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General Election 2010

Liberal Democrat Evan Harris loses Oxford seat

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  1. Nicola Blackwood.

    Watch that name.

    She sounds like a poisonous bigot.

    Keep your eye on her.

    If she starts with the typical christian bigotry, she must be opposed at every turn.

    Don’t know much about her but considering some of the homophobic scum polluting the Tories, she would seem like another one of those bigots.

  2. How depressing!

  3. Very sad. Evan Harris was my local MP. A good parliamentarian and stout defender of LGBT rights. I didn’t know about Nicola Blackwood’s God-bothering pedigree. She’s another one who’ll have to be watched.

  4. John Gaunt 7 May 2010, 5:15pm

    Everyone breathe. Seriously, breathe and learn not to assume.

    Ms Blackwood campaigned on fiscal conservativism and social liberalism. Her ‘faith’ was never an issue, never brought up and never mentioned, except in response to attacks from Mr Harris. She is a brilliant, open-minded craing person, who has demonstrated that on her CV: how much time has the ‘secular’ Harris spent teaching underprivilidged children in Africa? And no, not Bible studies as the quick-to-judge will ask, but reading and IT skills.

    Nicola won because Mr harris was a bad MP: a great ideologue but who did nothing whatsoever for his constituency. He lost because he went around the colleges trolling for votes by promising free tuition to students, when even his own party leader admitted this was fiscally impossible. Ms Blackwood won by being the better candidate, and earning the respect of those who BOTHERED to get to know her. I doubt the LGBT community could find a better friend than her.

    So keep your hate-mongering assumptions to yourself. Forgive me for saying it, but one would think the LGBT community, more than ANYONE, would have learned the dangers of judging people based on rumours, presuppositions and ignorance.

  5. Nicola Blackwood is a great person… this article is trying to demonise her which is rubbish. If you met her you’d know this already.

  6. Hey, this new MP Nicola has done much good. Do your research before you write.

  7. Lucky lisp 7 May 2010, 5:36pm

    Evan Harris is a great loss, in terms of eye-candy at least.

  8. Vincent Poffley 7 May 2010, 5:44pm

    The loss of Evan Harris is a tremendous blow to our parliamentary system. I voted for him wholeheartedly in the last election, while I was a student at Oxford, because he was by far and away the best candidate of the lot. He was the leading light of secular policies and the champion of scientific progress – an incomparably vital aspect of any modern nation’s fabric.

    This new woman is a pale shadow of what Evan Harris was (the mere fact she stood for the homophobic tory party demonstrates her moral bankruptcy even before you note the fact she is an outspoken christian). She has none of Dr. Harris’s intellectual, moral or organisational brilliance and only got in because of boundary changes which shifted swathes of the Oxford academic community out to the Oxford East constituency and left the seat of Oxford West in the hands of the moneyed toffs of North Oxford.

    This is indeed a terrible day for rationality and reason in British politics.

  9. Pumpkin Pie 7 May 2010, 6:44pm

    I don’t see how even this site’s regular Tory supporters could see this as a good result. Actually, I’d like to hear from these regulars…

    Given that Evan Harris winning this seat wouldn’t have made any difference to the overall performance of the Tories, would you guys still have preferred for a stem-cell hating Christian “rights” advocate to have won? Just because she’s part of the party you support?

  10. Pumpkin Pie 7 May 2010, 6:46pm

    I don’t see how even this site’s regular Tory supporters could see this as a good result. Actually, I’d like to hear from these regulars…

    Given that Evan Harris winning this seat wouldn’t have made any difference to the overall performance of the Tories, would you guys still have preferred for a stem-cell hating X-ian “rights” advocate to have won? Just because she’s part of the party you support?

  11. This is very disappointing.

    Dr Evan Harris was one of my favourite MPs.

  12. I just wanted to comment that merely being a Christian does not make someone a bigot, anti-gay, anti-science, or immoral in any other way. Yes, there are Christians who are wholly pro-gay rights – they’re just drowned out by the very vocal anti-gay rights ones. It is wrong to castigate Nicola Blackwood *merely* for her Christianity, as some people here have done.

    That said, I don’t know anything about her. If she is anti-gay, anti-science, etc. etc., then certainly she deserves criticism for that. Just don’t assume that any undesirable views of this kind flow necessarily from Christianity. They do not, and to assume that they do does not advance anyone’s cause.

    I used to live in Evan Harris’ constituency and always voted for him. Although I never had any dealings with him he always struck me as a good constituency MP and a really admirable member of the Lib Dem front bench team. He’s been the subject of some deeply unpleasant commentary from the more rabid section of the right-wing press; the “Dr Death” nickname, implying that he supports euthanasia – which he does not, supporting instead only assisted suicide, which is quite different – has been especially nasty.

    I was saddened when Harris withdrew from the front bench to care for his chronically ill partner some years ago, but pleased that he returned later as their science spokesman. I was shocked today to learn that not only had the Lib Dems failed to gain Oxford East but that Evan Harris, of all people, had lost his seat. He is the kind of MP that we need more of. I hope very much that he will return to national politics.

    1. Don Harrison 23 Nov 2011, 10:31pm

      Well said Jonathan, I am both gay and a practicing Christian, as well as a good Lib Dem supporter,
      Of course it was right that he supported is partner.
      I can not wait for the day when he is once again a MP in our Parliament.

  13. I thought the squigies and other Conservative apologists here were telling us that the Tories didn’t have anymore of these extreme right-wing, anti-gay candidates anymore. Didn’t we hear that the only people fitting this bill left in the Tory party were old, long term MP’s. Didn’t they tell us that they weren’t fielding any new candidates with these TRADITIONAL Tory values?

  14. So, there IS a God….

  15. It’s interesting, isn’t it, how posts in defence of Tory Christian candidates crop up on different threads, from different names, but all looking remarkably similar and harping on the same theme – that these people have done so much good, as if Christians have a monopoly of doing things for other people while humanists and secularists get no credit. Not saying they’re fake, or anything but…

    And by the way, all you apologists for Nicola Blackwood, claiming she’s such a great person: if the Christian right wing are crowing over Dr Harris’ defeat, if leaflets put out in the election called him ‘Dr Death’, if Ms Blackwood makes a big deal out of ‘religious freedom’ being limited by anti-discrimination laws – well, I think it’s fair enough to assume she’s going to want religious discrimination against gays legalised, and that she’s not going to be any kind of friend to our community.

  16. Mihangel apYrs 8 May 2010, 12:21am

    a principle of Xianity is that “my beliefs trump your rights”

    that is how it is, and how they practice: forcing their world view (based on “belief” – in a fable) on everyone else.

    They don’t inderstand the golden rule, nor keeping their noses out of everyone else’s business: god has given the right to interfere and condemn

  17. Pumpkin Pie 8 May 2010, 2:02am

    That said, I don’t know anything about her. If she is anti-gay, anti-science, etc. etc., then certainly she deserves criticism for that. Just don’t assume that any undesirable views of this kind flow necessarily from Christianity. They do not, and to assume that they do does not advance anyone’s cause.

    Don’t worry about it. There is a lot of anti-religious heat on these comment threads, but I think the vast majority of us on here know that these crackpots are of a different breed compared to regular theists. Many of us probably have religious friends or family. Why, one of my uncles is a Catholic arch-bishop (one of the good ones, honestly – he’s a nice guy and has a very temperate attitude).

    We are just berating this woman because of her beliefs about us, and the actions she’s carried out under those beliefs. There’s not a whole lot of stories that appear here about normal, everyday Christians, because being a regular person isn’t very newsworthy. The fundamentalists are the ones we hate, and it’s only them that we usually get to talk about here (ignoring threads that go wildly off tangent).

  18. Jean-Paul 8 May 2010, 5:06am

    I support Evan Harris’ return to national politics.

    How? I joined DELGA:

    And I’m Canadian!

    1. Don Harrison 23 Nov 2011, 10:44pm

      Hi Jean-Paul, I am gay and also a practicing Christian.

      Like you I am a member of Delga and and voted for the change in the name to LGBT+ Lib Dems.

