Sunday, 29 May 2011

Colin Coward on Sunday

I thought Colin Coward did an excellent job on the Sunday programme this morning ( relevant bit starts about 35 minutes into the programme.) Having said that, I truly am getting ticked off by Anglican Mainstream's depressingly predictable attempts to  link gay people to an agenda to attack marriage and advocate promiscuity. They really do need to be challenged for these kind of slurs.


  1. Sites like Anglican Mainstream, Chelmsford Fellowship of Confessing Analicals & The C.I. etc. are basically carrying the baton on from Goebbels - the architect of Nazi propaganda. There is something unwholesome about websites obsessed with homosexuality. I’ve not made allusions to the Nazis without good reason, because these ‘Christians’ share something in common with fascist ideology. They are seeking ‘easy’ answers to complex problems; put more succinctly, they are looking for objects of blame that play on widely held prejudices, in an attempt to regain support and position in society.

    The problem is that the bulk of people in England don’t care about congregational Christianity. In fact this is not a new phenomenon, census and church records tells us that even in the 19th century, church attendance has never surpassed the 50%. But in the past practicing Christians may have been a minority yet they still wielded considerable social and political power. They no longer do so – and this smarts.

    There have been many strategies to get more bums on seats – but moreover for clergy to once more have the respect and place in society they think they deserve. Liberalism and alignment with left-wing politics was a favourite through the 60s until the 80s. In the main, this failed – it alienated the reactionary political element, the one most likely to provide Christians with access to power – and was often veiled in inaccessible intellectualism that in turn alienated the bulk of everyday people, who wanted church to be about cultural religion rather than sermons that could have been written by a columnist in the New Statesman.

    Thatcher’s children are now middle-aged and like many reactionary conservatives (purposeful small ‘c’) see their identity in a past that never existed. The more pragmatic in their number know this to be true, but truth is not something they are interested in. Their main goal is to once more gain and wield social and political power. They want people to sit up and listen to them – society would be better if they had some control over its beliefs and practice – tho’ in fact society is far fairer and socially moral, than it ever was under more overt Christian rule, but where propaganda is concerned, no one is really interested in ‘truth’; the battleground is perception – and that is where the danger lies. Hence the need (as it was with the Nazis) to paint a picture of an idealised past that has been spoiled by deviant element in society – and that if this element could be removed or censured, the Halcyon Era could once more be the property of the masses – or at least the ‘Elect’. What is seen as the Great Evil, in this worldview is intellectual and political liberalism. The best means of demonstrating its failings is by the use of syllogisms and an appeal to popular prejudice.

    One thing is certain and that is Christian doctrine here is serving an ideological purpose. I am reminded of the example of Al-Wahhab (1703/4–1792), the architect of Wahhabite Islam. His understanding of Islam (which bears uncanny resemblances to Evangelicalism) was rejected by many in Najd region of the Arabian Peninsula. However opportunity came in the shape of Ibn Saud – a tribal leader looking to expand his territory and power. Saud did listen to Wahhab and then used his take on Islam as an excuse to war with his neighbours: a letter was sent to a rival leader telling him to mend his ways and follow Wahhabism, the ‘true’ Islam. The tribal leader ignored the letter and then Saud attacked ‘in the name of Islam’. Anglican Mainstream etc. are doing something similar. Sure, I presume they convince themselves they are doing it for God; but they are just Sauds, in another guise, wanting to get their bony fingers on a little power – it is little more than righteous factionalism, which plays on ancient prejudices and hatreds. For that reason they more to be pitied than anything else – but also feared; they will, in the long run, do nothing but harm.

  2. There is a distinction between those who are simply tempted to read ANGLICAN MAINSTREAM and those who actually practice it. The former is a curable state of mind; the latter is a heinous and unforgivable sin.

  3. I so agree with you about this. Colin Coward has published a really good article today on the Changing Attitude site. Anglican Mainstream are disgraceful in the way they use manipulative language to slur gay people and the people who love them. Unfortunately they have influential and vocal supporters quite as homophobic as they are.

  4. I heard then programme this morning and wonder how the Rev Lynda Rose could with a straight face call out Colin on his suitability to be a priest "when he disobeys scripture" without realising the irony of the fact that she as a woman is disobeying the Pauline injunction that women be silent in church and assume positions of leadership.

  5. Hi Tom,
    Yes, I thought that - and she is the first to claim it is not acceptable people "pick and choose" from the bible to suit themselves... There doesn't seem to be a lot of rationality.