Monday, 22 March 2010

Homophobic or Faithful?

Last week a gay couple were turned away from a B&B, run by a Christian Lady, Ms Wilkinson, in Cookham. The owners explained that they didn't not agree with Homosexuality so they would not allow them to share a bed but in theory would still be welcome to stay in separate rooms, however another room wasn't available. The gay couple, Michael Black and John Morgan, have reported the matter to the police and are considering seeking legal action.

Well who is in the right? Legally speaking Michael Black and John Morgan seem to be. (I say that without being a lawyer) Derek Munn, director of public affairs, said to the BBC: "Stonewall was delighted when the law changed in 2007 so that lesbian and gay couples could go on their holidays like anyone else. In open and shut cases of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation the law's quite clear - it's illegal for businesses to turn away gay customers or discriminate against them when providing goods or services, and this can't be overridden by personal prejudice."

However, does being on the side of the law make you right? I would argue not. Whether you agree with the views of Ms Wilkinson or not it seems common sense to me that a business owner should have the right to set down their own standards. That is not to say that they they should be able to refuse anyone service but rather that that service may have caveats. I think part of the problem here is the lack of information. If a B&B was allowed to it would make sense that terms of stay would be provided which may include such additions as separate beds for homosexual couples, or unmarried couples, etc.

Furthermore, there seems to be double standards here. Why do the rights the homosexual couple over-ride the rights of Ms Wilkinson? If we as a society say it is wrong to discriminate against people on grounds of ethnicity, sexuality or belief, why do we feel it's acceptable to force a woman to act in conflict with her beliefs on the grounds of not discriminating? Utter foolishness.

The Christian Institute’s Mike Judge said: "Whether you agree with the Wilkinsons’ beliefs or not, a diverse society is one that respects diversity of opinion. Surely the world is big enough to let people disagree. Suing someone because you don’t like their beliefs is illiberal, undemocratic and has no place in a free society."

Perhaps this would be a better alternative. Instead of saying we must treat everyone the same, rather we should say that everyone must be treated fairly. Equality doesn't mean uniformity! There also seems to be a very odd trend that when someone disagrees with homosexuality they are Homophobic. Firstly it's a stupid term since I don't know many people that are afraid of homosexuals. Secondly there is a difference between disagreeing with a practice and hating those that do it. For example, I disagree with prostitution but that doesn't mean I hate prostitutes, however neither does that mean that I would let them practice in my B&B (if if owned one).

I was once described by a friend of mine who is a lesbian that I am Homophobic in Theology but not in practice, since I disagreed with homosexuality but welcomed her as a friend. I see what she was getting at yet I believe that this is what all Christians are called to do: To be firm in the truths that God has set before us, yet love those who aren't following his ways. After all this is what God did. As Paul wrote, "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5:6-8)

You can read/watch the full story here. or you can read an alternative take here.

Till Next Time!


  1. The question I'd ask is whether Ms Wilkinson takes the same line with unmarried heterosexual couples sharing a bed together.

    If not, then I'd say she is being inconsistent and discriminatory, because as far as Christian morality goes, heterosexual sex outside of marriage is just as much a sin as homosexual sex (which is by definition outside of the Christian view of marriage, as being between male and female).

    If she is consistent on this, then fine, she's taking a principled stand and I can respect that - even though I disagree that having someone stay in your B&B implies acceptance of their lifestyle or behaviour, or that you have a responsibility to police the moral behaviour of people staying in your establishment in this way.

    I agree that it's a real problem that in our society a principled moral objection to homosexuality is equated with homophobia, but Christians really don't help themselves on this sometimes, by sometimes acting in ways that are inconsistent and prejudiced. Christians might say that homosexuality is just a sin like any other, but often treat it as being far worse than other sins.

  2. I couldn't agree more. Nicely said!

  3. Okay let's do a consistency test here.

    1. The Old Testament is absolutely clear, in Leviticus, that if you eat shrimp you will go to hell. Your views on the matter? Or do you only back certain verses from Leviticus?

    2. Paul in the New Testament is absolutely clear that women are to remain silent in church, no ifs, ands or buts. Your view on the matter?

    3. Matthew 19:21 "Go, sell your possessions and give to the poor." That's pretty unequivocal. Your progress so far?

  4. Hi Chaz,
    here are by concise answers to your questions:

    1) although I wouldn't phrase it as you have I agree eating shrimp for the hebrews was forbidden however in Christ we have a new covenant. Many of the jewish laws were given as cultural markers and it appears as if food was one of them. This is backed up by Jesus stating that the food doesn't defile a person (Mark 7.15), the vision that peter had where God commanded that he eat the 'forbidden food' (Acts 10)and Paul writing on food in various places.(Col 2:16)

    2) Paul is not clear on women being silent. Paul was dedicated to the outreach of the gospel and church unity and therefore called people to forsake their freedoms for the sake of christ, however it is no longer a necesity that women forgo that freedom. If you want a more indepth anser to this see here:

    3) Jesus, as well as the apostles, are not suggesting that we al become poor. Here the gospel writer makes clear to whom Jesus is speaking, 'the rich, young man'. Here Jesus is making the point that we must be willing to leave everything for him. However it is clear that he wasn't antimoney as Jesus had plenty of wealthy people following him and nothing is said to them. It was also a very early church behaviour that they met in the villa of the rich members. The money was used for the service of God.

    The reason I think the homosexuality is still forbidden is that Paul makes a point to reaffirm that it's a sin, and also there is no sign to it being a cultural command and in fact was against culture even then. Homosexuality is placed in the same category, by paul at least, as heterosexual lust, or sex outside marriage. The church has been wrong to make a big point of homosexuality as we are called to show the love of Christ to all, and to be fair.

    Homosexuals, as well as heterosexuals, are welcomed by God to follow him. However we must be aware that God leaves no-one as they are and we must be willing to submit to him as Lord and change as he guides us. That is for everyone, not just homosexuals.

    God bless.