Comments: SORs: forty objectors found

Who gave this lot the right to speak in my name? Or to take on the mantle of The Voice Of The Laity?

Of course, any pressure group can pressure away - but it shows how hopelessly amateurish the so-called 'liberal ascendancy' is at getting its act together. Where are our full-page adverts in the Daily Mail proclaiming 'Not In My Name' when it comes down to this sort of campaign? Answer, we're all too busy doing apologetics for the rights of the Opposition.

Other contributors have spoken of the unreciprocated generosity of the 'liberal hierarchy'. I wouldn't call on them to stop the generosity, but we don't half need to wise up.

Rant over: I shall now go and try to be a faithful parish priest (dreadful funeral), and call to mind that I was ordained to do that sort of thing, not to get sidetracked into queer-bashing.

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 9:07am GMT

TBH one fifth seems a surprisingly small number! If you were to read "only 20% of Lay Members of General Synod support a call to the Bishops to vote against SORs" it would have a different dynamic don't you think? Even more so if it read "c80% of Lay Members of General Synod do not support a call for the Bishops to vote against SORs" etc. etc.

Posted by Mark Berry at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 10:14am GMT

WoW ! Forty objectors ! ......
I am so glad that synodical government is working so effectively for our nation.

I especially approve of giving voice to beleagured minorities. I hope their liberties may be upheld, and their lifestyle unhindered.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 10:46am GMT

Gay couples already have equal rights to adopt. What the legislation does is remove the ability of organisations not to offer this right.

Posted by Merseymike at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 12:01pm GMT

That only a little over one-fifth of lay membership of General Synod has signed the call to action on the current major issue for many conservative "faith" groups in the UK and the defining issue in the international Anglican community, strongly indicates that when the chips are down, the Church of England is largely in line with the Canadian, Scottish, New Zealand and US churches on this issue. The Lords debate, beyond Winchester and Rochester, will clarify or change this assumption.

Gledhill's Friday blog on archbishop Carey and disestablishment is very interesting. I have already posted the following observation to Ms. Gledhill's page. Though quoting one's-self is frequently a danger signal, I will simply repeat the comment, since it sums up my initial reaction to the archbishop's views.

"Might it be that the penny has dropped with G. Carey and that he's realized that a government which will push through the new SORs legislation is very, very unlikely to sit idly by as serious moves are made to ally the C of E with his secessionist buddies in Virginia, and with similar-minded groups in Nigeria and elsewhere in the Anglican Communion. This seems to me a very probable reason for his change of heart on establishment."

Hope that the second sentence of the Gledhill blog, "My deadline for this column passed before I could ascertain the view of the present incumbent at Canterbury", was written with humorous intent.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 12:17pm GMT

Wow, laity in the church working against justice.

Jonathan Edwards and Jonathan Daniels would turn in their graves.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 12:42pm GMT

I don’t know about Jonathan Daniels, but Jonathan Edwards, the 18th century American Calvinist, is probably applauding their actions from his residence in hell.

Posted by Kurt at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 1:08pm GMT

'Anthony Archer, author of the letter and a member of the Crown Nominations Committee said: “This is a rare opportunity for all Bishops to unite around this subject. It is also an outstanding moment for them to make a clear statement about their role in the House of Lords in the context of the proposals for reform, which looks increasingly likely to lead to a diminishing of their ability to be the conscience of the nation in our democratic process.”'
LCF Letterquoted on 'Anglican' 'Mainstream'

Anthony Archer is clearly an excellent man to have on the Crown Nominations Committee, as well as the General Synod. He will surely go far in fighting for gospel values in season and out ! His namesake comes to mind too ! And he has been tireless in his endeavours to enlighten and entertain us.

I feel (almost) certain that this Mr Archer will obey the Law of the land once the new regulations are in force.

apparently they have been misrepresented, as in fact they number 42 -- could not they all sit in the upper chamber and continue to advise and encourage, like this?

