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┬áis 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.

Mark Duggan

There is again a lot of hysteria and vitriol about the verdict of the killing of Mark Duggan. His death was said to have sparked the riots occurred in London and they spreading to various cities in the UK in the summer of 2011.

I don’t understand how someone could possibly know what happened in this incident without hearing evidence from those at the scene. The jury has sat and listened to three months of information. Some of which won’t be published in the press.

I myself have experience of when something has gone wrong in life and all I wanted was the truth to be told. I didn’t ever say that I was right or hold automatic decision of how something was going to conclude. You have to explore all areas and be open to what ever is decided.

Acting and responding to outcomes without decorum and dignity for me shows true natures of someones personality. The riots were a reflection of peoples lack of morality. It wasn’t a protest to what they thought was an injustice it was mindless thuggery and opportunism.

This isn’t to say that serious questions shouldn’t be asked of the police’s roll in gathering vital and sensitive information and using this correctly. Police should have been questioned and not allowed to pass on written statements in such serious cases. I believe now that the law has been changed so the are compelled to give face to face interviews.

The majority verdict was given that the police officer believed his life was in danger and therefore took the decision to shoot. It wasn’t a drive-by-shooting and they randomly picked a target. Mark Duggan wasn’t executed as has been claimed. The information on the case has been presented and the jury has reached it decision. If there is ANY other additional information that could change the case then that should be presented.

the barefoot tree

Still grumpy

Gari Wellingham

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