Sunday, May 27, 2018

Blessing of Same-sex marriage in Anglican church of Aotearoa/New Zealand

As my comments are disappearing on Thinking Anglicans, I am publishing them here.

10 May 2018
While grateful for those like Edward Prebble, I feel surrounded in my parish including my vicar by those in the middle group who seem to have no understanding of what a lifetime of victimisation by the church has achieved. I made a decision for Christ at about age 9. At age 74 I think it was the most ridiculous thing I ever did and that my life would have been a lot happier without it. I literally cried when the decision was postponed 3 years ago, now that there has been some development I could not care less. I have realised that we are now in a post Christian age and the world would be better off without any religion. I certainly receive much more sympathy and support from people who for most of their life have not entered a church except for funerals and weddings and now these are rarely in a church. My unchurched friends are in their 60's and above and, although they do not realise it, I see the Love portrayed by Jesus in their daily lives, while the great majority I see in Church, especially in leadership roles, do not display much of it at all. As I no longer believe in an after life or any of the other claptrap that has been imposed on the teachings of Christ, I could not care less what they decide in their stupid meetings. The world has moved on and the Church is shown to be regressive and slow to catch up as in most social developments of the last few centuries.
From what I read, after a vote on the voices, the ultra conservatives called for a show of hands and, still not satisfied, then demanded people stand. They say about 90% was in favour. So these bullies, trained in Sydney where sadly I grew up amongst their evil bile, finally defeated, have now resigned. Good riddance to bad rubbish. But if I said that in my church the good people who sit in the middle would condemn me as unChristian. So be it.

Ironically the following day the General Synod has apologised for taking part in the sale of Maori lands in the 1860's. No surprise CMS was involved. Perhaps in 150 years the church, if it still exists, will be apologising for the victimisation of LGBT people. I, of course, will not see that although I have lived long enough to see the NSW parliament and police apologise for arrests and brutaiity of many of my friends at a gay rights rally in the 70's. Fortunately I escaped as it would have been the early end of what became a long career of teaching. I am sure the Sydney Anglican leaders of the time were cheering the police on but I never expect to hear an apology from them.

Then discussing

17 May 2018
I am a refugee from Sydney Diocese who regrets my long years growing up there. The Sydney mob (I went to university with the Jensens) are homophobes and they spread their bile overseas. The local archdeacon of Dunedin who is vicar of the most evangelical church here has resigned, with immediate effect, from the role of archdeacon. Our bishop did not give the reasons but I can guess, knowing his outspoken views and within a week of the decision by the Aotearoa New Zealand Synod to allow blessings of same-sex marriages. I once joked on my blog that I saw him in the coffee shop and felt like throwing the cup over him but that would be a waste of good coffee. The curate in my parish at the time took me to task for such unchristian views. My comment and feelings would be the same if he opposed interracial marriage. These people, Mr Bunyan, are homophobes and it should be shouted from the rooftops. The time has come to end pussyfooting around. The church as always shows itself to be a hindrance to social development despite the wonderful work of many of its members to bring about change.

18 May 2018
You are not alone, Mr Bunyan in caring for the aged. Although not a priest mainly because I saw my rector in a suburb of Sydney in the 1960's suffer several nervous breakdowns despite the wonderful youth work he carried out in the parish. In those days I only had a vague understanding that he had the same conflicts due to sexual feelings as I did,. Eventually he left parish work, became an administrator for CMS but finally committed suicide.
Each Sunday I take 2 ladies over 90 years old to church. Some mornings I have to finish dressing them because their carer has not arrived in time. They have children who express their gratitude to me but either live too far away or openly tell me they cannot bear going to a church service. It is the only reason I go to church regularly. As they are deaf and have some early dementia, they tell me they do not understand the sermons. I think most of it is rubbish. I also co-ordinate a group (more than 30) of mostly women over 60 as we hike each week. While they are obviously much fitter, most are widows and it can involve some caring when they become il. It is to them I will turn if I become ill. In fact most never go near a church yet care for each other more than a lot in church who are only interested in praying for one's soul. I have been surprised, as I have become more open in my views to find older people who go to church quite often, agree when I tell them I know longer believe in an after life nor a God who answers prayer. Like me they go to church because that is the way they grew up, they like the ceremony and the music and meet their friends. Whatever they personally believe they do not want to impose their views on others or, as for some in NZ, walk out in a huff when they discover their views are in the minority.
As a young person I struggled between the things I was taught and my obvious self feelings. Today I would say to a young person "Forget the church, it is an irrelevant dying organisation."
I have just noticed the comment "yes, there are those who suffer because of their sexual orientation"
The only reason I have suffered is because of the Church and its teachings. Young GLBTI people today have a chance to marry, have families and generally lead a happy life as long as they ignore most of the churches. I use to say the only time I feel I am a 2nd class citizen is when I enter a church or go back to my birth country. Now thankfully I am not ashamed to use my Australian passport although I am much prouder to use my NZ one. 

