Friday, July 21, 2006

Here I Stand..

There are so many things I want to blog on today, but it is rather busy so I suppose this is a Vox Pops of sorts.
Except that there is one subject I want to devote time to. So my plans to blog on that Frenchwoman who was sacked because she blogged about her job, faith schools (following Friday's Guardian report), middle class snobbery, cash machines in poor areas which charge for their use, the state of libraries today, my top ten TV detectives, graduation ceremonies, and the Dutch going another liberal step too far, will have to wait for the moment.
Because last night I noticed the following entry on Iain Dale's blog.
Put basically the above ad is from the Gay Police Association, saying that homophobic attacks have increased by 74% and that the sole motive was the religious belief of the perpetrator.
Like Iain, I doubt they were all Christians, and those who said they were definetly did not behave as if they were. Then there is the fact that many people say they are Christians and don't really know much about Christianity at all.
Now I hold an interest in this in that I am a committed Christian myself. Like many I find my faith tough, difficult, and hard. I find living my faith hard enough as it is without making quick and harsh judgements about others. Thankfully (and please forgive the prostelyzing) being a Christian means living by faith and remembering that Christ died for our sins and rose again, rather than following a set of rules and regulations that are hard.
I say this, because it has always seems to be the Christian's lot to be persecuted. Now in a lot of cases it may well be deserved on an individual or a group (i.e. being arrested for breaking the law or persecuting others), but it is not always the case. Lumping Christians together for an increase in a type of crime such as homophobic attacks, that many of us find horrible and disgusting as just as bad and ill-informed as attacking all gays for the fact that sometimes men get gang raped. Then there is the fact that two Christian friends of mine, whom I am rather fond of and am in awe of their spiritual maturity, happen to be a gay couple. What does this ad say to them!
And what especially irritates me as that, as per usual, no one mentioned Islam, when there are many homophobics in that religion (I hasten to add that I am not attacking muslims, or indeed their faith when I make that comment). When I was at University I once had to listen to a leading radical islamic fundamentalist student, loudly proclaim that homosexuals should be thrown off cliff tops, and yet Christianity seems to be the easy target to aim at. There is a word for that and it is called bullying.
The way things are now, there is a very good climate for dialogue. Between Christians and secular gays and in organisations and societies. This ad doesn't help at all!


Andrea said...

An observation about the increase in homophobic attacks.
I read suggestions that the increase could be partly due to the fact that gay people are more keen to report them to the police now than in the past

Paul Burgin said...

Thats more than likely. People are less ostracised by society for being gay so many are more confident to contact the police!

Shaun (ed.) said...

I agree with you Paul. People often try to excuse their homophobia or enacted homophobic abuse by claiming that it arises from religious motivation because they believe that in someway it may justify their actions to others.
In my opinion, homophobia transcends religious reasons and very often comes from the same chauvanistic attitude that causes sexism or racism.

That said there are really good-hearted religious people who are so literalist in their beliefs that explaining to them that the anti-homosexual passages contained in the Bible should be seen in the context of the time and culture that have been written in is an almost impossible task.

As for blaming Christianity and ignoring Islam, it is very typical of the prevelant political correctness and oversensitivity that British society is mired in.

Paul Burgin said...

Manic, I think it is more simple than that. People are more scared of upsetting muslims, given the political climate of the past twenty or so years (The Rushdie affair changed critical culture almost overnight).
I am certainly not inviting attacks on Islam, but I think that people should be a little more courteous of Christians.

A soft socialist said...

The religious element in politics over here is negligible. I agree with Kerron in that most of what the bible espouses is essentially very socialist.

Try going to the US for a real nutty religious element.

Shaun (ed.) said...

Manic, I think it is more simple than that. People are more scared of upsetting muslims, given the political climate of the past twenty or so years

That is what I mean by the oversensitivity that dominates the liberal-left's relativist attitutide toward Islam.

Paul Burgin said...

We have to be careful about proclaiming what The Bible espouses, because there are members of the Conservative Party out there who think that The Bible espouses free market economics. Personally I think that The Bible goes beyond, if it is possible to do so, left and right politics.

Shaun (ed.) said...

Adele:I agree with Kerron in that most of what the bible espouses is essentially very socialist.

Paul:members of the Conservative Party out there who think that The Bible espouses free market economics.

The Bible is certainly more libertarian than socialist. God would want voluntary charity and personal morality to come from the individual, rather than a moralising state that believes it is the final arbitrator of what is right and wrong.

When the Israelites asked Samuel to ask God to give them a king, these were Sameul's words: This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day.1 Sam. 8:11–18.

It's not difficult to compare this to what our elected leaders are doing to us.

Paul Burgin said...

But by the same token manic, Old Testament was full of rules and regulations and was a theocratic state, as opposed to a libertarian one.