Hypocrisy of Changing Attitude’s ‘victim’ tactics
In the recent correspondence to the Gazette, on social network sites and in their public pronouncements, members of Changing Attitude have portrayed themselves as the ‘victims’ within the Church of Ireland. There is no denying that there have been victims of prejudice, discrimination and abuse within the Church of Ireland. There is no denying that the experience of some people is that they could only describe themselves as ‘victims.’ However, it would appear that the ‘victim’ stance is being used as a deliberate part of a concerted media campaign against the Church of Ireland synod’s decision to uphold the orthodox Christian view of human sexuality.
Psychology states that playing the role of a victim is always there to protect the person’s ego when he/she fails to reach his/her goals. Instead of admitting that he/she failed to do what they wanted to do they play the role of a victim and claim that external factors were the main reason they didn’t reach their goals. This is a defence mechanism deployed at all times, even when they have been respectfully listened to.
However, I think it is legitimate to ask are LGBT really the victims within the Church of Ireland? Is the Church of Ireland really ‘homophobic?’ The term ‘homophobia’ means an irrational fear of homosexuals. Is that really a correct term to be used against those who for legitimate historical, traditional and biblical reasons cannot accept the homosexual lifestyle? Many of those who wish to uphold the biblical, historical and traditional orthodoxy of the Church are silenced because they fear being labelled ‘homophobic.’ It is in fact a very subtle form of bullying and intimidation. To storm out of rooms, as happened at the Cavan conference and Connor Synod because you do not agree with what is being said and then to claim to be the ‘victim’ is to put it mildly lacking grace and respectful listening.
Many of our clergy deal pastorally with broken lives, including those whose lives have been shattered by brokenness in the area of sexuality. They support these people, give of themselves to them, pray for them and with them and walk beside them as they journey to wholeness in Christ. That is not an easy journey, nor is it one which clergy boast about or reveal to others. It is part and parcel of our vocation, an immense privilege and a heavy burden at times. What is not helpful and what adds to that burden is to be labelled ‘homophobic’ etc by a campaign lobby which has no idea of the pastoral care given to the very people they claim to speak for.
It is time that the ‘victim’ campaign was challenged by those in authority within the Church of Ireland and by those in the pew. It is time that those who are orthodox, from within the House of Bishops, the rectory, the pew and the parish raised their voices and spoke out for the biblically orthodox teaching of the church catholic. We have no doubt that in speaking out we will be accused of being ‘homophobic’ etc but that is a lie and it is a lie that needs to be challenged and those who perpetuate it need to repent of doing so. Those who are campaigning to take the Church of Ireland away from its biblical teaching in this area need to desist from playing the ‘victim’ card when they do not get their own way. It is a form of bullying and intimidation. They are guilty of the very thing they accuse others of, namely seeking to silence others and forcing them to remain hidden.
Reform Ireland would encourage members of the Church of Ireland to write to the gazette with their viewpoints on this, and other matters. Challenge those who play the ‘victim’ card when they do not get their own way. Do not be intimidated or bullied by those who shout louder, storm out of rooms and who use derogatory terms of abuse when they do not get their own way. It is important that this debate is engaged in the public arena, on social media networks and at every level of our Church of Ireland.
We encourage people to continue to pray for the Church of Ireland that it may remain faithful to the Gospel of Christ and the plain teaching of Scripture in this, and all areas, of human life.