One of the few traditional Conservatives to have served on the Tory front bench under Cameron, Paterson was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before being promoted to the more high profile role of Secretary of State for Defra.

Candidate of the day

Owen Paterson

One day to go and Sir John Major has weighed in. “Labour divides to rule. To win votes they will turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss." We hope we don't wake up with them on Friday.

Hero of the day

Sir John Major

Another awful Labour woman. The fact Ed Miliband’s carved his pledges in stone doesn't mean he might not break them, campaign chief Lucy Powell has said.

Villain of the day

Lucy Powell

.

THE REAL CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO

Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

‘Rebel Priest’ Rev Jules Gomes: Will the gay rights lobby ban Bible reading?

Farhad Tehrani is an Iranian Muslim. He is a student at a London University, where I was Chaplain. ‘I am so grateful I can talk to you. My Imam would kill me if I told him I was attracted to other men. I feel so ashamed of my feelings for other men,’ he confides. ‘You don’t need to,’ I reassure him. ‘God loves you.’ He bursts into tears. ‘I don’t want to have sex with other men. I want to submit my desires to God. I am a Muslim. That is my identity. Will you help me?’ he pleads.

Smita Agarwal is an Indian Jain. She comes to see me because our Chaplaincy brochure says that we love everyone unconditionally. ‘My community would disown me if they knew I had lesbian tendencies,’ she says. ‘As a little girl I always imagined being a mother. My parents have arranged my marriage with a handsome businessman. I want to be a good wife and mother. My dharma (duty, conduct, religion) is more important to me than feelings and sexual attraction. I can’t imagine spending my life with another woman. What should I do?’ she asks.

If LGBTI activist Jayne Ozanne has her way at the CofE’s General Synod in July, any counselling I offer Farhad or Smita, or any therapy I may recommend is to be condemned. For Ozanne, it is ‘spiritual abuse of the worst kind.’ In a private member’s motion, Ozanne is asking Synod to ‘condemn conversion therapy’ (CT) as it ‘is unethical and harmful and not supported by evidence.’ Thirteen professional healthcare bodies have already endorsed the statement. Ozanne wants the CofE (when did it become a professional healthcare body?) to become number fourteen.

Synod’s General Secretary, William Nye, supports Ozanne. He finds ‘conversion therapy intrinsically flawed.’ He advises against supporting it ‘unless new and convincing evidence emerges that indicates conversion therapy is both safe and effective.’ CT covers a range of therapies designed to change sexual orientation, but Ozanne and Nye do not define what they understand by CT. Ozanne asserts that CT ‘assumes the client has a mental disorder’ and describes her own experience of having ‘voluntarily chosen to go through a whole range of prayer ministry—from emotional healing to full scale deliverance ministry—in order to try and “heal ourselves” of our “sinful desires.”’ Is this what she means by CT?

There is a significant body of scientific literature on the topic, but Ozanne does not cite a single study demonstrating the validity of her claims. She is not a scientist. She is a militant LGBTI activist. Ozanne’s blanket condemnation of CT implies twin fallacies. First, sexual orientation can be measured. Second, sexual orientation is fixed rather than fluid.

Sexual orientation cannot be measured. The scholarly article Sexual Orientation, Controversy, and Science, co-authored by six eminent researchers, led by J. Michael Bailey, one of the foremost sex researchers of our time, agree that a ‘major limitation of existing research relates to how sexual orientation is measured.’

The newly elected Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Mark Strange, who is married (to a woman) and father of three children, was once in love with a man. ‘In my teenage years I fell in love with two people—one was a woman and one was a man,’ he confesses. Would Ozanne ban him from therapy if he was, at some point, seeking help in improving sexual relations with his wife?

Ozanne’s claims are seriously flawed. First, she does not tell us that professional healthcare bodies also support ‘diversity in religious expression.’ Hence, if an LGBT individual voluntarily chooses a religious identity over his or her sexual identity it does not mean that they have ‘internalised homophobic doctrine’ and should be denied access to ‘treatment that may facilitate an adaption’ to a style of living more in agreement with their religious beliefs, observes D. C. Haldeman, in Gay Rights, Patient Rights: The Implications of Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy. Dr Haldeman is a member of the clinical faculty of the Psychology Department at the University of Washington.

‘Thus, both sexual orientation and personal values and attitudes (in this case, religious/spiritual beliefs) are recognized by mental health professional bodies as important domains of personal experience. Further, these domains are to be respected and integrated into therapy as appropriate,’ write Drs Warren Throckmorton and Mark Yarhouse.

Second, Ozanne assumes that in every case an anti-gay, pro-CT “organisation” is taking the initiative in seeking out clients in order to shove CT down their throats. But what if an individual makes a free and informed choice and the form of therapy is mutually agreed upon between two consenting adults, the therapist and the client? If Ozanne is seeking to ban consenting adults from doing what they wish in the privacy of the counselling chamber, is this not ‘unethical’ and ‘harmful’ (to use her own words)—coercive at best, totalitarian at worst?

Third, Ozanne’s attitude is Eurocentric, Western superiorist and racist. Her approach is so suffused with her own white privilege that it is completely oblivious of the concerns of people with same-sex attraction in traditional and Islamic societies. In effect, she is condemning Farhad Tehrani to death in Iran and Smita Agarwal to a life cut-off from her family and community in India. She is also forcing her own political agenda down their throats and depriving them of the freedom to privilege a voluntarily chosen religious identity over their sexual identity (the latter a privileged postmodern luxury available to people like her).

Fourth, is total success the only criteria for evaluating any form of therapy? If so, it should be unethical to provide cancer treatments to patients, since the success rate is often low. Doctors warn patients of the risks and side effects of such treatments. If some treatments have failed, does that mean further research ought to be banned? Do open-mindedness and trial and failure not constitute the very basis of making progress in different scientific fields?

Can Ozanne offer empirical evidence for her claim that CT has failed? She cannot! The area of CT research is fraught with methodological problems. Foremost of these is sampling bias. ‘It is nearly impossible to obtain a random sample of research participants who have been treated for their sexual orientation, and it is equally as difficult to assess outcomes in a way that does not contaminate the scientific process with social bias. This makes it difficult to make meaningful generalisations about these treatments,’ writes Haldeman. Also, ‘few of the CT studies offer any follow-up data,’ he says. Given these limitations, most CT studies report a success rate of 30 per cent in changing sexual orientation. That’s better than the success rate in the cure of certain major diseases, Ozanne!

What about people who have other sexual attractions they wish to be helped with? Pornography? Incest? Paedophilia? Sadomasochism? I am not comparing these with homosexuality, but I am keen to know if Ozanne classifies them as sexual orientations, sexual deviancies or mental disorders (or “sin” for that matter). Many red-blooded heterosexual men would admit that their own sexual orientation is hardly monogamous and sometimes they seek counselling or therapy while struggling with attraction towards other women who are not their wives. Does Ozanne wish to ban therapy for such people? What if a person who is same-sex attracted does not wish to change her sexual orientation, but is seeking therapy to help her remain celibate?

By her own standards, Jayne Ozanne is guilty of spiritual abuse and coercion. She is seeking to use the authority of the established CofE to drive through an absolutist political agenda that will deprive individuals of free will and free choice and prevent them from voluntarily seeking therapy if they choose to.

Ultimately, her real goal is to get churches to stop preaching the offensive doctrine that homosexual practice is sinful. Taken to its logical conclusion, she will have to ban Bible reading—because the biblical texts prohibiting homosexuality can themselves be proscribed as homophobic and spiritually abusive. It is on this basis that police arrested street-preachers Mike Overd and Michael Stockwell for quoting biblical texts on homosexuality. The public prosecutor claimed that publicly quoting parts of the King James Bible in modern Britain should ‘be considered to be abusive and is a criminal matter.’

