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Saturday, 24 September 2011

Fr Ray Blake under fire


Fr Ray Blake recently had a threatening communication from the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement in Brighton over his recent post on The Illiberality of a Local MP who proposed that Churches should not be allowed to conduct any marriages unless they agree to conduct gay marriages, and his post Cameron pushes children out of marriage where he looks at the nature of marriage with reference to the Prime Minister's recent announcement that he intends to legalise gay marriage.

If you read the posts, you will see that they are sensibly expressed with no surprises and nothing intemperate. Look at the comments too - a normal set of comments expressing support and adding one or two things.

This perfectly balanced treatment of important issues is characterised as inflammatory, inciting hatred, hostile, prejudiced, defamatory, and likely to put people's lives at risk. Hence the LGCM thinks his blog should be shut down and is writing to his Bishop. Ironically, they also accuse him of bullying.

The problem is that many people do not read blogs but have a vague idea that they are rather dangerous. I once had a conversation with a child about new technology and she said that they weren’t online at home because “My Mum’s a bit frightened of the internet.” I recently mentioned the meeting of the Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma for Catholic bloggers at a church-related meeting and rather felt that it would have made a better impression if I said that I was organising a parish cage-fighting day.

This makes it easy for the passive aggressive brigade (“You’ve hurt my feelings and made me cry so you should be strung up with piano wire”) to create the impression that a blogger is an evil genius who secretly fosters fear and destruction in the homes of middle England.

Fr Ray is a decent, hard-working priest who ministers indefatigably and with great charity to the people of Brighton – and that includes the many gay people whom he encounters in his normal pastoral work. His blog is a solace to many and a mine of information and sensible comment. I sincerely hope that he is not put off his internet apostolate by this intimidation.

He has had over 100 supportive comments so far. Another few won't do any harm. Go to: Hatred?
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