Freedom Association Chaplain Calls for Gay Men to be Tattooed

Rev Peter Mullen is in trouble; the BBC reports:

A Church of England clergyman has been ordered to remove comments about gay people from his blog, remarks described by his diocese as “highly offensive”.

The Rev Peter Mullen, who ministers in the City of London, said he had gay friends and the words were “satirical”.

He suggested in his internet blog that homosexuals should have their backsides tattooed with the slogan: “Sodomy can seriously damage your health”.

…The Diocese of London spokeswoman said officials had met Mr Mullen and it had been agreed that the comments should be removed.

Mullen’s outburst (which was on his blog for a couple of months) was provoked by comments from the gay atheist conservative journalist Matthew Parris. Mullen is a long-time controversial figure, and he is identified as belonging to the “libertarian” movement – as well as being Chaplain to the Stock Exchange, Mullen is also Chaplain to the Freedom Association . And while of course there is a genuine “libertarian” intellectual tradition, the label is often appropriated by posturing right-wing cranks who like to gloss over their actual authoritarianism with some middle-brow philosophizing – see my blog entry on David Marsland for an example of this kind of pseudo-libertarianism (As it happens, Marsland and Mullen have several political associations in common).

Here’s some more of that “satire” in context, from Mullen’s now-deleted blog:

…for [Matthew] Parris, the views of billions of Christians, Jews and Muslims worldwide are of no more consequence than a couple of obscure sectional interests. From what point of privileged judgement does he thus discount 4000 years of civilisation? The great world religions have survived the criticisms of far more intelligent and better informed opponents than the ignorant upstart Parris. There is a whole history and literature of distinguished apologetics for religious belief, but Parris will attend to none of it – sufficient only to attract his disdain is mainstream religion’s disapproval of homosexual acts.

Since Parris will not dirty his hands by entering theological discussions with his readers, perhaps I might answer for religious believers in the purely utilitarian terms which even the lofty Parris is bound to engage with. We disapprove of homosexuality because it is clearly unnatural, a perversion and corruption of natural instincts and affections, and because it is a cause of fatal disease. The AIDS pandemic was originally caused by promiscuous homosexual behaviour. Such promiscuity is itself an evil because its perpetrators merely use others indiscriminately for their own gratification, treating their fellows as sex objects and as means to an end rather than as ends in themselves. I should have thought that Parris, having rejected religious belief, might want to construct his moral beliefs on this Kantian humanistic imperative. But I suspect he is not really interested in morality of any kind – except as a special plea to excuse his lust for gratification at whatever cost to human dignity and the sanctity of human life.

It is time that religious believers began to recommend specific utilitarian discouragements of homosexual practices after the style of warnings on cigarette packets: Let us make it obligatory for homosexuals to have their backsides tattooed with the slogan SODOMY CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH and their chins with FELLATIO KILLS. In addition the obscene “gay pride” parades and carnivals should be banned for they give rise to passive corruption, comparable to passive smoking. Young people forced to witness these excrescences are corrupted by them…

One wonders what Mullen’s sermons are like – I think I’d prefer going to the nearby St Paul’s Cathedral.

Joseph Farah’s Armageddon Three-Pack

When will the end of the world be? WorldNetDaily is currently pushing no fewer than three alternative armageddons on its credulous readership.

Here’s the closest:

The author of a unique best-selling book on the year 2012 and the return of biblical Nephilim claims mankind may be on the precipice of an earth-shaking event far beyond the imagination of most people…

Or, if you a bit more breathing space, there’s this:

In “Temple at the Center of Time: Newton’s Bible Codex Deciphered and the Year 2012,” by David Flynn, a book that has skyrocketed up the best-seller charts following its release this month, the author makes a correction to Isaac Newton’s research, pointing to the year 2013 as “the time of the end.”

I blogged on Flynn and his book here.

A third imminent eschaton is expounded here:

Will Jesus Christ return to Earth in the year 2015?

And can studying NASA’s website provide evidence for such a scenario?

This is the theory of Pastor Mark Biltz, of El Shaddai Ministries, and it appears to be the one favoured by Farah, as Biltz has now produced a video series “in conjunction with WND Videos”. Biltz believes that the date of Jesus’ return can be determined by considering the yearly dates of Jewish feasts and relating them to lunar eclipses:

He noted a rare phenomenon of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, known as a tetrad.

He says during this century, tetrads occur at least six times, but what’s interesting is that the only string of four consecutive blood moons that coincide with God’s holy days of Passover in the spring and the autumn’s Feast of Tabernacles (also called Succoth) occurs between 2014 and 2015 on today’s Gregorian calendar.

…”What’s significant to me is that even before 1967, the next time that you had four blood red moons again was right after Israel became a nation in ’48, it happened again in 1949 and 1950 … on Passover and Succoth. You didn’t have any astronomical tetrads in the 1800s, the 1700s, the 1600s. In the 1500s, there were six, but none of those fell on Passover and Succoth.”

But what about the Biblical injunction against date-setting?

He responded by referring to the annual Feast of Trumpets holiday, saying Israelites never knew the precise moment it began, “because it was based on the sighting of the new moon.”

“When He (Jesus) says you won’t know the day or the hour, He’s telling you it’s the Feast of Trumpets because that was known as the feast where no one knew the day or the hour that it would begin,” said Biltz. “So it’s kind of like if I told you, ‘I’m not going to tell you when I’m coming, but “Gobble, gobble, gobble,'” [pointing to] Turkey Day.”

Maybe we should imagine Jesus winking and nudging Peter in the ribs… or consider the alternative, which is that Biltz’s Biblical interpretation has simply been pulled out of his backside and imposed on the text. However, Biltz has a get-out clause for when 2016 rolls around:

“We don’t know that that will be the concluding year of the tribulation period … so we’re not setting a date and saying this is a warning. We’re introducing the possibility of a watch.”

Biltz’s website is also sprinkled liberally with the word “IF”. WND is particularly keen on Biltz’s idea because it fits with an increasing evangelical desire to appropriate aspects of Judaism – a trend I blogged here. Under the heading “Yom Kippur not just for Jews”, WND gives more detail:

The spring and fall feasts, Biltz says, were not intended only for the children of Israel. They are, the Bible says, “the feasts of the Lord” – and they have special meaning with respect to the life, death, resurrection and return of Jesus…

The spring feasts – or appointed times – were fulfilled by the first coming of Yeshua, the Hebrew name of Jesus, which means “Salvation,” explains Biltz. The fall feasts will be fulfilled by His Second Coming – in the very near future…The video series pinpoints the specific day on the Hebrew calendar for the return of Jesus. The only unknown, according to Biltz, is which year that return will occur – though he makes the case it is very near.

Farah enthuses that those who watch the video series “will be stunned by what they learn about the meaning of these feasts in our lives”. Meanwhile, Hal Lindsey, who knows a thing or two about failed prophecy (he wrote The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon), cautions that all this is “pure speculation”.