Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

Bishop Curry.jpgEpiscopal Presiding Bishop Curry’s sermon, at Harry and Meghan’s Saturday wedding? Wonderful. Or Waffle? As usual, I think Christians mis-read society. This sermon was… Both. At 14 minutes it felt long. It was MLK-lite derivative. Lots and lots about love. Sure, some good stuff here. But don’t Muslims, Hindus, agnostics and atheists love too? And sometimes, sacrificially too? And considering how little was said on the embodiment, the very visualisation and representation of God’s love – Jesus, the sermon could have been preached by any Theist. And perhaps that was so under Prince Charles’ direction??

But…

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On Chesil Beach.jpgAnother grenade thrown into the current gender wars?  Another poke at sexual repression?  On Chesil Beach – the book – is not this. I see the book by Ian McEwan, and the new film, are being misused for these polemic purposes.  Pity, because here is something worthwhile and relevant, 55 years after it was set.

In placing the drama in 1962, McEwan is deliberate.  It is a direct reference to Phillip Larkin’s Annus Mirabilis, the year sexual intercourse “began”.  McEwan describes well the times.  I am old enough, just, to remember some of this, CND, Macmillan, colonies getting independence, etc.  Now, reviewers sneer at the effective evocations, “melon boat for starters? Ha ha.”  After year and years of rationing, that was exotic. Even using onions was not universal.

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Mens Conference (14).JPG

The men listen carefully, if sometimes noisily

In Haiti they say “Age and marriage tame the beast”.    But by the time I stood to speak to over 470 Haitian men on this, I knew that was only partially the case.  The Beast still lurked.  Perhaps it still lurks in all of us.

Getting Asked
British Aid is supporting the Hospital’s women’s reproductive health programme in the community.  As part of that, the Hospital organised a Men’s Conference – how men can support their wives and partners.  It covered antenatal care, supporting your wife/partner in the early months after birth, birth control, relationships.

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The Beast quote

Well that’s a proverb here, but I wonder on its veracity. One of the staff I know here in Haiti is getting married soon.  So how does marriage work here?  There is no pattern of arranged marriages like in South Asia, nor family contracts like in Uganda.  Nor is there bride price, nor dowry.  Men meet women and that is that.  Marriage often following from pregnancy.  Abortion? It is illegal and socially not in favour either, due in large part to the Roman Catholic Church.  Sometimes mother will press younger daughters to abort, partially for reasons we know in UK – damage to education and work opportunities. But also because the new (more…)

An elderly man accompanies his wife into the consultation room. One of them is seriously ill.  One tells the doctor “we have been married for xx years, and we have only ever had one fight.  It is still not finished!” Old gag?  Perhaps, but an elderly couple in rural Haiti knew it to crack it.

I was asked to preach in Hospital and the topic before me was men and women.  Hot issue anywhere, let alone in a place like Haiti where things are so different.  So I asked a local doctor, a pastor, a community nurse, and some experienced expats for a little background, during chit-chat or after meetings.

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Peace In Our Time

So much noise and anger,
passive aggression,
or simply aggression.

Oh, for a quiet compromise.
Does it really matter, that matter
that issue, that principle?
Should it cost
me my job, my marriage, my life?
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First Dance

In the last four weeks both our children got married. Both happy occasions. Both with lovely
spouses. But even with mother-&-father-in-law behaving properly – marriage is for more than just two.

The Modern Marriage Model is bi-lateral. A contract with just two parties. It is nuclear, narrow, and sometime neurotic. The focus can be on the ideal couple cheered on by the “smug marrieds”, with singles, the divorced, widow(er)s, and gays there to wish well on their friends, but feeling out of it.

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