Thursday, July 19, 2007

Yet more church homophobia

And it is amusing to see people try and spin what is an embarassing defeat in an Industrial tribunal into some sort of victory.
So, wooden spoon to Chief Homophobe Anthony Priddis, Bishop of Hereford. Nasty bit of work, like most of the slimeballs
I can't imagine me ever wanting to return to church now. The longer you remain outside the institution, the more you come to see that it is essentially damaged to the core. For me, its gone further. Christianity itself and its bible are equaally problematic.

The time has come, I think, that gay people should no mlonger accept this sort of homophobia. if they don't speak out against it, and remain in a homophobic institution, I find it hard to have respect for them.
All priests should leave all denominations which do not fully accept their ministry. Otherwise, they are acting as their own oppressors and allowing themselves to be treated as second class citizens
All lay members of the church should refuse to fund the institution and refuse to take on any role of responsibility. if they feel they must, turn up on Sunday and leave it at that. Best of all, stop going. Its really rather liberating to be free of such a dead and stifling institution!

The good thing about this is that gay people are already clearing out of the churches. Young gay men don't need the gin-and-lace anglo-catholic closet any longer. This sort of publicity will only make it clearer that there is no place for us in the church and it will become, ever more, a laager for the bigoted who wish things were like they used to be.....whilst the rest of us get on with our lives, protected in the civil law, leaving them to wallow in their own sad, deluded nostalgic fantasy.


Muthah+ said...

Mersey, this might be noble and all that, but NO! We want all gay folks to join up and be active UNTO DEATH. Part of the problem is that the Church really can't work without us. But it is time for us to make it known that they can't just tell us to go away. How many organ benches would be bare without us? How many choirs could not sing, but for us. How many altar guilds, financial boards, parish councils, or whatever would never work without us? And how many altars would be vacant without us. NO, NO we don't want to leave or anyone else to leave.

We just want people to acknowledge that WE ARE here, have always been and thus will ever be in secular seculorum. Amen.

RFSJ said...


I know of your battles over at SF, but for some reason I didn't know you had a blog too. So I'm glad to have found it and have posted a link on my own blog to yours.

As to your thesis: I'm an openly-gay priest in the Diocese of Newark, the notoriously liberal archfiend of SF. In any case, my parish and Diocese accepts me. Most of my Province does as well. How does your thesis fit in with mine or similar situations? Should I leave?

And by the way, I'm not sure I can concur with your idea that Christianity itself is flawed to its core. I do think we are trying ever so hard, at least in the US, to live up to what the Gospel really calls us to. Call me an institutionalist (although I haven't been ordained long enough to be invested in the pension plan much) but I think my mere presense is a witness. There was a wedding of two parishioners recently that I attended, and at the reception afterward, no one batted an eye when I danced with some of the older ladies of the parish and danced with the other openly gay curate and his partner during one of the faster songs. and by the way, our rector was their with his partner of 33 years, and they are much beloved by the parish. I think our doing all of that makes a far stronger statement to the hundred or so people present than getting up one Sunday and storming down the aisle. That's what our soi-disant Worthy Opponents are wont to do, and wish *we'd* do so they can have "their" church back. So I'm here to stay and witness instead!



Merseymike said...

RFSJ ; yes, I do admire what you are doing and the position of the US church. I do hope that you stand firm for what you believe. I wouldn't be storming down rthe aisle either, but the institutional position of the cofE is hypocrisy personnified. Don't ask, don't tell!

Perhaps I would be less jaundiced if I was in the USA but the CofE's hypocrisy is breathtaking!

I thinkyou have made the right decision for you, but I had simply decided that I couldn't stay.

They really are quite swivel-eyed on SF - do they represent the conservative side of the US chuch? You would think they were Southern Baptists!

Merseymike said...

Muthah, yes, but thats simply not happening here - instead theres plenty of curling up in cosy anglo-catholic closets with a gallon of gin to dorwn the sorrows.

I think you have made the point well as to how the church would fare without us though!.

As long as you are out and proud, stay there and don't compromise.

RFSJ said...

Mike -

The SF folks represent all sorts and conditions of people. I don't believe it's easy to classify. There are some evangelicals, some traditionalists, some neo-Roman-Catholics. And some are homophobic and are masking that with other motives. I have been reading less and less of SF of late. Thinking Anglicans seems to have the news I need, and occasionally T:19.


MadPriest said...

I don't think it follows that if the beliefs and actions of the vast majority of the adherents to a religion being bogus then that religion is necessarily bogus (although, of course, it could be)

In respect of the Anglican Church, the only faith organisation I have any right to pass judgement on, I think your statement that its corporate views and actions make it bogus are well-founded and valid.

I would think that 50% of the reason I remain a priest within it is because of the fear of losing my livelihood. 10% is a bloodymindedness to stay and fight for justice from within and the remaining 40% is my need for community. If I collected lead soldiers I would need to join a war games society in order to make my collecting a reality. It is the same with my religion - I need the validity that communion gives it.

I have not yet found a religious community that is authentic for my emotional needs whilst being authentic morally. Therefore, for the reasons I have given, I remain in the Church of England.

I admire your position Mike and believe it valid. But I hope, for your mental wellbeing, that you have found, or will find soon, a community, religious or otherwise, in which your beliefs are valued, validated and made authentic.

Merseymike said...

MP: yes, don't worry. Actually, I find that most of the circles I move in are open. I think if things carry on the way they are, i shall end up in the British Humanist Association or the National Secular Society

On a totally different subject - I believe you are a Soul music fan?

Epicured said...

As a non-believing out gay man I can't agree here. First I don't agree that you can put Priddis, NT Wright, Akinola and the crew in the same boat as, say, Richard Harries. Second because this is a battle in the war between narrow and broad communities and it's a battle that neeeds to be won, if only because resources and influence are at stake.

Likewise, I consider that the NSS and the BHA are becoming increasingly militant and intolerant and I will happily fight the same battle there.

The problem I see at the moment is too much polarity in the world and too much withdrawl from discourse. The CofE ten or twenty years ago was an organisation which allowed a lot more discourse and so were the NSS/BHA. My job is to get stuck in and to fight for open fora. The battle for the CofE is the frontline.

Epicured said...

I'm a unbelieving out gay man - but this is not one fight I'm dropping.

The war here is between narrow communities, withdrawing from discourse and broad communities which allow it. The likes of Priddis (agree, nasty man) and Akinola, however, are not the same as Richard Harries or even Rowan Williams.

Likewise, there's a battle to be fought within the NSS/BHA which I see as increasingly intolerant and narrow institutions.

A CofE fallen into the hands of the likes of NT Wright doesn't bear contemplation; even though it has no immediate influence over me personally. This is just the frontline between an open and a closed Britain, and I truly don't find the NSS any more open.