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Comment: Is the Church of England homophobic?

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  1. Via its entirely putrid and utterly unjust involvement in the political process in the UK it has – been involved in voting against the repeal of Section 28, opposing the equalising of age of consent for gay men, it stood against civil partnership and it stands against marriage equality.

    All based on their interpretation of what some bronze age god fiction might want.

    Is that homophobic? Given those are all actions that harmed LGBT people, I’m going to go along with YES.

    And those in the church – you sit in the pew and hand over your money you don’t get to say “it’s not my fault, that’s not me” when it is what your hierarchy and public face does. Get off your backsides and act up or accept your culpability in this matter.

    Add in the amount of anti-gay feeling the church has incited in the last 18 months of so – YES it is bloody homophobic, as well as mendacious, hypocritical and vile.

    1. Valksy, if you read the utter bollox being spewed by that fool “JohnB” on the “Sussex: Gay vicar” thread, and you’ll see they are so used to the homophobia and hypocrisy, they can’t even see it any more.

    2. de Villiers 13 Jul 2012, 9:07pm

      I’m not sure that you have ever written a post not using the words ‘putrid’ and ‘bloody’.

      1. Perhaps offer your suggestions instead of a blanked condemnation of a valid point? Is valid criticism of religion not allowed simply because you believe in its nonsense?

        1. de Villiers 15 Jul 2012, 8:59am

          I am not sure, David, that I have said the criticism was not valid. Just inelegant – like your transparent attack on my post due to my view being different from yours.

          1. “like your transparent attack on my post due to my view being different from yours.”

            Another classic De Villers:- have a little cry when someone points out the foolishness of religion. Well done on such a masterful display of intellect and reason over emotive superstition.

          2. de Villiers 16 Jul 2012, 11:53am

            It does appear, David, that the emotion and sarcasm here is yours.

            That religion has proper and respectable theological learning ought not to be doubted. Whether it is correct is another. In this way as, perhaps, Marxism which has a respectable state of learning but which much of people consider is wrong.

            Religion, and the philosophy of god and the divine, is as you state outside of the domain of scientific reason but it is not outside the realm of artistic reasoning. Much in the same way as perhaps existentialism or literature or music cannot be measured in scientific terms but depends upon performance and emotion – what properly can be described in the Greek word ekstasis, from which the English word ‘ecstasy’ derives’.

            So I whilst I am sure that some foolishness of religion has been shown here, I am far from conceding that religion is foolish or has not produced beautiful and cultured works – an example of which art is on display presently at the V&A museum in London.

          3. “religion has proper and respectable theological learning ought not to be doubted.”

            Not to be doubted????? WTF????

            That pompous and arrogant statement sums you up beautifully. You are quite simply a fool.

          4. de Villiers 16 Jul 2012, 10:24pm

            David, that is a shame.

      2. Paddyswurds 13 Jul 2012, 10:50pm

        @deVilliers…
        …….Have you ever written a comment that wasn’t critical of another commenter. I doubt it especially if their comment rubbishes your darling, religion. But then if you are irrational enough to believe that bronze age tripe then you aren’t going to make a rational comment on anything……..

        1. de Villiers 15 Jul 2012, 9:00am

          @Paddy, I think the English phrase includes pot, kettles and black.

          1. Paddyswurds 15 Jul 2012, 1:33pm

            ..Care to reference such a criticism..Villiers? However you seem to make a point of it and without commenting on the story at that. As you didn’t specify which part of my post your comment was about, may I reiterate my opposition to religion and the irrationality of it. You somewhat diminish your opinions by your demonstration of you belief in imaginary dieties……

          2. de Villiers 16 Jul 2012, 11:56am

            Okay

      3. The language I would actually like to use is blocked – and the Church deserves every word of it, in abundance.

        1. de Villiers 16 Jul 2012, 12:01pm

          Perhaps it does in some respects – with that I would not necessarily disagree. But it seems almost as if you are spitting your words so frequently with such venom and in such contorted rage that I wonder whether there is any possibility of genuine discussion on the subjects to which you contribute.

