Thursday, 17 May 2012

Hop Against Homophobia: Welcome to my consulting room, Mr Bigot.

Welcome to my Hop Against Homophobia post. Please take off your shoes, leave your self-righteous anger and prejudices at the door - there's a peg over there - and step inside Sue's world. Why don't we spend a few minutes looking at why my faith is being battered from the inside thanks to an increase in homophobia from my church leaders.




I am a M/M romance writer. I am bisexual. I am Christian. Hear me roar!

Up to fairly recently, each of these aspects of my life have jogged along side-by-side, sometimes overlapping. My sexuality and my religion has affected my books. I write about the effect of a married man unable or unwilling to cope with a gay relationship in Nothing Ever Happens and the destructive effect of religious homophobia in Morning Report and Compete Faith.

I am used to dealing with some atheists dismissing the 'sky fairy' and calling Christians irrational and insane. I am used to some gay people's hatred of all Christians. A perusal of any of the religious posts in Pink News will give you an indication of the attitudes towards Christians. It hasn't mattered. My faith was secure - until recently. Now I feel bruised and battered by my own church because I have one simple belief.

Marriage is for all
Not gay marriage. Not straight marriage. Marriage.




How I laughed (I am being sarcastic you understand) at the behaviour of the Christian Right in America. At their oft-repeated "God said... marriage is between a man and a woman." God also said a whole lot of other things. You ignore those. Do I really have to waste my time spelling them out again? 

But I honestly thought my church in the UK was more evolved than that. After all, the Anglican church managed the ordination of women as priests and that isn't in the Bible. Hah! The second our Government starts looking at civil marriage equality proposals our church leaders start displaying homophobic behaviour worthy of the fundies. 

EDIT because I saw this today: 

"Dr Sentamu argues, it is not appropriate for the state to change social attitudes, “reassure” or meet the “emotional needs” of citizens; it should only “remedy injustice” if it is operating discriminatory systems."

Gay marriage: Roman Catholic archbishops step up fight

"Last week Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, said the 
"grotesque" plans would "shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world" if implemented"

"the Church has been bitterly divided over the role of its homosexual clergy, he said it held a clear position that marriage is between a man and a woman and would not consider changing this stance."

So we have the Catholic church encouraging school children to join their campaign against equal marriage, church leaders declaring the sanctity of marriage is undermined, and that Christians are being bullied into accepting equal marriage legislation. 

Eh? Bullied? Please tell me where the Government is enforcing its rule on the Church?

I am an Anglican, and we managed to change the rules so that women could become priests. However, any parish or bishop that does not want a woman priest is not forced to accept them. Equal marriage legislation is for civil ceremonies, not church ceremonies so please explain to me how it affects the church, how it is grotesque?

Is this homophobia? After all, the Church would say they are not being irrational - their prejudices are led by the Bible. These days isn't the over-used and misunderstood phrase hate the sin, love the sinner? Yeah, that's bollocks too.

Well yes. It is homophobia. And worse, perpetrated by church leaders who have a chance to show what inclusiveness actually means. What happens to love thy neighbour? Love thy neighbour, unless they are gay?

In my eyes, the greatest commandment has got lost in the need to stagnate. You can pander to a dying belief, or you can be brave and stand up for ALL your flock. Not just the sheep at the back.

http://equallove.org.uk/

Leave a comment (on my blog) for either Nothing Ever Happens or Morning Report or Complete Faith. Run back to look at the other hoppers




EDIT! Blogger is being a pain and letting me reply to one comment an hour. I will respond though.



56 comments:

  1. Very good post Sue... I abhor the way religion or religious belief is used as an excuse to propagate any kind of hate; be it homophobia, right of choice for woman, or war.

    Hugs

    RJ X

    I love the term sky fairy... just saying...

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    1. I hate the term sky fairy, but I can see the irony.

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    1. Thank you. Not profound but meant from the heart.