  19. Mihangel apYrs is right
    plus she is claiming christians are persecuted as they can’t push their hatred and bigotry and intolerance like they want to, she’s on about religious rights yet them types never acknowledge anyone else’s rights

  20. There are few enough MPs already with a sound knowledge of science, his departure is very bad news for when scientific legislation is being debated in parliament, especially as the new MP sounds as though they will be voting in favour of ignorance and bigotry.

  21. Well it’s swings and roundabouts really. The right wing Christian lobby are glad Evan Harris lost his seat, as it suits their political agenda.
    As a gay man I’m glad Philippa Stroud lost her seat as it suits my political agenda.
    Swings and roundabouts… I wouldn’t say anyone got everything their own way but then that’s proportional representation in action, ain’t it?

  22. Why was Ms Blackwood’s attitudes to homosexuality or equality ever challenged or investigated in the press during the election?

    She claims to be a social libertarian – how do we know this to be true? what does she mean by liberarian? she had glowing endorsement from the vehemently anti-gay CCF and the Evangelical Alliance. Why was she never asked if she was delighted to be endorsed by an organization that believes hommosexuality should be cured and that gay people can become straight? Will someone at least ask those questions NOW….?

    The sad news of Harris’s departure from parliament is tempered by the fact that the Liberal Democrats almost certainly will be kingmakers in the next government.

    We have a new fighter for social justice, and secular society in the form of Caroline Lucas. The non sectarian Alliance party have ejeted Peter Robinson.

    The doubt about Philippa Stroud’s position homosexuality must have alarmed the electorate in Sutton (in fact, it is crime-ridden downtrodden Hackney, not peaceful, leafy Belmont, where you will find evangelical churches on every street corner).

    This is good news – because Cameron may well look at the results and be persuaded that people don’t want religious extremists as MPs, no matter how much charity work they do. It’s encouraging that Cameron reached out to the Liberal Democrats and he was keen to mention social equality’ as an area of agreement. People want a more equal society, stability and a competent government that sorts the economy out. Brown failed miserably in this aspect and the people have given their verdict on this. There is no way in the world Clegg can seriously prop up the existing government, unless there is a major purge of the ranks in the immediate future.

    It would not surprise me that a special effort was made to eject Evan Harris – Andrea Williams is right, this is a major coup. They may well be inspired to spread fear next time round, against MPS who have made notable advances for equality or secularism. Journalists and bloggers – keep a closer check on the goings on in affected constituencies.

  23. John Gaunt 8 May 2010, 1:39pm

    “The homophobic Tory party”, “even if she is an outspoken Christian”…

    Isnt the LGBT community’s biggest problem with homophobes that they make snap judgements on people based on fear and ignorance?

    How ironic.

  24. So the people of Oxford have lost their rational minds to superstition. Oxford usually makes me think of the wonders of science and how the thinkers there have overturned the dogma of religion. And now they are voting for a superstitious ‘wanna be’ fundamentalist christian.

    Religion throughout the ages has tried to suppress science, in particular modern medicine.

    Perhaps religious believers should be denied this modern medicine that they have tried to stop from being invented.

    So if you believe the world was created in 7 days by god, that a man could be born of a virgin, and that a man could rise from the dead after 3 days, then you should rely on your ‘god made’ irrational world and not get any ‘man made’ rational modern medicine. You should just have your prayers, not pills.

    We’d soon see how many really believed in what they thought when their god didn’t listen to their prayers and make them better.

    The majority of religious people, particularly western christians, are hypocrites who treat their religion like a pick and mix counter at the supermarket. If they really followed the ‘holy book’ that they believed, they’d be no trouble at all, because by the standards of modern medicine they’d all be locked up in insane asylums for believeing such biblical hokum to be a fact.

    The christians know their time is nearly up, its been coming for some time now. Christians feel persecuted because they have acted as judge and jury for a thousand years, and now their power has been taken from them they don’t know what to do. They are control freaks that want to tell everyone else how to live, they want the right to judge.

    I want the right to love another man, and the christians want the right to stop me from loving another man. I want the right to stop them from hating me, and they want the right to continue to hate me. And they are the ones who talk of love. I don’t think so.

  25. George Broadhead, PTT 8 May 2010, 4:52pm

    Dr Evan Harris is a staunch humanist and secularist being a vice-president of the Gay & Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA)and an honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. Small wonder then that he has been a unequalled supporter of LGBT rights in the House of Commons since he was first elected an MP.

    1. Don Harrison 23 Nov 2011, 10:52pm

      George as I have already said I am both gay and a practicing Christian.

      I have no problem with Evan Harris’ views.

      What is you problem?

  26. #7
    Lucky Lisp..

    U got taste, gal..!



  27. Where’s Abi when her people need her?

  28. Blame your APPALLING UNDEMOCRATIC electoral system. If you had our Austrlian preferential system, ALL of those Labor votes in the Oxford electorate would have been largely distributed to the Liberal Democrats and Evan Harris would still be the local member. I cannot understand how you British can have let your politicians, especially get away with winning seats with less than 50% of the vote. All votes in an electorate should be distributed until 50% of the vote is achieved by a candidate.

  29. Jean-Paul 9 May 2010, 3:02am

    #23 John Gaunt:

    Are you here for any other reason than to gloat, you fcukwit?

  30. Hello folks, I’m glad Evan Harris lost his seat, and I’m afraid some of the very Christophobic, (yes, I’ve put ‘phobic’ on the end of a word, maybe I’ll use it to label people I don’t agree with, I hope not) comments on here portray very well why I feel such bigoted militant homosexualism and secularism are a threat to our society and why I’m not upset Dr Harris has lost his seat… I don’t care if you’re gay or not, but stop hating Christians.. they don’t hate you at all (least they shouldn’t) they simply (well most of them) believe (cos the Bible says so) that homosexual sex is against God’s will.. that isn’t gonna change so why don’t we all take a deep breath and learn to get along.. maybe freely exchange ideas and views and agree that we all are allowed our point of view.. sound like a nice place? :)

  31. OH, also Pippa Stroud didn’t do any worse or any better than the avg Tory in London against the Lib Dems, she almost won in fact!.. and if you think Peter Robinson was ejected cos if his views on homosexuality (if anyone knows what htey are) yu’re bonkers!! Might be to do with a bitof land that was sold off in rather dubious circumstances.

    I think very few people actually vote on issues like this, though I do (kinda the opposite side of this argument to most of you on here I’d guess).

    Also David Cameron spoke of civil liberties as important.. the Tories andLIb Dems will prob keep the Waddington Amendment meaning that simple criticism of homosexuality won’t be classed as incitement to hatred and keep faith schools and freedom of speech and conscience.. so there are some civil liberties we can all applaud! To be put plainly.. I DONT WANT A WAR between Christians/Traditionalists and homosexuals/secularists.. we have to find a way tolerate one another.. and I can tell you that Christians DO NOT HATE anyone, gay or otherwise.. seriously.. they love you.. very much.. they want you to know God and to know His love for you.. Peace my friends. James

  32. James, you Christians dont want a war????? What arrogance as per usual. Until you get out of people’s lives, mind your own business and there are EQUAL RIGHTS for ALL people, not Rights only for Christians and other religious bigots!!!!! Christians around the world are SO SCARED of EQUAL RIGHTS because they are going to get sued to extinction by the billions of claims of abuse, discrimination and injustice that LGBT people have had to endure throughout the ‘RELIGIOUS TERROR’over the centuries.
    Yes, I have never known Christians to be so hated and despised by SO may people, not only LGBT! Get used to it and maybe learn what we have had to endure over our lifetimes!
    Peace? Only followed after war and the end of injustices to human beings!

  33. Jean-Paul 9 May 2010, 5:07am

    James @30, 31:

    What refreshing ideas! Please stick around. I love to build bridges.

    For example, I can say to you that I am gay and I am an agnostic.

    Can you tell me what your sexual orientation is, and what Xtian sect is enriched by your participation?

  34. A memo written by William Hague has been leaked. It reveals the Tory’s true colours and shows us all now, once and for all, that Call-Me-Dave has been nothing but window-dressing, a detestable lie. The Tories have an agenda which is in line with Philippa Stroud being Head of their Centre for Social Justice.


    “we are committed to returning powers from the European level to the UK in three key areas – the Charter of Fundamental Rights, criminal justice, and social and employment legislation.”

    See the whole article at the link below and notice how the arrogant Hague fully expects to be the new Foreign Minister on Monday and has taken it for granted that Call-Me-Dave will be Prime Minister.

