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Christian doctor begins legal fight over gay adoptions

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  1. If the doctor is seriously seeking to add to her religious argument by appealing to her professional opinion based on “educational and psychological evidence” and “many studies” then I trust that the employment tribunal and, if applicable, the European court will require her to produce that same evidence.

  2. She left not because of her medical opinion, but her beliefs. If she has medical proof that gays shouldn’t adopt (Something I don’t believe) then she has a duty to vote that way for the good of the child.

    Of course she will need to prove the medical reasons.

  3. Oh christians getting up in arms about being discriminated against, the ironing is delicious. Do they not realise that this is what they do to us? That this is how it feels to have something about you turned into a weapon to be used to make your life worse in some way? Is there no sense of reflection in these people, or is their thing of “Do onto others” just to suit themselves?

  4. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/5907881/Doctor-sacked-over-gay-adoptions-reinstated.html

    She has been reinstated, but is still not able to vote.

    As long as she sticks to the medical issues, I have no problems with her.

    When she brings in her beliefs to justify exclusions, then it is not acceptable.

    chrissie
    xxx

  5. “whether medical opinion should be permitted to override equality laws”

    I beg your pardon? Er, no. This isn’t a medical opinion, by her own admission its a religious one. The real question is should doctors allow their beliefs to override their legal and oath-taken duty of care to patients, and the answer is “no” to that as well! I would challenge how she managed to get her doctorate in the first place given her ill-informed and very unscientific views from “a historical Christian perspective of relationships, based on the Bible”, as she puts it.

    People like her sicken me.

  6. The lawsuit in question is the latest in a string of lawsuits brought against the UK Equality Laws by the ‘christian Legal Centre’.

    These christians are determined to see the UK Equality Laws repealed. Mark my words, this is not the last time we will hear from them.

    I’m Italian. In Italy we,gays and lesbians, have no rights.
    A victory for bigots in Britain would make it more difficult for us Italians to achieve equality.

    You Brits need to Wake up and start doing a better job defending your hard fought freedoms.

  7. What’s medical opinion got to do with being a bigot?

  8. Exactly, Will. What ‘medical opinion’ could this possibly be?? I’ll answer for her – a load of made-up cr*p. She’s yet another stooge put forward by the UnChristian Institute to try to further their aim to get opt-outs from UK law to allow them to discriminate one group of society for no reason whatsoever other than their own personal bigotry.

    These people are truly sick. What kind of person fights for the right to be a bigot? How utterly despicable. And imagine if she’d said that she couldn’t vote to place children with black couples because of her strongly held beliefs that they were cursed (because yes, the Bible was used to ‘prove’ that).

    It really frightens me that such people are working in the NHS. I also find it particularly offensive that she tried to use her position as a doctor to say that it was for MEDICAL reasons. How low will these bigots go?

  9. how can she lie when that’s a sin? she’s a typical cherry-picking bigot
    she claims it’s about being a medic when it’s all about her homophobia and the idea that (yet again)m Christians are immune to the laws and above it – even the bible says to follow the law of the land

  10. “I understand that legislation permits same sex couples to adopt and they are positively encouraged to apply, but I have professional concerns, based on educational and psychological evidence, of the influences on children growing up in homosexual households and I feel this is not the best possible option for a child.”

    Would this be evidence that uses sound research methods to come to a conclusion based purely on the findings of the studies or just some studies knocked together to justify the beliefs of some homophobic psychologist/scientist/founder of a religious organisation? Because there are no sound research studies that show gay and lesbian parents are damaging to their children – in fact, there have been many that show the exact opposite, but I don’t hear many people using these to state heterosexuals should have their children taken away from them.

    I would worry more about the fact that she is a doctor – if she isn’t capable of understanding the poor quality of the research she uses to uphold her beliefs, goodness knows how easily swayed she is by a well-written but deeply flawed medical paper, perhaps written by a pharmaceutical company trying to flog their latest drug.

    She should at least be honest and say it is her own personal religious beliefs that prevent her from being able to do her job.

  11. When is Religion going to be outlawed? – This crazyness has to stop – More unevolved humans living a lie and denying the mountains of proof that evolution is why we are here not some made-up deity that they can channel to give unsubstantiated ‘proof’ of mere ignorance, fear, and unacceptable bigotry…

  12. Wait for it . . . no doubt the Fundamentalist Evangelical Christians will flock to this news item, like bees to a jam pot.

    Be prepared for a battle!

    As usual . . .

  13. What a load of rubbish.

    All the accepted evidence suggests that gay men and women make much better parents because they’re can provide a steady and loving relationship with financial security.

    Stupid religious nut…we need religion gone from this world.

