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Hazel Blears advocates “engagement” with homophobic extremists

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  1. All very well, but look: I do not need to know a thing about alchemy, or astrology to dismiss them. No debate needed.

    Now, if someone comes to me with Biblical or Koranic reasons to oppose me, or call for the outlawing of gay relationships – I simply have to ask them, how they know God’s mind when it comes to my personal affairs. Where do they get this information from?

    If people who think that the words of a 2,000 (or 1400) year old book, written by simple peasants, trump all the scientific understanding of sexuality, they are welcome. But they are out of rational argument from that moment on. Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. What is true scientifically in San Francisco’s Castro district, is also true in the Vatican, Medina or Jerusalem.

    Otherwise, you may as well engage with the flat earth society…..

  2. Would this also include the Catholic “church”?

  3. The sad thing is these tracts were not written by simple peasants, but often by highly educated (for the times) individuals who were highly shrewed political operators greedy for power, that coupled to a good understanding of the means of gaining it by manipulating populations of significantly lesser educated majorities through fear and reward in a promised afterlife, it was a sure fire method. I agree with the opinion expressed above, what is the point of trying to reason with the irrational? Would you reason with a virus? The best anyone can hope to do is prevent the damage it can cause, if at all possible by keeping it from gaining the power to do it in the first place.

  4. and the BNP Hazel…?

    I thought not.

  5. If this is a quote from Hazel Blears she is seriously misrepresenting the BBC “poll” that was reported on this week ( apoll by the religious department of the BBC). You report “A survey for the BBC this week found that nearly more than three in five people believed that national laws should be influenced by traditional religious values; and that faith should have a bigger role in the public sphere”.

    The poll statements were that laws “should respect and be influenced by UK religious values” and not that faith should have a bigger role it was that religion has a role. “religion has an important role to play in public life”. It is impossible to pull apart what the values might be and the overlap with basic human values. So we have a poll which makes it difficult to pull apart the degree to which people are affiliated or practice religion and the use of positive statments with (a bias towards agreement) with which few would disagree. A role for relious values in law which are shared by others with no religious beliefs has morphed in the mind of Hazel Blears into “traditional religious values” and a “bigger” role for religion. A great example of how research is twisted to fit an existing agenda.

  6. With the gay community leading the way in replicating the activities of the former Stasi thought police, it is becoming virtually impossible to keep up with the number of groups and “communities” feeling offended nowadays. As society fragments into more and more special-interest groups – or should that read blossoms into an ever more vibrant and diverse “rainbow nation” – these competing groups find more and more reasons to feel offended, and to demand that the law protect them from feeling offended again. This is missing a fundamental point about a democratic state: the right to freedom of speech far outweighs the right not to feel offended. As George Orwell said, “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” If we refuse to engage or enter into debate with our haters and detractors, instead resorting to reacting with anger and hysteria as demonstrated by many Pink news postings, we become the same as our enemies, and where exactly where has that got us? Maybe, just maybe if we as a community instead shone by example and earned the respect of the mainstream instead of inviting the constant criticisms and insults that are hurled at us, which are largely fuelled by the less than savoury antics of those who are actively a part of the so-called “gay scene” which is rife with rank hedonism, homophobia, promiscuity, addiction, destructive behaviours and endless self-gratification, we may, just may get somewhere. But the hysteria and outrage with which we respond to their insults instead suggests a community in rank denial over its many shortcomings and refusal to accept that it invites much of the negativity it is reacting to. For once in her life, Hazel Blears talks good sense!

  7. @David

    With reference to the BBC poll, you might find this interesting:

    http://www.humanism.org.uk/news/view/228

    @Rob

    You might want to visit the “straight scene” around King’s Cross (or locations in other large cities) where under age girls are trafficked into the country and made by pimps to service sleazy clients. The pimps ensure the girls loyalty by forcably injecting them with heroin to give them a habbit they can feed only by “working” for them.

    Compared to this, the worst night out in Vauxhall, though hardly ideal, pales into insignificance.

    And forget not the heterosexual goings on memorably depicted in TV programmes like “Club Reps” or the disgusting mindless Friday and Saturday night violence depicted in police “fly on the wall” programmes using city centre CCTV.

    You don’t find gay and lesbian people doing that kind of thing which put bystanders in hospital and costs millions in policing now do you?

  8. And to make accusations like that, Rob, is to put down the many people who want to lead an ordinary life, who just want to live their lives as peacefully as possible. Without fear of physical or mental injury for just being human beings and many of those people do much to help society, not just the LGBT society.

