Church and LGBTI

The Dean of Newcastle has signed a letter asking the Church of England to repent for discrimination against gay and lesbian Christians.

The letter that that has been written by the two leading archbishops in the Church of England. It asked for repentance and acknowledgement that the church has for too long seen those in the LGBTI community as second-class sinners.

Having been a member of the Church of England for over a decade I didn’t feel right at all that I could be open with the people who surrounded me. It was bad enough growing up in the eighties with the stigma of HIV and AIDS that still exists to this day. I cannot remember in the early days the subject of human sexuality being discussed at all in the church I attended. It wasn’t something that they were ready to discuss.

It is right for both Archbishops to acknowledge where the church has failed people but it is also up to the church to recognise that there are still within it’s walls those people who outrightly condemn same-sex relationships. The Rev’d David Holloway is a good example of someone still preaching that the scriptures specify that homosexuality is a grave sin. He works with the diocese of Newcastle and I am sure would have something to say about the Dean’s signature on such letter.

It is only when such people acknowledge and apologise for the continuing harm he is directly causing the LGBTI community. Parts of the church of England stretch across many continents and especially those in developing countries that have appalling human rights issues regarding the gay communities that are supposed minister too.

My faith died decades ago. It is replaced by rational thought. This means that I treat all human beings with equality. Regardless of their gender, race, and sexuality. The horrible and trite phrase that is often used that the sinner is somehow separated from the sin and therefore we condemn only the action but not the person themselves is utter crap. I am proud of who I am and I am not going curtail this for anyone. It is an intrinsic part of who I am and I believe made me a better person for realising how easy it is to be judgemental on things of which we may not understand.

There are people who have remained within the CofE whilst still in LGBTI relationships. Many in the clergy are gay and lesbian but in fear of being truthful and losing one’s position within the community.

I have good friends who have no issue with my sexuality and regularly attend church. They have been good examples of what the archbishops have called upon to do and is love those who are in any community whether it be gay or straight.

I acknowledge that some do not hold the same caring attitude but until those people have changed/repented (which also means moving away from their sin to which they are repenting) the church will continue to decline and be replaced by a smaller community of believers.

Exams 


Exams aren’t the be all and end all. What ever that means. It’s a means to an end. But that should never define what you are.

As a teacher I experienced having to set examiners for form classes. These were to determine what the likely results were of a student GCSEs. The exams where undertaken five years before they were due to sit their final exams. It was utterly ridiculous. Bracketing students into certain categories of a likely achievement was utterly wrong.

I was told when I was 14 that I wasn’t bright enough to sit ‘O’ level maths. It made me angry and more determined to do so. How dare someone tell you that you won’t be able to achieve.

I have always said that you are the person to choose your education. You are in charge of it. Not some idiot mathematics teacher.

So if you didn’t get what you wanted in your exams don’t worry the path might have changed but you can still achieve.

I didn’t do well in my GCSEs but I did pass my maths! I went to college and studied for a diploma in Theology. Then I did my BA Hons degree in Religion and Sociology. Finally ending up at Westminster College Oxford completing a PGCE in secondary RE.

I am not saying it’s easy. It’s hard work. But it’s up to you.

Bullocks

I am not an animal rights activist. I don’t hold an special affiliation to any clubs or societies. I am not a vegetarian either. What I do believe is that animals should have rights. The way they are bred and raised is an important aspect of this. I certainly would advocate that the life that the animal has should be stress free and from harm as it is reared. After all this animal is giving it’s life for your benefit.

I am sick and tired of hearing people who will refuse to acknowledge the methods in which animals are raised for our table. They would rather that it was packaged without any nasty bones in plain white wrapping so not to be reminded that what they are eating was actually a living thing.

It is a decent and civilised society that has systems in place to protect animals rights. Not merely treated as an inanimate object devoid of the ability to feel pain and distress.

The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona to me is a example of how stupid human beings can be. Making scared animals run along enclosed streets chased by hundred of men seems to them some sort of novelty and even a supposed “religious rite”. This may have been the case decades ago but this occasion is nothing more that animal cruelty at it’s worst. If the animals were fluffy rabbits or cuddly kittens there would be an uproar. The image of the fierce bull ready to defend itself somehow negates our disgust and outrage. It seems as test of mans willingness to face such danger and therefore should be commended that they could face such a fierce opponent.

These men seek the adrenaline rush of the chase. I would suggest if this the case the men be chased by wild animals into some dark wooded area where they too can feel panic and anxiety.

The men get what they deserve. Serious injury or worse they cannot blame anyone else

the barefoot tree

Still grumpy

Gari Wellingham

UK-based musical theatre geek previously living with a brain tumour!