Thursday, July 13, 2006

Is the State 'Christophobic?'

This seems to be the claim being made by Christians who are increasing their pressure on the government over the proposed Sexual Orientation Regulations. In the Daily Telegraph today a letter was written by numerous pastors on behalf of black British Christians claiming that the new law would be 'Anti-Christian', because;

"The regulations force Christians in churches, businesses, charities and informal associations to accept and even promote the idea that homosexuality is equal to heterosexuality. For the sake of clarity, this is not what the Bible teaches and it is not what we believe to be the truth. In our view, these regulations are an affront to our freedom to be Christians.If the Government thinks that we will accept this law lying down, they are mistaken. This sort of Christianophobia from the Government is no longer acceptable."

And in the Daily Express yesterday (12th July 2006) Ann Widdecombe writes;

IT IS supposed to be a crime to stir up religious hatred but the Gay Police Association either doesn't know this or doesn't care. It has recently run an advertising campaign for which it is difficult to find any description other than Christophobia. There is a picture of the Bible and the headline is: In The Name Of The Father. It then goes on to claim that in the past 12 months, the Gay Police Association has recorded a 74 per cent increase in homophobic incidents, where the sole or primary motivating factor was the religious belief of the perpetrator." (see advert below)

She continues, "It would be interesting to know the nature of the homophobic incidents. Christianity specifically forbids hatred, not just acts of hatred or expressions of hatred but the feeling itself. No Christian can abuse or assault a homosexual "in the name of the Father". Yet, by choosing that very famous line of Christian worship the advertisement suggests that Christianity almost uniquely is responsible for hate crime. "

She ends by stating "The time has come to use the very weapons which have been so successfully used against us. We should complain formally of hate crimes and the stirring up of religious hatred and demand our human rights to religious freedom and to freedom of conscience. The Gay Police Association advert might be a very good place to start. "

(The full article by Ann Widdecombe can be found on )

Now whilst I get the point that is being made I think this all starts to get a bit silly and it just looks reactionary. For one I think the concept of 'hate crimes' is ridiculous (Hatred should not be encouraged but to legislate against it seems crazy to me). And surely Christian groups are undermining themselves by buying into the whole PC language? To me it makes no more sense to talk of 'Christophobia' than it does to talk of 'Islamophobia' or 'Homophobia' .

Now, if the term is used with a self-conscious irony then I have no problem with it, but both these two articles appear to be using the term very seriously indeed. I find it both fascinating and disturbing that any group that tries to influence those in power inevitably ends up aping the political language that's current at the time, even if the origins of such a language or discourse are based on a philosophy quite at odds with its own!!!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Looking forward to unemployment!!!

Hooray! Hooray!!! Handed my notice in today!! I've never been so excited about becoming unemployed!!!! This will free up about 6 weeks before my uni deadline in which I can frantically finish my dissertation!!! Not sure where I might be living at this point, all depends on the whim of my landlord but in any case my mother is helping/bailing me out in the area of finance so don't have to worry about that in the short term. Mothers are great aren't they?! It must be understood of course that my mother is purely helping me to meet my day-to-day living costs and not helping to fund trips to the pub, shopping sprees or expensive eateries I might happen to find myself in after Mass on a feast day, and so I might not be able to be very sociable during August!! But all this is good - it'll force me to stay at home and work, and work, and work and work.......................

My deadline is the 8th September - please be gentle with me until that point!!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Is the Church 'homophobic'?

I observed part of the Europride 2006 march and rally today as part of my research and took quite a few photos. Thought I'd post a couple on my blog and see what response I got!
(Incidentally I have put 'homophobic' in quotation marks because I actually think the term is not very useful and obscures the issues). Anyway here are some of the photos;

TRAFALGAR SQUARE - Mayor's address . Placard reads, "God is Love Not Hate".

St Martin-in-the fields - Anglican Church in Trafalgar Square displaying rainbow flag

I also managed to interview a few people, starting with the guy holding this poster!!!!