Archive for January, 2016

Still Struggling.

Posted: January 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

I follow the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Facebook page.

Where his PR people, or he himself posts some quite nice statements. But still nagging in my mind is the treatment of the LGBTI people by the Church of England, in the latest statement from his Facebook page quoted here.

Holocaust Memorial Day compels us to confront the reality of our capacity to commit evil against one another. It is also a searing indictment of our collusion in the evil of others through our silence.

The theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is Don’t Stand by. It’s a call not just to remember, but to act. But in order to act, we must remember. Remembering enables us to see that the Holocaust did not happen suddenly and it did not happen through the acts of a few. It happened through the silent collaboration of the many.

It’s never been acceptable to claim that we don’t know because we can’t see. We cannot walk on by on the other side oblivious to the needs of our neighbours.

In the world we inhabit, the searchlight of an active media illuminates the dark recesses of the caricature, simplistic criticism and ridicule that leads inexorably to the dehumanising and degrading treatment of others. History shows clearly that, unopposed, this can lead to violent persecution and genocide.

But we’re not called to be passive observers and silent accomplices to discrimination.

We can take responsibility ourselves. Firstly, we need to admit our own culpability in not standing up for others. On this poignant day of reflection, let’s confess our own unwillingness to say and do what is right because we are fearful of what others might think of us.

Courage does not mean fearlessness, but faithfulness when fearful.

God calls us to do the right thing, even if we are in a minority of one. Jesus himself said: Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

We must also take responsibility for our children. In our homes and in our schools, we must encourage young people to stand up and to speak out against the everyday abuses of prejudice and discrimination in the street and the playground. Our syllabuses and assemblies should highlight the virtues of courage and faithfulness in those who have led by example historically and in our scriptures. Holocaust Memorial Day should be marked in every school in this country.

Finally, we must take responsibility for the substance of public discourse. Through social media and 24-hour news coverage, we have never had so much opportunity to stand up and speak out against those who would diminish others through caricature and cheap political point scoring.

We all need to show true leadership and integrity when given the power to shape the opinions of others. It’s incumbent upon those who take political office or those who have influence in the media, to speak up for the defenceless and the marginalised, and not to pander to popular prejudice.

Perhaps the most fitting tribute we can pay to those who died during the Holocaust is to not stand by silently colluding in the persecution, abuse and slaughter of others. The memory of the Holocaust dead cries out for our active defence of those who are vulnerable throughout the world, irrespective of their background or beliefs.

Don’t stand by. Speak up, speak out and let us not bear false witness through our silence and inaction.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Yet still the one group of people some Christians hate more than all others are the LGBTI people. Even though Jesus commanded us to love. I would say that in fact if it is LGBTI people, we are exempt from Christians standing up for us.

Although, I have to say the Church in Uganda managed to stop their being the death penalty for LGBTI people in that country but backed Prison for us. Instead being thrown in Prison for 14 years. Perhaps death may be a  better option.

So to add. If you are in the Church of England standing up for people like me is probably a bad idea. We are the new tax-collectors and sinners, worthy of death and this is the stance of a lot of the primates. They just can’t handle two people of the same sex actually expressing love for each other, despite the fact there has been a DADT policy in the Church of England for hundreds of years and I’m sure Gene was not actually the first gay person in the COfE to attain the level of Bishop. He was just the first one to admit it to the world. These views come from culture, they come from imported colonialist views.

To be honest I think it is only a matter of time before LGBTI people will be banished from the Church. In my experience, right wing Christians who hate everything but ignore the things they like, such as gluttony, will never admit they are wrong. This may be a negative view, but the church needs to keep the membership and money of it’s largest sector. This will mean the sacrifice of LGBTI people. But they have little choice. It is just going to take time.

What we have to understand is that some of the Primates view is that LGBTI people are criminals, that the punishments given out in African countries which include life in prison, death and other atrocities are in fact just. They justify it with scripture.

Remember, many LGBTI people died during the Holocaust along with the jews, many even  if they survived the concentration camps ended up in prison. There is no difference, the Jews are still persecuted, so are the LGBTI people.

The Church of England primates have chosen to sacrifice us on the altar of unity.

Perhaps these people have not learned anything from the Holocaust. As LGBTI people in Africa and around the world are still put to death and in prison for being different, but are we to blame?



Rant warning….rant begins in the next paragraph.

I’m sick of it. I’m sick of idiots pretending to be Christians and missing the fundamental message of Christ in the “Golden Commandments”. They call themselves fundamentalists, a title that is ironic in its very nature to describe them. A REAL Christian fundamentalist is someone who is fundamental about their love for Christ and their neighbour. It’s SIMPLE GOSPEL STUFF PEOPLE.

