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London: School suspends Sunday church group over ‘homosexual offenders’ leaflet

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  1. Good for the school. Any religious group is going to be a hate group so they should make the suspension permanent.

  2. I applaud the school’s headteacher for making a stand. Whether this is a ‘rogue’ (and I use that term lightly) parishioner or not, homophobia should not be tolerated.

  3. The leaflets are not actionable and the school has behaved absolutely appropriately by demanding a proper investigation and denying use of premises.

    I trust the school is ready for the whining from christians and their martyr complex blathering on about their bloody “religious freedoms”? While not respecting the religious freedom (or freedom FROM religion) of those who had the odious bloody leaflet shoved through their door.

  4. Good to see the school and its letting agency taking a strong stand.

    Did anyone see the person distributing these leaflets?

    Surely, this has similar aspects to the matter in Derby where leaflets were distributed by Muslims condeming and demonising LGBT people? That resulted in criminal cases and long periods of imprisonment – perhaps the MPS should also investigate here?

  5. what about straight offenders ??

  6. There is no God. Religion is a delusion. How can I be denied entry to the kingdom of God when God does not exist?
    Strange that what I have just said is often considered offensive by some yet the continued assertion by those same people that an Old Testament vengeful God exists is taken as the norm.
    These people need to be taken to task on their assertions and three cheers for the school. Well done.

    1. What you said makes perfect sense,

      Religious belief is merely society-sanctioned mental illness

  7. Only men who have sex with men? Seems that, like most heterosexual bigots, their god doesn’t have any problems with girl on girl action.

    1. yes but Paul did make a brief anti-lesbian rant

  8. Robert in S. Kensington 29 Jun 2012, 12:44pm

    Hmmm, ‘the sexually immoral’? I take that to include female prostitutes or heterosexuals who engage in pre-marital sex perhaps? Why spell out ‘male prostitutes’ I wonder?

    1. I think it’s because the original Greek word is another troublesome one, that used to be translated as ‘effeminate’ among a wealth of alternative meanings, but I’m not at the moment in a position to look it up.

    2. Like Queen Victoria, they probably don’t believe that such a thing can exist!

  9. It seems that translations and editions are going less to language scholars and more to the religious bigots.

    “How to correctly translate the Greek word ‘arsenokoitēs’ has troubled Biblical scholars for centuries.” Now, there’s a real debate

    1. I guess the language scholars wouldn’t split an infinitive though.

  10. Suddenly Last Bummer 29 Jun 2012, 12:49pm

    London’s east end is going to the dogs…or the mullahs, difficult to make a distinguish between the two.

  11. Out of curiosity, does anyone proofread or edit the stories printed on this website?

    May I draw your attention to the followng sentence?

    “James Woods, a spokesman for Schools Plus told the paper the material was “unacceptable” but that the groups in question were DYING “any knowledge” of the leaflet.”

    A bit more of an effort to make the stories flow better would also be recommended.

    1. Perhaps they advertised for a poofreader by mistake ! :-)

  12. I hate hate hate the fact that someone inserted the (relatively new word) homosexual into the Bible.

    The first time that arsenokoites word is used in the Bible, it’s translated as ‘perverts’ which is not the same as ‘homosexual’ – it’s just bigotry that has led to this translation.

    1. From the earliest English translations of the Bible, arsenokoités has suffered confusing treatment. Wyclif (in 1380) translated it as “thei that don leccherie with men” and until the twentieth century similar translations prevailed, primarily “abusars of them selves with the mankynde” (Tyndale 1534; see also Coverdale 1535, Cranmer 1539, Geneva Bible 1557, KJV 1611, ASV 1901; the Douai-Rheims version of 1582 was a bit clearer: “the liers vvith mankinde”). A curious shift in translation occurred in the mid-twentieth century. Suddenly, the language of psychology and “normalcy” creeps into English versions. Although some still use archaic terms, like “sodomite” OB 1966, NAB 1970, NRSV 1989), several influential versions substitute more modem concepts like “sexual perverts” (RSV 1946, REB 1992) or terms that reflect the nineteenth century’s invention of the category of the “homosexual,” such as the NIV’s (1973) “homosexual offenders.”

