In his piece for Pink News the Bishop of Buckingham said that having come out for gay marriage most letters received by him as a Church of England bishop are in favour of gay marriage and non-Christian people in society have moved on from fretting about the subject because 'gay people are just people like them'. Well I have been fretting, not on the subject referred to but on the attitude displayed by the bishop and others with remarks that appear calculated to imply that there is something seriously lacking with people not of their persuasion in this area.
In evidence to the Commons Committee on the Marriage (Same Sex) Bill there were similar claims that a lack of mail received against the proposal implied acceptance of the Bill, for example, "I have received two e-mails from people in my own diocese asking me if I would “clarify my position”. I received one e-mail from someone who takes a rather more conservative view... The sense I get from that is that the opposition might not be as widespread as some might think it." On the contrary, over 641,000 people have already made their views abundantly clear only to be ignored by the government! It should be obvious to members of the episcopate that unless all views are canvassed their mail will be weighted in favour of the course they advance as the bishop has discovered.
There may be some 'church people' whose attitude to homosexuality is less than charitable but that is no different to society in general. In my experience church people are far more tolerant than + Wilson suggests but his comments appear to be designed to tell his audience what they want to hear. Also some of the MPs on the Commons Committee have been using their membership not as an opportunity to gather evidence but as a platform for their particular lifestyles. Homosexuality is a fact but it does not mean that gay marriage should follow any more than those opposed to gay marriage because it is contrary to an established principle are against equality. What leaves me fretting is political and religious leaders playing to the gallery with outrageous accusations of homophobia and bigotry instead of engaging in reasoned debate.