The son of Billy Graham telling Christians to keep Gay “satanists” away from their churches and children.

Well I can tell you Franklin, when you turn people away from your churches and from Christ you also turn Christ himself away.

For goodness sake, how far have you gone away from the Christ who loved all and died for all to being some sort of super saint with your huge bank account.

Don’t be fooled people, these are the people spoken about in the sheep and the goats passage quoted in my last post. People who are more worried about an empty form of worship than truth and love.

How is that loving your neighbour as yourself? For goodness sake, if all the LGBT people who hide in churches just trying to follow Christ left, guess what, you might find you have hardly any Choir or music group. You might find that some of the people you rely on in your church disappear.

LGBT people are not satanists. Those, you silly man, are people who worship satan. LGBTI Christians who attend churches are trying their best to follow Christ, it’s hard enough as it is, even in the Church of England. Where we are second class Christians even though some of us live alone and work hard for the Church.

Sorry to be scathing but anyone with any intelligence who read the gospels would see that Jesus spent all his time with people like us.

Perhaps Franklin you are gay yourself and you can’t cope with it.

End of Rant.

Love to All




The Church Speaks Out.

Posted: January 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

It seems to me that there are a lot of churches round the world now decrying the decision of the Archbishop to punish the Episcopalian church in the USA for welcoming and accepting LGBTI people.

As usual there is some quite nasty hatred from “Christians” on their Facebook page.

This has always confused me. From what I know of Jesus and the gospel there is no space for marginalising anyone based on their religion, sexuality, sex, colour of their skin or anything else.

I wonder how these people see the “Sheep and the Goats”.

Matthew 25:31-46 New International Version (NIV)

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

It seems our prime focus as Christian’s should never be hatred, but servitude and love. Just as our Lord.

Even the parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us that our neighbour is everyone, even the ones we despise, and Christians can be very good at despising.

However, Jesus, in this whole LGBTI debate has become a sad figure in the background, whilst Culture based bad theology rules the day. People who take odd verses that have awkward and unreliable translations and build a case for hatred.

But what about Marriage? surely Marriage between one woman and one man should be defended? Or should it? What right to straight people have the right to make rules for LGBTI people? Surely we should make it even, and allow the LGBTI community to make the rules for the straight people? If you make rules for other people, be prepared to live by those rules yourself. If you prevent LGBTI people from being in loving, long term relationships then don’t you dare have one yourself.

If you think Marriage is some kind of religious magic trick to solve the world’s problems. What a terrible mistake. It is a religious construct. It is a legal construct for the benefit of those getting married. There are some terrible marriages, they are terrible because those inside the marriage get no benefit except a legal one from them. Some marriages are abusive and some are just plain wrong. Marriage really doesn’t solve anything, it is, like baptism an outward sign of something that has already happened. Elevating it to anything more than that is simply stupid.

If God is so worried about marriage, how come there is no form of words for any kind of marriage service? He gave us a form of words for worship in the Psalms. He gave the Israelites a form of words for the festivals but completely ignored marriage.

Do you think that by telling LGBTI people they cannot be married you are going to stop them being in relationship? No. Ofcourse not. Do you think that providing a structure for a life long, committed relationship you will have a better society than if you push people’s love for one another underground, make it something “naughty” and “wrong”? No ofcourse not.

So before you hate LGBTI people, before you think they are not entitled to the same things you are, before you think “love your neighbour as yourself” does not apply to us. Why don’t you go sit with us, be like Jesus and feel our pain?

If you are a gay person who is of faith and hates yourself because of what you are. You are not alone. I have moments when I feel like that. But you are fearfully and wonderfully made. I know, I know that for years you’ve probably called yourself an abomination, just because those around you have. But I pray those lies will unstick and you  might find the wonderful person you are. The wonderful person God made you to be.

Gay marriage is not a new thing, it’s an old thing the Samurai, the Greeks, Romans and all kinds of cultures had long term loving relationships between people of the same sex. Only when the “Church” claimed marriage and made out it was something “Christian” did it all become so heavily defined.

There was a time when you could be married just by agreeing to be married. There was a time when to be married you would have to pay a dowry. There was a time when when you got married you had to leave your parents and go live with her parents. There was a time when there were slaves, and the Church of England voted against the abolition of slavery.

Sometimes what “looks right” in religion is not right. We have to stop trying to examine the scripture with our own culture but with the culture in which it was written. There is much evidence of same sex relationships.