  14. Andrew (Drew) Wood 15 Nov 2010, 2:16pm

    Even though I am straight, I find this utterly disgusting. Its just another homophobic god-botherer witch-hunt IMHO. She keeps insisting that her concerns are “medical” but Imagine the Stink if a Gay Doctor objected to a heterosexual couple adopting. This sort of Bigotry needs to be stamped out, and SOON! Any Heterosexual couple can have a baby, even if they are the worst parents in the world – its EVERYONES right to have a family. Gay, Straight, Black, White – non of it should matter. What matters is a couple wants to give a loving and caring environment to a child in need of one.

  15. Jock S. Trap 15 Nov 2010, 2:18pm

    Problem is they’ve had nearly 2000 years of getting their own way, so are acting like a baby having a tantrum because things are changing and it’s not now going the way they want it.

    When will they learn that discrimination is against the law and they are not above it?!

    They have to get used to the fact they are becoming a minority. The question they should be asking is how quick do they want to be a minority. This way they’ll go a hell of a lot faster…. with any hope!

  16. Adoption Team
    Northamptonshire County Council
    Norborough House
    Coverack Close
    Northampton
    NN4 8PQ
    15th November 2010

    Dear Adoption Team,

    I am writing to express my dismay that the bigot who was sacked from the adoption panel has been reinstated (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/5907881/Doctor-sacked-over-gay-adoptions-reinstated.html) as a child of adoption myself, I can personally testify that dogma is absolutely detrimental to the interests of children registered for adoption.
    The doctor claims there is research to support her evil views, but also admits her opposition is based on dogma (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/5907881/Doctor-sacked-over-gay-adoptions-reinstated.html), and the ONLY research that supports her position I have found are the false and skewed studies of other Christian institutions. Instead, look at REAL scholarly research (e.g. https://litigation-essentials.lexisnexis.com/webcd/app?action=DocumentDisplay&crawlid=1&crawlid=1&doctype=cite&docid=2+Duke+J.+Gender+L.+%26+Pol'y+191&srctype=smi&srcid=3B15&key=2d894998c56b7bffef2595c180a874bb)
    In reinstating this evil person, you are doing children a disservice, and you are doing a disservice to parents in Northampton, since same sex couples will have to be “examined” by this dogmatic, repellant person. Even without voting rights on the panel, this evil doctor casts a pall over all of your service, preventing the needs of children and parents being effectively met because of your tacit acceptance of her homophobic views. The public homophobia expressed by the doctor has brought your service into disrepute. To retain any credibility, that doctor needs to be removed from practice and prevented from inflicting her bile on any member of the public!

    Yours,

  17. When did the Bible become a medical text? Studies have shown that children raised in gay and lesbian families actually do better. Also, how many adopted kids does she have? I’ve read quotes from people who state that they would rather have kids languish in foster homes and group homes than be adopted by gays or lesbians. Gotta love people who put non-compassionate religious beliefs over the true welfare of children.

  18. “Dr Matthews will ask the court to decide whether professional medical opinion should override the rights of gay would-be parents.”
    SILLY STUPID DOCTOR!!!! Her stance has nothing to do with established and generally accepted medical opinion – and sadly everything to do with BIGOTRY AND IGNORANCE!!!!

  19. If she’s an NHS doctor, then the bitch should not be allowed to get away with it. Religion has NO business in the workplace and should be confined to her home or place of worship where it belongs. I’m sick and tired of these religous bigots playing the victim and constantly shoving their religious beliefs down our throats at every provocation. This is a civil matter and she should learn that adoption has NOTHING to do with religion, nor should it.

  20. The bigots claim that modern medical opinion is in line with “the christian view” do they? Which christian view would that be then? The view of the roman catholics? The view of the anglicans? The united reformed church? The unitarians? The southern baptists? The mormons? There are as many “christian views” on the subject as there are christians.

    None of which should matter in the slightest of course. The consensus of medical, psychological and scientific studies shows unambiguously that same-sex parents make just as good if not better parents than their opposite-sex counterparts. Religious opinion, being based on nothing more than cultural prejudice and wishful thinking, is irrelevant.

  21. Her ‘medical’ opinion?!Based on what,exactly? Produce your evidence,woman,and let us all see it.How can anyone make an informed decision without reading the facts?! If this so-called data had a shred of credence to it surely it would have been made public by now!Oh,and she believes she isn’t homophobic.Really? Isn’t that what the crux of the issue,here?!We homos are just fine,in our place,(whatever that is),and we don’t dare upset the ‘apple-cart’ by stepping out of our perceived,heterosexually defined roles!

  22. If she is unable to do what her JOB requires, what she is paid to do then she should be removed. The laws of the land greatly outweight what a man in rags wrote thousands of years ago.

    Once again want extra rights. It is NOT a human right for those that believe to have more rights than those that are.

