Well, nothing wrong in that, you may argue. Many gays rather like the idea.
But this chap wrote on his blog:
It is time that religious believers began to recommend [. . .] discouragements of homosexual practices after the style of warnings on cigarette packets.
Let us make it obligatory for homosexuals to have their backsides tattooed with the slogan sodomy can seriously damage your health and their chins with fellatio kills.
This chap, 66-year-old Peter Mullen, rector of St Michael’s Cornhill in the City of London, has now been given a ticking-off by his diocese. He told a newspaper that the remarks were written as a joke.
But a spokeswoman for the Diocese of London has said that officials met Mullen and it had been agreed that the comments should be removed.
“While clergy are entitled to their own personal views,” she says, “we fully recognise that the content of this text is highly offensive and it is in no way reflective of the views of the Diocese of London.”
Now I’m all for free speech, and, if he wants to make that recommendation, let him go ahead and make it, provided he’s not inciting violence or intending to commit it. He will be ridiculed if he meant it, and, indeed, seems to have got a comeuppance of sorts.
If he didn’t mean it, then he should have thought of how such words were going to be received coming from a preacherman and not a well-meaning comedian, who could get away with it, because it would be couched in comedic style and taken in good spirit. Mullen, after all, represents a church that is noted for its homophobia. Of course he’s going to be taken seriously.
In the same blog post, he said, according to the Independent, that all Pride parades should be outlawed as “obscene” and condemned the blessing of two gay priests in London earlier this year.
Mullen, in his defence, says, “I wrote some satirical things on my blog and anybody with an ounce of sense of humour or any understanding of the tradition of English satire would immediately assume that they're light-hearted jokes.
“I certainly have nothing against homosexuals. Many of my dear friends have been and are of that persuasion.
“What I have got against them is the militant preaching of homosexuality.”
Ah, now we get to the nub. It’s OK to preach the religions of hatred against homosexuals (granted, not all religionists are antigay, but many are) but not OK to be “preaching of homosexuality”, whatever that means.
Preaching? What is the man on? He walks around in a dog collar (we assume) and has no compunction in telling people who he is and which organisation he works for. Is that not a blatant show of his own persuasions?
Perhaps his diocese should have ordered him to have I am a prat tattooed on his forehead.