20 February, 1999
The Rev.d David Holloway (Letters, 19 February) may dream that the gay movement which 'peaked in America in the early 90s' will eventually fizzle out. Of course it will. Like the anti-slavery movement, when this last respectable form of discrimination against people because of who they love is no longer supported by fair-minded opinion then the gay lobby will become redundant. Few people today cite biblical support for racism, sexism or indeed slavery. Those that do are judged by the generality of Christians as mad or bad and the same shift is inevitable on this issue.
Unfortunately, religion for too many people is used to uphold rather than to challenge their prejudices. It is easy for the heterosexually oriented to be against something that never tempts them, and the poor 'ex-gays' must bear all the expectations of self sacrifice and life-denial that the majority never demand from themselves. And only homosexuals who read from the approved script should be 'listened to'.
Concerning those gays who refuse the demand never to express their kind of love, biblical fundamentalists 'ransack the Bible to rake the promises to themselves and fling the curses at their neighbours', as Emily Brontë inimitably put it. The ego is always in there somewhere.
Nomists like Mr Holloway bang on about single issues, usually this one, in preference to those nearer home like self-righteousness, judgmentalism, corporate crime, adultery and serial polygamy, so conveniently regularised by remarriage. Their religion is a miserable enough travesty of phariseeism, let alone Christianity. The message of Jesus to the outcast and the marginalised is left to those people such as the few bishops who have had the courage to speak out against the structural prejudice and bigotry reiterated last summer at the Lambeth Conference.
I was once told by a Protestant Truth Society preacher at Hyde Park Corner that he would rejoice if the Vatican came crashing down tomorrow. Not true, for if it did what would he have had to preach against? I have never heard David Holloway use the media for any other subject than homosexuality - it seems to fill his life. It is his magnificent obsession. Lobby groups he is associated with, Reform and the Christian Institute (fronted by Lady Young in the House of Lords) have elevated the anti-gay agenda to an article of faith. It is difficult to discern the good news of the Gospel in anything of this.