    Here is the proof then. Hague has spelt it out. The Tories intend in the coming weeks to withdraw the UK from all EU regulation regarding the Charter of Fundamental Rights, criminal justice, and social and employment legislation.

    That’s the rights of all we non-religionists and LGBTs down the drain.

    That’s back to church on Sunday for Britain.

    That’s all sorts of businesses granted the right to slam the door in the faces of LGBTs.




  35. I’m quite prepared to live and let live with any christian who doesn’t spend their time spouting condescending mantras such as “hate the sin, love the sinner” subtext: “Some of my best friends are gay, but they have to realise my bible tells me they’ll roast in hell for all eternity unless they abandon their wicked homosexual lifestyle and undergo expensive conversion therapy”.
    Regretably I’ve encountered that attitude so often on these discussion boards, it’s left me more than a bit jaded about the fundamentalist christian approach to equality and freedom of expression.
    If that’s the Christian notion of “love thy neighbour”, I shudder to think what it’s like in the complaints department. And that’s speaking as an ex- C of E.

  36. john – she’s a homophobe plus she”s trying to lie that christians are victims as they can’t get away with homophobia any more
    james – secularists are fairer then many christians and so are LBGT people! your bible’s mistranslated , misunderstood and cherry-picked so it isn’t even against your god’s will! POV doesn’t mean hate-pseech is acceptable or legal there’s no such thing as simple criticism as it’s always homophobes pushing a homophobic agenda! faith schools are a terrible idea
    john at 445 is right

  37. Diesel Balaam 9 May 2010, 10:40am

    While I don’t usually have any time for the Liberal Democrats (too wet by far – just check out their immigration policies), I do agree that the loss of Evan Harris as an MP is a major setback for both LGBT advocacy and the secular context in which that advocacy can flourish and lead to genuine advances. However, it is only a setback, not a disaster, as I’m sure that Nick Clegg will want him back in Parliament as soon as possible and Lib-Dems usually do very well in by-elections (assuming we don’t have another election later this year anyway). With regard to the Christianity vs secularism arguments, you are not comparing apples with apples. Christianity and other belief systems like Islam, will always seek privileged positions for themselves, from which they can dictate the values, morals, behaviours and status of everyone else. Needless to say, LGBT people lose out big time wherever religious influence holds sway. Secularism simply seeks to guarantee everyone a space in which religious (and non-religious) people are allowed their freedoms, but where no one group can claim special privileges to curtail the freedoms of others. This is why secularism, democracy, science, rationality, freedom of expression and enquiry go hand-in-hand with the advancement of LGBT rights. Evan Harris promoted all of these things tirelessly, a truly outstanding Parliamentarian. Let’s hope we see him back soon!

  38. The point about secualr society is that the state remains neutral and gives religion no special treatment in the public sphere. That’s what James fails to understand. James’s idea of tolerance means allowing Christianists to be above the law. A phobia is an irrational fear – it is perfectly rational to be afraid of the kind of government that nutters like Anrea Williams would impose on everyone.

    James – you already have every right to to disagree with homosexuality, and the right not to have a relatinship with a member of the same sex, if you do not want to. And that is all. You have no right to have a say in the private lives of others. So, if you really want to tolerate each other, and if you really want to avoid a war – my advice is simply: keep your nose out, and stop trying to poison legislation with superstition and laws that treat gay poeple as second class cizitens. Judging by appraisal of the morality of MPs’ votes on the Christian Institute’s website (where voting to treat gay members of the armed forces as criminals is regarded as the right thing to do), it is clear that tolerance for you people is a one-way street.

    Tolerance is a principle that applies to those who are willing to let others pursue their lives in peace, unhindered and without disadvantage. That’s why, it does not apply to people who indoctrinate gay teenagers with fear and shame in faith schools, or marriage registrars who will not offer their services to gay people. True freedom of conscience means not pursuing a career whose job description goes against your principles. Not picking and choosing which tasks you will do.

    On the matter of free speech, you are welcome to preach any nonsense you like in the street. It gives me the opportunity to treat you with ridicule, mockery and contempt. So long as you don’t mind having a bible shredded in front of you, I am happy for you to preach rubbish. It’s only a book after all, written by simple Palestinian peasants who knew nothign about Evolution, or astronomy, or meteorology, or medicine, or psychology and how the human brain works. But they had an excuse. You, in the 21st century, 200 years after Darwin, do not. If you believe the contents of that book, now, you will believe anything. So do not expect us to treat your arguments or pleas for special amendments in legislation seriously.

  39. Diesel Balaam 9 May 2010, 11:57am

    AdrianT – loved your comment to James. Spot on. What James also has to realise is that he is also the recipient of greater freedoms as a result of recent LGBT equality legislation. As you say, James already has the right to disagree with homosexuality, and the right not to enter into a relationship with another man. But he now has supplementary rights – even if he chooses not to exercise them – of “marrying” another man, being able to book a double-room in a B&B with another man, or inherit the estate of a deceased same-sex lover. He should see these as his own rights, as well as our rights – after all, I would not want my right to marry a woman, smoke cigarettes or bet on the Grand National taken away, even though they are rights I have no intention of exercising. This is because, as you say, there is a “secular” public sphere in which one’s “secular self” operates – this applies as much to James as anyone else. Privately, he is a Christian and I am an atheist, but when both of us enter the public sphere, we both assume “rights” and “obligations” which may, sometimes, require us to shelve or compromise our private beliefs. We do this in order to “rub along” in a diverse society.

  40. Jean-Paul 9 May 2010, 3:10pm

    @James 30, 31:

    Still waiting. Less enthusiastic are we, simpleton??

  41. Oh Diesel – I also don’t understand why Christians cannot cope with the mockery and hatred. The supposed Jesus of Nazareth, in Matt 10:22, reportedly warned his followers to expect this, because others would find their beliefs, rightly, to be ridiculous. This should be welcomed by the serious Christian, as it gives them a share in Calvary, and especially if they remotely believe in the second part of that verse, ‘he who hold on to the end will be saved’ (the ultimate temptation to fanaticism).

  42. I am a christian, i am a woman and I am not gay, but i have LBGT friends and i love them dearly. I do not see their choice of sexuality as anything more than another feature of what makes them uniquely them. In any event, who am i to dictate to any loved one who or how they are to love?

    As a christian, I take the bible as a moral guide, and i find wisdom and spirituality in its pages. love one another as i have loved you gives me courage to treat others as i would wish to be treated and gives me comfort that i am not alone in today’s society when hate can hit me at any moment, from a workmate, a fellow commuter, at a school. People learn to hate and in order to feel safe they deride those who are different or seen as supposedly ‘weaker’ or more vulnerable than themselves. Surely if I do not have the privilege of being part of a supportive community, then finding support and caring from a God who is depicted as a caring father figure – whether factually based or not – having jesus and believing in his love for me cannot be a bad thing? It offers me no small comfort in my life where i struggle to come to terms with the daily suffering in this world in the way that others harm and hate every day.

    yes there are fundamentalists who cannot practise moderation. There are bigots who use religion as a means to justify their own internal fear and ignorance. But there are people who give their last material possession away to a stranger and there are good people who stand in the way of tanks when they have enough passion to stand up for a cause they believe in. As long as it is not at the cost of another, we all need to allow others the freedom to be who they are, express their views, follow whatever belief they wish to have, love whomever they want.

    Take each person on their own merits and do not seek to label anyone until you have met them personally yourselves, whether a Tory candidate, a blogging Christian or me.
    I hope to teach my own children not to judge others out of their own lack of knowledge. To love others but protect themselves. To keep hope and value joy, whilst preparing them for despair and sadness. teach them to learn to forgive. To recognise when they feel anger, hate or bitterness and not to hold it inside, or lash out at others either when strongly provoked to do so. If that means they learn to shout it out to Jesus, to rage in the storm or in a heightened alcoholic or drug induced stupor, to acknowledge their hate, their anger, their bitterness at being ridiculed or rejected by others and release it then that is a way i will show them they can take. I do not want those emotions to get stored up inside and eat away at them inside, or make them push others away. vengeance is mine, eye for an eye is also in the bible and it means that God will avenge you. You do not have to be the one to do it. Do not take that hate upon yourself, it could break you.Let it go.