Of course, the topping irony of July’s General Synod is that another motion will seek to discuss reaffirmation of baptismal vows for transgender people. These transgender people have undergone painful psychological and surgical therapy and treatment in the process of conversion. Why is it ethical for someone to convert from one gender to another but unethical to seek to convert from one sexual orientation to another?

Ed Shaw is an Anglican minister. He is also a member of General Synod. He is gay but celibate. He co-leads Living Out—a ministry which helps Christians ‘who experience same-sex attraction stay faithful to biblical teaching on sexual ethics and flourish at the same time.’ Shaw has responded to Jayne Ozanne in the liberating language of rights: ‘We believe that everyone, gay or straight, has the right to make their own informed choice whether to receive counselling or psychotherapy on any issue they might choose—including their sexuality. Passing this motion could limit that precious freedom.’

(The names of the Iranian Muslim and the Indian Jain have been changed to protect their identities)

(Image: honorbound)

Rev Jules Gomes

  • Lagopus scotica

    It sounds like Ms Ozanne is a deeply damaged individual who is trying to relieve her pain by making the world (or in this case, the church) “safe” for her. Yet this will inflict much wider pain on other people.

    She comes across as needing therapy to come to terms with what was obviously a traumatic experience for her with what sounds like quite an extreme form of CT. There may be other traumatic experiences in her life, too.

    If, as Jules says, God loves us all, how would her suggestions help the Church demonstrate that love? If these suggestions don’t do that, especially for very vulnerable people, I hope that they are voted down.

    This poor lady needs to be encouraged to seek help privately, not encouraged to bring this type of political action. We should all pray for her.

    • Bruce Atkinson

      Hear the words of same-sex attracted English priest Sam Allberry and read my comment: http://www.virtueonline.org

      Love Revisited
      The revisionists try to excuse their enabling of homosexual behavior by calling it love. But toleration and inclusion of sinful lifestyles in the Church is anything but loving. Sinners must repent in order to be saved. All sinners are welcomed in, but we never should welcome or celebrate sinful lifestyles because that will only prevent repentance and ultimately send them to hell. Hardly a loving thing to do.

      Real love is not passive or blindly accepting. Real love actively, even relentlessly seeks to bring the beloved into a closer relationship with God, through repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation. We are not loving our gay brothers and sisters by telling them that sin is not sin after all. We need to be offering them hope through the redeeming love and transforming power of Jesus Christ.

    • RobertRetyred

      ‘It sounds like Ms Ozanne is a deeply damaged individual who is trying to relieve her pain by making the world (or in this case, the church) “safe” for her. ‘
      The very opposite of Jesus.

  • MorganCourtenay

    I did use to think that Conversion Therapy was ridiculous, until I found out that most had a success rate of around 30%. I think the key is individual choice and I completely agree with the author who writes that religious identity should be considered equally with sexual identity if that is what the patient chooses. Certainly, no one should be forced to attend such therapy. I sympathize with both the Muslim and Jain people interviewed. We may disapprove of the practices, but the people affected must be treated with sympathy and respect.

    • Groan

      And I have to say there is a world of difference between a therapy, counselling and praying and reflecting. All too often these are conflated to the same thing.

    • Bruce Atkinson

      Speaking as a psychologist I can say that, fortunately, no therapy (especially sexual orientation related therapy) is being coerced on any adults (that would be totally unethical and a form of brain-washing). Some parents do force their children into therapy but this has largely been found to be ineffective. You may have heard the joke among therapists: How many therapists does it take to change a lightbulb? Answer: Only one, but the lighbulb must want to change. Of course, it is really about people.

  • Groan

    “Sexual identity” the whole thing is fundamentally flawed. Taking an urge and concluding this forms an entire human identity from sexual practice to delight in interior decoration. I cannot think of any society that hasn’t “regulated” sexual behaviour. The Greeks attitude to this is plundered to demonstrate the “normality” of same sex attraction. Yet in fact the much quoted stuff is very specifically about relationships between aristocrats, time limited and very specifically not to get in the way of other duties such as marrying and producing heirs. As you say heterosexual sexual urges are taken to require “management” and even the most liberated still attempt to place boundaries by reference to “love”, “honesty”, “consent”. Indeed one can see in much of the , whatever “wave” of feminism were at now such as “everyday sexism” a concerted effort to create, or recreate a set of canons of behaviour. With imprisonment or therapy for those who fall short.
    It is perhaps one of the great ethical gifts of Christianity to the world the idea that the person isn’t the same as the behaviour, one can hate sin and love the person and change is always possible. Identity politics takes us down the road of denying human agency. Just as your colleague seeks celibacy to live with his desires and belief so I’m sure many “heterosexual” Christians find struggles to not be “polyamorous” or just plain promiscuous, because as humans we all struggle at some time with the unhelpful parts of our being.

    • JabbaPapa

      The Greeks attitude to this is plundered to demonstrate the “normality” of same sex attraction. Yet in fact the much quoted stuff is very specifically about relationships between aristocrats, time limited and very specifically not to get in the way of other duties such as marrying and producing heirs.

      And even that is grossly exaggerated — to the ordinary Ancient Greek about the polis, homosexuals were condemned as being deviants ; and if you look into the historical detail, you can see that quite a few of these privileged men were condemned to death or banishment for it.

  • As a late teenager who had been to an all-boys school, the only girls that I had met had been my younger sister’s school friends and I didn’t think much of them!
    At college, it was quite easy to fall in with a group of boys of my age or older as I seemed to have no problem in getting on and fitting in with them.
    Until one day one I was early in the canteen for lunch and one of the girls in the class came and joined me. More or less her opening words were “I don’t know why you hang around with that load of gays (not the word used in those days), you’re not one of them”. We talked a lot and I realised that I was just extremely shy and found it hard to make any friends and had always tended to leave it to others. That was the counselling that I got, simple and very blunt, but she was right. But I realise how easy it is to be drawn into something where you don’t really belong, especially now it is discussed openly and, to my mind, almost encouraged.
    So I’m all for counselling as long as it is truly impartial and honest and not pushing the line of encouraging people to consider alternatives unless there is a very good reason.

  • David

    Whilst upholding the truth of God’s Word, I accept people who are same sex attracted in the sense that this is what they experience, albeit it is not what God intends for us; but I cannot accept people who are militantly trying to remove choice and free will from everyone else.

  • James Chilton

    It’s not possible to ban Bible reading in the private sphere – at least not this side of a totalitarian paradise.

    Many people are in despair at the way Christian institutions cave into secular pressures. So they are probably studying the Bible more intensively in private.

    • Andy

      You’re for the salt mines when the Great and Dear Leader, Comrade Chairman Corbyn comes to power !!

    • Bruce Atkinson

      In early Christianity, the Romans tried to ban both the Bible and the practice of Christianity. We see how successful their efforts were.

    • DSERIES

      And seeking out conservative teachers on line….who with a few notable exceptions will be US based

      • JabbaPapa

        That is to generalise the situation of the English-speaking sphere only.

  • Don Benson

    There’s a warning here for all of us.

    LGBT activists have been so successful at promoting their own eccentric notions on mainstream society that their particular interests now take precedence over those of the vast majority of people (including a disastrous withdrawal of the right of children to both a mother and father).

    But these interests are so patently out of line with the natural order that they are clearly irrational. They involve a fundamental dismantling of what experience tells us goes to make for a well balanced, stable society. And because they are irrational they cannot exist without coercion; and that coercion is particularly focussed on people who are unwilling to accept irrational thought just because some other people are. In this case, irrationality involves looking at facts in the natural world and dismissing them or ‘reinterpreting’ them so that they are in line with LGBT prescriptions of ‘equality’ and ‘inclusion’.