19 May 2018
David, my initial degree was in economics and education so not strong on grammar, however my post graduate degree was in information science so I have done some research. Yes, a phobia does imply an emotional fear and may not be what we want to describe although I wonder about those who immediately give up their positions in the church just because the church now allows some to have their same sex marriages blessed in that church. Apparently the better terms are heterosexist which is better applied to institutions or sexually prejudiced. I feel that if I told a person they were racist I would get my point across, telling them they were sexist not quite so much and telling them they were sexually prejudiced would not convey my feelings of loathing for them when they state that I do not have the same rights as other human beings to enter into a committed sexual partnership due to my sexual orientation

Friday, December 22, 2017

Proud Again to be a Kiwi

New Zealand voted against the USA in the United Nations vote over the USA recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. All wimpy Australia could do was abstain.

I am so proud to have become a Kiwi citizen.

Thursday, December 29, 2016


I just have to post this. Beautiful

In 3 Minutes, Kodak Captures the Ache of Gay Love, Dread of Coming Out, Joy of Being Accepted

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Mum 10 Years

Today is 10 years since Mum died. In memory I refer back to my post at that time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


If this photo upsets you, GET OVER IT.

The event in Orlando a few days creates many feelings. One is my anger at the gun lobby. I hesitate to put forward Australia's gun laws as being perfect.  It only takes one nutter and one firearm to create a massacre but the rifle used in Orlando has been banned in Australia since the Port Arthur Massacre and while still allowed in NZ, the chamber must be restricted to 7 bullets. So you can shoot 7 people before they have a chance to stop you ?????
The New Zealand hunting culture is one aspect of my new nation with which I do not agree. Fortunately they mainly only manage to shoot their best mates because they do not follow the rules of identifying their target.
I am proud of the fact that NZ police do not regularly carry firearms.

I have been bemused by my US friends who say they will avoid travelling to Europe and particularly France.  I have always felt most at risk when in the USA.  I was in Washington at the time of the Virginia Tech Massacre, not that far away.

However my main anger is at the religious authorities. In this case it was Muslim teaching but Christian teaching is just the same.

It makes me sick when Religious leaders like the Abps of Canterbury and York announce their horror at what happened.
As long as GLBTI  and their love are portrayed as less than equal, those stating such views are equally culpable when someone who is mentally unstable develops such views as an excuse to carry out atrocities.  There is now some evidence that the individual in this case may have had gay feelings himself and, due to his religious teachings, had developed feelings of self-hatred.

I well remember growing up with the conflict between my religious upbringing and my internal feelings. With some friends it led to suicide, with others it led to extreme homophobia.
When I was out as a teacher in a senior catholic high school, I received a lot of stick from some students. From some it was not much more than good natured ribbing but I remember one boy who was particularly nasty.  Several years later I heard he had died from HIV.  I sometimes wonder whether the internalised homophobia may have prevented him receiving information about safe sex.

 But I digress.

"Organized religion bears responsibility for the pain and misery and death inflicted on gays for so many centuries in the name of god."

I will continue to express my anger with those who are preventing the churches from giving LGBTI people complete equality, whether it be the Evangelical Archdeacon in the next suburb, the Bishop in Nelson or the Archbishop of Canterbury.  I see them as enemies. I may be suppose to love my enemies but I see them as beneath contempt and do not want to be in the same room as them.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Remaining an Anglican in Aotearoa/New Zealand?

I am travelling in Europe. Today I am in Prague. I find it difficult to find time to blog about my travel experiences. Perhaps I will post a compilation of my messages and photos sent to friends after I have returned home.

I have found it difficult to blog on church matters ever since the despicable meeting of Primates in January when the Episcopal church was so badly treated. Ever since then, and even before,  I have looked more deeply into my beliefs and generally decided that I have been mistaken for over 60 years.
At about age 7, I made a decision for Christ at a CMS Beach Mission on the South Coast of NSW.
Of course ,having a deeply devout Mother, it was not my first experience of Christianity, it is just my earliest memory of definitely deciding such things for myself.
I now think my life would have been a lot happier if I had not made that choice.
I now consider that the modern church and religion to be one of the greatest hindrances to the development of humanity. I only attend church because I love the ceremony and music of Anglicanism especially Anglo-Catholicism and a few elderly ladies depend on me for transport.

