I like to think of myself as a tolerant sort of chap who will listen to an argument and come to a conclusion, just as I would expect others to do, based not on propaganda but on relevant facts. I must be showing my age because different criteria are demanded today, basically just following the crowd by deferring to political correctness. Sorry but that's not for me.
The discussion on the last session of Question Time (QT) in 2012 left me in no doubt that tolerance can back-fire badly. In times past the sexual orientation of people was not important, you liked them or you didn't. People did not go around shouting I am gay, I am a lesbian, etc. They were more important as people, as human beings. Now it seems that sexuality is all. A comment was made on QT that the number of same sex couples living in partnership was a small fraction of one per cent of the population. I read another report which placed Newport in Gwent with the highest percentage of same sex partnerships at just 0.4%. So why all the fuss? I welcomed the legislation on civil partnerships and believe that what consenting adults do in private (hetero and homo) is between them and God if they are believers, but our failure not only to recognise but to applaud different life-styles is now portrayed as unforgivable for not supporting so-called equality.
One of the QT panel, the Shadow Home Office Minister, while admitting to being an Anglican strenuously claimed that love was all important so people who love one another must be allowed to marry each other. On that basis if we are obedient to Christ's command to love one another, we should all be able to marry each other! Taking things out of context typifies the problem with the Church of England in its obsession with sex and secular notions of equality which, applied in the context of faith, have torn Anglicanism apart, first in demanding that a woman's place is at the Altar but now that they have to be bishops as if they are unable to perform their ministry in any other way, contrary to the example of the vast majority of women in the church.
So, because I believe that marriage is a holy estate between a man and a woman I am labelled homophobic not only by panel members but enthusiastically endorsed by the audience when it was clear that all but a couple of speakers from the floor showed an abysmal ignorance of the subject they were discussing. Likewise I am labeled a bigot for believing that the priesthood whose orders flow from the Holy Catholic Church is not something to be changed unilaterally by gathering votes from non-believers to influence Synod. On immigration, any consideration of the impact on housing, schools, transport, education, health, etc, without any preconceived idea let alone the impact on social cohesion is regarded as racism so there can be no discussion without a charge of being racist.
I tried Googling on this phenomenon. It produced the rainbow flag, above. Read what inspired it here. What a sad nation we have become, aided and abetted by the Church of England. I sometimes wonder if God wills her demise. Anyone for the Queen James Bible? And there's more.
Thank God then for the Bishop of Portsmouth who demolished any idea of a case for same sex marriage with all the relevant facts in a letter to the Prime Minister. Read it HERE.