    We are well aware of the coercion that has changed language, withdrawn rights to free speech, is ‘re educating’ young children, excludes dissenters from employment (not least in politics and journalism) and shut down intelligent debate. That’s just in secular society. What about the Church of England? Surely it reveres the truth above all else, takes its lead from the Bible and, of all national groups, stands against coercion?

    Well here’s the warning: your national church, led by Justin Welby along with his LGBT activist friends, is about to ditch any pretence that it will fight for your freedom to think and speak and act for the truth. At the General Synod it intends to vote away the right of people who wish to be freed from same sex attraction from seeking help. It will do so on a thoroughly dishonest and already discredited basis, at the behest of militant activists, all for the purpose of virtue signalling (the Welby way) to make friends with its enemies: total capitulation.

    OK; I should be truthful. The last paragraph was speculation. Jayne Ozanne will indeed make her speech. But the synod may see sense. They may blow Jayne a raspberry. Justin Welby may speak up for honesty and rationality. And if he does we should be ready to rejoice at his repentance and fall in behind him as he embraces his new-found calling to fight for the doctrine which he originally promised to defend. What a great day that would be!

    • Jolly Roger

      These current controversies should be seen in the light of those past centuries where the Church has been beset with discords.

      In those times councils met and parted in bitter strife, gave doubtful or suspicious verdicts, or passed ambiguous formulas that avoided the question at stake.

      One Pope signed a compromising creed, or another would be beguiled in favouring a doctrine which the sharper eyes of theologians detected and denounced. “We determine Creeds by the year,” said St Hilary, “then we change our determination; and then we prohibit our changes; and then we anathematize our prohibitions.”

      And all this anxiety, confusion, and distress, was not about some partial or limited detail of faith. The storm raged around the cardinal heart of the Creed, round the Lord Himself.

      If we forget this we may think that the faith came into being by calm deliberation. We forget the smell of fire on it. If we so forget we may be staggered to find ourselves today deprived of this calm and rapid mechanism, and wonder at the strain of renewed uncertainty, stripped of authoritative guidance; watching timorously the local interests, the worldly intrigues, which seem at every point to be doing some irretrievable hurt to the
      fabric of truth and the Church.

      To us what seems to be the babel of discordant voices then as now had in its midst the Holy Spirit teasing out the threads, till He had warded off all false doctrines.

      In his second letter to Timothy, St Paul listed the character of those who would typify the ‘formidable seasons’. As the Apostle only had to do with the Church, all these people were members of it. The whole future history of the Church is contained in his epistles.

      • grutchyngfysch

        On the other hand, a body of people who feel the need to debate whether sin is sin does not perhaps present itself as a sound institution to make any kind of authoritative ruling.

        I came to the very sad realisation some time ago that even the temporary reprieve of these measures can still not detract from the fact that there are people openly preaching disobedience and rejection of Scripture on this and other issues under the banner of the Church of England. It is its conspicuous failure to rebuke this which led me to leave it, and without detracting from the faithful still in its organisations (who remain my brothers and sisters in Christ), I do not believe the Church of England is a secure or sound repository of the faith anymore.

      • JabbaPapa

        Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich pray for us.

    • DSERIES

      Irrational sums it up well. A reproductive dead end. And absolutely no discussion as to whether homosexual acts make any anatomical sense….and that is putting it politely…food for the stomach etc.

  • Jolly Roger

    It has been advanced that same-sex attraction is a result of arrested development.

    Up to the age of puberty children tend to associate more with those of the same gender. Girls think boys are horrid. After puberty, this changes to association with the opposite sex. If this change does not take place then a person remains attracted to the same sex after becoming sexually mature.

    However, all the great same-sex friendships in history, such as that of David and Jonathan, or in fiction, Holmes and Watson, were only possible because the element of sex was removed from the relationship. In the society that has been made for us to live in, sex is now everywhere. Therefore, it must get into same-sex friendships, making them something else other than
    friendships.

    At the same time, there is education as a factor in promoting the taking up by choice of same-sex relationships. Educate the young so as to present such ideas to them that they would never had thought of, or put the depiction such relationships into the common culture, and people will absorb them like breathing air. As C S Lewis put it in a general context; what can a jelly do but conform to its mould?

    • JabbaPapa

      It has been advanced that same-sex attraction is a result of arrested development

      I feel that this is true in some cases, but very far from all.

      My gut feeling is that there are multiple causes of SSM, rather than just one.

      However, all the great same-sex friendships in history, such as that of David and Jonathan, or in fiction, Holmes and Watson, were only possible because the element of sex was removed from the relationship.

      Exactly — but the gay mafia want to redefine friendship as being homosexual in nature, regardless of how destructive, idiotic, and fake that might be.

    • Brilliantly put. For too long now Eros has been presented as the be all. The trouble is that when we do so in another fifty years will we have the capacity to see philial love. If not, what happens to society.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    I have been a mental health professional treatment provider for close to 40 years. I am privileged to hear the very personal and painfully real side of people’s lives. . We don’t know for certain all of the factors which contribute to the causal aspects of homosexuality as compared to normal heterosexuality or the causes of transgender feelings. But through scientific research and clinical experience, we are learning. Two scientific facts: 1) Genetics have been shown to be minimally associated with same-sex attraction. 2) Sexual attraction has been shown to extremely mutable and fluid. Especially do people change from homosexual to heterosexual orientation over their lifetime.

    A theory for the environmental etiology of same-sex attraction
    Here is what I have found that most people with same-sex attraction have had in common.

    In their family-of-origin history, there was distance, rejection, and/or abuse associated with the same sex parent and a too-close relationship (enmeshment) and identification with the opposite sex parent.
    For example, a distant, rejecting or abusive father would cause a boy to naturally identify with the nurturing mother but he would have a ‘hole in his heart’ regarding his father, where he (often unconsciously) still desired to receive the love that he was denied. So with puberty and the onset of the hormonal boost to sexual desire, the natural desire for love from the father became sexualized into attraction for same sex peers.

    Early sexual experimentation with the same sex or sexual abuse (by perps of either sex) would often cement this dynamic in the psyche. But note that all these dynamics are environmental and thus learned — meaning it can be unlearned and can be changed. Fortunately, homosexual BEHAVIOR is always a choice (as is all behavior) and is thus quite mutable. Long term research shows that a large percentage (at least 75%) of people with same-sex attraction in their youth eventually turn heterosexual.

    Another strong environmental (thus learned) influence is associated with the natural tendency of
    prepubescent boys to be attracted to and want to hang out with other boys, and girls likewise with other girls. With puberty and influence of healthy cultural factors, this changes. But when this natural developmental process is interrupted by childhood molestation or too much information about sex prior to their capacity to emotionally handle it, then this normal prepubescent preference for same sex can become sexualized. Thus we have homosexual desires. Our current sex-worshiping culture is most certainly guilty of promoting this interruption of the normal sexual developmental process.

    • Groan

      I suspect that in fact we have indeed gone completely overboard on sex. I think its a result of our wealth and ease. We simply have much more time to at least consider ourselves. Though we today obsess about sex in terms of its “expression” in the past there is remarkably little discussion in fact. This is frequently pointed out about the Christian Bible by those anxious to undermine conventional teachings. Understandably previous generations were vitally concerned with relationships and creating a harmonious society able to bring up the next generation. With the notable exception of a few aristocratic libertines generally people appear to have been far too busy fulfilling their obligations etc. and the libertines were censured for their behaviours because they were assumed to undermine the social order. as the “west” has a far greater proportion of libertines now the assumption appears to have been true. It seems generally our ancestors appeared to take a remarkably adult attitude that people are capable of all sorts of things and would need constant reminding of the importance of focussing on their obligations to wider and future society.

    • Reborn

      Makes sense to me.
      And does not involve God.