    You might want to think on the fact that the promiscuous lifestyle that many Gays lead is a direct result of bigotry in society in general, forcing people, through that bigotry, to seek the quick human contact, albeit a sexual one, because that’s all there is. No time for the flowering of romance or love when you’re so scared of being found having contact with a person of your own sex. Scared of being imprisoned, beaten, forced to undergo electro therapy. That sort of thing imprints itself on a society. Being beaten for who you are still happens, imprisonment and electro therapy may be a thing of the past but there are still those who wish to return to those days, for the “good” of society. Gays didn’t invent cottaging, cruising or even the disco dance floor, society did that by their attempts to push this same sex thing as far underground as they could.

    Of course some groups feel put upon when some gobby politician or religious dogma peddling group want to put us back underground. I don’t blame them, not in the slightest. Yeah, you can criticise, you can call us all hysterical but I don’t think you understand much about the LGBT community if you think that protesting against those who wish to deny you your new found freedoms and rights invites the criticisms, insults and homophobia that is aimed at us on a daily basis. I think it a shame that a member of the community such as yourself wishes to blame that community for the faults of society

  9. Rob – You’re right, there’s no right not to be offended. And engaging is good.

    In the spirit of Orwell, I go out of my way to offend and mock fanatics when engaging them – what can I do to earn their hatred? If I haven’t done this in “debating” them, then i have failed. (Incidentally, I think the reactions to fanatics, bigots and fundamentalists when they come on here – be it arguing that the earth is 6,000 years old, or supporting Fred Phelps, has been very civilised. No one on here has threatened any violence against anyone.)

    For instance, if someone told me homosexuality is wrong, and the reason is that an illiterate tradesman in the Arabian peninsula had bits of the Bible dictated to him, from an archangel, in a cave; then I will say this is such a stupid proposition, you could even draw a cartoon about it.

    Who of us more likely to be factually correct? But who is more likely to be ‘reacting with anger and hysteria’ now? But that’s where the debate starts. People are welcome to their opinion, but that doesn’t mean we have to take them seriously, when the premise is ridiculous.

    As for your claim that the gay scene is full of…. well, have you any statistics to back all this up, or have you overdosed on Melanie Phillips?

    Why should gay 20 somethings be specifically on their best behaviour? I think you will find that straight 20-somethings at Fabric, Ministry of Sound, DC-10, Space, Pacha are up to the same kind of thing. In any case, playing the field is perfectly fine, so long as you’re safe. And if you cannot discriminate between people in Vauxhall and a great many gay couples who just settle down and blend into society, well, you are a fool.

    And really…what is wrong with ‘hedonism’? Who is harmed by this? I think we need more of this kind of thing. It seems this is also pretty universal, and thankfully so:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/petetong/galleries/264/12/#gallery264

    Tip: compare the crime, human rights, health, education and standard of living statistics for religious and ‘hedonistic’ societies. John Calvin would be proud of you.

  10. I think, to be fair to Hazel Blears on this occasion, that the thrust of her argument was:

    “We would do well to be a little less anxious and a little more robust.

    “And just as we are confident about speaking up against the race hatred of the far right…and we should be confident about saying ‘no’ to unacceptable practices that have their roots in different cultural traditions.”

    In other words, in the political sphere, we should STOP tippy-toeing around the sensitivities of a minority whose religious tribal narcissism is just looking for an opportunity to become aggravated!

    I agree.

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  12. Edward in Los Angeles 27 Feb 2009, 8:15am

    You first, Waza

  13. davevauxhall 27 Feb 2009, 9:21am

    Not only engagement she suggest funding them if they are likely to denounce violence and others well they will be given peerages by the looks of it.

  14. (what is up with this website…? I cannot read these stupid ‘reCATCHPA’ characters that I hve to type in.)

    Rob – agreed 100%, there is no right not to be offended; engaging is good.

    Inspired by Orwell, I go out of my way to offend and mock fanatics, when engaging them – what can I do to earn their hatred? If I haven’t done this in “debating” them, then i have failed. (Incidentally, I think the reactions to fanatics, bigots and fundamentalists when they come on here – be it arguing that the earth is 6,000 years old, or supporting Fred Phelps, has been very civilised. No one on here has threatened any violence against anyone.)

    MY IDEA OF ENGAGEMENT: START WITH THE PREMISE
    For instance, if someone told me homosexuality is wrong, and the reason is that an illiterate tradesman in the Arabian peninsula had bits of the Bible dictated to him, from an archangel, in a cave; then I will say this is such a stupid proposition, you could even draw a cartoon about it.

