The Christian Right are fond of claiming to be persecuted. At times, it appears to be their main hobby.
One of their number, Archbishop Cranmer, is now complaining he’s being “persecuted” by the advertising standards authority. He is an opponent of lifting the ban on marriage for same-sex couples.
One of the ads he ran on his website for the “Coalition for Marriage” (C4M) showed multiple pics of mixed-sex couples having weddings, and the key line from it was “70% of people say keep marriage as it is”.
24 people have complained about this ad.
The ASA would like Archbishop Cranmer to substantiate that claim, and have given him notice that he must do so by 21st May:
The C4M ads are offensive and homophobic. While giving the nasty views of a tiny minority, they try to imply that theirs is the broad majority view.
In a BBC1 Scotland interview yesterday, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, best-known for comparing same-sex marriage to slavery, said it was immoral “just to ignore” those suffering as a result of the credit crunch.
Cardinal O’Brien thinks these two things are the same.
In 1963, Arthur C. Clarke wrote a story, titled “Reunion”, which has been anthologised and remembered for nearly fifty years because of its punchline. It is, in structure, simply a shaggy-dog story. The narrator is an alien voice speaking to the humanity of Earth, advising us that we are a long-lost colony abandoned millennia ago because of a harmless but disfiguring genetic disease that had begun to spread through the population. But, the narrator tells us
“People of Earth, you can rejoin galactic society without shame, without stigma. If any of you are still white, we can cure you.”
Several people seemed to think the only problem with the exgay ad that Anglican Mainstream and CORE proposed to run on London buses was that “liberals” would disagree with it: and objected strongly when Boris Johnson stepped in to ban it, though for some it was undoubtedly more of a problem that Boris Johnson had banned the ads than that the ads had been banned: Continue reading
Years ago, I was asked to speak to an English group about the Scottish victory in repealing Section 28. The Labour government in the UK Parliament wanted rid of that monument to Tory homophobia, and they’d been frustrated once already by the House of Lords.
I spoke about the campaign funded by Brian Souter, hosted by the Daily Record, and fuelled by Archbishop Thomas Winning: and how it had been defeated by a simple majority of MSPs and a host of people suddenly turned activist by the billboards Souter paid for all over Scotland, to tell our families and neighbours and co-workers what hateful disgusting people we were. Brian Souter spent a million and he lost.
One of the things I remember from that meeting was a voice at the back from this stoutly-leftwing group of trade unionists and activists, saying angrily that Labour are the enemy. This was 2004, and I was not that keen on Labour myself at the time, but with regard to Section 28, that was foolish talk: we wanted Section 28 repealed in England and Wales, so did Labour, let’s take our allies where we can get them. There are some groups so vile they do not deserve to share a platform with civilised people, but none of the Parliamentary parties of the UK deserve to be categorised in that way.
Lifting the ban on marriage for same-sex couples is one of those obvious next steps on the road to equality. Continue reading
A conventional argument against lifting the ban on same-sex couples marrying can be expressed as follows:
What marriage primarily is, and what it has always been, is a mechanism to enable the procreation and the rearing of children in a safe, stable, and balanced environment. This is, by definition, a public rather than a private relationship, and it is something that creates a public good. It is for this reason, and essentially only for this reason, that the State recognises marriage as an institution.
Discussions about what’s fair for adults miss the point. From the point of view of the State, marriage has always been viewed as an essentially child-centred institution.
There’s a famous joke about an Orcadian in a Texas bar who sees a sign on the wall advertising “Best Scotch Whiskey Made In England” and tells the bartender “Six words, four mistakes.”
That’s how I feel about the ninety-five words I just quoted: almost too many mistakes to know where to start.
You can’t “cure” someone of having a sexual orientation.
Individuals and groups who claim they can cure a person of being gay are either bigots or frauds or, quite possibly, both.
The Catholic hierarchy has dealt with the priests who molest children in several ways. For decades at least, they ignored the crimes and covered up after the criminals. (There is written evidence of reports made to the Vatican in 1962 and to Pope Paul VI a year later, about child-molesting priests being returned to parish work where they would again have access to children.) They also attempted to pin the blame on gay men being admitted to the priesthood: but painstaking evidence was gathered to show this was factually wrong. And in some horrible instances, the Church seems to have done both: Continue reading
In A Wrinkle in Time, when Meg goes back to Camazotz to rescue Charles Wallace:
“Nonsense,” Charles Wallace said. “You have nothing that it doesn’t have.”
“You’re lying,” she replied, and she felt only anger toward this boy who was not Charles Wallace at all. No, it was not anger, it was loathing; it was hatred, sheer and unadulterated, and as she became lost in hatred she also began to be lost in IT…
With the last vestige of consciousness she jerked her mind and body. Hate was nothing that IT didn’t have. IT knew all about hate…
Suddenly she knew.
That was what she had that IT did not have…
She could stand there and she could love Charles Wallace.
I love AWIT in the way you do love childhood books that you read (as I did) when you were just the right age for them. Reading it as an adult I can see its flaws, but I was just the right age to identify completely with Meg, who wore specs, got teased for being ugly and weird at school, was far too bright for her teachers, and walked into hell to confront evil and save her baby brother.
One of the worst things about Camazotz is that they are doing it all for your own good. Everyone is happy in Camazotz. They’ll get into your mind and try to control you, try to wipe out the essential you that makes you not fit into their world, but they’re nice, kindly people: you’ll be much happier when you stop fighting them. Continue reading
With much trumpeting of archbishops and baying of Cardinals, crying the usual nonsense about how this will DESTROY US ALL, the Westminister government have launched their own consultation on lifting the ban on same-sex marriage. This closes on 14 June 2012.
Dr Williams is resigning at the end of 2012, but his probable successor the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, is no happier about the idea that same-sex couples could get married.
(The first consultation in the UK on equal marriage closed in December 2011, and the report will be published within the next couple of months.)
Responding to the consultation only took me a few minutes Continue reading