One of the people on Sunday’s The Big Question was an Anglican vicar, Lynda Rose, who erupted in fury when Peter Tatchell answered the question (have human rights laws achieved more for mankind than religion?) by saying that religions are mostly opposed to human rights. Rose said the familiar bullshit about how the very idea of human rights rests entirely on “the Judaeo-Christian” whatever and without that we wouldn’t have shit for human rights. It’s because with the Bible we get humans in the image of god, you see.
I was thinking she was a liberal vicar, I suppose because she’s a woman and we know conservative Anglicans don’t like no stinkin’ women vicars – but also because she comes across as that kind of happy-clappy goddy liberal type. But I looked her up and oh gosh no not at all. Here‘s Barry Duke, editor of the Freethinker, on the vic in 2012, in an article on ads on London buses for “gay cures.”
Attempts to “treat” or alter sexual orientation have been strongly condemned by leading medical organisations. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has warned that “so-called treatments of homosexuality create a setting in which prejudice and discrimination flourish” and concluded in 2010:
There is no sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.
The dotty Rev Lynda Rose, a spokesperson for the UK branch of Anglican Mainstream, said her group adhered to scripture that all fornication outside marriage is prohibited and believed that homosexuals were:
Not being fully the people God intended us to be.
She said therapies endorsed by Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues were not coercive and were appropriate for people who wanted to change their sexual attractions, for example if they were married and worried about the impact of a “gay lifestyle” on their children.
But if humans are made in the image of god, that includes gay humans, doesn’t it?
Anyway. I wonder how people manage to believe that. Do they have no idea how the church carried on for most of its history?
Steven Pinker starts Chapter 4 of The Better Angels of our Nature, “The Humanitarian Revolution,” with a look at medieval torture. He describes the tools and what they did in frank detail.
A description of the Judas Cradle and nine other items:
The Judas Cradle, also known as Judas chair, was a torture device invented in 16.th century Spain. During this torture, the criminal was first positioned in the waist harness above the sharp, pyramid-shaped seat. The point was then inserted into anus or vagina of the person, and then the person was slowly lowered by a system of ropes.
The Inquisitions used torture. It wasn’t religion that gradually caused people to stop doing that, it was a secular revolution in ideas.
Early Christianity, Pinker says, loved torture and cruelty – it was how you got martyrs. Martyrs are fabulous, and therefore so is torture.
By sanctifying cruelty, Christianity set a precedent for more than a millennium of systematic torture in Christian Europe.
Lynda Rose hasn’t got a clue.