I had some hope things might improve at the NZ General Synod held a few weeks ago but again the conservatives have had their way and any possibility of merely blessing same-sex marriage will not occur for at least 4 years. They bless dogs.
As I regularly state: "The only time I feel a 2nd class citizen in New Zealand is when I enter a Church."

I left Australia and became a New Zealand Citizen and one driving force was the much more enlightened attitudes of New Zealand Society and Government.  I also  considered the church to be more enlightened. However even there, the conservatives manage to keep control. In a post a few years ago I said I felt like throwing coffee over the vicar of St Matthews, Dunedin and was criticised by my then curate because. "He was a brother in Christ" If such people are brothers in Christ, I no longer want to be called a Christian. They can go to Hell (except I no longer believe in an after life)

The only person who gives me some hope at the moment is the current Bishop of Dunedin and I want to draw attention to two recent posts he has made since the Synod ended.

Two More Years  and Pulling Together

I will write more when I have more time. Now I must experience Prague.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Ignorant Prejudice even in Dunedin

There have been articles in our local paper about increasing acceptance of different sexualities in our local schools even Catholic schools. However it has brought at least one neanderthal out of the woodwork.

I was too busy becoming a citizen last Wednesday to read our local paper but have discovered an opinion piece written by a man who describes himself as a retired teacher and I am very glad he is retired. Thankfully all the replies have been dismissive of him.
His opinion is disgraceful and ignorant. I can only post a few bits.

"I think the ODT ought to be more careful about publicising the lifestyle choices of seriously confused young people, and the views of older people who would exploit them Adolescence and the courtship/dating time of life are always confusing.

They're confusing even if you're normal: if, for instance, you know that you're a boy, and that you find girls attractive and disturbing.

You have to meet girls, figure out which particular girls you're most compatible with, get to know them, find out if they like you, deal with the mind-altering effects of being in love, negotiate tactfully how far to go with them sexually (in accordance with your value system, if any), and decide together whether you want to get married.
Imagine how much more confusing and difficult to be told at a tender age - implicitly or explicitly - that your nervous interest in the opposite sex may indicate not that you're attracted to them but that you're attracted sexually to your own sex - and that that's OK!

And perhaps now to be told furthermore - by a school teacher or counsellor - that despite anatomical evidence, you may not "really'' be a boy (or a girl) after all.

That you can make up your own mind!

And that you should try everything before deciding!

Now, I think that this whole business of sexual "orientation'' and gender "identity'' is a) nonsense, and b) dangerous nonsense.

Human sexual preferences are obviously not carved in stone (or our DNA): why otherwise are we seeing now such an historically unprecedented increase in non--normative sexual behaviours?

These matters are obviously very malleable.
In the past they have been supported by convention and religion (pretty much every religion) and common sense.

I went to school with two chaps who were, in the view of the rest of us (it was a boys' school), somewhat effeminate.

On reflection, they were bullied - though only slightly (nothing physical, and we didn't have cellphones).

Neither of them in later years pursued homosexual lifestyles, nor sought gender re-assignment.

Not only were those "options'' not then acceptable, they were, more importantly, not then fashionable.

Indeed, most people were hardly aware of them.

That's not a bad thing.

We don't have to be aware of everything.

If you're going to choose, why not choose some thing easy and conventional, that is sanctioned by history, that is more psychically challenging and interesting than hooking up with your own gender, and will likely produce a family without technological intervention?

The LGB label gets extended every couple of weeks (LGBT, LGBTI, LGBTQ, LGBTIQ) as people develop new modes of sensual experimentation."

My online reply has not been printed, possibly too late. I have thought of sending it to the print version but it is probably too long and I cannot see how to reduce it.