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 1:13pm GMT

I'm still struck by the way a headline which suggests that the bishops are being 'instructed' by the resolute laity ends up being softened in the body of the article to their being merely 'urged' by 'the faithful' and then drizzles out completely when it appears that only a fifth of the laity were of this opinion. Start big, waffle and then fizzle out. I was half expecting to see the final line being "'For God's sake do what you're told' said Karl the Janitor leaning on his broom at the back of the room".

Posted by Raspberry Rabbit at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 1:44pm GMT

30 of the 42 signatories are "South of the Trent". Last gasp of the "Conservative Church at Prayer"?

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 1:46pm GMT

I continue to find it very odd that the rightwing answer to the gaps between established church life and modern life is for the church to get meaner than not, while it tries to deny to queer folks the rights its own freedom riders of conscience already enjoy.

All along, the campaign for realignment seems to have had a sense that only by walking backwards in its slow-mo hermeneutics can it pretend - above all for media moments that are somewhat dim-witted when it comes to specialist theologies - that others who are walking fowards are, in fact, leaving God.

The key strategic question is how many rightwing believers does it take to mutiny on this good ship Bounty? And take all the rest of us hostage to their special rightwing godliness and absolute good fortune?

Posted by drdanfee at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 2:04pm GMT

"That only a little over one-fifth of lay membership of General Synod has signed the call to action on the current major issue..."

It is not a survey, it's a letter.

The only statistical conclusion that can be drawn, in the absence of evidence that the whole House was asked to sign and 80% refused, is that 42 people who were invited to do so, signed the letter.

Posted by Alan Marsh at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 3:36pm GMT

30 of the 42 signatories are "South of the Trent". Last gasp of the "Conservative Church at Prayer"?

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Monday, 19 March 2007 at 1:46pm GMT

Well spotted ! How I wish that my geographical acumen was half as good.

Ah TRENT --now there is a name with which to conjor ! ...

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 3:59pm GMT

"30 of the 42 signatories are "South of the Trent".

A similar proportion of the Church of England lies south of the Trent: 30 out of 44 dioceses are in the province of Canterbury.

Posted by Alan Marsh at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 4:42pm GMT

Should I ever happen to need to consult a psychiatrist, I certainly should not turn to Glynn Harrison, one of the 42 lay signatories listed above; and whose GS speech is included on the blog of Ruth G. This speech was not called to be given at GS and it is so anti-gay that the homophobic Ruth has not hesitated to include it in her blog, instead.

The good doctor's stated preference is for iron age texts over today's living tradition of psychiatric and psychotherapeutic writings and practice of working with others.

I wonder if the Royal College of Psychiatrists realize that Harrison's understanding, and ability, respectfully to work with all patients ?

A very serious question for all potential patients of the NHS (i.e. citizens).

And a clear demonstration of the necessity for these SORs. Are patients protected from anti-lgbt medical staff ?

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 6:20pm GMT

Well, Laurence, is that something that should/could be followed up with the Royal College of Psychiatrists?

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 7:20pm GMT

I just read the same contribution by Professor Glynn Harrison, and I don't recognise the description of it given by Laurence Roberts above. It outlines a scientific case and argument, and deserves a scientific response: not a peremptory denunciation of this kind, which truly does belong to the iron age. Or the NKVD.

Posted by Alan Marsh at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 7:49pm GMT

My previous post should, of course, have read : --

'I wonder if the Royal College of Psychiatrists realize that Harrison's understanding and ability, respectfully to work with all patients has been thus compromised ?
A very serious question for all potential patients of the NHS...'

Apologies

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 8:09pm GMT

"It is not a survey, it's a letter."

For once Alan I agree with you.

And Laurence, you are wrong about Ruth being homophobic but right about Glynn Harrison who should be ashamed of himself. Every profession has its embarrassments. When I was an undergraduate at Oxford there was one Seymour Fischer, psychiatrist, convert to catholicism from judaism who 'treated' young men with sexual problems. He was famous for his ueber-catholicism and his homophobia but when he went to sleep during a session a friend of mine crept out completely cured of his internalised homophobia, leaving him sleeping after Seymour Fischer had had a panic attack when fellatio was mentioned.

