Nick Clegg: faith schools must teach that homosexuality is 'normal and harmless'
And, come to think of it, what kind of ‘democrat’ sets aside the religious traditions, beliefs or vicarious memory of the majority? The vast majority of parents do not want their children’s schools to be turned into vehicles for the promotion of the virtues of homosexuality, and it remains a fundamental principle of education law (and Conservative tradition) that children must be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents.
Whatever side one takes on the whole ‘gay’ debate, it must be acknowledged that there is no faith tradition which believes that homosexuality is ‘normal’, though much debate about the extent, if any, to which it may cause harm either to the individuals involved or wider society, and even more over the extent to which religion ought to adapt to cultural norms.
When the leader of the Liberal Democrats seeks to impose a distinctly illiberal and undemocratic worldview upon any minority, we see the face of true Liberal Democrat tyranny. And Cranmer purposely places orthodox Christians in the ‘minority’ category, for they are increasingly becoming the marginalised, persecuted and dispossessed.
Christians believe that all people are created in the image of God, whether they are straight, gay, bi, transgender, or any other category in the ever-increasing spectrum of sexual expression. And Anglicans believe that all are therefore in some sense members of the church (whether they know it or not); indeed, there are many who would assert that the real Christians are to be found primarily outside the church rather than within it. The Established Church is the recognition of the contribution of Christian ministry to the health of civil society and provides a basis for the pastoral responsibility of the Church at large.
So why should a professing Atheist, which Nick Clegg is, presume to legislate against faith schools, which are increasingly the only defenders of national morality and English virtues against the illiberal evils of secularism?
The people of England still want to feel that religion has a place in the land to which they can turn on the too rare occasions when they think that they need it; and they are not likely to be pleased by legislation which might suggest that the English people as a whole are going un-Christian.
If, indeed, to be homosexual is to be un-Christian. While Pope Benedict views it as a 'moral disorder’ (the inclination, not merely the practice), the Church of England is treading its usual via media on the subject.
And perhaps that is the role of the State Church, for it has pastoral responsibility for all, not least because the Head of State is also the Supreme Governor of the national church: as she is politically sovereign so is she spiritually supreme and therefore pastorally responsible for all her subjects.
But let us come to Mr Clegg’s assertion that homosexuality should be taught in faith schools as being ‘normal’. And here, Cranmer will take ‘normal’ to mean ‘natural’.
Even Peter Tatchell does not believe that homosexuality is natural. And in this, he agrees with St Paul, who refers to men who exchange natural acts for unnatural; that is, they engage in sexual activity which is ‘para physin’ - 'against nature’ (Rom 1:18-32).
Church leaders are therefore right to express profound concern with Nick Clegg’s programme for social engineering – that is, a national curriculum to inculcate the most vulnerable minds with the belief that homosexuality is ‘normal’ – for it is contrary not only to Scripture and tradition, but also to the reasoned understanding of the most intelligent and discerning homosexuals and to common sense.
And if Mr Clegg seeks to impose it upon the (ever-weakening) Christian schools, Cranmer can hardly wait to see what happens when it is imposed upon the (ever-strengthening) Muslim schools. Mr Clegg said faith schools must ensure they do not become 'asylums of insular religious identity'.
Cranmer is more concerned with Parliament becoming a temple to the gods of this world, and even more with a Liberal Democrat definition of what is 'normal'.
Is not the very raison d’être of faith schools to sustain a distinct religious identity?
Boosting ‘equal rights’ may be a truly laudable liberal ideal. But defining in law what is ‘normal’ while condemning the ‘abnormal’ to their asylums of insularity is a betrayal of the liberal tradition. Whatever one's view on sexual ethics, the notion people should be forced to teach as fact what are arguably matters of belief is disturbing; indeed, as one Anglican bishop has observed, it is ‘frighteningly fascist’.