    • I’m interested in your views of sex Ed in light of this.

    • Nawroz Hujabi

      I tolerated this to here:

      homosexual BEHAVIOR is always a choice (as is all behavior)

      This baloney contradicts all reputable and modern scientific research into biology and physiology.

      That’s not important; it’s to be expected.

      What is important is Bruce’s implicit pat on the – his own – back for making all the right moral choices (in the face of difficult obstacles, no doubt) and taking the right path, a path that takes him straight to god’s right hand.

      I suspect the rest is about ‘leftist liberalism’s obsession with sex.’ Makes you wonder if he has ever read the good book.

      Hell is always other people. Well done Bruce. Was it a difficult path to heaven?

  • The_Mocking_Turtle

    Religious people seem sex mad to me.

    Non-religious people do not, in my experience, obsess about sex in the same way as the religious, possibly because the non-religious are more sexually active than the religious and consider sex as natural a thing as eating or drinking, neither worse or better.

    Conspicuous sexual monomania amongst the religious is weird if not unhealthy and even creepy, although it might explain to some extent why so many perverts and deviants have been discovered amongst the clergy and those with strong religious beliefs. Brooding about sex 24/7, while not enjoying its pleasures, would warp even the strongest mentalities out of shape I would imagine.

    You have my sympathy.

    • Bruce Atkinson

      We have read many your comments on these articles by Rev. Jules Gomes. You always promote the pagan secular perspective. Of course, you, like all of us, are entitled to your opinion. You have every right to be wrong.
      As a mental health professional, I cannot help but wonder about your motives. Why would you, as an atheist, want to show up to comment on Christian-based articles except to create conflict? Sounds very trollish to me.

      • The_Mocking_Turtle

        Hi, Bruce. How’s your hammer hanging? Gettin’ much these days? I can assure you that you would be welcome on any atheist website, if any exist. Having no axes to grind non-believers are usually welcoming and your quaint views are never less than amusing.

        • Bruce Atkinson

          Mocking one,
          No thank you. Interacting with you quite fills my cup of need to debate with committed pagans. Trolls intend to cause trouble, so they like to go where they are not welcome.
          I am not so masochistic.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            Christianity exalts suffering and based around a myth which involves the tortuous death of a Messiah and his resurrection. (Similar myths about death and rebirth were very common in the pagan world.) The lives of the Saints also feature many hideous and atrocious deaths, with beatification following such martyrdom expressly because of them.

            Suffering IS bread and butter to Christianity.

            Thus it seems to me that many of those drawn to Christianity do possess masochistic tendencies, to a greater or a lesser extent, although not all Christians have the self-awareness to recognise such tendencies in themselves and the honesty to own up to them, eh, Bruce?

          • JabbaPapa

            Christianity exalts suffering

            What a load of bollox.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            You are too hard on pagans.

            I know some very nice Druids and several Wiccans who make cherry pies to die for. All compassionate and delightful people shining with goodness and wishing only the best for every living thing. To be honest most of these people embody Christian virtues much better than most professing Christian affiliation formally presumably because goodness, kindness, uprightness, love and tolerance are universal human qualities which exist separately from religion.

            They harbour no hard feelings about the torture and executions of tens of thousands of their predecessors by representatives of the Christian church in the name of God. Which is, ironically, a very Christian thing to do.

            I of course am not religious but recognise true unadulterated goodness when I see it.
            A thing not much evident in the peevish articles and comments available for perusal on this blog I have to say.

          • JabbaPapa

            They harbour no hard feelings about the torture and executions of tens of thousands of their predecessors by representatives of the Christian church in the name of God

            What, you mean when the pagan Roman Empire destroyed the horrendous human-sacrificing druidic cult in Gaul and Britain you mean ?

            Whatever on EARTH did Christians have to do with these events of the 2nd and 1st Centuries B.C. ??

            PS this modern so-called “druidism” is just another recently created New Age sect having nothing to do with what they purport to represent.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            It was the Wiccans I was actually referring to, but should have been more explicit I suppose and written “Wiccans” rather than “pagans”. I am sure the Christians here will forgive me. It will be good practice for them to do so and in doing so they can clock up a few points in the forgiveness stakes with a view to securing a better appointed afterlife.

          • JabbaPapa

            This “wicca” thing is another New Age cult invented in the 20th Century — I cannot seem to recall any time during the past 100 years or so when “tens of thousands” of these people have been “tortured” and “executed” by “christians”.

        • JabbaPapa

          Having no axes to grind non-believers are usually welcoming

          The one time I actually tried that, the degree of overt and almost fanatical hatred I was subjected to was staggering.

          • James Chilton

            The turtle’s function is to mock from an Olympian height the efforts of mere Christians to defend their faith. He never raises a philosophical question that could be debated in a spirit of free inquiry.

            (I posted this comment elsewhere in this thread, and it was sent to Limbo by the censor.)

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            What are you defending your faith from?

            Most people outside of your religion have little to no interest in its workings or concerns enough about them to threaten or put it in jeopardy. You can live your lives according to your precepts, worship in whatever manner you choose, and practice your religion openly without hazard. Why continually try to foist your strictures, dogma and beliefs on others?

            Live your lives within the law by your own standards and allow others with different outlooks and perspectives to live their lives in any manner they choose as long as it is legal.

            That’s the ticket.

            You know it makes sense.

          • James Chilton

            “Why continually try to foist your strictures, dogma and beliefs on others?”

            That’s a good example of unconscious irony.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            Thank you.

          • JabbaPapa

            Why continually try to foist your strictures, dogma and beliefs on others?

            You are the one trying to foist your strictures, dogma and beliefs on others.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Who Is forcing these beliefs on you? In fact, no one is forcing you
            in any way to become a Christian. WHY in the world ARE YOU HERE in this Christian place listening and arguing? You can easily go elsewhere and ignore the religious people of the world. You are here for a reason, dude.

            No one will have any sympathy for your atheism when this atheism of yours finds an intense need to hang out with believers. Very strange. Perhaps you (subconsciously) want someone here to convince you to believe. But only God can do that. Rather than argue with us, I recommend you do so with the One who knows it all.

          • JabbaPapa

            Well said.

    • Phil R

      “because the non-religious are more sexually active than the religious”

      You may be surprised to learn that this is not actualy true. A number of studies in America contrasted Christians with Athiests. Remarcably the Christians (Regular Church Attenders) not only had more sex, they rated their sex lives higher than Athieists.

      Of course, what was hidden in the statistics, was that a far larger proportion of Christians were married.

      • The_Mocking_Turtle

        If you can supply details, e.g., links, I will certainly check those surveys out..

    • Phil R

      “perverts and deviants”

      I assumed that you would be reluctant to suggest that “perverts and deviants” actually exists in your Brave New World of anything you feel like doing, (Indeed, whatever you believe yourself to be — regardless of reality of course) is OK.

      • The_Mocking_Turtle

        Well, although not religious, I would have thought that ordained ministers of any church, supposedly in receipt of the apostolic succession, representing Christ on earth, should, I would imagine, have been expected to hold themselves to a moral standard higher than any layman and certainly high enough to have discouraged sexual molestation of children.

        Although not religious I would have expected a superior moral standard of behaviour from those who wear the cloth and given over their lives to Christ.

        The fact that you seem not to is interesting.

        • Bruce Atkinson

          Phil was obviously only referring to your comment and your own acceptance of deviance. I doubt you will find any here who would say that the molestation of children was anything less than perversion and sin. Except perhaps yourself.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            Any sexual activity between consenting adults is Kool and the Gang in my book, Bruce, with the emphasis on “adult” and “consensual”. This of course rules out sexual activity with choirboys and/or choirgirls, orphans in orphanages, and similar. Not even those in receipt of a dispensation from the Almighty should be able to get up to monkey business like that Scott free.