    I am fortunate because love and forgiveness is in my life. I think Matthew 10:22 applies to all people who feel marginalised by society (and yes that can also apply to new mothers! as well as christians). I read it as again being sure of who you are and not letting others erode that – again, not at the cost of others. No-one and nothing can harm you if you stay true to yourself and don’t let the hate in.Sure they might kill you, they might not elect you, lol, but if you stay true to who you are and keep your spirit strong, you will find salvation. Reading the rest of the bible helps you to realise the context of that, it all comes back to love. And love is everywhere and you don’t need a God map to find salvation.

    Love and light to all who read this and blessings to you James for your strength in writing of your love for Christ and sharing your peace and love.

  43. So you don’t mind that Evan lost his seat, is that the idea?

    Now, where’s my soapbox…?

  44. @31 James:

    What can you tell us about the anti-gay bill that was formulated in Uganda?

    Like, is that a good example of how we gays are LOVED by Xtians?

    Did you intervene in having this hateful bill tabled in Parliament?

    What part of “Gay Rights = Human Rights” don’t you understand??

    Green tea?

  45. “I do not see their choice of sexuality as anything”

    While I appreciate your sentiments as someone who clearly strives for the true meaning of christianity, sexuality isn’t a choice, Sarah – that’s just extremist propaganda. Do you really think for one moment, that millions of people “chose” being gay so they can listen to the endless tirades of hate from religious extremists on being a so called sinner, the abuse, the threat of rejection from family and friends, the possibility of increased physical injury or even murder? Do you think all these gay people woke up one morning, and over their bowel of cornflakes, suddenly “decided” that ‘today I will be persecuted for the rest of my life’? And yet we still stand up and be counted as gay despite all of this hate. Why? Because of what our very core being dictates for us to be who we are and love those our sexuality drives us to love, just like any other human being, and no matter what anyone says or does to us, we cannot be who we are not. Now does this sound like a choice to you, Sarah? Have a good long think about it, the glaringly obvious truth will come to you in time.

  46. Will, I completely agree with you, my wording was careless and insensitive, i apologise. TY for pointing this out to me.

    “our very core being dictates for us to be who we are and love those our sexuality drives us to love, just like any other human being, and no matter what anyone says or does to us, we cannot be who we are not”

    You speak from the heart and say exactly what i was trying so poorly to convey. Thank you for sharing your truth.

    I am sorry Dr Harris lost his seat but I will not pre-judge Ms Blackwood based on what others say. let her show us for herself how she is going to continue with his legacy.

  47. Blackwood has already shown she’s out of touch with reality plus that she thinks christians are victims, she also comes across like she’d support the homophobes

  48. A Xtian continuing Evan Harris’ legacy?

    Only a heretic would attempt it.

  49. Will, really great post. Loved the line “Do you think all these gay people woke up one morning, and over their bowel of cornflakes, suddenly “decided” that ‘today I will be persecuted for the rest of my life’?”

    Sarah, appreciate you coming here and telling us what being a believer in Christ is about, which is love and not discrimination. Its just a pity people like you are not the loudest and most assertive in Christianity. Then again, irrational hate is a bigger driver within these people than compassion is it seems.

  50. OK, seriously? Someone asked why I am here, I would have thought the answer was pretty obvious: to educate the intentionally ignorant. I say ‘intentionally’, because only those who deliberately refuse to do any research or learn a thing about Ms Blackwood could make such inane pronouncements about her character.

    Reality check: Ms Blackwood is entirely pro gay rights and al;ways has been, she was questioned about this at a hustings and answered very clearly on the issue. She has NO desire to see abortions made illagal, she believed firmly in darwinian evolution, and in every other way does not fit the grotesque sterotype of Christians some of you wish to impose on her.

    She is an equality and human rights campaigner, site on a Parlimentary committe on eliminating spousal abuse, spent time in Africa and South East Asia teaching impoverished kids to read, and is a qualified anti-domestic violence champion.

    But some of you heard her say she believes in God, and nothing else mattered now does it?

  51. ‘One Christian group said his defeat was the “most significant individual result of the election”.’

    I guess they heard Even Harris didn’t believe in God and nothing else mattered, eh.

    Are you gay, John Gaunt?

    Or are you, Sarah and James setting yourselves up for the victimhood rhetoric?

    We’ve seen it all before, but carry on…it’s a free country.

  52. John Gaunt – actually it’s the bit where she’s portraying christians as victims, plus she’s ignoring how many christians push an evil agenda± she fears the religious are dismissed yet she doesn’t get why that occurs

  53. John Gaunt 11 May 2010, 3:08pm

    Jean-Paul: So, since ‘one Christian group’ made judgments without knowing any of the facts and made asinine assumptions that somehow justifies you doing it as well? I don’t even understand that attempt at a rebuttal. Is Ms Blackwood somehow responsible for what anyone says about her anywhere in any context?

    I’m setting nobody up as a victim, actually I’m doing the exact opposite. I’m simply chastising those people who seek to demonize and insult a person without knowing the first thing about them. I’m pointing out that ‘belief in a God’ does not automatically equal ‘evil homophobe’. That’s all.

    I know Ms Blackwood, I know that you would likely find no better friend than her in parliament if you tried.

    Chester: portraying Christians as Victims? Where do you get that from?

    Your second comment does not even bear addressing. ‘Ignoring how many christians push an evil agenda’? Tell us Chester, how many is that? Since you assume they must all be one big group with a secret handshake and are (apparently) responsible for what each other thinks, tell us. How many push an ‘evil’ agenda exactly, and how should Ms Blackwood deal with this religious conspiracy?

    Thats just plain silly. Should she also apologize for sins any woman has done, anywhere in the world, or any blonde has done, or any right handed person (assuming she is right handed)? I’m a bit surprised to hear such stereotyping and mass generalizing in such a community as this.

    Look, I have no desire to argue religion, or bigotry or such things. You want me to agree that there have been some horrific things done in the name of religion? Done. Want me to agree that some extremists have used religion as a blunt instrument against Homosexuals? Done. Agreed and UTTERLY irrelevant.

    But why not check out how Ms Blackwood faces such institutionalized intolerance? Read up on how she and her family were kicked out of South Africa for opposing Apartheid.

    Ms Blackwood is tolerant, open-minded, pro-gay rights, and a dedicated champion of the underprivileged and the disenfranchised, as proven by her cv, and her work with the poorest of the poor in third world countries. That is reality. If you want to presume she must be evil because she believes in God, or that she must be dumb because she is blonde, or whatever generalizations you like, feel free. Just realize they are based on YOU, not on her.

  54. Start here and follow the links:

    BTW, you haven’t answered one question I asked. Not one. Bridge builder??? Not you. The election is over; save your PR for the next one; it won’t be long.

    In the meantime, neither you, nor James, nor Sarah are gay, and you are deliberately disrupting a gay site, in the most theocratic way.

  55. John Gaunt 11 May 2010, 5:27pm

    The only question you asked me Jean-Paul, is if I am gay or not. You then decided to tell me I am NOT gay. Wow, so now you seek to judge people based on their sexuality, and then make assertions about their sexuality you have no foundation about. You taking lessons from the homophobes?

    Your link was to a christian webpage which said they were pleased that she won. Sadly, you seem to have completely ignored my lengthy point above in which I proved ‘so what’?

    I have to say, I’m getting a bit tired of your gross generalizations, your judgements and frankly, your assumed bigotry. You have no idea what my sexual orientation is. You have also no idea what my religion is, if any. So you assume, then insult. have I insulted you? have I dont anything except encourage people to actually find out something about their MP?

    Everything I have said is easily verifyable fact. before you post again, go look in a mirror, and ask yourself if the judgemental, insulting person you are portraying with these posts is really who you are.

  56. Trained to disrupt are we?? To entangle, to confuse…cute.

    You certainly aren’t here to answer simple, friendly questions.

    Breathe, blow it out your ear, and calm down. You are getting ugly, and quite judgmental. You do know that religion is a mental illness, don’t you??

    In your post 4 you said:

    “Nicola won because Mr harris (sic) was a bad MP…”

    A “bad” MP? What is this if not a moral judgment, Mr. Gaunt?

    Are you an ex-gay fundamentalist?