Numerous examples of same sex unions among peers, not age-structured, are found in Ancient Greek writings. Famous Greek couples in same sex relationships include Harmodius and Aristogiton, Pelopidas and Epaminondas and Alexander and Bogoas. However, in none of these same sex unions is the Greek word for “marriage” ever mentioned. The Romans appear to have been the first to perform same sex marriages.

At least two of the Roman Emperors were in same-sex unions; and in fact, thirteen out of the first fourteen Roman Emperors held to be bisexual or exclusively homosexual.[24] The first Roman emperor to have married a man was Nero, who is reported to have married two other men on different occasions. First with one of his freedmanPythagoras, to whom Nero took the role of the bride, and later as a groom Nero married a young boy to replace his young teenage concubine whom he had killed [25] named Sporus in a very public ceremony… with all the solemnities of matrimony, and lived with him as his spouse. A friend gave the “bride” away “as required by law.” The marriage was celebrated separately in both Greece and Rome in extravagant public ceremonies.[26] The Child Emperor Elagabalus referred to his chariotdriver, a blond slave from Caria named Hierocles, as his husband.[27] He also married an athlete named Zoticus in a lavish public ceremony in Rome amidst the rejoicings of the citizens.[28] 

In North America, among the Native Americans societies, same-sex unions have taken place with persons known as Two-Spirittypes. These are individuals who fulfill one of many mixed gender roles in First Nations and Native American tribes. “In many tribes, individuals who entered into same-sex relationships were considered holy and treated with utmost respect and acceptance,” according to anthropologist Brian Gilley.[43]

Source: Wikipedia

Could it be that Marriage is not in fact the “god” of the Christian faith after all. But something made for man? Rather like the Sabbath.

People who say it’s always been one man and one woman, frankly, are being slightly silly.

The Reverend Sally Hitchiner has an answer that is breathtakingly audacious. “We can’t move forward until lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people forgive their oppressors. That is the big challenge facing the LGBT community. We are never going to reach Utopia until we all get there.” (Source)

An interesting thought Revd. But how long must the oppression go on?

More questions than answers.

Some thing else I’m pondering, how did the penguins get to Noah’s Ark?

Also, if you use Adam and Eve as a model for marriage why don’t you walk around naked like they did?

Just saying.



Really interesting article by a Gay vicar who is on the naughty list. I will talk more about that tomorrow.

Has the church’s same-sex marriage stance shaken my faith? Well, my faith in God remains strong, but my sense of loyalty to the church has been profoundly shaken. I find myself in an organisation I no longer recognise as just but I am not going to quit; that would give too much pleasure to the bigots and leave the Church to those who want to make it into a sect which rejects and hurts, rather than brings healing and peace.

Not forgetting the petition from yesterday. 


So, in the last few days:-

  • The Church of England has “punished” the Episcopalians for welcoming and affirming LGBT people.
  • Shortly afterwards, having hurt the LGBT people, the Archbishop had the audacity to apologise for doing so. (I’ve hurt you, I’m sorry, now I’m going to do it again).
  • Now the Church of England wants to change the date of Easter.

What is REALLY going on here?

The African church is actually the majority of the Church of England, in fact, the loss of income from these churches would seriously damage the income of the church, which, although is a “charity” has a number of rather lovely investments. It can make a profit, but it’s not taxed because it’s not a profit, it has a different name. So financially they can’t afford to let LGBT people have a loving, committed relationship if the African’s don’t like it.

By making a change to the date of Easter, the archbishop opens people to the idea that its OK to change things even if your tradition says no. I think actually you will see a lot of changes like this – things people can cope with.

Hopefully the Africans will then be more open to more beneficial changes. Meanwhile, we all have to wait 3 years at least for something to happen.

The local churches in the UK from what I can see, are also actually very welcoming to LGBT people, although they have to tow the party line and there could never be a formal recognition of a “gay partnership” in the church. (Unless you don’t have sex, then it’s fine, although I’m not sure how they would find that out? CCTV?).

I don’t think UK churches are taking any risk by welcoming LGBT people in a relationship or otherwise. Or are they? What if the punishment meted out on the Episcopalian church for affirming LGBT people was to point mooted out the the UK church as well.

The problem here is, perhaps the Archbishop has gone too far, he has basically said he approves of LGBT people being put to death and “punished” for their “sin” of being Gay, Trans, Bisexual or Transgender, although he did then apologise for any pain caused. So the struggle with the African churches is clear. All the while they have the money, they make the rules. (nothing new there!).

So where is the crunch point? Is there a point where the church can no longer handle the pain? Will the Church of England as a whole take a stand for what is right rather than what is cultural.

I did notice a few of the Bishops have quite a problem with gluttony.

So far in history what has made gay people straight?