Posted by Christopher at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 8:30pm GMT

Why would Jonathon Edwards be in hell?

Posted by John at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 8:33pm GMT

Actually, I am pleased that they did the protest. I am glad that their society allows them to gather together in prayer and put forward a position that is consistent with their conscience. It would not have been healthy if they had not done this.

At least they can tell their god that they did their best, but that they did not have the numbers on the day.

I wonder if they are aware of the irony that they are partaking of a liberty that they would deprive GLBTs to have (e.g. in Nigeria)?

But perhaps they just don't get "do unto others as you would have done unto you".

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 8:41pm GMT

AnglicanMainstream seems to bring up to the minute news of SORs !
The instructions for vigils semed somehwat hysterical to me---but the sies will not fall in !

I also loved reading of All saints, Algarveon the AM site---- hopefully next week a piece on Council Estate Ministry ! ..... or is only for the upper middle classes ?

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 9:08pm GMT

Alan,
I am not a psychiatrist so I cannot give a scientific response to Prof Harrison's letter. But as a potential patient (aren't we all?)I would hope that a psychiatrist treating me did not claim that it was reasonable to stick to strict Christian rules about no sex outside marriage which includes no same sex activity because we don't allow same sex marriages, therefore gays can never be married, therefore they must be celibate.... It also ingores the emotional realities of our children and widowed/divorced parents.

This is one of many Christian views, but is is not an objective view for a psychiatrist who is meant to treat all his patients without prejudice.
This man could not treat a single member of my family, parents included, without finding his moral views and his views about his patients compromised!


And I'm not saying this in a vacuum, a psychiatrist friend of mine agrees that it would be very difficult for Prof. Harrison to treat his patients objectively.

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 9:40pm GMT

It was just on the radio 4 news that the Government is seeking an accommodation with the RC denomination and revolting (sic) backbenchers. If the Churches are offered concessions, the public will expect much from them in return.

Bigotry cannot have 'business as usual' in the time of the new paradigm.

"The kin-dom of G-d is among us !"

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 10:24pm GMT

George Carey Bombshell
**********************

I am shocked to see Carey belittle slavery as he does in the Ruth Gledhill Times blog. His suggestion that some slaves,'didn't have such a bad time of it' coupled with his insensitive use of slavery as a mere illustration and adjunct to his view on disestablishment, is profoundly disrespectful to all slaves who suffered; and a bitter disappointment even from him :--

'Set all Free' is the slogan for the celebration of the abolition of the slave trade in the UK. The Church is backing this without understanding her own
enslavement. It is understood that some slaves, in the more enlightened upper class establishments, didn't have such a bad time of it. 'Owners' knew that if they made their slavery comfortable, with nice
robes to wear and other perks denoting wealth and status, they would be less likely to rebel. So it is with the Church...'

Does this man's ineptitude know no bounds ?

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 11:06pm GMT

Erika, would you refuse to be treated by a Muslim psychiatrist, who may have very strong views about various aspects of a western lifestyle?

Would you refuse to accept the verdict of a judge because she happened to be wearing a hijab?

Or would you only denounce conservative Christians to the relevant professional bodies as being, in your opinion, incapable of acting professionally?

Posted by Alan Marsh at Monday, 19 March 2007 at 11:34pm GMT

Kurt & John: I mentioned Jonathan Edwards (of New England, eighteenth century) as a Calvinist who might not have been opposed to proof of scientific methods per his upbringing, despite his tendancy towards dramatic preaching. Perhaps today's evangelicals could learn something from him (in terms of his respect for science), but reading deeper into his background about chastizing young parishoners for reading "bad" books, I may very well be mistakened about his open-mindedness.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 12:17am GMT

Alan,
Of course I would be judged by anyone of any faith. Judges have to uphold the law and not their own beliefs.

