Calling out Homophobia in the Church of England

It is very, very rare that I accuse someone of homophobia. Those who know me in Scotland, who happen to hold different views to me will know that it simply isn’t an accusation that I throw around.

However, I did make that accusation last night, against the Director of Communications of the Church of England.

Here’s the conversation. You need to know that Patrick Strud is the journalist to whom Christian rock musician Vicky Beeching told her coming out story which was printed in the Independent. Rev Arun Arora is the Director of Communications for the Church of England. Andrew Forshew-Cain is a priest in the Church of England.

In responding to a tweet about Vicky Beeching and the future of the Church of England, Arun Arora said that she was welcome in the church because all are broken. This is an entirely inadequate response to someone who has just come out. It is fine to say that all are broken – it isn’t fine to link that brokenness to the identity of groups of people who know prejudice at first hand. It wouldn’t be acceptable to say that black people are welcome in church because everyone is broken and so they are welcome – that would be racist. It is the same with those of us who are gay.

I think that Andrew Forshew-Cain and I might well be regarded as people well qualified to know what church sponsored homophobia looks like.

I’ve woken up today to many posts on facebook and on twitter from people agreeing that this tweet was unacceptable.

I’m absolutely prepared to agree that Arun Arora did not mean to be offensive in his post. However, he needs to learn from the people on facebook and twitter who have found it offensive.

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