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?


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