Comments: more on Dr Glynn Harrison's views about homosexuality

God help and save us all.

(The Church of England can not.)

thank God we live in an age when authorities- be they Synods, bishops, psychiatrists are held to account more.

I had aversion / electro-convulsive (mis)treatment my homoseuxality in the 60s -- but such ideas let alone the practice of painful electric shocks--

should NOT be so much as countenanced by any authority in society or church.

What was the Synod and the archbishop thinking of ?

He was quick enough to dissuade Dr John from his Bishop of Reading post, even though it had received the Royal Assent.

How can Dr Harrison possibly remain on the CAC now ?

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Friday, 13 April 2012 at 12:43pm BST

It really is depressing to find these kind of views having currency in the C of E. I think the church should be deeply ashamed.

Posted by Suem at Friday, 13 April 2012 at 2:31pm BST

Yes, the Church should be deeply ashamed, to quote the poster "Suem" in this thread. However the only way to be sure they are "ashamed" is to hold the hierarchy and those who make top level decisions within the Church, accountable. It is long overdue. Transparency when it comes to people such as those proposing such dark and backward thinking in order to disenfranchise those who hold healthier opinions about human sexuality. The fact that people such as Glynn Harrison are invited to serve on such Commissions, needs to be exposed and discussed because the damage by such people to others is so very profound.

Posted by Chris Smith at Friday, 13 April 2012 at 5:55pm BST

As a former diocesan member of the CNC (when it met to consider who should be recommended to fill the vacancy in my diocese), I am appalled at the criticisms being made of Dr Glynn Harrison, a duly-elected central member. I wonder if a CNC member who had expressed pro-gay opinions would be subjected to the same character assassination.
My experience was that the CNC discussed prayerfully the needs of the diocese and the respective merits of the names considered before deciding who should be recommended for appointment. We should trust the CNC (and the Canterbury vacancy-in-see committee, who will elect the six diocesan members to serve on the commission for the Canterbury appointment) to do likewise.

Posted by David Lamming at Friday, 13 April 2012 at 7:15pm BST

David Lamming,
the problem is not that someone expresses the opinion that God doesn't like gay people, the problem is that he is an expert who expresses discredited views that people can change their orientation.

We are entitled to assess people and their views. This man's views appear to be against everything his professional peers believe to be true.
I think that is quite telling.

Posted by Erika Baker at Friday, 13 April 2012 at 8:27pm BST

I do think Prof Harrison's views are appropriate for critique. I am not aware of any character assassination going on, rather an interest in what he actually does believe about such matters - I think the matter is rather murky (deliberately so).

Apart from his views in the Church of England setting (it highlights the intersection of such matters with the established sets of antigay doctrines and how dangerous they actually are) one can ask very serious questions about the academic ethics involved as well as querying what exactly is happening in NHS mental health provision. A very disturbing picture indeed.

Posted by Craig Nelson at Friday, 13 April 2012 at 9:30pm BST

A gay candidate would and twice has been subjected to REAL character assasination, Mr Lamming.

Posted by Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer at Friday, 13 April 2012 at 10:13pm BST

I think actually Erica - the problem with Prof Glynn Harrison is that this is NOT his field of research. He has no relevant specialism whereas he does have a theological position to maintain.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 13 April 2012 at 10:58pm BST

And the Church wonders why it receives all the contempt it does from gay people.....

Posted by Tom at Friday, 13 April 2012 at 11:00pm BST

Good luck David Lamming.

Posted by c.r.seitz at Friday, 13 April 2012 at 11:06pm BST

Chris Smith
I repeat my earlier observation, that Dr Harrison was *elected* to his position on the CNC by his fellow members of the House of Laity of the General Synod.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 13 April 2012 at 11:20pm BST

It would seem, simon, that although Dr.Glynn Harrison was elected by his Lay peers in the General Synod, the Church as a whole needs to consider that his expertise in the field he frequently pronounces on - through his place on 'The True Freedom Trust' - is virtually that of a Lay person - with no specific training in the field of the modern clinical understanding and treatment of homosexuality, per se.

In other words, Dr.Harrison perhaps needs to defer to his colleagues of the Royal Society of Psychiatrists, who have produced a seminal report on the dangers of trying to 'cure gays'.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 14 April 2012 at 12:54am BST

I'm a bit uncomfortable about making this an issue about one individual, however daft that individual's views might appear. Dr Harrison is, after all, just one voice among 14 who will sit on the CNC and eventually select the next archbishop. And while I'm not a massive fan of the way the CNC operates, I really think Dr Harrison is the least of its problems. Let's play the ball, as they say, not the man.

Posted by rjb at Saturday, 14 April 2012 at 11:47am BST

"pro-gay opinions": seriously, what year is this?

My ontological being/my Image-of-God is not subject to anyone's opinions, Mr Lamming: pro- OR anti-.

The question is whether someone charged w/ selecting the next Archbishop of Canterbury (an interest even to those of us across the Pond) CAN pick an ABC who (to use words familiar to Episcopalians) "respects the dignity of every human being"---including those *God made LGBT*.

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 14 April 2012 at 10:35pm BST

I do wish doctors and other professionals serving vulnerable people, to be held responsible for their actions.


Posted by Laurence Roberts at Sunday, 15 April 2012 at 1:40pm BST

Scientific assertions motivated by theological dogma... "because the bible says so" ...rarely make for good science.

If you start with dogma, and try to squeeze the science into the dogma-shaped parameters, and believe that dogma trumps scientific evidence...

You end up with the repudiation of evolution, the assertion that Adam and Eve had no primate ancestors, that death came into the world at the 'Fall', that therefore dinosaurs were still alive, or their fossils are a demonic trick.

You end up with a 'science' that defies the prevailing findings and evidence of honest people, in terms of geology, palaentology, genetic, astro-physics etc.

You end up searching for Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat to try to prove a worldwide flood that never covered the earth. You assert that somehow Noah fetched the penguins from Antartica, the frogs from the deepest (and unexplored) Amazon, the polar bears from the Arctic, the Wombats from Australia, and that apart from one boatload, everything else was wiped out.

You stop dealing with science. You drive theory by religious dogma.

And *that* is the danger of vilifying gay sex and claiming it needs to be cured.

At that point, the world has a right to start disrespecting our faith. This dogmatism subverts, not upholds, the credibility of the Bible. It is outmoded and the accompanying science has no place at the table, because it's not science at all.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Sunday, 15 April 2012 at 4:28pm BST

A poorly written article by Giles Fraser and what feels like an attack. Prof Harrison has been very clear to say that he does not believe in a Gay cure, he is also very clear that he understands the issues that many christians face when dealing with same sex emotions and reconciling that with the Bible. He is merely stating a truth, that hope and change are all possible through our all powerful, all loving God. Regardless of your thoughts on homosexuality anyone who doubts the ability of God to make significant change in someones life doubts the all powerfulness of God. Prof Harrison is merely giving hope to people who, having reflected for themselves on the writings of Paul, they have decided that homosexuality, regardless of the cause, is incompatible with God call on our lives. We are called to love everyone regardless of their opinion and to suggest that this highly intelligent, highly gifted and highly valuable member of General Synod be removed from the committee, and as is also reported be struck off is unacceptable. Giles Fraser and all who support him ought to be ashamed of themselves, and, in the words of our lord, remove the logs from their own eyes before pointing out the specks of dusts in others.

Posted by Andrew at Friday, 20 April 2012 at 2:32am BST
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