          1. Scream at god much today, apologist? What a pompous fool you are.

          2. de Villiers 16 Jul 2012, 10:26pm

            I think that you are not behaving normally, David.

  2. Okay. You’re not getting me angry with rhetorical bulls__t this afternoon, PinkNews. I refuse to let you.

  3. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Jul 2012, 5:03pm

    Yes, absolutely, it IS institutionally homophobic, no question about it and no different than it’sRoman counterpart in opposition to equal marriage. Civil matters such as equal marriage are none of their damned business.

  4. I assume the title of this article “Comment: Is the Church of England homophobic?” is meant to be either rhetorical or facetious.

    1. Rhetorical

      1. I thought as much. Great article though, the title belies the detail in it.

        1. Thanks

          Tried to be fair in the account, hence the detail.

          Had mind block by the time it came to headline – and wasnt truly happy with it.

          1. Spanner1960 14 Jul 2012, 10:39am

            A really well thought out and articulate article, even if I don’t agree with all of it, it feeds debate and gets people to question the Churches role in society.

            One of these days I might actually get round to submitting a comment article myself!

            Well done!

    2. Where does PN find all these GCSE RE essays?

      1. Would appreciate constructive feedback on improvements, rather than (what I perceive as) snide soundbites.

        1. My question was rhetorical.

          1. Nonetheless, lacked anything constructive within it.

          2. This is a comments board not a creative writing workshop

          3. Politeness and contrstructiveness are delightful character traits – spite and snide sarcasm are disappointing traits.

  5. Ok Stu – found it – busy weekend ahead but will read digest and get back to you – thanks – that fool JohnB on the Sussex: Gay vicar thread :-)

    1. Why not tell us all another lovely story about why evolution is “false” and some naked chick eating an apple a snake told her to is the true meaning of creation. You can join Kirk Cameron in his “crocoduck” assertions (http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/07/12/video-kirk-camerons-anti-gay-marriage-film-criticised/)…. I have observed that idiocy loves company.

      1. Spanner1960 14 Jul 2012, 10:41am

        “naked chick eating an apple”
        I must have been away the day they did that bit at Sunday School. ;)

    2. And who are you responding to JohnB? No Stu here.

    3. Where, or who, is this Stu person you are responding to John? Is Stu imaginary like god?

    4. How can one have a busy week ahead when one is simply wasting it pushing discrimination and imaginary god wrath down peoples throat? Surely you mean a useless busy week ahead?

  6. Of course it’s homophobic.

    Luckily the church of England is on its last legs.

    It reeks of utter irrelevancy in the 21st century.

    There needs to be an immediate separation of church and state in England – the bishops must be expelled from the House of Lords, the queen must cease being the head of the church, and it should no longer be the official church of this country

    1. Not irrelevant when more than 30 bishops have free and unelected seats in the House of Lords.
      Thus is it the established church of this country and though wounded it is not dying as those seats bring it power.

  7. Yes it is a disgrace.

    Imagine having to have an official interview with your boss at work where you must discuss in detail what sexual acts you regularly permform with your partner.

    It is despicable. Why any gay person would want to go anywhere near is a mystery to me.

  8. Is the pope Catholic?

    Well, you know what I mean…

    1. Exactly my thought when I saw the headline!

  9. Would be interested in what other peoples views are of the way the diocese is refusing to respect the wishes of the congregation in Winchelsea?

    I spent a fair amount of time chatting to someone in the congregation there and an official in the diocese.

    It struck me that the two issues that are alarming in this matter are:
    a) that a heterosexual retired priest offering his services to the parish he was living in would not be expected to discuss his sex life with the bishop and
    b) the needs, desires and views of the parishioners are not being considered (although the diocese are very much aware of the support that the parish wish to give to Rev Page).

