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Friday, 20 February 2009

Pots calling kettles black?

A group of churches have condemned the nutty Kansas-based “God Hates Fags” Phelps family – two of whom have been barred from the UK having said they’d picket a showing of The Laramie Project in Basingstoke – but the excellent Christian think tank Ekklesia says they ought to look to their own prejudices.

The six are the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Evangelical Alliance UK, Faithworks, the Methodist Church of Great Britain, the United Reformed Church and Bible Society-funded think tank Theos.

Jonathan Bartley, one of Ekklesia’s co-directors, welcomes the condemnation of the arch homophobes Fred Phelps and his equally nutty daughter (Bartley doesn’t call them that, but I do). But, he says, among those who have condemned the Phelpses’ Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, “are some who preach rejection of faithful gay relationships, who deny their baptism and Christian ministry, and who refuse their wisdom”.

He adds: “Some have attempted to negotiate opt-outs from equalities legislation so they can themselves discriminate against lesbian and gay people in employment and in the provision of goods and services. The Evangelical Alliance in particular removed the Courage Trust from its membership when the Trust made a Christian commitment to affirming lesbian and gay people.

“The six churches and groups have said with one voice: ‘We believe that God loves all, irrespective of sexual orientation.’ We invite them to reflect these words in their actions.”

Evangelicals? Nice sentiments, Jonathan. I doubt that they will, though.

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