            Statistically, there does seem to be a greater incidence of paedophilia (and homosexuality) amongst churchmen than those in other professions. I must see, when I have the time, if enough reliable data exists to analyse to discover the truth of the matter.

            My curiosity has been piqued.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Most organizations don’t police the sexual activity of members. They just don’t care. Nor do they care about measuring the incidence of perversion. Churches care. So while it seems, due to the public media, that clergy have a greater incidence of things like paedophilia, it is an artifact of the reality that it is a much bigger deal to the churches. It is indeed very unChristlike.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            But the church has often conceal the activities of paedophile priests, not reporting them to the civil authorities, and even resettled them multiple times enabling them to prey on more innocents: the church has been complicit in such acts of criminality by disciplining kiddle-fidders itself rather than handing them over to the police and allowing them to continue their abuse elsewhere.

            All you need to do is to google “church conceal paedophile priests” or similar to get links to many examples.

            Truly awful and disgraceful behaviour IMHO.

          • JabbaPapa

            Yesterday, elsewhere, I wrote :

            I’ve looked into this problem extensively, and the start of the problem (apart from the grotesque crimes and sins committed of course) was that the authors of the 1917 Code of Canon Law made a completely unintentional mistake by shifting the authority over child abuse cases from the Holy Office to the local Ordinary.

            A further mistake, administrative in nature, is that only the Holy Office/CDF had a say in the Church Court cases, but without the Authority to defrock one of these men ; which authority belonged to the Congregation for the Clergy, to whom it was (and is) against Canon Law to communicate details from a trial in a Church Court.

            Then bearing in mind the complete and utter failure of the various police forces to effectively investigate and prosecute these crimes, plus the cynical denial of all accusations by these men, plus the fact that in both civil and canon law, one is presumed innocent unless proven to be guilty — so these men could manipulate themselves into positions of impunity, where nothing could be done about them, and where they could simply write to the Congregation for the Clergy, completely ignorant of anything that was actually going on, and claim “irreconcilable differences” with their Bishop, who would often then be ordered by the Congregation to move the priest.

            Without a conviction by the civil Courts, it was usually impossible to defrock or suspend these men ; but the Police and the Courts were failing the victims just as badly as everyone else was. Including BTW failures by the lawmakers in the various governments and Parliaments — as to the scandal in Ireland for example, child abuse hadn’t even been defined as a criminal act in Irish Law !! And in many many countries, it was classed as a misdemeanour with just some minor fine as a “punishment”.

            This whole disaster, in the Boston diocese certainly, was a collective failure by everyone who had responsibility to protect these children, including BTW all too often their own parents (!!), because of the fact that until the Dutroux case opened everyone’s eyes, there was a great deal of deep misunderstanding of the true extent and severity of these abuses throughout society.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            I don’t normally read your comments and so would have missed that, obviously. Well, let’s see how Cardinal Pell does when he has his “day in court” when he returns from the Vatican to Australia.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtHOmforqxk

            Some light relief from Tim Minchin there.

          • JabbaPapa

            The last person to accuse Pell turned out to be a child molester himself.

            An underlying truth here is that Australian liberal café catholics utterly loathe Pell for getting rid of various grotesque abuses that they had put in place between the 60’s and 80’s. They’ve been attacking him for over 15 years.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            I would be careful if I were you. I stuck up for Rolf Harris and Gary Glitter when they were accused of abuse and didn’t half feel stupid later when it turned out that they were. Anyway, better late than never, Cardinal Pell will finally have his “day in court” and has just hired a top barrister to represent him. We shall see what we shall see.

          • JabbaPapa

            It’s hard to judge the particulars of the current accusation from what’s online, but there’s certainly at least some elements of both guilt by association and scapegoating.

            There’s also the fact that he has been a vigorous defender of victims of such abuse, and a fairly harsh critic of criminal abusing clergy.

            These trials become occasions for public frenzies of anti-Catholic hatred, and never mind the inconvenient fact that people accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

            I don’t know about elsewhere, but in France where there is no huge scandal at all, the statistics I saw some years ago suggested that about 80% of accusations made against clergy are found to be baseless by the Police.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            Really? So a mere one in five accusations turn out to have substance, eh? Heck! That’s not bad. A mere bagatelle. Hardly worth mentioning at all in the grand scheme of things, yea?

            For goodness sake: Get real!

          • JabbaPapa

            Really? So a mere one in five accusations turn out to have substance, eh?

            And of those 1 in 5 that make it to court, there’s a majority of not guilty verdicts.

            And you’re displaying your usual mauvaise foi.

            I take note of your utter refusal to acknowledge Pell’s history of positive action to help the victims of these crimes and punish those guilty of them.

            France has had a very small number of these cases in the clergy, including because it is a crime not to denounce criminal activity that you’re aware of (excepting professional secrecy).

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            I appreciate the invitation.

          • JabbaPapa

            Statistically, there does seem to be a greater incidence of paedophilia … amongst churchmen than those in other professions

            Another one of your bigoted atheist outright lies — the incidence of all forms of child sex crimes is lower among ministers of all religions compared to the average in the general population, and is lowest of all among Catholic and Eastern Orthodox clergy.

            What’s much higher on average is the very large number of unfounded accusations made, for motivations that you can surely guess, given that you’ve just typed out an unfounded accusation of your very own.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            As I said if accurate and dependable data exists I will look into it if/when when I have the leisure

          • Bruce Atkinson

            You’ll never admit to that kind of leisure because you will never accept as accurate and dependable any data that goes against an argument of yours. Humility is just not an option. I don’t know you, Mocking one, but it is not difficult to recognize the fruit on the tree.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            Are you calling me a fruit, Bruce? My steady girlfriend would bridle at such an assertion.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            Interesting. Can you furnish me with references to the data you indicate so I can check it out for myself. Thank you in advance.

          • JabbaPapa

            I’ll be unlikely to be able to relocate the story, but start here :

            http://www.cbsnews.com/news/has-media-ignored-sex-abuse-in-school/

            “[T]hink the Catholic Church has a problem?” she said. “The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”

            So, in order to better protect children, did media outlets start hounding the worse menace of the school systems, with headlines about a “Nationwide Teacher Molestation Cover-up” and by asking “Are Ed Schools Producing Pedophiles?”

            No, they didn’t. That treatment was reserved for the Catholic Church, while the greater problem in the schools was ignored altogether.

            As the National Catholic Register’s reporter Wayne Laugesen points out, the federal report said 422,000 California public-school students would be victims before graduation — a number that dwarfs the state’s entire Catholic-school enrollment of 143,000.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            I am a patient creature. If you drum up a half dozen or so reference for me to scrutinise you can post them in a reply to some comment I make in the future and I will give them the once over.

            It does amuse me that you seem to regard paedophilia amongst the priesthood as not too bad because it hasn’t happened much, and that incest and similar in the Bible, committed by men favoured by the Lord, only happened occasionally and wasn’t common practice amongst the chosen and so not that serious.

            That tickles me it really, really does.

          • JabbaPapa

            you seem to regard paedophilia amongst the priesthood as not too bad

            grotesque

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            Something is getting lost in translation here. Didn’t you claim on this thread that child molestation is less common amongst the priesthood than amongst laymen? And implicitly that priestly paedophilia was not too bad in comparison to a much greater incidence of paedophilia amongst the laity? If one priest molested a single child, once, such an event would be horrific and inexcusable. The fact that such events may have only happened occasionally, according to you, doesn’t mitigate the betrayal of trust and sheer bloody awfulness of something like that happening ever.

            It make the blood run cold.

          • JabbaPapa

            And implicitly that priestly paedophilia was not too bad

            All paedophilia is grotesquely evil — I am not responsible for your own rancid inferences.