  23. Sick of these bigots!…they should be the first to lose their jobs under the nhs cuts!

  24. So by her medical opinion (backed up by superstitious nonsense too), single parents should have their kids taken away because there isn’t a male father figure and female mother figure?

  25. Dr Robin Guthrie 15 Nov 2010, 8:16pm

    This story describes this woman as “A Christian doctor who was removed from an adoption panel”.

    No, I’m sorry, she is a Doctor who happens to be a christian by choice.

    She seems not to have read the Research at Birkbeck college, part of London University, and at Clark University in Massachusetts, which says there is no evidence to show children of lesbian parents are disadvantaged in any way.

    Given that this was setup by the UK government via the Department for Children, Schools and Families, I would say that unless she can produce evidence to the contrary she will not have a leg to stand on.

    As usual the Christian Legal Centre is using this naive idiot as a foot soldier.

    I hope they realize that this is not the first time Dr Matthews has been in court over a clash between her ethical views and her medical responsibilities. In 1999 she was sued, unsuccessfully, by a woman who claimed she had told her it was too late, at 14-and-a-half weeks, to have an abortion.

    hxxp://www.prochoiceforum.org.uk/comm6.php

  26. When will these jokers stop trying it on? A belief in invisible spirits who agree with your prejudices is now a ‘professional opinion’?
    She shouldn’t be anywhere near decisions about adoption. Whether the couples concerned are gay or straight. Adoption should be decided on the basis of empirical and evidencial criteria about the needs of children. End of.

  27. Hmmm… from the recent news headlines regarding abusive priests in the catholic religion (as well as other religions, though to a lesser degree) perhaps it is best if we outlaw religion as it is so harmful to our children… just a thought.

  28. Christian? Why am I not surprised? These idiots claim to be of the Christian faith when they couldn’t be further from the teachings of the prophet it supposedly reveres. They just twist and turn the words of the Bible to suit their own bigoted agenda. I wish they would just be struck off!

  29. Is the research that Sheila Matthews refers to legitimate, science-based and peer reviewed? … Or is it biased Christian pseudo-scientific research based on opinion and produced merely to shore up anti-gay prejudice?
    I am looking forward to seeing the research papers she quotes presented in court for examination.

  30. The ConDem coalition creates a climate that facilitates these sort of things. You’ll see more of these so-called conscience objectors, flexing their muscles, trying to destroy hard-won protections.

  31. She doesn’t even sound like a proper Christian. If she was she would know that the bible says not to make an oath on anything but just tell the truth (Matthew 5:33-37) The witch is just another right-wing homophobe using religion to justify her bigoted views.

  32. 21stCenturySpirituality 16 Nov 2010, 6:28am

    Medical opinion arising from the scientific method must be based on sound and verifiable evidence. The Bible is not a scientific document and cannot therefore be used in support of ‘medical opinion’. This is afterall a text which clearly implies that a variety of illnesses are the result of demon possession – a notion which is not supported by any credible scientific research… “based on educational and psychological evidence”, well lets see this ‘evidence’. How exactly was this ‘evidence’ obtained? “Most professional opinion on this issue happens to fit closely with the Christian view”…well what about the professional opinion that doesn’t and the studies that dont and the opinion of those among the population who also disagree and even the view of professing Christians and other religious people who disagree with this doctors and the Christian Legal Centres views on this issue?

  33. Jock S. Trap 16 Nov 2010, 9:24am

    “The ConDem coalition creates a climate that facilitates these sort of things. You’ll see more of these so-called conscience objectors, flexing their muscles, trying to destroy hard-won protections.”

    Typical! What twoddle!

    Forgets that we had these case under labour. Funny how Labour luvvies always forget their miserable past. Have you forgotten the vile Christians who refused to do Civil Partnerships, or the vile Christian couple that refused a gay couple to stay at their B&B, lets not forget the vile Catholic adoption agency thats fighting to discriminate? The list goes on.

    The only people who created “a climate that facilitates these sort of things” are the religious nutters themselves!

  34. Wait till Ann Widdecombe hears about this one, she’ll instantly cream her knickers!

    http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00186/pg-08-Widdecombe-Ge_186247t.jpg

  35. Dr Matthews has been in court previously in 1999 for imposing her Christian views on a woman who required an abortion

    “Woman who sued anti-abortion doctor over brain-damaged son loses her court fight
    A woman who said a GP prevented her from aborting the pregnancy which resulted in a brain-damaged child.
    …(Mrs Johnston) told Mr Justice Alliott that the GP wrongly told her she was too late for an abortion at 14-and-a-half weeks and that she did not meet the legal criteria for a termination (that the risk to the woman’s mental health from continuing the pregnancy is greater than if it was ended).When she became pregnant through a casual relationship, Mrs Johnston was newly-divorced, bulimic, had recently cut her wrists in a suicide attempt and was planning to go to university. Dr Matthews denied negligence and said she opposed termination as part of her Christian beliefs, but did not allow this to cloud her professional duty. She claimed that always tried to be ‘as level and non-judgmental as possible’ and appreciated that many people did not share her views. But it was revealed that she had only ever directly referred one patient – a 13-year-old girl – for an abortion, and it was her normal practice to ask a patient who was determined to have an abortion to see another doctor at the surgery. She said it was very, very unlikely she would refer a patient for abortion even in the case of a non-viable fetus.
    see complete article here:
    http://www.prochoiceforum.org.uk/comm6.php