  • Science – science despite some people swearing by it tried “Electroshock” therapy, lobotomies, insane asylums, psychology and other techniques that often left people as “vegetables” but failed to make them straight. What’s odd is that in nature, hundreds if not thousands of different species have LGBT behaviours. In any other sphere of science we would examine nature and say, “oh look, this happens in nature, that’s cool”. Put it like this – if you want to and try and fix some “gay lions” you help yourself, they may however, have you for breakfast first.
  • Religion – quite a number/most of the religious organisations such as Courage, Exodus etc have actually given up completely making people straight, there are quite a few “repentance” videos of people saying, “look, we tried it and it failed, in fact, we caused more harm than good”. Even people like me who got married to try and become straight because of religion, found themselves often very very unhappy, some suicidal. In fact trying to force someone to be straight because “God wants it” can result in someone taking their own life simply because they cannot confirm to the “straight” view of the world.
  • Law – even making it illegal to be LGBT has failed. For some reason people seem unable, even with the threat of the full weight of the law against them to “give up” love.

What concerns and upsets me more than anything is the simple fact that the Church of England’s approach of abusing the minority to keep the majority happy won’t actually fix anything. It will just maintain a status quo of division that lives deep under the cracks.

I will say, the odds are there are a whole load of LGBT Anglicans in Africa. But I expect they are in hiding.

Personally, I found Sunday pretty hard to be honest, it stopped feeling like home. But it got a lot easier with some really supportive comments. Not one person was negative, I did have one person say “Oh it’s great he apologised surely that must give you hope”. To which I replied that you don’t beat someone and the apologise and then beat them again, oh wait, if that happened in one of those amazing magical marriage things they keep going on about it’s called “Domestic Abuse”.

I will say that on Sunday I also felt pretty guilty. I felt guilty that I had not been punished when my brothers and sisters in the USA had. Like someone who escapes an accident with their life when someone else dies and then wonders why they were spared.

Where will this end up? I reckon it will backfire pretty badly for the Church of England. Oh, and if anyone finds the mythical “Gay Community” could you put me in touch. thanks.

Updates < interesting piece by Giles Fraser.  < Pink news talking about suspension of the Bishops in the Lords

So last night I had a meeting with the Vicar and a great friend of mine. Which to be honest left me in a quandary.

  • St John’s, my church I attend is so accepting it’s great, even with a well attended LGBT fellowship which I started 3 or so years ago that has a membership of around 10 regulars.
  • The upper echelons of the Church of England would probably be pretty upset to find out the group even existed or that in fact that St John’s is so welcoming to the LGBT community. (But it’s not just us)
  • I do not agree with the views of the Primates. I think, they are as the church was about slavery simply wrong on this one. Did you know the CofE voted for slavery to stay, and the used the Bible to back it up. Just as they voted against women being in leadership, and used the Bible to back it up. Here we are again.
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury decided to say he was sorry about the hurt caused to the LGBT community
    • There is no such thing as the “LGBT Community”, it would have been better if he had said those people who are LGBT, we are not an organised conglomerate. It shows that he does not recognise us as people but thinks of us as some kind of organisation.
    • There is no such thing as the LGBT agenda. It was invented by the Right wing church to make out that all LGBT  people wanted to take over the world – which we don’t, we just want to exist, to be accepted.
    • How can you hurt someone and then apologise as if the hurt has not happened, knowing you will go on hurting those who you have hurt. Yes, Jesus I know we have to forgive 70×7 but it’s pretty hard going.

Leaving the church makes a statement, it says I cannot exist in this environment. But at St Johns I am thriving, I love playing in the band, leading worship occasionally, being involved with Street Angels and the other things I do in the church. That would all be gone. St Johns is home, but there is the nagging feeling that I am the naughty child, not caused by St Johns but the attitude of those above me, the fear that one day I may be thrown out of the church along with my LGBT brothers and sisters. If that happens, it happens, maybe I’ll just start another church.

So I have decided to stay and fight from the inside. Even though it probably means more pain and rejection by the primates and the “establishment” of the church. If as LGBT people we can show that actually, we are no different from anyone else we just love the same gender.

I think, to be honest most Anglicans in this country are more Episcopalian, I know another COFE church locally who welcomes LGBT people.

The thing is, and this bothers me, that the Vicar and those who support us stand by us may be subject to the same kind of rejection, it may come to our church being “excommunicated” in the same way the Episcopalian.

The UK church of England has operated a don’t ask don’t tell policy for hundreds of years in fact. In any congregation there are LGBT people. They are there, but some of them are just good at hiding.