    1. Stu, I think your thoughtful and comprehensive piece dignifies them far beyond what they deserve. Reason cannot really be applied to their madness.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Jul 2012, 12:20pm

      I so agree. The CoE, in regard to hetero married clergy would have an easy excuse to avoid asking them about their sex lives because they conform to the church’s ethos that sex is for one man and one woman within marriage, whereas homosexuality according to the clergy is not approved of in the bible. Not to be crude, but in this instance, even if a hetero married priest engaged in what some religious bigots in the church construe as ‘deviant’ sex (oral included) as they often do when it comes to gay people, they would never condemn it let alone allude to it. Therein lies even more of the church’s hypocrisy and double-standard. It IS absolutely homophobic.

    3. stu,

      You may find it interesting that both Andrea Minichiello Williams and Lorna Ashworth (both well known homophobes) are now on the Church of England synod AND ‘just happen’ to be in the diocese of Chichester.

      See: http://www.diochi.org.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.content&cmid=519

      Coincidence?

      1. Interesting. They have a fight on their hands I strongly suspect they will lose where Winchelsea is concerned.

  10. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2012, 6:45pm

    Put simply… Yes!

  11. In the title move the word “is” to in between “England” and “homophobic”

    You have your answer.

    1. It was not meant to be a literal question, more rhetorical …

      lol

      1. Yes, I know. It was my poor attempt at humour.

        1. I still smiled when I replied lol

  12. Yes they are.

    An organisation that doesn’t support full human rights for GBLT people is homophobic.

    An organisation that campaigns to keep us lesser citizens, is homophobic.

    An organisation that raises to high office men who can’t even oppose homophobic violence, like Archbigot Sentamu, is homophobic.

    An organisation that is tearing itself apart over whether tot reat us as real people or not, is homophobic

    It’s homophobic, end of

  13. Let ‘them’ who cast the first stone and throwing stones at glass houses come to mind, for years the church has disapproved people that they think are different to the ‘norm’, indeed it was not normal to have a baby out of wedlock and rather than being ostracised in the community, the woman was sent away to have the baby and newborn taken away to be adopted by a married couple, being left handed was also a trait that was considered to be a difference, homosexuality was also considered to be abnormal and dangerous by the church, thankfully in the 21st century, people have become more educated and understanding of differences within the human race. The sooner the church begins to realise the harm that their propaganda has caused people so much misery in their lives, and with ever falling attendances in their churches, will they realise that they the church have become more and more alenated from modern society.

  14. Pavlos Prince of Greece 13 Jul 2012, 8:25pm

    And the answer is: of course. I think, deep in the essence it still feeling itself as a half-broken part of Catholic Church,- and when one day a papist will became husband or wife of our King or Queen, its will be the beginning of end. Just legislation, immediately, of same-sex marriage can save poor Church of England from the returning to Rome. Its, what indeed about all controversy on gay marriage is, both civil and religious.

  15. Paddyswurds 13 Jul 2012, 8:29pm

    It would seem so…

  16. de Villiers 13 Jul 2012, 9:09pm

    I am sure that parts of the Church are homophobic and that other parts are not.

    1. And what would your expert opinion be on that division? 50/50? 30/60?

      Ever think to operate independent thought outside what you have shovelled down your trap by these bigots?

      1. de Villiers 15 Jul 2012, 8:58am

        Well, David, I do not know what is the division. But as with any organisation, I am sure that some of it is homophobic and that some of it is not. I cannot imagine that such a position is controversial.

        I should add that I would hope to think independent thoughts.

    2. Paddyswurds 13 Jul 2012, 10:56pm

      I understood that the “church” was the church, end of. I didn’t realise it was an organisation of independent parts….silly me! Rather It seems to me that religion in general has one objective and that is Hate; it gives them a raison de’etre and gives them a sense of superiority.

      1. Spanner1960 14 Jul 2012, 10:48am

        It is statements like that the demonstrate your complete and utter inability to grasp a concept.