  36. Going on her statement here from 1999 it appears Dr Sheila Matthews has formed her opinion about the unsuitability of same sex couples to adopt on her Christian beliefs and personal prejudice rather than upon legitimate research. Same sex couples adoption cases would already be prejudged by this person regardless of their suitability if she was on the panel.

    ‘I don’t feel that placing children for adoption with same-sex couples is the best place for them,’ said the 50-year-old doctor.

    ‘As a Christian, I don’t believe it’s an appropriate lifestyle and I don’t believe the outcomes for children would be as good as if they were placed with heterosexual couples.’

    Dr Matthews said men and women brought different skills to parenting, with mothers more nurturing and fathers more challenging. She said children of gay adoptive parents would be more likely to be bullied.

    ‘Professionally and personally I cannot recommend placement in a same-sex household to be in the best interest of a child, despite what politicians may have legislated for,’ she said.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1200721/Christian-doctor-axed-panel-failing-gay-adoption.html

  37. Sister Mary Clarance 16 Nov 2010, 10:23am

    “Oh christians getting up in arms about being discriminated against, the ironing is delicious”

    Oh it so it isn’t it, and they don’t seem to like it. They have persecuted others for 2000 years and the tide seems to be turning now and it isn’t quite so much fun when someone else has got the moral high ground.

    The recent study here on kids being far less likely to be abused, physically or sexually by lesbian parents is a good example of the benefits of same-sex adoption surely, but I assume she won’t be including that in the medical evidence.

  38. Dr Sheila Matthews really does look so much like that David Walliams character in the “Computer says no” sketches.
    “Same sex couple wanting to adopt? let me just check … sorry, computer says no”

  39. Martin Pratt, the council’s former head of services for children, young people and families, said the authority wrote to Dr Matthews in April last year to terminate her position on the panel after she told him she was unable to set aside her beliefs on the issue of same-sex couples.

    He told an employment tribunal sitting in Leicester: “I asked her whether she could consider applicants on their merits … and she said she could not. She did not believe it was in the interests of the child to be adopted by a same-sex couple. She felt that she could not vote or participate in the panel.”

    Mr Pratt, who now works for Luton Borough Council, added: “She said she had a religious objection and made reference to there being some research. Both of these were part of Dr Matthews’ reasoning for her decision. Primarily it was a religious matter, I think. Her inability to act fully in her capacity posed a serious problem. The claimant’s position was in the direct contradiction to the respondent’s policies.”

    (Dr Sheila Matthews) “My view arose from both a professional one from my reading of the literature, and a historical Christian perspective of relationships, based on the Bible….”

    Full article here:
    http://www.bedfordtoday.co.uk/news/doctor_dismissed_from_adoption_panel_over_views_1_1619848

    We would appreciate a list of the studies and books Dr Matthews has consulted,

  40. Her christin beliefs= which in my country – the USA – lead to 3000 gay kids committing suicide every year because they can’t take begin a pariah with their peers, at an age when social acceptance is job 1

    This religious creep does hate gays – these are the type of people who hate love, and call their hate love.

    I don’t know if I’d let her be a dogcatcher. MY sons dog is so queer. A spayed female lab, it likes to grab pillows, mount them , and hump them like crazy. Put the boy dogs to shame from what I’ve seen. She’d probably torture it to make it str8, (or shove her dildo in its back end)

    Sorry bitch, you are no more qualified to sit on an equality council then I am to be a preacher at your homophobic church.

    And I wouldn’t set foot in your church unless my big pipe was screaming now , now or its your pants.

    here’s hers hoping the court sends her home with a bill for wasting their time.

    We have the same kind of a$$holes here who try to claim as pharmacy people that they have the right to refuse to dispense legally prescribed birth control medicine. My gut says that in most cases they have been told to change or change jobs.

    And whose behind this kind of crap in the USA – the church of life, Catholic

    Also known as the church of adoph hitler still not excommunciated.

    the church of pope B, who told africans to not use condoms despite the 23 million aids cases in that poor continent, and who also UNexcommunciated bishop Williamson, a holocaust denier.

    The church of the molestation of children which hid its crimes for God only knows how long, and has yet to excommunciate any of their sec Celibate, sex frustrated creeps

    May Allah have mercy on the vatican- Arab mercy. Just don’t use a vehicle filled with innocent people.

