From Mr David Morling
Sir, — A piece about the Ugandan Church (News, last week) ended with a comment from John Martin of the Church Mission Society in which he suggests that Ugandan Christians feel strongly about homosexuality because of the young Ugandan martyrs of the 19th century, who were killed because they would not allow themselves to be forced into homosexual acts with the king.
Surely this is very woolly thinking. It is like saying that you can have nothing to do with heterosexual men because there have been many rapes by heterosexual men in our society.
There is a great difference between being horrified by anyone’s using their power to try to impose sexual activity on any other person, whether homosexual or heterosexual, and the way of life of people of the same sex, committed to one another in a loving relationship.
While it is important that we understand the mindset of other countries, we do have to challenge ignorance and prejudice wherever they occur. We have a gospel of truth and love to proclaim. It is not acceptable that equations are made between totally different situations to try to justify conclusions resting, in reality, upon a foundationalist reading of the Bible.
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From the Revd Stephen Griffiths
Sir, — The Rt Revd John D. Davies drew our attention to the Bishop of Liverpool’s apology for his part in the matter of the Very Revd Dr Jeffrey John and the bishopric of Reading (Letters, 22 February).
Perhaps I may draw his attention to the expression of regret offered by the Bishop of Winchester in his foreword to God, Gays and the Church (The Latimer Trust, 2008). Bishop Scott-Joynt’s apology is for not speaking clearly against the alternative and revisionist teaching in the area of human sexuality which dominated debates at the General Synod in February 2007.
Dr John, no doubt, deserves an apology from some for the way he has been treated, and it is important that this is registered. Of equal importance is that Anglicans receive from their bishops a clear defence of scripture, the tradition of the Church, and documents such as Marriage (1999) and Issues in Human Sexuality (1991).
I hope that in this period of confusion the House of Bishops will take courage from Bishop Scott-Joynt’s example.
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