...I want to talk about this article in which a gay man has won a £47,000 payout after not being offered a job as a church youthworker. It might not surprise you to know that this has really annoyed me.
Quoting from the article,
"In his evidence to the original tribunal, Bishop Priddis said anyone in a sexual relationship outside marriage would have been rejected."
As it says further down, this is the crux of the matter, not sexual orientation. On this basis, the fuss made by Stonewall was misguided, and thanks to their campaigning (and doubtless the media portrayal) we have an incident which makes the church appear homophobic, when it wasn't.
Now, you might or might not agree with the idea that anyone in a sexual relationship outside marriage would have been rejected. But it's part of the teaching of the church, and as I've said before, I feel that it's important that leaders do their best to be exemplary. No-one is perfect, but as people so often cry "Christians should practise what they preach".*
Again, you might or might not agree with that. But remember that other faiths - Judaism and Islam included - have similar, if not more stringent rules and ideals and you should be careful what you say before you single out Christians.
In this case I am also appalled by the large payout. Given that the issue never appeared to be sexual orientation in the first place, I think that to have sued a charitable organisation** for a large five figure sum was absolutely wicked. It certainly doesn't fit with the characteristics one would expect from a church youth-worker...
*No-one ever asks Christians to practise what they preach "but only when it suits me".
**It should be noted that in many cases, church youth-workers do far more than "church" work and often contribute greatly to the wider, secular, community.