  41. Fire the b*tch

  42. I’m amazed there are no fringe lunatics form one christian church or another here yet…. it’s odd, we don’t want their nescient opinions, and yet it’s noticed when we don’t have them around. Is that fickle of us? :)

  43. Hi Will . . . odd I agree – I was expecting at least one rapid or screaming Funadmentalist Christian onboard as well

  44. Jock S Trap… the difference between these cases under Labour and now under ConDem, is that under Labour homophobes tended to lose their cases. Under the ConDem coalition, homophobes will start to gain ground once again. In the next few years we’ll see more and more homophobes winning cases. Simply because the structure that used to defend us against discrimination is being slowly but steadily dismantled.

  45. “I’m amazed there are no fringe lunatics form one christian church or another here yet” Will, I didn’t want to disappoint you :laugh:

    “we don’t want their nescient opinions” not particularly encouraging, do you not think? :dry:

    “yet it’s noticed when we don’t have them around. Is that fickle of us?” it is nice to be noticed – the fickcleness is when everyone agrees and thinks therefore they are right. ;)

    Will, I won’t enter this debate in depth – my thoughts on related topics have already been expressed and you, among others, have responded. Not having all the facts of the case or Dr Matthew’s “scientific evidence” as to why gay adoption is not a good thing makes it more difficult to comment.

    While we are unlikely to agree, I feel she did the honest thing, given her views, by asking to abstain when gay prospective adoptive parents are concerned. From what I can make out, she is a good doctor who has the child’s welfare at heart, albeit maybe misguided according to most folk in this forum.

    For what it is worth, while I don’t know that many gay couples well, there are those who I do and some I feel they would make good adoptive parents.

    I will visit this thread again in a few hours and see how many angry responses there are. Make my day and say something nice :lol:

  46. John wrote
    “I will visit this thread again in a few hours and see how many angry responses there are. Make my day and say something nice”

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    John likes to play games. His tactic is to play the intelligent, thoughtful person who appears to be respectful of LGBT people . . .

    Check out the thread below, towards the end of the discussion we expose his games which are aimed at condemning, dishonouring and in the process converting LGBT people to Fundamentalist Christianity.

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/?comments_popup=20530

    As a fundamentalist evangelical Christian . . . would you expect anything else from John?

  47. Martin Lawrence 16 Nov 2010, 6:17pm

    Oh, God. I’m a priest in the CofE and people like this doctor do make it hard to carry on being a Christian (don’t any of you dare say ‘give up then’ or I’ll put a curse on you!)Does she seriously expect us to believe that the legislation would have got past the fairly homophobic Commons and the seriously homophobic Lords if there was a shred of respectable scientific evidence for the homophobes to exploit? No, it would never have made it to the statute book. That’s all we need to know really.

  48. Dr Robin Guthrie 16 Nov 2010, 7:48pm

    I see that old bag “computer says no” has lost her case according to the Independent and told to pay the cost of the defendants.

    Quite right too.

    I would love to see the research she sites, as I would guess it comes from American evangelical idiots such as Focus on the Family and Narth and other such drivel.

    It is still frightening that this….. I was going to say bigot, but I think the term “brainwashed woman” is still employed by the NHS.

  49. “I would love to see the research she sites, as I would guess it comes from American evangelical idiots such as Focus on the Family and Narth and other such drivel.”

    Robin . . . unfortunately the NHS has long links with NARTH, in 1995 the Tavistock clinic invited NARTH to come and speak at the NHS Swiss Cottage clinic on how to cure gay men . . .

    http://pagesperso-orange.fr/paul.bailey/psyhomo.htm

    Unfortunately, covert forms of reparative therapies can still be found operating within the NHS

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/mar/26/homosexuality-gay-cure-treatment-orientation

  50. Christian advisor loses gay adoption case tribunal

    The employment tribunal, sitting in Leicester, dismissed the claim.

    Concluding a two-day hearing, regional employment judge John MacMillan said she had no case against the council.

    He said: “The complaints of religious discrimination fail and are dismissed.

    “This case fails fairly and squarely on its facts.”

    He added: “In our judgment, at least from the time of the pre-hearing review, the continuation of these proceedings was plainly misconceived… they were doomed to fail.

    “There is simply no factual basis for the claims.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-11769358

  51. Sheila Matthews is not opposing gay adoption because she is Christian. She is opposing it because she is a bigot. Desmond Tutu and many other Christians would strongly disagree with her behaviour – thus, she should legally be required to prove that being a Christian justifies her obscene actions. I think on this point she would fail and thus be shown to be merely a bigot.

  52. it serves her and all these religious freaks with the same argument, right!

  53. “the fickcleness is when everyone agrees and thinks therefore they are right”

    The very definition of religion, isn’t it, John? And the reason why its so limiting….

