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Friday, 4 December 2009

Ugandan Bill divides Christians in UK

Antigay Christians in the UK “have shown themselves to be confused, divided and plainly out of touch with Christian, as well as public, opinion” over the evil Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda.

So says Symon Hill, associate director of the religious think tank Ekklesia, in an article that first appeared in The Samosa.

“Those British Christians who regard all homosexual activity as unethical have long insisted that they are not prejudiced. They say they are criticising a behaviour, not a group of people, and that they do not want gay people to be persecuted,” says Hill.

“This assertion is central to the way in which they present themselves. The sincerity of their position is now being put to the test. And different groups and individuals are responding to that test very differently.”

He points out that, in Britain, the proposed legislation has been condemned by many gay-friendly Christian organisations, such as Ekklesia, Inclusive Church and Accepting Evangelicals.

But silence from other quarters worries Hill, who says that most denominations in the UK “have yet to make any formal statement on the issue”, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

Hill doesn’t think Williams is in favour of the legislation, just that he’s wary of upsetting the “traditional” wing of the Anglican Church (as far as I’m concerned, for “traditional wing”, read “bigoted dinosaur wing who might better serve what they claim to be the Christian way by obsessing less about what people do with their naughty bits and more about injustice and inequality).

Hill points out that a glance at the websites of many other “traditionalist” Christian organisations will yield not a mention of the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill. He singles out the Christian Institute and Christian Concern for Our Nation, both rabidly bigoted when it comes to matters of people’s natural sexuality – so much so that one doubts their members’ own sexuality (I’m saying that, not Hill).

One does wonder why people who are comfortable in their own bodies and own identities tend not to obsess too much about what others do with theirs. Not a scientific claim on my part, but one gained from observation.

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