    Would you be insulted if I called you “intentionally ignorant”?

  57. Oh, and how do you know that “‘one Christian group’ made judgments without knowing any of the facts and made asinine assumptions”?

    Again referring to your post 4:

    “Seriously, breathe and learn not to assume.”

  58. John Gaunt 11 May 2010, 6:36pm

    I have not received a single ‘simple friendly question’ from you, not one. I had you ask me about my sexuality, then proceed to assume my sexuality and judge it.

    I’m getting ugly? Are you kidding? Have you read ANY of your own posts? Even one? In your first post to me, you called me a fcukwit, and you have slid downhill from there, and now you have the audacity to play the ‘oh poor insulted me’ card?

    You have done NOTHING here but judge without foundation and insult. You have absolutely refused to address any of the issues I brought up about the person in question, you have simply fled from them and continued your one-person campaign of hatred.

    Yes I called Dr harris ‘bad MP’, not a moral judgement, but a definitional one which I explained at greath length, but of course, you ignored. Its also something many seem to agree on me with, since he was just voted out of office.

    Now all you are doing is your own version of the ‘i know you are but what am I’ game, labelling me with all the sins you are so obviously guilty of. Insulting, judging without foundation, grotesque stereotyping, I could go on.

    I have done little here, especially until I ran into you, but post positive comments about someone I respect, and encourage people not to judge her without some research. You on the other hand, have done nothing but be bitter, sour, bigoted and downright rude.

    Oh hey, and thanks for TELLING me I’m not gay. Thank god we have a know-it-all like you around to inform us about our sexuality. Could you do me a favour and tell my brother? he never really accepted my sexuality, and will be very relieved to know that YOU have ‘decreed’ that I am not gay.

    No I did not know that religion was a mental illness. Could you point me to a textbook of psycholohy or psychiatry that backs up your claim? Oh and while you are there, feel free to consult ‘narcisistic personality disorder’. You can be helped you know. For the record, I’m not religious in the slightest, but I can tell you wont let facts or reality get in the way of a good hatemongering.

    I came here to encourage people to not Judge miss blackwood without knowing her. I know for a fact that she will be a great friend to the LGBT community. That was my only point here, and for that, you called me a fcukwit, among other horrendous insulting things.

    Well, I guess that demonstrates everything anyone needs to know about you.

  59. Oh my, Mr. Gaunt, am I misjudging your tone or are you fuming mad? Are you angry with me? I hope not because that can cloud a person’s judgment you know.

    It sounds to me as if you are projecting all your nastiness onto my rather simple comments, but as you pointed out, I could be wrong.

    You do carry on and on, sir. Could you be a wee bit more succinct?

    Am I to understand that you would not be insulted if I called you “intentionally ignorant’ then?

    So now that I think that you refuse to answer any harmless little questions, well, fiddlesticks…I’ll just go walk the dogs then have some green tea.

    I suppose you’ve heard by now that Brown has been torpedoed by his own party and that the talks with LibDem are a thing of the past.

    I heard someone say that the National Interest is now in the hands of the Con-Dem beast. m-m. Such flux, eh.

    Frankly, I’m disappointed. Looks to me like gay-loving Conservative MP’s are about to be re-educated. Toe the line, you know.

    Breathe. That’s it. Pranayana and all that.

    Oh and, don’t be a stranger.

  60. John Gaunt 11 May 2010, 8:28pm

    Not fuming mad, not mad at all. Frankly, I’m laughing at you. Once again you do everything possible except deal with the points and issues in front of you. Once again you try and hide behind weak sarcasm and what you must think is wit, instead of acknowledging your blame and your deficiencies.

    I’m not ‘projecting’, friend, your comments have been vile, insulting, crude and juvenile from day one. Shall I quote more of them back at you? Of course, we both know that, even if I did, you would just ignore them again, and pretend they never happened. Its the tactic 7-year old use to try and hide from their errors and mistakes, and your avoidance tactics here are about as effective.

    You have no desire to actually defend your points or your words or your positions, likely because you know they are indefensible, so you squirm and wiggle away from them, predictably. I ask a question, you squirm away. I ask you to source a claim, you squirm away. I point out the fallacy of your claims, you squirm away. I point out that you are clearly at fault for both insults and lowering the debate, you squirm away.You don’t address even your most egregious stupidities, like your proclamations about the sexuality of others, because you know there is nothing you can say. You really did learn all your debating tactics from the homophobes.

    You want to know what the great thing is about a debate like this? You are in the wrong. period. No sane person could see your adolescent insults and weak sarcastic avoidance and think otherwise. The evidence of it is plain as day for everyone to read. You are quite simply in the wrong, and if I had to guess, I suspect you know that, but are too much of a coward to admit it.

    Either way, it doesn’t matter. Everyone else here will have seen my comments, constructive, polite, coherent and evidence based, and will ignore your vitriolic mewlings. Those with the self-esteem of their convictions will take a look at Ms Blackwood and judge her on her merits. You will not, and good riddance. The last thing she needs is friends like you.

    You may have the last word. Knock yourself out. Wasting any more time on judgemental, bigoted cowards like you is quite pointless.

  61. “You want to know what the great thing is about a debate like this? You are in the wrong. period.”

    Hardly a good starting point for a ‘debate’.

    John, no one here is tarnishing Nicola Blackwood “just becuase she believes in god”. Whether you accept it or not, there is some evidence here that makes rational people worried:- She is a member of the Conservative Christian Fellowship and is a veritable mascot for Christian Concern for Our Nation, an organisation that seeks to put prayer at the heart of government.

    I personally find this disturbing, as in all democracies, religious theocracy defeats the very reason we have a democracy in the first place, and I for one do not agree with representatives that are proxies for religious right wing organisation promoting one view of a religious dogma. Now, I am not saying that Ms. Blackwood is necessarily one of these people, but her membership of these organisations is of real concern. If you can’t see that, then by all means continue to act superior and insult other people for their real and entitled concerns.

  62. Thank you, Will, and succinct too.

  63. John Gaunt 11 May 2010, 9:52pm

    Greetings Will. Allow me to correct one thing you said:

    “Nobody here is tarnishing Nicola Blackwood just because she believes in god”


    Jean-Paul: “You do know that religion is a mental illness, don’t you??”
    Jean-Paul: “What can you tell us about the anti-gay bill that was formulated in Uganda? Like, is that a good example of how we gays are LOVED by Xtians?”
    Simon: “Nicola Blackwood. She sounds like a poisonous bigot. If she starts with the typical christian bigotry, she must be opposed at every turn.”
    Vincent: “the mere fact she stood for the homophobic tory party demonstrates her moral bankruptcy even before you note the fact she is an outspoken christian”
    Jay: “So the people of Oxford have lost their rational minds to superstition. And now they are voting for a superstitious ‘wanna be’ fundamentalist christian.”

    I could easily continue there are many more. So in fact Will, the exact OPPOSITE of what you said is true, MANY here, jean-Paul in the forefront, are tarnishing, insulting and attacking Ms Blackwood just because she believes in God.

    As to me ‘acting superior and insulting other people’, again, perhaps you should read back, I was NOTHING but polite, and made no suggestions apart from that people get to know her before judging. Shall I quote you the litany of insulting name and I was called and abuse I took, once again from jean-paul leading the charge? I responded with more politeness, and took more abuse, until I snapped back and that twerp had the audacity to try and play the ‘poor insulted me’ card, and then tell me I was not gay.

    Will I seriously appreciate your comments, and your sound and rational justification for your opinions, but if you honestly believe I am at blame for any of this, you need to read back and see for yourself who threw the first stone, and second, and third, and fourth, and fifth, and sixth.

    As for acting superior, well, regarding our friend jean-paul, I only act superior to those I am clearly superior to.

  64. John,

    I agree sometimes temperatures can rise on this site, I am hardly immune from this myself, so I cannot defend that. Apologies if any offended, but if we were a regular to PinkNews, you would see a unique but disturbing view of religious fanaticism, and people here have learnt the correlation between evangelistic organisations and persecution, between “Christian belief” and discrimination, between “bible” and hate. Not all Christians are like that, agreed, but as an atheist myself, I find it difficult when people insist there IS a god with out any proof, expect me to also believe it, and then invariably tell me how I must change my life and being just to pacify their unproven belief system and self-esteem issues! The comments on this site towards Ms. Blackwood are a reflection of this, albeit somewhat more ‘blunt’.