        There is a massive difference between “faith” and “religion”.
        If you were to view faith as a commodity, there are numerous ‘corporations’ selling it. As an analogy, you might use a PC made by Dell, where another one uses an HP – same system, different approach. Then again, you might wish to pray at the altar of Apple, or then again, you could simply stay at home and build your own Linux computer for nothing.

        Religion is not about hate, it is about control.
        If people end up acting maliciously because they are being controlled, that is merely an unfortunate byproduct that they feel should be ignored, as the means justifies the ends.

        1. Paddyswurds 15 Jul 2012, 9:56pm

          …..
          …..However it all boils down to the same result, faith or belief in an imaginary deity and adherence to a book of fiction based loosely on the oral tradition of illiterate goat herds 4/5 thousand years ago who didn’t know where the sun went at night. Hardly a concept i want to live my life by or indeed any rational person would want to.

  17. This article could have been replaced by one word: Yes.

  18. First of all, Stu, thank you for writing this.
    While I check into PinkNews daily to get a quick round-up of what’s going on, I keep on coming back because of beautifully written pieces like this that make me think and engage my passions.
    So, thank you again. I finished this article knowing more about something – and wanting to know more – than I did when I started it.
    Secondly, the answer to your question is: ‘Yes!’

    1. Thank you.

    2. Paddyswurds 15 Jul 2012, 9:57pm

      …ditto!

  19. Bad grammar devalues a thesis…

    “The CoE state part of their purpose is…”

    Should read: “The CoE states part of its purpose is…”

    1. Is that your only comment – because if so quite happy with that personally. One typo you have identified (and one other I have noticed).

    2. I think the content of the article far outweighs minor spelling errors.

    3. well I would go a step further and say “The Church of England states that part of its’ purpose is”

    4. John, relax that sph!ncter.

    5. John . . .

      That comment makes you sound like a complete B***h Q***n

      I am sure you are a nice guy really.

    6. AdrianTIppetts 14 Jul 2012, 6:12pm

      While it is always good to be strict about good English, it is easy to make typos when writing an article all day. One can concentrate so much and become ‘blind’ to errors, simply through over-familiarity with the text or recalling the train of thought you had while reading it. Note to James, below: no apostrophe in a possessive “its” please! (irritatingly, my iPad automatically inserts one! Programmed by dolts!!)

      Otherwise, good stuff Stu. I the fault lies in the Church hierarchy, and the relatively quiet, meet lay Christians, who must keep raising their voices.

    7. Paddyswurds 15 Jul 2012, 10:00pm

      ..as the CofE is a church of many, is the original statement not correct?.

  20. why not just cut the cancer out of the institution? You can start be separating church and state.

    1. I totally agree. I have nothing to do with the church in any denomination because I simply refuse to go to a place where I am not wanted, much less give them my money.

  21. Cardinal Capone 14 Jul 2012, 12:35am

    I have been old by CofE clergy that while things have improved for gay people generally in England in the the last 20 years, it has progressively got much worse for gay people in the CofE, curiously, particularly during the Blair years.

  22. I was at one time an enthusiastic Anglican. Then in 1987 a synod of the bishops issued a policy that the homosexual state fell short of the glory of god. This measly mouthed compromise of a statement fell short of outright condemnation, but in effect it meant that gay people, whether or not they had sex, could never be considered full communicants. After that my vicar refused me communion and it was suggested my presence as a gay man was no longer welcome. And so I left and became a Quaker instead since the Quakers have always had full and open armed acceptance of gay people.

    I have asked myself several times whether I should have stayed and fought my corner. In truth I think now that to have shared communion with such a group of people would have been to validate their position and compromise mine. I cannot in all honestly see by any self respecting gay person could stay within such a church.

  23. A good article but sadly the CoE is homophobicc It would be very good if the anti LGBT bishops stopped interferring with their own agendas and listened to their congregations AND listened to and followed people like the Bishop of Salisbury. It is interesting to note that congregations that have gay priests are growing and increasing in numbers.

