The wonderful Spiked online have some of the most insightful and stimulating journalism you will find. Not for them the bland shibboleths of contemporary culture. Although not Christian I sometimes think they have more of a prophetic voice than the pathetic whimpers that so often come from Establishment Christianity. Their article on the horrific Orlando mass murder was superb. http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-orlando-massacre-and-the-crisis-of-humanism/18452#.V2FEL-YrL_R
It talks about how in our culture we make every tragedy about ourselves, how we are far too simplistic and how we engage in emotional blackmail.
“We in the West lack the moral armoury and collective spirit to withstand Islamic intolerance”.
“The use of the Orlando massacre to buttress the victim politics of the gay rights movement is no less cynical than the use of it to slam immigration”.
And right on cue came BBC Radio Scotland and the Call Kaye programme. Its worth listening to the whole of this depressing farce because it illustrates clearly some of the lack of moral armoury and collective group think spirit, as well as the lack of intelligence in our increasing dumbed down and intolerant society.
The most stunning aspect was the appearance of Provost Kelvin Holdsworth of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow. After making his point in an extensive interview on the previous news programme, he then began the Call Kaye show with what is one of the most chilling, hypocritical and evil statements you will ever hear from a so-called ‘Christian clergyman.’ Kelvin decided that the Orlando massacre was a good opportunity for him to call for the Scottish government and others to deal with faith based organisations who don’t accept SSM and other aspects of the gay rights agenda.
Apart from the sheer wicked, cynical misuse of the deaths of 50 people to further his agenda, it is the hypocrisy of his statements which stand out. Kelvin’s denomination has just voted to begin the process of changing the Anglican understanding of marriage. In so doing, he blogged about how important it was to have ‘unity’ with those who disagree. As I wrote earlier, the Scottish Episcopal Church is concerned that the growing evangelical churches within it, might leave and so they have been playing the unity card. https://theweeflea.com/2016/06/13/et-tu-episcopus-the-scottish-episcopal-church-and-ssm/
And as I suggested, it seems to be working. The biggest evangelical Church, St P’s and G’s (Saint Paul’s and St George’s Episcopal Church in Edinburgh) have sold the pass and bought the ‘unity’ argument. I listened with sorrow to this sermon which has had repercussions throughout the Scottish Episcopal Communion – http://www.pandgchurch.org.uk/Media/Player.aspx?media_id=169188&file_id=181119
Of course the ‘Liberals’ were really happy at this ‘trajectory’ and the statement that this issue is ‘adiaphora’ (something indifferent about which Christians can disagree). However, Kelvin clearly does not think so. He has blown that apart. He wants any church (including his fellow Episcopalians) who do not buy into SSM to be punished. On the one hand, in the church, he calls for unity and tolerance. On the other hand, in the society, he calls for punishment for those who don’t agree with him.
Sadly Kelvin left before his cynical extremism could be challenged. And we were left with one of the darkest phone call programmes I have ever been involved in.
I won’t review it all but consider the following:
- The Bigoted Atheist – Alan was angry. The bigotry, prejudice and hatred from the man from Dundee whose venom and ignorance was apparent to all. Christians are a group of people who follow evil old men with beards who wear dresses, and Bronze Age, Palestinian goat herders. Our beliefs are ‘crimes’. Can you imagine the BBC letting anyone say the same thing about other minority groups such as Muslims or homosexuals? His rant was of the type you are read in any atheist/secularist forum and increasingly from any school pupil.
- The Liberal Christian – Janice was very nice. She belongs to a church that is ‘open, welcome and inclusive’. https://theweeflea.com/2015/10/12/the-all-inclusive-church/ They would marry anyone. (We didn’t get on to polygamy or incest…but how are they going to resist the logic of the arguments that will be made?). Religions are evolving and those of us who don’t evolve will just die out. The certainty was breathtaking. Janice seems unaware that it is this very ‘evolution’ – going along with the spirit of the age – which is emptying the churches. Liberal Protestantism in the West is in free-fall, surviving only by living of the carcass of the past.
- The Reasonable Gay Rights Lawyer – Derek made a lot of good points and was very reasonable and fair. He mentioned Islamaphobia and Homophobia, but left out Christophobia. He talked about us living in the 16th Century and he argued that we if we prayed for the family and friends of the victims, then he wanted to see us also praying for the people who were killed. It’s perfectly understandable that be would ignorant of the theological reasons why we don’t pray for the dead. It would have been nice to have had the opportunity to correct his mistaken understanding and explain to him that this was not because they were homosexual. The chance to do that did not present itself.
- The Confused Catholic – She was great. Came across as warm and real and a bit confused as to what all the fuss was about. She correctly pointed out that the sexuality was immaterial. She did however repeat the common myth that majority of wars are religious. In actual fact of the 1763 most recent wars – only 123 have been religious and of them 66 were Islamic.
- The Intelligent Christian – from Fife. He was great. He did a wonderful job of linking Kaye’s earlier comments about tolerance, the Gospel and made several other good points. A fine example of how to engage in this kind of forum.
