God hates fags (and women)

Rt Rev Graham Dow, Bishop of Carlisle, has let us know that the real reason for the floods in the north. It’s the gays.

“We are in serious moral trouble because every type of lifestyle is now regarded as legitimate,” he said.

“In the Bible, institutional power is referred to as ‘the beast’, which sets itself up to control people and their morals. Our government has been playing the role of God in saying that people are free to act as they want,” he said, adding that the introduction of recent pro-gay laws highlighted its determination to undermine marriage.

“The sexual orientation regulations [which give greater rights to gays] are part of a general scene of permissiveness. We are in a situation where we are liable for God’s judgment, which is intended to call us to repentance.”

The non-sequitur in that second paragraph is breathtaking, isn’t it? The reference is to Revelation, chapter 13. Revelation has been favoured by loons since it was written (I particularly like this version, myself). The beast is usually thought to be the power of ancient Rome, possibly Emperor Nero himself, whose burnings of Christians and insistence on worship of deified emperors are clearly just like a secular democracy which is trying to give its citizens equality under the law.

Dow is quoted alongside a couple of other evangelical Bishops saying less insane stuff about global warming, with the vague hint that God is telling us off for being nasty to the planet. They’re probably wishing they had chosen to speak out at a time when their episcopal colleague wasn’t hell-bent on emptying churches throughout the north. Good luck to Dow in his quest, anyhow.

Hassan Butt appears to be one of those people you don’t hear about often enough: a Muslim speaking out publicly against terrorism and calling on Muslims in the UK to reform. His article in The Observer is worth a read, as is the one giving Tony Blair’s thoughts on British Islam. Both links come from those Drink Soaked Trots, who I commend to you for sensible commentary if, like me, you’re a bit of a leftie.

The original drink-soaked trot, Christopher Hitchens, points out in Slate that God also hates women, or at least, those who are slags.

9 thoughts on “God hates fags (and women)

  1. I’m interested to see how Rowan Williams and the rest of the church respond to this.

    If the church really is a place of superior morality, a place where people can come for comfort and safety then both because he is immoral and for the safety of those in his diocese under his ‘care’ this bishop will be defrocked.

    I bet you anything that won’t happen though.

  2. A satire on this whole “Muslims speaking out against terrorism” business. (Afraid it’s hosted on rather an amateurish site; wait for the page to load fully and then scroll past the error messages, the content is there.) The Betabet crowd are pretty leftie too. To be fair that Butt article is more interesting than some, because it’s coming from someone who used to be involved with terrorism but has rejoined the mainstream.

    1. I’m not sure the satire really hits the mark, because it refers too much to history and ignores the fact that recent White Christian misadventures have not been motivated by religion (as Ken Down points out in conversation with a Muslim).

      I also think that these days you see very little of the “my country, right or wrong” attitude on the West, whereas there is a thread of “my brother, terrorist or not” you see in Islam (some, although not all, of the Muslim commenters on this discussion, for example). The way they scratch around for things to compare to the homophobia and misogyny endemic in Muslim dominated countries is unconvincing, too (binge drinking? I thought the reaction to that was merely from people who’d got fed up of wading through broken glass, blood and vomit in town on a Saturday night).

      The Drink Soaked Trots are the Euston Manifesto sort of lefties. While I don’t support the Iraq war, some of what I read from the left does seem to have fallen for the fallacy that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

      1. Oh, they’re not claiming that the bad things perpetrated by white English people are to be blamed on Christianity. The people who automatically make racist assumptions about Islam are a mixture of Christians and atheists, but most of them are white, so that was the group targeted. And not being motivated by religion really doesn’t make torture and illegal invasions morally acceptable. I really don’t think the satire relies too much on history; almost every single example is contemporary, and the thing about the crusades is just echoing the pointless debates about whether jihad means “kill all the non-Muslims” or “spiritual struggle”.

        I also don’t think they’re comparing binge drinking to terrorism, they’re comparing the media frenzy about how women are all laddish and drinking too much now, with the veiling of women in some Muslim countries, and comparing the near impossibility of prosecuting rape with the stereotypes of how misogynistic Islam is. But I agree that section isn’t very clear.

        If you really believe there is no blind patriotism, let alone misogyny and homophobia, in contemporary Britain, then you are sadly naive. If you step even so far outside your cosy circle of nice, liberal friends as to read, say, the BBC “Have your say” discussions, you’ll find opinions just as offensive as on any Muslim discussion board. But I don’t think that’s really the point; even if the UK is wonderfully tolerant and liberal and enlightened as a society, we’re still pursuing a foreign policy that is killing far more Muslims than all the terrorist attacks in history have ever killed Brits. Are you personally responsible for several hundred thousand Iraqi deaths and the repeated incidents of torture and unjust imprisonment that accompany the war? Well, about as much as Mohammed J Random Muslim is responsible for some fanatics who drove a burning car into Glasgow airport.

        1. Islam is not a race, so assumptions about it cannot be racist (see earlier remarks about Pakistanis who get annoyed with the authorities assuming that imams speak for their community in this country). Evil stuff done by white people wasn’t motivated by their whiteness, but Hassan Butt says that his would-be terrorist friends were motivated by Islam. Given the events of recent years, non-Muslims could perhaps be forgiven for not realising that Islam is a religion of peace. Muslims in the UK have sensibly reacted to the latest failed attacks by starting a publicity campaign to denounce them.

          The part of the satire which talks about misogyny is ineffective because in the switch of viewpoints which makes the satire, we’re presumably supposed to believe it’s speaking to Muslims who might have thought that telling women off for drinking too much was a bad thing. Similarly, one wonders what rape conviction rates are like in Saudi Arabia. That’s not to say that there is no misogyny in the White Christian community, but to try to draw an equivalence between that and this sort of thing (needs registration, bugmenot can help), even as satire, is exactly the sort of betrayal that the Euston people are complaining about.

          The war is not in our name, and many people have said so, via demonstrations and the ballot box. Tony Blair has already paid the price for it (as, round here, did Anne Campbell, I think). But people of whiteness are not defined by holding beliefs that could be interpreted as legitimising the war. I don’t think J Random Muslim is responsible, but given that not everyone is a nice liberal like me, it’s very sensible of them to start the publicity campaign (also, given the strong sense that Muslims are part of one family, it’d be odd if they didn’t want to make it clear that the family doesn’t approve: the same odd loyalty that means they don’t want to excommunicate terrorists might hopefully apply in the other direction).

  3. I have seen a few comments on the Bishop of Carlisle’s theology, but I’ve never seen anybody refute it except to say that they don’t like it, and that their God is not like that.

    I guess theology really is a non-subject , where people choose the theology they like and then say that that theology must be correct.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *