Wrecking Ball

Dear Mr David John Barrington Burrowes, Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate and Chairman of the Conservative Christian Fellowship,

I am writing to you on the day of the final consideration of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the House of Commons, one day after it was passed back from the House of Lords with a very high approval rating from the peers and religious folk who sit in that body, to thank you for trying so hard at the absolute last minute to frustrate yet again the desires and happiness of those pesky gay people, who, it seems, simply will not give up with their calls for equality. You are attempting to do this by introducing your own amendments to the Lords’ amendments, which will require that another consultation take place on the bill, thereby delaying its progress through parliament and, hopefully, scuppering it forever. I am writing to you on a day when you may receive much harsh criticism from many people for a move that many may see as cynical, bitter, mean-spirited and downright unkind, to thank you for standing up for the rights of those poor, much-maligned and hard-done-by straight people, such as yourself, who think that the Church should be in charge of marriage and not the government of the country or the people themselves. There simply are not enough people standing up for traditionalists like you who want to ensure that their chosen religious views trump the rights of everyone else in the country.

Being as the House of Commons will be considering the Lords’ amendments (and your own new ones) at about 7pm, I will keep this brief, as I would like you to have time to read it before you stand and tell the nation once again why denying equality to all is the right thing to do and is exactly what Jesus would have done. In order to keep it brief (and because you may already be in the chamber and be reading this on your iPad or iPhone) I thought it might be helpful if I just gave you a few counter-arguments that you could use if you do get a chance to speak and the anti-traditionalists try to derail your one-man crusade. Please find below in bold the arguments that might come your way and my suggested counter-arguments in italics. I hope you find them useful. Please don’t feel the need to reference me in the House of Commons at all. The credit can be all yours. (I’ve also a few handy pointers of my own in red).

This last-minute amendment is designed to wreck the bill, calling for a consultation when one has already taken place.
The original consultation did not produce a result that I was happy with (i.e. showing that the British public were opposed to equal marriage), therefore another consultation must take place until we get a result that pleases me. This is only fair as I am a hardline Christian and we all know that in this country all laws must be based on the Bible (and my interpretation of it) regardless of the will of the majority of the public, who are not Christian. Everyone knows that this is how it should be because it has always been this way. Things must never change. Ever. [Note from me: This counter-argument may sound a little arrogant but don’t worry, you’ll be in good company. God and Jesus said some pretty arrogant things in their time too and it didn’t lead to that much disharmony, violence and war over the last few millennia]

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill passed through the House of Commons and the House of Lords with a big majority, clearing demonstrating that it should become law.
It may appear that the bill passed through both Houses of Parliament with a majority but that is, in fact, twisting the facts. The simple truth is that I opposed the bill and, therefore, it must not pass. It is simply not fair that a clear majority of people from all parties, both elected and appointed, from all parts of the country, men and women, of all ethnicities, religions and sexualities, should be able to override the wishes of one hardline Christian. I have a Bible (several in fact) and the way I read them tells me that what I want is most important, regardless of what any other majority of people may think. [Note from me: This counter-argument may also sound a little arrogant but please don’t worry, really. You must stick to your guns in a situation like this. It’s easy to make the democratic process sound unfair if it doesn’t produce the results you want it to. Keep at it and maybe one day they’ll reform the whole process so that you can decide what everyone does!]

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is designed to open up an institution based on love to a group of people who have been denied access to it ever since it was created. It is not designed to, nor does it, undermine heterosexual marriages in any way whatsoever.
I have a heterosexual marriage and, if gay people are allowed to marry, it will be undermined severely. It will be damaged beyond all possible belief. It will be so horrifically mangled by gays being allowed to marry that I may not be able to continue it, so difficult will it be to remain married when gay couples are allowed to marry too. Coming home to my wife and children will never be the same again. Gay people will ruin my marriage [Note from me: It may appear at first glance that this counter-argument is baseless and utterly ridiculous, as it is accompanied by no evidence whatsoever as to how your marriage will be harmed by gay people being allowed to marry. But make it any way. You already have lots of times before. And we all know that facts and evidence often get in the way of a good argument. Plus, I couldn’t actually think of a way in which your marriage would be harmed so was unable to generate an argument for you. But you haven’t been able to come up with one so far either, so it shouldn’t matter too much]

This bill will not harm the children of homosexual parents, rather it will mean that they can continue to be raised in loving, stable relationships that will now be on an equal-footing with those of heterosexual couples.
I’m so glad you raised the issue of children. We all know that children are raised best in loving, stable relationships, where adults show them love, care and attention. And we all know that if you are unable to produce a child of your own naturally, you are incapable of providing a loving home for a child. Imagine a heterosexual couple, who are unable to procreate, adopting a child – horrific! Or an aunt taking in the orphaned child of her late sister and brother-in-law – she didn’t produce that child so how can she possibly provide it with a caring, loving home? And gay people – no gay couple has ever raised a healthy, well-adjusted child; and any research to the contrary is wrong, because I say so [Note from me: If you’ve been allowed to speak this long, it’s probably best if you start sounding a little hysterical at this point. The majority of the Houses of Commons and Lords and the British pubic are against you, David, so you must show them how passionate and right you are. It might be a good idea to brandish a Bible, lest anyone forget that we still live in Victorian times and all of our laws are supposed to be based on it]

Your amendments appear to be attempting to prolong the work of Parliament on this bill, when previously you have said that this bill is preventing Parliament from focusing on much more important matters like the economy and Europe.
I refer you to my first counter-argument: the result of the several months of debates and detailed committee scrutiny have not resulted in the outcome I wanted, therefore Parliament must be forced to look at the bill again until I get what I want [Note from me: Hit someone with the Bible at this point. And cry a bit]

David, you’re making ridiculous arguments backed up with no evidence whatsoever. Shut up and sit down.
Er….. [Note from me: Sit down]

And there you have it; how to win the argument in a few easy steps. It seems very unlikely to me that the bill will be allowed to pass with someone like you making convincing arguments like the ones I have outlined above. And, remember, if it does pass and you end up completely on the wrong side of history, with your marriage in tatters because gays are allowed to marry too, you can rest assured that you tried your best. And what’s to stop you trying to destroy gay people’s marriages once they have taken place, anyway? I’m sure Jesus would have done the same; he was renowned for his spiteful cruelty after all.

So, best of luck for the debate and I hope you’re allowed to stand and defend your amendments to the amendments. Remember, you are a strong, powerful, heterosexual man and your opinion is more important than the will of the people.

R

P.S. If the bill does pass and I one day choose to marry, you can do a reading at the wedding if you like. How about 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7?