“The legality of the Bible in English, at least in uncensored form, is now at its most precarious since the reign of Mary I (1553-1558).”
So begins the entry for June 28th, 2009 on the blog of Julian Mann, Vicar of the Church of the Ascension Oughtibridge in the Diocese of Sheffield cranmercurate.blogspot.
Why does a member of Reform who presumably claims to be upholding Christian values and teaching begin his blog with an outright and deliberately malicious lie? His claim is scandalous and a further example of the deliberate lies told repeatedly by those who wish to get their own way in the church by any means possible.
The reason for Mr Mann’s lie? He claims that “it is difficult to foresee how elected politicians would be motivated to support the uncensored availability of biblical statements such as St Paul’s in Romans 1.” He then quotes verses 26-27 – King James Version of course.
He goes on to make another malicious claim: that Stonewall will influence the State to censor the Bible by only allowing a Stonewall approved version of the Bible to be sold in retail outlets with the offensive passages excised.
Stonewall is a good deal more adult and mature than Mr Mann. Stonewall has a carefully considered strategy to promote legislation to protect LGBT people and it does not include censorship of the Bible. Mr Mann’s blog is barely worth commenting on except it IS a malicious lie and it comes form a strand of Christianity which is prejudiced and judgmental.
Worst of all for a priest who claims (presumably) to be Bible-based, Mr Mann quotes the verses out of context and thus loses the whole point of St Paul’s extended argument, which is turned against people like Mr Mann and those in Anglican Mainstream who re-posted his blog. Of course they quote selectively – St Paul is not advocating what they claim.
The Bible is not going to be censored by the next Government, Labour or Conservative. If it were, I could think of other passages worthy of censorship (the murder of Sisera by Jael comes to mind).
Mr Mann fears that support, particularly amongst younger voters, is likely to be de rigueur for the suppression of views that are perceived to be ‘homophobic’. Mr Mann’s views ARE homophobic and he would like freedom to preach and teach them. Proposed legislation will protect LGBT people from the narrow band of Christians who claim the freedom to preach intolerance and evil against minority groups.
Please don’t lie, Mr Mann, when trying to make your case against homosexuality.