Changing Attitude and Homophobia

A special blog post from Changing Attitude yesterday. Really special. Writing about their experience at the House of Bishop’s committee on human sexuality, Colin Coward says,

[Sir Joseph Pilling] accused Changing Attitude and the groups who had presented ‘evidence’ on Wednesday of being incompetent because we had made so little effort to be persuasive.

He thought CA was tactically inept because in our submission we accuse our opponents (and all conservative ‘orthodox’, ‘traditional’ groups, he implied) of being homophobic.

I don’t think our submission does this, and it wasn’t our intention, but no matter, that’s what Sir Joe thinks – why? Sir Joe seems to have taken our submission personally, as if we were accusing him of being homophobic.

At this point I choked on my coffee, because the very notion of Colin being surprised that someone might be upset that he is constantly accusing conservatives of being homophobic and bigoted is just too hilarious for words.

Want some evidence? Go on then.

In the same post Colin writes,

Changing Attitude calls this a prejudiced reading of the texts and misreading of history which results in homophobia and a negative attitude towards a group of people because of their sexuality, a group which has to be listened to in a specialised way, apparently.

and then

I think what Reform has done in submitting a document from a pro-gay organisation as part of their submission is unethical and unchristian. Actually, I think it stinks – of homophobia.

On the 27th of June he wrote,

David [Holding] is Master of SSC (Society of the Holy Cross) and Forward in Faith. I don’t think he’s pro-gay – SSC and FiF are riddled with internalised homophobia.

But the killer is to read the actual submission that Changing Attitude submitted. Here’s some critical quotes,

…until the Church learns this lesson and understands how it has constructed a gospel of homophobia in place of the gospel of love and truth…

In the years since 1988, the charge of being homophobic has been laid against conservative ‘orthodox’ individual Christians, groups campaigning for Christian orthodoxy, and against the Church corporately when it has made statements perceived to be hostile to the dignity of LGB&T people. People accused of being homophobic defend themselves by claiming they are simply stating the Church’s traditional teaching.

We argue that conservative Christians ignore the changes that have taken place in social attitudes, changes parallel to the changed attitudes to race, women and contraception.

Church teaching about homosexuality based on the use of the familiar ‘clobber’ passages is now perceived to be homophobic.

These passages are used to maintain prejudice against LGB&T people and to deny that we are created in the image of God and are called to love in the pattern of Jesus Christ, in exactly the same way as the majority heterosexual population. We know the Church finds this difficult to acknowledge.

Colin Coward is absolutely entitled to his opinions. He’s certainly entitled to believe that I and others are homophobic and bigoted because we not only choose to defend but also live a traditional Christian moral. Fine. Not a problem. But to try and pretend that he isn’t constantly calling his opponents homophobic and to feign surprise that Sir Joseph might be critical of that? Come on….

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