There’s so much going on in the UK at the moment, i.e. June and July 2017. A lot of it involves the Christian religion, politics and gay issues, and I wish I had time to give a more detailed analysis of what’s going on – from the Zingcreed perspective you might say; but I’ve got a large vegetable garden (an allotment) to run, and that is extremely time-consuming in the growing season. One could list the headlines under ‘good’ and ‘bad’ headings. But if you want that you can do it yourself.
Here’s a taster: socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn nearly won the General Election. Even though his political agenda is closer to Christian teachings than any previous contender for the post of Prime Minister, the Christians on the Left (CotL) website gave him no support at all. Andy Flanagan, explain yourself!
Corbyn would not call himself a Christian, but one party leader who does call himself one is the leader of the Liberal Democrat party, whose share of the vote rose from 9 seats to 12. Naturally the press wanted to know how he reconciled belonging to a socially conservative evangelical church with the leadership of a socially liberal party: specifically did he think homosexuality was sinful? Fair question. After a series of unclear ambiguous statements the man resigned, saying leading the party was incompatible with his Christian values. He even had the nerve to call his questioners illiberal, when it looks like he was the one with illiberal feelings towards gays.
[Meanwhile the Irish election brought in an openly gay PM. Amazing. Perhaps Irish Catholics are more tolerant than I imagined?! One wit asked what would happen if he went on a state visit to Africa: would he be stoned? I suppose that might depend on whether there were many Anglicans in the welcoming party.]
In England this week for the first time ever two openly gay Moslem men got married. They have not had an easy ride. According to Maajid Nawaaz’s LBC radio slot 52% of UK Moslems think being gay should be illegal in this country. (2016 poll). The figure for non-Moslems is nearer 5%.
A black ‘Christian’ nurse, age 47, was up in court for possessing images of child sex abuse.
At a well-known school called ‘Christs Hospital’ (presumably with a name like that it’s run on Christian lines), four members of staff have been charged with child abuse involving 15 pupils. Why is this no longer surprising? These bastards are not just ruining the lives of children in their care, they are giving the whole teaching profession (to which I am proud to belong) a bad name. The church has already got a bad name.
A man with a privileged background, living with his family in Cardiff, decided he wanted to harm a moslem. Instead of heading for Cardiff mosque, where the Imam was up in court facing charges of sexual abuse brought by brave young girls in his Koran study group, he drove 200 miles to London in a rented van. On the way he passed Gloucester mosque where throwing pigs’ heads through the doors during services has long been a popular local pastime. No, he headed for my local mosque at Finsbury Park and drove his van into a group of people leaving prayers at the end of Ramadan, causing serious injuries and one death. The Imam rushed out and stopped the worshippers from beating the driver up.
A gay couple went to court to demand that they be treated the same as straight couples where on the death of the husband the widow gets the husband’s pension. Astonishing that this was not already the case. The court case took a long time and probably cost them a lot of money. Well done for setting this precedent, guys.
The Scottish Episcopal church (i.e. the Church of England in Scotland) had its first gay wedding in church. I’m surprised there are any gays left who are still Christians – they have been treated so shabbily by their churches. The synod (governing body) of the C. of E. in England reckon it will take at least two more years of discussions before such an event becomes possible in England itself. Perhaps they are scared what the African bishops will say at the next Lambeth Conference. The church could well split in two on the gay issue, which might not be such a bad thing.
CCTV in my home town of Gloucester picked up a dangerous wild boar roaming the streets at midnight. (I just put that in to lighten the tone, but it isn’t the first dangerous wild beast to roam the streets of Gloucester…..read on)
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Carey got a boot up his arse with an official report showing he covered up the crimes (child abuse etc) of the former Bishop of Gloucester (that place again!) Seven letters of complaint were not forwarded to the police. Instead Bishop Ball was given a cash payment of £12500, plus a free house on the Duchy of Cornwall estate. (By all accounts he was a close buddy of Prince Charles.) Current AB of C Justin ‘Oilwelby’ sacked Archbishop Carey from his present post within the church as assistant bishop of Oxford. Carey was an evangelical. Ball is serving time. In the view of one Anglican cleric I spoke to, Carey should have been defrocked. I may come back to this topic and write a longer version at a future date. It depends on whether I have to go and water my cabbages or not.
The C. of E. has appointed its first Arab bishop in England, to a newly created diocese in Loughborough.
Tory PM Theresa May (daughter of an Anglican vicar and an anglo-catholic Christian herself) signed a deal with the DUP in Ulster. They get a billion quid in exchange for supporting her in the House of Commons on the Brexit vote. (She no longer has a majority). The Democratic Unionist Party are socially conservative Protestants, connected with the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) a known terrorist organisation. The DUP were founded by the Reverend Doctor Ian Paisley, a hate preacher from Antrim. Naturally they are against abortion and gays. Has May been DUPed?
Ulster women who want an abortion can’t legally get one in Northern Ireland itself: instead they have to travel across the water to England and pay for it to be done privately. The government passed a bill to facilitate their access to this service in NHS hospitals in England. This will show that they are not tied to DUP Protestant ‘morality’.
Fascinating stuff! There’s more, but that will do for now.
Postscript: I heard this on the last day of July (2017) A gay vicar in my diocese in north London is legally married to his partner. He is highly thought of as a parish priest by the Bishop of Edmonton. He wants to leave his parish here and seek an appointment in Manchester because his partner has had a good job offer there. In an act of blatant homophobic discrimination the C. of E. has refused to consider him for a post up north. Like I said, it’s a wonder there are any gay men and women left in the Christian church.