When Sir Keir Starmer visited a church on Good Friday and thank them for all their good and faithful works, he attracted some criticism. His visit caused such offence to the LGBT+ arm of the Labour Party that they went into overdrive, decrying the poor research about the church’s ‘anti-LGBT’ beliefs, and issuing a statement of outright condemnation which they then used to foment a Twitter pile-on in order to extract an apology, which duly came.
And when Sir Keir arose again three days after Good Friday, LGBT+ people leapt with glee and rejoiced in his transformation. Or some of them did. It did come as a relief to Labour LGBT+ that, in praising the work of Jesus House for all the Nations, their leader wasn’t affirming their ‘homophobia’, ‘bigotry’ or ‘anti-LGBT hate’. But it did take him three days, which might have been long enough for Jesus to liberate the captives from hell, but it wasn’t an acceptable length of time between Starmer’s sin and his repentance.
The reason for LGBT+ Labour’s objection to this visit is summarised by Pink News: “Not only has the pentecostal denomination been accused of carrying out “exorcisms” on people who are “sexually attracted to members of their own sex”, but the church’s top pastor has furiously opposed anti-discrimination laws and marriage equality in Britain.”
Setting aside the use of ‘exorcisms’ here, which Ekklesia appear (quite purposely and provocatively) to conflate with prayer and pastoral care, the concern about Jesus House is that they believe homosexuality to be a sin, and same-sex marriage to be an oxymoron, if not an ontological misconception.
This led to Brendan O’Neill writing in the Spectator to point out all the obvious stuff about how Starmer could never now visit a Roman Catholic church or a mosque (he didn’t mention Orthodox synagogues for some reason), neither of which look favourably on homosexual relations (that is, they tend toward what LGBT+ Labour would call ‘homophobia’, ‘bigotry’ and ‘anti-LGBT hate’). This led Isabel Hardman also writing in the Spectator to point out the not-so-obvious stuff about liberal intolerance:
The implications of the way Starmer has handled this row are quite troubling. Firstly, he has suggested that he will quite readily change tack if enough people shout at him on social media and sign an angry letter — rather than because he really thinks something is right. Secondly, he seems to be accepting the liberal intolerance that is growing in politics, which pushes people away from one another. Liberal intolerance says it is better not to live alongside those with different beliefs, that there is nothing to be gained in accepting the way the world is, which is that some people have different views to you — not just the sort of quaint views involving going to Mass or having a statue of the Virgin Mary in your sitting room that we can indulgently smile at, but views on morality that jar and even sadden many others.
And yet neither dares name ‘LGBT+ Labour’ as the real bigots and haters, if not xenophobes and racists, possibly for fear of being accused of ‘homophobia’, ‘bigotry’ and ‘anti-LGBT hate’ themselves, which causes a lot of stress on social media and can be career-ending. But it was LGBT+ Labour which singled out this predominantly black Pentecostal church of Nigerian provenance for special treatment; and it was LGBT+ Labour which called out its ‘homophobia’, ‘bigotry’ and ‘anti-LGBT hate’ over that of any Roman Catholic church, Orthodox synagogue or mosque. If that doesn’t appear racist and/or xenophobic, it is certainly inconsistent, if not arbitrary. If this doesn’t stem from prejudice toward black African culture, what is the explanation?
We do not engage in any form of conversion therapy. We, as a church, provide appropriate pastoral support, including prayer, to all our members, whatever life situations or circumstances they find themselves in. This is consistent with the basic fundamentals of freedom of speech and freedom of religion and the government’s current position.
Which Pink News faithfully reports, adding: “Irukwu has for years been upfront about his opposition to LGBT+ rights, writing furious letters against then-proposed equality legislation, including marriage equality…”
Like some Roman Catholic churches, Orthodox synagogues and quite a few mosques. And yet it is only Black African Pentecostalism which they target and smear with lies about ‘exorcism’. Why are they so intolerant? Why would a group which has been persecuted and misrepresented in all cultures throughout all ages seek to persecute and misrepresent black Pentecostal Christians?
When the lived experience of so many LGBT+ people suggests (or confirms) that sexuality is fluid and exists on a spectrum, why would Pink News and LGBT+ Labour assert the infallible dogma that sexuality is immutable from birth (if not fixed within the womb), and so even the seeking of prayer and pastoral guidance about homosexual morality amounts to “conversion therapy” and must be banned? The whole Christian life is one of conversion followed by inner transformation, and that includes the realm of sexual morality and behaviours. Why would Pink News and LGBT+ Labour seek to impose their narrow apprehension of this spiritual work on people of faith? What is the source of the liberal intolerance and ethical-moral nonsense which insists that a person’s biological sex may be changed and even facilitated chemically when a person feels ‘trapped’ in the wrong body, but a person’s sexuality cannot be changed and should never be supported prayerfully even if they seek it?
Why is no-one calling out this LGBT+ intolerance and duplicity? Why is no-one in the mainstream media writing about this LGBT+ anti-Christian, antisemitic and Islamophobic bigotry?