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  3. From the ardent depths of a Roman Catholic-Anglican relationship there seems no place to turn for enlightenment or freedom from religious dogma. Dogma breeds blind faith. Time for all who call themselves Christians to return to a pre-Pauline time of simple Christianity and so purge all the hatred of the strange. Indeed, well said, Sue.

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    1. My priest used to say preachers could do with a little more theology and a little less faith. As an ex-theology student I agree.

      I too have my issues with St. Paul.

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  4. Awesome post Sue, not here to enter just to tell you I loved it. :)

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  5. Great post, Sue. I'm Christian and I support equality for everyone no matter their sexual orientation. Everyone should be extended the right to marry whoever they want. :)

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    1. That should have read "I'm a Christian". Clearly I'm getting a little tired and not making sure things read clearly.

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    2. Yay, another like-minded Christian. That makes two of us *g*

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  6. Very good points, Sue. God's supposed to be love and it's horrible how much hate is spewed in His name.

    Have you filled in the Marriage Equality consultation form yet? I haven't seen many adverts for it, have you?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the link. I went and filled it out.

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  7. Fantastic to wake up and read this, Sue. It amazes me that some of the same arguments that have been used in the past by the church to defend bigotry against women, against people of another race, against interracial marriages are being trotted out and dusted off and used to shout down the idea of marriage equality. I talked about how religion has beaten me down in my hop post, but I think you did a beautiful job of countering their arguments.

    Love this <3 Thank you for taking the time to write this out. You're amazing.

    -Alex

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    1. It's something I feel so strongly about, Alex. I'm so disappointed in the backwards step my Church is taking, when we had moved so far forward.

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  8. Just wanted to let you know that I think this was an awesome post Sue!

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  9. Im catholic and I definitely dont approve the way the church has handled this whole thing. That being said, my own church has been wonderful. They even state in their bulletin how they will accept anyone, regardless, of race, creed or sexuality. There are several families who are gay who come to church and no one blasts them when they are there. I like to think it may start small scale but one day will broaden to encompass all.

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    1. My old priest was like that, totally inclusive. The church... not so sure. I'm so glad you have an inclusive church.

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  10. I'm not Christian but I still liked your post :)

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  11. I loved your post and I agree whole heartily.

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad for the support. *hugs*

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  12. It saddens me to see such hatred and discrimination across the globe. You want to talk about hatred? I hate that some of my friends can't get married. How effed up is our society going to get?

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    1. I firmly believe that it will change and get better. But only if people stand up and be counted against the haters.

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  13. I am a Christian, an ordained minister, and an LGBT writer. Love should always triumph over hate and I believe it always will.

    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

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  14. I think for the most part, religion is used as an excuse to rationalize bigotry. This isn't the first time that's happened, either.

    dephalqu@yahoo.com

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  15. I'm not religious myself, but I can recognize that faith is a powerful thing, and it can be such a positive force for people. It just kills me how so many prominent and powerful people of faith continue to twist religion into this horrible thing for their own selfish, often bigoted means.

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  16. In my opinion the bible is just used as an excuse. We don't have the original version and with every translation something is lost and will never be back. Why can't people just let other people live and love the way they want?

    dannyfiredragon@aol.com

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    1. My priest used to say preachers need a little less faith and a lot more theology. Then they'd realise this.

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  17. Yay you! The Bible and the Gospels are the most misquoted books in religion! ;-)
    Best
    Barb

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  18. I think your post hit on one of the stickiest issues in all this. It's so easy to just fall back on "the bible says" and never open your mind up beyond that. Great post!

    Joyfullyjay@gmail.com

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  19. Thank you for sharing this with us today

    musings-of-a-bookworm@hotmail.co.uk

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  20. Thank you for blog hopping!

    :)

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  21. I am Christian and I believe in marriage equality. I hate when bigots cherry pick passages from the Bible to justify their bullying. They aren't fooling anyone.

