Comments: opinion

I feel that Jayne Ozanne is a little selective. Homosexual practice is against the moral law not just canon law. Archbishop Sentamu ( even though he is liberal in other areas ) would have been brought up on the stories of the Ugandan Chief who killed the first Catholic and Protestant missionaries. The story involves homosexual acts. As evangelicals are 98 per cent united in opposition to homosexual practice, they can't be called inconsistent here.

Posted by robert ian williams at Saturday, 29 August 2015 at 7:52pm BST

A good article by Jane Ozanne in the Church of England Newspaper. Just proves that 'Accepting Evangelicals' know what they're talking about, and they are not afraid to publish their findings. Such a pity we can't readily copy the text for blogging purposes.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 30 August 2015 at 1:33am BST

To which Evangelicals do you refer, Robert - British, world-wide? And from which statistical survey does the rather precise 98% come? As for the 'Ugandan chief' - Kabaka Mwanga provides a text-book example of child abuse rather than of loving, committed homosexual relationships.

Posted by John Darch at Sunday, 30 August 2015 at 9:51am BST

John...Church of England Evangelicals ( moderate and conservative)of course, who will hold the balance of power in the General Synod and the bench of bishops for the foreseeable future.Whilst the 98 per cent is a estimate I don't know of any prominent Church of England evangelical who has bought the gay the same way that many evangelicals accepted female ordination.My prediction is you will see these two wings coming together to oppose liturgical feminist revisionism and same sex marriage.They can hold it up, but I can't see them being able to hold the line forever.

Posted by robert ian williams at Sunday, 30 August 2015 at 1:57pm BST

It seems odd that some evangelicals are unable to distinguish between forced abuse, especially with children, and loving, committed adult relationships. One wonders if they do indeed know what they are talking about, or are just listening to their own, learned, feelings.

Posted by Nathaniel Brown at Sunday, 30 August 2015 at 4:30pm BST

Well done, Jayne. A balance, reasoned column. Until the church is able to offer a united, consistent and loving voice, we will become more and more marginalised and out of touch with the world in which we live. I am glad Jayne has reminded us that we need to look for the planks in our own eyes before we search for the specks in the eyes of others. We are all accepted sinners through nothing but the free grace of God. Sin is falling short of the glory of God which I suspect we all do, daily. The glory of the gospel is that we can be forgiven. Please can we all be united in proclaiming Jesus is Lord and may it once again be a matter of "See how these Christians love one another!"

Posted by Anne at Sunday, 30 August 2015 at 7:19pm BST

robert ian williams It is hard to believe you have much actual contact with life within the present spectrum of the Anglican Evangelical tradition. This is wildly speculative stuff.

Posted by David Runcorn at Sunday, 30 August 2015 at 9:12pm BST

The vast majority of sexual child abuse is that of "straight" men against girls, the VAST majority. RIW is conflating child abuse with consensual committed couples. It is insulting. It is intellectually abysmal and morally bankrupt. But of course, a whole theology is based upon conflating those issues.

It certainly begs the question of why similar daily abuse against girls barely gets noticed, when it's against boys it gets a whole, irrational, theology. Gee, why could that be?

Posted by Cynthia at Sunday, 30 August 2015 at 9:17pm BST


It wouldn't be particularly difficult for the balance of power in GS to change dramatically.

Here's one (somewhat exotic) way it might happen: we're told that, in the last few months, around 400000 people have newly registered as supporters of the Labour Party in order to vote in the present leadership election. Extrapolating from the population as a whole, somewhere in the region of 200000 of them are probably baptized members of the Church of England. They might get a taste for voting in every election they can, and register on church electoral rolls. And that's not intended as a partisan thought - one can imagine a closely analogous process arising from the Conservative Party's moves towards open primaries for selecting its parliamentary candidates at the general election

Posted by Feria at Sunday, 30 August 2015 at 11:03pm BST

@ Cynthia, "The vast majority of sexual child abuse is that of 'straight' men against girls, the VAST majority. [...] when it's against boys it gets a whole, irrational, theology. Gee, why could that be? " An important unassailable perspective grounding fact accompanied by a bloody good question for the church!

Posted by Rod Gillis at Monday, 31 August 2015 at 1:56am BST

Cynthia's is an important point: most child sexual abuse is carried out by straight men on girls, and yet it is gay men who get vilified as quasi paedophiles.

I worked on a national sex offenders wing as an assistant governor, and knew each of 110 cases in detail. Yes, there was a choir master who had abused boys, and a scout leader who had as well. But the majority of cases were crimes against women and girls.

Does that mean that 'being straight' is dodgy?

Of course, being gay is also bracketed with bestiality as well as paedophilia - the associations are inexplicable, except in the context of pure prejudice.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Monday, 31 August 2015 at 1:51pm BST

The point I make is that to conservative evangelicals and orthodox Catholics all same sex sexual activity (whatever the context) is always sin. Furthermore you can't understand Doctor Sentamu without his Ugandan context.

As regards David, I retain an interest in Evangelicalism, as it was the system which nurtured me...just like a former Jew, may still be interested in his roots and former faith community.

Posted by ROBERT IAN WILLIAMS at Monday, 31 August 2015 at 3:39pm BST

Robert Ian Williams, what on earth does a story of a king who murdered his pages for resisting rape have to do with homosexuality?

As I'd hope would be well known, rape is about power above all else, and the act of violence is gender-neutral: prisons are filled with rapists who prey on other inmates while being virulently homophobic. Gay inmates are, far from being likely perps, in a high risk category for suffering such abuse.

John Sentamu has lived in Britain since the 1970s, has studied at its top universities, and has known and worked alongside LGBT people. If he doesn't know any of this, something's gone seriously wrong. At this remove, his background offers little explanation, let alone an excuse. If anything, his experience of prejudice should make him the last person to inflict it on others. Of anyone, you'd expect him to understand.

He should be an ally, and it's tragic that he isn't.

Posted by James Byron at Monday, 31 August 2015 at 7:10pm BST

"The point I make is that to conservative evangelicals and orthodox Catholics all same sex sexual activity (whatever the context) is always sin."

There's no differentiation between between child abuse and consenting adults? If that's true, then it clear that we are in the realm of an irrational phobia. If it wasn't clear before.

Really, in this world view, child abuse against boys is a horrific sin while child abuse against girls is a ho hum sin. Apparently. This is exactly what I mean when I say that this position is morally bankrupt.

Be careful. I just encountered a dreadful situation against girls, so I'm speaking from deep place here. I'm deeply grateful for Susannah's witness here.

Posted by Cynthia at Monday, 31 August 2015 at 10:45pm BST

"Furthermore you can't understand Doctor Sentamu without his Ugandan context."

Let's not tar all people of African origin with the same brush. There are lgbt people in Africa, there are religious leaders firmly in support of lgbt relationships - even bishops.
It is demeaning and prejudiced to say that if you're from Africa you have to be anti gay.

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 1 September 2015 at 9:02am BST
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.