          • JabbaPapa

            As I said “I’ll be unlikely able to relocate the story” — I have tried, that’s not just off the top of my head.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            There’s plenty of time. You wrote with such boldness I am confident you will be able, over time, to recall the sources you referenced.

          • JabbaPapa

            I can’t even be certain which language it was in.

            And have you seen the sheer volume of “child abuse” search results ?

          • Nawroz Hujabi

            Jabba – the anti-MSM voice, links to…CBS.

          • Nawroz Hujabi

            Wow jabba that’s some research you’ve done there. Did the priest at least offer you a cup of cha in-between ”And how often do you bend choir boys over the pulpit?”?

          • Phil R

            “Any sexual activity between consenting adults is Kool”

            Incest is a hard issue for the your world of libertine sexuality. Athiests have spent years delegitimising the whole idea of structural boundaries in service to the normalisation of homosexuality and then along comes some guy who beds his adult and very consenting daughter. Sexual morality is supposed to be determined by consent. But then along comes a consensual relationship they want to restrict. How do they do this without retro-actively legitimising all the arguments made against homosexuality?

            It also sheds some light on the ‘yuk factor.’

            We naturally find certain things distasteful for good reason.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            Being an innocent I really hadn’t considered relations between blood relatives as a possibility to be honest. Such a thing never entered my mind. To me sexual activity only involves unrelated consenting adults, is done privately, does no harm to the participants and cause no distress to others. How odd that such a thought popped up so easily in your own febrile brain while never occurring to mine. Obviously you’ve been reading the Bible again, which is rife with such things, e.g., the stories of Lot and Noah etc., mostly of the father-daughter variety, as I remember it, the Bible being a manifestly patriarchal work of fiction after all

            Religious folk really are kinky above and beyond the call of duty and then some. How peculiar you people are.

          • Phil R

            So, you would restrict this consensual behavour………

            How would you go about doing so without at the same time, unpicking all the arguments that were used to legitismise homosexuality?

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            I consider homosexuality a perfectly normal expression of human sexuality. I do not regard incest as normal or desirable in human society, any more than it is in nature, unless you happen to have lived in Sodom, or built an arc, prior to a global flood.

          • Phil R

            On what basis do you accept one over the other?

            I “feel” that is wrong? Both homosexuality and Incest use the same arguments for legitimacy

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            Not in my world. Not unless the participants are blood relatives anyway. I see no similarity whatsoever between incest, which involves consanguinity, and homosexuality, which usually doesn’t.

          • JabbaPapa

            … and then he accuses others of having a “fixation” with sex …

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            I was replying to a comment. If you people would quiet down I wouldn’t have had to make the effort. The more petrol you pour on the fire the more intensely it will burn.

          • JabbaPapa

            … says the man from Esso.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            I would restrict consensual behaviour to whatever is allowed within the law. I take the liberty of pointing out that same sex civil partnerships and even marriages are legal in this country as is the homosexuality that accompanies it.

            Incest isn’t.

            Not even if your name is Lot or Noah.

          • Phil R

            We are not discussing what is (currently) legal and what is not. Rather the justification for the behaviour.

            The problem for liberals like yourself is that the root of rationale for incest is the same as for homosexuality.

            You say that sexual morality is to be determined by consent between adults. But I am suggesting a consensual relationship you and I want to restrict.

            How can you do this without legitimising all the previous arguments made against
            homosexuality?

            Your argument is like mine and based on the yuk factor. Exactly what kind of reaction are we supposed to
            have to the idea of a father knowing his daughter ala Woody Allen? Are we
            supposed to be ‘adult’ about such things and suspend any visceral reaction?

            Should we just ‘get over it?

          • JabbaPapa

            There are very few examples of incest in the Scriptures.

            Your grotesque characterisation of religious people is meanwhile nonsensical.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle
          • JabbaPapa

            Even stretching the concept of incest to the maximum, all they can come up with is a dozen or so examples, a good half of which aren’t even incest as such, which involves direct blood relatives.

            This constitutes very few examples in the Scriptures.

            And CRIKEY you’re obsessed with sex, give it a rest …

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            My sex life, yes. The sexual activity of others, not so much.

          • Bik Byro

            Don’t try and convince JibberJabba with facts lol, his prejudice and dogma is far too great for that.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            As a psychologist in clinical practice I am not so naive. I deal with the traumatic effects of incest and child sexual molestation on a regular basis. The consequences are terrible to the psychological and emotional well being of the victim. Without extensive therapy, most such victims never get over it.

            Of course we are discussing sexual perversion on this thread! Just read the article, read even just the title and you will see why. We do not talk about it except when and where it is appropriate. You just want to judge Christians and put down our cherished beliefs. What a hypocrite.

          • James Chilton

            You edited this comment after replies to it had been posted. That is a dishonest thing to do – especially in view of the high opinion you have of yourself.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            I did. I often do. Are there rules that say you shouldn’t? If you’re not allowed to edit comments why is that feature available in the first place? This is news to me.

          • James Chilton

            It should be obvious, even to someone with your self-conceit, that if you alter a comment after a reply to it has been posted, it will be suspected that your motive is to make the reply seem foolish, irrelevant, ill-informed, or disingenuous.

            In short, it’s an attempt to get the upper hand on the cheap.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            You say tomato and I say tomahto. You play by your rules and I’ll play by mine. Feel free to edit your comments after the event as many times as you please. I don’t mind. As I keep saying: I stand for liberty while people like you stand for obedience, in this case to rules you personally seem to have invented. How very silly amusing though it is.

          • James Chilton

            This is contemptible nonsense. Standing by your words has nothing to do with obedience; it’s to do with integrity.

          • JabbaPapa

            Actually I’ll defend him on this one — messy writers who are better at self-editing can frequently need to modify existing posts, whether just to fix typos or to include even up to substantial modifications.

            This has nothing to do with any responses that may exist.

          • James Chilton

            I don’t agree. Apart from correcting minor mistakes, typos, etc., it is dishonest to edit a comment with substantive alterations after replies to it have been posted. I am surprised you don’t see how much advantage can be taken by unscrupulous posters who are anxious to put you in the wrong.

          • JabbaPapa

            I am surprised you don’t see how much advantage can be taken by unscrupulous posters who are anxious to put you in the wrong

            I do, and I’ve had such people try and do this to me — thankfully, there is now a block function in Disqus for such trolls.

          • James Chilton

            I know this will seem very pompous and a load of humbug, but apart from correcting any spelling mistakes or typos, I don’t alter my comments even when I know I have made a bad error of judgment etc.

            If challenged, I would rather just say I was wrong and leave it at that.

          • JabbaPapa

            To each his own. I’ve never edited a comment with a purpose to make someone else’s response look foolish, though one of my coterie of enemies in the pre-block-function days did carry on rather rantingly for some months accusing me of just that … which was clearly just another of his excuses to put up some tedious ad hominem attacks.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            But you are free to do so. You can comment like a freestyling rapper, jazz musician, or a Japanese calligrapher, off the cuff without any further polishing or revision if it pleases you.

            Me now, well, I’m more with Mozart or Keats, say, and like to alter and improve things as my mood and thoughst inform me. And, as I say, if you want to alter any comment, at any time in the future, for any reason you like feel free. So no one need gain any advantage over you save for the one you voluntarily cede to them; we can all do the same things on this site and are equal therefore in respect to making points.

            Do as you please but don’t expect others to be instructed by you what to do or how to do it.

            Liberty should be my middle name.

          • James Chilton

            Your middle name should be, and probably is, Dunce.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Liberty taken to the extreme means anarchy, chaos, antinomianism,
            libertinism, etc.—none of which are helpful to true liberty under law.

