“The Anglican church would rather pander to bigots than fight homophobia”

From Monday’s Guardian,

Too big a tent

Rowan Williams preaches tolerance, but the Anglican church would rather pander to bigots than fight homophobia

As the Lambeth conference in Canterbury was drawing to a close, Michael Causer died. He was not an Anglican bishop, but an 18-year-old hairdresser, a popular lad described by his family as “definitely a ‘people’s person’. Our world will never be the same without him.” He was the victim of a homophobic attack.

In other countries too, during the conference, virulent hatred of gays and lesbians continued to take its toll – sometimes in spectacular fashion. A gunman in Tennessee shot two people dead during a children’s performance in a Unitarian church he thought too “liberal” before being overpowered. A Ugandan gay and lesbian rights activist was kidnapped by police in Kampala and tortured. A wave of homophobia swept Indonesian capital Jakarta, and arrests were reported.

In many countries, repressive laws fuel bigotry. All too often in schools and workplaces, temples and churches worldwide, people learn to hate or despise lesbians and gays. To Christians, this is tragic, not just for the victims: those who do not love their neighbour are spiritually dead. Yet talk among Anglican Communion leaders about homosexuality seemed oddly disconnected from the world in which most of us live, and the challenge to make it more just and loving.

Every decade or so, the Lambeth conference has urged bishops to champion human rights for all and enter into dialogue with the gay and lesbian community. But this has been widely ignored: blessing same-sex couples is apparently a far greater offence than allying with repressive governments to hunt them down.

Read the rest here.

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3 comments

  1. The hatred and fear fueled by organized religion is simply repugnant. Religion should uplift, not tear down.

    This is really a shame.

  2. This is very scary. I don’t blame the full load of this on organized religion, though. There is plenty of this hate crime going on from kids who haven’t been in church but for a few times they were forced to go by their parents. I think a lot of it has to do with the macho attitude that many men have who think that somehow their virility is threatened by gays. It a dirty part of human nature that continues to rear it’s ugly head. Remember, Hitler threw gays in the concentration camps right along with the Jews and Christians and in Communist China, gays are also executed…this is in an atheist country.

    I agree with D’Cup, religion should uplift and not tear down, but the discrimination of gays won’t disappear until society as a whole can accept it. I can only pray that this will come very soon.

  3. I thought the conference unfortunate. I have just left the Roman Catholic faith largely over issues of homosexuality as well as others. I cannot abide calling people “disordered” and condemning them to a life of celibacy in order to keep the Church on message based on outdated interpretations of scripture. But in putting on my new Epicopalian clothes, I find the issue is alas far from settled here either. I am saddened to say the least, although heartened that the American Episcopals largely continue on a sane path of inclusion.

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