A Muslim psychiatrist? Yes, I would refuse him or her unless his or her membership of a professional body could reassure me that they are capable of treating me according to my best interest and not to their beliefs. That's why professional membership of royal colleges and likewise institutes is so important.

And my daughter's multi-faith hospital team is the most caring, capable and kind group of professionals you'd ever wish to come into contact with.

When the issue is about external matters, like upholiding the law or medicine anyone can do it.

When it is about my own deepest personal concerns it has to be something who can truly understand what I'm about, or who can at least be truly impartial.

This is not a prejudice against Muslims - I should be surprised if they wish to be treaed by an evangelical Christian who may have no respect for their faith.

Living in a same sex relationship I would certainly not be comfortable with any psychological or psychiatric professional who believes my life style is a sin against God!

You've probably not experienced this, but being on the margins of society means you're psychologically in quite a vulnerable position. Should you need psychological treatment you would really need someone who you don't perceive to come from the side that's already loudly criticising everything about you.

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 8:32am GMT

Good point Erika.

There is no way this man can offer, and be seen to offer, an unprejudiced service. All the more so, as psychiatry, like all good medecine has to invovle a personal or inter-subjective relationship with patients. Perhaps he is more of simple pill pushing doctor. Even this would call for nuance, and humanity.

Having been abused in my teens,by a tirade of anti-gay invective, from a psychiatrist, when I had hoped for help; and working myself in the field of mental health, I have concern about those who (would) abuse their position of power, in relation to vulnerable people.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 8:37am GMT

There's at least one non sequitur in Prof. Harrison's article as he shifts effortlessly from an 'is' to 'ought'.

As ConsEvs on this site have argued ceaselesly, there is no necessary connection between state and morality - that something is 'natural', we are reminded, is not cause to see it as acceptable. The demonstration that sexuality is only partly genetically determined is a mirror-image, and presumably COnsEvs would in the interests of consistency say that just because something is not entirely given, but partly acquired, is not reason to count it as unacceptable.

So we are not really talking science here: we're back to the old, tired, unsupportable argument about Authority which only changes when it suits the dominant interest group. After so many years as the dominant interest group, perhaps conservative Christians would allow someone else a place in the sun and belt up?

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 9:53am GMT

Alan March wrote: "... would you refuse to be treated by a Muslim psychiatrist, who may have very strong views about various aspects of a western lifestyle?

Would you refuse to accept the verdict of a judge because she happened to be wearing a hijab?"

I must say I take exception to this endless spewing of anti Muslim nonsense at all hours.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 11:16am GMT

We American Episcopalians have never been fond of Calvinists here. In fact, our denomination was formed, in large measure, against them. Many of us just assume that hell is where all good Calvinists go when they die. I see no reason to question that assumption.

Posted by Kurt at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 12:55pm GMT

Alan,
Can a doctor treat a patient with professionalism, care, kindness, understanding, etc... irrespective of her (the doctor's) particular point of veiw or "conscience"? Difficult maybe but surely not implausible. Like this doctor we as christians are called to witness of his love to the world? Difficult maybe but surely not implausible. It's hard not to over-generalize or over-simplify any of these questions.

Posted by John at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 2:37pm GMT

It's not an anti-muslim comment, Goran, but a question about attitudes to other people. Do you or Erika seriously claim the right to choose a psychiatrist according to their religious beliefs? Or their political views? "I'm not having that woman treat me, she's a member of the Conservative Party?"

Are you incapable of rationally accepting that people can carry out their profession effectively even if they have opinions, views or beliefs which you do not share?

Of course, you are unlikely to know unless the professional concerned is wearing some form of identifying religious apparel. And so I ask again, knowing the strongly conservative teaching of islam about homosexuality, would you refuse to accept treatment from a doctor who was clearly identified by a hijab as being a muslim?

And by extension, if the doctor was a white, European male doctor, who happened to be wearing a cross, would you demand to know his views on homosexuality before allowing him to treat you?