Yes, it would be easier to walk away. But whatever I do it’s going to be painful, if I walk away I lose my family, if I stay I have to endure the pain of knowing that to be a “proper Anglican” I have to remain single and alone. To be honest, if I met someone I would go ahead and be with them. I know St John’s wouldn’t have a problem.

The Christian life is based in pain, the pain of the one whom the religious leaders rejected, who was hung on a Roman cross for us. I find a lot of similarities with Christ and LGBT people at this time, but it’s not just us, divorced people often feel the same, single people often feel that the church is aimed at families, even though Paul the apostle said it was better to be single.

I have to do the bigger thing, I have to stay. But it scares me. So St John’s if you want me I’m still here.

I spoke to a vicar friend of mine yesterday, he said “I was sad, then I was angry”, I said “that’s funny, I was angry then I was sad”.

Church rejects, Jesus loves you so much, if you come to St John’s you’ll be part of our family. Come and join the other church rejects.

Alan and Keith, thanks. St John’s, thanks for being my family. Archbishop, primates, go read your bible and find out who Jesus is.


Update (already!) – Some churches are now giving vocal support to the Episcopalians. < Canadian Church Response – Diocese of New York response – Article on the Danger of Disembodied Theology. – A bit tongue in cheek but makes a good point.

Dear Church of England

Posted: January 15, 2016 in Opinion


The US Episcopal Church is to be barred from Anglican decision-making bodies over its stance on same-sex marriage and homosexuality, bishops say.

It means the Church will be suspended from participating in the life and work of the Anglican communion.

The decision was made by senior Anglican clergy at what was described as a “really tough” meeting, held in Canterbury, to heal Church rifts.

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said it “will bring real pain”.

The decision dates back to the ordination of openly gay Canon Gene Robinson as a bishop of the Episcopal Church’s New Hampshire diocese in 2003 – a move that divided the global Anglican communion.

Since I have found Christ I have desired to serve him with all my heart, when I was younger, I was told that I could change my sexuality and become straight by getting married, which I did, you told me that, you told me that I could change how I felt. But the whole thing was a lie that ended in a painful break up.

I have not taken communion for years and frankly I struggle to even see that I could be a Christian sometimes, it seems Christ has now become out of reach. It’s no wonder that so many LGBTI people walk away from the faith. Or never even find Christ, your demand that we become straight is just too much. It is like a blind man gaining his sight, it is like a man born deaf being able to hear.

You only want perfect people in your perfect church. Well, I for one have had enough. I don’t think that church is a place for LGBT people. I am tired of being beaten up by your decisions, when you have not even sat with me to talk things through. You do not love LGBT people and don’t say you do, you use us, and then you throw us away. For years I have served you faithfully in music and doing everything, but still you won’t let me just be myself, you want me to be something I’m not, frankly I can’t do it.

I want to say though that St John’s has become home for me, I love the people and the church and this is nothing to do with them. In a sense it’s hard to work out what to do, but I obviously cannot be in any form of leadership within the church. I cannot risk St John’s going through the same fate as the Episcopalians because of me.

So it’s a sad goodbye from me.

I guess I won’t be going to church any longer.

I’ll get my coat and walk away with a broken heart again.

I am Episcopalian.


Update…got a meeting with the Vicar later. Please pray. Feeling very very sad right now. 

Interesting discussion on LBC Radio about this issue, basically the view that The Archbishop has sided with the bullies rather than those that have been bullied to protect the Christians who would be persecuted if they sided with the Episcopalians.

Is the solution to side with bullies for the safety of the bullied? Thinking that by supporting those who persecute LGBT people in the name of Christ it is some how going to convey the love of Christ to those who he died for?

I think the Archbishop and the Anglican church have a hugely difficult position. I don’t feel actually they’ve taken the right one, but the one that pleases the people. It reminds me of the trial of Christ. When the trial was decided simply to please the people. I am on trial with the Episcopalian church, I have been tried and found guilty. at a trial I could not attend.

Not forgetting ofcourse the Church of England was started basically so that Henry the 8th could get a divorce.

Update 2

Basically the reaction of the LGBT media is simply to tell us how bad the Church of England is

Unfortunately this gives the message to LGBT people they are not welcome in the church of England, the Episcopalian church has made a statement too. 

“Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all. While I understand that many disagree with us, our decision regarding marriage is based on the belief that the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians are true for the church today: All who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for all are one in Christ.”

Well, that’s the kind of Church I would love to be part of. One of my comments on Facebook was that it’s like accepted at a local level and despised at another level. That’s the way it feels. I must stand by my convictions but I don’t want to withdraw from the church I love, but how can I be part of something, who in the upper levels does not accept me?

What would Jesus do?

The Guardian has also posted an interesting Article with an MP resigning from the Church.