    This of course has nothing to do with Ms. Blackwood personally, and I am not defending any offensive comments, but Christian Concern for Our Nation is an organisation that should rightly distrusted, and association with such an organisation is not a promising start for Ms. Blackwood – and one can rightly infer that she agrees with their draconian policies, by association.

    Christian Concern for Our Nation, or CCFON, is one of the most horrendously bigoted, right wing and discriminatory advocates in the UK, up there with the BNP for their medieval policies. I would invite you John, to have a read of their site to see exactly why an organisation like CCFON is such a threat to personal freedoms (as they do not recognise personal freedoms unless you believe in their brand of god), a threat to democracy, and its a threat to the superiority of rational over blind superstition. One of CCOFN’s most prolific, and diseased members, David Skinner, regular visits this site to “preach” – if you can call his lunatic rantings and offensive remarks “preaching”. If this Skinner we see in here (and this is a GAY site after all, not a Christian one) is ANY example of the type of person that associates with CCFON, then really, I believe they should be all assessed for acute mental health difficulties.

    If you can show me where Ms. Blackwood has rejected CCFON, in speech or print, and their policies, I’m sure people here would appreciate that. If not, then concern is quite rightly warranted, and in the absence of proof to the contrary, her association with CCFON can only be concluded with the likelihood that she shares their bigoted and fanatically homophobic views.

    As you know her personally, perhaps you can enlighten us?

  65. John – the bit where she’s thinking christians is victims comes from the article, many christians do push an evil agenda which results in murder, pain, misery, death etc, you misunderstood and thought I meant ALL!

  66. JP, your latest profantity filled spewing defied sense, reason and common decency, and demonstrated yet again your stunning inability or refusal to actually engage on point or answer for your actions.

    Thus I just reported the post. I doubt much will come of it, but even trying to engage with you is like arguing with a turd.

    Pointless, ineffective, and in the end, some of their smell gets on you.

  67. can anyone tell me where they found indication that nicola blackwood is a member of ccfon? even on their own webpage they dont claim she was, nor does any materiel i have been able to find on the web at all.

    i did find ccfon celebrating evan harris losing, but they barely even mention her at all, they are crowing about downing harris.

    so IS there actually any conection at all between ccfon and nicola blackwood, if so, can you show me?

  68. Well Asuki, have a look here:

    The Channel 4 documentary In God’s Name, aired on 19 May 2008, was critical of the group CCFON, presenting it as part of a “Christian fundamentalist” network, and reporting links with Nadine Dorries’ “20 weeks campaign” and with the Conservative Christian Fellowship…

    Ms. Blackwood is a member of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, which has proven links to CCFON. Its not a stretch of the imagination that she might support their draconian principles. I’m not saying she does, but I have found nothing from a reputable source that makes me think otherwise.

    But lets look at the “Conservative Christian Fellowship”… does this have a place in a democracy? No, it doesn’t. The agenda is a political one, defined solely by the promotion of one’s own beliefs and rights by the restriction of other people’s rights. Yet any challenge from those whose rights are to be restricted is portrayed as more evidence of the persecution of a faith. This is not democracy, and I for one am still waiting on any proof that Ms. Blackwood is anything but a religious zealot, as I can find NOTHING anywhere that tells me she has any open view regarding equality, discrimination, or tolerance for other faiths.

    I’m hoping John can point me to a source which backs up his claims.

    Ironic we see so many “new faces” here all claiming to be independent and seeking “proof” from us of this and that, yet all standing shoulder to shoulder with Ms. Blackwood.

  69. now that you ignored my post John I know you aren’t interested in answers

  70. John Gaunt 12 May 2010, 3:31pm

    Chester, I didnt ignore your post, there was just nothing more to say. You believe ‘many’ Christians push an evil agenda that results in murder pain misery and death. I think thats a vast overstatement, but then you chose not to define or explain, so I chose not to pursue.

    If you insist, then by all means, please explain your opinion regarding how ‘many’ christaisn seek these things, In particular murder and death. I would be most curious to hear your justification for that comment.

    Now if you had said, some of the more fanatic christians can be very closed minded and bigoted, I would have agreed, but you went a LOT further. So, you asked for an answer, here it is. Please justify your rather extreme claim.

  71. im not a new face but dont post often. some here will know me cause we talked before dave and baalam for two. this was my first election where i could vote and i met nicola twice once at a debate thing and once in a track pickup at woodstock roundabout. she seemed totally cool i told her i was gay and she didnt care at all. thats why i asked cause i just dont see it. and her being a part of a group that might have links to another group which is nasty is purdy weak. pity the election is over cause before i would have said go ask her yourself if you have doubs but i guess she wont be around abingdon much now.

  72. @66:

    I thought it was rather good considering the rank propaganda with which I had to work.

    In fact, I foresaw an immature reaction to have my post deleted, and I did save a copy of “Everyone breathe…seriously!”, as a memento.

    Of course you’re perfectly right, 100% right: you may never succeed in communicating with me. Alas.

    Regardless, there’s no doubt that the results of the National Elections 2010 do represent the will of those who did vote.

    Mr. Cameron must now undertake to govern this magnificent country in a most troublesome world situation. I do wish him well not only in fulfilling his electoral promises, but also in confronting the challenging times in which we live.

    Finally, though I am personally disappointed in the results of the elections, I am proud to have followed the campaigns every day, and to have contributed in my simple way to support those whose political vision I do share.

    And good luck to you, Mr. Gaunt.

  73. “and her being a part of a group that might have links to another group which is nasty is purdy weak.”

    Really? You think so, do you? And what exactly is “nasty” about the truth of what I have said? I have shown you proof of the Conservative Christian Fellowship links to CCFON, yet you seem to ignore it and go for stupid in insults. Why exactly? And you don’t mind your democratic representatives being members of a group that effectively wants to put the rights of one group above all others, like the Conservative Christian Fellowship agenda clearly states? Know what that’s called, don’t you? Its called a theocracy.

    And John Gaunt, I am still waiting for you to show us the proof that Nicola, a member of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, is not putting Christian values above others. You are quite adamant about this, so I correct in assuming you can easily prove this? I am genuinely curious, but you seem more interested in trading insults with others. If you can prove she is NOT bigoted to gay people, and doesn’t put Christian values above all her constituents, then I will stand corrected. Until then, her membership of such an odious and undemocratic organisation like the Conservative Christian Fellowship is enough to rightly concern people who want democracy, not a theocracy.

  74. “During the election campaign, Mr Harris was criticised for his support of stem cell technology, euthanasia and abortion rights.

    One leaflet circulated about him referred to him as “Doctor Death”.”

    Most unkind comment about a medical doctor, really.

    What exactly is euthanasia?

    Euthanasia, or mercy killing, is the ending of a person’s life who is suffering from a painful and incurable disease or an incapacitating physical disorder.

    Because there is no specific provision for it in most legal systems, it is considered either suicide (if performed by the patient himself) or murder (if performed by another).

    A physician may, however, lawfully decide not to prolong life where there is extreme suffering; and he may administer drugs to relieve pain, even though he knows that this may shorten the patient’s life.

  75. Full version of the anti-gay bill submitted to the Ugandan Government by right-wing religious fundamentalists:

  76. Sadly much of the vitriol my comments (and those of others) have received on here is just mroe evidence of a higly strung and paranoid view of much of the world, Christians and anyone who has a view about gay sex that isn’t the stonewall one. Look, I believe what I believe and in any free country worthy of that title I am free to share my views.. as are you. Of course, you can rip a Bible up in front of me if you like, I won’t seek recourse to the thought police.. we’ve all a right to speak freely and since 1967 to sleep with people of any gender. However, just cos something is legal, which I do not dispute, doesn’t make it right.

    That said, what really matters is that you come to know GOd’s love for yourself. IF you don’t know Jesus then maybe it doesn’t matter what things you do, I don’t know.. I just know it’s amazing to know him and my gf and I don’t sleep together cos we feel the Bible says we should wait till marriage and I think we’re blessed for doing things God’s way. I want to be able to share that message with people in my church, in my office, in my pub, evenin my street.. and you’re totally entitled to disagree and boo if you like.. but having a free country is important.. very important.. though if we have to ‘hang on to the end’ as Jesus said we might, then ok, may GOd give us strenght. . but I’d rather live in harmony, agreeing to disagree and allowing us all to speak and act as we must. God bless you all.. and I absolutely totally mean that! James

  77. “However, just cos something is legal, which I do not dispute, doesn’t make it right.”

