, I would do so. I agree, for all the opposite reasons. But the church shouldn’t have any business changing the state. But that’s england for you.

  7. I can confirm, having met the chump^H^H^H^H^H sorry I mean “chap” today in Nottingham while counter-protesting JS:TO that he indeed does not appear to think very much. He’s quite happy with “god did it” as an answer to almost anything.

    Not only that, but he doesn’t listen either! He essentially comes across as a rather crap politician stuck in some kind of religious role, churning out lines like a stuck record.

    Once the protest had died down and most of the Christians had gone home, a few of us remaining anti-censorship types ended up talking to him.

    His debating tactic involved continually interrupting and talking over us (despite that, we still gave him time to speak), rubbishing plenty of things we said without any shred of evidence to the contrary, using logic along the lines of “evolution can’t explain the coloured feathers on a mallard duck, so therefore evolution is bogus” (despite us saying “we don’t claim to have all the answers, but your view is incredibly simplistic and seeks to stop the need to ask the question”).

    In short, talking to him was an incredibly frustrating experience – largely because not only does he barely give you space to put your point of view across, he also doesn’t listen in the brief seconds you do manage to get a word in edgeways.

    He makes good use of the “if I don’t acknowledge you have a point and just go lalalalala with my fingers in my ears, you can’t win” tactic, which back in the school playground was a surefire way to a sound beating.

    In conclusion, I found him to be a rude and arrogant arsehole – far more arrogant and smug than any atheist I know of, even those with a reputation for smugness.

    In contrast, most of the other Christians we spoke to were very polite and receptive to our side of the argument, once they’d realised that actually we random collection of anarchists / humanists / socialists were pretty decent folks, who were there to make a serious point against censorship and did in fact have brains on our shoulders.

    I ended up having a friendly debate / chat with a couple of middle-aged Christian guys (Ken and Graham) who essentially wanted to apologise for the arrogant Christian Voice weirdos – kudos to them, we actually ended up seeing eye-to-eye on a fair few issues, and I could happily have gone for a drink down the pub with them (although I got the impression they didn’t drink).

    Funniest thing was, while being talked at by Stephen Green, some random Christian passer by (not involved in the protest) came up to our little group and said (to Green) “Look mate, I’m a Christian too, but I agree with the anti-censorship lot. It’s not our place to pass judgement on others, it even says that in the Gospel.”

    At which point Green started being a patronising arsehole to him too, pulling the “yes well I know which verse it is and you don’t so nyah” kind of playground superiority tactic, so I offered the passer by the warm hand of friendship on our side of the debate if he felt pushed out by those claiming to represent his views.

    All in all, a very strange day. It’s not often you can have a friendly chat with the opposition in a protest, but with the exception of a few more hardline Christians (mostly older women giving us evil looks, it seemed, one of whom came and had a bit of a rant at us about how we wouldn’t be protesting against Muslims) I found the Christian protestors to be a fairly harmless, albeit slightly mislead bunch.

    That even some of them seemed quite keen to distance themselves from the Christian Voice bunch is an encouraging thing indeed.

    With the exception of Green, who I disengaged from as soon as I realised he wasn’t even going to let me speak, a few of the other Christians bid us a warm goodbye, shook our hands, thanked us for the chat and said “see you tomorrow then”.

    See us tomorrow they will indeed – and hopefully the rest of the week too!

  8. Hey can I be a prominent lepidoptera think tank? That would be good.

  9. One of the things that is most encouraging about this whole situation, as Roger points out, is the eagerness of mopst Christians to distance themselves from the rather presumptuously-titled Christian Voice. It’s like when Green made that ludicrous comment about wanting to dispel the idea that Christianity is a religion for “women and wimps”; most Christians I know were rather fond of women, and as for the meek, they were under the impression that they would inherit the Earth.

  10. Pinchbeck says:

    The closest Green will ever come to being in a Kristian thinktank is putting his brain in a jar of formeldahyde.

  11. Andy Gilmour says:

    Wouldn’t this leave him open to a charge of false advertising? (Just a nice thought that flickered across my otherwise atrophying brain…)

  12. Simon Barrow says:

    Stuart wrote: >

    Just to clarify – there’s no sidelining of gay relationships (conscious or unconscious) in what Ekklesia’s arguing. Just an attempt to make sure that religious arguments about these do not get in the way of the civil partnerships/ marriage debate. I think that’s clear from our (recently revised) paper.

    On better marriages. Sure. But the evidence is actually that the divrce rate is going up among older as well as younger couples. And that second marriages fail more than first ones. The isses are complex, but citing the overall stats isn’t nonsense.

    Best, Simon