    Who of us more likely to be factually correct? But who is more likely to be ‘reacting with anger and hysteria’ now? But that’s where the debate starts. People are welcome to their opinion, but that doesn’t mean we have to take them seriously, when the premise is ridiculous.

    THE SAME FANATICAL HYPOCRITES ARE CRIMINALISING DEBATE IN THE UN
    The trouble is, legislation is being debated at the UN now, to make criticism of religion criminal.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n53-3QnhxZk&feature=related
    Where’s your Orwell book now??

    WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH HEDONISM?
    As for your claim that the gay scene is full of…. well, have you any statistics to back all this up, or have you overdosed on Melanie Phillips?

    Why should gay 20 somethings be specifically on their best behaviour? I think you will find that straight 20-somethings at Fabric, Ministry of Sound, DC-10, Space, Pacha are up to the same kind of thing. In any case, playing the field is perfectly fine, so long as you’re safe. And if you cannot discriminate between people in Vauxhall and a great many gay couples who just settle down and blend into society, well, you are a fool.

    And really…what is wrong with ‘hedonism’? Who is harmed by this? I think we need more of this kind of thing. It seems this is also pretty universal, and thankfully so:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/petetong/galleries/264/12/#gallery264

    Tip: compare the crime, human rights, health, education and standard of living statistics for religious and ‘hedonistic’ societies. John Calvin would be proud of you.

  15. Simon Murphy 27 Feb 2009, 11:37am

    Rob – you are obviously a very stupid individual if you believe gay people are looking for legislation to prevent us feeling offended. We are looking to ensure undemocratic belief systems (or cults) like christianity; islam; judaism; hinduism do not try to force their narrow world view on all of society and to prevent incitement to violence or discrimination – particularly by religious groups. I suspect you are a christian as your arguments are irrational and unsupported. That after all is typical of religious people. Although what else can you expect from people so wilfully stupid that they reject all the evidence of science as they choose to believe some 5000 (or 2000 or 1400) year old shoddy fairytales.

  16. (what is up with this website…? I cannot read these stupid characters that I hve to type in.)

    Rob – agreed 100%, there is no right not to be offended; engaging is good.

    In the spirit of Orwell, I go out of my way to offend and mock fanatics, when engaging them – what can I do to earn their hatred? If I haven’t done this in “debating” them, then i have failed. (Incidentally, I think the reactions to fanatics, bigots and fundamentalists when they come on here – be it arguing that the earth is 6,000 years old, or supporting Fred Phelps, has been very civilised. No one on here has threatened any violence against anyone.)

    For instance, if someone told me homosexuality is wrong, and the reason is that an illiterate tradesman in the Arabian peninsula had bits of the Bible dictated to him, from an archangel, in a cave; then I will say this is such a stupid proposition, you could even draw a cartoon about it.

    Who of us more likely to be factually correct? But who is more likely to be ‘reacting with anger and hysteria’ now? But that’s where the debate starts. People are welcome to their opinion, but that doesn’t mean we have to take them seriously, when the premise is ridiculous. The trouble is, legislation is being debated at the UN now, to make criticism of religion criminal.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n53-3QnhxZk&feature=related
    Where’s your Orwell book now??

    As for your claim that the gay scene is full of…. well, have you any statistics to back all this up, or have you overdosed on Melanie Phillips?

    Why should gay 20 somethings be specifically on their best behaviour? I think you will find that straight 20-somethings at Fabric, Ministry of Sound, DC-10, Space, Pacha are up to the same kind of thing. In any case, playing the field is perfectly fine, so long as you’re safe. And if you cannot discriminate between people in Vauxhall and a great many gay couples who just settle down and blend into society, well, you are a fool.

    And really…what is wrong with ‘hedonism’? Who is harmed by this? I think we need more of this kind of thing. It seems this is also pretty universal, and thankfully so:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/petetong/galleries/264/12/#gallery264

    Tip: compare the crime, human rights, health, education and standard of living statistics for religious and ‘hedonistic’ societies. John Calvin would be proud of you.

  17. Oh but Waza, who would you have sex with then? Shameful as you might find it….

  18. Nick, he’d have sex with the sexual partner he’s always had. His hand.

  19. you cannot debate with someone who wants your extermination, free speech goes to the point where it wants to shut mine down,western liberal, secular democracy implements the will of the majority, but only if it doesn’t harm a minority

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