      1. Excellent post

        1. Thank you, but obviously I can only take the credit for a bit of swift Googling!

  13. Jock S. Trap 29 Jun 2012, 1:29pm

    Glad to see the schools acting as they have and taking this matter as seriously as it is. Whether rogue person or not this is unacceptable and I hope the person responsible is found and dealt with appropriately.

    There can be no place for this kind of homophobia esp if the groups responsible are teaching children.

  14. Robert in S. Kensington 29 Jun 2012, 1:46pm

    Maybe this might explain the confusion in regard to ‘arsenokoites’.

    http://www.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/Arsenokoites.php

    1. An excellent link, thank you. I was familiar with some of the problems around this word but this is highly informative. One gets so fed up of bigoted Bible-bashers who think the meaning of ancient texts is so transparent, especially when looking for authority for their prejudices. You constantly find that they are reading things into the language that previous generations of bigots managed not even to see. If one had little or no knowledge of the English language and – more crucially – the cultures which contextualise it, how would one interpret ‘family butcher’ or ‘disabled toilet’???

  15. Guglielmo Marinaro 29 Jun 2012, 2:00pm

    What does it matter anyway what Paul mean by arsenokoitai? You only have to look at Romans 1:22-27 to see that his knowledge and understanding of homosexuality were severely limited. He apparently believed that everyone was “naturally” heterosexual, but that some people had perversely given up their former heterosexual practices and re-directed their libido towards others of their own sex. And what had caused this remarkable change? Worshipping images of men, birds, quadrupeds and reptiles. It may be that this describes the sexual history of some people, but I am not aware of knowing any of them.

    1. David Waite 29 Jun 2012, 2:53pm

      “And what had caused this remarkable change? Worshipping images of men, birds, quadrupeds and reptiles. It may be that this describes the sexual history of some people, but I am not aware of knowing any of them.”

      It may describe the sexual history of Saul of Tarsus himself, a Romanized Jew who changed his name to Paul, and who later rejected his Roman cultural ways and turned Jewish religious zealot persecuting Jewish Christians, and may have been the original ex-gay. There was a theory popular among both Jews and old-school Romans in Paul’s time period, that worshipping the Egyptian animal-headed versions of the Roman pantheon led to effeminacy. Yes, those theroy-holders were the crazy wingnuts of their day.

      1. Paul was a very rum cove and no mistake. It is plain from his writings that he knew nothing of Jesus’ life, even though he re-worked him as ‘Christ’. Christianity is essentially his invention. I suspect that the Judaism he grew up didn’t satisfy his egotistical need for unique authority and influence in religion and that striving to both dominate and shape the new cult was partly inspired by this desire. We are still living with the consequences.

        1. he was an ego dystonic gay man

          1. There is not enough evidence for your assertion. But he certainly had an ego, and a whopper at that.

    2. Probably because pagan religions which did worship animals didn’t discriminate against gay people. In his mind religious acceptance of it was the cause of it and not a world free from stigmatisation.

  16. Miguel Sanchez 29 Jun 2012, 3:15pm

    Good for the school and the headmaster.

  17. These people seem to be able to take adulterers, fornicators, divorcees, gluttons in their stride, with just a passing mention, while they obsess about gays? I wonder if the former groups feel a bit neglected?

  18. Yeah, because the phrase “men who have sex with men” is SOOO much better and less offensive. At least the lesbians are given a pass; along with female prostitutes! That way, all the hate is heaped on gay men and MALE prostitutes. And they say that the Bible is gender biased against women!

    It’s amazing to me how many times the Bible has been updated and made more modern EXCEPT for on ONE issue, and that being homosexuality. In spite of the fact that we KNOW that some of the words were mistranslated to refer to “homosexuals”, each and EVERY new version of the Bible continues to sidestep and ignore that one update.

  19. Garry Cassell 29 Jun 2012, 3:43pm

    Right on…don’t let those haters near a school…

  20. Gemma Gillon 29 Jun 2012, 5:05pm

    I think this is a case of Christians being persecuted again. I am gay however, there are millions of Muslims, Jews, Christians and others who believe this biblical instructions and they have a right under human rights law to ‘impart and express there faith’ in ‘public places’ without ‘prohibitions.’ This rouge parishioner is not rouge at all just spreading there own faith even though I and we find it repugnant. International law defines the family as between a man and a woman. In short the law by rights should be acting in the defence of the person who sent these after all your own governments head is ‘the defender of the faith’ and in the gospel they use in court houses everywhere contain this verse.

