‘Gay children are bullied at school. Parents reject children on the basis of sexual orientation. Tragically, this much we might expect. ‘ So writes Stephen Platten Bishop of Wakefield in the Church Times, and he argues that his church has hardly even begun to listen to LGBT people, and that it needs to. And yes, this is a brave thing for a C of E bishop to say, and yes, it is too little and too late, and too irrelevant, if I can offer an inadequate account of Colin Coward’s critique at Changing Attitude.
So how did the church EVER get itself marooned here? Not where some church people still think gay sexuality is a sin and are willing to tear the church to bits over it, as though Jesus was well known for his attitude on the subject, and the main thrust of his ministry was to affirm heterosexual marriage, and public virtue. I understand that the church reflects society and some people still are homophobic. It is a pity, but the church needs to take them in so it can transform them.
No – when did it become dangerous for those who lead the church to debate freely? How did those are, in fact, a minority in the church, as they are in society, get such power that they can make it hard for bishops to speak out and remarkable when they do. It is great that Stephen Platten has the courage to speak, and utterly disgraceful that a bishop speaking out needs courage.
I can only think it is because of the passion with which certain people in the church announce that they are perfectly happy to ‘scream and scream and scream until they are sick… they can, you know.’
Well, we need to oppose this when and where ever we can. Anything else is to become complicit in the bullying of school children. And we need to make it perfectly plain we do NOT expect school children to be bullied, and rejecting your child because the child is gay is simply ludicrous. Not only immoral but laughable. We all need to make it plain that the tail cannot wag the dog.