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

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  22. Your post was wonderful. Thanks.
    Yvette
    yratpatrol@aol.com

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  23. Hi Sue
    Hear! Hear! I am a fellow m/m writer and also a Christian. I agree wil all you say. The most important commandment of love gets thrown out the window when it comes to gay people's rights especially by "fellow" Christians. I have gay friends and family and wouldn't have them any other way. They're perfect, just the way they are.
    vonalogan@gmail.com

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  24. Great post Sue...abrazos y besos!
    melita332002@yahoo.com

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  25. I have all your wonderful books but wanted to leave a comment anyway saying thank you for posting. I twas a great adition to the hop.

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  26. Thanks for participating in the hop. This is a great cause that I pray one day will not be needed.

    forettarose@yahoo.com

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  27. I'm pretty sure you already now my feelings and thoughts on this. But that was a very eloquently put post.

    Caroline

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  28. wonderful post :) thanks for sharing

    raynman1979 at yahoo dot com

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  29. Great post. Thanks for participating in the HOP.

    gisu29(at)gmail(dot)com

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  30. As a Christian, I so utterly agree with you!! We should start a group for GLBTQ/Same-Sex Marriage-friendly Christians - I am sooo fed up with the media stating that all Christians are against it. Well we're most certainly not! Some of us are very much for it, and long for same-sex marriage and equality to be really here in truth. Bring it on!

    Anne
    xxx
    albrookeATmeDOTcom

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  31. I stopped going to church years ago and every time I hear about something like this I am thankful that I no longer attend.

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  32. Thank you for this post. It's very interesting to see where the UK stands and the church.

    "Love thy neighbour, unless they are gay?" This is it, exactly. Christianity should be about spreading love and acceptance, not hatred and bigotry.

    Erica
    eripike at gmail dot com

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  33. Interesting to hear you have some of the same loud-mouthed idiots in the UK that we have in the US. I will have to quit referring to them all as redneck know-nothings.

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  34. Well said. I'm a Brit too so I know exactly what you're talking about. Sometimes it seems like one step forward, three backward.

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  35. Great post!

    rhondaw1965(@)yahoo(.)com

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  36. Wonderful post. I think sometimes people don't even bother to find out what certain legislation means and how it will effect them, especially when it involves "controversial" issues, such as gay marriage.

    ashley.vanburen[at]gmail[dot]com

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  37. Thanks for participating in this great hop. I'm enjoying all the posts.

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

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  38. I love you saying its not gay marriage it is just marriage! So true!
    OceanAkers@aol.com

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  39. Great post. You are so right!

    Michelle V
    romanceinreview(at)gmail(dot)com

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  40. To me, homophobia is an excuse. An excuse to not acknowledge that something *IS* because it was meant to be. I'm going to use me as an example, not an example of me being homophobic but an example of what I did when I encounter homosexualism. While growing up I never heard the word gay in my house thus I started middle school not even knowing what a gay person was. I heard the other boys call a boy in my class a *faggot* amongst other things and I had no idea what they were saying. Through the years and even after I knew what the word meant I didn't know anyone who was openly gay so it was never in my mind. Once my oldest daughter came to me and told me she was gay, even though I was scare at first, the first thing I did was research. Years later I'm still reading about and coming up with the most interesting things all the time, some very good, some, well... ignorant. Like the Phelps family and their cult followers. There is a word for these type of people, and sorry, it is NOT ignorant. They are just Sociopaths who don't like anything that does not conform to their beliefs. There are too many people who CHOOSE to be their puppets, unfortunately. Here's a couple of interesting things for you to share with your readers. The first one is a test done by a panel of psychologists on homophobia... http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-big-questions/201106/homophobic-men-most-aroused-gay-male-porn

    The second is a very interesting read for those who are believers... I'm not a believer but still find it quite interesting... www.paulonhomosexuality.com (I wonder what the archbishop would say to put a damper on these discoveries!)
    Enjoy and thanks for participating in Hop and sharing your views with us!!!
    Sandra Rush
    taina1959@yahoo.com
    http://enchantedrosegarden.blogspot.com

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