And, knowing what islam teaches, have you compained to the relevant professional bodies about allowing any muslim to practice psychiatric medicine?

Posted by Alan Marsh at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 3:00pm GMT

May I remind you that this legislation is about bad manners, not about anybody's party or religion?

I was questioning your attitudes towards other people.

Read what Erika says about professionalism, and especially what she says about her daughter's hospital team!

I work with such a team.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 3:39pm GMT

Alan, would you read my previous answer again, please?

John, of course one cannot generalise and many psychiatrists are perfectly capable of treating all patients.
When they do, on occasion, come across some they find hard to treat for reasons of conflict of belief or personal experience (a mother I know, for example, finds it hard to treat a paedophile), they would usually hand them over to a colleague.

That's why, as I said before, membership of professional bodies is so important, because their code of conduct guarantees that all members are capable of working for the their patient's best interest.

But when I am confronted with someone who has openly and publicly lobbied against my personal life style, and who wishes to retain legal grounds for discriminating against me, then I seriously doubt that this person is in a position to give me the psychological help I need at a time when I am most vulnerable.
Surely, that's obvious?

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 3:40pm GMT

My response to interrogation here.

I have to say that I live in the midst of a muslim community. My neighbours are lovely--delightful. The doctors, cabbies, shop keepers, barber, bus drivers and pharmacy are all very professional, helpful and reliable. "Cab on it's way" actually means " The taxi is now on its way to your address."

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 4:01pm GMT

In 1984 I had a test from a genetics expert about tuberous sclerosis. I had every confidence in him and his expertise, and then in a wide ranging chat I found him to be an Anglican (as I was then, very early days, pre my Unitarian adventure) and he believed in the virginal conception and I did not. Somewhere he had thrown a switch, and I was completely baffled. So I always think it is possible for experts to compartmentalise their beliefs and beliefs (this is not a mistake) and operate according to which mind-room they are in at the time.

Posted by Pluralist at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 4:07pm GMT

Alan,

Back to your last post:

Do I claim the right to choose a psychiatrist according to their religious or political belief:
Never according to their political belief.
According to their religious belief, yes, if I know that it will potentially harm my patient-doctor relationship with them. I don't care whether they believe literally in the virgin birth or not, but I do care whether they think that homosexuality is an abomination, because it directly impinges on their relationship with me. Unless I know their belief will not stop them from treating me according to my best interest.


Am I incapable of rationally accepting that people can carry out their profession effectively even if they have opinions, views or beliefs which I do not share?
No, but there are instances in any profession where people cannot act with integrity.
As a translator, my clients can rationally expect me to work for their best interest. But there is material I would not translate!
Just like there are patients a psychiatrist could not treat effectively. The skill is for everyone to know our own limits.

Would I refuse to accept treatment from a doctor identified by a hijab as being a Muslim, or someone wearing a cross?
If the treatment was of a psychological nature and involved discussing my sexuality, and if the doctor’s Muslim’s belief was so strong that it would get in the way - yes, I would ask for another doctor. In practice, of course, I would trust her to hand me over to a colleague.

Have I complained to the relevant professional bodies about allowing any Muslim to practice psychiatry?
I have not needed to. I would be delighted if a Muslim treated my daughters. I would need very firm assurances that the person could treat me, however.

But all this has nothing to do with faith – it has everything to do with professional ethics.

We all have something that presses all the wrong buttons. For some it’s paedophilia, for some it’s murder, for others it may be adultery or homosexuality. All I need to know is that the person treating me isn’t disgusted, appalled or repelled by my particular circumstances and issues and that they can deal with them professionally. And sometimes “professionally” means handing the case over to a colleague. I would only report someone if I felt that professionalism was in doubt.



Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 4:12pm GMT

Thank you Christopher for your defence of me and thank you everyone who has taken the time to read my blogs/stories on this issue. I do hope I am not homophobic but this is always a difficult issue to write about, especially on a weblog, where fact and opinion can seem to merge, without seeming to take one side or the other. I've had an email correspondence this week from someone the 'other side' suggesting I am the opposite of homophobic because of that same blog posting. I am always grateful for criticism - goodness knows I've had enough of it recently - and despite what some people might think, I actually do read and listen and try to learn from all the criticism I can get my hands on. Where necessary, I also try and change. When I started this job 20 years ago, I was looking forward to indulging my predilection for reading encyclicals and theological tomes and writing stories for the back of the paper. I never for one moment thought that religion would become such a prominent subject. It can get uncomfortable but I don't feel sorry for myself when under fire because if you're going to give it out you've got to be able to take it. If sometimes I go too far in sensationalising stories, then I must allow critics to overstep the mark in responding with sensationalist criticism. On this one though, I don't think posting Glynn's comments was homophobic. I posted Ben Summerskill higher up on the same post. Just posting someone's views does not mean a person supports them.

Posted by Ruth Gledhill at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 7:21pm GMT

Kurt: You obviously haven't attended an Episcopal church here in Ohio. It was years before somebody told me that we were 'catholic'. I was shocked.

Hell is a mindset, I suspect that that could be fitting for the Presbyterian side of my family. If they're going to hell, they at least know they're going there and can't help it.
But this is getting off of the subject.

While we here in the USA and EC worry about an ++AB somewhere else not inviting us to the table, or another showing Christian charity by not going to the table with us, and our government doing anything but in the rest of the world, Great Britain's government moves ahead and leaves the church in a cloud of dust.

Makes you proud.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Tuesday, 20 March 2007 at 8:37pm GMT

Erika, I have read and re-read your posts, and you still don't answer the objection that a senior Professor of Psychiatry is entitled to express a professional and scientifically based view, in a public forum, without being questioned about his professional ethics, simply because you disagree profoundly with him - although you say you are not qualified to respond to the work to which he makes reference.

There are many people working in the health service who have personal and religious views which they hold strongly, some of them far more judgemental than any conservative Christian might appear. Neither you nor I have any right to demand that we are not treated by someone committed to such views by the religion they practise, unless they cross the boundary set by the scrupulous professional ethics expected of them, and modify in some unacceptable way the treatment which they provide for patients. That is the point at which the relevant medical college needs to receive a complaint.

Contrary to the rather excited views expressed by Laurence Roberts, it is not a valid ground for complaint that the doctor concerned holds conservative religious opinions, islamic or christian.

Posted by Alan Marsh at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 12:30am GMT

Ruth, I think you love cookery. I think you have a big spoon and put both of your hands on its handle when it is in the mixture.

Posted by Pluralist at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 12:48am GMT

Ruth as far as I can see you support Carey, the RC denomination and the anti-lgbt forces in the AC and in Uk society consistently.

You certainly haven't been trying to support lgbt people , have you ?

If you think that this not the case I am flabbergasted!

It is never too late to change direction --we'd all love you for it ! (the beleagured lgbt minority and our families and friends).
And the only reward would be treasure of the heavenly variety. And the properity's blessing !

So here's to the future of your blog !

(You mustn't take the criticisms to heart, they cannot be personal -- and it is making your living! We are not indiffrent to your writing! )

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 1:15am GMT

"There are many people working in the health service who have personal and religious views which they hold strongly, some of them far more judgemental than any conservative Christian might appear. "

Oops, Here we go again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 8:22am GMT

"... a senior Professor of Psychiatry is entitled to express a professional and scientifically based view, in a public forum, without being questioned about his professional ethics..."

I am sorry, but this was neither professional nor scientifically based.

The more you go on about it, the more I begin to think that the various liberal professions ;=) need to begin to screen their members.

AND DONT GIVE ME THAT ANTI-MUSLIM CRAP AGAIN!

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 8:26am GMT

Alan,
I'm not sure what you're saying - we don't seem to disagree at all.
" Neither you nor I have any right to demand that we are not treated by someone committed to such views by the religion they practise, unless they cross the boundary set by the scrupulous professional ethics expected of them, and modify in some unacceptable way the treatment which they provide for patients. That is the point at which the relevant medical college needs to receive a complaint."

