I’ve been following the British news, and it’s with a detached interest that I’ve watched the furore regarding the appointment of a bishop who apparently prefers men to women. The Church is—let’s be honest—pretty camp, and the clergy itself has not always been known as a bastion of heterosexual behaviour. We can have gay men in government, but threaten to put one into a post that actually requires the wearing of a dress, and suddenly there’s a crisis. It’s all a bit absurd to me. I can’t see that someone’s sexual inclinations are any more important than the colour of their car, or whether they are left- or right-handed.

But it confirms my worst impression—that some Christians seem to be less concerned with the actual Christian bit (the bearded communist hippy bachelor—and I say that in a positive sense—himself), and more concerned with enforcing particular lifestyle standards. It strikes me that religion is used in this case to justify social rules, rather than the other way around.

I’m not a Christian, let alone a theologian, but I have read the Bible. There are, indeed, strongly-worded passages against homosexuality in the Old Testament. However, there are also dietary rules, restrictions on menstruating women, laws governing the stoning of adulterers and the keeping of slaves, and many other archaic rules for desert living in 2000 BC. So what?

It looks like intolerance and hypocrisy to me.