This isn’t a circle to be squared

An almost 7 year old asked me yesterday what discrimination meant. We talked about gender discrimination – nods followed. Then colour discrimination – again, nods. Then, just before we came to sexuality her parents whisked her off to shop for Polly Pockets.

A few friends around me are gay or lesbian, and I don’t envy them the awful sexuality double speak they have to do in order to survive in our Church of England. In true Anglican style, we don’t want to discriminate against people who are LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender), but we don’t want them to be sexually active, even within stable, monogamous partnerships. I welcome inclusively. The bible appears to teach many things that I would not. But I remain under authority as an ordinand and in time to come, as a paid up member of the clergy.

I fear that my nearly 7 year old friend will see discrimination still at work when she is old enough to understand sexuality. In the mean time, friends suffer exclusion and robbed of a voice. This isn’t just an intellectual argument: this is about people with whom we have relationships, friends, neighbours, colleagues. And as a church we must find ways to hear their voice, personally and institutionally.

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  1. John’s avatar

    One mouth…two ears…gifted by God…let us pray that they may be used as intended in equal proportion…

  2. Justin Brett’s avatar

    John – that’s a bit cryptic!

    Dana – we have to find a way to make sure that this issue doesn’t just disappear, while at the same time avoiding provoking WW3 between those who hold extreme views on either side.

    Another observation. A friend of mine maintains that the sexuality debate and the debate over women’s orders are precisely the wrong way round, in that the sexuality debate is argued in terms of theology and biblical analysis when it is actually an argument about equality, and the debate over women’s orders is argued in terms of equality when it is actually an argument about theology and biblical interpretation. I’m not necessarily convinced he’s right, but it’s an interesting way of looking at things.

  3. David Austin’s avatar

    Thanks for your comments Dana – as one of those ‘Gay’ ordinands, I appreciate your thoughts here.

    The Inclusive Church will always have an uncomfortable edge as it remains open to the outcast, leper & those deemed ‘unrighteous’ on the edges of our Church. May God give us grace to see with the eyes of faith & listen with our hearts, and not just with our pre-conceptions.

  4. James Collett’s avatar

    What would Al Murray say?

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