That's exactly what I've been saying.

Only, as this particular man has loudly lobbied and voted against my deepest personal relationship, I cannot be quite so dispassionate.

I suppose the difference between your and my view is that, I know I'm deeply vulnerable to people who find my love hateful, and I would do everything not to be in a position where I would have to feel they sit in judgment of me.

To you this is a theoretical issue where you can wait until professionalims has been violated before you make a complaint.
To me it is a potentially deeply personal issue where I would like to make sure a lack of professionalism cannot arise, because by then I will have been the one to have been hurt.

As an aside - I'm always astonished in these conversations how those who are straight seem to be perfectly able to talk about not being straight in the abstract, and how little understanding there is about the fact that this affects some of us very directly, very personally and very emotionally. We are much more vulnerable in this conversation than you are.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 8:35am GMT

In a comment higher up in the thread Alan Marsh writes: “Do you or Erika seriously claim the right to choose a psychiatrist according to their religious beliefs? Or their political views? "I'm not having that woman treat me, she's a member of the Conservative Party?"”

I haven’t been in the position to “chose” a psychiatrist, but I think that when “chosen”, this “choice” is one of recommendation from acquaintances, former patients &c.

Psychiatrists are not on NHS here, so the “choice” is of some personal interest not only with regard to the help expected.

A prospective patient does not appear to “chose” a Psychiatrist he/she is uncertain of. My understanding is that – rightly or wrongly – this “choice” is very much made with regard to the school the psychiatrist belongs to (Jewish Dr Freud or Indo European Dr Jung), gender, political outlook, religion and everything you can think of.

The “choice” seems to be very much a “pond” by “pond” affair.

(From the rest of this comment, it seems I need warn and exhort you that you are identifying – in late Modern Essentialist fashion – the person and the professional abilities with her/his religion and party.

Few people identify themselves in this manner – indeed, most reject the very idea of such allegiances).

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 9:20am GMT

Laurence Roberts wrote: “"Cab on it's way" actually means " The taxi is now on its way to your address."”

WOW!

(and when the door bell tolls, it’s the milkman ;=)

Who would have thunk!

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 9:21am GMT

Ruth Gledhill wrote: “... but this is always a difficult issue to write about, especially on a weblog, where fact and opinion can seem to merge, without seeming to take one side or the other.”

Facts and opinion only merge for the fanatic Ruthie dear, not for people who are rational.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 9:22am GMT

Alan,
let me give you another, not quite so emotive example as religion. Sorry if I get personal again - but one of the cruical points for me is that all these discussions ARE ultimately personal and we don't do ourselves any favours by coldly abstracting all the time. That only serves to harden hearts.

My 12 year old daughter had homeopathic treatment to help her cope with the effects of chemotherapy. For very valid reasons she then decided to stop the treatment while still on chemo. Her homeopath wrote her a letter saying he urged her to continue "to avoid the possibility of a relapse".

I've known that he has very strong anti-medical establishment views but did not think they would cause us any problems, having been reassured by the therapy centre he works for that he is a consumate professional who would not let his beliefs affect his work.

Now, however, I have a frightened girl who feels that it would somehow be her fault if her leukaemia came back at any time in the future. This is an unacceptable pressure to put on a child.

Had I known from the beginning that this practitioner truly believes that homeopathy can cure and prevent cancer I would not have allowed him to treat my daughter - fearing precisely the outcome we're now having to deal with.

Of course, I could now lodge an official complaint. But the damage is done!
I'd rather put my energy into trying to avoid the damage in the first place.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 10:22am GMT

Alan

no-one is here to be at thy beck and call.

Notwithstanding that.

One can and will challenge the professional competence and ethics of such a medic. I would decline to see him under any medical circumstance. I may well be prepared to see him and work with him,myself, if he demonstrated, at assessment, that he was capable of change, and prepared to work at it. However, at this distance, he seems very content as he is, with his lifestyle choice.