  54. That’s great news that she lost. It’s quite right to dismiss her evidence because it was utter rubbish. How dare she pretend that she, as a doctor, has medical evidence? Did she think we’d all just accept that and say that she must be right? Did it occur to her that her ‘christian’ beliefs weren’t going to stand up to much examination and so ‘medical reasons’ might seem more impressive?

    Whether she’s a good doctor or not, John, I find the fact that she’s been brainwashed in such a way very, very disturbing.

  55. Will: I think the problem arises in that you and I (together with our respective constituents) have different and contrary worldviews and it is inevitable we will clash on a number of those issues raised in these forums. I would love to chat with you over a guiness (I seem to recall you are Irish?) or something or to explore where our common ground lies as well as our differences.

    Iris: putting aside our obvious differences and bearing in mind our previous discussion on the matter of adoption, I believe there is a case for gay couples to adopt children. It is ironic and tragic that there are hetero couples who don’t want their children and don’t provide the care they need and gay couples who can’t have their own children, who could provide the love and care these children need. I sense you may be one such!?

  56. “Will: I think the problem arises in that you and I (together with our respective constituents) have different and contrary worldviews and it is inevitable we will clash on a number of those issues raised in these forums”

    John . . . Englighten us on your world view !!!

  57. JohnK, he’s obviously referring to the fact that I see reason and science as my guide, and do not use religion as a bases to discriminate a la carte on others, compared to those who use the bible as (selective, of course) factual exactness, when in fact its proven to be a collection of man made stories with a fleeting historical basis.

  58. Will, I agree totally . . . Science and reason should be the only guide in the 21st century

    Not . . .

    Superstition, fairystories, and the totalitarian rule of religion . . .

  59. John #56 – Quite :) You’re absolutely right that some gay couples may make excellent parents. So, in this case, you’d tend to agree with us then? ;) This Doctor should NOT have automatically ruled out any gay couple. She was letting her prejudices be more important than the welfare of the children.

  60. Iris #60 “So, in this case, you’d tend to agree with us then?” At this time YES unless I am shown good reason to think otherwise – at least as far as allowing gay couples to adopt – but the argument must always be what is best for the welfare of the child and the issue of “gay rights” should not come into it!

    While I may differ with Dr Matthews on this point (and, incidentally, my own position has recently shifted, partly as a result of our earlier exchanges), I am sympathetic with her case and disappointed (but not surprised) by the judicial outcome.

    While the family based around a mother and father, fully committed to each other etc., is imho the biblical ideal setting for children to grow up in (and I would be interested to see the evidence regarding that aspect), I also recognise that society has shifted far away from this “ideal”, in all sorts of ways besides that of the “gay perspective”, and what matters is doing what is best for the child while recognising we are where we are.

  61. “While the family based around a mother and father, fully committed to each other etc., is imho the biblical ideal setting for children to grow up in . . . ”

    John . . . do you have permission from your church to “Evangelise” on pinknews?

  62. “biblical ideal setting for children to grow up in (and I would be interested to see the evidence regarding that aspect)”

    The “biblical ideal”???? What exactly does is that??? You mean stoning or beating the child if it is disobedient and teach it that humanity was born out of a talking snake? Utter nonsense, John. Sorry, but it is.

    “Biblical ideal” has no basis if fact or reality, its like rearing children on the “Star Trek ideal”.

    The “ideal” place for a child is a loving family, whether that be two parents, or one, and irrelevant of the genders and orientation. All recent studies point to that. Anyone that puts something as farcical and unscientific as “biblical ideal” (which can mean just about anything from murder to incest) is NOT putting the welfare of the child first, but the preservation of their own less than popular beliefs.

    I suggest you expand you reading material John outside the bible, no offence, but you don’t half say some stupid and unfounded nonsense in this site.

  63. John . . . “The Biblical Ideal” – do you mean “Incest”

    John . . . Adam and the Eve were the first humans according to the bible. We also know that Cain was the first born, and later killed his brother Abel before travelling east to marry a women and have children.

    John . . . it really does not take a genius to realise that this must be Cain’s sister, since Adam and Eve are the first humans.
    Moreover, all other earlier biblical relationship by logic must therefore be incestuous.

  64. JohnK, No. 64, I’ve been making that statement for years when it comes to the religious bigots using the creationist fairy tale to justify discrimination against gays marrying. Of course it was about incest, how could it not have been. After all, they claim Adam & Eve were the first parents of the human race. There were no others so they have to concede that incest must have taken place. Its the same with marriage. There is no reference in the old testatment which clearly states that God invented marriage. They merely construe it by the fact that God allegedly caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep then took a rib from his side and out of it created a woman, as preposterous as that sounds. There is no proof that it meant marriage and judaism didn’t even exist at the time the fairy tale occurred. You wouldn’t believe some of the absurd excuses religious nutters make when you bring it up. Some have said that god must have created other people at the same time. Its insanity. How dumb can they be?