    There is nothing noble in any of this on either side. I hate what she transmitted but the law states that she has a right to do it.

    1. The church group has been suspended from using the school until its connection, or lack thereof, has been established with the offending leaflet. The principle at stake is that a group fomenting discrimination should not be able to use a facility supported by public money. This is not ‘persecution’ or an attack on its freedom of expression. If it wishes to disseminate attitudes plainly conducive to discrimination, it is free to do so from its own pulpits or on other private property or via the public news and other communications media. The school’s action is actually giving this group the benefit of the doubt and is thus entirely fair and to be applauded.

    2. Shoving discriminatory, prejudiced texts through people’s doors isn’t using a “public place”, Gemma. You seem more read up on Christian matters than gay ones interestingly……

      If you’re referring to the swearing on the Bible in Court rooms then that’s not compulsory and one can affirm that one’s telling the truth without anything to do with a Bible.

      Freedom to practice religion isn’t the same thing as forcing it down other people’s throats, and ‘religious belief’ isn’t an excuse for discrimination.

    3. rouge parishioner, Gemma? Is it a French Communist?

      Honestly, calm down and think things through. Taking bible verses out of context into a leaflet nobody asked to have foisted on them is not freedom of religion.

    4. “I think this is a case of Christians being persecuted again”

      Yawn.

      Yeah, the poor, poor christians, not able to persecute others any more.

  21. The anti-gay Christians are an evil bunch of trouble makers who keep stirring up others to commit hate crimes against LGBT people. They remind me of a little man and his friends that lived in Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s until the good people did something to stop them.

    1. David Myers 30 Jun 2012, 9:58am

      Unfortunately, it wasn’t “the good people” of Germany that did something to stop them – not hardly. It took WWII, the allies and the Russian communists to stop them.

  22. Im pretty sure I have seen a translation use the term “anal offender” and makes no reference to homosexuality at all – i can’t remember which version that is though.

  23. Well done to the school for banning them, and well done to the local residentsd for spotting the hate leaflets and for reporting them.

    What’s also good about this is that it’s a ban directly related to the text in that book of fiction. Perhaps this could go national. Ban all religions that spread hate and preach death to certain minorities who were born different through no fault of their own. That would be the main three religions gone for good then. All books of nonsense.

  24. The New International Version (NIV) is probably the worst translation in existance today and originates from America and is one of the main causes of homophobia and gay hate in our time. In the middle ages homophobia and gay hate did not exist and was regarded as normal. Many same sex marriages were conducted by the Roman Catholic Church during the Middle Ages.
    The language that the Lord Jesus used was Aramaic. Aramaic was the common language at that time. It was used for trade etc. Hebrew on the other hand was used by the scribes, the Pharases, and the Sanhedran in synagogues and because they did not want to be associated with the ‘sinners’ who spoke Aramaic. Jesus spoke Aramaic and the Gospels and some of the Epistles were initially written in Aramaic and later translated into Greek as the message spread. The Aramaic English translation and the King James Version are very similar and both have stood the test of time. Nothing should be taken out of context.

  25. david skinner 30 Jun 2012, 10:29am

    In the second book of Peter, there is no mention of the word homosexual. What it does does is to warn about the sexual depravity of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. There is no mention of inhospitality, prostitution or paedophilia
    11 Peter 2:4-10
    “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell …… kept until the judgement………if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction…….. what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how …… to keep the unrighteous under punishment…. those who indulge in in the lust of defiling passion ….

