Wednesday, 5 September 2007

The 1950s Wolfenden Report

Having just sat and watched BBC 4's programme 'Consenting Adults', which is part of the Beebs coverage of Gay History focusing on the 1950s Wolfenden Report - I felt compelled to make a few remarks.

The courage of all those involved in the making of the report was very impressive. Given the era and the legal situation at the time, the honesty and frankness of the report is remarkable. Forgive a moment of righteous anger - but it has struck me as a stinging indictment that it is now only 50 years after the report, that the wide church is taking the matter seriously and acknowledging the pain and suffering of those who still feel that they must hide themselves for fear of coming out.

Obviously, the Wolfenden report was to make recommendations of a legal nature and we, as the church, are not doing that. NO. What we are doing is frankly, more serious! We are considering the faith and spiritual life of individuals. We are concerned, in the least condemnatory manner possible, for people's souls and psychological well being. Laws are easy - you either fall within it or without. We can not be so divisive or judgemental with faith - or atleast, I hope not.

The second thought (yes, I do have more than 1!), is to realise that both the Wolfenden Report and the Church, insist/ed on the devision between sexual orientation and on practice. Personal I find this bonkers!

I have read books written by those gay people who rejoice in their homosexuality but conform to a strict biblical understanding that homosexual acts are evil. This may be flippant - but I do wonder what this does to ones sanity! Seriously, I have grave concerns about the pastoral and psycological well-being of feeling under both internal and external pressure to resist natural sexual urges. How is it possible to accept your sexuality but not to act on it? Obviously there are people who feel called to celebate lives - both homo and heterosexual. That is their choice - but why on earth should a person who does want to be physically sexual feel pressure to resist, just because some other external person doesn't like it!
I'm rambling - I'm going to stay with this one - see what others think!

These are not well-rounded thoughts - just reflections, so please comment!

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