Thankfully I was too busy becoming a Kiwi citizen to read the ODT the day this article was printed. As a gay man I have found nothing but acceptance since moving to live in Dunedin but know there are pockets of prejudice everywhere. Unfortunately such prejudice in the parliament of my birth country, Australia means it is falling way behind NZ in social development.
I am also a retired teacher, now over 70 and am well aware of the harm done by the attitudes when I was growing up. Effeminacy (what a horrible word) is not necessarily an indicator of one's sexuality  I learnt to hide that just for self preservation. At school I had no idea of what my feelings for other boys meant and it was not until I studied psychology at university that I discovered it to my horror. Choice did not come into it. As a law abiding, church going young man I would have done anything to choose otherwise.
Psychiatric treatment (now discredited) was useless. Fortunately I was able to break my engagement which had been encouraged by the psychiatrists but I have met many men my age who married. The luckier ones divorced, others agreed with their spouses to live an outwardly "normal" married life while having same-sex relationships and some sneaked out whenever possible to meet men. I am sure there are some who just live a conflicted life hiding their innermost feelings. Thankfully in today's society young men (and women) can follow their natural feelings in an open and less conflicted way.
I certainly took many girls out and apparently some saw me as a"catch" and obviously was very attracted in ways other than sexual to my ex-fiancee. Even today most of my friends are women.  However it was not until I had my first serious long term gay relationship (in my late 30's) that I realised what had been missing. That inner buzz and feeling that you do not want to let the other person out of your sight.   While wistful, I rejoice that young gay people can experience that today without the dread of social opprobrium.
I have only met a few transexual persons (and Mr Hardesty it is not the same as homosexual, your ignorance is abysmal). I do not really understand but from my own experience I want to see them receive the same acceptance and assistance that young GLB people now largely do. While confusing to us oldies, I understand the need for adding to the alphabet of people who do not conform to what use to be seen as 'Normal". In fact it is people with views like Mr Hardesty who are now abnormal.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

The Journey is Complete

Last Wednesday, March 2nd, I joined about 70 others at the Dunedin Town Hall and became a New Zealand (Aotearoa) citizen.
I find I first mentioned moving to New Zealand on this blog in 2006 shortly after my mother died.
The first major comment was just after my first visit to Dunedin in November that year.

However it had been in my mind for many years and I first visited and fell in love with the country in December 1966. Obviously no blog references at that time but I did write a detailed diary of that trip.
Between (now) amusing description of my first real plane flight (I did have a brief flight from Canberra to Sydney as a small boy) I wrote:
"New Zealand came into sight. Land of long white cloud was true. We could see right across to the other side. We came down over fields - very green with hedges."

I never dreamt  (then just 22) that, towards the end of my life, I would retire to live in New Zealand and eventually become a citizen.

My move here in January 2010 is well documented in this blog.

I am very proud to be a Kiwi.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Apology to 78ers

In August 1978, I attended the National Homosexual Conference at Paddington Town Hall in Sydney. It ran from Friday to Sunday.  My diary shows that on the Saturday we formed the Gay Teachers and Students Society but I went home afterwards. I am not sure why I did not go to the city march that followed.  In those days homosexual activities were still illegal (did not change in NSW until 1983) and I was a teacher in a Catholic Boys' High School, so had to be careful.  In those days even State school teachers were at risk if their sexuality became known.

In my diary I write that I went to communion on Sunday morning then to the Conference but left in disgust and drove to Watson's Bay. I was angry but probably also my mind was in turmoil. Partly relieved that I had escaped the police brutality and arrests of the previous night but also ashamed that I had not been brave enough to take part in what began as a public celebration of Gay Pride but developed due to police action into riots, beatings and arrests. 53 were arrested, had their names published int the City newspapers and many lost friends, jobs and even family as a result.
In 1979 I did attend the protest march which was peaceful partly because it had prior permission. These were the forerunners of today's world famous Sydney Gay Mardi Gras now held at the end of summer  (this year March 5) and a big tourist attraction.  In recent years there has been a contingent from the NSW police force marching in uniform.  How things have changed.

Last week the NSW parliament moved a motion apologising to those who were arrested and beaten that night. It was moved by an openly gay member of parliament but passed unanimously with many of the original 78ers in the gallery.

The Sydney Morning Herald has also apologised for publishing the names and the article is here

The parliamentary member who moved the motion Bruce Motley-Smith is a member of the conservative Liberal Party now in Government in NSW.  He has been in a same-sex partnership for over 20 years and gratefully acknowledged his partner Paul McCormack in his maiden speech.

I am including a supporting speech by a member of the Greens party.

I have also found an interview with 2 guys that I knew in those years but have not seen for many many years

As the 1978 evening Stonewall parade moved down Oxford St towards Hyde Park, the police became agitated by our chants of "Out of the bars and into the street" as some did just that. As Peter notes, we knew that the baars and police were colluding to make money from our justified fears. The police did not like us getting away with that! So they started pushing us along, cancelled our permit, and tried to arrest Lance Gowland, who was driving the lead "float" with our music on it. It was only then that we headed for the Cross. And it was when we thought we had got free of them, and heading peacefully for home, that we found ourselves trapped and then attacked. See "It Was a Riot" ( a police riot) published by Sydney's Pride History