Comments: Homophobic bullying in the CofE: responses

Anglican Mainstream is quite right to oppose the presence of Stonewall in Church of England schools - from their point of view!

They would have been wise to issue a statement reminding people of Stonewall's nomination of the then Bishop of Winchester, Michael Scott-Joynt, without stating their other reasons.

Accusing Stonewall of "discrimination" because they "only address LGBT issues" is bizarre. The programme is about homophobic bullying.

Describing Stonewall as "unscientific" is even more off the wall. Stonewall stands in the centre of the worldwide scientific consensus that sexuality cannot be changed. Apparently "Many youngsters who self-identified as gay in their teens shed the label and the identity later on." Where is the scientific evidence for this strange statement? Mainstream seems to support "reparative therapy", to "cure" people from being gay, so describing Stonewall as unscientific is a bit rich. Perhaps they would like the Church of England schools to adopt this approach, which is being banned in a growing number of American states.

Mainstream states: "We are very concerned that Stonewall’s schools programme, which involves teaching children to regard different sexualities positively, may tacitly open a door to young people for sexual experimentation which is potentially unsafe." Whereas, leaving them to feel that they are terrible sinners deserving damnation would keep them safe, presumably? The evidence of attempted suicides and destroyed lives does not support this.

"Jesus was very clear about sexual morality: he was against all forms of sex outside heterosexual marriage, and that included homosexuality." No, this is Mainstream's policy, not the words or expressed views of Jesus. Perhaps, Mainstream would also like to give us Jesus' views on social networking, global warming, mobile phone use, and air travel!

These really are very extreme people, and this statement just exposes how far out their opinions are from the rest of the Church and country.

I am left with the thought: "You really don't like gay people very much."

For a number of years I attended Holy Trinity, Platt,a big evangelical parish church in Manchester. I mostly felt at home there, and enjoyed the worship. However, at one point I thought, after hearing views on sexuality and other issues expressed from the pulpit, "Thank God these people don't control the country!"

I left shortly afterwards, and I know others who did too.

I welcome more similar statements from Mainstream. It's good for people to know who they really are!

I have rarely heard Colin Coward so angry. Those who cannot accept women priests and bishops may be allowed an "honoured place" in the Church, but those who are homophobic should certainly not be similarly accommodated!

Posted by Iain Baxter at Saturday, 23 November 2013 at 2:18am GMT

The AM comment is useful because it reproduces the problem in the room and demonstrates the extent to which homophobia is entrenched within the Church of England, albeit among a small group of zealots in its most virulent forms.

Posted by Alan Wilson at Saturday, 23 November 2013 at 7:50am GMT

All of this only goes to show that 'Anglican Mainstream' should really be called 'Anglican Slipstream' - irrelevant and out of date.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 23 November 2013 at 10:10am GMT

Shows their total lack of understanding of where science and genetics is just now, too, which is probably also general. It is a depressing read, which begins with a reasonable premise (we need to tackle all bullying) and moves on to the utterly unacceptable. We have let evil flourish, you know.

Posted by Rosemary Hannah at Saturday, 23 November 2013 at 10:45am GMT

The statement by Anglican “Mainstream” consists mainly of nonsense, and pernicious nonsense at that. Its insinuation that the invitation to Stonewall to help and advise in combatting homophobic bullying implies treating other types of bullying as less important is downright dishonest, and its demand that “a campaign to eradicate bullying in schools should prioritize tackling its most common forms” reflects very oddly on the moral values of whoever drew up the statement. When campaigning against child sexual abuse, for example, do we prioritize tackling its most common forms? Does Anglican Mainstream regard the persecution of Christians in some non-Christian countries as a matter of minor concern, since it affects only a minority of people in those countries, and other kinds of persecution are more common?

Once again, the old “born gay” question is brought up, and it is noted that “repeated research efforts have failed to demonstrate any biological or genetic cause of homosexual orientation.” Anglican Mainstream doesn’t know, any more than the rest of us do, what causes either gay or straight people’s sexuality, and research has not demonstrated any biological or genetic cause of heterosexual orientation either. But in any case, the question is irrelevant in the present context: people’s moral right to live their lives without being maltreated does not depend either on whether their sexual orientation is innate or on whether it may change, any more than it depends on whether their religion is innate or changeable.

Posted by William Fisher at Saturday, 23 November 2013 at 1:31pm GMT

So Anglican "Mainstream" bullies a partner in the coalition to fight homophobic bullying. Miss the plot much?

Posted by JCF at Sunday, 24 November 2013 at 7:51am GMT

"Jesus was very clear about sexual morality: he was against all forms of sex outside heterosexual marriage, and that included homosexuality."

Anglican Mainstream is inventing their own Jesus, creating a bigoted god in their image instead of seeing the image of God in all, including LGBT persons. I guess that invention and lack of reason is at the crux of a phobia.

It's very good that they have clearly stated their homophobia. Now everyone can see where they are coming from, inventing their own science as well as their own Jesus to justify bigotry.

Posted by Cynthia at Tuesday, 26 November 2013 at 11:45pm GMT
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