For the first time an openly gay priest is to be ordained as a bishop in the Church of England. Why it is so much worse for him to be a bishop than a priest is not clear to me.
So far, by my reading of the media (admittedly, not very extensive), the quality of discussion on the issue has been very poor. The liberals are talking about changes in society, the virtues of tolerance and the scriptures as subject to interpretation. The traditionalists refer to the word of God in The Bible and the danger of a split over this issue. This morning on the radio, a Canadian priest argued that the consequences for the C of E in Africa would be disastrous, as it will accentuate the perception of the West as decadent.
What strikes me about the discussion is how little attention is paid by anyone to what is actually written in The Bible. Perhaps this is because there is actually so little on it – considering the fuss which the crissies make of it. Continue reading “Gaysex in The Bible”
Speaking Out: Writings on Sex. Law, Politics and Society 1954 – 1995, by Antony Grey, Cassell UK, 1997
Published in The Freethinker, journal of the National Secular Society
In the early days of the deliberations of the Wolfenden Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution its name in internal memos was bowdlerised to ‘Huntley and Palmers’ (Grey p242). It is a mark of how much has changed that this absurdity was ironically celebrated by Julian Clary in his high camp TV show. ‘Judge’ Julian has two cute bondage-attired aides, who are named … Huntley and Palmer !
For those of us who cannot remember – and find it hard to imagine – what life was like for gay men pre-67 many of these essays are a valuable resource. It now comes as a shock to read an account of a visit in 1960 to an Amsterdam gay club, in which Grey writes of his astonishment at the normality of same-sex dancing. For many, it is now astonishing that this could have caused surprise. Continue reading “Indignant Pages”
Thoughts inspired by ‘I Remember Babylon’
For anyone who is cool and under 30ish years of age sexual freedom together with tolerance of life-styles and orientations is very much a given. This is certainly no bad thing, in itself. But actually, the cultural meaning and the political ‘function’ of sexual libertarianism needs to be looked at more closely.
Continue reading “Sexual freedom and the Hegemony”
The following remark at the Sexual Freedom Coalition ‘conference’, London, Spring 2003, by a ‘bisexual activist’ brilliantly sums up so much of the bisexualist sensibility
Polar thinking leads people to believe you’re either black or white, rich or poor, male or female, gay or straight. It’s easy, it’s quick, it’s wrong.
So there are two kinds of thinking: polar thinking (which is wrong) and the other kind – un-named (which is cool)! Now it is, I think, fairly obvious that this is itself a kind of ‘polar thinking’ (either something is polar thinking or the other kind). It’s much the same kind of fallacy as promoted by those who say they dislike ‘Western thinking’ because it is ‘binary’ and prefer ‘Eastern thinking’ because it is not … binary. But, of course, this incoherence is no more noticed by its utterers than is the similar absurdity by those who so confidently assert that ‘all truths are relative, everything is just a matter of opinion, truth is just a matter of perspective’ (often said by the same persons a few breaths apart).
Continue reading “Bisexualism and Polar Thinking”