Comments: opinion

As regards Theo Hobson's interesting piece I think he makes a fundamental error - gay issues have got their star billing from the opponents - the rest of the Church is just getting on with it, and without loud voices would continue to do so.

I do though think that there are other issues that liberals do need to work on and give equal billing. Two things important to me are to understand the impact and consequences of evolution (which conservatives either oppose or brush over) and discoveries about the Bible. Both of these things are glorious and wonderful inheritances of liberal thought which for me are actually more important than liberal views on sexual ethics (though of course promoting same sex marriage is actually more a conservative than liberal perspective).

On the other hand the thought of men being offered a pathway towards 'manhood' of some sorts is genuinely intriguing and no doubt true on some level. There is someting a little anxiety provoking about the idea that masculinity has to be somehow 'against' gays - isn't this where a lot of school bullying comes from and do we not need to find a way out of that?

Anyway ultimately you need to be ready to say what you think and justice questions don't allow you to sit debates out because of how it makes you look, unless one launches a very illiberal war on open communication through self censorship.

Posted by Craig Nelson at Saturday, 28 April 2012 at 9:27pm BST

I think Theo Hobson's analysis is correct. At one point in post-war Anglicanism liberalism was defined by education. To judge solely by this website,the all-pervasive issues are homosexual 'rights' and revelling in the defeat of the Covenant. Not much else leaps to mind.

Posted by John Bowles at Sunday, 29 April 2012 at 10:29am BST

Craig Nelson writes interestingly on Theo Hobson's rather ragged thinking.

As one involved in the "movement" I agree that we were at best a marginal concern in the minds of most and it was the decision of the radcons to make homosexuality a defining issue that catapulted us into the centre field. Our analysis at the time was that the radical right would have preferred to see rollback on women's rights but that the consensus was they were too late. I'm talking here not just about churchy politics.

Reading the article through I felt Theo needed to grow up a bit and move on from discovering Anglo-Catholic clergy invented camp. Wales made a great breakthrough on maleness-v-gayness when the Wales and Lions captain Gareth Thomas came out and matters could be further improved if several of premiere league football players known to be gay, came out.

As it is the macho card does still play hard - we heard only recently of a young lad in our family who came out at 16 - His Dad's reaction was very bad and he hung himself the next day.

Reading Theo's piece in that light makes it look - well, shall we just say - Very unhelpful.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Sunday, 29 April 2012 at 10:34am BST

The straight world is so narcissistic, all it wants to hear and see reflected is itself ! And by god, do we have to hear it constantly all through each and every day. The straight world is oblivious of its privileges which it blithely takes for granted.

But one kiss on a soap or a bit of exuberance at a carnival and all self-righteous hell brakes loose! It's such BS.

And the straight world is so mean - denying marriage and other benefits to loving couples.

Not to mention that men who loved each other were subject to the full force of the law in UK-- as indeed is the case around the world. *

* and lgbt are supposed to keep quiet, be SO grateful, not demand our full rights as agents.

Well forget, that we have waited long enough already!


Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 30 April 2012 at 1:25pm BST

Theo Hobson's article does raise some good points, but his basic premise is flawed.

'Liberal' Christianity is based on the liberality of Christ, which got him into trouble with his hypocritical macho contemporaries among the scribes and Pharisees. For his 'Liberality', Jesus was crucified.

When we examine the causes with which Jesus identified, we find the emancipation of women was a major. Also his fight against hypocrisy was another. I'm pretty sure that he would have been considered to be a radical protester against the 'status quo' of male-dominated legalism.

At the heart of the current controversies in the Anglican Communion at the moment is this question of whether, or not, Gays (and, to a lesser degree, Women) are marginalised by the Church. This is an adequate reason for 'banging on' about their cry for justice.

William Wilberforce was also, in his day, accused of 'banging on' about the injustice of slavery. If he had not persisted in the cause, we most probably would still be 'under the yoke' of paternalistic, macho, slave-drivers. Injustice always needs to be confronted and dealt with.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 11:34pm BST
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