Justin Welby’s Speech

Here’s the bits on homosexuality.

Justin WelbyThe cultural and political ground is changing. Anyone who listened to much of the Same Sex Marriage Bill Second Reading Debate in the House of Lords could not fail to be struck by the overwhelming change of cultural hinterland. Predictable attitudes were no longer there. The opposition to the Bill was utterly overwhelmed, with amongst the largest attendance and participation and majority since 1945. There was noticeable hostility to the view of the churches. Some of what was said was uncomfortably close to the bone. For example, 97% of gay teenagers report homophobic bullying. In the USA suicide as a result is the principle cause of death for such adolescents. One cannot sit and listen to that sort of reality without being appalled. We may or may not like it but the wind of change is blowing powerfully in the area of sexuality.

The majority of the population rightly detests homophobic behaviour or anything that looks like it. It is utterly horrifying to hear of gay people executed in Iran, or equivalents elsewhere. With nearly a million children educated in our schools we not only must demonstrate a profound commitment to stamp out such stereotyping and bullying. We are therefore developing a programme for use in our schools, taking the best advice we can get, that specifically targets such bullying. More than that we need also to ensure that what we do and say demonstrates the lavish love of God to all of us, who are without exception sinners. Again this requires radical and prophetic words which lavish grace while holding to truth.

In some things we change course and recognise the new context. In others we stand firm because truth is not set by culture, nor morals by fashion. But let us be clear, pretending that nothing has changed is absurd and impossible. In times of revolution we too must have a revolution which enables us to live for the greater glory of God in the freedom which is the gift of Christ. We need not fear. The eternal God is our refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Is the last paragraph important or not?

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