  24. A slightly different understanding of the Sussex situation:

    Page has been, without payment, shoreing up the church in Winchelsea ever since he retired as a vicar, doing everything from being head of the school governors to giving sermons and running the parish magazine. He should’ve had a PTO (permission to officiate) but local mad bishop, Wallace Benn, wouldn’t give him one because Page wouldn’t say whether or not his civil partnership was celibate, so the presiding vicar, and the entire church council decided to hire him anyway.

    Now the vicar’s retiring and it’s uncertain if the Diocese will shell out to replace him. Because Winchelsea needs a vicar at least in the interregnum and perhaps permanently, Page swallowed his pride and wrote to Wallace Benn saying that although on principle he didn’t think he should have to say whether his civil partnership was celibate or not, he was now prepared to confirm that it *is* celibate so that that he can continue to minister to the people of

    1. Winchelsea (for absolutely no payment, remember). Instead of saying ‘thanks, oh noble clergyman’ here’s a PTO, Wallace Benn is instead trying to get him punished under the Clergy Discipline Measure for having no licence for the last three years.

      What’s interesting about this is that all the local Christians are united against the bishop – from the old grannies to the young mums. Everyone is ‘incandescent’ that someone who’s been helping prop up the church for nothing all this time might get defrocked for his trouble.

      Even more disgracefully, the Diocese is trying to make it a child protection thing, saying if they can’t keep track of PTOs, then they don’t know if their clergy have been CRB checked. But David Page has been CRB checked and cleared *twice* since 2008 (second time as he’s a school governor) — meanwhile 100 PTO’d clergy in the Diocese don’t have CRB checks because Wallace Benn forgot — and furthermore Wallace Benn is himself under investigation for allowing two bona

    2. fide paedophile priests to continue working in his diocese, and then lying about it to a government commission.

      But Benn’s obsession with stopping adult, consensual gay sex is well known – ironically to the detriment of children in his Diocese.

      I think both Page and the Christians of Winchelsea are now well up for a fight – one that can scarcely do anything except make the upper management look dreadful. As someone says, you wouldn’t think the C of E had much foot left to shoot at, but apparently….

  25. Spanner1960 14 Jul 2012, 12:54pm

    I think the question is actually misworded and consequently unanswerable.

    We all get caught up be stereotyping: are all gay men camp? Are all lesbians butch? Are all Irish stupid? Are all travellers thieves?

    The answer to all of those questions is no; but there is no smoke without some fire, so there must be an element of truth in there somewhere.

    Making huge swathes of generalisations doesn’t help anybody; The problem in this particular case is how the CoE is defined – it is not a social group, it is not a company or corporation, and it is not a government body. It does not follow the traditional paths of those groups, and thusly cannot be regulated in the same way either. Their entire ethos is one based on a belief system – whether one personally believes in those edicts is a matter of choice.

    The problem is many people have a faith and/or religion that dictates certain rules. The problem is their rules often conflict with society’s, and even the faithful themselves…

    1. Spanner1960 14 Jul 2012, 1:04pm

      2.
      …The concept of gay Christians is to many a complete oxymoron – how can a homosexual person have a faith that is in direct conflict with their sexuality?
      The answer is simply how one wishes to interpret that dogma.

      I personally am an atheist, but my attitude has always been one of “do as you like, as long as you don’t detrimentally affect other people’s lives”, and I think many Christians follow that too. The heart of the problem though is that many religionists see that part of their teaching is to spread the word, even if it’s one that others do not wish to read. Many on here see religion as hateful or malicious – I find that rather thoughtless and disrespectful – however, I do think all religions need to understand that to many people, the world no longer revolves around God, but around man himself, and it is their fellow man that must be respected before anything else.

      If gay Christians can come to terms with their faith, I see no reason why other straight ones can’t either.

      1. Interesting comments.

        I agree there is no reason why if gay Christians are able to embed their faith into their orientation and vice versa – then its not unreasonable to expect others to be able to.

