Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday, 22 May 2004

For those who still care, some angst about the 'Church' and 'Gays' in Scotland

'Scottish Christian Press' have published a book called Sexuality and Salvation by Steve Mallon, which from these extracts:

"Young gay and lesbian people have to keep large parts of their life hidden from the Church, and at times of crisis that may mean they have to choose between their faith or their sexuality."
and
"That has harmful effects on individuals, their identity and whom they connect with, and most of them are too afraid to be open and honest about who they are. The study shows that if they were open and honest with members of their own church then they would have a pretty hard time."
and
"We are now in the 21st century and it is no longer acceptable for people to be treated in this way. There is a diversity within society and that has to be recognised. Even if some people disagree with homosexuality they should recognise that the time has come for people to accept each other as they are."

- all very worthy of course, and it is nice to hear that somebody with (one presumes) a strong Christian faith will say such things, but what will it achieve? I gave up on the Church a long time ago and have been moderately to very happy for most of the time since. Guilt-trips are pointless, but this is all the Church seems to offer. A spokesman for the Equality Network, a Scottish campaign for sexual equality, said:
"We are talking about very vulnerable people and this shows young gay people are unlikely to get the support they need from a Kirk minister or youth worker."

- and followed this up with a call for the Church of Scotland to get in touch with youth support organisations such as Stonewall Youth. The fact that the Church has not already done this kind of thing, years ago, says it all. The new Moderator may call for reform, but the real sub-text for the book just published is that fine words are all very well, but if the old attitudes of prejudice continue what is the point. A not unrelated sub-text is, of course, the fact that Church attendance continues to be in sharp decline, not surprising when there are influential people within the [Catholic] Church [in Scotland] who still, quite recently, say this kind of thing:

"Any idea of churches modernising would defeat the purpose of what people want from it which is something firm and unchanging."

- not to mention the deep financial pit the Church finds itself in, which I wrote about (in my main website, not this blog) a couple of years ago: the final article on that page, about homophobia and homelessness in Scotland, is also relevant.

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