- The Prejudiced Presenter – Kaye made an astonishing statement when she declared that police, teachers and doctors were “not permitted to be against SSM.” Was this a sign of her own world view leaking out? I pointed out that this was wrong, and indeed the opposite of what we had been told by the Scottish Parliament when the SSM law was passed. She clearly did not like being corrected and did not permit me to speak again. One of her staff came on the phone and said goodbye to me, but I pointed out that I was being personally attacked and asked, since the Christian position was being misrepresented, could I stay on to answer some of the points? He agreed. However 20 minutes later that part of the show ended and I was not allowed back on. I had suspected they were lying but I hung on giving them the benefit of the doubt. One thing to remember here is that I had been invited on to the show as their guest. I did not phone in. Kaye clearly did not like her position being challenged and seemed to prefer running with the narrative (which by the way has again been running on the BBC today) that this is about religious homophobia which needs to be dealt with.When you’re trying hard to explain the biblical position in the face of the kind of hostility, prejudice and ignorance demonstrated by some of the callers, it’s an added frustration when you’re denied from continuing to make that defence!
There are two other things to come out of this.
Firstly, I agree with Brendan O’Neill that it is deeply cynical for people to use this tragedy to push identity politics and their own victim agenda. It’s even more cynical for journalists and politicians to fall over themselves in their virtue signaling to show how much they care. The death of any human being is tragic, whatever their sexuality or race or intelligence or social status. All are equally made in the image of God. One possibly mentally ill gay Muslim kills 49 people in a gay club that he used to try and pick up people and there are rainbow flags and vigils all over the Western world. Our politicians hold a minute’s silence. Nothing wrong with that. Except – where was the minute’s silence for the 400 migrants drowned a month ago? What about the silence for the 40 out of 65 churches bombed in Baghdad? Who was silent for the 500 Christians killed in Orissa eight years ago? Where is the outrage for the young Catholic in Yorkshire who was beaten and subjected to a mock crucifixion this year (if he had been gay his case would have been all over the press and used by Stonewall as an example of why we need TIE – Time for Inclusive Education)? 80% of all acts of religious discrimination in the world are against Christians. There are scores of Christians killed every week because of their faith (one report has it as 11 every hour, every day of the week, for 365 days in the year). Did the Scottish Parliament stand silent for the 70 Christians killed in Lahore three months ago? It seems that our leaders are very selective about whose life’s matter.
And to be honest the church is not much better. There is this extraordinary story from the Herald. The following appeared under the headline Church of Scotland evangelicals apologise over gay clergy post day after Orlando atrocity –
A GROUP of evangelicals within the Church of Scotland has apologised over posting a statement about gay rights among ministers the day after the Orlando massacre at a gay club in which 49 people were killed and dozens injured.
The Covenant Fellowship Scotland, a protest movement set up in 2014 to stand against allowing ministers in same-sex relationships, said its statement was in response to the Kirk’s latest move towards ministers in same-sex marriage at its annual gathering last month.
The timing of the posting on its website, which has not been taken down, was described as “utterly incredulous”.”
The statement they are referring to was concerning the C of S decision to allow its minister to be in same sex marriages. http://covenantfellowshipscotland.com/blog/52-post-general-assembly-statement
It was met with faux outrage from One Kirk (a Liberal C of S group) and others. Comments such as “ Clearly the level of insensitively and callousness is egregious and, candidly, shameful.” Covenant Fellowship understandably, but in my view mistakenly, issued an apology. Their statement had nothing to do with Orlando and could only have been perceived as such by those who were prepared to use the horrific events for their own political and personal agendas. It is a form of emotive bullying from those who don’t really care about ‘love and understanding’, because if they did they would have understood that Covenant were not commenting about Orlando and they would have had enough love to forgive them for what was at worst an oversight. But no, instead they could hardly contain their delight in getting on to the Internet and sticking the boot in.
Why do we give into such emotional blackmail? Why don’t we have the suss and the guts to challenge those who seek to exploit such tragedies for their own ends? Why does it take an atheist Marxist like Brendan O’Neill to give a more robust, intelligent and compassionate analysis?
We had better get used to this. The gay rights emotional/thought police are not going to let anything or anyone go. Already Stonewall have been urging the Scottish government to support ‘Time for Inclusive Education’ (inclusive only of their position and certainly not of the Christian). Quite what the shooting in Orlando has to do with this philosophical indoctrination in Scottish schools I’m not sure, but just as sure as we will be told it had nothing to do with Islam, so anytime someone like me mentions that marriage is between a man and a woman, I will be accused of being responsible for the Orlando massacre.
Mental illness, ready availability of guns, police or FBI mistakes, Islamic extremism are all left out of the picture. This is an attack on the Gay ‘community’ (which by the way it probably was). That’s it. Simple. If you don’t agree with everything that Stonewall/Kelvin Holdsworth say, you are a vicious homophobe, only a couple of degrees away from Omar Mateen.
Nothing indicates more the divisiveness of this type of identity victim politics than the fact that I have to say in conclusion that I totally and without equivocation condemn the senseless killings of all the people in that nightclub. Which I do. Without reservation. Human beings are not just accidental products of evolution. We are creatures made in the image of God and those who murder any human being are guilty of one of the greatest of sins. I am reminded of the words of John Donne –
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
Can we not just be humans made in the image of God? Can we not just mourn humans? And can we not seek the redemption of the human race, through Christ? There IS good news for every human being.