        I do think the question of the headline I posed was perhaps not the best headline, but nonetheless an interesting discussion point.

        I also think a certain amount of the issue of LGBT concerns linked to the CoE is perceptual. That said, the acts of some (note not all) in the church underline those perceptions for some (in both directions). If the CoE fails to engage in tackling these actions and perceptions then it will continue to be seen, by many, as institutionally homophobic.

  26. Funny the church likes to talk about “religious liberty” and “freedom of conscience” an awful lot (when it applies to themselves), but apparently not Rev Page’s liberty and freedom of conscience.

    And for an Archbishop so paranoid about schisms, he doesn’t seem to mind telling whoever refuses to consent to the finer points of his dogma to join or form another denomination.

  27. The Revd David Page 15 Jul 2012, 8:12am

    Just to confirm that there is no safeguarding issue in my case. Though they refused me permission, the diocese obtained the required CRB clearance in August 2008

  28. ‘The CoE needs root and branch reform to resolve this.’
    Millions of us don’t give a stuff, actually. We just want these clowns disestablished, their bishops out of the Lords, and we don’t want our head of state to be their ‘Supreme Governor’.

    1. Thats fine that this is your view and that of many others.

      However, others may well wish to see and benefit from root and branch reform. This may include disestablishment as part of the solution. However, regardless of the mechanism to solve (at least some of) the problems of institutional homophobia requires a determination to have a deep cleansing of hatred whether overt, covert or coincidental.

      1. I’m sure that’s true but it’s essentially a matter for Anglicans (which is not to say, and I don’t mean to imply, that we can’t give informal support to people struggling with sexism and homophobia on the inside). I think that for lgbt people in society at large (as for many others) the real mischief is done by the ridiculous centrality of this Church and its attitudes in our national life because of its Established position. Until that is dealt with, it will always have disproportionate influence on the laws and political culture under which we all have to live.

  29. Paddyswurds 15 Jul 2012, 1:40pm

    Given that the whole premise of religion is irrational, it is clearly evident that they are homophobic as one cannot blame the homophobic nature of religion entirely on the ramblings of bronze age people so therefore the blame for homophobia must rest squarely on the shoulders of those professing it in the twenty first century especially as they ought to have regard to twenty first century mores…..

  30. Hi Stu

    As I said, I would look at the latest article you posted in Pink News and provide feedback. Its been a hectic weekend but I feel I need to deliver on my promise before turning in. What I will not do is a point by point response to what you wrote because I don’t think that would be helpful and would be quite time consuming from my own perspective. What I will do is give comments that I hope will be helpful and contribute toward the debate you are seeking to encourage.

    You will appreciate why I do not do so via the PN comments facility. Besides being difficult because of word limitations it is not conducive to folk like me who offer views outside what some find acceptable and there as you know some who are aggressively gunning for “homophobic fundamentalist bigots” like me, which would for one thing detract from having a reasoned, respectful debate.

    Your article is well written and informative and you should be congratulated…

    the rest I will send separately :-)

    1. Oh great. Its the attention grabbing JohnB again who think we need to obsequiously pander to him so he can “learn” to be a better christian. Oh, and the phrase “offer views outside what some find acceptable” is better written as “bigot”, yeah?

      Wake up John, no one cares what the hell you think. Time will push you bigots out of the picture, just as it did the “christian” racists during the slave trade and the “christian” misogynists during Women’s suffrage. The only reason you engage Stu is because you take advantage of the one person in here who will tolerate a needy little bigot like you.

      1. David, nail on the head there with your entire comment.

        Although its a credit to Stu that he tried to help these god awful (pun intended) people. Like you, I tend to think it a waste of time and push them aside as irrelevant. But I get a good laugh with John is when he swings in that classic bi-polar way between saying he’s here to advance his understanding of gay people and then flips to condemning every gay person in a little fit of good old bible thumping rage, so I’m included to think its a mental health issue with him.