          • James Chilton

            I don’t think you can reason with someone who has delusions of genius to the extent that he believes himself the equal of Mozart and Keats.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Ideally, you would go all the way and edit yourself out of this thread altogether.

          • James Chilton

            He has edited the sense in almost all of his comments after responses to them have been posted. He justifies this by saying he posts by “his rules”.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            On a public blog participants have no choice but to obey the rules laid down by its owners. If you think revision of comments should be banned I suggest you take the matter up with Disqus or the moderators of this very blog.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            I revise my comments to correct grammatical and spelling mistakes, clarify things and sometimes to add things that didn’t occur to me when I wrote the comment originally.

            Unlike you, Bruce, I admit to not being perfect.

            I think you have let your side down here by being as sarky and unforgiving as a four year old child. I gave you a wonderful opportunity to be forgiving and charitable and show your colours and you failed to take advantage of it.

            What a pity.

          • Bik Byro

            I think Phil R just demonstrated to us all the very point you’ve been making.

          • Reborn

            Norman Scott free ?
            The Liberal Party has always had a rich vein of sexual weirdos,
            from Gladstone, who had prostitutes in No 10, through to Thorpe,
            the utterly evil brute Cyril Smith & the sad Mark Oaten, and beyond.

          • LoveMeIamALiberal

            “Statistically, there does seem to be a greater incidence of paedophilia (and homosexuality) amongst churchmen than those in other professions”

            Evidence for that please.

      • Nawroz Hujabi

        5* whopper.

        There can be no morality without Dog. A-level philosophy.

    • JabbaPapa

      Non-religious people do not, in my experience, obsess about sex in the same way as the religious

      But homosexuals and transexuals obsess about sex constantly, in my experience, and these are who the article is concerned with, not “non-religious people”.

      Your latest anti-religion rant is simply off-topic.

      • The_Mocking_Turtle

        You’re probably correct but I would imagine that people defined by their sexual preference, e.g., homosexuals and transsexual persons, obsess mostly about their own sexuality rather than the sexuality of others in general. I doubt if any gay or trans people concern themselves much with what people outside of their circle get up to sexually or want to influence or control it in the way people like you seem ambitious to do.

        I really do not understand this fixation with sex that the religious seem to have, especially in respect to the what goes on in lives of others. If you choose to be celibate, or continent, or only to have intercourse with your spouse, within the bounds of marriage, or only make love as and when to have children, or only to indulge quad-annually on the last day of February on a leap year, or at Christmas, or on your birthday, well, good for you. I have not a jot of interest and commend you to live your life by your own lights. You have the absolute right and liberty to do so. But why spend so much time criticising others who do not share your opinions? Why try to inveigle your mythology into their lives? Why try to inflict your mores on others who do not and never will want to share them?

        It makes no sense to me.

        • Reborn

          I do understand the religious obsession with sex.
          Organised religions all started as crude pre scientific explanations of the
          World.
          As science progressed the rational aspects of religion receded, leaving
          an essentially political residue, coupled with, in Christianity, an aesthetic
          element (usually good), and a moral aspect, sometimes very bad, sometimes good.
          Sex drives are vital to most of us, and when we needed as many people
          as possible to till the fields & fight enemies, plus care for children & the
          infirm, obviously 100% gay persons were unproductive & not to be encouraged.
          Civilised Westerners do not want or need large families, so homosexuality
          is not a matter of great import.
          Sadly, for us, certain immigrant groups still hold to primitive values, &
          could well outbreed us in our own land.
          But then they are deeply religious & so highly politicised.
          Religious leaders know that making people feel guilty about strong
          and sometimes mysterious urges is a powerful tool in making them
          submit to an illogical form of politics.
          The percentage of perverts, notably child molesters, in certain religious
          denominations surely represents the results of many generations
          of unhealthy sexual obsession.

          • JabbaPapa

            Your ignorance in these matters is finely tuned.

          • Reborn

            My knowledge is a fool’s ignorance.

          • BankyMons

            Without the ”certain immigrant groups” you will be extinct like the dinosaurs in a couple of centuries – not very civilised is it?

          • Reborn

            Are you suggesting that UK indigenes are overwhelmingly exclusively
            homosexual ?
            If so, I assume you live deep in the heart of Brighton or Soho, and never go anywhere else.
            My wide circle of friends & acquaintances includes only 2 gay men & one
            very kindly gay woman.
            The bisexual man I know has 3 children & teaches at a Catholic school.

        • JabbaPapa

          I really do not understand this fixation with sex that the religious seem to have

          Well you ought to understand a fixation with sex, given that you seem incapable of passing a single day without posting your thoughts about sex.

          Something that most of the religious people posting in here seem not to do.

          Why try to inflict your mores on others?

          I don’t know, why do you ?

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            You do, I don’t.

            I am quite happy for you to wear hair shirts, kneel on cassocks, and do whatever it is that your flavour of religion demands, as long as you do it privately. You are the ones who want to see your lunacies taught in schools and your prejudices in respect to sexual and other freedoms, e.g., abortion, influence and even alter secular law in order to make society more in accord with your beliefs. I want more freedom, generally, whereas you want freedom curbed to fit your own version of morality.

            There are threads on this very blog where you yourself conflate a lady choosing to terminate a pregnancy with “homicide” and “murder” which is a brazen lie. If you had your way you would see the law changed to prevent such liberties from existing. I wouldn’t. And there’s the rub.

            I want people to be able to do whatever they desire within the framework of the secular law. You want the law to be changed so that people can only do what people like you approve of from a pinched religious standpoint, or as near as you can manage it.

            Liberty is my watchword as much as obedience is yours.

            And that is the unvarnished truth.

          • JabbaPapa

            I think you’re honestly unaware of how much of what you think is just pure ideology and indoctrination.

            Liberty is my watchword as much as obedience is yours.

            And that is the unvarnished truth.

            Nope, it’s a load of prejudiced bollox.

            conflate a lady choosing to terminate a pregnancy with “homicide” and “murder” which is a brazen lie

            Taking note of the cosy PC watering-down of reality in the phrase “choosing to terminate a pregnancy” (in fact, to subject a living human being to dismemberment, vacuum cleaning, and incineration — or organ trafficking, or just being thrown out in the bin), it is not a “lie” to point out that the deliberate killing of a human being is a manslaughter.

            Meanwhile, you’re the one campaigning in here for your prejudices in respect to sexual (ooops, there you are going on about sex again !!) and other ideological politics, e.g., abortion, to warp the secular law in order to make society overtly hostile to anything not obedient to your indoctrinated views.

            It also seems to be that you’re incapable of comprehending the difference between denouncing sins and political campaigning.

            But I certainly do not want the law to be changed so far in the direction that you would wish that public religious freedoms would be effectively criminalised.

          • Phil R

            ” lady choosing to terminate a pregnancy with “homicide” and “murder” which is a brazen lie”

            Why? An unborn baby is alive and it is just as human as you. However, the fact is that one of them gets the protection of the law and the other doesn’t

          • Nawroz Hujabi

            The Truam holocaust:

            Abort a 6 weeks old embryo= a grave sin
            Starving a six weeks old baby to death= OK
            The church is thus ‘pro-life’.

          • Phil R

            “Starving a six weeks old baby to death= OK”

            No Church has ever condoned starving a child to death.

            I think you need to look no further than your “Atheist utopias” You can find plenty of evidence of mass murder for political expediency.

            100 million, 200 million?

          • Nawroz Hujabi

            Alas, dear mocking turtle, I fear you waste your words on old jabba. He cannot see the difference between an approach which genuinely doesn’t care less about what people get up to in private and one – his – that finds divine will in his pronouncements, which must set the legal order of the day and punish transgressors.

