Scuffle in Scotland

I posted a little while back about how a Christian campus group at Edinburgh University had offered a course called Pure, which along with teachings on sexual abstinence, apparently also states that gay sexual relationships are wrong and that gay folks can change.

After protests from students, college officials stopped the group from teaching the course on campus. Some conservative Christian leaders are crying foul stating that their freedom of speech is being violated. According to,

Peter Kearney, a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, said: “This is nothing more than blind and unthinking political correctness.”

A university spokeswoman said the course was “contradictory to our equality and diversity values” and not appropriate to run on university or Students Association premises.

Loads of folks are commenting on the news report, most not listening to each other (what else is new). In response I commented,

I have mixed feelings all around. As a Christian, I like the idea of people being encouraged to wait to have sex until they find a life partner.

As a gay man, I heard all my life that to be gay was evil, dirty, sinful and that I had no part with God unless I changed.

Folks who do the condemning pick and choose over what is and is not sinful.

Not surprising, lots of heterosexuals think that homosexuality is wrong–not just the godly, spirit-filled Christians, but godless, drunken, fornicators think that homosexuality is wrong.

So it begs the question, is this forceful, over emphasis against people with same-sex attractions really something arising out of a spiritual conviction, a conviction born out of sincerely seeking the heart of God?

Or is it simply the hateful attitude of the world that has crept into the church? (much like we saw with the historic oppression of people of color by white Christians and the silencing of women by men)

These questions are really not intended for discussion but rather prayerful reflection.

I may go back and write about my experiences in the ex-gay movement. Feel free to setup a free profile and share some of your own story. Storytelling, rather than idea/opinion sharing often goes lots farther.

Perhaps this is a good time to announce that I will be in Scotland from December 3 until January 10, mostly to work on some writing and relax. But if I get a chance to share with folks about what I see as the dangers in gay reparative therapy and many ex-gay ministries, I am willing.

This post has 9 Comments

  1. williehewes on November 21, 2006 at 9:24 am

    What else is new indeed. I tend to just turn away from online discussions that go that way, but your response is very clever and hopefully thought provoking.

    However, there is one thing about it that makes my nose itch. I hate to do this to you, but if I don’t the language pixies will cut off my toes in the night: Please don’t use ‘beg the question’ that way, that’s not what it means! T_T This article explains (funny site by the way, look up wobbegong, best word ev4r)

  2. Daniel C on November 21, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    Really! Your story, and your way of telling and sharing us is allways wonderful

  3. Daniel C on November 21, 2006 at 2:43 pm

    Really! Your story, and your way of telling and sharing it is allways wonderful

  4. Peterson Toscano on November 21, 2006 at 3:30 pm

    Willie, thanks for pointing that out. It is so funny cause in composing that comment (originally for a blog) it was the first time I ever used that expression and it felt unnatural.. And now it will be my last time.

    Daniel C, thanks. You’re sweet.

    I did post another comment that got a response. If anyone has the patience and grace to follow up, go right ahead.

    I am halfway through day one of a road trip with my dad. I am recounting to him every scene from the Borat film.

  5. KJ on November 21, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    Excellent response, as always, Peterson.

    “Begs the question” discussion: Although the phrase was originally used to indicate ignoring a question since the issue at hand is assumed by the speaker/writer to be resolved, usage has evolved to include a point of view elciting a question. Many dictionaries include both usages.

    Unless we assemble a language academy like the French, English is ever evolving with words and phrases taking on new meanings and nuances with usage. To try to stop that is like attempting to stop the ebb and flow of the tide.

    And thus ends my linguistic lecture of the day.


  6. nonsequitur on November 22, 2006 at 4:42 am

    I would say that was a very intelligent, meaningful response to this issue, I hope that it touched some folks in the process!

  7. Peterson Toscano on November 22, 2006 at 4:52 am

    nonsequitur, that is always the hope. Typically I know that the person spewing hate, lies or confusion may not be able or willing to “get it” but so many others listen in, and perhaps they will hear something that will give them some Light.

    kj, thanks for the affirmation and the permission to use that phrase which I have decided to never use again. But then it beg…um, never mind.

  8. Scotmagicman on November 22, 2006 at 3:47 pm

    Well now, if you’re going to be in Soctland next month do get in touch – it would be great to meet you after reading your blog!

  9. Contemplative Activist on November 22, 2006 at 5:07 pm

    So, are you planning to make a little trip to any other parts of the UK while you’re in Scotland? 😉

    And wow – you’ll be there for hogmanay!!!


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