    Read it all

    1. Guglielmo Marinaro 30 Jun 2012, 11:21am

      It is true that the reference to Sodom and Gomorrah in the second epistle of Peter (which wasn’t written by Peter), makes no mention of inhospitality, prostitution or paedophilia. It makes no mention of homosexuality either. It does, however, mention Lot, who, according to the original account in Genesis, responded to the men’s demand that he bring out the angelic visitors to be raped by offering his virgin daughters to be raped instead. The offer having been declined without thanks, Lot fled the city with his family and settled in a cave, where he got drunk and shagged those same virgin daughters himself. (Read all about it in Genesis 19.) The unknown author of 2 Peter describes Lot as “that holy man” (2 Peter 2:8). How anyone succeeds in deducing any sexual morality (or any other kind of morality) from this immoral legend is a mystery to me.

    2. your point being, David?

  26. David Skinner 30 Jun 2012, 11:25am

    Wildseas, evidence, evidence please. Certainly the High Renaissance Popes were into all manner of sexual perversion but this was damned and it resulted in the Reformation. But show evidence that homosexuality was considered healthy and normal during the Middle Ages. As for the KJV it is explicit in its damning of sodomy. Wake up o sleeper !! And open your eyes

    1. Instead of demanding evidence from other people, David, you might do well to cite some in support of your highly entertaining view that Papal lechery caused the Reformation. Your historical perspective really takes the biscuit.

  27. David Skinner 30 Jun 2012, 11:32am

    Guglielmo, The remarkable thing about the Bible is that it hides nothing. It’s great heroes are never whitewashed but shown to be men like you and me. As for Lot, he committed incest through being made drunk by his daughters. It sounds like he didn’t know what he had done until he woke up. Again, read the whole chapter of 11 Peter 2 and clearly what tormented Lot was the filthy sexual behaviour of the citizens . The same thing happened at the city of Gibeah. Read that too.

    1. Guglielmo Marinaro 30 Jun 2012, 1:12pm

      Mr Skinner, all that is beside the point, which is that the Sodom legend is an immoral story – one of many in the Old Testament – and a bad guide to morality, and in any case has absolutely nothing to say about consensual gay relationships between adults. The notion of a God who would kill the entire population of the city, including the children, in order to get back at those who were in such relationships is a clear case of eisegesis (reading something into a text which isn’t there). It is also blasphemous.

    2. “Men like you”? Are you saying you’ve married sisters, your first cousins, and fathered children with not only both of them but with their domestic helpers as well, like the Patriarch Jacob? My my, haven’t you been busy Mr Skinner?

      BTW do you think Lot’s daughters didn’t know what they were doing? Or do women’s motivation seem unimportant to you?

    3. what tormented Lot? The f***img bastard had no problem trading his daughters out for rape rather than risk the citizens abusing of some strangers who claimed to be angels. For shame that someone could seriously defend such utterly offensive immoral biblical clap-trap

    4. Run along Skinner, the time of the witch hunt is over. The world has moved on with out you. A fool like you who cries on a gay site is something to be pitied.

  28. David Skinner you asked me for evidence. You are going to have to find that for yourself. I did and the comments column is not really the place to give you all the references I found. Surfice it to say that upto the about the middle of the Middle ages same sex marriages and partnerships were accedppted as the norm. Other points that are worth mentioning are that the Old Testament does not apply to Christian today. Christians are saved by Grace through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ not by the law that comprises the Old Testment. Love has no rules! Love is all the law and the prophets. The 11th Commandment is never used by militant ‘Christians’ Love one another as I (Jesus Christ) have loved you. Jesus never once comdemned gays. In fact He comfirmed that gays are born gay. Psalm 100 and Luke also mention this. It is really pointless quoting from the Old Testament to condemn gays as it not applicable.

    1. Ignore DS – there’s no arguing with an irrational fundamentalist. But your view of premodern Christian attitudes to l&g relationships is too simplistic and it is certainly too much to say that they were regarded as a ‘norm’. The real point is that views seem to have been very mixed up until 13th/14th century and that the monolithic condemnation and demonization of gays seems to begin at this point – when Medieval society also began to face endemic economic and social crises of various kinds. The Eastern Orthodox Church lagged behind the West in adopting runaway homophobia and ceremonies of blessing for same-sex couples seem to have persisted longer there.

  29. “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes ”

    I fin this amusing, h ow they mention that Male prostitutes would never be “saved”. Actually, all the types listed are more geared towards males.
    So, if your a woman and a prostitute you are fine. What a load of crap!

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