    And you are an authority on what is right, are you James? Is it right to impose your belief system on another? Is it right for you to dictate the moral conscience of another? Is it right for you to discriminate? You Christians bander around the word “right” like its exclusively yours to use. You are a prime example of the blind swallow-what-your-told sanctimonious Christian hypocrite that we’re all referring to above.

    You want to let “Jesus inside you” or what ever nonsense you believe in, I’m all for that, as you said, you have the right of freedom of though – but my right is to think your an idiot for for thinking that, and a bigger idiot for embarrassing yourself in public with this bigotry like its fact. And yes, saying that gay people are “wrong” is bigotry, not “biblical teaching”. The bible is proof of nothing, its a book written by man, its content decided by man, its just a book – plane and simple. There is ample of proof historically of this – and lets face it, I doubt god, creator of the universe, is the contradictory and childish brat the bible lens him to be. The bible is no more the word of god than Harry Potter books are proof of witchcraft. You want to believe it is, go for it, but don’t expect me everyone else to agree with you, or have to follow your backward moral “guidance”, or consider what you believe to be “right”.

    My advice is get your nose out of that fairy story book and open your eyes and educate yourself properly – then maybe you might not need to be told how to think by others, and you might actually start living like a real christian, not a small minded bigot because some 2,000 year old book tells you to.

    Bigotry after all, James, is the recourse of a weak and dull mind.

    And still no proof from John Gaunt. Curious.

    The more I read here on this site, the more I agree with Mahatma Gandhi – “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – that man hit the nail on the head.

  78. James – your own bible says to follow the law, you are a bigot as Will observes, people here aren’t highly strung or paranoid and as a bigot you’ll never understand why people think so little of many christians or all

  79. @44 James:

    Good morning, James.

    Just to remind you that I am waiting for your answer to a fair question that is relevant to this debate:

    What can you tell us about the anti-gay bill that was formulated in Uganda?

    For example, how does the christian concerted attempt to persecute and execute gays in Uganda indicate that we gays are LOVED by Xtians?

    In your post #30, you go so far as to say that it is we – christophobic, bigoted, militant, secularist gays – who are a threat to society.

    Again in post 31, you state squarely that christians DO NOT HATE anyone before you actually wish us Peace.

    In the spirit of building bridges, which is your purpose for posting here, I equally wish you the peace that I find every day in the gay community.

    Just as importantly, I don’t remember ever remember seeing the words “destroy society” on the agenda of any meeting I’ve ever had with members of the LGBT community…and I’ve had many.

    What it is that prompts you to say that gays are determined to destroy society then? Are you aware of a concerted gay attempt to formulate and pass a bill through Parliament that would harass and persecute Xtions and members of their families and then execute people of faith?

    Finally, my inquiry as to your sexual orientation and your xtion sect has gone unanswered.

    A deep breath may help you to realize that we are queer, we are here, and we are not going to go away.

  80. JP, I’m concerned about the level of intelligence we’re dealing with here in our pal James.

    James: “they don’t hate you at all (least they shouldn’t)”

    They don’t hate us? Really? I’d call their hate an obsession. But many Christians do hate gay poople – and are aggressive, militant, and bigoted people against anyone that is not a believer like them. I’m all on for secularism if it keeps Christian religious fascists like CCFON, Moral Majority, Christian Voice (USA), Christian Coalition of America, Eagle Forum, The Christian Institute (UK), the Conservative Christian Fellowship, and The Family at bay. These “Christians” want noting more then to the right to dominionism and discrimination. And if you truly believe in the bible, then you are aware discrimination is against the teachings of Jesus, Galatians 3:28 said, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

    James: “they simply (well most of them) believe (cos the Bible says so) that homosexual sex is against God’s will”

    So, if you are “believing what the bible tells you”, I assume you also agree with slavery, believe the earth is 6,000 years old, believe black people are cursed by the mark of Cain, believe the Jews are collectively responsible for the murder of god, that eating a prawns is an ‘abomination’ (the same word used to describe its “aversion to” homosexuality), selling ones daughter into slavery, people who work on Sunday should be put to death, and wearing two types of material in your clothing is a punishable offence? These are all in the bible as “not going to change” “words of god”, I assume you follow all of these rules too?

    If you DON’T believe all the above, you are either:

    (1) Selectively picking the bits form the bible as “truth” to back up your own bigotry, like all Christians do in reality.
    (2) Haven’t a clue what you’re talking about
    (3) Don’t know your own bible that you bander about as “proof” of your beliefs.

    Option (1)suggest you’re a hypocrite, and options (2) and (3) suggest you’re an idiot.

    You pick, James.

  81. ‘Morning Will,

    Frankly, I was trying to give James the advantage of the doubt.

    Referring to Ms Geen’s article, she concluded that:

    ‘Keith Porteous Wood, the director of the National Secular Society, commended Dr Harris for his work.

    He said: “Evan Harris has been a tireless worker for secularism and many other progressive causes during his time in parliament and we will miss his input enormously. Let us hope that he will have another opportunity to return to parliament in the not too distant future. We commiserate with him and deeply regret the loss of a brave and effective voice in parliament.”‘

    I would like to express my gratitude to Keith Porteous Wood, and of course to Dr. Evan Harris as well.

  82. I notice these fcukers don’t answer anything put to them, James and John, just do the usual preaching and pontificating. Makes you wonder how right Will was to question Blckwoods motives.

  83. yea, well, these publicity seekers now know that this thread is no longer at center-stage and is not being read by the cyberspace audience.

    As I suspected they are more interested in crowing than actually dialoguing with us, so you can draw your conclusions, eg. how much do they care about us..

  84. JP, looks like your were right – seems they are more interested in spreading Christian propaganda and insults rather actually answering the questions. Oh, well, they’re not the first, or last, of that type of person to grace this website. John’s lack of ability to actually provide any proof of Ms. Blackwood’s apparent egalitarian and pluralist attitudes speaks volumes… in the absence of proof to the contrary, empirical evidence dictates the woman is more then likely another right wing nut.

  85. Will, all you had to do was mention Skinner…ha ha…

    I wonder how a neanderthal walks away from a “victory” feeling superior. hehe.

    Now breathe, Will, BREATHE (4)….rhetoric or what.

  86. There was a Jon Gaunt in PinkNews headlines not too long ago:

  87. Seriously, I@m afraid some of the agressive and insulting nay offensive comments levelled at me is exactly what makes this kindof discussion so difficult. Christians aren’t going away either and surely there’s got to be a better way of living in peace in a nation than this?

    In answer to one question, I’m not gay (I did mention a girlfriend), I belong to the Church of England (though there’s only one Jesus Christ and you can define me as a Christian if you like, but being C of E doesn’t really define me as anything).

    Of course Christians think that what GOd has taught us inthe Bible is the right way and therefore higher than other ways.. we also recognise that not everyone believes in that and in a free country everyone is free to follow their own path, regardless of where that leads. Of course, we also have to live within the law in so far as we can, we’re not totally free from constraint, and that is born of morality.

    I think it was Will who asked about my Biblical understanding and theology and whilst this is notperhaps the best place to go into it I’ll give a brief overview..

    You cannot compare what is ceremonial law in leviticus with what is the law about sin etc.. But more importantly we have Jesus and the other New TEstament writers. The affirm marraige between a man and a woman is the Godly way of having sexual relations and that anything outside of this is not of GOd.. s0..
    1) if you don’t believe in GOd, it’s not a problem is it?
    2)If you do believe in God then I think it’s not something you can pretend to disagree with to fit in with an agenda of others.
    3)i don’t think anyone in the church is trying to stop gay people or make them go away or whatever it was the previous questioner suggested I might be wanting to do, but for CHristians these views aren’t going away either.. neither are they discriminatory as they apply to everyone in exactly the same way.
    4)Please note, this is not about hating anyone at all, I don’t care if someone is gay or not, like I don’t care if they’re short or fat or whatever.. I jdge not and love as much as I can.. but that doesn’t mean that gay sex is part of God’s plan and there’s nothing I can do to make it so.. So how are we all going to live together if you insist Christians don’t have a say in how we even run our own lives??ie not choosing an actively gay priest? (as it would be hypocrisy)..or running an adoption agency for kids who can’t be adopted by the state system which doens’t beleive in adopting kids into same sex couples??

