The Church and Teh Gays

No, you don\’t have to believe this. Yes, you can mock this all you like.

Until it sorts out in its own minds what exactly it is about homosexuality that offends it and is able to explain its reasons in intellectually rational, credible and convincing terms to outsiders, the church (all churches, actually) will continue to be assailed with justified accusations of homophobia. Saying \”because the Bible says so\” is not quite good enough, especially when the church has changed its mind about so many other things in the Bible over the years.

No, not that, I\’ll mock that in a moment.

The Church\’s view (now this is the RC view but there\’s very much a strand of Anglicanism that follows this, it\’s also pretty much true of Islam and Judaism) is that only sex which has the possibility of conception, within marriage, is moral. Everything else is out.

So homosexual sex is out, as is lesbian. Blow jobs are fine but no orgasms that way, same with anal and other varieties. Condoms are fine to prevent HIV transmission but there must be a hole to leave open the possibility of conception (that was actually a real argument put forward by part of the Curia at one time).

As I say, you don\’t have to agree with this, don\’t have to believe it or live this way, mock it all you wish. I certainly neither believe it nor agree with it.

But that is the basics of the position.

And it\’s a pretty clear position, there\’s logic to it if you accept the original premises.

One of the most hilarious press conferences I attended in my lengthy stint as the Guardian\’s religious affairs correspondent…

But my real point here is that I would expect a religious correspondent, yes, even one for The Guardian, to actually know all of the above. Which is why Stepehn Bates rather deserves our mockery.

6 comments on “The Church and Teh Gays

  1. Not quite right, most protestant churches are pro all kinds of sex inside marriage, Song of Solomon and all that. Protestant churches certainly aren’t against contraception either.

  2. …at which point, they start looking hypocritical for slating gays.

    The Catholic position, sex is for procreation cos the Bible says so, is consistent. The semi-liberal Protestant position, sex is for expression of love, can be fun and doesn’t need to be about babies, UNLESS you’re in love with someone who happens to be the same gender, isn’t.

    But even for the Catholics, it’s perfectly legitimate to call them homophobic; they can respond with “yes, we are, and so should you be, because God hates homosexual behaviour”. Similarly, someone who genuinely believes there is strong scientific evidence for the superiority of the white race can’t deny being a racist, but can try and convince you that being a racist is the right thing to do.

  3. I wonder if Bates could offer us an “intellectually rational, credible and convincing” argument against non-reproductive[1] incest. I suspect he’d fall back on an argument based on “icky, perverse”.

    [1] Using contraception, same sex, one participant is sterile, etc etc.

  4. @3 there are three obvious routes:

    1) incest should be legal for over-18s, as is the case in France without any massive inbreeding as a result, or:

    2) it isn’t practical to allow non-procreative hetero incest while banning procreative incest (as contraception can fail and some people believed sterile can still conceive). Gay incest should be legal for over-18s, or:

    3) banning straight incest whilst legalising gay incest would go against the grain of equalising sexual freedoms between the two groups, so best ban them it for everyone.

    I’d go for 1, but either of the other two positions is intellectually rational, credible and convincing.

  5. John b, I’d go for 1 as well, personally. But I doubt many people would, and I would think it likely that many who claim a rational justification for legal homosexuality would switch to a moral, rather than rational argument against incest. That was the point I was trying to make.

  6. The desert grassland whiptail lizard (Aspidoscelis uniparens) indulges in lesbian sex as part of the process by which it reproduces. There are no males of the species. God’s sense of humour, no doubt.

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