  65. Will #63 – “I suggest you expand you reading material John outside the bible, no offence, but you don’t half say some stupid and unfounded nonsense in this site.”

    No offence taken Will! And I do read extensively outside the Bible, although there is always room to take in more! Not reading I know, but I have been listening to some weighty discussions between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox over some of Dawkins claims e.g. in his “God Delusion”. Lennox, himslef an eminent scientist, represents an orthodox Christian position, which is quite similar to my own.
    http://richarddawkins.net/audio/1707-debate-between-richard-dawkins-and-john-lennox
    http://richarddawkins.net/audio/2834-conversation-between-richard-dawkins-and-john-lennox

    Interestingly, Lennox is one of those orthodox Christians who is not a creationist. While most certainly acknwledging the truth of the Genesis account, he would not necessary see this as it covering all the important things that happened and his interpretation allows for the time periods and events accepted these days by most scientists.

    I don’t believe Genesis mentions Adam and Eve having daughters (ref. the incest point) and on that point I confess I don’t know where Cain and Seth got their wives from and neither does the Bible tell us. I find people often point to the “difficult” sections of the Bible and then argues this discredits it rather than accept there are points we don’t understand or are to be understood in a particular cultural context. I think the crux issue is that humankind choose to disobey God’s law (written down or in our conscience) and will use any excuse for doing so.

    No Christian I know would advocate killing disobedient children although the text your refer to does show an important principle (respecting parents) that too often is lost today and like the difficult rape verses you quoted previously demonstrate the importance given to the family in a way our culture would find difficulty in understanding.

    On the subject of gay adoption, I have already said that I believe, despite my views on gay relationships, that couples can make great parents and therefore, in the context of society as it is, they should be allowed to adopt. I refer to the Bible because it is consistent with objective evidence (history, archeology etc.) and is where God reveals his will and is therefore the appropriate basis for morality etc. Your problem, with respect, is with all this talk of science and reason, you do not have an honest basis for morality other what you and the moral consensus at the time, which changes throughout history.

    I have already said I would be prepared to examine independent evidence that would confirm or deny the notion that the nuclear family, as described in my earlier post, is the best environment for bringing up children. I fear that when this point is argued, peoples pre-conceptions and views (Christian or other) too often come into it, and when that happens, it is not good science.

  66. Robert wrote
    “JohnK, No. 64, I’ve been making that statement for years when it comes to the religious bigots using the creationist fairy tale to justify discrimination against gays marrying. Of course it was about incest, how could it not have been”

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Robert . . .thanks – but see how they try to riddle, squirm and contradict themselves rather than face plain logic. I think John’s response above is clear evidence of this

    By the way John has been persistent in his “Evangelism” on this site for some time now, he likes to play games. His tactic is to play the intelligent, thoughtful person who appears to be respectful of LGBT people . . .

    Check out the thread below, towards the end of the discussion we expose his games in which he by stealth to condemn dishonours and in the process appears to think he can convert LGBT people to Fundamentalist Christianity. . . Now that I would like to see!

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/?comments_popup=20530

    The guy is obviously a complete nut case

  67. Dear Dr Matthews,
    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from you think we should form an alliance to promote God’s law and bring encourage everyone professing to be Christian to live by His truth. We should also try to share that knowledge with as many people as we can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

    When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

    Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to the Irish, but not French. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own any one French?

    I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
    A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

    Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

    I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? – Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    I know you have studied these things extensively and are at peace with how they inform the decisions you make in your professional role as a doctor, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

    With very best wishes

    Richard

  68. Hi John – fair enough to say that there might be some historical truth in the Bible, but for me that’s not the question. The question is: “Is it the word of God?” (ignoring the obvious question of whether there’s a god at all). There is no evidence that it is – in fact, re-reading it as an adult it absolutely screams ‘word of MAN’ to me.

    As for the ‘right’ family for a child to grow up in – there isn’t one. I’ve taught damaged children from seemingly ‘ideal’ married straight couples. All that matters is that the child is loved and cared for and kept safe while allowed to grow up as the unique individual they are and achieve their full potential in life. That’s why Dr Matthews was wrong to rule out gay families – it was illogical and potentially detrimental to the child as she put her own interests above theirs. Whatever her beliefs, that’s not right. If she can’t do the job as demanded she shouldn’t be on the panel. Personally, I find her views (the anti-gay ones not her belief in God) as offensive as I’d find racist beliefs. I also question her motivation in this case.

    P.S – Glad you agree that gay couples should be considered as adoptive parents.