    BAsically, since when has secularism been neutral?

    OK, I hoep to come back and respond to your comments soon, I’m not ignoring you or finding more fashionable or well read threads, I will comment when I can.

    Cheers all, and let’s keep it civil!! I@m not here to wind you up, I’m here to discuss life with you.

    God bless you all,


  88. “Christians aren’t going away either and surely there’s got to be a better way of living in peace in a nation than this?”

    Neither are gay people going away. So, you Christians stop the active discrimination, and the bigotry towards others, then I’m sure people will accept you better and you will be able to live within the confines of the law, like the rest of civilised people.

    “if you don’t believe in God, it’s not a problem is it?”

    Then don’t impose ‘laws’ on others based on the belief by some of a god, then it won’t be a problem, will it?

    “neither are they discriminatory as they apply to everyone in exactly the same way”

    No they don’t – we multiple examples of so called Christians who wish to discriminate against gay couples in stable relationships, but not apply that same “logic” to divorced people. Lets be honest here, its “pix & mix” bible reading. If you believe the word of Jesus, then you MUST, by the dictates of your own religion, believe the earth is 6,000 years old as per the bible states. Otherwise, you too are engaging in selective religion to suit yourself.

    “You cannot compare what is ceremonial law in leviticus with what is the law about sin etc”

    Oh, really? Who says? Thanks for proving my point, you select what you want out of the bible. And in fact Jesus never condemned slavery, when he should have, in fact the opposite. Does this mean slavery is acceptable, by your logic, it is! People in debt (and their children) were sold into slavery, as per Matthew 18:25: “But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.”

    Sounds to me you don’t know your bible as well as you think.

    “So how are we all going to live together if you insist Christians don’t have a say in how we even run our own lives?”

    Its simple, you run your lives in the confines of the law, as everyone else is expected to do. There is no place in the law for discrimination. Religion is not an excuse for discrimination. You Christians demand tolerance for your bigotry, which is the very definition of hypocrisy!

    “or running an adoption agency for kids who can’t be adopted by the state system which doens’t beleive in adopting kids into same sex couples??”

    Then stop running the agencies. Its very simple. You Christians think you have a right to determine the lives of children???? You do not!!!! The state and judiciary is the primary, and sole instrument of the welfare of children, not a religious organisation! If this was properly adhered to, then we wouldn’t have so many Catholic Priests abusing children. The state determines the welfare of these children, for the children, not for the benefit of religious dogma to be adhered to!!! And if you want to run an adoption agency, you follow the rules of law. If you can’t, then you stop.

    Simple, isn’t it?

    You assume a ‘right’ to do something, when in fact its not. Like a right to run adoption agencies, or a right to discriminate again gay people. You don’t have any right to do either. So get over it, and grow up.

    “BAsically, since when has secularism been neutral?”

    This is a stupid statement. You saying that your religion doesn’t have to be neutral, becuase secularism isn’t? Good call. Secularism is about pluralism and tolerance, and the primacy of logic over superstition, not the Christian brand of discriminatory bigotry, sorry.

  89. I think it’s important to remember that Jesus was not condemning slavery only because Jesus rarely spoke about political issues of the day. Manypeople wanted Him to comment on slavery and the Roman occupation, to which he said, “give unto caesar what is caesars, and to God what is GOd’s”.. ie Jesus was more interested in us having a relationship with Him and knowing His presence and the amazing change that brings within us.. whether slave or freeman, we are truly free in Jesus.. now that doesn’t mean slavery is right, clearly not, (though we mustn’t confuse Biblical times slavery with the ideas we have about slave ships from Africa, many house slaves in the ancient world were extremely well looked after, still wrong though.. whic is why St Paul writes to a Chrsitian brother asking him to set free his slave). Re the quote from Matthew’s gospel, I would suggest you re read it as it is a parable about forgiveness, it’s not suggesting slavery is good, any more than the parable of the sower is about farming of the parable of the prodigal son is about inheritance rights.. it’s just a story.. the thrust of which is that we are forgiven so so much by God that we must forgive those who have sinned against us. IN the story the servant is forgiven a HUGE debt, but refuses to forigve a tiny debt owed to him by a colleague. As he has failed to show even this tiny mercy, the King revokes his forgiveness and charges the servantwith the full penalty of the law. So, as we are forgiven much, we must forgive others also.

    So you see, the Gospel offers you life, and life in it’s fullest. Christians cannot expect non Christians to live by Christian ethics, and perhaps sometimes we expect that too much, but nor can you expect Christians to forget what they believe and accept a lifestyle which is so strictly in contradiction with the plan God has laid out for our lives.

    So, unless you want to get rid of huge sections of the charitable sector, have a police state where vicars are sent to prison for acts of conscience, street preachers are arrested on the spot and basically some kind of gay version of Iran..(ineresting) which I’m sure you don’t want, then somehow we’ve got to find a way of co existing. Saying that your views are the standard and neutral and the way it is just isn’t true though, Christianity has been and is still at the heart of this nation and I hope it stays that way, finding a way to co exist with those who don’t like it.

    God’s peace!


    Re provision of many social services.. I beleive hte majority of care for the elederly is provided by Christian bodies.. and much of child care, care for the disabled, adoption work, fostering, drug rehab, homelessness charities etc are run by Chrsitian bodies are Chrsitians in other bodies. It would be foolish to suggest that those bodies should not involve themselves in such work.. and whilst they will do their best to live by the law, it would also be foolish to ask them to do things they cannot do. A vicar can refuse to bless a civil partnership,(they’re not usually asked to be fair) would you have him/her sent to prison for such a thing?

  90. That seemed to get posted in a funny order.. apologies for my IT skills!

  91. Good morning James,

    When all is said and done, there’s more said than done.

    For example, many of us in the LGBT community have taken a stand on the abusive use of the christian gospels in Africa.

    We believe that gay rights are human rights.

    We struggle to understand why chistian scriptures attempt to validate institutional homophobia and prevent the development of societies rather than adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the common good of humanity.

    Would you have human beings sent to prison because they love one another?

  92. “I think it’s important to remember that Jesus was not condemning slavery only because Jesus rarely spoke about political issues of the day.”

    So, slavery was okay then? You seriously telling me the son of god didn’t give a toss about slavery, becuase he never got involved in “political issues”??? If you believe in the bibles as a guide for, you support slavery, its that simple. You also believe in the garden of eden as literal, and the 6,000 year old ‘flat’ earth. If you don’t, you don’t know your bible, or you pick and mix what you want – which is my point all along.

    “though we mustn’t confuse Biblical times slavery with the ideas we have about slave ships from Africa”

    And why not? Its the same thing. People removed from their lands and “owned” and placed into servitude. You need to get your facts straight, you are particularly uneducated in this area. Are you justifying slavery????

    “and whilst they will do their best to live by the law, it would also be foolish to ask them to do things they cannot do.”

    Wrong. The law is paramount over unproven religion. And here we see your hypocrisy, did you not say: “give unto Caesar what is Caesars, and to God what is God’s”? You obey the law. Otherwise your religion is illegal. Its that simple.

    If you can’t obey the law, you’re religion becomes a cult, a sect, and something that needs to be stamped out for the good of society and mankind. And group what wants the right to discriminate is too close to n-azi Germany’s anti Jewish ideology – a belief that discriminates and ultimately seeks to suppress. No difference.

    ….and funny how you hypocrites still pick and chose what in the bible to believe – half of Leviticus is out the window, because it doesn’t suit you, but the rest of it is fine, becuase it DOES suit your prejudice and bigotry. Typical and very unsurprising of you James. Convenient for you too, isn’t it?

    Let me ask you, is it okay for my company to refuse all services to Christian, or perhaps charge you more for the same service, simple becuase I believe you are backward superstitious idiots and deserve no less? Is this okay? By your statements it is.

  93. …er, James….:

    Would you have human beings sent to prison because they love one another?

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