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.

3 Responses

  1. When I read about people like this, I remember a conversation between two of Kipling’s characters in the novel Kim. One objected to having a broken head, and the other suggested that a small crack might let in some wisdom. Pity one can’t go about with a plastic bat, and induce small cracks.

  2. […] from Peter Mullen Posted on October 10, 2008 by Richard Bartholomew An update on Peter Mullen. First, from the comments on Ruth Gledhill’s blog: Factual […]

  3. […] has featured on this blog previously – a “right” libertarian, he is Chaplain to the Stock Exchange and the Freedom […]

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