  69. Iris: I’m always happy (I hope) to agree if it is right to do so! I have reached my position after some agonising and listening to others, like yourself, who offer alternative perspectives – so you can see I have changed and you need not be so frustrated :-) Seeking out truth and balance and acting accordingly is how it should be of course and imho a lifelong occupation!

    Having just recently looked at an article by Christian Concern and an interview with Dr Matthews, I feel the decision to sack her from the panel (upheld by the courts) is the wrong one for the reasons contained, as well as given she was prepared to step down in the very few cases where the prospective adoption parents were gay:
    http://www.christianconcern.com/our-concerns/religious-freedom/concerning-judgment-in-dr-matthews-case
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P42OP3RSC8A

    I do not believe Dr Matthews is homophobic and I share her views as to what is the ideal environment to bring up children (who are usually more vulnerable than many) – but I did appreciate some perspectives you shared a while back. HOWEVER, I can also see that some gay couples can rise well to the challenge and responsibilities of being adoptive parents and should be allowed to do so, whatever our views on homosexuality.

    As for the question you pose (is the Bible the word of God?), I agree this is the key question (and explains why I refuse to go with the cultural flow) but, other than refer you to my previous posts, I won’t add further to those responses.

    Just for the record, while it is indeed my passion to evangelise, I have tried to refrain from doing so when this is not wanted and instead focus on entering the debate, including challenging what are imho misconceptions.

    I realised soon after entering these forums, that I will be coming up against people who strongly disagree with my views and hoped to engage with them based on courtesy and mutual respect. If only they were all like you and prepared to argue their ground based on evidence and not feel the need to resort to personal attack!? I have throughout the process consulted with Christian professionals I respect. Some have commented on the amount of vitriol and bigotry in these forums – something to consider!?

    For that reason, it is quite likely that I will not be posting here in the future. I would like to think what I have posted has been helpful and, if not, I am sorry. I hope our paths may cross somehow and I wish you well, especially in realising your clearly evident passion for social justice. I hope you succeed :-)

  70. John wrote
    “For that reason, it is quite likely that I will not be posting here in the future. I would like to think what I have posted has been helpful and, if not, I am sorry. I hope our paths may cross somehow and I wish you well, especially in realising your clearly evident passion for social justice. I hope you succeed ”

    Oh dear John . . . what a tantrum

  71. 21stCenturySpirituality 21 Nov 2010, 12:32am

    Re discussion between John, JohnK, Iris, etal. I think the problem arises when we interpret complex mythological texts, such as the Bible, in a literal sense rather than viewing them as metaphor or allegorical. When I use the word mytholigical I dont use it to say that the Bible is untrue or that it does not contain truth but the truth it points to is conveyed in story, alegory and mythology. We use mythology to describe human experiences and to convey ideas in a way that people can relate to on an emotional level. I think both sides of this debate, the scientific/rational and the religio-spiritual, have a tendency to lose sight of this and to misunderstand the metaphor and mythological devices which are contained in spiritual texts. We are spiritual and emotional beings as well as physical and material, so while I greatly respect the scientific and rational perspective I am aware that we are more than organic machines and separate operating systems clubbed together. I feel drawn towards a more holistic perspective which incorporates both the scientific rational and the spiritual and emotional and I dont think they are neccessarily at odds with one another. Certainly not as much as some of us would like to believe, or have been led to believe.

  72. “I feel drawn towards a more holistic perspective which incorporates both the scientific rational and the spiritual and emotional and I dont think they are neccessarily at odds with one another. Certainly not as much as some of us would like to believe, or have been led to believe.”

    Hi 21stCS – I am in agreement with you on this to a point, but then again the term spirituality has many meanings and connotations . . . and it might be worth while trying to clarify what we mean by this term

    I will start the ball rolling so to speak. For me the term spiritual and spirituality is tied up with the sublime, the ineffable; call it God if you like. However, at a more down to earth level I would regard a spiritual life to probably be orientated to a life in which the higher human values such as love, joy, creativity, peace and justice are taken seriously.

    However, I really do not think you need to be religious or to practice a particularly religion to be a highly spiritual person, although there are religious people who fit this criteria; many more people fit this criteria who are not religious and have no belief in God.

    To avoid polarizing this debate, I will come clean and omit to being an agnostic; despite having done religion (in a Christian sense), but found it largely unsatisfactory.

  73. John – you push a homophobic agenda and then you get shocked when you are opposed? surely you must realise you we’re gonna lose when you support homophobia here? typical small-minded christian

  74. Daniel Brown 7 Feb 2012, 6:04am

    What exactly are the ‘differing roles’ of a mother and father? I know plenty of families where the father is effectively all but absent – a great model for harmonious family life I am sure! ‘I am not a homophobe’ she bleats, no you are just a damn bigot! Foolish, egotistical, ‘doctor knows best’ type of thing that she is!

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