        1. Rob

          I think you misunderstand my motivation. I am not trying to help anyone other than identify unfair treatment of LGBT people and consider inconsistencies in approach by organisations which cause harm to LGBT people who claim they support LGBT people.

          I certainly do not think I have been taken advantage of (as David suggests) and JohnB will undoubtedly concede that I profoundly disagree with his views on many aspects of LGBT matters. Those who many months ago saw repeated debate between myself, Iris, Will, Jock, JohnB and others will know that I stand my ground in terms of what I believe to be right – and this is fairness and equality.

          1. I would second what Stu wrote, he hardly panders to JohnB. The only difference between Stu and the rest of us, is Stu is more polite to the likes of JohnB… while personally I have a low threshold for people who demonstrate bigotry an an acute lack of eduction/understanding of the world in general (case in point, JohnB)

            However, I agree with Rob on one point:- JohnB has either a mental health issue, or he’s is incapable of seeing past the dogma, and his arrogant stance that we somehow need his approval and sanction to exists is farcical. Not to mention his lack of even basic and rudimentary scientific understanding is cringe-worthy and insulting to anyone with a brain.

            Regardless, its unfair to say Stu seeks to help or panders to JohnB or other religious bigots. Most of the time he runs circles around them….

          2. Whatever.

          3. Will

            Thanks

            David

            Whatever – was almost what I thought in relation to your perception on my engagement on this, then I decided you deserved a more thoughtful response – shame you did not approach this with the same thoughtfulness.

          4. Stu: Seeing responses to my last post, you see why I don’t use PN as the medium for responding to the good points you make. I respect you for engaging as you do and when standing your ground. It is sad some of folk are so filled with hate that meaningful engagement is impossible.

            They may wish to dismiss me and those with similar views as irrelevant nutcases and seek to demonise us but we are a significant number and in my experience often make significant contributions to serving the community, which is what I care about.

            My mantra is to seek truth and find common ground. I have no more against gay folk than any other sector in society. We have to live together or else everyone suffers. I don’t claim to be better than anyone else but I do believe in the great commandment to “love thy neighbour”.

            I appreciate those in PN who do engage in rational and respectful debate. I have learned much that has been fed into those circles that I move in, and surely that is a good thing!?

          5. Will: if you are going to run people down do get your facts right. I am not aware of people being awarded a degree in science that doesn’t have at least a rudimentary understanding. Not only do I have such a degree (and two others besides) but I also taught in science in schools. I must admit though that I did not do much biology at school and I would have thought some leeway should be given when I didn’t cotton on at the time that somewhere in the evolution between monkeys and man lies Neanderthals :-)

          6. “Not only do I have such a degree (and two others besides) but I also taught in science in schools”

            You understanding of most scientific principles is appalling rudimentary, therefore you’re degree, if you have one, is not in science. If it is, the awarding body should be shot for letting you pass. Ergo, you are in no position to lecture anyone in evolution, or any other principles in science. You most certainly do not have any authority, morally or intellectually, to dictate or demand from us to prove for our existence as gay people or decree who is morally inferior based on that ridiculous bible – the very notion is preposterous. To be blunt, you so call christian morals are a utter farce and your attitude to gay people is more than lacking.

            Your mantra is not truth, it is to sanctimoniously impose your beliefs on on others, and then have a little tantrum when people do not give you respect…and yet you still wonder why?

  31. The institution is homophobic, certainly, but given the huge number of gay C of E priests (I’ve had affairs with four and personally know dozens more), I find their silence on the matter reprehensible and hypocritical in the extreme. Their numbers are so large within the church that, should the C of E decide to punish or expel them for the “crime” of being homosexual, they could bring it to its knees (or perhaps its senses) by demonstrating and condemning it en masse. Their silence is disgraceful and not only heaps shame on them, but raises serious questions over their morality and fitness for the job. They are supposed to preach honesty and integrity and inclusion, not help in a huge cover-up and the propagation of seriously out of date and out of touch religious bigotry.

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