It's his life.


He would not be alone in that --would he?

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 10:46am GMT

- I'm always astonished in these conversations how those who are straight seem to be perfectly able to talk about not being straight in the abstract, and how little understanding there is about the fact that this affects some of us very directly, very personally and very emotionally. We are much more vulnerable in this conversation than you are.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 8:35am GMT

This speaks my mind too.

This is how it is for us. And it is like this when young and when aged. When life is going well and when we face health or other issues, on top, of our vulnerability as a minority in a mainstream society such as this ...

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 11:16am GMT

Göran

"Oops, Here we go again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"AND DONT GIVE ME THAT ANTI-MUSLIM CRAP AGAIN!"

Maybe Alan means the well known fundamentalist views of liberal Christian forums. I seem to remember another contributor often telling us that we are the real opressors!

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 12:23pm GMT

When you're as old as I am Erika, you will know that oppressors always say that ;=)

ZOG, Sharia, and so on...

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 1:07pm GMT

OK, shout down those you disagree with. It's far easier than engaging in rational argument.

Posted by Alan Marsh at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 2:34pm GMT

Alan,
Who's shouting? I have posted at least two more rational replies since your last post, Göran also posted two. Engage, if you please.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 3:28pm GMT

Kurt said

"I don’t know about Jonathan Daniels, but Jonathan Edwards, the 18th century American Calvinist, is probably applauding their actions from his residence in hell."

Interestingly enough not so long back the conservatives around here were accused of sitting in judgement on who was going to heaven and who was going to Hell. I take it Kurt is a conservative evangelical? Obviously an unusual one if he is anti Edwards!

Posted by dave williams at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 4:58pm GMT

Kind Erika

You have done a good job defending yourself and your honesty of how this has personally affected you is appreciated. Please be aware that in any forum there will be few people who are the nettles who must remind us that the puritan forms of theology exist. They must post for the fear that if none of them will post, their voices will be seen to disappear.

They are often blind to the inconsiderateness, callousness or inconsistency in their positions.

Personally, I am snickering about the slave trade discussions. At some point they are going to realise that in their denouncement of the slave trade culture and dynamics has become a mirror to how they have mistreated other "outcaste" elements of society e.g. GLBTs.

In these discussions, understand that you will never convince these souls of the errors of their ways within the discussion yourself. You can sometimes snicker when a few weeks later they argue the same line as you (pretending that they had been thinking that way all along). You can have another snicker that this is a trait that many humans have - never admit to the "inferior" soul that you have changed your mind and agree with their suggestion. My other snicker is that there are some souls (and societies) who would rather die than take advice from a woman, but the irony for this generation is that if they don't take advice from a woman the whole of humanity could die...

My tactic is to imagine that the debate is being heard before God. Put forward your points as though a truly independent and fair arbitor is considering the merits of the discussion. You might not win on the human level, but if you handle yourself well and are fair in your responses, you will win in the higher debate.

It is winning in the higher debates that will see a shift in humanity's collective consciousness; and that is what we need to do if we want to stop these ridiculous levels of aggression, discrimination and desecration.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 8:08pm GMT

Dear Cheryl,
thank you for springing to my defence and for being so protective!

Please don't worry. I'm no more vulnerable than anyone else posting on this list, but I know I am strong enough to allow that vulnerability to shine through in the conversation. It is my firm belief that nothing but personal encounters will eventually change people's minds - and personal honesty is the only way I know to facilitate some kind of personal encounter on this forum.

I don't expect many to change their minds, certainly not to admit it. I tend to (arrogantly?) believe I've won a particular point when I no longer get a reply to a direct question.

Your question is fascinating - am I aiming my posts at God? Perhaps arrogantly again, I rather believe that anything I post is, to some extent, inspired and guided by God. How else would I have the strength to become openly vulnerable?
In all things to do with Love - in everything about life! - God is not as much my judge as the Spirit my guide. To that extent, there is peace.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 10:36pm GMT
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