I was interviewed on the BBC R4 Sunday programme about the “Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!” advertising which Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues Trust had planned for London buses. Lynda Rose from Mainstream and Mike Davidson from Core Issues had been invited to present the conservative evangelical argument. At the end of the discussion I felt more upset than I have ever felt at the end of an interview. I think there were two reasons.
Mike Davidson calmly stated that all the qualitative scientific evidence demonstrates that people are not born gay. This is simply not true. The reverse is the case, and thank goodness Jane Little who conducted the interview had the evidence in front of her to challenge Mike’s statement. What upset me was that yet again, arrogant conservative evangelicals were challenging and threatening the core of my being. I know who I am on the inside, and every time they make a false statement about my identity, I wish I could tell them there is no more proof that either of them were born heterosexual.
But even more upsetting was that I was interrupted three times in the short interview by Lynda Rose and Mike Davidson, on each occasion just after I had begun to reply to a question. It was as if they couldn’t even allow me the space to present an alternative idea. I had to be mugged and threatened even before the words were out of my mouth. These are people who are used to abusing others, so arrogant that they can countenance no Christian opinion other than their own.
Anglican Mainstream is likes to issue threats. Canon Chris Sugden threatened to sue Rupert Schott, the author of a biography of the Archbishop of Canterbury, unless he revised a section of text when the book was issued in paperback.
The Independent reported on Friday that Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues have instructed Aughton Ainsworth, a Manchester-based law firm, to issue legal proceedings against both Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London and CBS Outdoor. Tom Ellis, instructed to represent the two groups told The Independent that he believed “there is clearly a legal claim for breach of contract and possible breach of my clients’ article nine and ten rights.”
Allan Craig from Anglican Mainstream said: “We’re going to throw the book at [Boris]. To have Boris’ jackboot stamp down on legitimate debate is ludicrous.”
I might agree with their argument about freedom of speech, but what makes me object to the very idea of their advertising campaign is the claim that some people are not gay but ex-gay and post gay. Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues Trust are not arguing for a listening process in the Church of England, which is a genuine conversation open to the Spirit, willing to be guided to whatever new insights are opened up. They have closed minds. They are not asking for the freedom for those ‘troubled by their sexuality’ to be able to counseled out of their ‘false homosexual identity’. They want the entire Church to adopt an anti-gay policy.
Mike gave their game away in the interview – scientific evidence demonstrates people are not born gay, he said. Anglican Mainstream’s final solution echoes the Nazi’s – note Allan Craig’s reference to Boris’ jackboot. In the Mainstream Church gays can be eliminated.
Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues Trust believe that homosexuality is an abomination (Leviticus 20.13) and any man having intercourse with a man as with a woman must be put to death. They don’t carry out the instruction to kill, of course, but the danger of their homophobic campaign is that they kill the spirit of gay people. They believe homosexuality is a condition that can be healed because it’s a sickness, a perversion of God’s creation.
The majority of people in the UK and the majority of Christians in this country no longer see homosexuality as an abomination or a sickness. People have friends, family members and colleagues who are lesbian and gay, bisexual and transgendered, and know from personal experience that we are all members of the same human family.
The decision by Boris Johnson to ban the advert followed by Core Issues and Anglican Mainstream’s decision to take legal action has created a huge amount of publicity. Mainstream will of course claim that they represent mainstream Christian and Anglican teaching and opinion. British society has decided that this ‘orthodox traditional’ Christian teaching is offensive and intolerant, distasteful and divisive.
Excerpts from the Core Issues Trust Web Site
“This is an online learning community for Christian men and women emerging from homosexual problems who seek to live according to Biblical standards and in fellowship with the church. The site is also a place to assist those who support such individuals with these goals, who believe changeis possible.The site distinguishes between non-gay homosexual (men and women with homosexual problems) and those who choose to identify as ‘Gay’ who embrace this lifestyle.”
A quotation from Elizabeth Moberly’s book, Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic
“To stop being a homosexual means to stop being a person with same-sex psychological deficits. This can only happen through the fulfilment of such needs and the resolution of any barriers to such fulfilment. Conversely it must be understood very clearly that to thwart the fulfilment of such needs implies that the person is forced to remain homosexual. A non-practising homosexual is still a homosexual. Sexual activity may not be appropriate to the outworking of the solution, but sexual abstinence of itself does not begin to meet the problem of the underlying deficits. Only the non-sexual fulfilment of same-sex needs may do this.”
Being homosexual does not mean being gay…
“Today, new studies place the homoerotic drive in better perspective by showing us that it originates from the search for health and wholeness. Many homosexuals are attracted to other men and their maleness because they are striving to complete their own gender identification. From this perspective, we now better understand the nature of the homosexual person’s struggle. And with this understanding, we can offer more than tolerance, but–for those who seek it–hope for healing. More than civil rights, we can offer a way toward wholeness…
… the word “homosexual” is used in this book as convenient shorthand to denote “the man with the homosexual problem.” It must always be borne in mind that no man’s personhood can be reduced to a simple sexual identity”.
Interview begins at 34.30 in: