Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Seven Deadly Gay Sins : Going Blue with Lust

If there’s one sin which people admit to enjoying more than any other then surely it must be sex! But for sex to be included on a list of sins there has to be some concept of which kind of sex is considered acceptable and which kind isn’t. Every religion and secular philosophy have laws and regulations on sex, and quite often they contradict the others. In pre-Victorian times there was no problem in the UK with having sex with girls as young as 12 because that was the age of consent. Times, attitudes and morals have changed and today this would be classed as child abuse and paedophilia.

And then there’s pornography. Porn and sexual material has been referred to as being “blue” for many decades. Historians have often debated why. Some claim it originates in places like the Windmill Theatre where nude female models were bathed in blue light. Others claim it originates in the English censorship of theatre administered by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office where material deemed not suitable for performance was crossed out of the script with a blue pencil.

None of the historians bother looking further back. They know that red means anger and green means envy, not realising that blue for sex originates in the same Medieval cultural belief in western Europe. So, LUST, the excess of sex, is entered on my Seven Deadly Gay Sins flag.

So, what can we talk about today concerning the Deadly Sin of Lust in the lgbt community? Don’t get too excited because I’m not going into gay porn!

We should never assume that all lgbt heritage is about “good” people. One of the most constant downsides of the lgbt community is the presence of those who practice the form of lust currently considered the worst of them all – paedophilia.

There was a time when the general public thought all gay men were paedophiles (some still do). This opinion was brought into the open in my home city of Nottingham in August 1977.

The Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) held their annual conference in Nottingham. This was the same conference at which the inspiration for the play “Bent” was premiered.

One of the guest speakers at one of the workshops was a Dutch MP called Dr. Edward Brongersma (1911-1998). As a member of the Dutch Senate he was instrumental in bringing the homosexual age of consent down to 16 in line with heterosexual sex (he had been imprisoned in 1950 after being convicted of having sex with a 17-year-old). What he is best known for, however, is his research into gay paedophilia. He was considered a world authority on the subject. So when it was revealed he would be attending the CHE conference in Nottingham there was a public outcry.

Protests were held outside the hotel where the workshop he was scheduled to attend was to be held. The hotel, fearful of losing business and of threats to the property, cancelled the booking. The workshop was moved to another venue (just across the road from my flat) and went ahead with Dr. Brongersma as the main guest. At the end of the workshop he was given a standing ovation.

Attitudes in the UK towards paedophilia at the time were, more often than not, not discussed openly. Today there is more discussion about paedophilia and its moral place in society. Child abuse in particular is a highly visible and almost constant topic in the media.

The lgbt community must be able to distinguish between paedophilia/child abuse and acceptable sexual practices in modern society. There have been several articles in the lgbt media this year about one man who has been hailed as a hero against Christian homophobia, when in fact he was a serial child rapist and abuser. Is he the sort of “hero” we want?

The man was brought to the fore last year when plans were announced of Pope Francis’s visit to Uganda to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the canonisation of the Ugandan Martyrs. The visit never actually went ahead but the lgbt media voiced their opposition all the same. The reason was because the Ugandan Martyrs were all young Christian men and boys who were executed by their king, Mwanga II, after they rejected his sexual advances. The visit was distorted into the Pope appearing to honour Christians who rejected homosexuality. Which was the greater sin – rejection of rape, or murder?

I gave a brief history of their martyrdom several years ago. The whole point about the killings is not that the Christian boys were being homophobic but that they were killed purely because they rejected the forced sexual abuse of a paedophile and child rapist who thought he had the right to rape who he pleased.

There was nothing good about King Mwanga’s sexual activities. The Ugandan Martyrs weren’t even gay. He used his power to abuse anyone he wished – gay, straight, male, female. This was part of his culture and the Christian missionaries realised (even if modern lgbt journalists don’t) that the human rights of Ugandans were being violated. Forget the religion. Would an atheist organisation have supported this violation? The fact that the boys were converted Christians is irrelevant. For the first time in their lives someone had arrived and said they had the right to say “No” to abuse.

For too many decades gay men have been portrayed as predatory paedophiles like King Mwanga. It’s the reason who so many people still oppose the idea of two gay men having children. I weep when members of the lgbt community start using their own religious prejudices to condone the rape of innocent boys. If I was murdered by a serial rapist because I said “No” I hope I’d be remembered as a hero not the villain.

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