            If they weren’t dangerous, they could be mocked like chimps in a zoo. But we must be eternally vigilant: as you imply, they must NEVER be allowed anywhere near the levers of legislative and political power again. It was a long and difficult struggle to get their hands away from power, and I fear it will be a long and difficult one to keep them away.

            The price of failure will be many Truams.

    • LoveMeIamALiberal

      Religious people aren’t sex mad. In fact, if you bother to read the Bible, you’ll find there are relatively few references to sex. But because religious people believe in sexual morals that don’t accord with those of Western liberals, the latter accuse them of being sex mad; they’re projecting their obsessions onto those who take a different view.

    • Bik Byro

      Interesting that the profession that worries most about homosexuality seems to have the highest rate of homosexual child offenders in its ranks.

      • Nawroz Hujabi

        And, of course, entirely, utterly, and totally predictable.

        Repress it, and it becomes even more attractive, and the higher the temptation to abstain, the higher the sexual satisfaction, the more difficult to abstain. A vicious circle. The responsibility for tragic debauchery – and ensuing cover ups – at the expense of innocent victims which can be laid at the foot of religion is the biggest iceberg known.

        Not to mention the scope for hypocrisy.

        Statistically, there must be scores of sexual perverts preaching about morality on this site.

  • grutchyngfysch

    Couple of points: when talking about white Eurocentric privilege I’m extremely cautious about using the language of the left unless it’s clearly in the context of mockery. I do think there is a certain arrogance about Westerners, recognisable in liberals sure, but also I have found, from time to time, in my own attitudes. But I am not at all sure that I buy into either the language or ideology of those who came up with the obnoxious notion of “privilege” as a means of saying “you cannot have a view on this or that; nothing you can do can avoid the unshakeable taint which your origins have provided you with.”

    Likewise, while I understand the need to turn back some of the (infuriating) language used by “rights” campaigners, if only to preserve something of one’s sanity in the face of so much insanity, but again, I am cautious. When our argument is reduced to our opponents’ language it tends to be constrained by our opponents’ perspective.

    I think the core of what you started with: the (I assume) real-life testimony of the Gospel lived out; of lives transformed; appetites restored and sexuality restored to the God-ordained standard which we were created to enjoy is where we should resolutely stand. Part of the CofE’s problem, it seems to me, is that it has become endlessly caught up in others’ debates. Let’s take a leaf from Jesus’ Book and stick with a clear articulation of what we believe, affirm that it is the Truth, and disengage from having endless arguments using terms and assumptions that have no basis in that Truth. The Church needs to have the confidence to turn to agitators and say: I’m sorry, but that simply isn’t how we view things, and you know that – if you wish to continue, you will need to find another church.

    • Charitas Lydia

      I think Dr Gomes is deliberately using the language of ‘intersectionality’ and ‘victimhood’ to puncture Ozanne’s pretentious claims. In fact, it is good to give the Leftists a dose of their own medicine!

      • grutchyngfysch

        I understand that: goodness knows it’s a constant temptation to turn the inconsistencies of one’s opponents back on themselves. But I suppose I would say that subject matter here is rather too serious to be falling into using that language to score a cheap laugh from people who already agree with you.

        When we use that language: what are we saying? That we should in fact be concerned about “white privilege”? If we are mocking that’s all we are doing and it’s a poor substitute for a real argument. Not that the article is lacking them: as I said it starts very strongly. I just think we are shooting ourselves in the foot when we adopt the style and dress of our enemies.

        • Charitas Lydia

          Hmm… St Paul did something very similar in Athens and Corinth. I can see your point. But I do think there is a time and a place to show them the inherent self-contradiction in their language. Leftism is ultimately self-defeating and suicidal and we can demonstrate that I think it makes the point.

          • grutchyngfysch

            It is but it’s also incredibly influential and commands much of the terms of debate. But you’re right: I’m not saying it should be a hard and fast rule not to use the language; just to be very cautious about the implications of doing so in the long run.

          • Charitas Lydia

            Agreed completely. There is a real danger that conservatives adopt more than the mere rhetoric of the Left: we actually begin to believe in their nonsensical categories. Hence caution is advised.

    • BankyMons

      Well said! There is no controversy, Jesus Christ is Lord! We do not have to debate or provide evidence for our faith, Jesus Christ the word made flesh is our evidence! Praise the Lord amen.

  • Charitas Lydia

    Jayne should not call herself an evangelical Christian since one of the understandings of “evangelical” is that the person comes under the authority of the Bible. Jayne is not only promoting her LGBT agenda but also promoting a culture of death! She wants to deny a chance for those who are confused, desperate and need counselling about their sexual identity to receive help that they may live and flourish. It looks like she would rather have them not have any help and be driven to a painful and disastrous life, create trouble for themselves, others and society and be a burden on the tax payers and maybe join an increasing number of people who commit or attempt suicide. What sort of Evangelical Christian is Jayne? She is neither a Bible believing Christian nor a life-promoting nominal Christian. She is promoting death and nothing else. Shocking and disgusting!

  • JabbaPapa

    Homosexuality and transsexualism were removed as mental disorders purely due to political pressure and political lobbying from gays, and for no scientific reasons whatsoever.

    In the case of transsexualism, this is particularly poor, given that it is virtually common knowledge that such people nearly consistently suffer from blatant and overt psychological problems. To make it illegal to provide help for them to at least try and escape these conditions would be a violent sabotage of the very purposes of mental health care — not of course that the lefties promoting this policy of gross religious intolerance actually think that individual lives deserve saving.

    • Guglielmo Marinaro

      Homosexuality was originally classified as a mental disorder owing purely to the “politically correct” attitude of the era, not on any objective scientific basis.

      • JabbaPapa

        the “politically correct” attitude of the era

        crikey, is the latest lefty tactic going to be and redefine PC as somehow referring to classical thought and tradition ?

        Why not try reading Proust’s à la recherche du temps perdu which, apart from being a sublime literary masterpiece, is also a straightforward portrayal and denunciation of the various mental and social disorders inherent to the “gay lifestyle”.

        • Guglielmo Marinaro

          I doubt that the actual expression “political correctness” was around when homosexuality was first classified as a psychological disorder, but that phenomenon, no matter what it would have been called back then, was the cause of the classification, not any objective scientific criterion. As the late Hungarian-American psychiatrist Thomas S. Szasz summed it up, the psychiatrists had not discovered that homosexuality was a disorder; they simply decided to define it as one. The reason for eventually declassifying it was the realisation that there had been no scientific justification for the classification in the first place.

          There is no such thing as “THE gay lifestyle”. There are as many possible gay “lifestyles” to choose from as there are straight ones, and as with the latter, some of them undesirable.

          • JabbaPapa

            The expression “political correctness” refers to the notion that nobody should ever say anything that someone else might find “offensive” — to suggest this as the cause for the classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder is just plain old completely silly.

            Anyway, I have neither the time nor the appetite for a serious discussion of the question, particularly as these TCW threads are time-limited and we’d never even get past an introductory exchange.

            I agree in principle anyway that it’s a complex issue.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            One cannot deny the desirableness of any of these lifestyles to some people, but all gay lifestyles are destructive to both self and others. Both science and the Bible are together on this.

  • PierrePendre

    Some homosexuals are unhappy about their sexuality, others accept it without a qualm. I’d never heard of Ozanne until this article and discovered via Google that she campaigns for equal rights throughout the CoE for gay people. Logic is on her side just as it was when it disclosed the absurdity of ordinating woman priests but resisting them as bishops. Where Ozanne goes wrong is in not accepting that for some gays, their homosexuality is a source of trouble and that they are entitled to the same tolerance from happy gay people as the latter are from society in general. The triumphant gay lobby makes a mistake when it tries to crush all opposition.

    • JabbaPapa

      the absurdity of ordinating woman priests

      You should have finished your sentence there.